There ya go, Pop

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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Warning: This will be a long post. Ed story time!
The basics: I'm over 60 and a lifelong Braves fan (reasons to come...)
My dad passed away in 2010 (Christmas morning, the bastard :) ) and was
the reason I grew up loving baseball and the Braves.
I'll explain...

I grew up in SW Atlanta in the 60s/70s, back when that was still possible – a true Beaver Cleaver childhood in that neighborhood off Sylvan Road – one of 4 kids, the three brothers all into baseball thanks to Pop, my dad.
His own childhood cut short by having to go to work at 14 to support his family, he had a true nose to the grindstone demeanor usually, except when it came to baseball – and for us, that meant the Braves, of course.
When I showed interest in the sport, he supported it, then became active enough in our local Little League to become President eventually, getting all sorts of improvements made to our local fields in Perkerson Park by the city.

My dad and I could quite often in later years be at loggerheads over something or the other, but there always – ALWAYS – was the one constant between us…baseball and the Braves.

The team routinely lost 100 games seemed like every season back in those days (‘69 being the exception) but we didn’t care.
Pop could afford to take the family to games at Atlanta Stadium on Sundays and pay 25 cents a kid, up in the nosebleed sections. The games would get boring, the Braves usually falling behind at some point and we’d get bored…
We kids would spend the later innings like a lot of other kids up there, stomping on wax paper Coke cups to make them pop and echo in the stadium, since there never was more than a few thousand there and acoustics were great.
Funny what you remember from childhood sometimes, eh?

I’ve worn a Braves cap for what seems like my entire life as a result, off and on, changed out every year with each season.
Anyways, back to the story...

Years go by, everyone in the family scatters and gets their own lives…next thing you know, I’m in my 30’s with my own family and such in northern VA, where the family had all relocated after the firestorm that was going down in Atlanta around 1976.
Pop retires to TN in the early 90’s, buys a local restaurant and when I’d visit, he’d lament that we weren’t closer…
Then 1995 happened…
I had had enough of the DC area and finally gave in to my doctors’ advice (and Pops’ urging) and moved down to TN also.
We could finally be together again, if only to sit and watch the Braves in the evenings – Pop ever the armchair Coach, me the reverent southpaw pitcher with a live arm (and little control of it).

As if it were meant to be, we got to watch the Braves perform miracles that summer and fall in 1995 – and despite whatever life was to throw at both of us over the years to come, we always had that.
I’ll always be grateful for those times…

Every spring, Pop would look at me with that old twinkle in his eye and ask "so, whaddaya think?"
My typical answer was something of a hedge: "I dunno Pop, they’re weak (insert position here). Maybe…."
Another summer of baseball would unfold and we’d live it out together, compare notes and debate the next day, all that jazz.
This continued through all his medical issues….and then later on, my own too…but we always figured we’d get to see the Braves win it all one more time before we were through.

Sadly, that never happened – and Pop left us in 2010 when he had nothing left in the tank to fight the cancer anymore.
I saw to it that he was laid to rest in the town’s "fancy" cemetery up front where he ought to be – a selfish move probably.
Makes it easier on me to go visit, you know – which I’ve done for some years now, with a "special" visit at the end of each Braves season.

I do something foolish that old men do sometimes when visiting Pop – at the end of each season, I take the official Braves ball cap that I’ve been wearing constantly for the season, seal it up from the elements and include a note in it that usually says "Next Year,
Pop" or some such, and affix it to his headstone as part of my visit.
The caretakers will leave it alone out of respect for a while, then eventually remove it when it becomes a burden…
Yeah, that sounds like an "old man" thing and I admit, it is – but it’s just something I have to do.
We never got to see the "next championship" while he was still here, you know… so I sort of substitute this visit for old times.

