Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cooperstown anecdote, with baseball and opera--

Dear blogaholics,

Apologies for being overwhelmed by having to judge contests, revise a novel in short order, finish another manuscript, get the house repaired, and be a single mother, all in a few weeks while my husband is in Austria. I've been posting at facebook, twitter, and the new tumblr site (see links in upper left column), as those only take a minute to dash off. But here's a little thing that happened just before my husband left.

* * *

Michael is walking Susquehanna the dog by the shops of Main Street, not far from The Baseball Hall of Fame. Abruptly he is surrounded by a large group of young men and a couple of staff. They might be from area residential facilities like Springbrook or Pathfinder Village because they are all, in the jargon of our day, "developmentally disabled." The guys are sweet and chatty and unleashed from any fear of strangers, talking to Michael and among themselves.

Can we pet the dog? Can we? Nice dog! She? She's a nice dog! Isn't she? There's a lot of baseball stores here, aren't there?

At this, a large, plump kid with a head shaped like a pumpkin leans back and starts belting out "Take me out to the ballgame." What is most startling and wondrous is that he sings with a deep, velvety, gorgeous voice. An operatic voice.

Joy! The sunlight and the one traffic light in Cooperstown change. The day is disarranged, rearranged, estranged.

* * *

Might have to use that some day, somehow.

* * *

Of course, now my husband is in Vienna, conference-going and having afternoon and evening adventures from opera house to concentration camp, as well as eating monstrous dinners like veal cheeks, squid-ink risotto, and diced calf heart and lungs with bread dumplings (the latter served up at Der Grosser, founded 1566 and serving the eagerly carnivorous ever since.) And I am walking the dog every other instant. Because, as we know, life really ain't fair!

4 comments:

  1. Amazing story of the operatic-voiced kid. Envy your husband being in Vienna, and you should be there too! You sure are always very busy, do take care not to get sick (as did I just holidaying with visitors).

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  2. So sorry you managed to get sick when having special company... Too bad!

    Yes, I love those unexpected swerves in the day... The next such conference is in Santiago, Chile.

    I really have been too busy for several years. Must either be more organized or less busy.

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  3. Sorry, meant to say 'after' the visitors left. At least I can take it easy now.

    Like you, I was overwhelmed when our family was still around and needing us, and we were doing a major reno on the house, looking after aging parents, and trying to keep up my art practice. I thought I was tired then, but thinking back I now wish I had the energy I had then! You are doing great and it will get better, I'm sure, Marly!

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  4. At least my mother is still in great shape! She gardens and weaves and does exactly what she wants...

    I still don't feel properly organized. Oh. Well.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.