A Gathering of Eagles and Buffalos and Cougars

"Place no faith in tomorrow, for the hands may there be still."

“Place no faith in tomorrow, for the hands may there be still.”

Friday, May 16. 2013 was another of those golden days, time with buddies, neighbors, and classmates on the very turf where we all grew up in the Houston East End. One could plan for years to do something like this little reunion and it might not happen, but this one did, by accident or spiritual design – and I don’t believe in accidents.

From my place on the west side. I picked up another former Pecan Park Eagle named Ken Kern from his place in off 610 South and drove us to Kelley’s Country Kitchen at 8015 Park Place Blvd. off the Gulf Freeway. There we met up with a mutual friend from way back named Foster Foucheaux, who had driven up from Pearland to meet us for lunch.

Our relationship chain worked like this: Ken and I were Pecan Park neighbors from 1945 to forever. I lived on Japonica and Ken lived on Myrtle. As we got older, we both flocked to the sandlot that was bordered by both our streets. We came to name ourselves “The Pecan Park Eagles” and to play out so much of our passion for the game on that hallowed ground. By the time high school came along, I remained an eagle by enrolling at St. Thomas and commuting everyday to STHS at 4500 Memorial. Ken became a buffalo, a Milby HS Buffalo.

Foster Foucheaux grew up in Park Place, a neighborhood to the southeast of Pecan Park. We met in 1947 when my parents enrolled me as a second-grader in St. Christopher’s Catholic School. We were classmates and baseball teammates at Chris through our 1952 8th grade graduation.Then Foster went to Milby where he and Ken met and became fiends.

And those were the three legs of group relationship stool. I lost track of Foster in high school, but Ken and I still got together occasionally to commiserate over girl friend issues as we cruised the East End drive inns. Then all of us went our separate ways as working UH students, but Ken and I did share time as ROTC students.

We talked about the things yesterday that older men discuss: our health issues; the way we were; our happiness and our regrets; and our gratitude for each day we awaken on the top side of the growing grass. One sad note invaded with the news that Ken’s older brother Lloyd had died recently. I had known about it after the fact of his funeral and before today so I came prepared. I have this always-with-me desire to give of myself to those I care about and, sometimes that need gets expressed in ways that aren’t well understood by some people. That was not the case yesterday,

I gave Foster and Ken copies of my two personally most important poems, Summer Baseball (1969) and The Pecan Park Eagle (1993), plus one by an anonymous writer that has no known date stamp. It’s called “The Clock of Life”, but more importantly to me, at least, it has become my mantra for a life-in-the-moment appreciation of what fills my cup.

The guys each also received a small bottle of magic soil that I had dug up from the home plate area of our old sandlot field at Japonica and Myrtle in 2010. Ken and I played there from about 1948 to 1954. Foster never played there, but he was an East Ender too and a valued school baseball  teammate at St. Christopher’s. That was good enough for me.

Ken received two sandlot soil bottles: One for him. And one for Lloyd.

The lunch discussion over good old fashioned East End comfort food lasted three hours and we vowed to do it again, even as we kept in mind the message of the clock:

The Clock of Life

 ~ author unknown ~

 The clock of life is wound but once

And no one has the power

 

To know just when the hands will stop

At late or early hour

 

NOW Is the only time you own

 Live, Love, Toil in God’s Will

 

Place no faith in tomorrow

 For the clock may there be still

 

Have a nice weekend, everybody – one day at a time.

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