More Fun With Autism

Two Saturdays ago was the second annual All Stars of Autism event. I would’ve written about it earlier but it would’ve collided with Avengers Week. Last Saturday was the Walk, Run and Roll For People With Developmental Disabilities. What say we kill two birds with one stone and deal with both in one post?

Once a year I pretend I care about baseball and attend a St. Louis Cardinals game as part of the All Stars for Autism event — a fundraiser for the Center for Autism Education. I try to rope in as many friends and family to go along as possible so that (a) we raise more money for the school, and (b) the more people there to talk to, the less time I have to spend watching the game.

This year we were joined by Brother and Sister-in-Law, Sister2 and Brother-in-Law 2, The Wife’s best friend Christine and her husband and daughter, and co-worker Tina and her husband and parents. EC member Carrie1 and husband Paul also signed up to attend. You may be wondering where the rest of the EC was. Stevie went out of town (she attended last year) but the rest — I dunno. I guess they hate the Cardinals and don’t care about autism. I don’t know that for sure, I’m just speculating.

The family drove up from Springfield the night before and we had a nice dinner and a long discussion about some show on A&E called Duck Dynasty. The next morning during breakfast I gave Brother a list of home improvements to tend to and he fixed them all. The Wife was very happy and I was very relieved and once again made to feel very, very small. But I’m used to that.

We arrived at the stadium early but there was already a line. Strange what people will stand in line for. This year the Cardinals were giving away caps to attendees, which was a much better freebie than last year’s Red Shodeinisht statue. Who on earth would want a small replica Red Shcoendishtahdt statue? It totally clashes with my collection of Batman statues. A cap is practical.

We went inside for our lunch of hot dogs, nachos, chips, soda and cookies. We arrived early because last year there were only like 5 tables and we wound up sitting on the floor. This year they did a much better prep job, there were tables aplenty for all. We filled up on grub, Lou Brock came by and gave a short talk, I ran into Tina’s clan and was glad to see they made it, and then some weird bird came around and starting hugging people. We waited and waited for Christine’s clan and the Hibbs, but finally gave up and went to our assigned seats for the game.

You’ll notice everyone’s dressed in red. Not me. If we get separated in the massive crowd I want to be easily identified. No point going to security and asking, “Can you please find my husband? He’s wearing a red Cardinals shirt and a cap.”

Our seats were decent aside from a large pole sticking up along the third base line but hey, it’s baseball, what do I care if there’s an obstructed view? Christine, John and Emma eventually showed up and we had a nice visit. By the third inning I decided The Son needed some exercise so we did two laps around the stadium. There was a lot of cheering a few times so I guess I missed a touchdown or two.

It was an exciting game, I guess, and the Cardinals won which is good, I guess, and Carrie and Paul never showed up. Which was surprising given how excited they seemed to be about going. When we got back to our cars it was clear it was going to take forever to get out of the lot, so we bid our family farewell and went for a walk because I can’t stand sitting in a car waiting to get  out of a lot.

It began to lightly rain as we made our way back to the car and by that time most of the crowd had thinned out. The hard rain and light hail began as we were leaving town but we quickly drove out of it. When we got home I turned on the TV to learn that the storm had blown over a tent and injured several people. We miss all the excitement.

There was also an email from Carrie explaining that they thought this was a night game and by the time they realized their error it was too late to drive downtown. Well, there’s always next year.

Walk, Run and Roll

Saturday was the Walk, Run and Roll event which raises money for various organizations that support people with developmental disabilities. We attended one a couple years ago when our son’s school was involved. The center wasn’t taking part this year but the St. Louis Arc was, so off we went.

The event was at Creve Coeur Park, which we had never been to before. As usual there were more cars than suitable parking so we wound up in a field with tall, wet grass. We eventually made our way to the stage and booth area where we hooked up with teammates Tina, Tina’s dog, Brenda, Joe and Aleshia. Melissa and her dog then joined us. I approve of any event that includes dogs.

Melissa went to register and Aleshia disappeared and then the walk started and everyone took off and I thought we were supposed to be a team but as usual The Wife and Son wound up far ahead of Joe and me and we got separated from Brenda and Tina and who knows where Melissa and Aleshia were.

At the half-mile marker there was a loop where you could turn around if you didn’t want to do the whole walk. Wife and Son, who you will recall were 50 feet ahead of us, turned at the loop but Tina, Brenda and Joe kept on walking. I went after my family, and they were all in favor of continuing the trek but by now we were way too far behind to ever catch up to our teammates unless we were to run — and I do not Run at the Walk, Run and Roll. I might Roll if given the option, but I do not Run.

We walked and walked (did I mention it was unseasonably warm and not very shady?) until I was ready to turn around and then someone told us you only go about a mile and then turn around, so I figured we were close to the turn-around point, and we’d hook up with our group once they turned around and headed our way.

Meanwhile, Melissa and her awesome German shepherd Zero had caught up with us so I did not wimp out and turn around, even though I really wanted to. We walked and walked and I wondered why we weren’t running into any people coming back from the alleged turn-around point.

At the two-mile marker we were met by people handing out water and congratulating us for reaching the halfway point. Apparently there was no turn-around point. And now I’ve walked two miles and must walk two more to get back to the car. No point turning around now, is there? Nobody told me this was a 4-mile hike. The last one of these we went to was maybe a mile long. I really need to read the literature before signing up for these things.

Had a nice chat with Melissa and Zero (although Zero didn’t say much) and eventually made it back to civilization. Our other teammates were nowhere to be found but I wasn’t too surprised by that.

If you’re wondering why there are no photos, it’s because everything moved so quickly at the start that I didn’t have a chance to get the team together for a portrait and by the end nobody wants their picture taken after a 4-mile hike in unseasonably warm weather with insufficient shade.

So here’s another picture of Fredbird:

 

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