When Math Meets History Meets… The Field Trip Chaperone

YankeeStadiumWhen I was in third grade my class went on a bunch of field trips. Honestly, I’m not sure how they were justified. For example, we were studying the rainforest and so we went to The Rainforest Café. Now I’m not sure if you know what that is, reader, but it’s a themed restaurant. It’s not the first place that comes to mind when you think “educational.” Perhaps there was a museum or something we could have gone to instead? I don’t know. But trust me. Eight-year-old Grace did not mind at all.

That wasn’t the best example, however, because at least the name “rainforest” showed some sort of parallel. We took a field trip to Yankee Stadium. We were not studying The New York Yankees, nor were we studying baseball, The Bronx, pinstripes or the history of Crackerjacks.  As far as I can tell (and remember) we just went because our teacher wanted to go. Again, I’m not complaining.

Now, as you know, every field trip needs chaperones and I figured I’d ask my grandfather if he wanted to come. He was born in the Bronx and had always been telling stories about going to Yankees games with his father when he was a kid. I thought he’d be the perfect chaperone. And of course, he couldn’t say no to his granddaughter. He still can’t.

Now, I don’t remember the exact date of when we went, but it was cold. I only remember this because I have a picture from the trip and I’m wearing a very stylish purple bubble jacket. You guys remember bubble jackets? They were all the rage in 1999.

Anyway, our tour-guide’s name was Tony and he took us all over the stadium. We went in the press box, on the field, in the dugout, and in the clubhouse. While we were in the clubhouse I noticed champagne stains on the ceiling. I didn’t know what they were at the time as I was more into Capri-Sun than Moet and Chandon. But my keen observation skills would make another appearance about 2 minutes after I noticed the stained ceiling.

Tony the tour-guide was a fountain of information. He knew everything. And of course, it was his job to share that information with us. He started to tell us about when [the old] Yankee Stadium was built- 1923. I wasn’t that quick of a calculator in third grade so I appreciated when Tony said, “That makes the stadium 76 years old.” We couldn’t believe it. We were eight. 76 seemed so incredibly old. But that number, that age-76-it sounded so familiar to me when Tony said it. But why? I couldn’t put my finger on it. So Tony continued his spiel and suddenly little Grace had a revelation. My grandpa-my chaperon was 77 years old. I was good enough at math, for this equation. My grandpa was one year older than Yankee Stadium. Surely he didn’t realize this. I had to tell him.

With the tact, sophistication, and finesse of an eight year old, I looked up at my grandpa and yelled, “Grandpa! You are one year OLDER than Yankee Stadium! Can you believe that?!” As it turned out, he could. He could very much believe that.  But you know who couldn’t believe that? The rest of my classmates. The entire class, myself included, were flabbergasted and made it known. Of course I have no recollection of what the adults in the room were doing, but I’m sure a face-palm or two happened. Oops.

To this day, my grandpa tells this story to everyone. And I don’t mind- not at all.  It’s a cute little anecdote. And I was eight, what did I know about manners and etiquette? But the funniest thing about this story is that when my grandpa tells it now, he never mentions it occurred 13 years ago. He tells it as if the incident happened yesterday.  This makes me incredibly happy for two reasons. Number one-my grandpa remembers that day as if it was yesterday. At his age, (I will not blatantly write it here, but rather let you do your own math and figure it out because now I have manners) I’m so grateful he remembers the trip so clearly. And reason number two- if you imagine the story as if it happened yesterday, it’s actually pretty funny. A 21 year old flaunts her mathematic agility and makes a keen observation. Luckily, I did grow up to realize announcing someone’s age once they’re over a certain age is poor form. But I’m glad I didn’t know that when I was eight.

Grace Bleiweis About Grace Bleiweis

I was born on a Thursday. I don’t remember this Thursday, I’ve just been told it was, in fact, a Thursday. 17 years later I went to school in Ithaca, NY. I say this because it gives me a chance to sound like I went to an Ivy League school for about five seconds before I have to say, “No, not Cornell. The other one.” I studied television production at Ithaca College which is basically the most fun anyone can have and still call it school. I love being creative. I’m addicted to lip balm. I love buffalo wings. I like the summer olympics more than the winter olympics. I am a Virgo. I enjoy walks on the beach, but not long ones because then it makes it that much harder for you to find your towel and your whole set up. And they say look for your umbrella, but we all buy the beach umbrellas from the same kinds of stores so there are about fifty that look like yours and you think you’ve made it back to your family and a chair, only to discover that is not your family and they don’t appreciate you sitting in their chair. I love making people laugh on purpose. And I often wonder…Most of the time I share my wonderings with the world at @coupdegraceb

Grace Bleiweis About Grace Bleiweis

I was born on a Thursday. I don’t remember this Thursday, I’ve just been told it was, in fact, a Thursday. 17 years later I went to school in Ithaca, NY. I say this because it gives me a chance to sound like I went to an Ivy League school for about five seconds before I have to say, “No, not Cornell. The other one.” I studied television production at Ithaca College which is basically the most fun anyone can have and still call it school. I love being creative. I’m addicted to lip balm. I love buffalo wings. I like the summer olympics more than the winter olympics. I am a Virgo. I enjoy walks on the beach, but not long ones because then it makes it that much harder for you to find your towel and your whole set up. And they say look for your umbrella, but we all buy the beach umbrellas from the same kinds of stores so there are about fifty that look like yours and you think you’ve made it back to your family and a chair, only to discover that is not your family and they don’t appreciate you sitting in their chair. I love making people laugh on purpose. And I often wonder…Most of the time I share my wonderings with the world at @coupdegraceb

  • Zfootdoc

    your story brings to life episodes and chapters of my own life in reflections and memories. Well written and remembered.
    thanks

  • Julius Bleiweis

    Captures past history and connections to the subject at hand visit to Yankee Stadium with the author retaining the data resulting in the excellently written piece

    • Grace Bleiweis

      Thank you, Grandpa! (the man himself, everybody!)

  • Odo

    So cute to picture…even funnier to read! 🙂

Smiles For All