May 4, 1984.
I was a fourteen year-old freshman in high school, and had just a few months earlier purchased the last pack of baseball cards I would buy until re-entering the hobby during the spring of 1991. That May evening I attended my first Van Halen concert. King Edward’s playing left me in awe. The girls (trashy, but in my eyes-hot) left me with another feeling.
Four months later, I bought my first guitar-an imitation Flying-V. The girls wouldn’t know any different-they just dug rock stars, and I was determined to become one. A couple of months after that, I upgraded to an imitation Les Paul. I felt like royalty. It was good to be young.
May 5, 2012.
I fly up to Seattle for a one-day trip to re-connect with an old friend from school whom I had not seen since 1991. Our reunion was long overdue, but once I discovered that Van Halen (my favorite band growing up-if you couldn't tell) was scheduled to play the Tacoma Dome, it offered the perfect excuse to go visit him. A few keystrokes and I had my airline tickets. He took care of acquiring the concert tickets and provided me with a room at the inn. I was going to be fourteen or fifteen again.
Upon arrival, I had a couple of hours to kill before he got off work- so my first stop was a Barnes and Noble. After perusing the aisles for a half-hour or so, I was off to my next stop: a local card shop. Since I was traveling light (very light-it was a one day trip), I didn’t have my Braves want list-but that didn’t stop me from picking up quite a few cards. The vintage were all from a 99-cent box, and I figured if I already have them, someone else might enjoy them. I also found two Chipper's that I don't have. Score.
the cards in this second group are available-email me
Once we arrived at the Tacoma Dome, I quickly realized that I am no longer fifteen (as if my balding head hadn’t already given it away). Guys were rocking mullets. I wasn't jealous. The girls (well, women) weren’t nearly attractive anymore (although there were still some trashy ones). That’s okay-I’m happily married. Kool and The Gang opened. Say What? Diamond Dave didn't jump much (age will do that to you), but he is still a showman. One thing is certain, though: Edward VH might be 57 years old, but the man can still do gymnastics on the fretboard.
That evening, a thousand miles away in Denver, Colorado, two other men were doing things men their age don’t typically do. The Braves-Rockies game featured forty-nine year old Jamie Moyer and forty year old Chipper Jones. Call them grumpy old men. With the Rockies leading 6-2, Chipper doubled in a run off of Moyer in the top of the fifth. As Jones was standing on second and conversing with Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki, Moyer began accusing Chipper of relaying signs to the hitter, Braves catcher Brian McCann. Jamie’s Crying ignited a fire in Jones, who not only broke out the gloves to verbally beat Moyer after the game, but also proceeded to get two more hits and four more RBIs in his next three at-bats. Atlanta caught fire and won the game 13-9.
As I was waiting for my flight at the airport the next morning, I got a chance to catch up on Saturday's news. Of course, the first order of business was the summary of the previous night’s game. After reading of the crazy events, as well as reflecting on the concert, I had to say to myself, “it’s not so bad getting older.”