Coming of Age in Zweibrucken is a book now available from Amazon and describes my experiences living in Europe during the Cold War.
We didn’t win every game that year, but we won enough to qualify for the playoffs to see who would represent our area in Germany at the little league world series. It all came down to a final game in Pirmasens against our cross-town rivals. Tom Doyle was hit in the face by a curveball in that game but since our team was short players, had to play through the pain with a swollen face. Some of us missed the game because we were at a Boy Scout Jamboree in Giessen leaving our teammates to survive without us. Much to our chagrin, we lost and Pirmasens went back to Pennsylvania and lost three games to the team from Taiwan. I earned a few merit badges that summer including knot tying and my swimming merit badge. We had to dive down to the bottom of the deep end of the pool on a chilly morning in Germany and retrieve a rubber weight. By the time we got back from the Jamboree, I had toothpaste all over everything and a terrible ear infection which required a waxy shot of penicillin in the buttocks and a week’s stay in bed trying to recover.
The summer between the 5th and 6th grades, I got my first taste of organized baseball. I remember playing catcher and the father of my best friend, Steve Marcoux, was umpiring. Unprotected, without a face mask or chest protector, he wasn’t happy with my catching skills, or lack thereof. He used pebbles to keep track of balls and strikes and made comments under his breath when I missed the ball. He was in the Navy while my dad was in the Army so Steve would get the best presents when his dad came home from sea duty. Of all my teammates, Steve had the best glove. His dad picked it up on a voyage to Japan. Sometimes those memories come flooding back and make me smile. Funny, isn’t it, how the small things make such a difference in our lives.
Coming of Age in Zweibrucken is a book now available from Amazon and describes my experiences living in Europe during the CVold War.