Author Bio Introduction

Jim Degerstrom
Born 1949 in Milo, Maine

Three generations of the Degerstrom family lived in Derby, Maine from the early to late 1900's. This small railroad town was more like a suburb of Milo with 2,800 combined population.

The 25 year old portrait here with my wife was taken Down Back in Derby, Maine, one of my favorite childhood places Growin' Up in Maine.

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From Derby, Maine to Fenway Park in Boston may as well have been a million miles away as a youngster from Derby back in 1959. The photo shown here that I snapped is like a dream sequence, and was taken years later as I sat 5 rows back behind home plate at Fenway Park. In the 1950's watching a game on a black and white television was the closest I could ever imagine to actually being there. The original photo was in color, yet like many photos and illustrations used for Growin' Up in Maine, I prefer aging pix by presenting them in black and white.

Out of 8 children including 3 younger than me, I was the last to step on soil outside the state of Maine. At one point I was the only child in our family who had never been to Canada, too, and that first trip was as an adult. By age 18 the only foreign visit was one school band trip to Keene, New Hampshire for a high school football game. We were invited to represent the home team. Just the opposite of Milo High School, they had a football team and no band.

The Fenway trip years later with my wife to watch the Boston Red Sox in person was better than I could imagine. The party atmosphere and unique aroma of the outdoor food vendors around Fenway Park was a treat never experienced watching at home.

Inside, and sitting that close to the edge of the field, you could see 5 o'clock shadow on some batters in the on deck circle. The game was not a sellout, so it wasn't broadcast. Later at Cheers, and to our complete surprise, the game was being tape delay broadcast in the bar. From the outfield camera we could clearly see ourselves behind home plate on every pitch!

After yelling "There we are!" about ten times and catching a few annoying glances, we settled back and quietly enjoyed the game a second time. Our fellow patrons obviously knew we were from away, just not a million miles away from Derby, Maine and 1959.

Jim's handwritten signature



Mainecatwoman said...

I'll never forget my first trip to Fenway...walking out into the grandstand area, the first thing I saw was the Green Monster. I was probably in my mid teens, and I almost cried. Many trips later I get that same chill walking onto those grounds, although a trip to Fenway nowadays requires as much preparation as does a trip to Disney World.

Jim Degerstrom said...

I've been to some ballparks that should have a loan officer stationed outside. Back when I traveled often around the USA, I'd buy tickets to the local pro baseball park for offtime, and once saw those other Sox play in Chicago.

Normally I'd get the tickets in advance for premium seats, yet on the Chicago trip I let a companion buy 'em and he left 'em at home. I let him get replacements while I parked the rental car.

To my shock they were plaza tickets which were beyond the outfield in the food vendor area, and no chairs. Yes, they sell cheap tickets to STAND during the entire game!

I cannot repeat the names I called that guy!!

Mainecatwoman said...

"Yes, they sell cheap tickets to STAND during the entire game!"

Yep...Red Sox do that too, cheap bastahds...

Jim Degerstrom said...

It's easy to miss key plays like that, too. In NY at a Mets-Phillies game the concession workers were elderly and deathly slow. I don't know about now. It was the 7th inning, 0-0, and boring, so I went for a hotdog and beer. With 5-6 people in line it took 20 minutes. Hearing a loud lengthy roar from the crowd I knew I missed something. Returning I was told Mike Schmidt bounced a home run off the flag pole in center field.