In a way I was there at the beginning. No. That isn't quite right. I was there at the inflection point. It seems like forever, but it was less than three weeks ago. On March 11, I was at the Oklahoma City Thunder-Utah Jazz game. Or, more specifically, what was supposed to be the Oklahoma City Thunder-Utah Jazz game. My wife and are Thunder season ticket holders and this was an important game. After preseason speculation that they would be cellar dwellers, our Thunder were in the playoff picture. Firmly in the 5th seed in the Western Division, a win over the Jazz would move them up to the 4th seed.
Before that point, opinions on the coronavirus, COVID-19, were split. You could see it on the news, where political leaders downplayed the threat even while doctors and scientists were sounding the alarm. I even saw it on the Facebook page for my rural city ward. The ward, often described as a mélange of aging hippies and survivalists, was at each others throats about the severity of the situation.
Then, the Thunder-Jazz game happened. I got to the game about 15 minutes before tip-off, grabbed a hot dog and fries, and settled into my seat. The pregame ritual of introductions and the national anthem took place and then...nothing. I won't go into details. If you are a suscrcriber to The Athletic, there is a well written article about the evening.
Just a bit under three weeks ago.
The world has changed since then. I am now working from home indefinitely and have cut back my hobby spending to almost zero. You see, I work in the oil and gas industry and, even apart from the global pandemic causing a collapse in demand, the Saudis have decided to open up the valves and start a price war to punish recalcitrant members of OPEC+ (mostly Russia) So, while the combination of the two don't represent an existential threat to my future, it does seem prudent to cut back on discretionary spending.
One thing that did filter in was this 1978 New York Yankees Picture Album that I snagged for $5 delivered.
As I built my Paul Blair player collection want list I would check eBay to see if any of the needs were for sale. I mostly struck out, but when I looked for something described as "1978 Photo Album", this came up. I bid on it and won.
As I pulled this out of the shipping envelope, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I realized immediately that I had this album when I was younger. I've always been a bit forgetful, so I have no idea how I got it or what ever happened to it. If I had to guess, my mother threw it away, along with my high school letterman's jacket sometime after I went off to college. In any event, I have it again.
This copy is in great condition, which is probably a rare thing 42 years later. It was not built for the long haul. The covers are thin cardboard and the binding isn't particularly sturdy. In fact, it seems like it was designed for the pages to be pulled out individually easily. I won't open it up wide enough to scan a page as that would be a bit too much stress on the binding. I will however leave you with this picture of what I think is the 126th unique item in my Blair PC.
What I am listening to: We Take Care of Our Own by Bruce Springsteen