George & Angela Bowering

When I was a boy I resisted cheering the memory of this man because he
was the most famous American that ever lived. Fuck him, shouted the
Japanese soldiers hidden in the trees. I hated his team, and I still
do, even when they are no good. When the other boys went to the new
theatre to see Roy Rogers I went and sat on a wooden bench in the
Legion Hall to watch Gene Autrey. Now Gene Autrey owns a team no one
could like. This man is looking back at me the other side of this
keyboard as no one else ever could, I keep my eyes averted. He is
wearing a wide pinstriped suit with no insignia, why is that? His cap
has the N with the Y inside. Young Nerds, I say when I see a kid
wearing such a cap. Or a babe. Babe is a name of a very small kid. Or
sometimes the name of a woman. Ruth is the name of a woman. Why would
a Babe be sitting there with those eyes and that planetoid face and
that brand new Louisville Slugger? Babe Ruth was from Baltimore and so
was Gertrude Stein. In the famous picture by Pablo Picasso, Gertrude
Stein has shoulders like Babe Ruth's, but the eyes are only dark, they
do not seem to see anything outside. If I dont look out I will look
too long at Babe Ruth's eyes and never come back into myself. His
hands, too, look enormous. They say that he could eat a dozen hotdogs
and carry them all at once. Now when I think about all the other
players who quit playing before I was a boy, I cannot find one as
interesting finally as Babe Ruth. I have always said that 1948 was the
greatest year in the history of human civilization. Why did Babe Ruth
have to die that year? Why couldnt 1927 have been the greatest year in
the history of civilization? When I look at the Louisville Slugger as
well as the eyes I am glad that I am not a baseball in 1927.

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