It’s kind of a sad Sunday. For one thing, our favorite ice cream place, Mindy Moo’s, is closing for the season. Actually, that’s probably a good thing as we have been indulging way too often but I still hate to see it close.
Secondly, tonight is the finale to what may be the finest show to ever come across a television screen, Breaking Bad. I have been addicted since it first exposed us to the moral gymnastics of high school chemistry teacher Walter White as he found his way into the world of meth, hoping to make enough cash to support his family after his imminent death from the cancer that had recently emerged. His moral dilemma and the subsequent downward spiral has been a wild ride, supported by incredible writing, storylines and performances, often leaving me gasping at the end of an episode. I will sorely miss it and have a feeling that almost everything else on TV will pale in comparison for some time to come.
And finally, today is the end of era in baseball as Mariano Rivera rides off into the sunset, retiring from the New York Yankees as unquestionably the greatest closer ever and perhaps the most respected and beloved player to come around in a long, long time. Even Red Sox fans give Mariano, he of the hated Yanks, a standing ovation. He has been nothing but class since day one, never pounding his chest or belittling his opponents and always showing the utmost respect for the game that has given a poor, skinny boy from Panama so much over the years . His stoic demeanor on the mound is almost Zen in its nature and has long comforted Yankee fans when games are in a tight spot, even on those rare occasions when he has failed.
The painting at the top of the post, a 12″ by 12″ canvas, is titled Greener Pastures: 42. The number 42 on the outfield wall is meant to honor both Mariano and the man who wore it most famously before him, the barrier breaking Jackie Robinson. Mariano is the last player to wear this hallowed number after it was retired by Major League Baseball to honor Robinson and has done so with a fitting grace and character. On the day honoring Mariano at Yankee Stadium last Sunday, one of my favorite moments was when Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow now aged 91, was on the field and she cupped Mariano’s face in both hands, staring hard into his face with such a wonderful look on her face. I don’t know what she was thinking or conveying but it looked like she was letting Mo know that Jackie would have approved of the way Mariano has honored his number and his memory.
Hard to believe that after today, there is no more ice cream (well, for a while) or Breaking Bad or Mariano. Like I said, it’s a sad Sunday with a few glorious endings…