Nearly 40 years ago, on February 20, 1962, I was a fourth grader at Frayser Elementary School. My teacher, Mrs. Gillespie, turned on a large black-and-white TV set at the front of the class, and I and my classmates sat mesmerized as we watched Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn blast into orbit.
There’s an old adage in American politics that the American people do not turn their attention to a presidential election until the World Series is over.
Like I said, that’s an old adage, and sadly, one that is no longer followed.
I’ve spent my life listening to baseball. Not watching it. Listening to it.
When I was a child, one of my prized possessions was a small transistor radio. I spent many wonderful summer nights lying in my bed with that transistor radio on my chest as I listened to Harry Carey broadcast the Cardinals’ baseball games on KMOX Radio from St. Louis.
In 1960, when I was just eight years old, I watched the first televised presidential debate. It was Kennedy v. Nixon, and I watched the debate on a Philco black and white TV in our family living room, as I sat between a Democrat and a Republican.
The Democrat was my father. The Republican was my mother. My father never voted for a Republican in his entire life. My mother never voted for a Democrat. Every election day, they would cancel out each other’s vote.
Next Thursday morning, I am leaving my wife. After 35 years of marriage, we are going to be separated. It won’t be the first time in our marriage that we’ve had a separation. In fact, for the past 35 years, we’ve been separated every year from Labor Day to New Year’s Day.