One Last Dance, At Least, For Now

 

Casey (R) and Dad
My mental pictures are better than my digital selfies.

Neurologically, what’s going on now with us Astros fans is a good thing and a 180 degree turn from our disappointing negative season closure moments in 1980, 1986, 1998, 2004, 2005, and even 2015. All these latter times were about the pursuit of joy ending in despair. 2017 is about our trust in hope concluding in a state of ecstasy that seemingly had no end.

Both outcomes are predictable. Disappointment gives birth to despair. Fulfillment brings life to joy. And both were fed by the original expectation. The greater the expectation is, the more the human mind shifts into critical gear. And it is no longer winning alone that matters, but how you win, and by how much, and how often you win. And once winning becomes the expectation based on results, there is no joy left in the act of winning itself.

One has to wonder. When the New York Yankees won their 5th World Series in a row in 1953, how many Yankee fans still felt joy or anything resembling the surprise of joy that has swept up Houston in the past first month of the Astros 2017 season reign as World Series Champions? On the other hand, how about the Brooklyn Dodger fans of that same five-year era? The Dodgers lost three of those five World Series matches with the Yankees in 1949, 1952, and 1953. How could those fans, or their Dodger players, have escaped the negative neuropathic mapping by all previous experience between the two clubs, dating back to their first World Series meeting in 1941?

They didn’t, and yet, the Dodgers would come back in 1955 and win the only World Series they would ever take from the Yankees during their long original franchise mooring in Brooklyn.

My beloved son, Casey, made it home to Houston from his work on the road out of Springfield, Missouri as an 18-wheeler driver in time to watch games Six and Seven with me at home on TV. Casey, Norma, and I were all on our feet in the bottom of the 9th of Game Seven when Charlie Morton coaxed that little grounder from Corey Seager that Jose Altuve fielded and threw to Yuli Gurriel at 1st to end the game, win the Series, and start the rumbling joy that continues to play strongly through me this very morning. The play itself is now burned into the tracks of my most vivid life moments, even though it is only about five seconds long.

It just keeps playing and playing and playing in a little visual corner of my brain. It doesn’t get in the way. It just makes me happy.

Right next to it rests the other quick sensory clip that went into the neuro-bank that same night. All three of us raising both fists to the sky, shouting loudly, now dancing together in a circle, now hugging and dancing, and now my son Casey is grabbing my shoulders and speaking joyously in my face:

“This is why I came home, Dad! After all these years! After all the Astros have been through! After all we’ve been though, like so many other Astro fans, there was no way in the world I could miss being here with you at this very moment! And we didn’t miss it. The Astros are now the World Series Champions! And we got to see it together!”

And we shall continue to see it together forever, Casey, for as long as the little movie version of that moment continues to play lyrically in our heads. First with Jose and Yuli. Then with you and me and Mom:

Dancing the night away.

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “One Last Dance, At Least, For Now”

  1. bobcopus Says:

    What a great memory, for all three of you 🙂

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