Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Play Ball!

An audio version of this post can be found at: 

  I looked around Reggie's Bar and Grill until I spotted Hank waving to me. I waved back and made my way toward him.
   "You made it," said Hank when I arrived at the table.
   "Yep." I starred at the pleasant looking woman who was sitting next him.
   "Oh, this Dorothy," said Hank, draping his arm around her chair. "Dorothy, this is Chris, Bill's nephew."
   She held out her hand to me. "Hello, Chris."
   I took her hand in mine and pumped it gently a couple of times. "Nice to meet you, Dorothy."
   Her face broke into a grin that caused plump cheeks to lift a pair of wire-rimmed glasses off her nose. "Please, call me Dottie ... everyone does."
   I let go of her hand. "Okay, Dottie it is."
   "Dottie is a big Tiger fan," said Hank.
   I sat down in a chair across the table from her. "Well, you've come to the right spot." I looked at Hank. "Where is everybody?"
   "I don't know." He looked at his watch. "We got here a little early, but ..."
   A pitcher of beer suddenly appeared in front of me. I looked up at Nancy, the ever-present waitress at Reggie's. "Hi, Nancy."
   "Hi, ya ... where's the rest of ya?"
   "I was just asking Hank the same thing."
   "They'll be along," said Hank. "No one wants to miss the opening ceremony of the World Series."
   "I'll get some more glasses," said Nancy. She turned and walked away.
   "So, Dottie, how long have you known Hank?" I asked.
   Hank answered for her. "Oh, we've know each other for ages. Dottie's my favorite cashier at VG's Market."
   "No kidding?" I said. "I'm not sure I've seen you there, Dottie."
   Hank continued to speak for her. "Oh, she doesn't work at the one you go to ... it's the one out on fifty-nine."
   I kept my gaze on Dottie. "So, how long have you worked there?"
   "Gee, I don't know," said Hank, "how long has it been, Dottie?"
   Dottie smiled, "I've been there eight years, Chris."
   Just then, Mary and Becky appeared at the table.
   "Hi, guys," said Hank. "Meet Dottie."
   "Hello, Dottie, I'm Becky." They shook hands briefly.
   Mary sat in a chair next to Dottie and introduced herself.
   Becky sat down next to me. "Hello, Chris."
   "Hi, Becky ... where's Eb?"
   "Oh, he's at book signing with Irv Nesbaum," she said. "He said he'd be here by the second or third inning."
   "A book signing with Irv?" I wondered aloud. "How'd that happen?"
   "Irv asked him to join him at an event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce ... I guess they are acknowledging local authors."
   "No kidding?"
   Nancy came by and set a glass in front of her.
   "Thanks," said Becky. She continued to me,"I'm surprised you didn't know about it."
   "I hadn't heard a thing," I said.
   I could see her flush slightly and she turned her attention to the big screen on the wall. A beer ad was on. "They haven't thrown out the first pitch yet, have they?"