Albeit late, I’d like to wish all of you a very happy Independence Day. I hope you spent the holiday weekend enjoying friends, family, and the beautiful weather.
Me? Well, I was insulted. Sorta.
I was enjoying the weekend, minding my own business, listening to my mom tell everyone (again) about how she just finished reading a book (trust me, this is a big deal), when my sister looks at me and says, “You made her like sports and books…You made her boring.”
Now, certainly, I didn’t make her anything. Although I will take some credit for helping make her more knowledgeable about sports. But I most certainly did not make her boring – as if liking sports and books could in fact cause such a catastrophic character flaw.
At first, I was confused. Then later, when my sister repeated the comment, I was ticked. Finally, when the dust settled and my sister stopped repeating what she obviously thought was a funny little quip, I was inspired to write. I have always embraced my nerdiness (which is not a characteristic synonymous with boring), and I was recently reminded that my love of both reading and of sports can go hand in hand quite beautifully.
I just finished Josh Wilker’s book Cardboard Gods. I highly recommend it. Wilker gives us a little blast from his past as his memory meanders through his childhood and beyond while he looks through a box of baseball cards collected from 1975-1980. The lives of the “Cardboard Gods,” as he calls them, become intricately and almost inexplicably intertwined with Wilker’s own in this collection of sequential stories. Of course, all this mixing and mingling happens at the comfortable and relatable distance of a fan. And, even for this fan who has never collected baseball cards (although did make her very first and only QVC purchase way back when to purchase a whole box of basketball cards) and wasn’t even alive when any of the players mentioned first appeared on a Topps pocket-sized portfolio, this book registered with me. I could feel the enthusiasm and excitement conveyed in the pages of a fellow sports fan’s stories.
I don’t know, maybe it’s because I like sports; maybe it’s because I like books. It’s definitely not because I’m boring. But if you like sports or books or a fellow sports fan with a wicked sense of sarcasm and some really good stories to share, you’ll like Cardboard Gods. You can trust me, or check out Wilker’s website where it all started. (Coincidentally, he posted today, inspired by a card of former Brewer Tim Johnson.) When you do check it out, let me know what you think.
Happy reading, sports fans!