Stadium Views

Can the city use eminent domain to get the Loser’s Club a new clubhouse? by gpiv
April 13, 2010, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sixty seven bottles of beer in the fridge.

Harper Lee’s restaurant list is coming along great.  There are about 50 or 60 of my favorite restaurants, Omaha’s personal jewels that are on it.  Hopefully the restaurants will see fit to give me a few gift certificates for the prospective publicity they will get at the CWS.  All together now, “Greg’s all about the mooch if it helps somebody else out.”

One of the most frequently asked questions during the College World Series is, “What is this place during the rest of the year?”  Like the thousands of items hung on the wall and hundreds of forty pound boxes filled with magazines just disappear and reappear every June.

When I was a child, nearly a century ago according to my kids, besides throwing a tennis ball against the Reznicek’s house for five hours a day to learn how to field a ground ball, I wanted like every other kid to be part of a club.  In order to have a club you of course needed a clubhouse.

We lived in a neighborhood filled with construction.  So myself, my brother, little Johnny Reznicek and the Kresl boys decided to build a club house.  Acquiring wood was easy, there were scrap piles everywhere, though we waited until after the days work was over, or maybe until dark, to ask permission.  The superstructure also needed a little better wood, so since we didn’t have a car to go get it, and our parents weren’t totally supportive of this project, we figured the reasonable value of the two by fours and left it sitting in the house where the workmen would hopefully find it the next day before it blew away.

All right, all right, the statute of limitations has passed and more than one Hail Mary has been said since the purchases.  We stole the wood.

Bent nail by bent nail(probably stolen too), and miscut scrap by miscut scrap of wood, the structure arose.  A magnificent two-story structure with a trap door between stories.  We had a club house and now we could have a club.  Life was perfect.

At 36 years old I thought I was buying a business, but what I bought was a clubhouse.  For four weeks a year, like the public on a temporary pass to Sams, all of you get to come to my clubhouse.  What we have for the rest of the year is a nicely decorated clubhouse.

And what do we do at the clubhouse.  Losers club.  Losers club is a twelve step orientated club without any clearly defined steps.  The only thing that you really have to do is be able to recite, “Hi, my names __________, and I sir am a loser.”

Losers club was the brainchild of Gary.  Gary is one of the truly amazing characters to have graced the hallowed halls of the clubhouse.  He was a handyman extraordinaire with a sense of humor like none other I have met.  He spent about two years at The View while I was helping him through some legal difficulties.

Now Gary’s legal difficulties wer serious but resulted in one of the greatest legal stories of my career.  Gary got himself in a bad situation but facing a long vacation he remained an honorable man.  As the rats jumped from the sinking ship around him, Gary stood firm and kept his mouth shut.

The legal profession is full of axioms like buyer beware and equity abhors a forfeiture.  But one of those axioms is not keep your mouth shut and you’ll be all right.  Gary, while being at the bottom of the pyramid sales scheme, was going to get a vacation longer than the tip of the pyramid person.  Like any good lawyer I needed to help him, so I did what any good lawyer would do, I filed a bunch of baseless motions and said a few more Hail Marys, not as penance this time but hoping God would help the helpless.

God and a wonderful Federal Judge did.  Now when I say that these motions were baseless, I’m not kidding.  There have been times in my career that I have taken credit for legal happenings that were more good luck than good lawyering.  But these motions were pigs.  The only way I could win was if the other side did not show up, and we’re talking about some high-powered Attorneys on the other side.  But hey, the motions stood to save him about five years of vacation.

I arrived at the courthouse fully ready to be chastised for wasting the court’s time.  If you can’t take a good chastising now and then, you shouldn’t be a lawyer.   As the Judge entered the courtroom, I glanced around the room.  Gary and I were there.

The judge, in his judgely voice spoke.  Rather than chastising, he questioned me.  “Mr. Pivovar, where is the government.”  Now that was a question I wasn’t ready for so I decided to answer it by trying to be helpful and avoid the question which I did not know the answer to.  Hell I didn’t know where they were.  So I answered, “I’ll go get them judge.”  To which he startlingly replied.  “Don’t bother.”

My totally baseless motions were granted, Gary got five years less vacation, and that judge has my undying admiration for doing the right thing.

So what does this have to do with the CWS.  Well back to the clubhouse and losers club.  It’s been attended over time by the Parking Nazi, Gary, my long time employee who shall remain nameless less I incur the wrath of his mother, Jay, Ron, the Burden, myself, Jeff and various temporary members.  Unlike most twelve step programs which revolve around tobacco and coffee, we believe that beer will help us explore our loserism.  And it does.

I think all of the above mentioned persons except my long time employee and Jeff embrace their own loserism.  Just like being called an alcoholic, being called a loser is offensive in a lot of ways.  But to stand in front of peers and say, “I’m a loser,” is cathartic.

So that’s what we do with the place for the other 48 weeks.  It’s our clubhouse with our trapdoor, occasionally interrupted by a customer or more likely someone wanting to sell me sportscards.

When the CWS crowds stop coming, and there is no money to pay the bills what’s going to happen to my club………….

And my clubhouse.

Years ago, after a summer of fun, when school started again, John’s Dad and my Dad tore down the clubhouse.  We watched confident that next year, more borrowed wood would produce another.

Who’s going to tear down this one.  I can’t watch cause I’m not sure I can borrow any wood next year.

1 Comment so far
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I sent yesterday’s to my brother in Baton Rouge, He’s been a TIGER baseball season ticket holder since the early 90’s. My comment was “This shit coulda’ve been anywhere. His reply was, YUP, it happened here

Comment by Buddy

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