Exactly one month ago, on October 2, Brad and I wandered into the Marion Davies beach house in Santa Monica. One of my favorite things about L.A. is how often one can stumble upon a historic gem without even trying; like reading a book that has those peek-a-boo windows that each reveal a surprise.
The Marion Davies beach house was built by William Randolph Hearst for his lady love, Ms. Davies, and is watched over by a team of volunteers who lure passersby in to the house for tours. As Brad and I peeked through the windows, we were greeted by a lovely retiree who offered to show us around the house and tell us about its history. Reluctantly (we like to do things on our own time), we agreed.
But this is not a story about the Marion Davies beach house.
I can’t remember our tour guide’s name so let’s call her Cathy. Cathy, a blonde-haired woman of about 65, started out with niceties about where we were from.
“We live just up the beach in Venice, but I’m from Sacramento originally.”
“Yeah, and I’m from Chicago,” said Brad.
“Oh! I’m from Chicago too,” Cathy smiled, her eyes twinkling with that Chicago friendliness.
“Nice,” Brad returned the twinkly smile.
Then Cathy sighed.
“The Cubs . . .”
“They’re looking pretty good this year. Maybe they’ll finally go all the way,” I chimed in.
“Oh, I know.”
Cathy’s face washed over with a melancholy resolve.
“My dad passed away three months ago. He spent his entire life waiting for the Cubs to win the World Series. I know he would’ve liked to see them this year.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” Brad said as we walked into an art-deco bathroom on the second floor.
“Yeah, he loved the Cubs.”
We finished the tour and made our way back to our bikes outside, peddling toward Venice. I never stopped thinking about Cathy and her father this entire postseason, and hoped I would be able to write down this story with a sweet ending.
Cathy, I bet last night was bittersweet. The Cubs won the World Series, and I know you were thinking about your father, gone so close to seeing his team win. With 108 years of loss, your story is not unique. Generations of devoted Cubs fans have passed through this world, waiting to see victory for their team and the soil they called home.
November 2 is Dia de los Muertos—a day to honor the dead. Through our remembrances and devotion we bring the spirits of our loved ones back to earth for a visit. The Cubs won the World Series on Dia de los Muertos, and let this give you comfort, Cathy. Fate lends a hand. Thank you Cubbies, for bringing home victory on the day of the year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. You have generations of Cubs fans, including Cathy’s father, hovering in the ether over Wrigley Field, cheering for their team.
What a ballgame.