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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star



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Betty Weiss

It’s “play ball” for the Boys of Summer as they take to the fields all across the country. There are baseball fans and – then there are baseball FANS. And when it comes to the Texas Rangers, ELENA GARCIA is one of those all-in-capital-letters fans.
In 1961, the Rangers were the Washington Senators. Then they moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. Finally, in 1971, they moved to Arlington and made their debut as the Texas Rangers the following spring. Since then, Elena has been a loyal fan ready to wear either a red, white, or blue team jersey, depending on the occasion.
A few weeks ago, Elena’s daughter, “Rocky” Smith, and two of her grandsons, James Garcia and Kent Kidd, escorted her to the Globe Life Park in Arlington to see the Rangers play the Chicago White Sox. The team mascot, Ranger Captain, a man dressed in a costume meant to be a Palomino style horse, noticed Elena seated in her wheel chair behind first base. He must have thought she looked like a true FAN, because he trotted on down to her side for a television interview, which was aired on the Fox Sports channel. Elena, who was wearing her team’s red jersey, looked great on the field’s jumbo screen and on television, which was affirmed by several local residents who were watching the game at home. After the interview, the captain moved Elena to a special section reserved for people with wheel chairs.
What an incredible day – the Rangers won the game, upgraded seating, an appearance on national television, and family time. Can’t get much better than that.
The Ranges don’t have a squad of cheerleaders like the Cowboys, so that might be something for Elena to consider organizing in her spare time. Though she wouldn’t be able to demonstrate how to do the splits or high kicks anymore, she could teach those young women a lot about Ranger baseball and “esprit de corps.”
When Elena is home watching a game, she stays up until the final out is called, and it might be wise not to disturb her. She knows the names of the players and their position on the field. One of her favorites players this year is pitcher Yu Darvish. Her next trip to Arlington will be in September when the Rangers play the Oakland A’s.
Ready to keep up with this lady? By the way, she’ll be 97-years-old (?) on August 18th.
Some summer reading suggestions of books I’ve just read: “LILAC GIRLS” by Martha Hall Kelly. Beginning at the start of World War II, it covers the lives of three women: one a wealthy New Yorker, one from Lublin, Poland, and one a doctor from Berlin. Traveling in time from 1939 to the mid-50s, it meanders through New York, France, Poland, Germany and the gates of Ravensbruck concentration camp. Then there’s a final link that touches each of their lives. “JOURNEY TO MUNICH” by Jacqueline Winspear. Another of her Maisie Dobbs stories – this one involving an undercover mission to Munich in 1938 to free a British subject that could be an important asset with war looming in Europe. “15th AFFAIR” by James Patterson – another of his ladies from the Murder Club. Fast paced mystery that keeps all the ladies on their toes. Especially, Lindsay, who tries to solve a complicated crime and winds up thinking her husband may be involved. “THE ISLAND HOUSE” by Nancy Thayer. Really like her “people” stories that all take place on Nantucket. Spending her summers on the island with her second family, Courtney shares all their trials and tribulations, and she must finally decide if she “loves him or loves him not.”


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