Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day One Hundred

Satchel Paige came to the Lost Quarter, it is true, barnstorming through those vast, arid plains. In those days baseball was the only game of summer and every little town along every rail line hosted tournaments for any team to attend. All the greats, banished from the major leagues, came north for exhibitions of their talent.

I met a man, an old rancher with a protruding gut, who still spoke with awe of the time he witnessed Satchel Paige pitch, of meeting and speaking with the great man himself.

I often wonder what those barnstormers thought of their journeys to the Quarter, of the games they played and the feats they performed in front of hundreds when they should have been before tens of thousands. The trips were arduous, even in those days of rail lines, the ways not always the same. As now, there was never any guarantee that a way back home would be open to them.

1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords: Satchel Paige, top row, third from left.

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