These are little, but very personal memories, parts of the whole that on other levels, are way whole in themselves. They move across the visceral connections of my brain that takes in the sights, sounds, smells, feels, and tastes of being at my ballpark during my growing-up years on that grandest day of all baseball days – Opening Day of a new hopeful regular baseball season for the mighty Houston Buffs.
(1) The beaded sight of the eighty orange, beige, and brown buffalo medallions that rimmed the outside stadium walls as we walked from our cars to the entry gates of Buff Stadium.
(2) The wafting sounds of Miss Lou Mahan on the ballpark organ as she orchestrated fans into the stands on the auditory wings of the best popular music of our times. After the last out in the ninth, we knew we could count on “Goodnight, Irene” no matter who won the game.
(3) The unmistakable aroma of fresh pop corn, tasty ballpark hot dogs, and other more confectious treats that battled in the air for the invisible space we used to breathe ourselves into a voracious craving for all the baseball good stuff that caused our hunger nostrils to run full blast. For some, the only discernible smell was beer. Most of us also smelled the freshly cut grass of the most brilliantly green field in the world.
(4) We felt the firm support of wooden bench stadium seating and also the more comfortable armchair seating in the reserved and box ticket sections. We also could not miss the gentle to gusty Gulf of Mexico winds that blew in over the right field wall toward left.
(5) And we tasted the morsels of our various cravings at the concessions stands that lay in wait for all of us in the belly of the whale that was Buff Stadium in Houston on Opening Day.
(6) It was fun in all its glory. The players lived very well on their side of the rail with all those little signs that said “no pepper games.” As for us fans. we didn’t have any comparable sign on our grandstand side of the rail, but we could have lived fine with a sign that had read “no moderation games.” . Going all out to win and having fun was all we cared about back in the day. Those were some very good years – good enough to have planted some very real memories – the kind that have lasted for 66 years and counting through today.
Tags: oppening day memories