Better to Give than Receive….
Those words seemed appropriate this week as one of our admiring fans, Mr. Guy Church, the quiet little man who visits Tobey Park and hangs out with Johnny “Baseball” White, was mugged by a “thug” near his home last week. The thief took “Guy’s” only possession, his 10 speed bicycle, that we noticed he had always been riding up to Tobey.
Guy Church is a gentle kind spirit who has been visiting Tobey Park for over 15 years. I can’t remember when I first noticed Guy at Tobey but I knew him more during the 1990’s when I was playing Men’s Fastpitch Softball. Guy became a huge fan of Men’s Fastpitch Softball. All of the teams knew Guy. Probably not personally, but just a familiar face behind the fence when you were playing one of your games. Guy became most attached to a Men’s team called “The Cobra’s”. They gave him a team jersey and he would wear that shirt every time the Cobra’s played at Tobey. Guy is a man of few words. Sometimes if you spoke to him or asked him a question he would act surprised and would more than likely just shrug his shoulders or wrinkle his face as to say, “I guess so?”
But this year when Guy suddenly showed up at Tobey Park to checkout the HDL, he was pleasantly surprised to find several Ex-Men’s Fastpitch players playing in the HDL. HDL Players such as, Cory Morgan, Johnny Birkenstock, Kevin Nilsen, Andrew Waddell, Kevin High, Kurt Adkison, Johnny Houghton and PW Burnett all remembered Guy and made him feel like he was re-uniting with old friends. I guess I should include myself since Guy remembered me too.
Anyway, back to Guy’s loss. For the past week and a half, Guy had not been at Tobey as regularly as he first was earlier this summer. Last Thursday, August 28th, I was at Tobey and saw Guy walking over to the Baseball field from the direction of the softball fields. I thought it was odd (him walking) but I assumed he had parked his bike across the street. He asked me if there would be any HDL games over Labor Day weekend? I told him, “No games. We will resume games on September 7th.” He never mentioned that his bike had been stolen.
On Labor Day, I was at Tobey and Johnny White had found out about Guy being ripped off. Johnny was very concerned and wanted us to try to contact Guy to see if he was OK and if there was anything we could do to help him. I told Johnny White that when we saw him, I had an extra bike I will be glad to give to him.
Well finally today, as I was talking to Bo McMinn who was on his way to drop off something that Bo also wanted to give to Guy. Johnny and I were surprised to see Bo pull up with Guy Church sitting in his front seat. Guy happened to be walking along Central on his way to Tobey at the same time Bo was arriving. When Johnny White saw Guy he was the happiest he has been for almost a week. Guy acted like it was no big deal but I could tell he appreciated the friendly greetings and acts of concerned kindness that members of the HDL are known for.
A few minutes later, I went home and came back with the Bicycle I had promised. It was a Huffy, traditional, old-school, single speed, coaster brake bike with a wide handlebar and large size seat. Guy took it for a test drive and adapted quickly to the old style ride. He was back to being mobile and with the new shoes that Bo gave him, he had plenty to smile about. So when you see Guy next time you are at the park, tell him you are glad he is OK.