I love baseball.
Ok, so I love a lot of sports, but I desperately want baseball to return this summer. I really hope it does. I don’t care if it’s a shortened season. The crack of the bat and ball coming together is a sound I’ll never get tired of hearing.
Growing up in the ’70s and '80s just outside a small town in North Dakota, baseball was our life in the summer. And my small town was actually rather well-known for its baseball prowess. There are probably state championship banners still hanging from the rafters in the old school gymnasium, right there next to the words of our old school fight song.
When we weren’t playing organized summer league or school baseball, I could often be found in the yard with my brothers playing catch or whiffle ball. If you hit that little plastic ball over the house (not an easy feat), it was an automatic home run. So you can bet we would often swing with purpose! Those nights with my brothers are the stuff of legend! (In our own minds at least.)
Because we were on the farm, it often meant my dad was not able to attend games. There was hay to put up, turkeys to attend to, cattle to watch over, crops to plant and harvest, and lots and lots of fencing. Baseball was kind of a distraction for a man whose singular focus was taking care of the farm and his family. My mom would take us boys to games at the local resort for weekend tournaments, or make sure we got to practice. Thanks Mom! She should be given a medal for all that running around. She was almost always there to cheer us on.
But I’ll never forget one summer night when my dad pried himself away from the farm to take in a game against our closest rivals. We were going up against their pitching ace. He was wicked fast, and his curveball could strike fear into even the best of hitters. But on that night, with my dad in the stands, I remember being a bit nervous but also confident at the same time. I wanted to impress my dad.
I went 3-for-3 that night. All singles. And while we ultimately lost the game, I remember walking away with a big grin. I’ll always remember my dad, and my mom… just being there.
To all Mom’s and Dad’s out there who selflessly help their kids on the path to success: Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day!
And now onto a bit of a programming note regarding the 2020 NASGW Expo…
In this time of coronavirus, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing, I long deeply for social interaction. I long to see my family, my co-workers, my friends across the shooting sports industry. Something is missing in my life when I can’t interact with the people I love and care about. I’m sure you’re feeling it too.
Memories like the one above, which candidly I’ve had a lot more time to reflect on lately, are the things that keep me going. Because I know very soon, I’ll get to make even more great memories. We will, and we are getting through this test. Along the way, we’ve learned a few lessons (or at least had those lessons reinforced) about ourselves and the importance of human interaction and networking. It’s good for our soul. It’s good for business.
And in October, we will all have a great big reunion with our friends and colleagues in Grapevine, Texas, for the 47th annual NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting. I don’t know that I’ve looked forward to anything more in quite some time.
We’ve had a lot of members wondering about the status of the Expo, but I promise you all, unless something very dramatic happens with a major resurgence of the coronavirus, and we’re forced to shut down by the government, the SHOW WILL GO ON!
We will obviously take any needed and necessary precautions, but life is already starting to return to at least somewhat normal. In fact, the Gaylord Texan hotel is hosting major trade shows in July, August, and September. Those events have not been cancelled, and ours won’t be either. Again, there may be some minor adjustments to how the hotel handles cleaning, disinfecting, etc., but everything is moving ahead as planned and as it usually would.
Registration for the 2020 NASGW Expo is open. You can find all the details about it on our website at www.nasgwexpo.org. If your company is interested in sponsoring the Expo this year, we’d love to visit with you about how we can help you make your mark. We’ve got a lot of opportunities available. And we may even have a few tricks up our sleeve to celebrate our coming back together after many, many months apart. If you’d like to be involved in that, let us know.
Please, continue to make plans to join us in Texas in October. We look forward to seeing you there!
Until next time,