The artwork for Dreaming .400 was initially going to be a baseball field with fans flocking to it in every imaginable way, by boat and canoe, stage coach, train, and good old fashioned one foot in front of the other.
But like anything else, plans and designs are meant to be changed. I remember hearing about a subway system in Seville, Spain that was partially built. The jackhammers had ripped up cement squares; a few building had been knocked down when uh-oh, the underground area was said “to not be conducive to excessive drilling” so they patched it up like nothing had ever happened, jewel thieves in the night.
But what the hell, it lowered unemployment for a while, a sort of New Deal in an ooops sort of way, Maybe not a bad idea in today’s world. Maybe in northern Canada, just below Nunavut, they could build a massive amusement park and put to work all of these refugees pouring into Europe from Syria and Lebanon before realizing that the cold harsh northern climate was “not conducive to an amusement park construction.”
Canada would then be stuck with thousands of refugees and maybe that’s not a bad thing, immigrants tilling the frozen soil-making something out of nothing? Or maybe I should keep my day job since I’m an immigrant too. I work at a hospital, delivering things and it’s warm in there, but back to to the cover the art. The publisher and I both noticed it on line without either of us knowing what the other one was doing. I think that’s a biblical occurrence or a proverb or something? Ya know, like not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing or maybe I’m mixing up apples?
Anyway, Judy McSween is the artist and the painting is called “Illuminating the Joe.” I love that name. Love the painting too. Looks like a dream which goes well with the title of the book-Dreaming .400. She’s a teacher and mother of three or four kids.
The painting is a sunset falling behind Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. Joe Riley – the person – was a big player in the stadium’s construction back in 1997. The stadium is currently home to the Charleston River Dogs of the Class Single A-South Atlantic League (New York Yankees affiliate). I sort of cringed when I found out the Yankees were involved, but I don’t really care. I love the Yankees just like I love Darth Vadar and all the forces in the universe that inspire me to stand taller and fight.
Anyway, the Charleston River Dogs were previoulsy an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. And before that-the Rangers, Padres, and Royals. Different masks, but same beautiful baseball going on.
The stadium is also home to the Citadel Bulldogs.