Saturday, February 13, 2016

Who was Bo? Part 2

Bo perceived Betty very differently. She was described as a dynamo, a force and she also attended the Episcopalian church faithfully. He always knew where he stood with her because she unhesitatingly spoke her mind. Being a baseball fan, Betty listened to the Cleveland Indian games on the radio. He thought he got his temper, energy and stubbornness from his mother. According to Bo, she would say that Bo, in high school, never had a date and was never much of an athlete and would not give him praise. But he also said that his mother was a positive force and he was crazy about her. She worked at the bank and during World War 2 at a rubber factory. He praised her for her cooking as he was never hungry as she would cook chicken, beef and potato salad. She was the sports fan and on Ladies Day she would take the kids to the Indians game. Bo also received, from her, positive reinforcement for playing sports, and likely Bo attempted to please her, even though she didn’t verbally praise him. He never said that he loved her. Perhaps the word love was not part of the macho vocabulary. Schembechler was a stocky kid, with a crew cut, corduroy knickers and had lots of friends. However, I do not have any stories about the friends. His competitiveness, sibling rivalry and temper were expressed and nurtured with sibling rivalry as they fought over food, the radio and their one bicycle. He was a baseball, nut and immersed himself listening to Indian games on the radio. He memorized the Indian players name, their uniform numbers as well as their baseball statistics. His fantasy was to pitch in game seven of the World Series. In that fantasy he would strike out the last batter to win the game. Baseball was his first love. Bo worked at the Nye Rubber Factory as a teenager. The lye material, on one occasion, got into his eye and it burned. Bo realized at that point, working in a factory was not for him. In other words, one’s vocation was important as he understood what his father’s employment life was like. He wanted to accomplish more for himself. Bo described himself as a sports enthusiast-baseball, football, and basketball. Baseball at one point was his favorite sport, and first love. In high school, this southpaw pitcher entered the important State semifinals game with the score tied in the seventh inning. However, the bases were loaded when he took the mound. If they were victorious, they would compete in the championship game. The tension was fierce and the importance of the game was on the line. However, Bo allowed a bloop single down the right-field line, and his high school team lost, 3-0 and thus eliminated from participating in the championship game. That was a major disappointment and failure for the fierce competitor Bo. Bo described that day as one of the toughest days of his life. His pitching days were done and he never pitched again. Would that failure and fear of failure later propel and drive him for mastery and efficiency? A much later highlight was when his friend Hal Naragon of the Indians introduced him to Bob Feller. Bo said he didn’t get over that introduction for a very long time. To Be Continued

No comments:

Post a Comment