A rare medium, well done – Part II, The sequel

A look at youth athletics in the Valley.

Scott from RCI knows my voice by now. I think he even knows

my calling habits. We have talked regularly since the middle of June

when the rains came down for forty days and forty nights in preparation for

Mud Bowl ’99.

YOU HAVE TWO MESS-A-GES, ONE: “Mike, this is Scott.

We want to finish up the soccer field tomorrow. Give me a call.”

TWO: “Mike, this is Scott again. Can you open the gate at 8 a.m.?”

I called Scott back when I got in, “Sure, no problem. See you in the

morning.” After I hung up, it occurred to me

that I might let the school district know that a road grader was going to be

passing through and working on the soccer field all day.


message for Jack McCullough, then I called Scott back.

“Hello, RCI. I’m sorry, Mr. Manipon is not in. Can I take a

message or would you like his voice mail?” I wondered for a

moment whether I would want to listen to his voice mail, waited for the

infernal beep, and left a message. I called Carl Larson at the District office and

left the message on his voice mail that we’re going to finish the dirt work

tomorrow. It was getting late, and I couldn’t think of anyone else

that might answer the phone. Time to pick up my daughter at soccer practice.

I ran into sport junkies Ed Sales and Dave Brown. They were looking for

a game, any game. I suggested we pitch pennies behind the gym but didn’t

get any takers. We did talk baseball for a bit.

I woke up early. Sun’s out. Good sign. Dave called to tell me he

saw Jack McCullough, and Jack said to “bring `em on.” Another good sign.

I popped into the office and asked if I could get a key to the gate.

“YOU still have the key we gave YOU last spring YOU said

YOU would get right back to us.” Gulp. I had been wondering what the key

on my dresser was for. “I swear YOU are just like your kids,” said Ana

Parsons, echoed by the entire office staff. I didn’t know whether to laugh or

not, but I suppose the truth is never easy to take. But when you consider the

number of times they have forgotten lunches, homework, books, or

gym shoes, I can see how Ana might have that opinion. However, it is only

an opinion.

Aaron Moss climbed on the grader and put the big iron to work.

John Dysert paced and emitted steam at a low boil. The grader was pulled

from a paying job, and John was understandably concerned. Aaron

proceeded to grade the new field. A little off the top, trim around the edges,

a little here, a little there, take another cut to the left, so it will lay right.

Aaron might have been a military barber in a different life—grinding

gears, shaving dirt, and ever adjusting the angle on a pair of diesel

powered shears. “Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Move it once — that’s how it’s

supposed to be,” said Aaron, sipping fresh coffee. Coffee and diesel run

through the arteries of men and machines in the dirt business.

At lunch we solved the world’s weighty problems. Aaron had

everything shaped by 2:00 p.m. and moved on to cut the swale. I bought

lunch, and got my way with the swale. Aaron made the cuts expertly while I

threw rocks into the blackberries.

Mr. Bass looked on from his PE class. He told me he used to

smack golf balls out into the yonder when he was younger. That might explain

why we found so many golf balls in the rough. My guess, based upon the

statistical distribution of golf balls, is that he has a slice. I am curious, do

any former students remember a game called “Egg Hunt” they used to

play in PE?

In the next week, the field will be dragged, rocks picked, and the

area will be hydro-seeded. Weber Construction will finish up the access

road, install culverts, and grass seed will germinate. There may or may not

be another sequel. Depends. High five’s for RCI and Weber Construction.

I’ll try not to get emotional. Now, about that baseball field …

MICHAEL LLOYD is a youth sports enthusiast who serves on

the administrative boards for local soccer and baseball programs; he is

a resident of Snoqualmie.