Baseball Rebellion
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Thomas Franklin is new (11-17) to He has no experience with being published as an author. He has a fondness for reading and an appreciation of words. His curiosity is insatiable. He carries the burdens of his youth like Marley dragging his chains of bad deeds. The difference is that Marley's burdens were a result of his behavior. Life just happened to Mr. Franklin. These life burdens shall be the topic of Mr. Franklin's writing. Be kind for he is quite sensitive.

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Baseball Rebellion

I did not play baseball as a child.  I hardly knew such a thing existed.  One Spring day, long ago, I was wandering the St. Joseph, Missouri, streets with my brothers.  As we passed the Noyes Baseball Field I noticed several of my school mates dressed in uniform and playing baseball on the well manicured ball field.  I remember feeling confused and somewhat rejected.  Here was another school function of which I was not invited to participate.

There was a feeling of embarrassment and I hurried away from the game.  There is a reason certain children are not invited – I did not want my school mates to see me because that would highlight my misfortune – they would know consciously that I was not invited and I did not want the public humiliation.

I went home and climbed a tall tree.  I fancied myself a good tree climber and this particular tree had a confluence of branches near the top.  This was a place I had come to know as a retreat from life’s troubles.  I could sit comfortably and no one would see me and no one would bother me.  Tears welled in my eyes as I pondered what it was I was doing wrong.  Why was I never invited?

Mondays would come and the other students on the playground would share their weekend experiences in some organized activity that I was never a part of.  I never wanted to draw negative attention so I generally stayed away from the popular crowd – I found the other rejects and we climbed the playground jungle gym and monkey bars.

We had a large family, seven children, and mostly kept to ourselves.  My mother tried to take us to church but we only managed to go on occasion.  Consequently when we showed up for the Christmas service I noted with dismay how the other children were participating in the program.  It was just another rejection by polite society.

The seed of institutional rebellion was planted in fertile soil.  By the time I was in sixth grade I knew the institutions were stacked against me.  Polite society was not at all polite.  It was brutal and unforgiving.

Even with those harsh rejections I have always been a lucky person.  I was blessed with natural curiosity and a fondness for reading – and my aptitude would later prove to be above average.  Some school teachers along the way would see my potential and they would nurture me.  I never asked them why I could not play baseball with the other children.

Some teachers and school administrators did not see any redeeming value in me or my kind – I was just another poor boy from a bad family that was to be tolerated.  There were always several of us in each grade, and we would be funneled into the same classroom by school administrators.  In that way the superior students from superior families would not be burdened or held back because of us.

So here I sit.  Pondering life.  Mr. Clark, The Fireside Editor, asked me if I might like to contribute to the flames of the cultural conversation.  And here I am.

I have recounted some of my youthful experience.  So what?  Am I just another whining weirdo whizzo sitting around feeling sorry for myself?  What is the point?  Mr. Clark suggested that by writing about my youth I might better come to know the life values that have been a part of all of my adult decisions.

He was referring to my contempt for authority and organized anything, particularly: churches, schools, and government. It is true that I generally hold authority figures at bay until they prove their sincerity and honor. Trust comes slow to this old man.

Mr. Clark is correct.  Youthful experiences shaped my values, my perception of reality.  I have not valued school administrations or government intrusions.  I must say that I have actually voted ‘NO’ on tax issues for no other reason that I just did not believe that my tax dollars would be invested equally with all participants.

Older men, like Mr. Clark, have seen potential in me and have taken me along on their journey.  I landed in a job that required that I take night classes at the local University.  I wore a suit to work and dined with other young fathers.  They told me about signing their boys up for Little League.  I signed my son up. I realized that the school of my youth had not rejected me.

Mr. Clark has challenged me to write about life – to seek out truth,  to understand consequences, to be open to new thoughts, to let go of old hurts, to use my life experience to help the institutions become better at equal and fair treatment.

If only life were so easy.  The hurts of my youth, like feeling rejected for the baseball team, are deep and profound.  Children weave their feelings into the fundamental fabric of their being.  These slights, fights, hurts, and resentments percolate over time.  They become infused into the being of the person.  Mr. Clark says, “Write about your experience.  Identify your feelings, talk about them, root them out.  Seek progress, not perfection.  You get one day’s growth for one day’s effort.”

This post is the beginning of my new journey – I hope you’all will join me on this quest for honesty.  Mr. Clark speculated that all who regularly vote against school levies are also probably Trump supporters.  He says that without judgement.  He suspects people are acting out of their long held deep resentments of a society that was not kind to them.

What do you think Reader?

There Are 3 Responses So Far. »

  1. You could be telling my story. Welcome to the fold and here’s to a comforting journey. Just a bit of rebellious behavior a moment…. People have been voting against school levies long before Trump was a factor. I suspect it has something much deeper going on than who one supports for president. Resentment? It may be a good start in answering the question. By the way… are we related?

  2. Trump was not a factor in any school levy – but misdirected rebellion was the cornerstone of Trump’s election win. Understanding the values given to us as children is necessary for any personal or spiritual growth. Those values are the most difficult to identify – they were learned through osmosis rather than purposeful direction. And I have never been to Duluth.

  3. Wow it’s like this story was pulled from my own brain at least 75%Or so, and in my opinion once you have seen enough and heard enough I believe what are repressed feelings with a sort of residual presence can be deciphered upon the moment a decision is to be made. Because if you go against what you really feel for any situation than you are not completely being honest in that process and or there is something you know your honesty will effect in a negative way, this is the time you realize you can think for yourself, now what matters at that moment is what kind of person are you gonna be!! All in all I thought the story was great couldn’t agree more, as far as Trump goes clear, conscious,decision ,my father was a democrat his whole life when he would speek of Kennedy his eyes would well up and he wouldnt be abel to articulate much during parts of the memories he shared with me on the subject,and I know in my heart and my mind these people today are not the same people my father was so passionate about in the past,I believe getting as far away from the fire as possible will keep you from getting burned,and now that fire is almost out you still have to keep from suffocating on the Smokey embers.but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I believe in one way or another that light is trump…..

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