A wonderfully, wonderfully blown breeze is a brilliant thing. A thing of bliss. What brought it here? Where did it begin? Where did it come from? Where is it going, even? As of right now in DeTonti Square, it is blowing out of the southwest and over my arms and legs, the hair now flecked with bits of gray. Possibly it is here solely as a godsend to combat the summer’s swelter. But alas, summer has not even reached Mobile as of yet, which my wife is quick to point out as she explained to me the inner workings of the summer solstice, which is Latin for something or other … maybe the boiling point! So the epic battle will go on. As I root loudly for the breeze.
My Uncle Marion’s front porch in the OGD is a wonderful place to catch a breeze. His masterful stories and cooled, mellowed concoctions of the Eugene Walter variety do not hurt either. Aah … Old Mobile breezes.
This past Easter Sunday, as we retreated to the shade under my aunt’s covered porch in Wilmer, to escape the sun’s rays and the impending rotten-egg smell from the children’s earlier egg hunt, we were rewarded by a breeze that blew true and fast. I would pay cash for a breeze like that!
Music rides well on the back of a breeze, especially reggae, for some reason. Perhaps because of the mental picture of a breeze lazily shaking the fronds of a tall palm. I even recall a Southern hip-hop artist from my high school days who answered to the name Cool Breeze. Although Mr. Breeze did not, that I recollect, rap much about his namesake. On the other hand, the legendary J.J. Cale knew a lot about a breeze as he and Eric Clapton played “easy come, easy go; any way the wind blows.”
Eddie Stanky Field holds a secret, but not to those of us diehard South Alabama baseball fans who venture there often. Just the other night, the field revealed its secret to the rest. A breeze like no other. As we rallied for a win against our Mississippi neighbors, I engaged a Maroon fan on the pros and cons of said breeze.
“How’s yours over at Dudy Noble Field?” He responded nonchalantly, with a slow Southern drawl, “Reeeaaal nice.” We went on to discuss baseball and breezes and how a breeze in the confines of a baseball diamond can become friend or foe by the simple swing of a bat. Whereas I, the home team alumnus, rooted for a righthanded batter with a stiff breeze blowing out to left … and him, being akin to the Bulldog, rooted otherwise.
Faulkner once said, “Well, between Scotch and nothin’, I suppose I’d take Scotch.” For me, I suppose I’ll take the breeze.
Russell W. Blount III