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Mason Nesbitt: Catching up with an old friend

Posted: May 26, 2013 8:53 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2013 8:53 p.m.

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of columns by The Master’s College baseball player Mason Nesbitt, who will be filing stories from Lewiston, Idaho — the site of the NAIA World Series. Nesbitt, who played baseball until his sophomore year for TMC, was asked to return to the Mustangs out of need. At the time, he was a contributing baseball writer with The Signal.

LEWISTON, Idaho — A visit from an old friend led to a real Lewiston experience.

My best friend as a kid was Charlie Ebbers. Our mothers, living in Albuquerque, were very close; so Charlie and I were constantly together from diapers till I moved at age seven.

And while we’re still good friends, we’ve grown up to be two very different people.

Charlie loves the outdoors and wildlife. I love baseball.

He lives in Montana now, and Saturday he made the eight-hour drive to see me in Lewiston.

He arrived at the team hotel with a plan that seemed rather appropriate considering we were in twin cities named for Lewis and Clark on the historic Snake River.

While most of the team hung out at the hotel or watched other World Series games at Harris Field, Charlie and I went to explore Hell’s Gate State Park. Not the most inviting name I’ve ever heard, but we made the 5-mile drive anyway.

An elderly entrance attendant said the park was hosting a free gun show. But when Charlie asked her what kinds of guns were on display, she responded, “I don’t know one end of a gun from the other.”

Hopefully she won’t be handling a gun anytime soon.

We weren’t there for the gun show however; we were there to see the Jack O’Connor Center. Now that guy knew how to handle a gun. The center’s walls were covered in animal heads that O’Connor had shot in countries all over the world.

The lion, tiger and bear heads looked ready to pounce on us, if only the rest of their bodies were still attached. Charlie informed me that O’Conner was one of the most prolific big game hunters in history, and it was hard for me to disagree.

It wasn’t as a killer however, that O’Connor made his living. It was as a writer. And there was a typewriter on display to prove it.

Apparently some people choose to write about baseball — others about killing Barren Ground Caribou in the Yukon Territory.

I hope I never meet a Caribou.

Charlie and I then went to the park’s archery range. Charlie’s bow was covered in real rattlesnake skin; I didn’t want the story on how he’d managed that — I was thinking about snakes enough already as we walked past brush and holes to retrieve the arrows.

But I did tell him about how all this was going to make a great column. He didn’t care, “Don’t think about what to write, just shoot the stinking bow,” he said. Surprisingly, I only completely missed the target once.

The fun wasn’t over just yet.

The O’Connor Center was showing a movie at 6 p.m., and we — along with about 10 other adventurers — filed into a room for “Never Cry Wolf.” An employee introduced the movie as being “about a boy who goes to Alaska to study wolves but learns more about himself than the wolves in the process.”

We didn’t stick around to find out what the boy learned about himself, but I’m sure it was mind blowing.

After escaping the O’Connor Center, it was time to leave Charlie’s world, and head back to mine — a world Lewis and Clark wouldn’t have recognized — fifteenth row up, on the first base side at Harris Field for the nightcap of Saturday’s World Series games. I had to give Charlie a little bit of the World Series experience right?

Saturday made me even more thankful for our win over Northwood on Friday.

That win earned us a day off. A day to catch up with a good friend and share some laughs.

Sunday was also a day off, but Monday at 3 p.m. it’s back to business. And that business won’t be easy — Faulkner University is the tournament’s No. 1 seed.



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