Opening Day Coronavirus Blues

Finding hope in trying times

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Today is one of those days when I’m a little more bummed out about the disruption the coronavirus has brought to all of our lives than other days.

You see today was supposed to be Reds Opening Day in Cincinnati, Ohio, the birthplace of professional baseball.

For those not from the Queen City, think Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but much more wholesome, or Patriot’s Day in Boston.

If today were the same for me as it has been for the past five years, I would have begun my day around 9 a.m. at WCPO 9 News.

I would have stuffed a backpack with props and mobile cellphone charger before riding my bicycle down Gilbert Avenue to Arnold’s Bar & Grill, the oldest continually operating bar in Cincinnati.

I would have posted social media photos and videos of early revelers pouring out of the bar before making my way to the start of the 101st annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.

I then would have spent the rest of the day visiting various places along the 1.5-mile parade route that starts at Findlay Market and ends just a block or two north of Great American Ball Park.

I’ would have talked to a few of the thousands of adults and children who line the streets every year. I would have enjoyed watching bands march and people waving from community-sponsored floats.

I might have even interviewed a few United States Olympic medalists, the honored guests of this year’s parade.

But, I’ve done none of that.

Today, I’ve sat at home with the windows open, slightly annoyed by how perfect the weather is for a parade.

For comfort, I’ve rewatched this particular clip from an interview I conducted yesterday with Holy Grail owner Jim Moehring.

Jim’s bar is located just outside Great American Ball Park at The Banks. After the parade, hundreds gather within a one-block area to celebrate. Jim’s bar has had front row seats for the festivities the past nine years.

Not this year.

In the middle of discussing how Jim and other bar owners are surviving during what otherwise would be the busiest day of the year for them, something happened.

Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini slid up on us just out of the camera’s frame as I spoke with Jim and handed Jim the ballcap right off of his head.

What Jim said immediately after and at the end of our interview was fantastic. Take a listen to the clip below. I find comfort in Jim’s words, which is why I’ve decided to share it here with whoever stumbles across it today.

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