With Christmas now behind us, Trina announced that the time had come to take down all of the decorations and return them to their boxes in the garage. One look around the house and I knew I had to come up with a plan quickly or I would be spending the rest of the year cleaning the house.
Initially I thought about faking an injury. Surely I could not be expected to take down the Christmas tree if I had a pulled hamstring. Of course if I picked the wrong injury I could find myself at a doctor’s office which would be worse than washing the windows or removing lights from the house eves.
Besides, knowing my wife she would just tell me to suck it up and take an aspirin. No what I needed was an alternative item from the proverbial “honey do” list. I went to my desk and shuffled through the papers until I finally found the list.
After blowing about an inch of dirt off the paper I looked for something that would get me out of house clean-up duties. “I can’t take down decorations; I have to address thank-you notes from our wedding.” I said. Wow, how old is this list?
Instead of getting out of housework, I instead received the standard lecture where Trina explains how little I do around the house and how upset she is to learn that I still have not addressed those thank you notes from 28 years ago.
I made a quick note to myself to go through this list and at least put years next to each item so I can pick something I was assigned to do during this millennium. I decided to take a stab at picking another item on the list.
“I meant I can’t help because I am going to catalog our photographs” I replied.
Instead of getting angry Trina brightened up and gave me a hug. Hey, this “honey do” thing is kind of cool if you end up getting a hug or a kiss. So while the kids grumbled that they didn’t think of my idea I left the room content in the knowledge that I successfully got out of Christmas clean-up duty.
My revelry was short lived as Trina led me to “The Closet”. “The Closet” is a small room that contains millions of scrapbooking supplies and equipment. In the bottom cupboards are what looked like thousands of boxes of photographs.
Just the thought of going through each one and I suddenly started to limp. Clearly I had just pulled a hamstring and could not possibly be expected to go through all of these photos. As expected, Trina shoved an aspirin and a glass of water in my direction and told me I was capable of going through pictures with a pulled hamstring.
As I opened one of the boxes my mood suddenly brightened considerably. In this box were all the photos I had taken at then Bank One Ballpark in the first few seasons of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In particular I came across pictures taken at the various Fuji Film Fan Photo days at the ballpark. In the early years the Diamondbacks had a promotion held in conjunction with Fuji Film where fans were taken down onto the field and stationed around the warning track.
The Diamondbacks players and coaching staff would come by and stop every 4-5 feet and allow fans to take their pictures. It was always a popular promotion with up to 5000 fans attending.
The players were great. Although they were supposed to stand several feet away and have their photos snapped, most would come up to the fans and give you an opportunity to have your picture taken next to your favorite Diamondbacks player.
I would take each of the kids to one of these events. In this box I relived that experience ask I looked at pictures of my daughter Mallorie with Buck Showalter and another with Jay Bell. There were photos of my daughter Tiffany with Luis Gonzalez and another with her favorite player of all time, Matt Mantei.
Suddenly I didn’t regret this item on the “honey do” list. For an entire afternoon I sat and looked at these pictures remembering the days from a summer long ago and the joyous look of a child standing next to a professional baseball player.
At some point the Diamondbacks stopped having Fuji Film Fan Photo day. I am not sure why. Perhaps it was the move from film to digital or maybe it was a security issue. Regardless of the reason, I could not help but feel a little sad at the loss of the memories the fans are now missing.