But now….
Hey look Pop, they actually DID IT!
I know he had the best seat in the house up there, watching….and I know he’s saying "told ya so, boy" to me, too.
I’ll be by this weekend to visit, Pop.
Bringing you your hat…
252319412_4835880456424804_8980279125752776838_n.jpg
 

VFilms

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Very nice story Ed. And not foolish at all. Actually, very heartwarming.
My son was born in Aug. 1976. In October '76, Chris Chambliss hit a 9th inning homer against the Royals to put the Yankees in the World Series. I immediately ran into my son's room and jubilantly shared the moment with my new son. Next day I bought 2 newspapers with pictures and the story of the Yankee win thinking someday I could share those papers with my son. On his 45th birthday I gave him those newspapers.
BTW, congrats to the Braves and all their fans, from a life long Yankee fan. I was rooting for them.
 

ACME A12

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Nice story. Thanks for sharing. I went to two of those WS games in ATL in '95. What a pitching staff they had. My first ever WS games at that point. I've been to a few more since.

Congrats to the Braves and all of their fans. Well deserved. :thumbsup:
 

Tinker67

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Can't ignore a good "Ed Story".
I too called my dad 'Pop', lost him in '15. We didn't do sports but we did have huntin', fishin',and working on vehicles. Of which he always had the right answer when I would run into a problem.
Thanks for a another great read Ed. :usflag:
 

Hey-O

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My dad was never a sports kind of guy. He was a master carpenter and was proud that I followed him in the trade. Later in life my brother and I would do the work around my dads place while he watch and we did it the way he instructed us to. One of the greatest things he ever said to me was right before he died. I was repairing the lock on the front door and he said , you know what, and as always, I said what's that dad, you were always a better carpenter than I was. I turned around and said, don't ever say that, you're the best, you taught me!! He just smiled at me and leaned back in his chair to give it some thought. He died 4 months later a way better man than I ever hope to be................ Great story Ed and thanks for sharing, it got me thinking and that's what there for!!
 

440Coronet500

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Great story Ed ard well written as always! Nice that you have those memories of your father. Many do not and that's a tough thing to accept. At the end of the day life is about memories and experiences. More people should realize that and not wait until it's too late. 440'
 

demonram

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Thank you for a great story from your heart. My dad wasn’t into sports but he did watch me play football and wrestle in high school. He never saw me box or the rodeo thing, never understood fighting for fun or getting the hell beat out of me by a horse. Like Hey-O he was my mentor in carpentry but wanted me to go to college. It never interested me in anyway, he was disappointed but realized why I had the love for what I do. We also worked on many car and truck projects through the years and again he gave me the love for that. I remember being under a car at 5 and handing him tools or holding that light. He was a hell of a man in every way and taught me respect and love for family and people, until the respect isn’t deserved. He was my best friend and I think I was his. I lost him in 2002, I was with him in the hospital with my mom, actually brought him back to life after another heart attack but only long enough to say our final goodbye. Take care and congratulations on the Braves win and the love shared with your dad!
 

hunt2elk

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Nice story Ed. You have to be the best writer around here. Think I told you before that you went into the wrong profession.
 

ACME A12

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My dad was never a sports kind of guy.
Same here. My dad wouldn't have known which end of a football bat to pick up if his life depended on it. But he shared with me his love of cars, taught me how to work on them, and was a far finer human being than I will ever be. Lost him this past March. I knew that I would miss him, but I never knew just how much.

Thanks to all for sharing their dad stories.
 

moparedtn

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Thanks to all for sharing their dad stories.
Yes indeed. That was my main goal for writing this, honestly. It was a tough one to write. Very tough...

I started to write a lot more about my Pop, but it occurs to me I've already prattled on quite a bit this morning,
so I'll instead read the replies about everyone else's dads and the damn room will get dusty with each and
every one.
I can about guarantee that. :)
Thank you already @VFilms , @Tinker67 , @Hey-O , @demonram , @ACME A12 for your own Dad stories.
Thank you EVERYONE for all the kind words as well - I know when I tell one of my stories, it bothers some
folks and I don't mean to or want that.
I've always treated this place as a sort of safe haven for me to prattle on, even if nobody sees it sometimes....
and I'm thankful and blessed when someone actually likes what I write. :thumbsup:
 

