Due warning, before we get started, this blog wont be short! So if you only have a couple of moments, come back later!
So, catching up on rest of week…
Wednesday was fairly quiet, the rest of the week hasnt been, so lets leave that day at that.
Thursday was moving day, as Kate headed for the Berkshires, and I headed across a few state lines to New York. The ride up to Boston went smoothly (barring traffic, hardly a surprise, but we had tons of time), and because Kate had a room booked, I got to experience the lounge at a station for the first time. The Red Cap was of the opinion that I could stay there after Kate was gone (her train was 50 minutes before mine), but the lady in the lounge thought otherwise lol. Fair by me, I was her guest, so once she leaves, I should go, but he wasnt impressed lol.
The journey to Stamford was interesting, not so much because I remembered anything from 30 years ago, though I got one memory as we pulled into New London. That first time, 30 years ago, me, and my partner of the time were visiting her elderly aunt on the trip, across the River Thames (pronounced differently to the London one) at Groton. 2 months or so later, she died, and as my partner said at the time, she’d probably only been hanging on to see her UK family one last time, and then…I’m not saying how many ‘doggy bags’ they found in her house after death, but there were, err, a few!
Oh fine, Stamford station was entertaining, mainly because all Eric and I had seem pics of each other, were a few on Facebook. And you have to remember, mine were designed to show me at my best, not my everyday look, but anyway, we got together in the end, and… The rest of Thursday, and Friday, I’ve visited the family, and they are all a delight to know. I sort of knew that, online, but even better for real! I got to see some of the area on various trips, which was nice too.
Oh right, Saturday! Fine, fine, we’ve got there now! No, no pics at this point, sorry. The snag with new, sparkly dresses, is that some of the sparkly stuff isnt going to stay on the dress, perfectly, you get my drift? 😉 But yes, the dress was gorgeous, though in hindsight, given that I need to wear a bra, I should have brought a bandeau bra with me, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Would have made picture set up so much easier lol.
Oh, btw, I’m maid of honor, and I have to make a toast. Yes, I found out the latter at a couple of hours notice, but like all good actresses, I improvised. Might not have been the standard toast, but hey…I got through! The service first, was very nice, just so proud to be there, let alone in the position of honor that I was. The setting for the wedding was delightful, at Cortlandt Manor, but unless you’re in the area, just a note of reference. The food was good, though far too much for a modest British appetite, but besides that…
The additional magic moment of the meal afterwards, one of the servers recognized me, from one of the documentary things I’ve done in the past. I’m assuming its the LA one, from April 2015, from description, but dont quote me on that. Now others want to see it! I have no idea if there is still a link to it, but I’ve asked the lady who done it if there is, but awaiting a reply. Suspect finding it might be a challenge, even if she can, as she was doing these regularly, but we will see…? Yes, its amazing where ‘fame’ can catch up with you, lol!
Oh, the service, well, what with holding my bouquet, the ring for the groom, and the bride’s bouquet at one point, quite an experience, but I got through, and loved every moment of it. I also got to meet a number of lovely people that I will probably never meet again, which will be a shame, but is part of life, I guess? Was a wonderful time, so very glad I could be there, and part of it.
Discretion says I’m not describing events after the reception, OK? Nothing bad, but entertaining, just maybe…?
This morning has been quiet, as all recover after the big day, including me! I actually went for brunch at a nearby diner/grill to the hotel, and if I needed reminding how crazy US portions could be, they did it! The omelette was large enough on its own, but by the time you add in toast, and potatoes, well…thankfully, plenty of coffee! How much more food I need today, not a lot! So currently, I’m in the hotel, watching Kansas City play in the NFL, so…chilling! Tonights ESPN baseball, well, its the Dodgers, so…I guess I can survive for a while, while the Gelhaus family recover after yesterday!
