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Archives: Like a bridge over troubled water

It’s been a while and I’m sitting in a press box waiting for a high school football game to start, so I thought I’d revisit the old blog archives.

This one was a pretty popular post from May 15, 2007. It was when I had been dating Manny Ramirez (Man-Ram) for about a month.

For those that need a refresher, Man-Ram was the first girl I dated right after my divorce from Prior.

Why the name Man-Ram? Man-Ram is a blast to have on your team at first and is very impressive at the plate. He’s also bat shit crazy.

However, this blog is more about an upcoming road trip with Man-Ram, rather than Man-Ram herself. Enjoy.

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Like a bridge over troubled water…

So as all my faithful readers know, I had plans to get away with Man-Ram on Saturday and see one of her favorite bands in concert — the Old 97s.

The band usually comes to Houston once a year, and she missed out on seeing them last month, choosing to go out on our first date. <EN: Looking back on this, her missing the concert for a first date was very surprising.> So when I found out they were coming to New Braunfels (about three hours from Houston) I decided I wanted to make a road trip out of it and take her to the concert.

Early in the week when I was making the schedule, it appeared as though it wouldn’t affect the section at all to have me take the day off. All of our baseball and softball playoff games were being played on Thursday and Friday, and I had sent Corey to Austin to cover the state track meet and the private school softball championship game.

But then the weather started to mess up plans a bit. On Thursday, I traveled to Huffman, about an hour north away from where I live, to cover a one-game baseball playoff involving our last county team still in the postseason. But the game was stopped after the first inning because of lightening and rescheduled for Friday night.

The delay was a little frustrating, because this game was being played in the middle of nowhere, but no big deal. I’d just drive back the next day to cover the game. However, on my way to the game Friday, I got a call on my cell phone from my stringer photographer telling me it was delayed another day because the field was still wet from the storm on Thursday.

<EN: I think the real reason the game was delayed is because the other team was hoping Texas City would be distracted on Saturday due to its prom later that night.>

Now this is starting to be a problem, seeing as the game was scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Huffman. Originally, 1 p.m. was the time ManRam and I had decided to leave Houston.

So I drove back to the island and started scramble mode to find a stringer to cover the game. I couldn’t get a hold of my best stringer, meaning I had to find another solution. I decided to call Richard, who isn’t a great writer, but is normally reliable for getting the basics.

Seeing as the game was being played so far away, I offered him a sweet deal, including money for mileage and lunch.

“No problem,” he said.

Disaster averted…or so I thought.

****

I woke up at 9 a.m. on Saturday to the sound of my phone ringing. Who could possibly be calling me that early in the morning?

It was Richard.

“I hate to do this to you and I’m really embarrassed about this, but I can’t cover the game today,” he said.

WHAT? WHY?

“Well in the past few weeks, I seem to have developed a phobia for driving across bridges over bodies of water. It’s really embarrassing, but I had a panic attack crossing a bridge today. There’s no way for me to get to the game without driving over a bridge, so I can’t cover it.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? COULD I HAVE ANY WORSE LUCK? WHO SUDDENLY DEVELOPS A FEAR OF BRIDGES FOR NO REAL REASON?

<EN: There are some crazy bridges in the Houston area, but still…>

Now finding another stringer to cover a game an hour away on this short of notice is impossible. By the time 10:30 rolled around, I knew I had no choice but to cover the game myself.

I reluctantly called Man-Ram to tell her I wouldn’t be able to pick her up until 4 p.m. I was pleasantly relieved when she told me that she understood completely and wasn’t upset at all.

Did I mention how great this girl is?

<EN: Did I mention what an idiot I was?>

Anyways, I quickly took a shower and hopped in the car and drove to the game. My photographer was surprised to see me show up and the game and I told him what had happened. He could tell I was NOT happy.

At this point, I don’t care who wins the game. I just want a quick game so I can write my story and make it to Man-Ram’s on time. And the Texas City Stings delivered for me!

Picking up the game in the second inning when it was stopped, Texas City’s ace pitcher allowed just one hit the rest of the game, inducing nine ground ball outs. The game was over by 2:30 p.m. and by then, I already had half my story written.

I talked to the coach and a few players, raced back to my car, and finished my story from there. My photographer was nice enough to stick around until I finished, so I could give him my story on a flash drive, instead of worrying about finding a place with wireless internet.

<EN: This was before I sent an email to the publisher demanding we get wireless internet cards because it was embarrassing we had to rely on others to stick around in order to send our stories.>

By 2:50 p.m., I was done with my story and on my way to ManRam’s. Thankfully I only ended up being about 15 minutes late because of traffic.

+++

The rest of the blog is kind of boring. ManRam and I went to the concert, had a good time, yada, yada, yada.

On a sad note, Richard died about a year and a half ago. My buddy Melissa, always one for tact, asked if he had a heart attack while crossing a bridge. I laughed. I’m probably going to hell.

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

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About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

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Friendly message from the postman that was left on my door. #YouveGotMail #RollTide Great scene at Concord Bridge - free BBQ and supply dropoff for a neighborhood flooded during the storm. #HoustonStrong #RollTide Proof that we have been surviving the storm. #Harvey #BeerMe Mandatory #Houston sunshine photo. Great to see after the past four days. This is the retention pond behind our neighborhood which is protecting our homes from being flooded. Earlier this week it was empty. Now there is more than 10-feet of water in it. It actually went down a bit this afternoon when we got a slight break from the rain. It can still hold another 12 or so feet before it goes over its bank. Hopefully it can hang in there the next few days.
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