A belated but no less cheery ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to all you moms out there; I found myself thinking of my mother, of course, on Sunday — not only was it Mother’s Day, but it also would have been my parents’ 74th wedding anniversary.
Some reading this may remember my mother, Jane Potrikus. She was awesome and I remember her daily with great love and admiration. I wonder what she’d think about us moving back to Cooperstown at roughly the same age she was when she moved away from Cooperstown to her beloved Cape Cod. She had raised her 11 kiddos, stood strongly behind, with, and then in place of our dad, John, at the Cooperstown Dry Cleaners. There was something more out there for her, and she went for it for her 30-plus years on the Cape.
My wife and I stopped by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music as we passed through Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday — we’re on a long-planned, twice-delayed drive from Cooperstown to Charleston to Tucson to visit our kids. “Where ya from?” the clerk asked. “Upstate New York,” I said. “Cooperstown, to be exact.”
“The Baseball Hall of Fame!” he said happily. “I drove up there a few years ago. Loved it. Had to visit. Love baseball.”
“I love baseball, too,” I said, “but I love my Stax records. I’m glad to be here at your Hall of Fame.”
This week’s column comes to you from the ninth-floor room in a Hilton Garden Inn in the “Bricktown” neighborhood of downtown Oklahoma City. The view from our window: the glorious field of the OKC Dodgers, the AAA affiliate for the Los Angeles Dodgers. We watched the final three innings of the game as we pulled in yesterday afternoon; no game today (but there are tornado warnings for later tonight, so there’s that).
Around the stadium — statues of Baseball Hall-of-Famers like Warren Spahn, Johnny Bench, and Mickey Mantle. Busts for Lloyd and Paul Waner (“Little” and “Big” poisons, respectively), Carl Hubbell. One for Negro League great Joe Rogan. One for beloved Yankee Bobby Murcer, a street named for Joe Carter. Proud Oklahomans all.