Life is More Than 9 Innings
 
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"Life is More Than 9 Innings"

I started writing all of these one-page stories because of a moment in time when my father was staying with us. Just my wife and I were having dinner with him. He was 86 years old at the time and the everyday conversation had waned. For some unknown reason, as I finished my last bite of food, the thought occurred to me I really didn’t know a damn thing about my father other than the years I had growing up under his wonderful touch. So I simply asked him the simple question I should have asked years before. “Dad, what was your life like before you met Mom?”

It was if I had torn the top off a new box of goodies. It was like opening a rare bottle of wine. It was what I should have asked when I was old enough to talk.

Leal Earl Sullivan was, as I knew him up ’til then, a quiet, proud, hard working man of great resolve. If every child had a father like him there would be no wars. But being asked the question, he shocked me with his response. He lit up like a bonfire and started a three-hour life tour that had Marilyn and me laughing and crying and spellbound. For me there has never been a better night and, as I lay in bed with his young life still ringing in my ears, it dawned on me that I, too, had led a special life and someday my kids and grandchildren might want to know.

So I started to write a few things I remembered and the more I wrote the more I remembered. Soon I realized I really wasn’t writing all this for them as much as I was writing it for my own pleasure. I decided on a one-page format so I wouldn’t be guilty of rambling on and also because that’s about all I can read in bed before a book hits me in the face anyway.

Ted Williams and Frank SullivanI remembered an autobiography by Jack London that preached if you were going to write then you better write every day and throw away most of what you write.

You are now stuck with what I didn’t throw away.

Frank Sullivan
Lihue, Kauai
May 2008

 

 

Left: Just as they snapped this picture of me and Ted Williams, he was asking me why I had a bat in my hand. He really knew how to hurt a guy. Maybe it was my lifetime batting average of .144!

 
     
 

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