Mom experienced increasing difficulty walking and felt too unsteady to travel east again with my father for his annual visit to the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) convention in Washington, D.C. so he invited me to accompany him. It was my first trip east of the Rockies, and a grand one at that, but I never imagined it would be our final vacation together.
First stop was New York City where he showed me the historical spots, tourist attractions, restaurants and Broadway shows he had shown Mom.
It could happen only in Brooklyn. At Ebbets Field to be exact. We were among the more than 25,000 in the stands for the opening game of the 1956 National League season. Drill teams, bands, marching units, and hundreds of youngsters paraded past home plate to congregate in center field. Dodgers and Philadelphia players stood at attention along the foul lines, and the crowd rose for the national anthem. The band began to play and then paused. Instead of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”, a voice over the loudspeaker asked, “Who’s going to raise the flag?”
Embarrassed officials had no one to raise the first ever World Champions flag to fly over Ebbets Field. A Marine Corps color guard rescued the ceremony.
After a thirty-six minute delayed start, the Phillies outscored the World Champion Dodgers 8-6.
When Ebbets Field opened in 1913, Brooklyn officials had not only forgotten the stars and stripes flag but also the key to open the ballpark. Only in Brooklyn.
Additional excerpts from my memoir, His Daughter’s Remembrance, to follow . . .