Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…
I recently received a phone call from a man named Kenneth who reads these little stories I love to share.
Turns out, Kenneth was the unhittable left-handed pitcher from Hurst/Bush that I told you about a while back.
As we talked about our old baseball days, Kenneth asked if I remembered a guy sliding into third base. Oh, do I. In fact, I still carry the scar from that slide on my left leg.
Well, it turns out that the kid who slid his spikes into my shin… was Kenneth.
He chuckled and told me he did not spike me on purpose, but he does remember the tag I put on him.
I remember it, too. Kenneth was trying to steal third. And our catcher – my good buddy Wayne Corzine – jumped up from behind home plate and fired a laser to me at third base.
As I protected the bag, his coach yelled, “Slide! Slide!”
The ball lodged in the webbing of my glove as I swiped to my left. Shaaawooom! I tagged him good.
He tagged me good, too. His spikes left a two-inch washboard scar on my left leg.
That was the first time I met Kenneth. But it wouldn’t be the last.
Years later, Kenneth and I crossed paths at the Doughboy statue in downtown Herrin.
Kenneth is a Vietnam Veteran. His daughter worked for Herrin Security Bank at the time. It goes by a different name now.
The Bank helped foot the bill for a book called “Welcome Home” that was published by Herrin High School a few years back.
As I recall, the book featured stories from 24 area veterans. Kenneth and I were both honored to be included in the book.
Kenneth J. Robinson was a Seabee in the Navy from 1966 to 1968. You can find him on pages 113 and 114.
It’s wonderful to reconnect with a man like Kenneth. We may have been combatants on the baseball diamond, but the war made us brothers.
Even though we served in different branches of the military, we have a bond.
All veterans have a bond.
And I think there’s an even greater connection among Vietnam veterans.
Today, I salute Kenneth and all of my fellow veterans who have served, defended, and protected our great nation.
Happy Veteran’s Day.
Thanks for readin’…
P.S. – If you ever get a chance to read the book “Welcome Home,” you should do it. It’s out of print, but I hear the Herrin City Library has a copy you can peruse.