"Think of me now and again, as I was in life at some moment which is pleasant to remember."
Walker Stadium Lenoir NC
As a little girl I would pitch pennies into wishing wells. Breath held, eyes closed--I'd wish for my dad.
Around age 12 I gave up the wishing well and other such flights of fancy.I became a realist.The Quixotic notion of seeing my father in a dream lay slain at the doorway of my adulthood. I went from wishing my life was different to pretending I was fine. No acceptance = No healing.
As a grown-up I set forth on an elusive, emotionally slippery journey to find my dad's voice. Guided by nothing more than intuition, I turned my back on the realist. Along the way I discovered acceptance and ease. The journey broke me open, as Elizabeth Lesser describes.
If we do not suffer a loss all the way to the end, it will wait for us. It won't dissipate and disappear. Rather, it will fester, and we will experience its sorrow later, in strange forms.My odds of finding radio archives from the 1960's of my father's voice are as good as locating the Veil of Veronica. It either doesn't exist or somebody has it hidden in a dark place. My quest, similar to a religious pilgrimage where the end result is irrelevant, has been about the willingness to take the journey, being vulnerable enough to accept the lessons and courageous enough to see things differently. A journey back to myself. Chasing the Veil of Veronica changes you from the inside out. My festering sadness had waited for me, pierced me and healed me.
I decided to honor my quest and subsequent healing with a small symbolic gesture and got my mom involved. She's been wishing, pretending, chasing and healing right along with me.
RosemaryWalker Stadium. Just like me, Walker Stadium has been through it's own metamorphosis in the last few years. This summer two teams will be playing there using it as their home field -a healing of sorts.
Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. It has the reputation of improving memory with a rich history steeped in folklore. Shakespeare's Ophelia appeals to Hamlet,"there's rosemary for remembrance." It is often used as a funeral flower and placed on graves.Conversely, myth says Aphrodite was draped in it when she rose from the sea.Due to this association with the goddess of love it is frequently used in wedding ceremonies symbolizing eternal love.Death, love and remembrance tangled together in small fragrant greens. I figured it was perfect for my baseball love story.
|Ann Walker-Walker Field|
I'm honoring other peoples stories that have found their way to me. I'm honoring my journey. I'm honoring my mother's guidance. I'm honoring the transformation of Walker Stadium. I'm honoring my father. I'm honoring each person who has helped, encouraged, and followed me. I'm honoring love and loss.
I walk the path alone but am constantly aware of the solace I receive from my team.
Rain from heaven shall keep the rosemary alive.
Remembering My Dad Through Baseball
Long phone calls, emails, pictures, newspaper clippings, FedEx packages, great stories and big laughs. It has been a privilege to receive them all.
Baseball players have the best stories. I think it's all the time spent waiting for a turn at bat. Here are a few of the folks I have spoken to recently.
Ken Holztman- Cubs pitcher 65-71
Phil Regan - Cubs pitcher 68-72
Bobby Richardson - Yankees 2nd base 55-66 (fellow Southern boy)
George Altman- Cubs outfielder 59-62, 65-67
Ernie Broglio- Cubs pitcher 64-66
Rich Nye- Cubs pitcher 66-69
Bill Hands- Cubs pitcher 66-72
Chuck Shriver- Cubs Media Relations Director
Mary Dease- Executive Secretary to Cubs President John Holland
"Salty" Saltwell- Cubs General Manger and VP
|Verlon "Rube" Walker|
Rosemary for remembrance---maybe I will even throw a penny in a wishing well.
Thank you for reading. Please pass on my contact information to anyone who might have a story about my dad.
Intuition still guides me. I feel like a radio interview exists of my father (Cubs coach) and my uncle (Mets coach) in the 1969 season. A New York interview. Any assistance breaking into the NYC market is appreciated.