Here’s to Nathaniel’s opening day

Marietta High won going away against Morgan of McConnelsville, 56-14, Friday night at Don Drumm Stadium.

It was the Tigers’ 2019 football lid-lifter.

It was also Nathaniel’s opening day — and someday when he’s old enough, I’ll try to describe “the first day of the rest of his life” to him.

You of course don’t know Nathaniel but the highlight of my day occurred at 1:48 p.m. at Marietta Memorial Hospital where Marissa Prunty gave birth to her first child. Nathaniel weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces, and Delta said she was right there to welcome him into the world.

Delta is the grandmother and also Marissa’s mom.

By the way, Delta is a Fort Frye grad, and the Cadets downed the Belpre Golden Eagles, 34-12, in Beverly on Nathaniel’s first night.

When I first laid eyes on Nathaniel, it was about two hours before kickoff at Don Drumm. He was being wheeled in a bassinet by his father, Collin Kidd, with Marissa, still in her hospital gown, strolling behind. Mother and baby were being moved to another room on the same floor at MMH.

I applauded them before they entered the room

It also occurred to me that maybe someday Nathaniel might become a football player.

I mean, Kidd, a PHS grad, played football for the Big Reds, and also wrestled.

Would it be father like son?

Anyway, Kidd, who was attired in a Big Reds sweatshirt, informed me that Don Reeves was his gridiron coach back in the day. That Friday evening at Stadium Field, Mike Byus-coached Parkersburg High beat Morgantown, 27-21.

Sitting on the bed, Marissa, a Marietta grad this past spring, smiled before swigging a soda pop. On a bedside table were a bouquet of chrysanthemums of various colors and balloons, courtesy of Uncle Jake.

Nathaniel was fast asleep.

Earlier that morning, my wife Bec and I visited Marissa at the hospital in her other room. Several people were there, including Jason, the grandpa-to-be, who was admiring some pictures of horses on a computer tablet. He actually takes care of horses at his home.

Maybe someday Nathaniel would get to ride one with grandpa guiding him?

Wouldn’t be surprised.

After a brief visit, Bec and I left and had lunch at the Empire Buffet, our favorite restaurant, on Pike Street.

Then, like everybody else, we waited for the birth announcement.

After Nathaniel was born, Marissa rested for a while. Then, at about 5 p.m., Bec and I visited the hospital a second time that day to see mother and baby.

Several other people were also there for the happy occasion, and many snapshots of course were taken.

As the minutes raced by, I realized that I had to get to work at Don Drumm. So, I bade Marissa and baby farewell — and departed.

Before the opening kickoff, Marietta High principal Chad Rinard congratulated me. He’d seen the pics on Facebook.

During the game, Nathaniel was very much on my mind.

And, when Tiger standout Tony Munoz scored the tying touchdown in the first quarter, he raised his right arm in triumph with the football clenched in his hand before entering the end zone.

Much later, I got to thinking about that Munoz run — and beaming, I, too, raised my right arm.

Here’s to you Nathaniel — and a long, long, happy life.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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