The Story Hall
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The Story Hall

Swimming With the Enemy — Keeping a Balance

Photo Credit — Alex Wigan, c/o

Another dream, still vivid in my mind upon awakening. It felt so real, the feeling of it lingered into my waking moments. It felt significant, though the details of it don’t reveal any significance to me upon examination — it seems more like a movie I watched, or was a part of, but can’t find the connection that would make it significant in any way.

I was on a mission. The enemy, which in the dream was the Germans, so I’m guessing the dream was sort of a World War II movie-dream, was planning a sneak attack on the town where I lived. They were across a body of water, but they were coming over in boats and swimming, in the dark of night.

My mission was to act like I was one of them, and swim with them across the water, then report their position back to my people, upon arrival in the town. I guess I looked like them, and since I was swimming, I didn’t really have to talk, which was good, since I didn’t know any German.

Photo — Ivan Slade,

I kept hoping none of them would say anything to me, so I wouldn’t be discovered as a spy. I wasn’t worried, though. There was a part of me that understood that I was protected — maybe by the fact that it was a dream, or maybe just a movie I was in? Fortunately, I remained undetected.

Once we arrived in the town, they seemed like they were able to blend right in, and seemed like they belonged there. I quickly broke away, and went up the hill to the central command, where I reported that they were here, but were blending in with the other townsfolk. That’s when I awoke.

I was covered in sweat, which might have helped with the feeling that I was still in the dreamscape, wet from my swim across the water.

On a completely different subject, I got out to my first ballgame of the year, yesterday, with a couple of friends. It was an ideal day for a ballgame, warm but not too hot, very low humidity, and bright blue skies. My companions were two of my better friends from the local AA community.

We were treated to a great game — the home team won 18–3, an absurd score for a baseball game, but enjoyable when your team is the one on top. I enjoyed the time spent with friends even more than the game. One of them is a real civil war buff, one who has taken me on two battlefield tours of Gettysburg, one of the most knowledgable people I know on the Civil War. The other is a lawyer who has traveled in some high powered circles, but who is one of the nicest, and humblest, people I know.

Both are friends I consider myself lucky to have. The lawyer hadn’t heard my Pete Rose hat story before, so the other one insisted that I tell it to him. I don’t know why, but I always start out reluctant to tell it — maybe a part of me worries that, this time, it will finally flop — but, once I get going with it, it’s always a hit, and this time was no exception. He loved it.

It just so happened that our Nationals were playing the Reds, the team Pete Rose played on when I stole his hat, now 52 years ago. I did scope out the visitors dugout area, and noted that it would be much harder to steal a player’s hat these days, than it was in 1965. The consequences would probably be much worse today, than then, as well. I’ll just have to be content that that was a one-and-done act, and keep living off the royalties of being able to tell the story, which lives on, and seems to get better with time.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts — remember when we had a president that cared about the performing, and other, arts?

Today we will be attending a play at the Kennedy Center — we’re having brunch at the rooftop café before the show.

In between all this leisure-time activity, I’ve been working this weekend, reviewing 29 applications and resumes for a critical director job I’m filling. I had considered not going to the ballgame yesterday, and just staying home to review the applications — but thought better of that. I have all week to review the ones I haven’t done, yet.

I think I’ll take my time, and keep on living my life, instead of letting work overtake my weekend. I have a pretty good balance going on in my life — why mess with it now? It takes work to keep from becoming a workaholic. I keep working at it!



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Hawkeye Pete Egan B.

Hawkeye Pete Egan B.

Connecting the dots. Storytelling helps me to make sense of this world, and of my life. I love writing and reading. Writing is like breathing, for me.