I will get back there at some point, in fact need to, as one of the wedding presents was a mask (if not more) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, as if I’d love to see that, you bet I do. Hey, I’d love to wear a full suit (if anyone has one laying around lol?), though at my age, underwater swimming scenes wearing it might be beyond my skills, but I’d try, if I had to! 😀
Tomorrow sees the start of the return to reality, and the return to the UK. Thankfully, with my new shifts, no work until Friday, by which time a very quiet, very shy team leader of mine will have had her birthday. Yes, it might have been mentioned most of September. Yes, Madi, I love you, I really do xxx I’ve accepted the old age thing, btw. I’d originally planned to get to JFK by public transit, but Stacie wasnt happy with the thought of that at present, and in truth, I wasnt entirely looking forward to it either. So yes, going there by shuttle now…angel…and then the wheelchair thing again! 😀
Even if there are any pictures of me as the creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ll probably have to wait until Tuesday, or Wednesday, and back in the UK before seeing them. I will post wedding pics, of me at least, once I have some, OK?
And so endeth the longest blog, with its traditional moment, the video. No, I’ll save a certain Dave Edmonds song, in case I need it, and go for a song I didnt hear yesterday at the reception, but which sums up the day so perfectly. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this, I know…
As to the next US trip, I have no idea when, where, or for how long. Need to hear what the Doctors say, how many days work per week my body can still cope with, and take things from there. I have enough saved that I might be able to do two next year regardless, but if I’m limited to 4 day weeks, that will be the end of that. Though if its one trip per year, I will probably make it longer than a week (flight is major element of cost), but we will see… In theory I have an invite to a stage reading of a Clara Bow show next month in NYC, but unless anyone wishes to donate £1000 (flight and accom) to me, and even then, there is holiday available at work, not going to make it. Shame, as I could use the publicity time for myself, as well as the show! Ah well…
So from the US for the last time, probably…bye for now!
Yes, I know, its been a while, so, what would you like me to tell you about? Being wired up so I rode in a Davros type wheelchair, rather than being pushed in a standard one? That nice mad scientist I met who transformed me into my past life self, Clara Johnson, at the age of 25, with all her dancing skills (and seemingly she had plenty), so I’ve been dancing the nights away at delightful flapper style parties, darlings? Or the journey on that flying saucer that whisked me across the Atlantic, in about an hour, maybe? Flight diverted to Hollywood, so I could sign up for a big acting role? Or would you prefer the dull, actual, truthful version of events lol?
Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to set me up for any of those first 4 events mentioned, I’d love it! I know, I know, in my dreams, nothing more…but… 😉
OK, lets catch up on reality, before I get the full makeover, as mentioned above! Ooh, that would be fun, mind!
Saturday saw my first ride in a wheelchair for 50 years. I suspect it wont be the last holiday I need one at an airport, but we will see… It started off smoothly enough, as I got wheeled through security, and me, and my luggage checked over, without me actually ever leaving the chair. Then, after a slight delay on the flight (plane had to stop inbound, due to a medical issue, so was nearly an hour late leaving), I was wheeled down to the gate, and told someone would be back to take me down to the plane to board. Yes, fine, never happened, so eventually the Rep asked if the 2 of us were able to get to the plane under our own steam, so I went for it. Unfortunately, having taken the brace off, thinking I wouldnt need it again (its neoprene, and warm to wear for very long periods), I struggled the way with my hand luggage, and pulled it off. But yes, instead of having plenty of time to stow my bag, I was pretty much the last one on, but as I had a double seat to myself, I was able to get my bag stowed away anyway.
Arrival at Boston was good, and efficiently done. The two of us might have been the last ones off, but we were probably 2 of the Brits through first, all the same. Given I have a black, expanding suitcase, just like dozens of others, I need to get some pink, or rainbow tagging around the handle, so I can recognize it easier, even more so when you arent close to the conveyor belt, being in a wheelchair, and all that!
The rest of the day, just fine. After arrival at hotel (Kate had already booked us both in), we ended up calling out for food, chatting a lot, just having a good time.
Sunday afternoon, we came down to this glorious place we’ve rented on Cape Cod. Well, Kate did all the hard work booking it, I just paid a share of the costs really. Yes, its gorgeous! I’m sat in the living area, with a stunning view of the sea, typing this now. We ended up having pizza, watching NFL, just having fun.
Monday, being 2 ladies of reasonable leisure for the week, and given that neither of us are in the perkiest of health, we had a quiet day. Finished off for me at least, by getting my annual chance to swoon over Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football!
