mickey and mexican hats
by Turtle Jones
It's been a stressful day for both of us. Securing writers and redesigning the look of the site. It looks pretty cool, but since we aren't gonna pull it out til we hit it big on the first day, let's just say we are both tired from answering and emailing people to write on the site. We think the end result will be out in a few weeks so stay tuned for that. This isn't easy to do this but it's the price we have to pay to get where we want to go and to all who have responded, we thank you.
FTTW shirts will be coming out soon as well as FTTW bowling shirts, but that once again is killing us cause I gotta go buy emulsion again since mine has turned a funny color and I think it has gone bad. It's been a while since I tin foiled my room to burn screens, but thefinn is doing it and I am, too. So we can have contests on here to get free swag from FTTW.
And, if you haven't figured it out by now, we need one more writer who does free form so if you want to be on our team, do your best in the comments and try to impress us.
But in the meantime, we decided no topic tonight. I've been on this fucking compy all day and so has Michele. So, we are just doing free form writing tonight. But, really, our stories will prolly suck tonight cause I'm having a hard time lighting a cigar to keep awake and I know Michele is out of it.
But here we go!
turtle dons his hat.
When I was a kid, I would always drive by these migrant workers in wife beaters. Always wearing these cheap hats. Cheap. Fuck if I knew back then. Years later I found out they were like ten bucks, but seeing these guys slaving away in farms for shit money to send back home always impressed me. Something about them doing something they hated but had to do just to feed their family. And those hats. Those cheap white cowboy hats that were hard as wood and did nothing but catch the sweat from falling into their eyes as they picked some kind of vegetables for some simple wage to send home to another country so their kids could eat. That made a hell of an impression on me as a kid.
I would watch them everyday as I walked thru the barrio to get to school and wonder why they had such devotion to someone they would never see again. But one thing grabbed me. My respect for them. They knew that to get to American Dream, the first one on this land would live hard and die harder so the others could build this country stronger.
So the hat. A sign of respect and hard work. I needed one. I always wanted one but never got one til I was given one when I had heat stroke at some goddamn summer show in 110-degree weather. Playing bass about to throw up, I got one. I still threw up. But it was a sign from my friends of hard work and their respect.
But that started my obsession with hats.
Fedoras, golf hats, hockey hats, Scottish hats, English brims, pimp hats, fuzzy hats, beanies, fuck, I even have a Hot Dog on a Stick hat.
But nothing compares to wearing a wife beater in a kiddie pool with my cheap migrant worker cowboy hat on.
In fact. I'm going to put it on now. -T
Michele tells a story:
Yea, I am kind of out of it. It's been a long, stressful day. Very little sleep last night. Insomnia sucks, but having nightmares in the little sleep you do get sucks even harder. So I'm struggling here tonight. But I'll pull an old story out of my ass just to get something down here.
A Baseball Story
It was the summer of 86. I had gone back to college the previous spring after an extended hiatus. 21 credits crammed into one semester after not being in school for a while was exhausting, so I passed on taking any summer classes. I was working nights at the time and thought I would spend my summer days sleeping until noon. Or maybe three. And then my Dean made me an offer I couldn’t refuse - a summer job that would entail driving to The Bronx every morning, not getting home until midnight most nights, working a few weekends, all for no pay except a few college credits.
Doesn’t sound like much of a bargain does it?
But I’d be working for The New York Yankees.
The New. York. Yankees.
I’d spend my days as an editorial assistant for Yankees Magazine. Cropping pictures, Proofing stories, doing advertising layout. If the Yanks were at home, I’d stay through the game and run errands. And if there were no errands to be run, I was welcome to stay for the games anyhow. It doesn’t get much better than that. Well, maybe if they were paying me. Still, this was a job I would have paid them to have.
Most of my summer was spent in the archives room, rummaging through photos of old timers like Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio. I read scorecards from games played long before I was born. I’d sit in this stuffy room for hours. My legs would cramp up and sweat would drip down my back and still I’d sit there lost in this baseball time warp in this room stuffed with trophies and plaques and mementos of the greatest baseball team that ever existed. Yes. Ever existed. We are talking about the Yankees here. History and fame at my fingertips. Flipping through ticket stubs and game programs. Yellowed articles and Dusty photographs. I’d breathe in this dust and cough every ten minutes and my hands were black from old newsprint but I couldn’t drag myself away from everything in that room.
The archive room was just one of the perks. I watched games from the press box. Sometimes I helped keep the scorecard. Sometimes I just bullshitted with reporters or players who were on the injured list. I had it made. Lunchtime would find me in the third base seats, legs stretched out, Yankee Stadium almost to myself. I parked in the player’s lot, sometimes walking in with the players themselves. I was the George Fucking Costanza.
Late August came. Pennant race was heating up, summer nights cooling down. My days as a part of the New York Yankees staff were coming to an end. In a way, I was relieved. That morning commute on the Grand Central sucked. But I’d be giving up some kick ass perks. Mingling with Don Mattingly. Napping in the seats behind home plate. My name in Yankees Magazine.
It was close to my last night there when I was invited to watch a game from the General Manager’s office. Oh yea. This was the big time. There I was, this lowly intern, in this huge office full of important baseball people. I stood quietly in the corner, too overwhelmed by the presence of baseball greats to move out of the spot. Not to mention I was kind of paralyzed by the appearance of Mr. Steinbrenner himself. I feared that man just on rumors alone.
A regular employee I had become friendly with over the summer saw me standing by myself. He grabbed me. Dragged me over to the huge picture window that overlooked the field. Yankee Stadium spread out in front of me. I was watching the game from an office behind home plate. I looked at the outfield bleachers where I usually sat before I landed this gig. I was mesmerized. It really doesn’t get better than this, I thought.
My friend excused himself to go get a drink. I stayed at the window, watching the game. I think I was gawking. I’m sure my jaw was hanging open.
Then a voice from beside me.”Great view, isn’t it?”
I looked up. Mickey Mantle was standing beside me, grinning.
I nodded, unable to speak.
Me and Mickey, watching a Yankee game from the office above home plate.
King of the world moment, baby.
King of the fucking world. -M
And that's it for today. We worked hard on a bunch of behind the scenes stuff for this site and we are both kind of worn out from other stuff going on. But we never like to let the site go without something fresh every day. So this is what you got. Kind of fresh, I guess. Maybe more like stuff from the day old bakery. Which really isn't that bad once you get past the mold.
Got a random story to tell? Have at it. I've still got at least two hours before it's a reasonable time to go to bed, so some reading material would be cool.
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