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The Abandoned Baby in the Park    March 29, 2009

Tonight I witnessed something as if out of a dream. Angie and I were sitting at Bendel Stadium at Forsythe Park in Monroe Louisiana behind home plate watching Aaron’s Little League play baseball. I was looking at the same pitcher’s mound where I pitched when I was 9, 10, 11, and 12 years old up to the summer of 61. It was the same ballpark that I renamed as Blue Bayou in my novel. It was the same ballpark where I stuck out Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. We were enjoying the game when we heard a loud speaker. For a moment I thought I had heard a flashback of myself since I had worked at the ballpark as a grounds keeper and announced the play by play from the press box for 3 years. Then I listened in amazement as the cop on the loud speaker was asking if anyone was missing a baby.

I, being more than curious, got out of my seat and walked behind the stadium to the boulevard where I found 3 squad cars. One cop was sitting frowning in the driver’s seat talking on his Motorola. Another cop was walking though the city park searching frantically for the baby’s parents. I walked over to the policeman in the car and asked what was going on. He informed me that someone had left a 2 year old baby abandoned in the playground by the swing set. He had been out there alone for over an hour. I asked him where the baby was now and he said over at that picnic table with those two volunteer adults who notified the police the child had been abandoned.

An old fashioned ice cream truck was playing music and a line of people had formed by the service window. I looked at the baby and noticed he already had a Popsicle, and then I walked over to the ice cream truck and got me one vanilla with chocolate coating and nuts. Then I walked back and sit on the picnic bench across from the baby. Everyone seemed unusually calm as if people left babies alone in the park everyday. The baby was calm, smiling as he ate the banana ice cream Popsicle. He smiled at me when I sat down. Then a small Pekinese’ dog came wandering up from behind, and the baby shouted out “Doggie”.  I asked the 2 year old what his name was and where he lived; He just smiled real big and shrugged his shoulders. He was one of the most beautiful babies that I have ever seen. He was a light completed black baby with big brown eyes, large smile, and long hair with braids. He was dressed very nicely in fancy clothes. The baby had a very calming effect on me and the thought occurred to me to ask the police if we could take him home with us and raise him as our own. In the past we kept foster children many years. It was an experience that brought great joy and extreme sorrow.

Eventually the grandmother drove up in her car and there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. I had on my hearing aid but I could not hear the discussion. The four police men and women left the grandmother and huddled while the discussed the possibilities. Then they let the grandmother leave with the baby. The cops told me they had given her a strong warning.

Me and my grandbaby Keyda whom I rarely get to see since they moved back to Indiana.





The Monroe Police Dept Baseball Team -Daddy (Coach and Cop) on the top right and me. Lefty- the natural- top row, the second from the left, the summer of 61- Forsythe Park Bendel Stadium Monroe Louisiana.

The trees in the background is the spot where a few years later on- we would park and spark.






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