Hello all. I've logged on to thank you for your respects to my father. I couldn’t get it to work, however. It took my screenname RoyalsReds, but says I don’t have access. So I figured I’d get through this way if you don’t mind. I’m writing about my dad. You knew him as Old Red Guard. To us kids (he had 5 of us, 3 boys, 2 girls and 10 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren) he was Poppa. My brother and Mom told me about you guys - I had to look you up but I was stunned to log on and find RIP to my dad was the first post listed. Wow! I read through it yesterday but had to wait til today to write. I cried like a baby. Well, what can I say? Poppa was always telling us stories about baseball - in fact I used to cringe when he'd get started. I'd give my left arm to hear those stories now. He was my coach, my son's coach and my grandson's coach. I read about the oven mitts. That's true. It weas how he began every spring. And he'd belt the ball at you. Except it was a rubber ball! He wouldn't tell us the first day and the new players would duck - the rest of us would laugh our tails off. He was hard nosed. His brother lives in Loveland and tells me the time they were playing in Legion ball long ago and my uncle stole second. Poppa was the shortstop and trotted over and told him hey, nice job but its a foul ball - whereupon my uncle headed back to first and my dad promptly ran over and tagged him out. Uncle Russ still hollers about that. But I'm your brother! To which Poppa always replied - Brother hell, this is baseball!
He was a curmudgeon. He hated everything new. Then 2 days later he'd know more about it than anyone in the family. Damn computers! Everythings computerized he'd growl. Then I'd get an email from him with a powerpoint attachment. Damn cable TV, he'd growl. Then he'd call and invite me over to watch one of the umpteen hundred and five sports channels he'd subscribed to on his flat screen.
He was born in 1929, in October. He always said he was born and the world went to hell in a handbasket. He could flat out write. Stories, poetry, letters. All us kids have a bit of his talent. I can write reasonably but not the way he could make you see things. He quit school in the 7th grade, or maybe the 8th. He said that was about the equivalent of high school and high school was like college today and college then was like having a masters degree today. He was the smartest person I've ever known - he read everything from cereal boxes to books. If it had print he'd read it. But his poetry is just great. He wrote about baseball - and life and love and mostly always it lifts you up - he was always funny or optimistic about everything - even when he grouched it was with a twist that made you see things differently. That was really his talent. I'd see a ballgame and he'd see a ballet, an opera and a metaphor for life being lived out on the diamond.
Anyway, thank you - each one who wrote a kind response. I took the liberty of printing it all out for mom to read. She was always his practical half - she'd keep him grounded and he'd give her the chance to fly once in awhile. And right now she's still lost. They were married 56 years. Maybe your words will help her smile. She made a 25.00 contribution - just a thank you.
You can address replies to Mrs. Marie Elledge at firstname.lastname@example.org
. She will respond but it may take her a bit – usually me or my brother have to be here to help her with the computer.
C.Jay Elledge, Jr.