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Published: November 21st 2007
Rain Delay in Kaunas
spending some quality time in Donatas' sweet ride (from left to right: Donatas, Vilius, Tadas).
I was on the hill for game 1 of the Lithuanian finals. The weather was horrible--lots of wind, lots of rain, very cold. Kaunas stadium can sometimes give you the feeling that you are on top of the world. The clouds are right above you, there are few trees around, not much protection from the weather--in short, you feel like you are in the clouds, on a mountain summit perhaps.
The rain stopped play numerous times throughout the day, and it is in fact a miracle that we completed the game. Twice we ran out onto the field ready to play, the umpire positioned himself behind the plate and yelled 'play ball', and then realized he had forgotten his mask in his car. He would call time and run to his car, as we all waited patiently on the field.
I pitched game 1 giving up two early runs, then settling in to pitch a good game. Virmidas was on the hill for Logipolija. We won the game 4-3. The highlight of the game was a two-run shot to left field, a home run hit by Shakylas. We won 4-3.
Game 2 was played the following day in Vilnius.
Marijus Dargus was on the hill for us, and Kazimieras Glaveckas pitched for Logipolija. Kaziz, like always, had nothing better than his flat fastball and his lazy curveball but somehow managed to hold us to only five runs (we won 5-1). In fact we hit the ball much harder and better the previous day, but managed to score less runs.
In the 8th inning Algimantas, the father of the twins, handed me a cup of tea from his thermos. From one whiff I could tell that this was not normal tea, but a special 'sportsmans' brew' he had whipped up for me. A bit of whisky to give it a bite. I drank it down (on a cold day outside warm tea just feels great) and went to take my place in the on-deck circle. I flied out to center field that at-bat.
On the ride home we stopped for lunch at the 'Namukas,' the little bar/snack shack just outside Vilnius overlooking a beautiful lake where we always stop to get food on the way home. We jokingly called this a 'hooliganas bar' because there are always a bunch of guys in tight black pants, black shirts, shaved heads, sitting
Kaunas and Family
The team, plus all the fans who made to trek to Vilnius for the game.
around smoking cigarettes and drinking vodka. Mafiosos.
The following weekend we won the final game of the championship, and were Lithuanian Champions. Here are a few pictures. 😊
Sitting and sipping our flavored alcohol drinks, Viktorija and I discussed life and my upcoming book that I have yet to write (or plan to write). We were seated on a metal rail, near a grassy patch just off Viktorija’s street, on the bend in the street in a place well-positioned to view the cars passing by. Viktorija tells me that this is where the tough guys sit and drink beer and watch the cars go by. To our right is an old funeral home, to our left is a small patch of woods that through to the other side bumps up against highway A1 that leadswwe from the capital to the coast, the highway and woods marking the outer limits of the city of Kaunas.
Other days we sit at the concrete base of a billboard on top of a hill overlooking highway A1, more specifically the bridge crossing the Namunas river and heading through Silainiai, passing by Mega on the right (a big ‘Mega’mall), Devintas Fortas (an old
soviet military fort-turned-jewish prison-turned-museum and foreign occupation memorial) on the left, and heading out of town.
We discussed whether it is enough to write about a different place, to critique and observe it, or whether this is using. If it is better to get involved, to do something to create change in the community where you are staying. Our conversation was much more articulate and profound than this. When you read this later, will, write some more thoughts on this.
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