This is a tough one to write this year… with all good intentions I had every ambition to be out at the Nevada District 1 Little League Tournament this year… both life… and unfortunately death… both got in the way of that this year. We tried with all our best efforts to schedule to be available to be at the entire tournament (with how it turned out, with it split, there would have been no way but… intentions…)… and if 2021 was any indication, the tournament would be after July 4th. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be entirely. So I missed the entire pool play “section” of the tournament to begin with with a family vacation (gotta get in the time away when we can, crazy busy year we always have…).
This brings me to the championship round of the tournament… We arrived back in Reno at 10:00 AM, red eye flight to get us back… this would give me about 30 hours to get prepped for the tournament at Washoe. 10:30 AM my dad called… we all have those people we know when they call, somethings up and you pick up, no matter what you are doing, you stop and answer that phone. For me, when my dad calls, something is up. Don’t get me wrong, we talk often, but he doesn’t call anyone. We were at IHOP in Reno awaiting our table (red eye, no meals on the planes, Airport food at 6:00 AM in LAX didn’t appeal…)…
“They are taking Sue to the hospital”… Sue is my step mom. This isn’t one of those Dad ran off with some new girl kinda things. Sue has been my step mom for 43 years. If you ever met them, I introduced them as “my parents”. She’s very significant in our lives. Long LONG story short, about 6:10 PM on July 4th, my step mom accepted the call from God. To say that this put my dad in a tailspin is an understatement… as he said, “… everything I did was for us…” So after several more discussions with my dad on Monday, July 4th, I decided it best to drive down to the Bay Area to be with him for a few days.
This brings me to my “involvement” with the tournament. I’m gonna be very honest, I work very hard at these and really try to make something special for the people… 2007 was my first All Star Tournament… if you remove 2020 as a non-year, this marks my 15th year doing these tournaments (16th actual chronological years)… none of the kids competing this year were born when I started. Over the years we’ve developed a method of trying to create something special and no doubt about it, it’s been very hard. This year given I had two game slots, Saturday at 10:30 AM and Sunday at 10:30 AM (championship Sunday)… I’m not sure if I got much of anything for anyone so we might have to chalk 2022 up to Life and Death… So, for life I apologize, I had the best of intentions… for death, my step mom, Sue, was a wonderful woman. Remarkable that she chose to take on a single dad with a seven year old son. They never had any other kids, just me… and she was my dad’s everything. She is missed, will be missed and taken too soon but she’s no longer in any pain or suffering. We were blessed to have her in our lives for the time we did.
I know when you do something long enough bad things happen in the world and statistics of “life” will have an impact on you, we all hope and pray “not us” but we are not immune to the facts of life. Baseball, Little League is supposed to a celebration of life, the All Stars, celebration of success and achievement… however I’ve been involved with this tournament for so long that we have seen tremendous tragedy over the years. People we all know and love, gone… this year we had another and I’m simply speechless. Grig McCoy, a former Washoe Little League All Star, student at Galena High School, a kid I photographed… this isn’t supposed to happen. The plan is your parents buy photos of you and when you’re old, you share them with your kids and grandkids. That’s the plan. That’s the joy I want to try to bring to the world with my work. May Grig Rest In Peace and may God watch over his family and give them comfort in this difficult time.
It’s very cliche-ish but we all get “touched” with it at some point in our lives, life is precious, there is no tomorrow so live today. Hug your loved one’s and cherish the time you do have.
I hope to see you all soon.
Behind the Lens…