A fond farewell to the Get Some Balls! sale in Brighton

A fond farewell to the Get Some Balls! sale in Brighton
french woman with girl

Mother and daughter Harand from Lyon, France.

About seven years ago, I began collecting orbs.

As an umpire, I see that players routinely leave balls and equipment at their fields, often still there the next morning. At Cobb’s Hill, I found many a ball in the dugouts, bushes or on the other side of the fence by 490.  Going further, I decided to accumulate as many found orbs as possible. The only rule was all orbs had to be found not purchased. Softballs, baseballs, basketballs, footballs, rugby balls, soccer balls, cricket balls, tennis balls, golf balls, Frisbees, racquet balls, handballs, croquet balls, badminton shuttle cocks, lacrosse and fields hockey balls, volleyballs, wiffle balls. Even a bowling ball.  One time after the season had ended, our friend Dean and I found 45 softballs in 25 minutes in the wooded area behind the softball fences at Kent Park in Webster.

And every May at the Meadowbrook neighborhood garage sales at the Get Some Balls! stand we sold the found merchandise.  And every year I made new friends in the neighborhood.


Last year just about everything sold. In the interim, my orb collecting enthusiasm waned and I primarily collected tennis balls. On my morning walk past Cobb’s Hill scattered about the tennis courts are always tennis balls. I mean tennis balls compalways. This year there was barely a day — even in the cold months — that I did not find at least one. Good days can yield a dozen. I now have hundreds.

Many mornings my friend Chauhao Luong — you met in Diehards and the Cobb’s Hill Tennis Courts — is there playing tennis. From Vietnam, Chauhao says in his home country I would not find any balls. In AA cropped compVietnam tennis balls are always reinflated when they become mushy or they are stripped down and used to repair shoes or even tires. I also found some baseballs and batting practice balls in the wooded area next to McQuaid High School.


For his friend the baseball coach at Aquinas, John bought the batting practice balls found in the wooded area near McQuaid

Saturday and Sunday just about everything sold.  There are still two bins of tennis balls left to be donated to a city youth recreational center.

All yard sales of found orbs and sports equipment come to an end.  We don’t anticipate any more scavenging and hoarding. So bid a fond farewell to the Get Some Balls! stand.

french people comp

The baseball loving Harand’s from France.

In the finale, we especially rediscovered how cosmopolitan is Meadowbrook.  We met the Harand family who moved to Rochester from Lyons, France in July.  Benoît is a Product Sourcing Manager at Alstom Transport in Henrietta. I learned that about 3 or 4 French-owned companies are in the Rochester area and at any give time about 200 French people can be found.  With the Harand’s now baseball loving children enrolled in local schools, the family may stay for quite some time.  Benoît says his lifestyle here is not that different from France.  And he can get the finest Frence cheeses from Wegmans.

Kerry — married to the American Dorothy — was raised in Ireland and has lived all over the UK. He was surprised to discover that Meadowbrook with its Tudor homes is strikingly similar to an English village. Interestingly, Kerry has never been to the Old Toad pub on Alexander. Dorothy thinks it would make him a little too homesick.

with dog

Kerry (left) and Dorothy (right)

This woman is from Israel, She bought balls for what she calls “muscle rolling.”ball massage comp

We also saw our Israeli friend Mr. Eraam whose son Noam you met in Kids Fishing Derby at Brighton Town Park. And a fish story.

will and rashi

Will and Rashi

Rashi is from India. She moved to Meadowbrook after living in California during the dot com bust. She thinks Rochester is ideally sized. And, if not for the dot com bust, Rashi never would have met Rochestarian Will.

Will had read Howard the Duck is back by popular demand. Buy balls at the Meadowbrook garage sales and was validly confused by the premise. He thought we were selling ducks. But he did not feel “baited and swiched” after he bought a basketball.

me with girl

I traded balls with this girl for a paper flower.

Sunday. The last minutes of the Get Some Balls! stand.  After all these years, the bowling ball never sold.balls 1


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Kids Fishing Derby at Brighton Town Park. And a fish story.

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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