July 15, 2013

Drying Out

The biggest potential casualty of our basement flood last Monday - a month's worth of rain fell in only two hours - evening was my cache of newspapers from the October 2004 post-season.

I lived in New York at the time, so I bought copies of the Times, Daily News, Post, and Newsday. A kind SoSHer in Boston saved daily copies of the Globe and Herald for me. Why I kept these newspapers in a cardboard box in the back of a storage closet and not with my other 2004 stuff (in a much safer and easily accessible location) I still am not sure.

In my haste to get dry stuff out of the flood area as the water was rushing in, I grabbed some boxes (some partially-submerged) from that storage area and put them on top of our washer and dryer. One box I put on top of some towels in an empty sink between the appliances. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I ignored those boxes while I packed up books and other items and carried them to a spare room on the second floor. On Wednesday evening, our landlord came over to inspect the hot water heater and I noticed that the box in the sink was half-submerged in water - water that had come up through the drain (?) during the storm. After the landlord left, I lifted the extremely heavy box out of the water. In looking through its contents, I realized that the 2004 papers were in that box. (Before this, I thought they were in some other boxes I had kept on top of a file cabinet. I later discovered those were papers from 2003, a decidedly less important post-season.)

The 2004 newspapers had been sitting in water for roughly 48 hours. They were clearly ruined. However, because I had also saved hundreds of post-season stories to my hard drive* nearly nine years ago, I (somewhat) accepted this loss. Or maybe I was simply stunned. Laura suggested I carry the wet papers out to the garage until we could decide what to do. On Thursday, I brought some of the papers out to the backyard on a whim. It was a hot day and I laid out some pages in the grass and weighed them down with coins. To my surprise, they dried fairly quickly!

So that is what I have been doing for three afternoons. Lay out soggy pages of newsprint, weigh them down with forks, spoons, and knives - the coins were not heavy enough - and then gather them up 20-30 minutes later. My papers are no longer in superb condition, but they still exist.

*: If I had not saved all those articles, I would have taken the papers out months ago, to use for research for my 2004 book . . . the manuscript for which is due in what feels like approximately four hours.
Please read:

Jonah Keri, Grantland: "The 2013 Red Sox: Don't Call It a Comeback":
So, what changed? Which dramatic, next-to-impossible events unfolded that took the Red Sox from one of the darkest periods in the history of the franchise all the way back to the top of the heap? Turns out, not that many. They did make one monumental trade, of course, one that cleared a huge sum of money off the payroll. That deal aside, the Red Sox used a patient, incremental approach to become a first-place team again. Sometimes the best thing you can do after a disaster is just wait for your luck to turn.
Alex Speier, WEEI: "Nearing The End Of The Bridge? Red Sox Are Nearing Realization Of A Longstanding Ambition":
All of that suggests a promising time for the Red Sox. The team has not only been performing as the best team in the American League to date but also appears to be positioning itself, given its upper-levels talent base, to sustain ambitions of contention for some time to come. ...

The Sox have not arrived at their intended destination -- the next great Red Sox team about which general manager Ben Cherington talked often this pastoffseason -- but they are strikingly close to the end of the bridge to get there.
Game Thread Mojo Meter (As Of 2013 All-Star Break)
               W   L   PCT
fusionmouse    4   1  .800
fenfan        26   9  .743
allan         17  14  .548
Maxwell Horse  9  10  .474
laura          2   4  .333
kathryn        0   1  .000


Tom DePlonty said...

Thanks for the Grantland piece - I think the analysis is spot-on, and it feels like the article I've been wanting to read about this team since sometime late in May.

And - so sorry about the floods. Good luck with the continued drying out. What a pain.

laura k said...

I'd like a tad more credit here, please!

L: Try to save them! It might be possible!

A: What's the point. They're gone. They're ruined.

L: Why not try? Can't we at least try? Maybe you can save them!

A: I don't want to talk about it. They're gone.

L: Come on, you gotta try!

A: What's the point.

[Repeat about 10 more times, until...]

A: I think I may be able to save some the 2004 papers!

Maxwell Horse said...

fusionmouse gets the benefit of the small sample size. He is the Puig of Joy of Sox game threads.

allan said...

Had to go with %, since fenfan and I start most of the threads. And fusionmouse came in only in the last week, too!!

L does deserve credit, yes. I thought the drying out method was my idea, but maybe she planted the seed. She was also seriously thinking about somehow rebuying the papers, which I think would be impossible, but still a sweet idea.

allan said...

Looking at eBay, they have Boston papers for the day after they won the WS, obviously, but how would you (almost nine years later) get papers that covered Game 2 of the ALDS, for example?

Amy said...

Glad you (AND LAURA) were able to save the papers.

I know the Times sells old first pages, but I don't know about full papers. Glad you don't have to find out.

Enjoy the ASB.

Amy said...

By the way, it's so hot here I bet those papers would dry in 5 minutes.

FenFan said...

I'm very surprised at my luck (when it really comes down to it, it's about luck) this season with thread streaks. Last season, my longest stretch was four threads and I've matched or beaten that four times, by my quick count.

I'm glad to hear that you have managed to save your papers. Unfortunately, mine got misplaced in my move a few years ago and I can no longer find them. I fear that they are gone forever... :'(

allan said...

Unfortunately, mine got misplaced in my move a few years ago and I can no longer find them. I fear that they are gone forever..

That's horrible. I save a lot of shit, so for the one box that gets the brunt of the flood to be the one with 2004 stuff in it -- and, for you, that is probably the one thing that got lost on your move -- it really sucks.

Amy: it's totally hot here, too.

9casey said...

People get on me about bitchin about the weather. But this summer it either rains or is way to hot to go outside. Just miserable.

Glad to hear you were able to save some of the papers from the flood. A flooded basement is never a good time.

laura k said...

Glad you (AND LAURA) were able to save the papers.

Thank you Amy :)

It is extremely hot and humid here. Dislike.

allan said...

All the papers are dry!

Amy said...

As we say on Facebook, "LIKE."

allan said...

I need the daily papers to help prove to myself that what I think happened in 2004 really did happen!

Tom DePlonty said...

All the papers are dry!

One upside of the heat wave, I guess. Congrats!

wardo said...

Just checking back to the site today and reading about the flood for the first time -- what a pain in the neck! Glad to read you're recovering, and thanks again for all the Sox news over the years. Here's to a great second half.