This isn’t an apology.
I didn’t mean to do it, so what do I have to apologize for? But the truth is, I didn’t tell you the truth last Friday. Not … what you might call … exactly.
But before I explain how what you were reading in my Friday posting was bullshit, I want to thank those who took the time to read it. I will never stop appreciating those who listen to those personal memories I spend so much time and energy and thought to put down on paper—or computer screen, as it were—and just because it turns out you can’t trust a word I have to say, does not diminish that appreciation. You are so, so good to me for clicking into Mr. Cope’s Cave, and I hope you don’t stop just because you find out I’m about as reliable as a White House press conference.
Okay, uh … with that said … let me clear up that little discrepancy I had with the actual facts that found its way into “Gilded Afternoons” three days ago. If you remember, I was reminiscing about how in 1960, those of us in the sixth grade class at Amity School—an old two-room school house out in the (what used to be) country south of Meridian—were allowed to listen to, and were completely enthralled with, that year’s World Series championship between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburg Pirates. The crux of the story was that Vernon Law, a native of Meridian, was a member of the Pirates team and was the winning pitcher in two of the games. The end of the memoir—and the beginning, actually, if you’re curious about why I chose to write such a piece—was the tragedy that occurred at that same structure late in September, when a home invasion of what had been Amity School led to a devastating fire and the death of three people.
First I shall list the true parts—or, as I think of them in retrospect, the parts I did not fuck up: 1) There truly was a Meridian native named Vern Law who pitched two winning games for Pittsburg in the 1960 Series; 2) we students truly were allowed to listen to the games on radios as they were broadcast live during our regular school hours; 3) We truly were the very last class to ever attend Amity School as it was replaced by a modern school the year after we went there and the building was converted to a residence; and 4) there truly was a home invasion six weeks ago that resulted in three deaths and the fiery end of the rustic old house in which I had attended the sixth grade.
Now, the part that I did fuck up: I was not in the sixth grade in 1960. Nor was I attending Amity School during the World Series of that year. I would have swore on a stack of Bibles—and I’m not even Christian—that it was within the rickety old walls of Amity in which we were hunkered around the transistor radios, listening to the play-by-play of those seven games. I could even picture myself and my friends in a cluster, staying in our seats during recesses rather than miss something. And the setting was Amity School.
Wrong! By the time it was dark Friday, I heard from a fellow I grew up with—he was three years younger, a friend more of my little brothers than me at the time and his family’s dairy farm was a hop, skip and jump from my family’s dairy farm—who was quite sure I was somewhat amiss in my timing. He remembers listening to the same Series in the modern school which, as I had it, wasn’t yet open.
Well, so, I re-ran the numbers, and it is undeniable. My memories of the event are total crap. Stupid memories! I was still in a country school in the seventh grade, a school not unlike Amity, but nevertheless … not Amity.
I want to thank Steve G. for setting me straight. Or giving me one more thing to worry about—i.e., advancing senility—depending on how you look at it. One way or the other, I felt obliged to correct the record. Who knows? I may decide to run for president someday and wouldn’t want such an embarrassing boner to come back and haunt me.