by Dan Spoone
ACB is love!!!
It’s very comforting to have my ACB family at a time of crisis. My thoughts and emotions have traveled the complete spectrum over the past few weeks with the wave of coronavirus that has gripped our community. We have seen the best of ourselves with the ability of our creative membership to reach out and connect with our fellow ACB members and friends. The community chats have provided a place for our members to gather and share their hopes, fears and dreams for a safe future. ACB Radio has been a wonderful resource for relevant information and fun, uplifting programs to help keep our positive attitude. The ACB staff has not missed a beat. They are working from home to accomplish their daily tasks, but still answer all phone inquiries and emails in a timely fashion. The ACB convention committee has been spectacular planning the 2020 ACB conference and convention with their quick response to a virtual platform that will provide tremendous support to our members, showcase our sponsors and vendors, engage our special-interest affiliates and create memories that will last a lifetime.
We have all come together in a way that demonstrates our five core values:
- Integrity and honesty
More than ever before, we are living these core values with how we interact with each other and all come together for the good of our blind and visually impaired community.
So, let’s turn our attention to the spring season with its opportunity for renewal, new growth and warm weather. I will take the rest of this article to share with you the fond memories of my favorite spring gardening adventures.
My family did not spend much time in the yard during my formative years. My memories of spring breezes, the smell of fresh grass and the sun in my face were at spring training baseball games at Tinker Field in Orlando, Fla. with my dad.
My dad had a friend that worked for the Minnesota Twins in Orlando and he would invite us to several baseball games each spring. The Twins had several All-Stars with Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Jim Kaat, Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva. We would eat hot dogs, peanuts and have an ice-cold Coke. The best part was getting to throw the peanut shells on the ground without Mom being upset.
At the end of school each year, my grandparents would invite me to spend four to six weeks on their small farm in east Tennessee. They lived in Morristown, which was about 40 miles east of Knoxville in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. My granddad would have a small chicken coop with a bunch of baby chicks. We spent hours planting vegetables in the garden, but by the time I had to go back to Florida they were just beginning to grow. We set up an elaborate croquet course in the big side yard of their house, and all of the relatives would come over on Sunday afternoon and we would play for hours. Once it got dark, my cousins and I would catch fireflies in fruit jars my grandmother gave us with holes poked in the top to give them fresh air. It was a wonderful time.
My granddad and I would listen to the Atlanta Braves baseball games on his radio each night. I still remember the Braves’ announcers, Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson. The Braves had stars like Hank Aaron, Darrell Evans, Dusty Baker and one of the Alou brothers. It was always hard to remember which one. Thinking back, I’m sure this is where I developed my deep love of baseball. I remember how excited my granddad was years later, when the Braves games were broadcast on Superstation 17 thanks to Ted Turner.
It sure seems like a simpler time. My parents would come with my younger sister to Tennessee over the July 4th week and spend time with their parents and relatives. After the fireworks ended, we would head back to Florida. Sometimes, if my sister and I were really good, we would stop at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta and see a live Braves game on the way home. We always stopped. Perhaps my mom and dad wanted to see the game as bad as we did. Come to think of it, my parents might have enjoyed my six weeks in Tennessee as much as I did.
So, let’s remember those wonderful spring days and nights and dream of the wonderful times we will all have in May 2021. “Together for a Bright Future” is our ACB motto on the ACB logo, and these words absolutely fit the spirit of our organization. Please stay safe and connected to your ACB family. We will get through this together.