John Holway / Other Leagues (Ladies Leagues)
BARE LEGS AND BARE KNUCKLES BASEBALL
CHILIS AND PEPPER
By John B. Holway
After the 1948 season, my boyfriend, Norm, wanted me to get married, but then came news of an all-star team to go to South America. Who could resist that?
"You," said Norm. "It's me or South America, take your pick."
"Well," I said, "Adios."
In Guatemala we barely got out. They were having a revolution, and we got the last plane out.
In Costa Rica we flew a twin-engine plane to a little mountain town for a game when I looked out the window and yelled, "Whoa! The propellor on the right side isn't going around!" The pilot said, "Don't worry, that one never works anyway."
In Nicaragua the Somoza family was in power, and they took us to a party in the presidential palace. The president's son was a big, good-looking young man in his West Point uniform, but he didn't speak English very well. Dottie Schroeder, our shortstop, was a beautiful lady. He took her hand and said, "Let me know if there is anything I can do to you." We laughed, "Yeah, we know what he'd like to do to you."
We got to Puerto Rico at the same time the American submarine fleet was there on maneuvers. Boy! were we happy to see them, and boy -- were they happy to see us. Two of us were invited to go on board, and I won't forget walking down those narrow aisles and the guys all hanging out of their bunks, whistling and grinning from ear to ear as we passed.
We visited a few nightclubs in San Juan. The Cuban girls had taught me some Latin songs, and I translated one, "La Ultima Noche," and sang it in Spanish and English. It's a beautiful song. Any recording star who sang it today would have a hit, especially if she used my lyrics.
/// Next: Pepper and the Romeos ///