Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Wild at Heart Sunflowers and My Grandpa the Ball Player by Texas Artist Nancy Medina
Wild at Heart Sunflowers and Larkspur is drying on the easel in Flower Mound Studio and I am finally unpacked from my trip to St. Louis, my home town. This was a quick business trip, just one evening for a conference, but I had the good fortune to stay at the Hilton by the new baseball field downtown. The hotel was decorated with dozens of vintage photos of Cardinal baseball players from years ago, and brought back memories of my grandpa, Poppy.
Pop was a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, the farm team for the Cardinals, back when he was a young guy who captured the attention of my beautiful grandmother, Kathleen. The picture below is not my grandfather, but was hanging in my hotel room, and I loved seeing the old stands in the background. This is the field my mother used to come to as a child to watch baseball games, she told me tonight, when I described the photo to her.
Poppy retired from his baseball career early, before the Browns went on to become the Baltimore Orioles. He opened a tavern back in a time when families went to taverns together, taking their children to eat and socialize. Poppy was quite the character, and never met anyone he did not like. He and my grandmother fought like cats and dogs, but I think she never stopped loving him, despite his faults. They don't make men like my grandpa any more. (And yes, I can hear my grandmother's ghost whispering, "and it's a good thing!").