Great American Bro'd Trip Day - Finish line
Who knew the open road and baseball could be so meaningful?
After several frozen cocktails at Under the Volcano on empty stomachs, converted Houstonians Jeremy C. Little (a publicist) and Colin “Dabbo” Dabbs (a junior high history teacher) finally decided to do it. Eight days, 10 Major League ballparks, the Budweiser brewery, and enough fried food to give Carlos Lee the gout. It’s the Great American Bro'd Trip and this is the account of drop-off day when two buds who got a little too close say their goodbye.
After dropping Dabbo off to his parents in the bucolic seaside town of Guilford, Conn., I had some time to think about what — if anything — I learned on the 2,600 miles we trekked from Houston to Gotham through several states I’ve only ever seen from 35,000 feet up.
In spite of the Texas license plates and the muddled New England accent, I never once felt unwelcome or out of place anywhere we went. Regional dialects aside (a sub is a hoagie is a grinder) every square inch we covered was undeniably American.
Dabbo astutely pointed out at one point in the middle of the trip that the United States’ interstate highway system is the most extensive on Earth; a uniquely American public works project that allows us to individually determine our route and destination anywhere in the lower 48 at any time. Freedom of movement is something we rarely every think about, although it should never be taken for granted. This is one of the many benefits of having a U.S. history teacher riding copilot.
I said at the beginning of this rambling diary that baseball was a MacGuffin. I concede now that I was wrong. Looking back over the 5,000-plus words I wrote on the trip, the baseball does possess a great deal more meaning than I had originally anticipated. I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, given that during my four years of college, the Red Sox were more important to me than oxygen, but I didn’t expect to be so affected by other people’s investment in the game, in their teams and in their cities.
I also didn’t expect the random folks we encountered along the way to be so interested in what we were doing. The road trip resonated with everyone. Chasing the national pastime made it almost religious.
Baseball is the story of us, after all; so ingrained in our history and collective identity since the beginning of the 20th century. Like the highways that took us from city to city, we take the pastime for granted.
Taking things for granted: What’s more American than that?
A look back at the Bro'd Trip:
Day One: The rules of the Bro'd
Day Two: Spraying Busch Stadium
Day Three: Nancy Pelosi's gouge-aiding ways
Day Four: Escaping the mullets
Day Five: A colonic, anyone?
Day Six: PNC Park, the best in the majors
Day Seven: A night with the Raven cheerleaders
Day Eight: A-Rod belongs on Jersey Shore