Joan Benoit Samuelson, stargazing & soccer: Ramble with the Lady

October 10, 2015

A couple weeks ago I interviewed Joan Benoit Samuelson as a feature for a preview of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

 

I've talked with her a few times over the years of covering the Chicago Marathon. This was my first longer interview with her.

 

That evening I said to my wife (for all you young guys out there, it is good to impress your life partner once in a while), casually, but yet with enough emphasis to let her know I had talked with freaking Joan Benoit Samuelson, ``I got to thinking, other than the tennis players, she was the one superstar woman athlete of my time.''

 

Yet, what stuck with me in talking with Benoit Samuelson was when she divided her career into ``BC and AD, Before Children and After Diapers.''

 

A lot of us would divide our careers and lives in a very similar way. I think it is one of the things that gives Benoit Samuelson staying power as a superstar. She is one of us, at least in that way. In athletic terms, she is not just a freak as a physical being but as someone with the will to do unbelievable things.

 

Thought of her quote this morning as Lady, our family's mutt, and I rambled off into the darkness before dawn.

 

 

Stargazing, if you will.

 

 

To the east, I saw a crescent moon with two morning stars in the pre-dawn. Later, I checked my daily update from earthsky.org (something everyone interested what they see in the sky should get) and realized that it was Jupiter and Venus above the moon.

 

Apparently, tomorrow morning if I look as I wait to take Metra to cover the Chicago Marathon, I should be able to see Mercury right by the rising moon, too.

 

I digress, but it was a good dirgression.

 

Remarkably quiet morning for wildlife.

 

The first rabbit bolted into the flowers in the yard with the decorative fruit trees, a street north.

 

The second and third rabbits hopped around the yard with the evergreens south of the alley by the bus barn. That was it for rabbits.

 

I pushed out an partially extended ramble and was rewarded with a great view of the sunrise.

 

The first gray squirrel hopped off north on the alley downtown. Don't ask me why. I have no idea why it was there.

 

Inexplicably, a pumpkin was in the brush by the ditch to the east of the south old clay pit.

 

Where did I come from? I have no idea. No hedge apples this morning.

 

Back on the edge of town, more than a dozen vehicles were parked by the grit area by the grain elevators, vehicles for rail workers that Bob Hicks tells me are called gandy cancers.

 

Gandy dancers. I like that.

 

As we neared home, a black squirrel and a gray squirrel bolted from a maple in the yard west of the one with the decorative fruit trees. A blue jay squawked a block north on Station Street. Then another gray squirrel joined the first two squirrels.

 

Back home, I counted at least four gray squirrels hopping around by the church yard down the street.

 

Fall comes and the squirrels know.

 

Time to roust the family unit, then off to watch a pair of soccer playoff games this morning. Such is my life.

 

 

 

 

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