Sweet Melancholy and Syncronicity

25 Apr

Yes, I recently changed the format of this blog. It was not your imagination if you noticed.

The thing is, I’m a storyteller.  There is no sense fighting it, or acting like I’m something else. I love the rich tradition of storytellers over our history as a species, and I enjoy being a part of that tradition. So I’m switching this blog more towards storytelling and the lessons to be learned from those stories.

I hope you don’t mind too much.


I played baseball in high school and college.  Loved the sport. Still do.  My dad started me on that path, playing catch with me when I was very young, hitting balls to me, great father and son moments that will forever be in my memory.

About the time I turned eleven I declared I was going to be the greatest pitcher in history.  I would be drafted out of college, go on to be Rookie of the Year in the Major Leagues, then MVP, Cy Young, and on to the Hall of Fame.  Simple as that!

I worked hard that first year, throwing fastballs at a cement wall, working on my control, and I was seriously pumped to get my career started in that first game.

I got lit up!  The harder I tried to throw, the harder those batters would hit the ball. My God, it was like a track meet around the bases.  Mercifully, after three innings, the coach came out and took me out of the game. Thank God!

As you might suspect I was heartbroken.  My dreams of a baseball career were shattered at the age of eleven.  I figured maybe some other sport would be better, something not quite as hard as baseball . . . and then my dad sat me down.

“I stink, Dad!  The harder I threw, the harder they hit it.”

“No doubt about it, buddy,” he said.  “You stunk up the field today.  Now I suppose you’re going to quit, right?”

This wasn’t like my dad.  No way he’s that calm about his son wanting to quit something.  I was confused.

“What am I supposed to do, dad?  You saw me out there.  Everything I threw they hit.  If I can’t throw hard enough to get it by them, how am I supposed to win a game?”

He ruffled my hair.

“Bill, you need to pitch smarter, not harder.”

He then went out and taught me how to throw a knuckleball and a curve.

And I made it all the way to my junior year in college before my shoulder finally said enough and I was medically incapable of pitching again.


That lesson has stayed with me all these years…learn to throw smarter, not harder…and a larger lesson…don’t give up….find a way….if you want it bad enough, work your ass off for it.

I miss my dad!  He died just about the same time my shoulder died.  There is great synchronicity in that fact.  And sweet melancholy, of course.  J


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


32 Responses to “Sweet Melancholy and Syncronicity”

  1. Janine Huldie April 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

    Aw, Bill love the new format and how you remembered your dad’s bittersweet lesson here today. Thanks for sharing him, as well as the lesson her taught you here with us. Have a wonderful Tuesday now.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

      Thank you Janine! I knew a baseball fan like you would enjoy this. Have a super Tuesday, my friend.

  2. anisioluiz2008 April 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

      Thank you for re-blogging this. Much appreciated.

  3. Chris Desatoff April 25, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    I love your stories, Bill, especially the personal ones like these. Reminds me of sitting around in the den at my grandpa’s house, listening to my dad, grandpa and uncles shooting the shit and munching on sunflower seeds. As a kid, I was bored spitless. But now I miss those days.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

      I remember the same things, Chris, and yes, the sunflower seeds for sure…thanks for joining in, buddy!

  4. Linda Lum April 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    Bill, I love this story. Your dad was a wise man indeed–what he taught you still carry with you to this day (and it doesn’t have anything to do with baseball). Have a wonderful day my friend.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

      Thank you Linda! I guess this is my way of living in the past, but so be it! I like one foot rooted back there. 🙂

  5. Sarah Potter Writes April 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

    Darned shoulder letting you down, Bill. I had a thumb joint let me down when I hoped to be the greatest tenor saxophone player! Oh, we frail earthlings D: Your shoulder stopping working about the time your beloved dad passed on, puts in mind the song “My Grandfather’s clock” in which the clock stopped the day that the old man died. It never hurts to reflect upon the past, if there’s a lesson to be learned and remembered from it, whether it’s something from your own history or something on a bigger scale from world history. I hope you have a wonderful week, my dear friend, and the sun shines bright for you 🙂

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      I know, Sarah, right? I thought I was indestructible until that moment. Turns out I’m only human! 🙂 Thank you for sitting still while I told my story. You are appreciated. Still no sun shining here…yesterday it was 45 degrees and rained all day. Hardly what I would call lovely spring weather.

