WASHINGTON DC — We stood on the corner of F and 10th streets downtown, not too far from the Verizon Center. My daughter Celine collects snow globes and wanted to find one from Washington D.C. She has globes from Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Orlando. My job is to find one every time I leave town. Now we were in search of one from D.C.
I knew there was a place called Honest Abe’s nearby. I just didn’t know exactly where and my gang was tired of walking after hitting two Smithsonian Museums that day. I stopped a guy wearing a striped shirt and tie and asked him for directions. He was friendly and very accommodating. We were near the store and he gave us a gentle nudge in the right direction.
He noticed I was wearing a Baltimore Orioles T-shirt and made a comment. I told him I wore the shirt only because I thought it was cool looking. I was not representing the B, I was from Detroit.
He began laughing and tapped me on the shoulders.
“Well we got a problem,” he said laughing. “And to think I just gave you directions. I am a Cleveland Indians fan and you guys stand in the way of us being in first place.”
He was one of thousands of federal workers who moved away from home to live and work in the area. His daily ritual was checking out Indian and Tiger scores and seeing where his team stood in the standings. The Tigers are now 1 1/2 games in front of Cleveland following Monday night’s 4-2 victory over Toronto and I am sure that did not make my new friend happy.
But he remained hopeful. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. We spoke a little bit more about the Indians and Cleveland and you could tell he wears the battle scars from The Drive, The Departure of LeBron James and Indian collapses. He probably knows deep inside this is not going to end well, but the Tribe is still in contention and he is going to hang on to every moment.
“We’re gonna try to get this one,” he said as we parted.
“Good luck pal,” I said. “I hope you have a good summer.”