This morning, I had a couple of cups of coffee, sat outside, complete with a couple of muffins for breakfast, and just enjoyed the sun. Havent seen a lot of it in the UK this summer, so a real delight. Since then, just relaxed, and given my body the break it really needs. We’re here, somewhere near Mashpee, on Cape Cod, until Thursday morning, and I’m loving every minute of it. Might get another ride in a wheelchair at the 2 stations on Thursday, will have to wait and see. Or the next one, may be at JFK on Monday evening!
Yes, Thursday, I need to start getting into bridesmaid mode, but more on that later in the week. Thats when I could really do with that 25 year old, Clara Johnson makeover lol, especially if I’m expected to dance at the reception afterwards, as I currently have 2 left feet, in that sense. Where’s a good mad scientist when you need one, lol?
Right, video time. Yes, the blog title is a slightly tweaked version of that
Given how many times I have visited since the turn of the century, its hard now to believe that the first time I visited the US was only 30 years ago. Yes, it took me half of my current lifespan (more or less) before I actually flew across the Atlantic to make my first visit. That first flight, flying with TWA (who no longer exist) was into Boston, a city I have visited several times since, under my own steam. But like I will be doing this year, flying Thomas Cook Airlines, I didnt fly out of the same airport, or city, as I arrived at. For the last few days, we took the hire car back to Boston, then took a train to New York City. Funnily enough, this year will involve a shorter trip on the same railway line (to Stamford), and no, I havent travelled down it, in all that time! Yes, I suspect its changed.
I guess NYC is one of those cities that you either love, or hate. Its loud, in your face, and very, very busy. Yes, I enjoyed seeing the sights, and I loved seeing 42nd Street on Broadway, but the place as a whole wasnt my scene. The strangest memory is that we got the tickets for the musical, in a ticket booth which was either just outside, or just inside (it is 30 years ago!) the World Trade Center, which 14 years later, attracted news headlines for all the wrong reasons.
It was only after the event, after my stay in Chicago, that I realized that I’d taken to the noise, and bustle in a much easier way than I had in NYC about 20 years earlier. Had I changed in myself, or was it the start of the whole transition thing that lightened me up, who knows? Either way, Chicago is on the list of places I hope to get back to, sometime soon. Will be next year, if I get back to a 5 day week, and 2 holidays next year, but lets see how the health issues play out first. If not, Seattle is calling to me even louder, so if it comes to 1 slightly longer holiday, that will probably win out.
But yes, its my strong love for LA, which lets face it, is very loud, very bustling, especially Hollywood, that makes me wonder how I’d feel about NYC nowadays? I know I’ve changed since then. The whole becoming a woman matter has made me feel so much better about myself, made me more self confident, and probably livelier, that makes me think that I might now see NYC in a different light? Yes, the expensive nature of the city will make it hard for me to visit, but maybe at some point…?
No, it wont be this year. I will pass through the city on the way to JFK airport (which is where I flew out of, 30 years ago), but it will only be passing through, nothing more. And thats assuming I dont get driven to the airport, which I’m not expecting, but then again, I had to convince someone she wasnt driving to Cape Cod to pick me up, and I might still need to try and convince her again lol!
So yes, maybe at some point, I will go back to NYC, and see how I feel about it now. Hey, if I love Hollywood, I might love NYC now? But yes, even at 2 holidays a year, it will be a few years yet, as beyond the 2 mentioned for next year, San Francisco, Kansas City, and Minneapolis St Paul (probably in that order of preference) are all cities I want to go back to.
San Francisco for so many reasons, KC to see if I can find any more Harlow landmarks, and to see more of the city. MSP, no idea why, but I feel I want to go back, all the same. And thats all assuming I cant find where Clara Elaine Johnson was born in Oklahoma, and visit there! Texas, where she moved to LA from, I’ll see how they feel about transgender women by then, even if I do find out where in the state she lived. Mind, I might have had the op by then, so…lol?
But yes, in 30 years, the only place in NYC I’ve visited, is a couple of transits through JFK. Maybe someday, I should go back?
The video? Big clue in the blog title, how original!
One thing I’ve often heard said by disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs, is that a large number of people either tend to look away, or look over them, trying to pretend they’re not really there. In honesty, I’ve got to the point where I nearly always try to acknowledge them, even if only briefly in passing, simply to prove that I do know they’re there, and are happy to be seen with them.