  6. divalounger April 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Smarter not harder is such an important lesson! Glad you learned it early–I learned it later–and I really like this layout–nice job!

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

      Thank you Audrey! You are always welcomed here, and appreciated.

  7. ericdierker April 25, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    That is an awesome story and very inspiring for a dad just starting to play catch with his son. Thank you. Real good on the change up on format.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

      Thanks a bunch, Eric! I have some great memories for sure.

  8. Dee April 25, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

    You were blessed with such a wise man for a father. Great lesson on never giving up.

    • Billybuc April 25, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

      Dee, I completely agree with you. I got very lucky early on in life.

  9. Sageleaf April 26, 2017 at 1:47 am #

    What a cool story! I thought he was going to get stern with you and tell you to suck it up. 😀
    But, he didn’t: he gave you an invaluable lesson about working (pitching) smarter not harder. Good stuff!
    I hope you’ve had a great day!

    • Billybuc April 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

      Some lessons never leave us, Lil Sis! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for sharing it. Hugs from rainy Olympia.

  10. suziehq April 26, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    Morning (Irish time) Bill, Ah love this format as I too love the stories from our past that have lessons to be learnt. Although baseball is not a sport played here I can relate to my own experiences in sport as my family were all sports enthusiasts, me included. Thanks for giving us another peak into your fascinating life, by the way yesterday we had all four seasons here blue skies and sunny, wind rain, sun and hail!! Unreal with all the Spring flowers around. Go figure!

    • Billybuc April 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

      Good morning Irish, and I’m so glad you like my storytelling. This is the way I love to write, so I think I’ll continue with it. All 4 seasons? Not us….straight rain. One would think the skies would run out of moisture.

      hugs from Olympia

  11. Jo Miller April 26, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    I like your new format. It definitely fits your style

    • Billybuc April 26, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

      I’m glad to hear that, Jo! Thank you!

  12. Karen Szklany Gault May 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    Enjoying your new format and your first story in it. Great lessons! Sorry you lost your dad so soon, though.

    • Billybuc May 1, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

      Thank you Karen! He was a good man and I still feel his loss.

  13. Lawrence Hebb May 3, 2017 at 1:43 am #

    So true, never give up! Great storytelling bro. Really enjoyed it.

    • Billybuc May 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      Thank you Lawrence! I greatly appreciate you stopping by.

  14. Lawrence Hebb May 3, 2017 at 1:43 am #

    So true, never give up! Great storytelling bro. Really enjoyed it.

    • Billybuc May 17, 2017 at 11:48 pm #

      Thank you Lawrence! Greatly appreciated.

  15. phoenix2327 May 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    You Dad was a clever dog. I get the impression that you were familiar with his thoughts about perseverance and were only half-listening anyway. So he threw you a curve that got your attention. Only then were you ready to learn a life lesson. What a crafty fellow.

    I like this new format a lot and I’m looking forward to more.

    Wishing you a good Wednesday,

    • Billybuc May 17, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

      Thanks so much, Zulma. It means a lot to me for you to say that. I’m a storyteller and I need to tell more stories. This is the type of writing I love to do, so I think I shall do it. 🙂

  16. Shauna L Bowling May 26, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    I love your new format, Bill. Your stories give us pause for thought and allows us inside the man you’ve become. I look forward to more. You’ve (still) got my attention! 🙂

    • Billybuc May 26, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

      You are sweet, Sha, and a very good friend. I hope you know how much I appreciate you.

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