Free Parking — Then and Now

When we lived down the road from the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, we offered free parking.

Free — no strings attached — just free.

2005 

We generally had quite a few takers. We were, after all, less than half a mile from the site.

But we sold that house in 2006 and my brother, 2 miles from the ceremony site, took up the task.

He offers free parking AND a free shuttle.

2017

He even offered free water and hot dogs, although they didn’t make the sign.

This year, he had only three takers. To be fair, it was a smaller crowd than some of the past years.

Two guys pulled up and asked what the deal was.

“You can park here for free,” my son said, “and we give you a ride to and from the ceremony.”

“What’s the catch?” the man asked.

“No catch. My family just likes to do nice things,” my son replied.

They parked.

My brother drove them in and gave them a paper with his phone number on it so they could call when they were ready to be picked up. They called when it was over, he picked them up, and that was it.

Really. No strings.

In the next few years, the crowds may be larger.

Derek Jeter will probably set some records. Yankees support their own.

But then, so do the Red Sox, and David Ortiz will probably go in the year after Jeter.

Free parking may be more appealing when no other parking is available.


On an unrelated note, on Induction Sunday, I decided to walk home from church — about 2 1/2 miles — to take some pictures of the crowds.

Of course, I forgot all about the crowds when I walked down the path and instead took pictures of my favorite bridge.

Some things about Cooperstown (or me) don’t change. I’ve been taking pictures of this bridge for years. It’s always beautiful.

the bridge on Hall of Fame Induction weekend 2017

the bridge on Hall of Fame Induction weekend 2005

the bridge on Hall of Fame Induction weekend 2017

the bridge on Hall of Fame Induction weekend 2005

#pastmeetspresent

Looking Across the Valley

My parents’ house used to have a large front porch. I can remember my mom and dad sitting out there after dinner during the summer, drinking coffee and watching the sun set.

Last night, from another room, I watched my father get up and push his walker to the front window. He peered out for a few minutes and then hobbled back to his chair.

When I came in, he said, “Just take a look at that out there.”

I walked over to the window and stood where he had stood. The sun was low on the horizon.

“Isn’t that lovely?” he asked. “The sun is… is…” He struggled to find the words.

“It’s setting in the west,” I said.

“Yes, that’s right. The sun is setting in the west, and it’s beautiful,” he said.

One of the best things about this old farmhouse is it’s view across the valley. No one can put a price on that.

This picture was taken one of those first years we lived in the house. (Ignore the kids in front — my hair still doesn’t want to curl the way it’s supposed to, my sister no longer wears cat-eye glasses, my little brother is considerably taller, my oldest brother has passed away, and my middle brother smiles for the camera now.)

 

1968?

The farm across the valley is still there, just a different color. But our fence is long gone. It’s still a lovely view.