Someone asked the other day, “what happened to your blog?” I was flattered to be asked. Most people just wondered what took me so long to shut up.
I was cruising along pretty well last year, finding something to write about every week, something that interested me and may have interested other people. Then life happened.
As some of you know, my wife Carolyn was visited with a major medical problem in January. Long story as short as possible: With great good fortune and excellent medical care, she made a full recovery. She and I are grateful every day for her return to good health.
Six and a half weeks at the hospital and 15 weeks of recovery at home had a way of distracting me. If I had any interesting thoughts, they escaped me before they could emerge in any organized fashion.
About six weeks or eight weeks ago, things began returning to normal. Well, COVID-2021 normal. How did I know? We returned to Yard Goats games.
Have you been to see the Yard Goats? We love it. Sitting with friends on a pleasant evening, talking about whatever, eating a hot dog, cheering for the team. All those people who thought building that stadium was a bad idea were so wrong. Go see two or three or four thousand people enjoying themselves in downtown Hartford, and you’ll understand what a good idea it was. But, as they say, I digress.
For several weeks now, I’ve been thinking about getting back to writing. Thinking about it, but not doing much about it. I’ve had a few ideas, but the ideas haven’t come together in my head in a way that seemed writable. I’ve wondered if I was done with it. After all, my original theme – greater Hartford’s antiquated municipal governance structure – had run it’s course, and I had gotten to the point where I had exhausted my relatively shallow understanding of race in America. Both are still important subjects (who knew there was a $400 million development project in Avon?), but I don’t have much more to say about them, at least for now.
The calendar has a way of moving along, however, and as June rolled into July and then August, a rite of mid-summer got me writing again: The Buffalo Bills training camp got under way. Training camp means it’s time to gear up for the NFL season, which for me is a big deal. I’m a Bills season ticket holder, and I drive to Buffalo multiple times each fall and winter to see the Bills play. It’s a passion. Remember the Impossible Dream, the curse of the Bambino and all that? That was a mild infatuation compared to Buffalo and the Bills.
More to the point, since about 2005 I’ve written a weekly column during the football season, discussing the Bills’ most recent game. It’s called The Rockpile Review, and it appears on a Bills internet fan forum and also on the website that the Bills Mafia maintains. I also write occasional other columns about the Bills. This July and August, those juices started flowing again, and essays emerged on important subjects like the effectiveness against the run of the Bills’ middle linebacker. I’ve been asked a few times this summer if I will write The Rockpile Review again this year, and although I’ve hemmed and hawed, I can’t see how I can stop now.
So, football is dragging me back to the keyboard and to writing about what I’m thinking. Sad to say, my experiences over the past seven months have caused me to think about death more than occasionally, so my latest column, about the Bills trying to win the Super Bowl, was entitled “Win One Before I Die.” Maybe I could write a blog post entitled “Merge Just Two Towns Before I Die.” Don’t worry; I’m not going there.
I’ve had some random thoughts about homelessness lately. So, if you’ve gotten this far and you’re curious, check in next week. I hope to begin sharing some ideas about this age-old problem seemingly overrunning some American cities. As usual, I don’t have answers, but I have some perspectives that might be interesting. We’ll see where that goes.
Thanks for reading.