The other group of people that I always try to acknowledge in a friendly way, are Muslim women wearing either the Niqab, or occasionally the Burqa, simply to show that I want to be friendly, and supportive of them, unlike sadly too many people nowadays. One thing I enjoy about Bradford is that nearly everybody I see, if not approving of such wear, at least doesnt react in a bad way. Mind, that might be because I only really see it being worn in the city center, though hopefully not the case.
But until now at least, the one thing I’ve never discovered is what life is like on the other side of the issue. Yes, I’d be fascinated to know what life is like inside of the Niqab, or Burka, and show my support for Muslim women who wear it that way, but I suspect its too complex a religious matter for it to ever happen. But yes, it would be both fascinating, and probably informative to spend a day wearing the Niqab, and seeing how people react to those wearing it. Probably only brave enough to do it somewhere like Bradford, or similar community, if going out, but as a whole, just seeing what life dressed like that would be a fascinating experience, and probably one that if more people tried it, we might have a lot less religious issues in the world too.
Yes, I am saying that if someone offers me the chance to wear Niqab, or Burka, either privately, or outside, then I would love to do it. And if it can be done in a way that brings up positive publicity for Muslim women, then so much the better!
Equally, fortunately, up to now, I’ve never known what its like to spend time in a wheelchair. I must have done as a child, when my knees were wrecked at the age of 9 or 10, but you dont expect me to remember that, do you? But at least on that point, in 5-6 weeks time, I’m going to get to see how people react to me in a wheelchair. Will they look me in the face, and be supportive, or will they try to pretend I’m not really there, hmm?
Yes, I have to be practical about my flights in a few weeks time. Currently I can walk to a pretty reasonable degree, and I can sit down without too many pain issues, though how much of that is currently clouded by painkillers, I have no idea! However, the one thing I cant do at present for more than a few minutes, is stand still. And yes, while the check in queue, and the security check queue will require some standing in line, you usually move along at regular intervals, which may, or may not be sufficient for my back not to lock up completely. However, when it comes to the queue at Boston, to go through Immigration principally, and Customs to a lesser degree, is that you tend to stand in 1 place, in a queue, for far longer than that. Now it is possible that in 5 weeks time, my back may be less of an issue, but until I’m on proper medication, I wouldnt like to bank on that. Even if on proper medication, I dont want to be confident on that, and not sure we will reach that point in 5 weeks, anyway.
So yes, today I’ve bitten the bullet (you have to give a minimum of 2 weeks warning, but being realistic, I’m not going to improve dramatically in 3 weeks), and requested assistance from the airline for my travels through the airports. Yes, I know I need it, but that doesnt stop the guilt factor, when I can walk reasonably well, but thats just my nature, I guess?
But yes, it will be fascinating to see how ‘fit people’ react to this ‘poor old lady’ in a wheelchair, I must say. So yes, if on 9th September, at Manchester Airport (or Boston later that day), you see a middle aged lady in a wheelchair, be nice to her, it might just be me! Yes, same plan booked for JFK flying back on evening of 18th, just saying…I wonder?
Right, video time. No, I have no plans to be wearing this while sat in my wheelchair, though it might be fun if I was! But yes, feel free to look at me, all the same!
One is a date one, that I mentioned recently, which was a fun, pleasurable thing. The other is a day one, of which the memories arent quite so sweet.
So, yes, briefly, one year ago today, the 18th April was a Saturday, and I transformed my self into a 40’s girl for a Film Noir party, and movie showing. It was one of many real delights of that first break in Hollywood, possibly only topped by spending 40 minutes or so, outside of the crypt where Jean Harlow sleeps away the years. Fine, walking a mile in high heels, after midnight might have been a bit of a killer, but I lived, and it did prove to me, that if need required it, I could walk in those things, if maybe a little slower than normal!
So fine, now, its not even my best film night in Hollywood, the rooftop viewing of Sunset Boulevard just about tops that, I guess? Yes, mid October, sat in just a summer dress, at night, watching a classic movie, just incredible.
