Last night, another thread was pulled from the center of the fabric that once held our culture together.
Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years, passed away in Southern California.
He was acclaimed by many as perhaps the best broadcaster that ever described a game, but that is not why I mention his passing.
I mention it because when I posted of his death, people immediately began to speak of shared experiences…how we would all lay in our beds at night listening to little transistor radios with a single pale yellow earpiece and find ourselves at the game with Vin.
I was not a Dodger fan, but I too was taken in by his soothing cadence and fascinating stories that he spun around whatever was going on at the ballpark….without missing any action in the process.
Scully provided us with generations of shared experiences around his voice and he did do without ever having a whiff of scandal or controversy.
If you listened for years ,you would probably gather that he was politically conservative and that he was also a Christian.
If you were neither, you could still enjoy the game…and Vin.
We could all agree on one thing…it was good to listen to Vin Scully at the mic.
There was a day when we were blessed of God to have many like him around the country, with each region boasting of the voice that they shared….Ernie Halwell in Detroit, Lon Simmons in San Francisco, Dick Enberg in Southern California …the list goes on…but they all gave us something to share with them and each other.
Shared experiences…positive shared experiences… help weave together a people even when it is around something as ultimately trivial as sports.
The voices in our silos tend to be shrill these days and they invite us to combat, rather than joy.
We share not in the warm anticipation of sport and story, but in the prospect of conflict with our neighbor.
We have lost the joy of simple shared experiences and we are not wise enough to mourn their passing.
We will….when we find the cost of the joy of conflict.
Well done Vin, but you’ve already heard that from a bigger Voice…