Friday, August 21, 2009

A Good Time Was Had By All (or Fear And Loathing In St. Louis)

I remember reading something that Hunter Thompson wrote in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail comparing Richard Nixon to Mick Jagger. While I can't find the exact quote, Doctor Thompson was making a general comparison between politicians and rock stars and said something along the lines of both Nixon and Jagger having a kinky gene that made them get off on the adoration of the public. They were genetically predisposed to performing in public and had a deep need for the attention and applause that came with it.

I do not possess this gene. I'm not the kind of person who is naturally inclined to getting up in front of a group of people and performing. While I'm not necessarily shy or reticent by nature, I do not naturally enjoy being the focus of attention. It's just not something that I really like. And this is a long winded way of saying that, even though I don't possess that strange Nixon/Jagger gene, I still had a great time last night at the fundraiser for the Missouri Civil War Museum.

I had the opportunity to give a presentation on the history of 19th century baseball in St. Louis and it was a great time. We had a big crowd and everybody seemed to enjoy this blogger's ramblings about premodern, unregulated folk games, the spread of the New York game to St. Louis and the effects of the Civil War on the development of baseball. In all honesty, it went much better than I had any reason to hope for considering that I'm more Suetonius than Cicero and not naturally inclined to public speaking.

I certainly want to thank everybody involved at the MCWM for the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject and also everyone that came out to support the museum. We were able to raise some money for the museum's building fund and hopefully that gets us a bit closer to opening what will be a great addition to our community.

And I can honestly say that, after I recover emotionally from the ordeal of having to talk about 19th century baseball in front of 150 people, I'm actually looking forward to doing more stuff like this in the future. It was fun. Maybe the Nixon/Jagger gene lies fallow in my makeup and simple needs to be exercised a bit to become active.

Note: I'm hoping to get some pictures of the event up soon. I need to talk to the guys at the museum and get them to email me the pics they have. So hopefully soon you'll have the opportunity to see pics of me in full-on Nixon/Jagger mode.

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