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Of Best Friends and Learning How to Grow Up

June 22, 2011

Hello! Christine here. The lovely ladies who run this blog have asked me to come on board and I was absolutely thrilled to accept. Just a little about me: Right now I’m spending my summer in a beige cubicle nowhere near a window, interning at the corporate office of a bank. Just a way to earn a little bit of money before I start my junior year at Brigham Young University in the fall. I’m a Bay Area native and a life-long Giants fan. My dad has told me that he took me to games at Candlestick when I was a kid, but sadly I don’t remember any of them. My favorite Giant growing up was Benito Santiago, and when I start having kids I’ll be naming my first daughter Aurilia (no, really). I drool over defense and I have a soft spot for catchers (hence my love of Benito Santiago), and any play that happens at third base is my favorite play in baseball.

When the Giants made the playoffs last year I was in my apartment in Provo, sobbing over my laptop and freaking out my roommates. I was extremely lucky to have been able to fly home to attend Game 2 of the World Series, which was the best thing that could have happened, because nobody in Utah wanted to listen to me gush about beards and rally thongs. I’m so glad that I’ve found a whole network of fellow Giants fans here in cyberspace, because as Britt and Maiya know, it’s hard to be an out-of-town Giants fan. So here I am, and if I can inform and entertain you half as well as they can, I’ll have succeeded. Though it’s not entirely baseball related, I thought I’d start out with some of my thoughts on the passing of the great Clarence Clemons, the long time saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

On April 1, 2009 I went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert (and in all likelihood, my last). By some miracle (and a little bit of working the system) my best friend and I were in the first row, standing right up against the stage. I had known for weeks that I wanted to make a sign to get Bruce to play my favorite song, Growin’ Up, and I felt like I’d thought of the perfect way to ask for it. On the back of a blue cardstock folder I wrote: “Bruce, I just turned 18 and I need some help Growin’ Up.” Sure, I thought it was clever, but it was also true. I think I’ll need help growing up my entire life. On that night, I got some. He took my sign, and before he cued the band to start playing, he pointed right at me and said, “This is for you.”

Growin’ Up was the song that drew me to Bruce. The first versions I heard of the song were all live versions, and that’s what got me: the stories. The stories were full of characters: werewolves, gypsies, man-eating bears, homicidal cows, aliens, nuns, school principals, the neighborhood kids. The ones I loved the most were the stories of Bruce and Clarence. Clarence was Clarence “He Who Knows All” Clemons. He had a map to the secret of the World. He knew everybody, even God himself. But above all else, Clarence was Bruce’s best friend. He didn’t give Bruce advice and send him on his way; they traveled the journey together. All of my favorite stories end with some form of this line:

And all of a sudden, there in the clearing, we saw the answer to our quest (a guitar and a saxaphone)

And as we stood there in the moonlight, we knew that everything was gonna be alright. Because when we touched…

At which point the music resumes and Bruce finds his place in the stars. I love Growin’ Up for that message: that with your best friend by your side, you can brave hail storms, tornados, a hundred of those little Texas grasshoppers, and any other hardship that comes with growing up. Now Clarence is gone, and he will be missed. But he’ll also be remembered, as the Big Man, the Minister of Soul, the Secretary of the Brotherhood, and the only one who could help Bruce find the key to the universe.

Now I’m sure all of you are asking: what in the heck does that have to do with baseball? Well, I could probably write you 10,000 words on how music and Bruce Springsteen relate to baseball, but I’ll spare you that. I’ll just say this: isn’t that the reason that we fell in love with the 2010 Giants? They were a team of guys who weren’t wanted, guys who were doubted, guys who grew big, gnarly black beards, and guys who had spent years at the bottom of the standings. And with their best friends at their side, they braved the storm, figured it out, and brought us a World Series Championship.

I’d just like to throw in a quick disclaimer about myself before I go:

  • I have a lot of emotions. I get really emotional about baseball. Sorry about it.
  • I pretend to be a lot more of a stat geek than I am, but I do understand that batting average, RBIs, and wins are somewhat useless. I’m trying to become more stat-savvy, but it may take a while. I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge.
  • I have a tendency to ramble. I’ll try my best to keep things short and to the point, but I might fail a lot.

I’m really excited to be joining Snow Woulda Had It, and I just want to thank Britt and Maiya again for having me. 🙂

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:09 am

    Yeah emotions! They make your writing rock!

    Also…I love it when the misfits triumph. Because usually people are misfits because they have some kind of passion that other people don’t understand, like guitar or saxophone or pitching. So, when they succeed, they become artists, creators. And then we love them. And then when they leave us, there’s something left with us to help us remember.

    And yes, I’m going to comment on every post you write. And sometimes it will be cheesy…because I just like it that way. Deal with it.

  2. Kate permalink
    June 24, 2011 4:43 pm

    I really like the way you interweave music with baseball. Provides a new perspective on both subjects. Rambling is OK if it holds your attention. Looking forward to reading more blog posts from Christine.

  3. John permalink
    June 24, 2011 9:51 pm

    Nice post…Candlestick, Bruce, Clarence and the Giants all put together. Old school and old soul, which is the way the Giants won the series last year. Great memories. As Bruce would sing….Glory Days.

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