Construction, Baseball, and The Point

6 Feb

I learned what few carpentry skills I have by observation.

I literally stopped by a construction site (several as a matter of fact) and watched as a house was built from the ground up.

Foundation . . . framing . . . electrical and plumbing . . . walls and roof . . . finish work . . . finished product.

That’s how it’s done in construction.  You don’t begin with the finish work.   You don’t put a roof on without framing.  You don’t frame without a strong foundation.  You follow the order as it is listed above, and when you are done you have a solid building which will stand for years.

And that, too, is how it is done in the Arts!

A story with a similar message . . .

When I was about ten, I saw an advertisement for a Willie Mays baseball glove.  It was made of the finest leather, great product I’m sure, and the ad promised that you could play like Willie Mays with that glove.  So I waited for my dad to come home from work, and I told him I absolutely had to have a Willie Mays glove because it was going to make me a great baseball player.

No, Dad said, it’s not the glove that makes a great baseball player . . . it’s the player’s dedication and hard-work, plus some God-given talent.  The glove has nothing at all to do with it, he said.  Learn to play the game properly, practice hard, and then keep practicing.  If you do that, he said, it won’t make any difference what glove you have on your hand.  He told me when he was a kid, some pro ballplayers were barnstorming through the Midwest during the Great Depression, and several of them didn’t even have gloves, and they fielded balls like the pros they were.

Here’s the point . . .

Well, I have faith that you are smart enough to figure out the point.


Anyone remember an animated short movie by Harry Nielsen called “The Point” from mid-Eighties?

Anyway, have a great week!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

21 Responses to “Construction, Baseball, and The Point”

  1. Janine Huldie February 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

    Aw, your dad’s advice was perfect and spot, as well as still is now. So thank you for sharing with us here and wishing you a very, Happy Tuesday now Bill 🙂

    • Billybuc February 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm #

      Janine, it’s funny how the good advice is timeless, isn’t it? That’s what I’ve learned to be true over the years.

      Thank you dear friend!

  2. Mike February 6, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

    Hello Bill – That one small clause about baseball talent really ruined my baseball. That and weighing 25 pounds less than the rest of the kids my age. ha But that is not the point.

    • Billybuc February 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm #

      Mike, I always said, if I had been two inches taller and thirty pounds heavier, I would have made it to the Majors. I also had a great imagination. 🙂

  3. 1authorcygnetbrown February 6, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    You don’t have to have a point to have a point!

  4. Andrea Stephenson February 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    Great point 🙂 More good advice from your dad Bill.

    • Billybuc February 6, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

      Thank you Andrea! The older I get, the more I value his advice from many years ago.

  5. Audrey Howitt February 6, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    There is something to that 10,000 hour rule. Your dad was wise!

    • Billybuc February 6, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

      In his own way yes, Audrey, he was. I think I should have paid closer attention when I was young. 🙂

  6. Manatuta February 6, 2018 at 10:43 pm #

    Yes, Bro.
    Foundation is the key and a solid one to, like one built with Love. Peace.

  7. Sageleaf February 7, 2018 at 2:03 am #

    Big Bro – you are a master writer. This whole post is a metaphor for finding the success we want to find. Yeah, yeah, I’m stating the obvious. But I’m driving home the point because I heard a podcast earlier today that said the exact same thing: just show up. Show up until you are seen. Show up when no one’s at the party. Show up every single day. For years. For ever. All that matters – when it comes to following a dream – is showing up. Thank you for your inspiration, Big Bro. You have showed up. And you have shown us what it takes: the hard work, the perseverance, the consistency that it takes to succeed. For this, I am grateful. 🙂

    • Billybuc February 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

      Aww, thanks Lil Sis! I consider that high praise coming from you, and I want you to know I appreciate you very much. I have the best Lil Sis in the world.

  8. Joy Harmon February 7, 2018 at 9:09 am #

    Yes, I Remer the point. My dog’s name was Arrow. Showing my age, I guess. However, I do get the point.

    • Billybuc February 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Exactly, “Me and My Arrow”….I sang that song for weeks afterwards. 🙂 Thank you Joy!

  9. Sarah Potter Writes February 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm #

    Well, it was Kevin Costner’s 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” about his desire to turn a field on his farm into a baseball pitch that got me writing my first novel. He said something like “I am 36 and if I don’t do this now, I never will”. I was 36 at the time! So I’ve had many, many years of practicing and improving my art thanks to Kevin Costner. I just wish he would fall in love with one of my books and make a movie of it, as he did with his friend Michael Blake’s then unpublished novel “Dances with Wolves”.

    I will keep honing my craft, having put in the time building the foundations and walls, but maybe some of the roof is still missing and when that is built, the world might recognise the product that was a labour of love, as well as grief and frustration.

    This is the day for metaphors, my friend. Thanks for sparking off the memory of where my writing journey started, by your mention of baseball 🙂

    • Billybuc February 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

      Well, Sarah my friend, you now have me curious about the grief and frustration. I have some research to do with your writings. In the meantime, I will be hoping that Costner somehow gets his hands on one of your works and makes that movie. 🙂 Hugs from Olympia

      • Sarah Potter Writes February 8, 2018 at 12:17 pm #

        This grief and frustration isn’t to do with the content of my novels. Rather, it’s the grief and frustration that accompanies rejections of my work; letters that read along the lines of “beautiful writing, wonderful characters, but…” There’s not much to do with grief in my novels. although I touch on it occasionally. Frustration features a little bit more. I like to think there’s a balance of light and shade, with a fair dusting of wry humour. Please do research my writings, although you might prefer to wait for my adult novels. That being said, a fair few adults have read the two for younger readers and really enjoyed them. If you want some darkness, the odd gruesomeness, and some scary bits, then my 60s YA novel Desiccation might suit you more. Your No. 2 Shadows novel is on my reading list for soon. You do “darkness” so well, and I love the two main characters 😉
        It’s a lovely sunny day here on the Sussex coast. The English Channel is all a-sparkle with silver. I’m sending some sparkle across the Pond to Olympia this minute, hopefully to arrive in time for your dawn. Happy days, Bill, my friend 🙂

  10. Billybuc February 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

    Thank you Sarah for the clarification. Hopefully I’ll be able to read your YA book soon. As for sparkle, it failed to arrive. Perhaps the wind we are having is a precursor to the sparkle arrival. 🙂

  11. phoenix2327 February 8, 2018 at 7:06 pm #

    I do love listening to your childhood stories. And it’s true there are no shortcuts or magic spells when it comes to achievement. It’s all down to hard work, practice and dedication whether your building a house or creating art. (sigh) Mind you, if you love what you do, you don’t really mind working at it.

    • Billybuc February 8, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

      True words, Zulma! I have never considered writing to be work…the same when I was a teacher. It’s doing what i love to do. 🙂 Thanks dear friend!

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