“I want to play catch somewhere cool,” Nick said.
“Cool” is such a subjective word.
I think a cool place to play catch would be at The K.
Or in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston.
Or on the warning track at Wrigley Field in front of the ivy.
Or maybe practicing pop-ups under the Arch.
I’ve never really been a good judge of cool. I still think flip phones are cool. Jack used a flip phone on LOST. And of course they were awesome in Star Trek.
I suggested the French Fries.
“That sounds perfect,” Nick said.
The sculpture sits on the corner of National and Bennett in Springfield and is the unofficial greeter to the Art Museum. The real title of the piece is “Sun Target II” by John Henry. Pretty much everyone I’ve known calls it “The French Fries.”
Nick is an artist and photographer and hopeful restorer of an old motorcycle.
“Sorry I’m a few minutes late. I got a flat tire just a few blocks after I left. I think it’s cursed.”
We stretched out next to the 70-odd foot long structure and Nick gave me an education about cool art.
The Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas — “You have to take Sophie there.”
Frank Lloyd Wright architecture — “He made houses that were thoroughly American, influenced by their natural surroundings, and thoughtfully accessible.”
And then he started listing so many cool art movies I should see. I waited to see if he would suggest Field of Dreams.
For years, I’ve told my daughters I’m hoping to find my cool streak by 50. I’ve still got time. Nick and I left the French Fries with the cool winds of a storm front blowing in. He handed me his Double Jump Media business card and I could tell it was designed by an artist.
I drove to the coffee shop to write this story and post the picture, thoroughly grateful for another day of catch.
“Now that is a cool shirt,” the man sitting at the table closest to the door said.
At first, I looked behind me. Then I realized he was talking to me.
“Anyone who wears Royals stuff in Springfield is cool in my books.”
I tipped my hat and couldn’t help but laugh.
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