Travelers

“Hey Hey!” – Jack Brickhouse

There is a generation of people who think Harry Caray is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. For me, it will always be Jack Brickhouse and his cheery “Hey Hey!” whenever Ernie Banks or Billy Williams or Ron Santo belted one out of Wrigley Field that I associate with my first love affair with baseball. Well, that and the voices of Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau scratching out of the contraband transistor radio that would accompany me to bed so I could listen to the (always away of course) night ball games as I drifted off to sleep.

So Hey Hey, indeed! It was a great day 2 on the B&B Road Trip. I would gush about the fantastic weather, but I read this poem this morning over breakfast. ‘Nuff said about the weather.

We enjoyed lunch and a few fine, Arkansas beers at the Little Rock Flying Saucer – the only Saucer west of the Mississippi that we will visit this trip.

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Then we walked across the Arkansas River on a pedestrian bridge over to North Little Rock. I love walking across big rivers on big, sturdy bridges. At the middle of the bridge, husband and I stopped, looked down, and in unison said, “this would be a great spot for pooh sticks.” Anyone else do this? Maybe the better question is, does anyone NOT think of playing pooh sticks when on a bridge looking down?

The Arkansas Travelers play in Dickey-Stephens Park located on the north bank of the river. I realized today as we walked in that this was my first in-person sighting of an official baseball field this season, not just of the roadtrip. Joy! Here’s the expected picture of husband with Shelly the official mascot. Can you guess what Shelly is?

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We had to look it up. The Travelers were named for a folkloric traveling saleman from Arkansas in the late 1800s. Shelly is supposed to be the horse who pulled his wagon. I guessed moose because I swore he had antlers, but it was only his forelock pushed out under one side of his cap.

The park is pleasant, though nothing stands out as either exceptionally great or exceptionally quirky. The usual minor league antics between innings, a nice view of downtown Little Rock across the river, friendly people, standard stadium food, an above average beer selection. Today’s promotion? L’Oreal tote bags, and, if you stood in line L’Oreal nail polish samples. Yes, L’Oreal, the official makeup provider of minor league baseball. Huh?!?

The Travs lost 3-1 in 10 innings to the Springfield Cardinals. It was an interesting crowd dynamic. For many years, the Travelers were the AA farm club of the Cardinals, and the Cards are one of the closest major league teams, so no one really seemed to care who won the game.

A pleasant stroll back across the river and it was back in the car for a few more hours. We’re still in Arkansas tonight but head across the Mississippi into Memphis tomorrow. (Mea culpa: posting on the ipad is not quite the same as on the computer back home – forgive any excessive formatting/typing mistakes.)

7 thoughts on “Travelers

  1. Nancy, aah you cannot imagine the vicarious thrill that ran down my spine as I ‘felt’ you walk across the broad river on the sturdy bridge. So many ‘Me too’ clamors inside me to do the same. I can’t remember when I did this last… maybe when I was 19 or 20 years old, when I reluctantly went with my parents to remote hill places in what is now Uttarakhand in North India. If I were to stretch parallels with your B&B tour… let me see… they were Forest Guest Houses in the most gorgeous thick jungles in the hills… basic, clean sheets, old paint, creaky old guard/caretaker/cook and dangerous-tiger-storyteller. As for the river and the bridge… I remember a gushing, blue Ganges or maybe it was the Alaknanda. Walking across it I felt so much excitement and wonder at the sound and mesmerizing rush below, sort of visible through the gaps in the slats of the bridge.
    Thank you for reminding me.
    Love, Komal.
    PS: I meant to start this comment saying that you are a wonderful and fun writer. If you write a book, a post at a time, I would read it, a page at a time, savoring your words and the feeling places they would take me (based on my experience of your words so far).

    Love.

    • Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your river crossing memory. I find it amazing that a thread from my writing about the Arkansas River can spark you to remember a vacation in India. I attribute that to your open mind and spirit, much more than to my words. Glad that our very different worlds can in some way share another experience!

    • PoohSticks is the game that Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin and other friends from the 100 Acre Wood would play. In the middle of a river, on the top of a bridge, everyone throws a stick in from the up-river side of the bridge. The first stick to come under to under the bridge is the winner. A favorite Drott family camping activity as well as a classic moment in (English and American) children’s literature. If Cary can find the video snippet of Pooh Sticks from the movie, I’ll post it.

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