Passing the Bat


A neighborhood park baseball field

Heart-warming and mysterious at the same time.

That’s the interesting mix seen each year at the MLB ASG (Major League Baseball All-Star Game) and Home Run Derby events.

Heart-warming are the acts of inclusion and conversation conveyed by the players and coaches to the youngsters in attendance. Mysterious is the number of players and coaches who seem to take little, or no, notice of these kids in uniform who participate in the ceremonies.

The youth are the future. They get to bat after the present All-Stars and coaches retire to their memories, canes, and wheel chairs to be applauded not for the present, but only for yesteryear.

These kids are ball boys/girls, towel holders, drink dispensers, star-struck, eager onlookers during Home Run Derby and All-Star Game nights. They take part in something only a few each year are privileged to experience. One day some of them will be the players and coaches. What will they remember when that time comes?

It’s the way of human nature to pass the bat along.

Hats off to the guys who help pass that bat by expressing genuine shares to these kids who look to them with hero worship and who may, in the future, emulate them in the same way they were greeted on these eventful nights.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Also see:
Champions In Sport 




If you enjoy the board game Scrabble, you might find my Scrabbled Short Story challenge interesting.


At my Fans and Gamers blog, challenge yourself to unscrabble several words presented on a Scrabble board.

Interpret the words as they stand into a short short story.

The challenge is good (and entertaining) practice in cutting down your stories to the bare bones of showing, rather than telling.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Doing Enough…

Are we doing enough to preserve our natural resources?

Sometimes, I believe, we put too much criticism into our efforts to awaken those who don’t give much thought to the important practice of conservation. This is not to say I think we’re doing enough, and let’s back off. Not by any means!

However, we tend to forget “the best idea we ever had”, according to an author named Wallace Stegner. He was speaking of the designation of our (USA) national parks. The parks are treasure troves of wildlife, wild flowers, mammals, plants, deserts, mountains, etc., and they are there for the public to enjoy and to become better educated about conservation.

(BONUS Trivia: How many national parks exist in the United States?
ANSWER: 60!)

Find lots more national parks trivia at my “Lines of Gratitude Blog”. Each post there shares bonus trivia information about the miracle of our national parks.

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Thank You Veterans

Have you thanked a military Veteran today for your freedom? It’s Memorial Day, 2018!


To Veterans, we owe our freedom in America. Many men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice in conflict and war to make that possible. Don’t ever forget them! And say thank you on more than one occasion during the year!

Always remember! Never forget a Vet!


I love this screen The Weather Channel used to depict one of World War II’s decisive battles of World War II, at Iwo Jima, during the station’s Memorial Day Week 2018 broadcasts.

First Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

John Wayne Died Nine Times

In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Wayne’s character was already dead. The story, starring James Stewart, was done as a flashback, in which John Wayne told part of the tale. It’s a very good film, with the ultimate bad man, Lee Marvin, playing Liberty Valance to the height of his villainous ability.


In the less known movie, The Deceiver, Wayne actually played a corpse around which the story unveiled itself.

Find the answers to the following scenarios at the end of this blog.

A.) Nine times in his films, John Wayne’s character died. Twice he was shot outright, in The Cowboys  (1972), and The Shootist (1976). Who were the dirty, rotten famous actor shooters?

B.) Once, Wayne was lanced to death. In what 1960 film did that happen?

C.) Our man went down to the sea in ships three times. Do you know the names of these movies (1933, ship); (1949, ship); (1955, plane crash into the ocean)?

D.) In two war films, Wayne was done in by snipers. Name them.

E.) Final drum roll: How did our hero meet his death in the film Reap the Wild Wind (1942)?  

And the answers are!!!

A.) Bruce Dern and Richard Boone, respectively
B.) The Alamo, (playing Davey Crockett)
C.) Central Airport, Wake of the Red Witch, The Sea Chase, respectively
D.) The Fighting Seabees (1944); Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
E.) by squid 

John Wayne made over 170 movies, becoming a star after his role in Stagecoach (1939). One of Hollywood’s most revered personalities, John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison, still rocks the celluloid to this day.

Photo courtesy of

For more movie fun and trivia, visit my blog:

A Fourth Place Tie in Short Story Writing

I’m pleased to announce my short story Normal Things received a Fourth Place three-way tie award in Amazon best-selling author Dan Alatorre’s March 2018 “Word Weaver Writing Contest”!

Dan’s scanned award proclamation follows:




Normal Things will be featured during the last week of April at Dan’s blog. In the meantime, hop over to his place and enjoy reading the No. 1 awarded story, What If, and some of the other winners, day by day.

Great writers, here at WordPress, and great stories to share!


My Amazon Author Page is:

Bless the Farmer


Come on, Spring, and the art of farming!

Paul Harvey, the talented radio host, once said: “God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’

“So God made a farmer.”

I’m a farmer’s daughter who still loves the land for all it can provide for the created human race!

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

See my Amazon Author’s Page: