There is a huge risk in having an opinion when you're over age 65. By definition it's an "out of touch" opinion perhaps bordering on the cranky.
We had some people from Cleveland visiting the Vineyard this past weekend. Cleveland is like Detroit-light. Cleveland and Detroit have a lot in common: basements, snow, bad sports teams, and canned vegetables, to name a few of the more important commonalities.
We were tasting the new 2013 Vermentino. No one complained, not a bit. While we were tasting, we got talking. It started with flag football, of all things. Then the conversation drifted dangerously toward the subject of children at play. The not so uncommon observation came up that children are over scheduled. Bob, from Cleveland, offered the observation that with his grandchildren's soccer, swimming, little league, basketball, yoga, art, martial arts, volleyball, skiing, and equestrian lessons and practices, to name but a few, it was hard to get on their calendar. Rita, Bob's wife, said it was different when she was a kid. She and her friends would just play. If they went to the woods at the end of the block, her Mother would exercise her best parenting skills by yelling out the front door at her back, " If you break your leg, don't come running home to me." "That was it." said Rita. "No, 'I love you, Buddy.' No, 'Be careful Sweetie.' No, nothing."
With that profound leg-breaking parental admonition fresh on our minds, we thought it best to taste the new 2014 Rosé.
So, fortified with the taste of the new 2013 creamy, yet crisp Vermentino and the new 2014 ripe berry and refreshing citrus Rosé, Bob fired off the old guy opinion that children should simply be allowed to play: no coaches, no parents, no medals and no trophies.
Bob's son said, "Are you nuts? Play where? Play with who? This is not post World War II for Pete's sake. What about safety? What about sportsmanship? What about team play? What about proper technique? What about skill building? And, what about self-esteem?”
Not to be cowered into submission by such a logical tour de force, Bob shot back, "Boy, I love this new Rosé and Vermentino. “