Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It all started on Friday nearly two weeks ago. We were finishing up dinner and the phone rang. Jim Bouton was on the line.

OK, I'm still getting over the fact that former All-Star player and author of maybe the most famous baseball book ever actually calls my house, but that's just me.

A few days prior to that, I had gotten an email from Jim saying that the Vintage Base Ball Federation was going to be having a press conference in Westfield, MA on May 21 to announce the second annual Vintage Base Ball playoffs and World Championship. I decided to take the day off and go out to Westfield City Hall for the press conference and let Jim know I was coming.

Jim asked me if I was anywhere near Charlestown, MA. I told him that I didn't live particularly close, but I didn't work too far away. Jim told me that one of our heritage sponsors, Hebrew National, was providing a case of hot dogs for the press conference and the local distributor was in Charlestown. Would I be able to go pick them up and save him a 5 hour round trip from the Berkshires?

Of course I said yes, I was glad to help. Jim gave me the name of the distributor, the address, and a contact name.

Monday morning comes and I load up my car with a cooler filled with ice packs and drive into work. I figured I would drive over on my lunch hour, grab the hot dogs and stick them in the office fridge until I went home. I also brought my GPS, since I'm not real familiar with Charlestown. Other than the occassional trip to see the USS Constitution and visits to an office the company I work for used to have there, I haven't spent much time there. And I almost always took the T, so my knowledge of the local roads is even less.

I called the distributor Monday morning and spoke to the receptionist, who told me to come by between 1 and 3. I left South Boston at 1 and drove over to Charlestown.

It was a really good thing I had my GPS, because I could have easily spent an hour driving around trying to find this place. Even with it, I managed to miss a turn on a rotary and had to retrace my steps a bit.

So I get to where I'm supposed to be and look for 521 Medford St. I see various addresses higher and lower, but can't find 521. I can't figure out what else to do, so I go into the first likely looking door and ask if they know where "Matthew's Salad House" is. A helpful fellow says that it's around the side of the building. I find a very faded sign pointing it out and go in.

It's getting late, and this is getting long. We'll have the exciting conclusion tomorrow night!


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