The City That Wanted to Hate

Reggie Jackson and surviving old Birmingham

Terry Barr
Counter Arts

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Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

Baseball is a funny game. Slow, full of errors and sometimes officiated by corrupt umpires. It is “America’s Pastime” in unintended ways, and I get that especially these days because players still gamble when they shouldn’t — even on their own teams — , and they also inject themselves with “muscle-builders” and get banned when caught.

We have to get an advantage over others to win in this field of opportunity dreams.

It feels like an old story I experienced. Once, I saw a rat at our student canteen. I think the staff easily got rid of the offensive creature, and I know my students sighed with relief. Until I asked them if they thought the rat was a lone rogue, somehow having broken off from its pack of rat brothers and sisters.

For every one you see or catch…

I do love baseball, in the sense that it’s been a part of my life ever since I can remember. But not everything that’s a part of our lives forever has or can nurture or comfort us.

I grew up near Birmingham, Alabama, and I can say with all honesty and pain that racism has always been a part of my life. I’m white and half-Jewish, so on one major level, I have not been the victim of racism, though I have heard plenty of anti-Jewish slurs, and…

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Terry Barr
Counter Arts

I write about music, culture, equality, and my Alabama past in The Riff, The Memoirist, Prism and Pen, Counter Arts, and am an editor for Plethora of Pop.