NEW YORK---Today my wife and I hit the road. Through next Wednesday we plan to go to major league games in seven ballparks, starting with Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia tonight. Tomorrow it's Washington, then on to Cincinnati and Milwaukee, followed by a Sunday day of rest, then St. Louis and Kansas City (see "Turning 60," May 22, 2010).
We plan to drive from city to city and see the sights on the way, then fly from K.C. to Boston for a Red Sox game a week from tonight and a WORLD dinner the next day where we'll announce the Northeast regional winner of our Hope Award for Effective Compassion. WORLD readers will be joining us at ballparks all along the way.
The theme song for the beginning of our trip is Simon and Garfunkel's "America," first recorded the year I began college, 1968. It begins, "Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together." A little retro since it brings in this thing called "marriage," but appropriate since Susan and I have our 34th anniversary later this month.
The last stanza is angst-filled: "'Kathy, I'm lost,' I said, though I knew she was sleeping / I'm empty and aching and I don't know why / Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike / They've all gone to look for America." I was lost when I first heard those words, but God was merciful. So today we'll start out on the New Jersey turnpike asking the question: Why are so many Americans empty and aching?
Is that too heavy? How about a second theme song: "I'm Chip, I'm Dale, a great American corporation, out to have some fun." That's how I remember the words, but the official version is "we're just a couple of crazy rascals out to have some fun." Either way, Susan and I plan to have fun, and I'll write daily about what we see.