He doesn’t play with me like he used too. I’d be the first thing he’d grab and put on his head when he went outside and pretend he was Davy Crockett. A coonskin hat was meant for little boys and those wanting to be “king of the wild frontier.” But he has seen me less and less since that white plastic ball entered his life and got him swinging at it.
How can a whiffle ball capture all of his attention? Sure, I know it was summer and he wanted to run around outside. He can mingle with more of his friends striking it with a bat and throwing it around the bases. The exercise is good for him and keeps him healthy.
But where are his dreams? Where is his vision that we used to share as we projected ourselves onto the television screen while Walt Disney reminded the country to “Remember the Alamo?” Remember Old Betsy the rifle, the trusted one the frontiersman from Tennessee carried with him ‘til the end.
How can a ball replace such an imagination brought to the surface by a Fess Parker or a Buddy Ebsen? They were heroes and helped boys of all ages see themselves fighting for a cause far greater than themselves. Go down swinging is what Davy Crockett did at the very end as well as Jim Bowie when he threw his famous knife while fighting with his last breath from his deathbed.
No, the plastic ball is just a passing thing. He’ll eventually graduate to a real baseball or softball or even one of the old pimple balls cut in half for him to play halfies. Football may come later.
But none ‘em will fire up the dreams and imaginations of youth, the fun we had, or the memories of olden days and when he could “Kill him a b’ar when he was only three,” He’ll never forget. They will last as some later sage once said: “to infinity and beyond!”