I first got fascinated with listening to Vin during the summer of 1977. I was attending UC Santa Barbara and was ‘between apartments’ for the summer, so my good friend Dave Gutierrez let me sleep on a cot on his balcony on Abrego Ave. in Isla Vista.
I had heard some of Vin during the 60′s because my grandmother Dora used to listen to the games. She was a huge Dodgers fan. But I’d drifted away from listening until that summer of ’77.
I worked at a liquor store in Santa Barbara and when I’d get back to Dave’s place, he was usually cooking some Mexican food. He’d learned to cook from his grandmother in Boyle Heights. He’d also learned to love the Dodgers there. They could see Dodger Stadium from the front porch of his grandparents’ house. Chile verde was his specialty, and we’d always have plenty of Budweiser and yellow chiles en Escabeche.
On those summer evenings with the radio on as the verde simmered and the beer chilled, we’d hear that old song ‘It’s a beautiful day for a ball game, for a ball game today…’ and sing along. Then it was ‘Hi everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be…”
We’d wallow in the game and Vin’s words and stories. Often I would drift off to sleep on the balcony while listening. And the morning after, we’d always have Farmer John bacon for breakfast.