We stand on the threshold of yet another year and before 2011 slipped away, I decided to make a visit to one of my lifes true loves!
I took my camera to check in on the old girl and see how she was doing. Afterall she is about to celebrate her 100th birthday you know. There was a bite in the morning air and the sky was that ominous gray that is Boston winter. The wind nibbled at my face but all about me I could hear the whispers of spring.
I could hear its whisper in the voice of the woman from Australia who saw me taking photos on Yawkey Way and paused, shot a few of her own and said simply, “Isn’t this cool?”
I could hear it in the memory of a drizzly October morn of nearly a decade ago when I gathered with my daughter and 3,000,000 others on the streets outside of Fenway; to say thank you to a band of self-proclaimed “idiots” who brought a joy which reverberated down from and through the ages.
I heard it through the wind in a tear filled voice of a 43-year-old man they call “Yaz” who poured his heart out to the Fenway Faithful when he said goodbye in the same manner he had poured his heart on to the field everyday for 23 years.
I heard it past the limbs, creaking in the bluster, in the grateful expressions of a giant of a man who watched his number unveiled allowing Jim Rice to take his place among the immortals.
I heard it in the voices of the families from Montreal, Tallahassee, Italy and the couple from Amsterdam who all came to Fenway in the dead of winter and took photos of and with Ted Williams, his teammates and the kid from the Jimmy Fund.
And above all I heard it in the echo of my heart and a cacophony of memories of the most enchanting of years when I went with my father to Fenway and watched our Impossible Dream Red Sox capture the American League pennant on the seasons last day! Ah, 1967 truly the most magical, the most mystical the most wonderful year of them all! And I am forevermore amazed at all that year has given me.
Tomorrow I will board a plane and return to the land of sun and sand leaving behind the promise of Spring. On this, the most bittersweet day of the year, I wish for each of you the hope that is that promise.
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, the years last, of 2011.