From the age of 3, Pam was Mom’s best friend. Due to a farming accident, Pam’s dad had a wooden leg. One night, when Mom was spending the night with Pam, she went to the restroom. The wooden leg was hanging on the back of the bathroom door. When Mom spotted it, it scared her so bad she ran all the way home.
Growing up, Mom told me and my sister the story of the man with the wooden leg hundreds of times. We loved it. Also growing up, the tables at Wendy’s used to be covered in vintage newspaper ads. One of the ads was for a wooden leg. Whenever we ate at Wendy’s, my sister and I raced to find a table with a wooden leg and “win.”
A couple years ago, Kaylea was at one of her first practices for the worship team at church. I drove her there and stayed to listen. While they played, I went to grab some coffee and bagels from the back of the sanctuary. The bagel table was an old table from Wendy’s. I quickly found the wooden leg, took a picture — yes, flip phones take pictures — and sent it to my sister and Mom. It was the ultimate win.
Pam’s daughter is Heather. Heather’s oldest son is Beau. Today is Beau’s 13th birthday and he’s in Springfield for the first time playing in a baseball tournament at Cooper Park. I met Beau at the complex for catch and told him the story of his great-grandfather. His birthday wish is simple:
“Win today. Win tomorrow. Win the tournament. And maybe hit one over the fence.”
I just learned yesterday that the team Beau plays for is from East Prairie, Missouri. His coach is my cousin’s cousin. Beau plays shortstop and pitches and surprised me as we kept talking baseball.
“I’m a Rockies fan.”
I didn’t know there were any Rockies fans in southeast Missouri.
“We were visiting my aunt and went to the game. My brother and I met Nolan Arenado before the game and got his autograph. That was the game against the Padres. Arenado hit three homeruns and went five-for-six with 7 RBIs. The Rockies won 18 – 4.”
I made a deal with Beau: Hit a bomb on your birthday, and I’ll send a copy of America at the Seams your way. Now that he’s 13, I asked if he had accrued any wisdom from this great game.
“Keep your head up when you win and when you lose and encourage your teammates.”
I texted Beau’s mom the wooden leg picture for good luck.
Happy birthday, Beau!
(Updates below picture…)
In the bottom of the first inning, Beau stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded…and singled to left driving in a run. He later scored in the 10-run first inning.
Beau was the first hitter in the bottom of the second inning and promptly deposited one on the other side of the left field fence.
A birthday bomb and I witnessed it.
After being mobbed by his teammates and a couple wishes of “Happy birthday” from the stands, Beau ran out of the dugout and gave me a pat on the back.
“You really are good luck!”
Nolan Arenado would be proud of your efforts today!
Congrats to the War Eagles on advancing to the championship game!