When I was eleven years old a friend of my mum gave me a Cooper Black Diamond #240 baseball glove. It was pretty used then (1979) so I estimate 1975 as a reasonable date of creation. This makes my baseball glove about 38 years old. Before that it was a cow grazing blissfully unaware of its future.
I have had this baseball glove for 34 years. I have never owned another baseball glove. It is amazing as far as I am concerned. Nothing I own comes remotely close to have survived for as long as Cooper. Excepting my mum and sister’s Angel, Susan and April, Cooper even pre-dates most people in my life…it beats out my best friend Mike by three years.
I am not sure why. I have lost books, CDs, clothes, shoes, friends, and family but Cooper continues to hang on where most else has vanished.
Cooper fits like a glove – literally. Which means it must have fit pretty bad when I got it. But for some reason I hung onto it.
I left it outside one winter in the backyard. It was eventually covered by snow and ice and forgotten about until one warm spring day I caught a glimpse of its black leather peering at me from its melting tomb. I dug it up and left it on the porch to thaw out. The next morning I grabbed my baseball and ran into the porch, picked up the wet glove and crammed my hand into it. Seconds later about 100 earwigs climbed out all over my fingers and hand. After that Cooper languished in the porch for about another month until I had the courage to investigate whether its inhabitants had moved on – they had.
After that Cooper was cared for a little better in that it was kept inside instead of left outside.
I find it strange that this inanimate construction of leather has survived as long as it has. I use it every summer. It has been used by my kids and I bring it to Itsy’s baseball practices and games. I am tempted to anthropomorphize it by imbuing it with feelings and memory.
Of course I won’t but it does have a memory of sorts. It has been there like some dead witness to the great quakes in my life. Silent witness to the beauties and the beasts.
It is like a bookmark moving page to page through my days.