But yes, to the sadder anniversary now. In Boston, today is Patriots Day. Which means something very rare, a morning start for a baseball match, as well as the Boston Marathon. Yes, a few of you might have guessed where we’re heading? 3 years ago, the baseball match was over, the marathon was down to the more ‘fun run’ finishers, and the Red Sox players were getting ready to head out to Cleveland. Then it happened, a pair of explosions, in the area of the race finish, and sadly people lost limbs, and more pertinently, lives, in the ensuing events. Eventually the terrorists involved were rounded up, caught, and brought to justice.
What also happened, was that Boston rallied around itself, and ‘Boston Strong’ became the rallying cry. The baseball team joined in with this, in an amazing way. Lets just remember, at the end of 2011, when set for the play offs, they totally collapsed in September. They didnt collapse in 2012, only because they were shocking the whole season long! But 2013, after this, so early in the season, there was almost a feeling they wanted to perform for the people of Boston. Yes, it worked, quite literally all the way to winning the World Series that year! The 2 years since then, back to awful, sadly. Still, today, watching them play against Toronto (they managed to conjure up defeat, from the jaws of victory), and everything, it was funny, remembering back 3 years, when I again watched the game, then later heard about the tragedy. Today, thankfully, all peaceful.
Right, the traditional ending, the video. I’ve no idea how hilly the course is in Boston, but I thought of this one. A very rare bird, Kate Bush live!
Yes, I know, I’ve been quiet for a week, apologies. Two reasons for that, firstly, not a lot really has happened that would make for a decent blog posting, then the last few days have suddenly got a bit crazy. But feeling I owe something at least, lets bring you into the loop.
Firstly, the flight back, all very smooth, well but for one interesting event that I first got annoyed about, but then when I realised why it had happened, and I’d calmed down, turned to amusement. I arrived at Boston Airport, with boarding passes in hand, so I just joined the baggage drop queue, to get rid of my case, and start the trek through to the gate. I have no idea why, but some ‘jobsworth’ woman at Boston decided that my boarding passes werent good enough, and that she had to print them off again at the airport. But, instead of letting me put my details into the machine, she decided to do it for herself. What happens, it asks for all your passport details, and presumably checks everything is OK. Well, one of the questions I noticed, was gender. Of course, if I do that currently, I put male, to match my current passport. What I realised after the event, was that of course she put me through as female. Due to that, my ESTA didnt match up, it asked for my visa details, and of course I didnt have any.
So, for the next half hour or so, I’m stood in a queue at Customer Services, so they can sort out the issue. He just took my passport, put it in the machine, smiled at a raging old lady, and tagged my bag, and that was it. I glared at the lady accordingly as I passed, but only about an hour later did I realise what had happened, so American Airlines were saved from a blistering email lol.
Normal regime since then, not a lot of excitement. Well, apart from initiating job hunts, both sides of the Atlantic. Just before I came back, I started hunting for jobs with a November start date. One of those led me to an interview yesterday in Bradford, which I’m still waiting to hear back on. The other is a job in Huddersfield, due to start on November 2nd, the Monday after I get back. Online typing tests, piece of cake. Led to a phone interview today, which ended with a couple of competency based questions, which as you know, I love…not! From somewhere came 2 brilliant answers, and I’ve progressed to an office assessment next Tuesday. I have also got a couple of prospects I need to ring people about when I get back, so all in all…
Other side of the Atlantic, no, nothing very dramatic. Just signed up with a few agencies who might help me to fulfil my Hollywood dream, but I doubt it. One guy seems to be keen on me, I spent an hour or so talking to him on Skype this afternoon, which consisted of me trying to get him to set me up for work, and him trying to get into my knickers, for want of a better term! I suspect he hasnt read the stuff about me being a pre op Trans, but anyway… its amusing all the same, but under the circumstances, I’m not expecting much to happen through him. Memories of the old casting couch days there, lol. Hopefully one of the others will at least lead to something! Not holding my breath, mind.
Fine, the video. Not quite in the title, but it sort of sums up my current job hunting situation
Yes, I know, its been a while, but in all honesty, there hasnt been a lot of wild excitement to report. But in the sense of what I needed in a break, thats been the perfect situation. Another good reason why nothing has appeared in a week, might be the fact that I would have had to write it, with the laptop perched on my lap, and thats not the best way to do anything like that. Wonderful hotel resort, but the socket positioning was a little interesting lol!
