JIM was standing outside the Biggby Coffee opposite the ballpark at the appointed hour. It was possibly the most Lansing place to meet up; Biggby's a local chain and about as common as people in 2006 joked Starbucks was. He was wearing the ``kind of MLB shirt'' promised: a Peanuts shirt with Charlie Brown pitching as the silhouetted figure. If I had a baseball shirt it would've been that. Of course.
Meeting at the ballpark wasn't a sure thing after all. It was pouring when we got up, and I fully expected the game to be rained out. We finished tidying up the house and making sure our pinball machine was in good order, just in case we needed an alternate plan. But the rain did let up, and while they would postpone the game and cancel some walk-on-the-field event for the kids they would manage with heroic efforts at squeezing water out of grass make the field playable.
JIM was preceding his Pinburgh trip with visits to baseball parks. He's hoping to get to all the major league stadiums and was, I think, above two dozen already. (I've only managed a couple myself. While I quite like baseball it's more as a cultural thing than something which encourages me to, you know, go and see games or play them or stuff.) He was mixing major venues with minor league parks and he'd had plans to spend that Sunday with somewhere in Indiana when that game was postponed. I forget why, but it can't have been weather. Lansing he picked as an alternate near enough his next target (Battle Creek, to which he had to get in the evening, dashing hopes we might go to our hipster bar where the Lansing Pinball League meets; they wouldn't open until evening) and getting to meet us was a bonus.
He wanted to walk around the whole of Cooley Law School Stadium, formerly Oldsmobile Park. It was a good choice; somehow bunny_hugger and I haven't thought to do that on our own. And there's stuff to see all around as last winter they built a condo complex as the outfield. While I'm not sure I'd want baseball games and concerts and fireworks shows and all sorts of other stuff going on every night outside my apartment, it is the sort of thing that gives a ballpark and a neighborhood character.
His meeting us also reminded me there's another friend, someone on (of course) the same mailing list JIM and I are (for ABC's overnight World News Now program, of course). This friend lives in Alma, not quite an hour north of us. bunny_hugger passes the town on her way to work. Several attempts to arrange in-person meetups failed, all because my schedule didn't permit. When he tweeted us well I realized (a) we should've invited him down too and (b) oh dear, what if he thinks I've been avoiding him? And yet in the time since then I haven't done anything to fix that matter either.
Trivia: Lieutenant Clifton McClure flew the third and final Man High flight, bringing him to about a hundred thousand feet high, on 8 October 1958. Source: Animals In Space: From Research Rockets To The Space Shuttle, Colin Burgess, Chris Dubbs.
Currently Reading: How The Post Office Created America: A History, Winifred Gallagher.
PS: How Differential Calculus Works, two thousand words that's surely as good as about November through January in your calc class.