Month: August 2012

Baseball Pilgrimages (Continued)

It was a night when you wondered if Noah was nearby, putting the finishing touches on his ark. Lightening and thunder in rapid succession. Rain that lashed at the body if you were unfortunate enough to be outside. Howling winds. Waves lapping at the shore. And I was in Tampa, not to help rewrite the Republican national platform, but for something much more consequential: to catch a baseball game. In most cities it would have been a wasted opportunity. But the Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field, one of the few remaining domes still hosting major league baseball on a daily basis. And for this night, I was glad to have a roof over my head when Ray’s ace David Price threw that first pitch right on schedule. Tampa Bay was #14 on my journey to visit all 30 major league ballparks.  It promised to be a special night.  The Rays were on a hot streak, winning five games to close the gap with the first-place Yankees to four games. Their ace …

Introducing Rugby (TN) to the Next Generation

Rugby, Tennessee, is a unique community on the Cumberland Plateau, with an incredible story of perseverance. It is also a place that means a great deal to me, as it was where my preservation career began. Today I took the opportunity to introduce Claire, Andrew, and Candice to Rugby and to show them the places that inspired me. Here’s the official story from my last post: Rugby was established in the 1880s by the successful Victorian-era author Thomas Hughes as a Utopian community for the second sons of English gentry.  Due to the system of primogeniture, these men would inherit little or no property and had very limited career opportunities.  Hughes established this colony in the beautiful but hard-scrabble Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee.  After some initial success, the colony fell on hard times, ultimately failed and was largely forgotten.  In the mid-1960s, residents of the area began to restore the remaining historic buildings and over the course of five decades have saved this wonderful place and turned it into a thriving community and a …

Baseball Pilgrimages

Say Hey!  Check another ballpark off the list!! About five years ago I made it a life goal to take in a game at all the Major League Baseball stadiums across America.  I wanted to achieve this goal by 2015 – when I reach the big 6-0.  It may be tough to meet that timetable, but what are goals for and I have hit a bit of a jackpot in the past six weeks. It is time for an update. I do have some rules for this quest. First of all, I have to actually see a game.  I can’t just drive by, or I could put the Ballpark in Arlington, among others, in my checked off category. I use to buy a hat of the local team to prove I’d been there, but Candice thinks I have enough caps – and she’s probably right.  So that’s no longer necessary.  Finally, demolitions have wrecked havoc with these plans. I decided – in a totally arbitrary way, since I am the umpire – that if I’ve …

Eating Local

With a great deal of travel on my schedule for June – November, I’m trying to focus on what’s wonderful about leaving home. So this will not be a post about the state of the airline industry in the U.S. Instead, I am thinking about food. Local food to be exact. Regular readers will know that I like to avoid chains and hotel restaurants when I travel, seeking instead the local landmark. I’m only two days into this week’s trip to the west coast and I’ve already hit my “go local” stride. Lunch on Tuesday came from a wonderful cheese and sandwich shop named Cheese Plus which features tasty sandwiches with locally themed names such as the Willie Brown Duck (named for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown), Crissy Field, and Castro’s Cubano.  I had the Happy Thanksgiving, which – along with the brisk city breeze and temperatures in the 60s – made me wish for the fall. After a drive to Sonoma County to view a site where we’re working, and especially after a …