Fine, lets go back a week, and get started…
Last Friday, the trip to the overnight hotel went fine (not sure what went wrong with TPE?), beyond the taxi driver overshooting at the roundabout near the hotel, and going the wrong way round (very briefly, as there was no traffic around), rather than circling around, as most sane people would! Meal was fine, room was fine, so…Oh, amusing moment, I paid just over £56 for the room for the night, good value at the price. So I checked for the night before I fly to Hollywood, just in case, got quoted £141! Wtf! I know its a Wednesday, not a Friday, but even so…Ah well, if Nicole cant get me there, I’ll book a taxi from home on the Wednesday morning! Seriously, I dont mind paying a little extra, for a bit more sleep, but seriously…?
Saturday started fine, and stayed that way until I reached JFK. Yes, I’d read a few bad reports about Immigration process there, but even so…it was shocking! 95 minutes, seriously…? Getting back through security wasnt quick either, and it was about 2 hours in all before I was back in the terminal, waiting for my flight to Boston. Thankfully, I had nearly a 3 hour break, so…phew! Trip on to Boston was fine, met up with Kate as planned, and eventually my case turned up. Actually one of the first, but it took forever for them to start coming through. Then on to Cape Cod, and our hotel for the night. Internet was err, patchy, but otherwise, not too bad.
Then on the Sunday, on to the delight that is the Pelham House Resort, at Dennisport. Seriously, a room with a view over the pool, out on to the ocean, a real delight, as were the rooms. Apart from the esoteric placing of sockets in the room, and (for me at least) the lack of a coffee machine, the place was heavenly. As was the result of the Buffalo Bills game lol.
The rest of the week developed into a wonderful period of gentle travel, and lots of relaxation, just what I needed in fact. Oh, and excellent company in Kate, too. Plenty of food, a delightful massage, and generally just a totally relaxed state of mind, heavenly stuff. Yes, a couple of weeks time, when I’m selling myself in Hollywood wont be quite as relaxing, but this trip has got me in the right frame of mind to really go for it then.
Today, we’ve come back to Boston, as both of us are flying out tomorrow. Her to the Mid West, me back to the UK, though her flight is at a much more crazy time than mine, rather her than me! In fact very soon after I finish this, it will be our last meal together, the final farewells etc, though I’m sure we will talk regularly when I’m in LA. Yes, I know, 11 days after I fly back to the UK, I cross the Atlantic again, to the other side of the country. Maybe if both had been planned at the same time, I might have done things better, but anyway…its all part of the fun!
So thats it, no wild happenings, just a really wonderful, relaxing week, with a great friend. Absolute heaven. Now behave, or I’ll get back to writing blogs whining about job hunting lol, for 10 days or so!
OK, the video. A suitable song, with a neat connection to the Republican Presidential Debate, I, err, experienced on Wednesday, see if you can work it out
Yes, lets get in the holiday mood tonight. Fair thing to do, as looking at matters, this is likely to be the last blog from the UK for a little while. Tomorrow is getting my body ready for the trip day, which at my age, is going to take a while. Friday, I will need to pack, get to the overnight hotel, and not be too late to bed, given I will have to be up reasonably early the next morning, for my 10.15 flight. So yes, next blog should be from Cape Cod.
I have been there once before with Kate, I think it was 3 nights, spent at 2 different hotels, in the same group. Why, because the first hotel had internet in reception, but not in the rooms, not much use for either of us. So they moved us along the coast the next day, to a hotel that fitted our needs, and that was that. A trip to Martha’s Vineyard, a trip out whale watching, and some nice places, and thats about all I can remember. Ironically, this time will also be 2 hotels on the Cape, one for the first night only, as we couldnt get in the planned hotel all week. Then back to a hotel near Boston Airport for Friday night, after a relaxing week.
Yes, a relaxing week. Its fair to say that both Kate and I need a break, though for differing reasons. Her, because work has been crazy, and me, because job hunting has got stressful in the extreme! I must say I’m looking forward to the company, and the break.
And then, after that, get ready for part 2, more of which after I get back.
