As I Like It!





I do understand that the official arrival of spring was March 20, but I never really believe it until several things happen. The first harbinger of spring, in my world, is the blizzard of yellow pollen that covers everything. The first year I owned my little white cottage office, I contracted to have it painted in early March, and the pollen hit before it was finished. This explains why my office is a very pale yellow.

The next milestone is the falling of the FLOTS1. For the past week, my porch and patio at home have been invaded by swarms of inert, fuzzy caterpillars. The office parking lot was covered as well. Once the FLOTS have fallen, the trees seem to leaf out overnight.

Another sure sign of spring happens when Russell Anne, the matriarch of my band of feral cats, brings out her spring litter. She normally waits until the spring rains have washed away the pollen and the FLOTS. She showed up last Friday, following a four inch gully washer.

When the pollen and FLOTS have gone and the kittens have come out, Opelika turns into the Garden of Eden. The whole city blooms with Azaleas, Dogwoods and Bradford Pears. The house Clista and I own has a well-established yard, and is absolutely beautiful. In addition to the Azalea’s and other flowering plants, we have a magnificent Snowball tree in our backyard. My town is enjoying high spring, and we are in the middle of The Opelika Azalea Trail.

Miracle League baseball started this weekend, and my granddaughter Ava played on Saturday morning. The Mayor threw out the first ball, and a retired major leaguer pitched Ava’s game. As in all Miracle League games, the kids hit him like they owned him.

The mornings are jacket cool right now, and the days are warm and sunny, and we’re all enjoying it while we can. July and August in South Alabama can sometimes be a real challenge. When it’s 100 in the shade and the humidity is the same, I’ll try to remember the beautiful falls, the magnificent springs, and the short mild winters, and thank the Lord that I live in the South.


1Fuzzy little oak things.



No. 6  Bo Knows Baseball June 1990   My friend Carl Sikes and I were driving to the College World Series in Omaha, and broke up our trip in Kansas City. Our hotel was across the highway from Kaufman Stadium, and the Royals were hosting the Oakland A’s. Carl was a fanatical baseball fan and trivia nut, and we decided to go to the game. When Bo Jackson came to the plate for his first at-bat, the crowd went wild. Bo obliged, and broke his bat across his shoulders. Bo stepped to the plate, and drove the first pitch into the wall in deep right field.


Bo was rounding first, when Jose Canseco chased the ball into the right field corner. By the time Canseco ran the ball down, Bo was on his way to third. Canseco had a gun for an arm, and he bounced off the right field wall and threw a rope toward the infield. Bo rounded third and headed for home.


The A’s catcher moved into position, blocking home plate. All 235 pounds of Bo Jackson was barreling toward home at warp speed, and all the catcher could see was Brian Bosworth being carried to the back of the end zone. Canseco’s throw hit just in front of the pitcher’s mound, too late. The catcher did a bull fighter’s pirouette and saved his life, while Bo completed his in-the-park homerun. I’ll never forget the sight of Bo crossing the plate, with 40,000 fans on their feet screaming.

Categories: As I Like It!

6 replies »

  1. Great to get another missive from the literary warrior of my world! You SHOULD thank God to be from the south. While the reasons for saying that are many, I’ll point out that I am looking out at an expanse of 6” of snow, and temps hovering in the upper 20’s. We’ve been conditioned to say “upper 20’s” because that sounds so much better than “below freezing”. Glad to hear that spring has sprung and although we do get some FLOT in our world, it will come well after Maple sugaring season!

    Best regards-
    Snowy in Syracuse

    Ken Walsleben

  2. Well done, Tom.

    Keep ‘em coming!

    These stories kinda remind me of the Morning Edition conversations between retired sports commentator Red Barber, in Tallahassee, and long-time NPR announcer Bob Edwards. (Good grief that was a long time ago; Red died in 1992!)

    And I mean that as high praise to you, Tom.


    Bill >

  3. Echo comments re Red Barber…azaleas + baseball.. his favorite combination. And after reading “Spring has Sprung” and now the remembrance of Bo’s home run, a good addition to my collection of baseball moments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s