Saturday, October 15, 2016

Roger and Jimmie

Roger Bryant and Jimmie Jones

Here's another photo from among the many that Jimmie sent me, this one of him and Roger Bryant. Roger seems to be the host here, busy grilling the steaks and hot dogs, but not too busy to help Jimmie open a beer.

Roger was a very good baseball player. His position was catcher, like me, except that Roger was actually good as a catcher. He wasn't afraid of the ball or the bat, he didn't let a ball get past him, and he could throw a baseball straight to second base without having to stand up first, a useful skill to have against a player trying to steal second.

He and I also hauled a lot of hay together when we were 15 through 17, and that's pretty much how we became friends. Before working together, we were just two guys in the same class at school and on different teams in baseball. He was a hard worker, and so was I, and that used to be important among men . . . though we were just boys.

He once remarked that he didn't want to grow up and mature because he'd noticed that guys who'd 'matured' seemed to lose their sense of humor and feel insulted even at good-natured ribbing. I've always thought that was pretty insightful, at least for the Ozark culture we grew up in, a culture in which a man wouldn't take an 'insult.' There wasn't a lot of self-irony among grown-up men back there then . . .



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