Posts Tagged With: seafood

A Cold Day for Clemson Baseball in Rhode Island

A Cold Day for Clemson Baseball in Rhode Island (and an Excellent Day for Gamecock Basketball in New York City)

Yesterday, March 24, the fourth day of Spring, I drove to Kingston, Rhode Island, from New Canaan, Connecticut, to watch Clemson University play Boston College in baseball. Boston College’s home field was a mess, we were told, so the game was moved to the University of Rhode Island.

As a Clemson fan and a baseball fan, this was close enough for me, a two-hour drive, each direction. I took the day off and headed up I-95 to watch a 1 p.m. game. We were having a warm spell, about 39 degrees with a wind chill making it 30ish. I wore long underwear, a beautiful orange and white checked Clemson Tiger Paw shirt nobody ever saw, a pullover Clemson jacket, an L. L. Bean outer coat, a Scottish wool scarf with some orange in it, a Clemson baseball hat, a Clemson stocking cap, and some New England rated winter gloves. It was not enough.

The University of Rhode Island has 16,000 students compared to Clemson’s 21,000. The town of Kingston is much smaller than Clemson, however. You must drive on a sorry two-lane road to get there. Intended ironically, considering the size of the state, the campus theme was BIG, as in “Think Big.”

My buddy Larry Abernathy, who was Mayor of Clemson for 28 years, went with Clemson City Council members to other small towns (with major Universities) around the US to compare town and gown experiences. I’m glad he never wasted time in Kingston. Clemson does town-and-gown about as well possible, thanks to a good mayor and fine Clemson Presidents, especially R. C. Edwards, Jim Barker and Jim Clements.

The baseball game was scheduled for one p.m. but was mysteriously postponed for an hour because of weather. So I walked around the hilly Rhode Island campus to get in a three-mile walk. Much smaller campus than Clemson, but with a very traditional quadrangle and granite buildings. A few modern buildings. Nothing very exciting. Not very Big.

The baseball “stadium” was a joke, not Big, so I can’t imagine how bad the Boston College field must be to have the game transferred to Kingston. The smallest high schools in South Carolina have more seating. The field was green and nice enough, but one small set of movable aluminum stands was all that existed for the fans. A few brought their own folding chairs and the rest of us stood and walked around to stay warm.

When the sleet finally started (yes, you read that correctly) at 2 p.m., the umpires said, “Play ball,” and the game was on. Clemson is the better team, ranked number six in the nation right now. The collegiate national player of the year, Seth Beer, is an outfielder for Clemson. I met his parents who were there in the cold to cheer their son and Clemson. We had two runs after four batters. After two innings we had five runs. Final score was 8-2. Attendance was announced as 107 but that may have included both teams.

After the game, I found a beautiful, old, local bookstore and bought a couple of John D. MacDonald novels, then drove to the coast, just a few miles away, for some seafood. The bookstore owner had called ahead for me to make sure her favorite restaurant was open: Champlin’s. It was. This is a fish-camp, picnic-table type establishment, and, since March is off-season, I had the entire place to myself. I watched the fish and lobster boats return to the Galilee Port in Narragansett. I ordered fried oysters and fried scallops, more grease than I’ve had in six months. I paid for it on the two-hour drive home with a tummy that was desperately unhappy.

When I retuned to my apartment, my day ended with watching the University of South Carolina Gamecocks obliterate the Baylor Bears. It was a nice ending to a cold winter New England day.

Categories: Baseball, Holiday, Humor, South Carolina, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Days Four through Six: Family and Lobsters

            The primary purpose of this trip was to take a leisurely trip up North to see my youngest daughter Julie and her husband Tom.  They live right outside of Boston.  Since I retired in February, I had the time to be unhurried.  I chose to do some meandering along the way.

            Anybody who knows me knows the importance of my family, my wife and two daughters, my sons-in-law and my grandson.  So everything else on this trip was just frosting on the cake.  This expedition was ultimately about going to see Julie and Tom!

            I was able to have her old bicycle tires repaired and loaded into my car for the trip to Massachusetts.  I took her a plant that is a grandchild of our friend Fuzzy’s Schefflera.  I took a car full of this and that.  Some of it will now live in her basement instead of our attic, but that’s okay, too. 

            Tom and Julie have scoped out the best eating places in suburban Boston, and we had two great meals in nearby restaurants.  The 400 Restaurant and Bar must spend it’s money on food instead of signage, because 99 out of 100 tourists would drive right by this place.  But the cuisine was top drawer.  I can’t swear that the fish were swimming in the ocean the night before, but each of us was very happy with our seafood meals.  The next night we ate at the Waban Kitchen, another nondescript eatery, but we had to sit at the bar because there was no room anywhere else. 

Two great meals were bookends for a magnificent lunch of freshly harvested lobster.  Tom’s Dad and his family, live in Newburyport, MA, and always welcomes us with open opens.  This trip, he took Julie, Tom and me out on his boat to check his lobster traps.  Never ever done anything like this, and I loved it!  First we fished for some baitfish, and Tom won that contest.  When you pull up the lobster traps, the bait has been eaten.  You need to replace it, so Tom caught some mackerel (I think—what he landed looked like nothing I have ever caught in the creeks and ponds of South Carolina), so we had our bait.  In the traps, we found four eating-size lobsters, but had to put one of them back because she was loaded with eggs.  We took those three lobsters straight to land and Tom’s dad cooked them and we ate them.  Great experience! 

Julie also fixed me banana-blueberry waffles one morning.  Tom fixed homemade ice cream one night.  We ate well. 

Another highlight of this part of the trip was Sunday morning worship.  Julie had met the pastor of the Sherborn United Church of Christ through her singing group.  We went to Sherborn, as it turns out, on Youth Sunday, and loved it.   The church was packed.  The people were excited to be there.  Everything about the morning was good, and I needed that.  (Anyone who thinks that the only people who are enthusiastic about their faith are fundamentalists and conservatives needs to visit this congregation.  There are a lot of more liberal Christian folks who are glad to know that God’s grace extends to all people and not to just the limited few in their circles.)

On that upbeat note, I left town.  Julie’s last week at her old job was that week, and she has now begun a new job, still in the Boston area.  Great visit with two of my favorite people in the world.

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Categories: Family, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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