By Ken Martin

    On a recent afternoon I went up to the Adobe Park bocce courts just to throw a few practice balls. I was the only person in the park until a van pulled into the parking lot and disgorged a small boy complete with a backpack and skate board. The van left and the boy proceeded to the things that skateboarders do.

I really didn’t pay much attention to him until I saw him coming toward me sans backpack and skateboard. He walked up to me and asked what the game was that I was playing. I told him it was bocce, gave him a very brief explanation of the game, and asked him if he would like to try it. He said that he would like to do that.

He threw some balls down the court and then I suggested that we play a game to help him understand how it goes. He agreed and we played a few frames.

I asked him how old he was and he replied, “10”. I asked what his name was and he replied, “Dylan”. I asked if he was named for Bob Dylan and he affirmed that he was.

As we ended one frame and were putting balls in the rack, I told him that my wife was Bob Dylan’s cousin (a fact). He immediately froze and a look of great amazement came over his face, eyes wide open and jaw dropped, and for several seconds as he just stared at me. “Really?” he finally queried, as if he was in the presence of quasi-reflected indirect second-hand  greatness. In moment he recovered and we resumed our game. A couple of frames later he said he had to call his mother and he left the courts.

I enjoyed my brief time with Dylan. I was amazed and gratified that this young boy would even take the time to walk over and inquire about what I was doing. I also enjoyed his reaction to my stretched connection to Bob Dylan. It was a brief but interesting and good time and it kind of made my afternoon.

Dylan, I hope that we meet again sometime at the park. Maybe we can play a little more bocce. I’m looking forward to that possibility.

ENTHUSIASM: The Buon Tempo Club’s fundraising Donut Hole Open Bocce Tournament, in addition to successfully raising over $1000 to help Sam Nuov, has apparently spread the bocce bug. Several of the players that had never played the game before the tournament have told me what a good time they had and are looking forward to playing again. Like I keep saying, bocce is everybody’s game. Now they eagerly want another tournament. Well, maybe in the spring. Stayed tuned.