Yesterday, to celebrate my impending return to work, Peggy treated me to dinner at the wonderful Friendly Farm. We took the loooooooong way to get there - went about 45 miles out of the way - just to see the beautiful fall foliage. This is probably the peak weekend for leaf-peepers in our area, because I predict that by next weekend, the winds will blow a lot of the leaves into nice neat piles all over yards, just ready to be picked up and bagulated. It was such a pleasure to ride along and see God's handiwork in action. Fall is such a great time of year, and of course it leads to the best season, winter!
Well, two great things happened at dinner. For one thing, our wonderful waitress Mary Pat brought me out special a scoop of Hershey's Almond Joy Ice Cream, which is the ne plus ultra of ice creams, all chock full of coconut, almond bits and chocolate chips. Man, that is a lot like living, scooping into that ice cream.
And then, toward the end of our chowin' down, I looked up to see a party of three edging into the rather full restaurant. I said to myself, "That man looks like Fred Manfra."
Then I said to myself, "As soon as he asks someone to pass the salt, I'll know if it is in fact he, because there is no mistaking that marvelous voice."
I have these conversations all the time, and even more so since I have been hanging around the house all alone for a month and a half, with no one to talk to but the tv, which doesn't always answer back.
But it WAS the great Fred Manfra, the Orioles' radio play by play guy who forms, along with Joe Angel, the most intelligent and informative AND entertaining baseball radio tandem I have ever heard. I prefer to listen to the Orioles on the radio, truth to tell. A lot of this is because I can get other things done, strutting around with my Walkman on tuned to 105.7, then I can sitting in the recliner watching the games on tv. And frankly, I like the call of the game better on the radio than on tv, where they always have to have some old big-leaguer rattling on about how they played the game when HE was around. Hello! Let's talk about tonight's game!
So, as we left, I went over to Fred, and said I did not wish to intrude, but I wanted to thank him for making so many summer nights so enjoyable. The fact that the Orioles have had 11 straight losing seasons is lost on neither of us, but Fred was so nice - and that's why he makes a ballgame fun, even when the O's are getting the stuffing kicked out of them. He said he was looking forward to a much better team this year, and we chatted for a second about the new manager and the spark that Buck Showalter has given the club. Then we left, but what a nice man Fred is. I hope he and his wife and mother enjoyed their meal.