Looking down on 1,000 Dogfish dashers and prancers

Windswept runners with fast hair
September 27, 2022

Painter’s ladder - I stood on the top step (or step two) of what some call a stepstool but I call a painter's ladder. One thousand Dogfish dashers and prancers happily ambled past my perch 30 yards beyond  the start of the race. Some smiled and shouted my name. Some people were in costumes, one guy with a giant beer keg hat. My hearing acuity is a little off; I thought I heard an ominous greeting, “We love you Deadman,” but quickly figured out they said “Fredman.” No one photographs an oncoming stampede of wowie-zowie craft brew zealots except a veteran with more dollars than sense. Proceeds from the race go to the Inland Bays, but I always say, “People don’t run for a cause, but just because.” There were no political statement hats, shirts or banners. The closest thing to a political position was uttered by me talking to a group of local runner friends before the race. “Athletes are like crazy people. They are never static, always improving or declining, but never static.” Insert your own personality.

Fast hair - The regional track & field Senior Olympics were held on the red devil track of  Legends Stadium all day Sunday. The athletes may have been baseline older, but at least it was sunny and hot. There was no trainer that cost $50 an hour to say, “Yes, it could be a side stitch or an abdominal aneurysm; if you're still standing here 60 seconds from now we’ll have our answer.” A man in a red track suit stepped into lane five for the staggered start of the 70-and-over 400 meters. I said to a woman in her mid-80s standing along the track but ready to steal my blue chair, “The guy in lane five is your winner. He just looks the part, including his hair. He has fast hair. What I call windswept hair.” She nodded, but her personal rules of engagement did not include convivial conversation with a local camera character from Sesame Street by the Sea. My guy won easily, as my Sherlock Holmes bottom-to-top pre-race assessment proved to be in the exact-change lane, right on the money.

Community service - A smattering of Cape athletes hung out at the finish line of the Senior Olympics track meet on Sunday. I said, “Let me guess – community service hours?” They nodded in the affirmative, which is more efficient than actually talking. I asked, “Sentenced by court of law or honor society?” I was faculty advisor to the Cape Honor Society back when Jackie Lovett was the student president; she just smiled and talked me into it. One parent reacted, “Fredman is perfect,” but most said “He’s as perfect as Gershwin’s discount store on Rehoboth Avenue.” Sesame Street by the Sea is where muppets of all ages crash into each other in multiple various ways. It runs the continuum from energizing to annoying. On Sunday, I was annoying on purpose yet respectfully tolerated like a tribal elder.

Silver Fox Field - The Cape softball field will be dedicated to coach Bill Cordrey at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8. Bill invented the shift in adult softball; when the right-handed silver slugger came up to bat, the third baseman went to the other side of the infield. The mic will be hot, and all connected friends will have an opportunity to speak. Coach Cordrey is one solid character, and we locals need to turn it out, reflecting all the way back to 1966 when Bill dropped 57 points in a basketball game while playing for the Milton Warriors. 

Snippets - Great time of year for fans of professional sports, the intersection where football and baseball come together. The  Phillies at 83-69 have 10 games to play and lead Milwaukee, 82-71, for the final wild card spot by 1.5. Philly is 3-7 over their last 10 games. If they do that over the final 10, they will flop like a tautog in a Bayliner. But across the street, the Eagles at 3-0 join 3-0 Miami as the only remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. Anyone interested in what the NCAA transfer portal (beam me up, Scotty) is all about should check out this website Grandpa in his La-Z-Boy, it’s much easier to just stay where you are. Go on now, git!

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