Friday, August 21, 2009
I went to Dodger Stadium this morning to speak about Pablo and the Pablove Foundation on Fox Sports Network. They are broadcasting coverage of the Dodgers ThinkCure cancer foundation's radiothon and telethon. Before the red light on the camera lit up, I leaned over to the host and said something into his ear. 'Don't get into sports talk,' I said. 'The only sport I know anything about is cycling, and that'd only confuse your viewers.' He laughed a hearty TV presenter laugh. And then the red light on top of the cameras went on.
The only topic discussed was one I know a lot about: Pablo, his struggle with cancer, how much we miss him, how much help kids with cancer need, and how badly we need to make progress in treatments and cures. About halfway through the interview, the director cut to b-roll footage. I took the opportunity to turn around and look out over the lush green field. We were up high in a luxury box. The view from up there is expansive. I could almost see our house. There's a hill line or two in the way. The same hills that keep us from seeing into the stadium from our house. Looking toward home brought the longing and the aching rushing up into my heart and throat and mind. The wave almost knocked me over. All of this happened in about two seconds. In the following second, I turned back toward the camera just as the director was calling out to me to face the camera.
The first thing the presenter told me is that he went through cancer treatment within the past two years. I wanted to hug him. His job today is more than a job. He's lived through the war. He's seen his wife and his kids looking at him with fear and hope vacillating in their hearts and eyes. I didn't hug him. I was already out of my depth being on a sports network, wearing striped Paul Smith socks. To make me feel at home, the host had the camera pan down to my feet to show the socks. Sweet of him. Made me feel at home, even so close to a locker room.
On the way out, I bumped into baseball legend Tommy Lasorda. I told him that Grady grew up playing at the ballfield in Silverlake that bears his name. He said that was cool. I mean, he's an old guy, so he didn't say, 'That's cool.' But he said something to that effect. Whatever he said, it made me happy. And the story will make Grady and Jimmy and my dad happy.
With the help of a couple other people, we're still cleaning every inch of our house and washing every item of clothing in our house. It's an endless job. We'll be doing it for the next week. I bought tickets to '500 Days of Summer' so we can take a break tonight in the American style: sit in the dark, eat popcorn, drink Coke. Coke with ice. That will be nice.
at 1:11:00 PM