Like the side of my house here in Plainview, my mind is flooded with ideas of what to write in this week’s column. While April’s showers will certainly bring May’s flowers, my old friends at the Plainview Baseball Association must be pulling their hair out trying to reschedule all of the game cancellations due to unplayable conditions at the fields.
My son Zachary and I played for a team sponsored by a local chiropractor in our T-Ball season. Thirteen 5-year-olds jumping up and down in the field either trying to stay warm, crossing their legs one way, then the other; trying to delay the inevitable need to “relieve” themselves in the bushes.
At 9 years old, and with a strong team, we overcame the less than intimidating name of our sponsor (a still popular nursery school and camp), on Old Country Road. We won the championship that season.
In those years, the name of the sponsor was printed on the baseball caps. While I was a board member of PBA, we began giving out plaques to our town sponsors in lieu of printing their names on the caps. It made the thousand or so boys and girls involved in our town’s intramural program look more uniform. Everyone wore the same baseball cap, and a team colored shirt with Plainview in script letters across the chest.
From my converted garage office, and the traverses about town; I’ve spotted a sure sign of spring’s approach. The landscaping trucks abound. Not with snowplows attached to the front of their trucks. Instead, the skillful crews of mostly Hispanic men readying our precious patches of lawn on which soccer balls will be kicked back and forth, dads will throw baseballs with their sons and daughters, and toddlers will feel and smell the aroma of freshly cut grass as they stumble onto their knees and “took-kisses” for the first time.
I received the yearly package from the guidance office at POBJFKHS. Inside are 40 or so essays written by graduating seniors. Each year, the Plainview Police Activity League offers graduating seniors who have participate in one or more of PAL’s programs the opportunity to receive some scholarship money by expressing in a brief essay why PAL was important to their youthful POB experience.
The scholarship awards are presented at a packed high school auditorium for “Senior Awards Assembly.” This year’s event is scheduled for June 7. At least 100 of POBJFKHS best, brightest, most improved and most involved, are honored in front of their family and friends. The graduating seniors sit somewhat nervously on stage waiting to hear their name called by the multitude of presenters; who are there representing various civic groups, local businesses and families who have established scholarships commemorating a former POBJFKHS student or teacher who has passed away.
Upon arriving at the event the students know only that they will be receiving at least one award. They are not notified as to which award they will be receiving, or if they will be receiving multiple awards. Many of the students are honored with more than one scholarship.
As you can imagine, there are many wonderful, prideful moments at a occasions such as the “Senior Awards Assembly.” Remembrances of students and faculty that have died can often times bring tears to your eyes and a lump in your throat.
Before you know it, May 1 will be upon us. The date is generally accepted as the latest possible time for graduating seniors to offer their commitments to colleges where they’ve been accepted. While many of POB’s seniors will have already made that commitment; I am sure there are some families out there that are sitting around the dining room table examining, analyzing, and strategizing about which scholarships make sense, which school offers the most bang for the buck, and where will the educational and social experience fit best with their graduate.
As you drive by Washington Avenue Park and notice a baseball game being played on our premier tournament field; pull into the park for a couple of minutes and watch a half inning of our young neighbors joyously running around the bases.
Go into the fridge and bring out a couple of bottles of Poland Spring for the men crew cutting your lawn to perfection.
Dream if you will, about the night you’ll arrive at the high school to see your son or daughter be recognized for their special gift(s). Listen closely to the presenters who are honoring their loved one who is no longer able to see and smell the scents and scenes of spring.
The rebirth is here, enjoy.