Last weekend, after the Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival, I drove home by way of Eldersburg, mainly because it was easier to head north to Liberty Road instead of south to I-70. As I approached Eldersburg, I decided, entirely on a whim, to visit the church graveyard where my great-uncle and great-aunt are buried, coincidentally quite close to the anniversary of my great-uncle’s death.
I patted the headstone, like an adult patting a child’s head, put my hands on the ground where they were, sort of my way of saying “you’re remembered,” and continued on to home. And I decided that I would visit my grandfather’s grave in Baltimore the following Saturday, yesterday; the anniversary of his death was coming up, too.
I had the idea of making a day of it in Baltimore. I could do some other things I’d been meaning to do, and maybe I could go to the Orioles game and get the free Maryland flag jersey they were giving away. Well, going to the Orioles game didn’t happen; tickets for that game have been sold out for weeks, and though I checked Stubhub, Standing Room Only for 70 dollars-plus was flat out insane.
So, what were those “other things”?
I’ve wanted to visit Loudon Park Cemetery, where my grand-grandfather Allyn, after whom I’m named, obviously, is buried. I had been there, as best I can remember, once in my life, shortly after my grandfather’s funeral, a day or two later, when my mom and my grandmother took flowers from my grandfather’s funeral to my great-grandparents’ grave.
And I wanted to go to Peabody Heights Brewery, a craft brewer on the site of Oriole Park, the home of the International League Orioles, a minor league team who won seven consecutive pennants in the 1920s, a feat never repeated in professional baseball. They brew a line of beers called “Old Oriole Park.” Beer and baseball — how could I not?
Well, Saturday turned out to be the eighteenth anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Not in the ballpark. The exact day. So I was doubly glad I went.