i hear it all the time…to never burn bridges and i’ve come to disagree. It’s better to blow them up! i was once walking across the north avenue bridge in milwaukee, walking west. a girl was walking east and we would have been ships passing in the day, but when i got nearer and she got nearer, we recognized each other. We knew each other from a class we were in together. we sometimes sat together. her name was Jean Osowski. she wore a green army jacket. the class was evolution and variation. it was a cool class. i once asked the teacher how long it would take for us humans to grow fins if we were born in water and stayed there our entire life, generation after generation in the water. how many generations would it take? he laughed and said, “a lot.”
anyway, Jean had just left her boyfriend’s house. they had broken up. she had tears in her eyes. i asked what was the matter. she told me the situation and confessed that she was walking back to his house. i didn’t need to know for what. I hadn’t had many love situations before, only one in fact, but i knew she was feeling super lonely, lonelier than before she met her current/old boyfriend. She wanted him back….needed him back…had no choice. the pain was too great. I mustered up some courage from god knows where and took the reins. I put my arm on her shoulder, a soft grip of some bone and turned her around. she didn’t resist. we walked in the opposite direction of her boyfriend’s place and when we made it to the other side of the bridge, I led her down the slope to the Milwaukee river and she cried and more confidence came to me once again from god knows where. i leaned over and kissed her on the lips. we stood up. we hugged each other. no more words were spoken. she walked away, in the opposite direction of her boyfriend’s place. I never saw her again. together, we had blown up the bridge and since this is supposed to be a baseball blog, i’m reminded of the Brewers 2022 season. couldn’t even make the playoffs in a year with three wildcard teams. i think i’ll write 2022 on a piece of paper and burn it, only because i don’t have any dynamite.
October 9, 2022 at 11:42 am
I really like this piece, Steve. You have a gift for being able to write about personal experiences honestly. Hard to do.
I like the combination of straightforward storytelling and poetic imagery. You made it work. Hard to do.
Keep blowing up bridges and waste not a minute on the scam known as postseason baseball.
October 10, 2022 at 8:59 am
Thanks Mark. I appreciate the feedback. I’m glad you liked this one. I don’t know what to make of this years’s playoff structure. I get the idea of three wildcard teams – to prevent teams from intentionally tanking, but god I preferred the old way, the four team format, with the AL and NL championship series being a five game series and almost all the games played in the afternoon forcing us to run home from school.
October 9, 2022 at 6:40 pm
You sure do know how to tie it all in. After reading your posts, I feel how it’s all tied together. It’s too bad about the Brewers. Lost love, lost seasons. Hockey starts next week. Should be interesting.
October 10, 2022 at 8:46 am
It’s strange how certain memories never fade and others require some sort of hypnosis, like a smell to recall. Happy to have hockey starting for you. I’ve been in Montreal for almost 20 years, but still haven’t caught the fever. Maybe this will be the year. I guess the obstacle is that i like basketball and they play in the same season, but then again, there are guys at work who follow both. In any case, I hope the Sabres have a great season. Have they ever won a Stanley Cup?
October 10, 2022 at 4:40 pm
No, they haven’t. 40+ years with no cup. And currently we have the longest streak without making the playoffs. It’s been tough. Hope this year is different. They have a lot of young talent.
October 10, 2022 at 7:39 pm
You got me inspired Bob. They talk a lot of hockey at work. I think this year, I’ll ask about the Sabres.
October 14, 2022 at 4:20 pm
And no Rick Jeanneret–who’s going to call a cop on Dominik Hasek now (or…umm…Malcolm subban?)
October 14, 2022 at 5:07 pm
haha “call a cop he robbed him blind”
October 10, 2022 at 11:13 am
Sorry about your Brewers, man. I was actually pulling for them to make the postseason.
If this story was present-day I thought maybe Jean would be crying because her “boyfriend” was actually Josh Hader and he had left her in Milwaukee to begin a new life out west!
Too soon? Is it tough for Brewers fans seeing him close out games now for the wildcard winning Padres or is there a still a little piece of “he’s still our guy”?
October 10, 2022 at 12:51 pm
Thanks Double K. Yes, it’s a bummer the Brew Crew didn’t get in. We’ve been spoiled the last few seasons, four playoff appearances in a row.
In a way, it does kinda feel like “he’s still our guy” in that he’s now been traded three times with the Brewers being the team that stuck with him, gave him a chance. They musta found something in him and worked to develop it. All in all, I think it was smart to unload him when they did. We got a lot out of him and he would have been way to expensive to sign or maybe not since he’s been so bad as of late. In any case, i’ll be glad for him if the Padres keep winning.
October 14, 2022 at 4:17 pm
What I would give, even more than my ticket stub from the 1990 playoff game between the Bucs and Reds, to write like this.
October 14, 2022 at 7:42 pm
thanks wk. good to hear from you. a decade or more after i bumped into Jean on the bridge, i tossed all the letters from a girl i had once loved – my ticket stub equivalents, all those great games we played, tossed those letters into a dumpster. great decision on my part. haven’t seen her since.
October 17, 2022 at 11:00 am
There’s a story in there.
October 17, 2022 at 5:43 pm
working on it.