I don’t know how Lori intuitively knows what writers want and need. I suppose it comes from working with so many writers for so long. Still, I think it helps to enjoy having an empathetic nature and Lori certainly does. Which is why she’s smiling this fall afternoon as she tells me tells a number of studios have formed an Entertainment Softball League and she wants to know if I’m up for it.
I blink and we’re on a baseball diamond a few blocks from the studio. It’s a crisp night, a ragtag group from DIC’s different departments practicing, chucking the ball around and hitting line drives. Standing on the pitcher’s mound, I’m the only DIC writer here. But Lori’s behind home plate, guarding it like a mother grizzly protecting her cubs.
Mike Stokey, the guy from Word Processing that has grated on me -- the feeling mutual I’m sure -- does a masterful job fielding at shortstop. Lean, laser-focused and agile, fielding and hitting like a pro, he’s a born athlete. Linda Levin from Merchandise, rumored to have once served on an Olympic rowing team, covers second base.
As a couple hours pass and we start to jell. Players crack jokes, needling or encouraging each other. Mike finally cracks a smile as I increase my pitching speed, fanning several players, Mike calling, “Take it easy, Jacky. No scouts from the Dodgers around here!” I call back, “I gotta be me, ‘Stoke’.”
There are some laughs at the comments. No one’s ever called me ‘Jacky’ before. For some reason it sounds good coming from Mike. I’m glad we at least broke the ice on this chilly night.