Perspectives: From Baby Mac to Grandsons Ford and Jack

(My main man Ford)

Just a couple of weeks ago, we told you all about baby John McLean Sharp’s arrival on Planet Earth. A month earlier than he was expected, Mac was stunning. Not only with his timing, but also with all of his presence.

Beautiful. Bountiful. Bouncing. Baby. Boy.

Boy, oh boy.

What a wonderful time.

Yet, on Sunday, I headed North to Columbus, OH to pay a visit to my first two grandsons — Ford and Jack.

Ford just turned 5 years old, and it was time I paid my respects.

And, more importantly, it was past time to take him and his younger brother to the toy store for our annual shopping spree — which we got accomplished on Monday, Aug. 11. Did our best to buy all the Spiderman and Toy Story merchandise that the place had.

Filled up a cart or two.

To be honest, lost count.

But it was well worth it.

The smiles. The laughs. The looks on the faces just mirrored the bouncing in the voices. By the time we got to their home, the car was filled with the sound of music to mine ears — the cheers of kids.

Can’t imagine what the sound of a tulip blooming might be, but this was it.

Beautiful. Bountiful. Bouncing. Boys.

Boy, oh boys.

When you come to Columbus, you had better bring your “A” game, and “B” game, too. ‘Cause these critters don’t stop. From the time they get up at approximately 6 a.m. to the time they go to bed, approximately 8 p.m., these two run, jump, scream, play, wrestle, and scamper like Pete Rose used to play every single second of a baseball game.

All hustle.

All the time.

Head first.

At 8:01 p.m., I’m in bed, too.

And, not because I want to.

Because I have to.


Boy, oh boy.

But they are everything that a “Pops” wants to see when he looks into those beautiful eyes.

The look of freedom.

The look of wonderment.

The look of living.

The look of learning.

And, without a single doubt, the absolute look of absolute love.

The look that makes the heart melt, and jump at the very same time.

The look that makes a “Pops” pop.

I don’t know what it looks like to win the Lottery, but for me this was better than money.

This is living.

It has been a stir-crazy month for an aging man, built more for softball than baseball these days. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions and water slides of tears. It has been fun and exhausting; thrilling and chilling; amazing and imagining. All rolled into one trip after another. One 3 hours South to Nashville. One 3 hours North to Columbus. All rolled into a magical ride that reminds one of a Disney day.

It is has been a crazy month for sure.

Crazy good.

Crazy fun.

Crazy amazing.

Another dose of amazing.


(Ford, left, and Jack show off their costumes)

(Ford shows off his loot for his 5th birthday)

(Ford is such a cutie)

(Jack is the water bug)


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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