Years Ago and Today
On November 11, 2021, Dr. El-Samad operated on my plantar fastidious and tarsal tunnel syndrome. After months of trying other treatments, it was apparent that surgery was the only option. When I would walk, it felt like there was something sharp in my heel. Ginger and I used to walk around the lake, which took an hour. That was beyond the pale due to my foot problems. So, I went under the knife.
The surgery was successful. I wabbled around my home for the following four weeks with a walker. I returned to Dr. El-Samad for the removal of the brace and stitches.
For the next eight weeks, I went to physical therapy. All aspects of the side effects of the surgery were improving. However, my foot was swollen due to the surgery. It had improved a great deal, but it was still stollen. I called my left foot Bigfoot. I was going to call it my Sasquatch foot, but Ginger preferred something that she could pronounce.
This week, I went back to Dr. El-Samad for a checkup. The first thing that I asked was when will my two feet look similar? He assured me that I was recovering nicely and that it would take six to twelve months for the swelling to completely disappear. I was to call him if anything unusual developed, but I needed to come in for any more office visits. Then we talked about his stopping by for dinner and my interviewing him.
I went home, worked on an essay, and spent several hours teaching online. However, having Dr. El-Samad over for dinner and interviewing him for my webpage got me into gear about cleaning up the house. I was driven.
In the past several days, I have repainted the walls around the house and stairways due to Ginger wagging her tail so hard that the tip of it would bleed. I shampooed the carpets because Ginger has a medical problem, which causes her to upchuck. I cleaned the entire house, including the furnace and storage rooms.
While cleaning up the storage room, I found my cross-country letter. It is now hanging on one of the freshly painted walls.
My mind flashed back six decades to my senior year at Mt. Lebanon High School in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. That year I ran cross country. Well, I didn’t run fast, but I still ran. There I sat amid a lot of stuff and looked at the letter and thought. I remembered working out on track on October 13, 1960. We were doing wind sprints. The coach had a radio and would tell us about what was happening during the World Series. It was the last game of the World Series, which pitted the Pirates against the Yankees.
There we were standing around the radio in the last half of the ninth, and the score was tied. Bill Mazeroski came to the plate, and we listened to what the rest of the world saw on TV. Mazeroski hit a home run over the left-field ivy-covered brick wall at Forbes Field. The Pirates did the impossible; they beat the Yankees in the World Series.
Over the years, I have watched that video many times. However, today, as I watched Mazeroski run the bases, I pondered the reality that I won’t run cross country ever again. I’ll miss it. I loved running in the fall. The spikes of my running shoes would pick up leaves as I ran the course, most of which was in the wooded park adjacent to the high school. To be honest, at 79, I won’t ever run again.
In my twilight years, I still take long walks about the lake on which I live. At the end of the lake is an undeveloped part of the subdivision close to where Dr. El-Samad lives. I will let Ginger run along a dirt road as I remember being young and able to run cross country.
One final note. My youngest granddaughter in Myanmar, Fatty, celebrated her birthday this week. I wished her a Happy Birthday and added, “I love you. You are sweet and fun to be with. I’m finishing an article about when I was Ti Ti’s age and ran cross country. The last paragraph is about maybe you and your family will win the lottery this summer. If you and your family will live with me. Then you and I can walk Ginger around the lake.” Fatty replied, “I want to live with you at your country and i want to meet with your dog.”
I took a picture of Fatty two years after our family took a hot air balloon ride over Bagan.
There I sat, thinking about memories of long ago in Mt. Lebanon and recent memories in Myanmar.
As I proofread this essay, Moh Moh sent me this video from Facebook.
This video is a visual memory of Forbes Field decades ago and today.
This video is the last three innings of the seventh game of the World Series in 1960.