“Bull Durham” and “The Waste Land”: Ramble with the Lady

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Still life with hedge apples, pears and apples.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Complete darkness as Lady and I rambled off this morning. Normally I don’t care for this time of year. Usually, the contracting of daylight in the fall pulls me into a collapsing of spirit, SAD. Not so much this fall. So far.

But I am always pulled by the meaning of time.

Faithful readers know I have used “It was time’’ as a tag for decades in my travel or adventure columns in the Sun-Times. That is a tweak of a line in “The Waste Land.’’ (Hello, T.S. Eliot.) Not sure why that sticks with me since I don’t much care for Eliot, an uptight Anglophile bastard, but it does.

I digress.

Lady lunged at a rabbit in a yard behind the bus barn downtown. The rabbit only lollygagged off. Lollygagged is a classic baseball movie reference. Both the movie, “Bull Durham,’’ (Hello, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner) and reference are classic.


The rabbit took its time, yes, lollygagging, much to the consternation of Lady, our family’s mutt, across the lawn.

Speaking of time, Sarandon just turned 70 a few weeks ago. Good Lord.

Baseball and time are on my mind. The playoff games with the Cubs are often pushing four hours. It is time I consider well spent. A good long baseball game in October is not a bad thing. A four-hour mid-summer game with, say, Tampa Bay is another matter. But a four-hour World Series game with strategy within strategy is a well worth the time.

I use my time to work, propping my laptop on a chair. But mainly I watch and enjoy the wild ride of the vagaries of baseball and, like I said above, consider it time well spent.

Nothing moving other than the rabbit among wildlife or birds this morning. Not even the sandpipers sounded as I crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond. Though there were still dozens of hedge apples down on the east side of the south old clay pit, which I had to step carefully around to avoid turning an ankle.

Back on the edge of town, the grain dryers were blowing at the elevators east of town. A freight train approached from the Chicago end with insistent horns blaring, the Station Street arms coming down and the rail lights flashing.

Back downtown, the chef/cook, who runs the food truck for migrant and nursery workers, had just started cooking. I wonder if he adjusts his time as fall comes. There were just hints of the comfort-food smells of well-seasoned meat fillings for tacos and burritos cooking. Usually, it is a wall of wonderful smells enveloping me by that late in the early morning.

But it was still pitch dark and the bank sign read 6:40, and 48. In a day or two the forecast is for a string of days in the 70s again. What is going on?

Back home, the fruit bowl, which I filled yesterday with pears and apples, was next to the bowl of hedge apples, which I brought back to bring wild magic to my wife, caught my eye on the dining room table. (Hello, Paul Cezanne.)

It was like a scene from another time.

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