super-bee_ski

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Great story Ed!
Wow, you "touched all the bases" so to speak.
And most importantly, I can relate being a Boston Red Sox fan, winning in 2004, my dad passed in August of that year, and like your Dad, never got to see them "win"
But as you and I share many of the same convictions, "We" do know your Dad and my dad were watching in heaven!
Yes, Go Braves, after all they were the Boston Braves at one time and the Whammer" Babe Ruth played for them in his final years...
A GREAT TEAM riddled with set-backs all year long (Imagine losing Charlie Morton and winning it all?)
Congratulations and again Ed, as you always seem to do...your words tugged at our heart and emotions again.
Your Dad grew up like mine, no childhood...different generation back then, They built America!
But your Dad is happy in Heaven, smiling down at you, rest assured..
Thanks Ed!

:thumbsup:
 

ruffcut

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Thanks for sharing Ed! f course it makes me think of my dad and the very few special times we shared. As a youngster you don't know just how much those times will mean to you in later life. And as old guys like we are now and having lost our great fathers we now realize just how sweet those memories are. Thank you my friend! ruffcut
DAMN DUST!
 

The Rebel

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Great story Ed as always. My grandparents and cousins in Alabama are die hard Braves fans. I remember watching them back in the Phil Necro and Andres Galaraga days. Even went to Turner Stadium once to see them play.
 

demonram

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Yes indeed. That was my main goal for writing this, honestly. It was a tough one to write. Very tough...

I started to write a lot more about my Pop, but it occurs to me I've already prattled on quite a bit this morning,
so I'll instead read the replies about everyone else's dads and the damn room will get dusty with each and
every one.
I can about guarantee that. :)
Thank you already @VFilms , @Tinker67 , @Hey-O , @demonram , @ACME A12 for your own Dad stories.
Thank you EVERYONE for all the kind words as well - I know when I tell one of my stories, it bothers some
folks and I don't mean to or want that.
I've always treated this place as a sort of safe haven for me to prattle on, even if nobody sees it sometimes....
and I'm thankful and blessed when someone actually likes what I write. :thumbsup:
Sir, don’t you ever worry if it bothers someone! You know respect is the most important thing in this world. Unfortunately today it’s not always given or received as it should be. I actually enjoy reading about someone who is truly proud of his family and their past. I was a lucky kid and adult, both my folks were great and instilled in me love and respect. I’ve always told my kids, it’s my job to be your father, it’s my pleasure to be your dad. Not everyone was as lucky as all of us were and my heart goes out to them. My dad was living proof that it doesn’t matter how you were raised, you can become a man worthy of admiration. Thanks for letting me ramble. Take care!
 

moparedtn

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Sir, don’t you ever worry if it bothers someone! You know respect is the most important thing in this world. Unfortunately today it’s not always given or received as it should be. I actually enjoy reading about someone who is truly proud of his family and their past. I was a lucky kid and adult, both my folks were great and instilled in me love and respect. I’ve always told my kids, it’s my job to be your father, it’s my pleasure to be your dad. Not everyone was as lucky as all of us were and my heart goes out to them. My dad was living proof that it doesn’t matter how you were raised, you can become a man worthy of admiration. Thanks for letting me ramble. Take care!
Wonderfully said - and thanks for the last dusty room episode for me today. :)
 

moparedtn

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11/6/21:
Nice day today, so we went to take care of this (clicken to embiggen):
IMG_20211106_122657853.jpg
I was probably 11 or so then...Pop was Prez of the local LL then. I must have won something. :)

IMG_20211106_125717075.jpg
Bagged it up all weatherproof and used the empty flower holder for it.
Groundskeepers will leave it be for quite a while. They know...
 

demonram

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11/6/21:
Nice day today, so we went to take care of this (clicken to embiggen):
View attachment 1189868
I was probably 11 or so then...Pop was Prez of the local LL then. I must have won something. :)

View attachment 1189869
Bagged it up all weatherproof and used the empty flower holder for it.
Groundskeepers will leave it be for quite a while. They know...
He is smiling on you sir! Made me smile! Take care!
 

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