"Yeah, those children. Ignoramuses. And it seems like it's deteriorated even further since then, too. There's a sorry set of owners up there now. Most of 'em couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the heel."
Then the Governor begins to root around in another drawer, this one full of shirts. "Baseball's certainly a fine institution, and the proof is how it continues to thrive no matter how the ones in charge mistreat it," he says, enjoying himself. In fact, he has never seemed happier than when he pulls out a handsome silver tray from amid the shirts. It was a gift from the players. Organized Baseball waited 3 years after firing Happy before it remembered him and put him in the Hall of Fame. The players gave him this tray right after they found out he had been fired. The names of all 6 teams are engraved on the tray. "I don't think there's another commissioner ever, in any sport, ever got a thing like this," the Governor says. "From the players."
He keeps it tucked away under the shirts because, in case anybody ever broke in and stole Mahatma Gandhi and the cups and plaques, even the Ty Cobb stuff, he reckons they'd never find the players' tray. Happy slips it back, hidden, into the drawer. "Pardner," he says, "I wouldn't trade that for the national debt."
Then it's time to inspect the natural foundation. Actually, there are two foundations. One is the stone in the ground. The Governor goes down into the basement and pounds on it. The other is above the ground. It is the red brick, and it is the green roof to match the lawn, and it is the flowers, which are everywhere, and just down Elm Street (imagine actually living on an Elm Street in real life) there is an actual railroad crossing and an actual water tower, and just beyond that is the main street, with the Episcopal church set almost exactly halfway between the Catholic church and the Baptist church, just so, and a bit beyond that, one way, is the county courthouse; and a bit beyond that, the other way, is a ball field, the nearest baseball diamond. That's quite a foundation, too.
But back inside 9 Elm, coming up the basement stairs, making his way without his stick, comes the Governor. And suddenly, for no reason, he breaks into Invictus. "Out of the night that covers me," he intones, moving up the stairs, "Black as the Pit from pole to pole/I thank whatever gods may be/For my unconquerable soul."
He didn't miss a beat with that verse. That is one of the advantages of having total recall in the 90th summer of all your born days. And so he starts again, another verse, and each step up the stairs brings-a new line. "In the fell clutch of circumstance..." Step. "I have not winced nor cried aloud...." Step. "Under the bludgeonings of chance..." Step. "My head is bloody, but unbowed." And one more step.
Happy pauses at the top of the stairs, and my, isn't he looking well?
To coin an expression, I'm only showing you this because you can't see it anywhere else.