Old Dog New Tracks

Big As Life

03:53
Greg Trafidlo
Greg Trafidlo

Story

A tribute to my dad, who posed for a photo and ended up in Life magazine beside Stan "The Man" Musial.

Lyrics

                                BIG AS LIFE

                               Greg Trafidlo

                                   ©1998

 

The city wasn’t windy on Adams Street that day.

“El” trains wailed on Wabash, ‘bout a block away.

“Adams Sporting Goods” blinked the neon sign.

When Eddie was a salesman, in Chicago, ’49.

 

“I need a catcher’s uniform,” this man ran in and said.

“Got to shoot a picture,” then he looked close at Ed.

“Like to make some extra bucks when you get off tonight?”

To a guy with a wife and a four-year-old, this deal seemed really right.

 

Eddie searched the storeroom, and when he came back from the rear,

Said, “I couldn’t  find a uniform, just some kid-size catcher’s gear,

A glove, a mask, some shin guards, and a chest protector too.”

“Well, here’s my card, be there at eight, I guess this stuff will do.”

 

When Ed got to the studio on Madison near Clark,

The man said “Kneel down, look up, like a ball just left Cubs Park.”

He got his shot, gave Ed some cash, Ed thought this was the end.

But you won’t know when a picture might come to life again.

 

The season passed. (Cubs came in last) Tar bubbled in the street.

On the far west side, Ed’s neighbors tried to bear the August heat.

“Hey Ed, look at this ad in Life, this guy looks just like you! 

Yeah, look right here, you’re selling Hamm’s beer! Now how can this be true?”

 

A full-page ad in color, and the headline Eddie read:

“Here’s how Stan Musial poles extra base hits.” And in the corner, Ed.

“Stan the Man” just followed through, like the sphere just cleared the wall.

Ed’s crouched down in catcher’s gear, his eyes upon the ball .

 

Two coeds graced the cover, decked out and looking fine.

 But to me the real story is on page sixty-nine.

Two heroes of my childhood, one in children’s sports attire,

Captured for eternity, while that ball’s still soaring higher.

 

“Stan the Man” swings for the stands, the catcher’s head held high.

Just like his boy whenever he thinks about the guy,

Who had his picture taken to support his son and wife.

Forever there with Musial. My father big as life.

Forever there with “Stan the Man.” My father big as life.

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