Munday Mosings

Two nights ago I dreamt that my wonderful wife, her parents and I were dining out. At one point, my wife’s mother said, “This is the last time you will see me.” Then she put her head on the table and began to cry. I reached across the table to hold her hand.

My wonderful wife’s mother died in late October. Any psychologists out there who want to interpret that dream?


I don’t know why this story is sticking in my head. When I worked for the Padres I did a lot of traveling. I accompanied the team on some road trips each season; I attended the Winter Meetings and the General Manager Meetings. I used to visit the Arizona Fall League each year for a week or ten days (I would write that’s prophetically ironic, but our spring training was held in Arizona as well–I guess that’s more traveling) and I even attended a symposium for salary arbitration practitioners with our team counsel and another person, baseball’s soon-to-be wonder boy, Uifp Fqtufjo. That’s an easily decoded cypher for his real name.

Returning to San Diego after one trip and driving into the apartment complex in which I was living, the shuttle driver remarked that it must be nice to be going home. I said, “This isn’t home. This is my most familiar hotel.”

Even after I met my wonderful wife and moved in with her (almost exactly 23 years ago), California never felt like home. To be honest, one reason I accepted the position with the Padres is that I thought the team was going to be moved to Washington, DC and I would be able to go “home.” The best-laid plans of mice and men…

While meeting my wonderful wife was, obviously, the best result from moving to the Left Coast, I accomplished a lot. In the three full seasons I worked for the Padres near the top of the Baseball Operations pyramid, they won two division titles and one National League championship.



One change I am going to attempt is to be less negative about my situation and about life in general. While my inability to establish a fulfilling and satisfying career after baseball will always bother me, I am trying to remember more positive things.


Speaking of “careers,” I wrote here about how I was offered a job at an auto museum after speaking with a docent for two minutes. Well, the same thing happened again on Saturday. My wonderful wife and I finally visited a local automobile museum after talking about it for months. This museum is in the process of moving to a larger location.

After chatting with the guide/docent on duty for just a few minutes, he insisted I give him my name and number so we could chat more about my working there after the move is complete. I know this sounds arrogant and selfish, but something just rubs me the wrong way about giving away my time. However, in the spirit of being more positive I am considering volunteering at the museum, probably just one day a week.

Here are some pictures from the depleted inventory of display cars:



Supposedly, Jay Leno keeps asking to buy this very rare 1930 Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster. The next car made me happy as it was an Alvis, the make I featured as the “A” car in Cars A To Z.



Lest you think the remaining inventory consisted solely of pre-war cars:



If I do volunteer, would it be inappropriate for me to point out that putting the word “convertible” on the sign in front of this car is redundant since all Corvettes before 1963 were convertibles? One of my idiosyncratic favorites was even on display:



Of course, I prefer the coupe, but seeing a Buick Reatta at an automobile museum made me smile.

Any thoughts any of you have about any of this would be appreciated.







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10 thoughts on “Munday Mosings

  1. Even part-time volunteer work provides opportunities for a paying position. Work the opportunities.

    Which museum did you visit? I am always open for museum visits.


  2. I recognized that museum immediately. I’ve got a collection of photos taken there. My favorite is the Oldsillac, (or is it Cadimobile?) Someone took the front of an Olds and the back of a Cadillac and mashed them together. They were early 1950s models, IIRC. Beautiful workmanship. Was it still on display when you visited?


  3. You should keep an open mind about the auto museum and check it out. Who know who you might meet there. Also, I like your idea of being more positive about life. Enjoy the days.


  4. I echo the other commenters’ insights about the potential for meeting folks, or stepping through a door that might have new opportunities attached. I was going to write something similar. I’ll add that I think you’d have a blast just getting to spend time with their collection and other enthusiasts. In the short time you and I have interacted, I feel like you’ve shown that you take great enjoyment from talking about your interests with others who share them. This sounds like a win on that front.

    I’ll add one more note as someone who started a Ph.D. at 42, and whose wife started a new profession (pilates instructor) at 40: at no age does one stop having chances to add a new chapter to his life.

    Have a good rest of your week, sir.


  5. I think the question is what will you get out of volunteering?
    In principle, I agree with the previous comments. It’s an opportunity that could manifest other opportunities. But, as a graphic artist, I get a number of those “hey maybe you could do this thing for so-and-so and hey you never know there could be work for you in it down the road” situations. The vast majority did not, so I’ll say that while it is possible, and opportunities happen randomly, it’s something to watch for but not something to bank on.
    Would volunteering be enough in and of itself? Would interacting with other auto enthusiasts, sharing your knowledge and experiencing what stories and knowledge they offer be some compensation? I think undoubtedly you would be contributing in a meaningful way to the hobby.
    I confess, I have been contemplating volunteering at the auto museum here, and have tossed around many pros and cons to it.


    1. Many thanks for the thoughtful reply, Mark. To be honest, I don’t really know anyone for whom volunteering led to paid work. Again, I don’t have to earn any money, but I strongly believe my time has value.

      When I “broke in” to baseball as a consultant for the hometown team, you can be sure I didn’t do it for free nor did they expect me to. To be fair, the local museum that wants me to work for them is technically a non-profit that does not charge a formal admission price. (They ask for a donation per person.)

      I would not be volunteering with the expectation that it would lead to a more formal paid position. I have to get my head around giving up a double-digit number of hours per week (including the long commute) without any monetary compensation. As the child of Holocaust survivors and afflicted with OCD, my mind goes off into many worst-case scenarios as well. Let me leave that there.


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