The video, an absolute oldie, found via a You Tube search
But no, you’re not getting the Queen video, though you probably should do! Yes, honest, the last Red Sox posting for the year, and if I can remember how to do it, I’ll change the blog back to something more ‘normal’ in a few days time!
Those who care about Baseball will probably already know who won the World Series, but for the few who dont, it was Boston! 🙂 It was a great series, which Boston won 4-2 in the end, with several outstanding performances, including the incredible David Ortiz, the only man now to have been involved in the 3 series won by Boston this century. He wasnt the only hero, just one of the biggest ones, but anyway…
Given that elsewhere, my friend Kate pretty much talked about the series, I decided my tribute would be what Fenway has meant to me over the last 25 years. So, with my permission, I’m going to re-post it here
Back in September 1988, I arrived in the US for the first time, lets just not mention how many times I’ve been there since, but its a few! :laugh:
Sheila and I flew into Boston, from London, collected the hire car we were having for the next 2 weeks, and headed into Boston, and our pre booked hotel, the only one that was pre booked for the trip. No, I have no idea which one it was, but it was somewhere near the bar that Cheers was based on, dont even know which area of town that was.
That night, after our meal, we started out on a walk before going back to the hotel, and ended up at (I believe?) the John Hancock Tower, which had one of these viewing levels, many floors above the ground. That night, in the (relatively?) near distance, I saw a sports stadium all lit up, so I looked at the display to see what it was. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Fenway Park!
Didnt mean a thing to me at the time, the only US sport I’d been infected by at that point was the NFL, due to its coverage over here on TV. But yes, that was the first mark that Fenway Park left on my life…but not the last.
Then when I was over for a while in 2003, I switched on a hotel TV, and discovered Baseball. For some reason I will never know, I got hooked, I assume its the fact it came across as a sort of cricket alternative (hitting the ball a long way with a bat), with so many tactical facets that grabbed me. As I was in Seattle at the time, I took the Mariners as my team, even though strictly, my first ever baseball team were on the opposite coast. If I’d only known better…
On one of the sports forums I went on, there was a discussion on which US stadiums you should visit. When it came to Baseball, two principally got mentioned, Wrigley Field…and Fenway Park, though I was told getting tickets for the latter was quite a challenge.
A few years later, I went to Wrigley Field, and yes, they were right, it was an amazing place to see Baseball live. An evening game at San Francisco was something quite special too, among my collection of stadia visited over the years. ironically, I’ve never been to a game at Seattle yet, but anyway…I would have done, but for a massive delay by American Airlines, but hopefully one day…
Lets go back now to 2011. For some reason best known to herself, Kate was quite keen to team up with me, when I was visiting Boston in September. James was too, and arranged my accommodation place, far better than many hotels in hindsight, but anyway…and yes, for one marvellous day, teamed up with both of us. Kate covered it brilliantly on the Forum, though I suspect its very buried by now.
One delight Kate had lined up for me, a game at Fenway Park. I think pre trip she told me I was going to see the stadium, but I assumed on a tour. Oh no, not only was this a seat at a game, it was in one of the nice areas, not one of the cheaper seats I tended to sit in. The stadium was incredible, an amazing experience, and visiting a nice in stadium restaurant, and then sitting in a nice seat, it was an amazing day, an afternoon game against Baltimore (the one stadium I havent been to, that James says I should visit)
Yes, they lost, it was one of those dark days of the September 2011 collapse, that cost Francona his job, and Boston their play off place. But it was early enough in September, that we didnt know that! Then came the Valentine disaster of 2012, lets just leave it at that.
I rated Farrell as a manager, and thought the Red Sox would be far better this year, but seriously, if you’d told me this would happen, I probably still would have laughed. But its been a joy for me, all season long.
Little did I know, when I saw Fenway Park for the first time, 25 years ago, that it would lead to this. But its been a great journey, and thanks, Kate, for taking me to that amazing stadium.
And that is why, despite being a Mariners fan, Fenway Park, and the Red Sox will always hold a special place in my heart.
Boston Strong! :-*
As I say, back then, if you’d told me that 25 years on, I would have seen a game live at Fenway Park, and celebrated their 3rd World Title in 10 years, I would have laughed at you. But now… I leave you with one of the highlight moments from the series, from the MVP, known as Big Papi, or more correctly, David Ortiz