Since I last left off, I was busy juggling multiple projects between HOOPSWORLD, writing what seems to be a never-ending manuscript and waiting patiently for a couple pieces to hit the stands at the Northwest Examiner. Back then, Manny Ramirez was still a member of the Boston Red Sox which isn’t the case nowadays (sorry, he had to go). But that hasn’t changed my work load. That pretty much remains the same regardless of what’s going on in the world.
It’s just made my hopes of Boston reaching the postseason a bit more challenging while facing some writing realities along the way.
This is the writing life.
HOOPSWORLD aside (because it’s pretty much business as usual cranking out NBA news and information on the regular), developing the manuscript (writing, research, interviews, writing) goes on and on. I recently conducted another interview with a former member affiliated with the 1946 West Coast Baseball Association.
Another piece of the puzzle slides into place.
I can’t get over these phone interviews with gentlemen well into their 80’s who played baseball fresh from stints in the military during World War II. Regardless if it is a fifteen, half-hour or hour conversation, time stands still. The stories are amazing. The details, although cloudy at times, remain vivid. You can tell time spent in the Negro Leagues is an adventure they hold near and dear to them to this day.
I am forever grateful for those I’ve spoken with having shared themselves with me. That goes without saying.
In other writing news, the Northwest Examiner ran my two stories this month, now available online (in PDF form, page 14 and 15) and at your local newsstands in Northwest Portland. The feature story is on Satchel Paige and his stint with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League in 1961. If you’re not familiar with Satchel – and namely his time in Triple A baseball at the age of 55 – it’s worth the read. As is the quick story that follows Paige about William “Skinny Legs” Blair, a one-time member of the Portland Rosebuds (one of the six teams in the 1946 WCBA, although his memories of his time in Portland were a bit hazy), and needless to say the guy was a real firecracker.
The two story links are listed below at the bottom of this post….enjoy.
Quick parting story: if you are interested in a free coupon for Biscuits Cafe it’s on the flip page of the Paige story. I only know this because when I went to show my wife Emily my byline and the Paige story, she got distracted by the coupon instead. She apparently couldn’t resist the idea of “buy-one-get-one-free” biscuits.
Emily ripped out the coupon, thus tearing apart my story without even glancing at it. That’s okay. At least she took my byline with her.
(much thanks goes out to Dwight Jaynes for sharing his insight and memories of Paige’s days in Portland.)