Monday, November 08, 2004

America the Beautiful

Once upon a time I wrote a little essay about Maine's Rumford Falls Times, my favorite American newspaper. The editor of the Falls Times, very kindly comped me a subscription. So now, every Monday, I get to sit at my desk in Washington, put my feet up, and spend a few minutes catching up on the comings and goings of Rumford, which is about as idyllic a place as there is in our great land.

Today's edition carries this wonderful front-page headline: "Doctor waits 86 years before Red Sox win another World Series." The story, by Bruce Farrin, will warm your heart:

If you've been a faithful Red Sox fan long enough, you've no doubt used a phrase common to all of us--wait til next year.

Dr. Peter Aucoin is one fan who, it seems, has been forever hopeful. Now 101, he remembers Boston winning the World Series back in 1918, and has been patiently awaiting a repeat for 86 years.

But that all changed last Wednesday when Boston completed a four-game sweep of St. Louis. Watching each and every inning was Aucoin.

Beautiful, right? It gets better.

"I was surprised to see them win in four games, but if this was repeated, you have to wonder what would happen," [Aucoin] said, adding that he felt bad for the Cardinals in the World Series, which had one bad thing happen to them after another . . .

He watched the Red Sox religiously in 1986, in 1975 and in 1967, when they lost Game 7 of the World Series to the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively. Aucoin cheered them on in 1946--which was his favorite Red Sox team--when they lost another Game 7 heartbreaker to the Cardinals.

And then he remembers the 1918 World Series when the Red Sox won the World Series against the hapless Chicago Cubs.

At the time, Aucoin was a 15-year-old student at Assumption Prep in Worcester, MA, waiting in line to read the Worcester Telegram so he could follow the Sox in that World Series. . . .

"My brothers made a Red Sox fan," he said, noting he was the tenth of 12 children, and they all were Red Sox fans.

Aucoin also remembers the winter of 1919-1920 when Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for a then large dollar figure of $125,000.

"That's his property. If he wanted to sell him, that was entirely up to him. It wasn't a mistake as he needed the money. But I didn't agree with him," said Aucoin.

Rumford and Dr. Aucoin--America at its best.

No comments: