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A note to people from foreign states - I wrote this in October of 2004, when the Houston Astros made the National League Play-off for the first time in team history.  I can't improve on it. 
I was at their first game ever.  


What Matters 

Susan DuQuesnay 


            Those of you who have been coming to the Beauty Shop for a while know that politics is not my first passion.  Baseball is. 

            It is something that I come by naturally.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are sitting beside my Grandpa Duke, eating peanuts and watching baseball.  When I want to, I can still feel his big hand on top of my head, rubbing it for good luck when one of his players came to bat with one run down, two outs and a man on third.  Sometimes it worked. 

            I watched my Daddy play softball.  He was good, and I was oh so proud of him.  Momma would pack the kids and dinner and we’d go watch Daddy play.  I was practically a grown woman before I realized that “Play Ball!” were not the last words of the National Anthem.  

I learned arithmetic by learning to keep score.  I learned geometry by understanding why a shortstop stands where he does.  I learned adjectives, adverbs, music, and some charming expletives at the ballpark.  I probably got into college by things taught to me while I sat on bleachers.  

I have a dear friend who doesn’t share my love of baseball.  She says it’s a slow game.  Baseball is not slow - baseball is thoughtful.  There’s a difference.  

I don’t know that you can explain the art and nuances of baseball to an adult.  It’s like bicycle riding either you learn it as a child or you never do it quite right.  I once tried to explain to another friend why a team would purposefully walk a batter to set up a double play or pitch to a weaker hitter and she snipped, “Well, that doesn’t seem fair.”  Baseball is like life when it comes to that fair stuff. 

Maybe it’s that baseball starts in the spring when there is rebirth and ends in October, the most bountiful month of all.  Maybe it’s because there’s pure elegance in a game that can be played with a ball and a stick. But I know one thing for sure: God does not subtract from your allotted time on earth any time spent at the ballpark.  

God also gives all his children a talent.  Some people can sing; others can paint great art or write music that moves the soul.  I, too, have a talent.  I can tell if a hit is a homer by the sound it makes when it leaves the bat.  Oddly, this skill is not as respected by the general public as you would suspect.  However, at the ballpark, I am the first to stand and holler when a hit is a homer.  By the fifth inning, people sitting around me begin to look at me to see if it’s a homer while the ball is still speeding past the infield.  I’m quite please with this skill.  I have no idea how I do it, but its saved me a lot of needless fretting.  

When I grow up I want to be one of those gray-haired women who go to the ballpark wearing the team jersey, ballcap, flashing earrings, and refer to the team as, “My boys.”  I think this is an admirable goal.  I gave up my ambition to be a major league manager about ten years ago when this gender equality thing didn’t work out quite as well as I’d hoped it would.  

Okay, so you’re going to tell me that professional baseball is no longer pure that players make too much money, owners rip off the fans, and there’s drug use.  Yeah, well, the same is true for Congress, but I still vote.  And the same is true for ExxonMobil Oil, but I don’t see you driving an electric car.  

The glorious morning after the Astros beat the Braves, I was asked to define my life.  On Wednesday night, will I watch the final Presidential debate or the Astros opening game against Cardinals?  

In the movie Field of Dreams, Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) brushes near my soul when he says, “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”

On Wednesday night, I will rock in the cradle of all that is hopeful.  I will watch the ballgame. 

I will record the debate.  I will vote, and I might even wear flashing Astros earrings when I do it. 




Welcome to the website formerly known as The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.

My name is Susan Bankston. I live in Richmond, Texas, in heart of Tom DeLay's old congressional district.  It's crazy here.  No, seriously, it's triple z crazzzy.

I used to be an independent voter, but that all changed when I got to know a few local Republicans.  They are meaner than 10 acres of snakes and have the ethical compass of a bank robber. 

So, I decided that they could just Kiss My Big Blue Butt.

A lot of what I post here has to do with local politics, but you probably have the same folks in your local government.

This ain't a blog.  Blogs are way too trendy for me.  I've been doing this since 1992, so I'm used to it even if you ain't. 

Email me and I'll find a place to put it if I like it.