Sunday, July 30, 2017

PWP Writers Alley: Reflections on Flint and Hartford...Yard Goats? By Gerry "Downtown" Brown. Ok, he's my dad!

Contributed by Gerry "Downtown Brown" of West Hartford, Connecticut, formerly of Flint, Mi.

It's about 6: AM on a Thursday in June. I can only see the Sun's rays outside on the grass outside my window. It would seem the local weather people were right. Sunny and less humid.

As I lay in my bed my mind wanders from thoughts of Boston's blown game Wednesday night to thoughts of what I shall have for breakfast. Then for no reason at all, my thoughts move to the Hartford Yard Goats.

I think of it as such a terrible name, surely I could have done much better.

A "Yard Goat" we were told is a locomotive used in freight yards to move box cars into place. Huh? One of the goat mascots is named "Chew Chew." Come on!

I started to think hard, real hard. Let's see - animals. Hartford Bisons-Hartford Hyenas. Uh, uh! Hartford Walrus's! Nah! Hartford Elephants. Uh, uh!

Then my thoughts turn to my adopted city of Flint, Michigan where I spent many wonderful years raising a family and owning a business.

They were good years-coaching Little League Baseball and sand lot football. Great friends-Mike and Kay-Bob and Doris-Barbera and Ben-Al and Sheila. Good times! Flint was at it's Zenith! General Motors was huge. Full employment. Buick Head Quarters. Buick Assembly, Chevrolet engine - truck manufacturing. Delco. Flint was thriving. Perhaps 50,000 in the auto industry. This was in the 60's and 70's.

Then Bam! General Motors pulls out. The documentary movie Roger and Me, which portrayed Flint's downfall, by local native Michael Moore and I'm back in Connecticut. Hartford is an insurance city. How about the Hartford Underwriters? Terrible! The Hartford Premiums- Uh, uh!

Then I finally get it! The Hartford Gorillas - perfect. Can't you see the sports page? Hartford Gorillas take on the Richmond Flying Squirrels - whoa! Wait a minute. Even better. Yeah great! The Hartford "Silver Backs."

The press releases would be outstanding. The mascot would be none other than "King Kong." Wow!

Then my thoughts go back to the Yankees of the late 30's and early 40's. Thoughts of Charlie "King Kong" Keller. King Kong Keller lives again!

Now you tell me- The Hartford Yard Goats or the Hartford "Silver Backs?" No contest.

Writer is 87 years old.

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