It's Opening Day and that seems a good starting point for you and I. There will be baseball all day, all over the country. In law school, I'd usually skip classes with a couple of friends and we'd buy beer and watch the games all afternoon.
In all honesty, it has been more difficult than I expected to start writing you. How do you start something like this? With the basics, I guess.
I was born at Rex Hospital in Raleigh in early spring, 1971. I weighed 5 lbs., 4 oz. and had a yellow tone from jaundice. My own sweet grandmother remarked that I was the ugliest baby she had ever seen, that I resembled a plucked chicken. Coincidentally, "Blaine" means yellow in Gaelic.
My mother was 22 years old; my father was 29. Melody and John. We lived, for the first two years of my life, in a little single-wide trailer at the Hi-House Trailer Park in Cary, NC. That trailer park was later bulldozed to make way for Prestonwood Country Club and its golf course. Ashley's mother was a member when we were in high school. We would order food on her mom's account and I would look around the dining room thinking that this very acreage was the home of my earliest times; undoubtedly happy, but times beyond the reach of my memory. I'm sure my parents think of it fondly. We were all so young. There were older boys who would dress me up in an oversized football helmet and play with me on those dusty paths, under a canopy of scrubby pines.
We had a black cat who would watch television on my dad's lap. We had a green VW Beetle. I only remember them from photos.
My parents, in those hopeful days, kept a photo album that was a touchstone for me in my youthful identity formation. Each page had a little "Love Is" cartoon attached, the ones with the two 70s-looking naked people.
One photo is of Halloween at Hi-House Trailer Park. I was dressed as a hobo tramp. I stood proudly over all my candy, a giant wet spot spread over the front of my overalls. It had been an exciting night. The loot spread out on the table was impressive; a mountain of candy. From all that candy, you get a sense that this must have been a pretty nice place to grow up. My memory of it, such that it is, is golden.