Imagine driving along Clement Street late one night when suddenly a beam of blinding light hits your car. You’d probably think it was Sgt. Stan Voogst pulling you over for swerving after one too many diet ales at Rooster’s Road House, aka The Crown and Anchor Saloon. But no… it’s an alien tractor beam! Those pesty green men want to learn how earthlings spent a summer day back in the 60’s and they’ve grabbed you to tell them. (Okay, it’s far more likely they’d want the technology of an i-Phone, but run with me on this).
You’re brought into their vessel and hooked up to a device that looks like David Orek’s latest vacuum cleaner. Suddenly mental images flash across a giant floating screen as they are sucked out of your brain. After millions of these images appear, including a ridiculous number of Tommy Tucker ice cream cones and “what’s her name” from behind the swings at Krusi Park, it stops on this one image. The definitive snapshot that encapsulates all that it meant to be an Alameda park rat on a summer day.
John Rickerts of the Rittler Wildcats Pee Wee League team gets ready for action at his home field in July, 1970.