Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hey, Batter, Batter, ...Swing!

My readers are not going to believe what I am about to tell them: I am now a bona fide Little League Baseball Coach! Before I grauduated from high school, I used to play on a homeschool baseball team, and this year since my younger siblings are playing on their softball and baseball teams, they asked me to coach and direct their team of 10-12-year-old boys. I acquiesced, and now I am the head coach. The first night of practice, which was Tuesday, we only had ten boys show up, so I am hoping we get some more kids to round out our teams; Because this is not really competitive, that is to say that the teams do not play other public school counterpart teams from across the state, I need about eight more boys to make two "teams" or sides to play against each other. I am hoping that this will be a fun experience, but I also know how boys that age can be.

As for opera, which I have regretfully neglected of late, I cannot wait for Opera News' May issue to be published since that is the annual Travel Issue. Last year they documented Switzerland with all of its opera houses, the Lucerne Festival, which I think would be wonderful to attend, and the fine dining opportunities. My fine dining recollection does not extend beyond Zio's Italian Kitchen, where I usually order Greek Pasta to taste both of the flavors of the opposite sides of the Adriatic Sea (?). This is probably not detrimental to me since gourmet establishments are often known for not only how delectable and delicious their food is, but also how much they charge for serving it to you. Is not this system of free enterprise one which promotes prosperity? I support it to the utmost extent.

Moving back to opera, I am sad that the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts are taking their annual hiatus from the airwaves. I long for the first Saturday in December already, and it is yet only April! I shall have the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco, Houston, and, I believe, the Los Angeles Opera's broadcasts to comfort me in the interim, however. The allure of a summer festival still beckons to my spirit, and I can picture myself, with, or perhaps without, a companion, seated in a relaxing pose on the grass listening and watching rapturously as a singer performs their favorite works. The image I have conjured almost makes me wish I had seen Frederica von Stade at the OK Mozart festival last year instead of seeing the national touring production of Phantom of the Opera, which was a once-in-a-lifetime performance for me. If I stay where I am in my current appontment, it may be that I shall never do something so extravagant as that again. I still remember today how my father drove my mother, my younger sister, whom I had elected to share this gift with me (It was for my graduation from high school.), and me to Tulsa after he and I had spent four hours working on my white 1986 Chevrolet Scottsdale truck, and we arrived literally five minutes before the performance began. Three of the four passengers bailed out of the cab built to carry three when the doorman opened, and I am sure he was laughing at the sight we were. I was just glad to learn he was not coming to tell us that the performance had already started, for I did not know it was his office to open our door for us! Needless to say, it was an experience and a performance I shall not soon forget.

Here are the photographs I promised to show you. These views are from a church's bell tower overlooking the southwest quadrant of Oklahoma City.

This is the top of the sanctuary's dome:

The largest structure in this photo is the Oklahoma County Jail:

This is part of the neighborhood surrounding the church (You can see the shadow of the tower in this one.):

This is the rear view of the Pastor's mansion adjacent to the church:

Thanks for reading.


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