Just now, I am
concerned about food," says Maren Seidler.
"Ah, the big
F," says Brian Oldfield. "You have mentioned it a few times."
"A couple of
things at Zot's would be great. Grilled things."
forget the wet things," says Carol Seidler from the back seat.
These three are
careening about the interior of Oldfield's 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix that you
have to stick your finger through a greasy hole in the side to unlock. The car
soars and whacks over the road back to the California coastal hills, escaping
the flatland of Stanford University's stadium, where Oldfield and Maren Seidler
have encouraged each other through three hours of training for their common
calling, putting the shot. Oldfield's throw of 75 feet in 1975 is the longest
in history with the standard 16-pound shot. Seidler is the American women's
record holder with a throw of 62'3¼" with the 4-kilogram (8.8 pounds)
music," says Maren, switching on the radio. "Classical in the mornings,
to awaken with clarity. Rock before training to really blast. Rhythm and blues
Billy Joel cries
out that only the good die young. On hearing this, Oldfield places an imaginary
revolver to his temple, blows his brains out, and slumps over the wheel. The
car drifts over the center line, then over the left shoulder. In a spray of
gravel it comes to rest in the parking lot of the Alpine Inn Beer Garden,
formerly named Rossotti's.
Zot's," Carol Seidler says languidly. The tavern, which is a historical
monument, has a 14-foot snakeskin on the wall, sloping floors and graffiti
carved 3/16 of an inch deep in the tables. Its scale is somewhat larger than
life, at least until Oldfield, too evil to die, leads the Seidlers within.
Maren is the shortest of the trio at 6'2".
Oldfield goes and
gets the first schooners of beer. Thick, protein-rich sandwiches arrive and are
eaten. Later a waiter comes to take away glasses, asking if that will be
think you won already?" says Oldfield. "We can drink more by accident
than your best customers can with dedication."