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There’s always something to do in this little 3-principality duchy that made me an insignificant duke, or would if companies were parts of monarchies or baseball was cricket.

Or, if life was an automobile race.

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Monte Dutton

On Friday night, Caleb Gilbert and I were at home literally but figuratively imitating a NASCAR pit crew to service the speeding car of Danny Barletta off on the high banks of Williamston. Danny pulled off a slingshot on the last lap, the same way Williamston did to win the extra-inning American Legion baseball playoff game.

Caleb was the tire changer, adjusting the air pressure on Danny’s photographs. I tinkered with the setup on his story.

Damn, we worked well together. Danny deserved to hoist the trophy and kiss the beauty queen. I deserved to watch a late-night movie because I was too pumped to go to sleep right away.

This was just a sneak preview. This was the Busch Clash (I think it’s actually called that again). We just made sure the Friday night lights would turn on when we flipped the switch.

Now, Friday night, Aug. 20, that’s going to be something like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or at least the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The three of us will each be on the road, scribbling notes and snapping photos. Then we’ll return to our abodes, go through our photos and write our stories. Mind you, this process alone takes hours. Then Caleb will review the photos, I’ll review the gamers, and Danny will get a head start editing and compiling accounts of other games. I’ll take the high road and Caleb’ll take the low road and he’ll get to Scotland afore me (from a Scottish folk song that blew up YouTube in 1841).

That first night, I fear the deadline might fall with the rise of the Saturday morning sun. Then we’ll have to practice our pit stops and get faster and faster, because two weeks later, college games will enter the race. Maybe we should call this The Chase since NASCAR doesn’t anymore.

There’s an old Jerry Jeff Walker song, of which I know many, with words that come to mind in regard to the life of a journalist as well as “a rodeo-deo-deo cowboy, bordering on the insane.”

The cobwebs sure are thick / What’s goin’ on / I feel like all my circuits are blown / I can’t remember my number or name / Gimme a beer or two and I’ll feel fine / At least it worked every other time …

Dave Gilstrap wrote that song, by the way, but Jerry Jeff sure could sing it.

It will get done. Supported by correspondents and statisticians, we will adapt as conditions change. This I already expected, but after a Legion game in Williamston, now I know.