THE WAY IT IS: Cheers to a simpler time

When I woke up Saturday morning, the first thing I saw was country music great Kenny Rogers had passed away.

Geez 2020, can you cut us some slack?

To say the past week and a half have been tough, would be an understatement.

It started with the coronavirus pandemic which has led to deaths, cancellations, folks losing their jobs, added stress, and many more things.

Two of my friends also lost loved ones during the time frame and I was hoping Saturday would be a time to allow myself along with everyone, to sit back, relax (even for a few minutes), and breathe.

It’s a tough time for everyone, but I do believe it will get better, hopefully, sooner rather than later.

So where am I going with this column?

The death of Kenny Rogers reminded me of one of his greatest songs he sang. No, not “The Gambler”, but maybe a song that most have forgotten about.

It’s a song that mirrors my childhood during spring and summer.

A time of innocence.

A simpler time when I had no worries other than hoping that it wouldn’t rain the following day, so I could take my beloved whiffle ball bat and whiffle ball and pretend that I was Dale Murphy for hours on end.

It was my getaway as a kid.

Nothing else mattered.

I’d get up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday and play until dark, all by myself while keeping all of the Atlanta Braves’ stats that I accumulated that day, in my head to be written down that night.

When Kenny Rogers released “The Greatest” in 1999, I was able to relive a part of my childhood. The song fits me to a T.

Over the years, I forgot about the song. Everyday life, combined with working two jobs and being a husband and father, has kept me extremely busy.

Add the past week and a half, and what has come with it, and honestly, I don’t think I can remember much of anything right now without actually taking a break and putting my thinking cap on.

So when I found out about Kenny Rogers’ death, I was saddened, and a few minutes later, I remembered “The Greatest”.

I went back and listened to it on YouTube and for a few minutes, everything seemed normal and life seemed simple again. It was the greatest feeling I’ve had in a long while.

Even if it were for just a few minutes, it allowed me to close my eyes, feel good, stress-free, and for that, I thank you, Kenny Rogers.

I needed it ... heck, everyone needs it during these trying times. So for the folks that haven’t listened to the song, take a break, Google it, take a breath, relax and listen. The good ole days aren’t that far away.

Listed below are the lyrics:

Little Boy, in a baseball hat

Stands in the field with his ball and bat

Says I am the greatest player of them all

Puts his bat on his shoulder and he tosses up his ball

And the ball goes up and the ball comes down

Swings his bat all the way around

The world's so still you can hear the sound

The baseball falls to the ground

Now the little boy doesn't say a word

Picks up his ball, he is undeterred

Says I am the greatest there has ever been

And he grits his teeth and he tries it again

And the ball goes up and the ball comes down

Swings his bat all the way around

The world's so still you can hear the sound

The baseball falls to the ground

He makes no excuses, He shows no fears

He just closes his eyes and listens to the cheers

Little boy, in a baseball hat

Picks up his ball, stares at his bat

Says I am the greatest the game is on the line

And he gives his all one last time

And the ball goes up like the moon so bright

Swings his bat with all his might

And the world's so still as still can be

And the baseball falls, and that's strike three

Now it's supper time and his mama calls

Little Boy starts home with his bat and ball

Says I am the greatest that is a fact

But even I didn't know I could pitch like that

He says I am the greatest that is understood

But even I didn't know I could pitch that good.

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