#REDSCARAVAN: ‘MERCURY’ MARTY RECAPS DAY ONE OF THE WEST TOUR
Like a phoenix rising from an erupting volcano, or in this case – the frozen tundra, I was reborn today. Why? It’s Day One of the 2014 Reds Caravan, or, to be more precise, the annual gathering of greatness – the Reds Rock Star Tour.
As far as the big picture is concerned, the group is intact (thank God). However, sadly, faces are gone. But new faces have replaced them. Gone is one of our all-time favorites, Lee May. Gone, is Lil’ May. Replacing them, however, are Doug Flynn, the great Eric Davis and the Reds newcomer in 2014 that the Reds fans will enjoy – Brayan Pena.
One must understand that the requirements and the demands of being a member of the famous Reds Rock Star Group is the kind of quality people that we have brought into the fold. WE are Bob Miller, Jamie Ramsey, Ryan Rizzo, Tucker Barnhart and yours truly. Individually and collectively, this is truly, at the risk of being redundant, a gathering of greatness.
It was a day that began with a wonderful breakfast at the Keith and Sherry Gregor residence off Rybolt Road. We thank them for the kind of hospitality that we normally expect. From there it was on to Batesville, Indiana where we caught up with Liz and Ron – two of our favorites from WRBI radio. Next, we traveled to Richmond, Indiana – not Virginia – where we all ate like we were going to the electric chair. We were impressed by the food, the camaraderie and the overwhelming acceptance and love that permeated throughout Chuck’s Sports Bar.
At that point, we were just warming up. We hardly could catch our breath before it was on to Portland, Indiana – not Oregon or Maine. Upon our arrival, it conjured up memories of Lorne Greene, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker because we walked through the doors of the Ponderosa Steak House. We met with a group of fine folks who were huge Reds fans and we were thrilled by the presentation of the velveteen dessert. That stop was over all too soon because then it was on to Stoops Automotive in Muncie, Indiana. And what a stop it was, as usual. Randy Stoops and his folks rolled out the red carpet like they normally do for the Band of Brothers (not so much for the other groups that come in there).
It was a long day but by that time we were in many ways, a well-oiled machine. Someone once said ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and we are living proof of that statement This day has absolutely, unequivocally flown by.
We love each other, but more importantly, we love ourselves. As we bus toward the great city of Indianapolis, we are individually and collectively excited about what tomorrow may bring. It’s almost too much for me to think about. That’s how pumped I’ll be before I lay my head down on a pillow for a good night’s sleep, which will be shortly.
And oh, by the way as a P.S., I was contacted tonight by former Athens police officer Williams, who long ago pulled over a young student for going the wrong way on a one-way street. The first thing this young man said to officer Williams was, “I’m Marty Brennaman’s son.” Yes, folks, it was Thom Brennaman. Pathetic.
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Until tomorrow,