I remember. In fact, I will never forget.
Exactly 40 years ago in the city of Montgomery and at a spot named Patterson Field a hard fought, nail-biting baseball game took place. It was on a late May night as the Ensley High School Yellow Jackets squared off against Montgomery’s mighty Robert E. Lee Generals.
About midway through the game a bony and forgettable Yellow Jacket pitcher toed the rubber and tossed his best pitch to hometown slugger and Lee star, Paul Spivey. The massive whip and crack of the bat from Spivey was deafening and the crowd was wooed as the ball sailed deep into the Montgomery night, over the fence and out of sight. Much to the dismay of the poet, Mighty Casey did not strike out and on this night there was no sadness in Mudville. It was long and gone.
Now slide with me into base 40 years later once again in Montgomery on yet another May night. This time the site is the big field named Wynfield Estates. The occasion is the 50th anniversary celebration of the publication of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. This time the home team is the Alabama Humanities Foundation. The starting lineup of wonderful food and drink, live music, a highly competitive art auction and more than 250 guests were all at home plate, the beautiful home of the late Winton and Carolyn Blount.
The participation of many sponsors, guests, artists and constituents from around the state teamed to generate significant funds to advance the mission of AHF. Proceeds will be targeted to reach all Alabamians, through AHF’s many public programs and initiatives, including those for teachers, students and the public alike. You can read the box score and about all of the details at ahf.net/mockingbird.
Yes, Matilda, 40 years later there remains no sadness in Mudville, as another homerun was hit by AHF. (And perhaps there are more innings to play.)
Written by: Paul L.