Sunday, October 5, 2014

Baseball and ... the Civil War?

Excerpt from Dumb Jock: The Alex Austin Story. The set up: Kate Simmons has had a crush on Pensacola Mullets catcher Alex Austin since the first of the season. When she meets him at a team charity event, and he invites her to eat with him, it's like a dream come true...  (Alex, btw, is a sweet Southern boy.)


They carried their heavily laden plates and tall cups of iced tea to a vacant table at the edge of the crowd. There was no room on their plates for bread, and Alex volunteered to return for rolls.

"Be right back," he told her.

Considering that being near him, seeing him up close and conversing with him kept her stomach madly quivering, it was amazing to Kate that she could eat a bite. And yet her appetite had ratcheted up throughout the evening, and now hunger was gnawing at her.

He brought back a plate heaped with dinner rolls, breadsticks, buttered slices of French bread, and saltines to accompany their salads.  

"I also took a chance on bringing dessert. Do you like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies?"

She smiled, delighted. "My favorite!"

"Mine too." He returned her smile and took a bite of seafood salad, giving a barely audible moan of pleasure. "Good stuff. So, Kate, are you from Pensacola?"

"I'm from Gadsden, Alabama. I moved here about a year ago. "

"Gadsden. Home of Emma Sansom," he murmured. "A Confederate heroine. Fifteen years old, showed General Forrest where to ford a creek and engage Union troops that were on the way to cut off the Confederate railroad at Chattanooga."

"Yes. There's a monument to her in Gadsden. And a school named after her."

He nodded. "I've seen the monument."

Kate's brows rose with mild curiosity. "Are you a civil war buff?"

"In a manner of speaking. I'm a student and admirer of the Confederacy."

"I guess I don't automatically associate the War Between the States and baseball."

"Well, there is a connection." He gave her a wink. "Ken Burns made snarky documentaries about both of them."


  1. What's with all the gluten?

  2. Ken Burns, the Corey Meyer of PBS. He balked at debating actual historians of the war. He admitted, in a round about way, that he'd come off second best. He also admitted that his series was more of an interpretation of the war, than an actual history. Can you beat that with a stick?

    1. Well, it's obviously an interpretation. I had no idea he'd admitted that, though.


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