Now it’s cool to be a Royals fan

Kansas City Royals' Jarrod Dyson chats with fans after Game 5 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in New York. The Royals won 7-2 to win the series.

‘So, do you have domestic harmony in your household?” asked Hal Snow, who is an avid baseball fan.

The Kansas City Royals had just won its third game of the World Series. My wife grew up in Independence, Missouri, so she has endured decades of the Royals’ living in baseball oblivion. Hal knew that in the 2014 World Series, our domestic loyalties were split as the San Francisco Giants and the Royals collided.

Much ink has been spilled to describe Sunday night’s Series climax. The best metaphor I’ve seen came from Tom Boswell of The Washington Post: “The night of the living dead.” No matter how badly wounded, the Royals just keep coming back.

As Sunday night’s concluding game became a Monday morning game in New York, my wife was elated, because her late mother’s birthday was Nov. 2. No one had endured more fan disappointment than she.

Some four years ago we did our summer baseball trip to St. Louis and Kansas City. As we sat in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, a guy behind us said: “You know, the Royals are a really good minor league team.”

Not anymore.

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Former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt made an appearance at Bridgewater Bistro last Wednesday. Goldschmidt was joined by Mike Parker of Oysterville. Parker was in Portland’s Planning Department when Goldschmidt was mayor. “I had never met Neil, but recognized him immediately by his shock of white hair when we were introduced,” said Bridgewater proprietor Tony Kischner. “He was most impressed with our restaurant (‘one of the greatest public venues in the region’) and Astoria’s developing vibrancy (about which he had heard from Gerry Frank). “And this town still has a daily newspaper,” Goldschmidt said, “which is more than we can say about Portland.”

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Cuba Libre is as hot and rollicking a night as you’ll find in a theater. My wife and I saw this two-hour musical last Saturday at Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre. Bouncing between present-day Miami and Cuba in the 1990s, Cuba Libre evokes the pain inflicted on Cubans by what Fidel Castro euphemistically called “the special period.” That 1990s era of starvation occurred when the Soviet Union removed its financial support for Castro’s regime.

The plot line is knit together with Afro-Cuban music played by an ensemble of brass, percussion, keyboard and vocals.

As the days grow shorter and darkness prevails, Cuban music is a reliable mood elevator.

In winter’s darkness, Cuban music is a reliable mood elevator.

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