This is a sad week for me culturally. One of the cultural icons in my lifetime is retiring from the thing he has done better than anyone else in my lifetime or any lifetime. He brought joy to my childhood as I listened ardently to Sandy Koufax throwing a no-hitter or Duke Snider hitting one out of the ballpark.
Vin Scully brought baseball to life as he regaled the listener with story after story from our national pastime. No one could describe a towering home run or a centerfielder saving the American Flag from being desecrating like Vinny.
For 67 years, Vincent Edward "Vin" Scully served our greater Los Angeles community as the play by play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Icons like him come once in a lifetime. Every time a social icon departs from the scene, it saddens me a little.
In 2005, I wrote a reflection entitled, Beyond Halfway, which was an acknowledgement and lament that I was well beyond the halfway point of my lifespan. In the midst of the reflection I wrote the following.
“I am beyond halfway in my life. I can see the homestretch from where I now live life. I have lived more than I shall live. I have experienced more than I shall experience. I have learned more than I shall learn. I have breathed more than I shall breathe.
Beyond halfway, I have seen that over the course of one’s life span, things change. Nothing stays the same. Life is dynamic. The old passes away and the new comes. The former becomes nostalgia and the latest becomes adventuresome. What was, no longer is, and what is, won’t last very long. The old becomes wistful and life becomes a string of events leading to a predictable conclusion
Beyond halfway, I have seen the passing of two generations of family and the advent to two new ones. Beyond halfway, I have felt the pain of losing a sibling. Beyond halfway, I have seen my precious daughters grow up and get married. Beyond halfway I have seen the birth of grandchildren and the hope that comes with new life.
Beyond halfway, I have seen changes in the culture. Cultural icons and social trendsetters cease to exist. No more Walt Disney, no more Mr. Rogers, no more Elvis, no more Ronald Reagan, no more Mickey Mantle, no more Bob Hope and the list goes on and on.”
No more Vin Scully saying, “It's time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you, wherever you may be.”
“But thanks be to God that beyond halfway causes me to embrace the things that are really important in this life. Beyond halfway helps me appreciate the things that make up today. Beyond halfway allows me savor the good things of life. Beyond halfway allows me to see the majestic mountains, the cotton candy clouds, the sapphire sea and the brightly shining stars of the night as though they had never existed before.
And most importantly, beyond halfway inspires me regarding the life to come.”
As Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day… while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Something to think about…