I have written earlier (here to be precise) about how I was on the road when Operation Desert Storm began. Because of where I was, I missed watching this event unfold on television.
That time in January of 1991 is not the only time I missed out on a historical event because I was on the road.
These are those other stories.
In October 3, 1990 I was travelling east and was located in Iowa somewhere between Council Bluffs and Avoca when East Germany and West Germany formally reunited into the Germany it is today.
A staple of my geopolitical world – the division of Germany into the capitalist West and the communist East – was gone in the stroke of a pen while I was in my car on Interstate 80 probably near Minden, Iowa.
In a previous post (here to be precise), I can tell you that the events that led up to me discovering my favorite phase of the moon happened on October 15, 1988.
I know this because, on the next morning, I turned on the TV to see the highlights of the previous night’s World Series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers (Go Blue!) and the Oakland Athletics (Boo!).
The highlight (and please note the use of the singular noun) was a The Natural-esque retelling (complete with Vin Scully narration) of Kirk Gibson’s (now legendary) pinch-hit, bottom-of-the-ninth, two-out, full-count, walk-off, limp-around-the-bases, pump-you-arms homerun against ace A’s reliever Dennis Eckersley.
While I enjoyed a microwave burrito in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin, I was missing out on a making of a baseball myth.
Well, I did get a favorite moon phase out of that day so perhaps I should count my blessing (and please note the use of the singular noun).
Twenty-five years ago this week my good friend (Bill) and I were somewhere driving in western New York state trying to find our way to Cooperstown. We were beginning our dream trip of seeing a game in every Major League Baseball stadium and we thought there was no better way to kick off this pilgrimage than at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Our issue at the moment was that the road to Cooperstown is not well marked so we were…”lost” is such a harsh word…so I’ll just say that Bill and I were “geographically ambiguous”.
We were navigating our way around the inner part of the Empire State when we heard over the radio the announcer break into the broadcast to declare that rioting had broken out in the city of Los Angeles. The unrest had broken out in the City of Angels after a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.
Like Desert Storm, the radio would be our only guide as to what was happening until we finally made our hotel and we could turn on a television to see the images coming out of L.A.
Those were those other stories.
Suffice it to say that if you hear I am going on a road trip…keep your eyes on the news.
P.S. Why was in Iowa? Well, that’s a story for another day.