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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Remembering back

In the 1950's the first neighborhood I grew up in was populated by young families most of whom moved to the DC suburbs from small towns in rural areas.  They retained many of the habits from their backgrounds including relying on Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs for many purchases.

Browsing through these catalogs was a wonder for a small boy.  I remember microscopes, telescopes, musical instruments, fishing rods, guns, and various toys.  Ladies' underwear was of interest but not to extent it would be when I was older.  However of all items, I was positively obsessed with the baseball gloves offered for sale.  I can still picture the two page spread of the various models each bearing the autograph of a major league player.

A baseball glove may not have been the first item purchased for me, but it was far and away the most important in my world.  I was no doubt given certain parameters concerning price, and I would have devoted hours in making my final selection.  Soon after my mother called in the order, I questioned her and realized to my horror that she purchased a glove intended for left-handers.  She made the mistake because the description stated it was to be worn on the right hand which she concluded would be correct for a right-hander like me.  I had to explain to her that since I threw with my right hand the proper glove would be on my left hand.  She answered that she always thought you catch with both hands and performed her version of the motion which was, of course, beside the point and probably angered me because my emotions would have been on edge enough as it was.  A nightmarish vision was coming into my boy-brain of having to take off the glove to throw the ball after each catch.

Naturally, the correction was made, and I eventually received the correct glove, but the delay must have been excruciating at age 8 or 9.  I think a number of mothers must have made the same error because the next year the wording in the catalog was expanded to specifically describe that a certain glove was for right-handers to wear on the left hand.

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