Spirit

Stuff I like: The Fairway pool, Colorado baseball, old papers and new Kurt Vonnegut

The diving board is the place to be at the Fairway city pool.
The diving board is the place to be at the Fairway city pool. dpulliam@kcstar.com

Here’s what business reporter Steve Vockrodt is into these days:

Fairway city pool

I’m on a bad run of household appliances breaking down. First it was a dishwasher, then it was a lawnmower, then it was my refrigerator and now it’s my air conditioner. I’m told it’s going to take seven to 10 business days just for the replacement part to arrive.

Of course, this happens when the first heat wave of the year descends upon Kansas City. Good thing the Fairway city pool is two blocks away from my house. A season pass is one of my best investments every year. My 3-year-old son insists on watching me jump off the diving board. Splash dives are a favorite. “Great job,” he tells me every time.

Old newspaper collection

newspapers
I love my stack of old newspapers with big headlines. Steve Vockrodt svockrodt@kcstar.com

My parents are getting ready to put their house in Denver on the market and move to Montana. They’ve been digging through a whole bunch of childhood stuff I never took with me to see what they should toss in the trash.

They traveled to Kansas City last weekend to hand over a few things. One of my favorites was a box full of old newspapers. My parents subscribed to both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News when I was growing up. Living among stacks of newspapers influenced my career aspirations

I made a habit of keeping the front pages for prominent news events: the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, Bill Clinton’s acquittal of impeachment charges that same year and the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup in 1996. Even though the pages have turned yellow with age, I’m glad they kept them.

Baseball season

rockies
Greg Holland may have been a fine Royals pitcher, but he’s with my team now, the Colorado Rockies. Jared Wickerham The Associated Press

When I am at home at night, I often find myself tuning into baseball. I grew up a Colorado Rockies fan. While I do follow the Kansas City Royals as my adopted American League squad, my allegiance remains with my hometown team.

As Royals fans can appreciate, rooting for the Rockies most years is an exercise in futility as the team typically fades toward the bottom of the National League standings by the start of June. This year it’s different. The bullpen is strong (a rarity in Rockies history), and the bats are heating up. They have been leading the National League West most of the season so far. I’m hoping this year can be for me what 2015 was for Royals fans.

“Armageddon in Retrospect”

vonnegut
“Armageddon in Retrospect” was published after Kurt Vonnegut’s death. AP

 

Half my family lives in France, so I visited Paris in May. Every time I go, I venture out of my way to make it to Shakespeare & Company, a really neat bookstore on the Left Bank.

This last time, I was delighted to spot a Kurt Vonnegut book I hadn’t read before. I was a voracious reader of Vonnegut in high school and in college. “Armageddon in Retrospect” is a posthumous collection of short stories about war and peace. It seems like a good time to be reading it.

Steve Vockrodt: 816-234-4277, @st_vockrodt

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