Last night when the O's clinched the AL East Division Championship (did I say that right?) I kept seeing the year 1997. "Seventeen years is a long time..." began many a tweet. Something about that year rang a bell. 1997.
Oh, yeah. September of 1997 is when I met this guy.
He had long hair tied back in a ponytail, wore a leather jacket, drove a fast car, and sang counter-tenor in the professional choir at Grace and St. Peter's Church in Baltimore. I was new. He stood behind me in the choir stalls and helped me navigate my way through the complex, high-church liturgy.
Yes, seventeen years is a long time. Long enough for a courtship (beginning approximately 11/98) marriage (11/99) birth (11/00) and many other celebrations, most notably Alice and George's wedding on 9/16/12.
Wait--was this post supposed to be about baseball? Well, maybe. One thing I didn't know back in September of 1997 was how much this guy loved baseball. Over the last seventeen years I have watched him practice tuba while watching baseball, practice harp mournfully as they went down to defeat, practice banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar--all with the O's. Now he is writing a book while watching Orioles baseball.
For Oriole's fans, the last seventeen years now seem perfectly framed as the wait for last night, the wait for a sweet, sweet victory. It's Orioles Magic. For me last night's win was a reminder of the blessings of the last seventeen years, knowing and loving the rocker-teacher-baseball guy who has brought my life such joy.
Baseball seasons come and go. The love of home team goes on forever.