October 28, 2004
My Father Would Have Been 88 Today!
Happy Birthday to my father, Madison "Bud" Green! Born in 1916, Dad would have been 88 today, if he hadn't passed away at age 71 on November 20, 1987, when he suffered a heart attack after reeling in a catfish at a nearby lake. My mother, Helen (Rummelhart) Green, took this picture of Dad and me in 1949, when Bud was 32 and I was just 5 months old.
Dad and Mom both grew up in small towns in Iowa. Dad was from Lone Tree, while Mom was from nearby Riverside. Somehow they met and fell in love, and they were married on November 22, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, where 25-year-old Dad was serving with the U.S. Navy. Fifteen days later, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, which began World War II! My future parents hardly saw each other over the next four years, which is partly why I wasn't born until after their seven-year anniversary!
I received my love of baseball from my father, who used to play it, and I'm sure he would have enjoyed seeing the Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918 yesterday. I have a feeling he raised a glass in heaven after the Sox triumphed, to toast Babe Ruth and the end of his famous "Curse of the Bambino"!
I began this excellent baseball season by going a little out of my way in March as I walked to Petco Park for the first time, because I wanted to pass a building at 7th and J that my dad worked in during the '50s and '60s, and thus take him symbolically with me to the new ballpark. I'll end the season by lifting a glass and toasting, "Here's to baseball, the Sox and you, Dad!"