Gold Dust

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Gold Dust is a story that takes place in Boston during the late 1970's. The story starts out when Napoleon Charlie Ellis arrives from the island of Dominica. Napoleon is not yet used to all the changes, including the cold weather. Napoleon meets up with Richard Riley Moncrief one day at school in the seventh grade. Richard is a baseball fanatic and loves the Boston Red Sox. He wants to follow in the footsteps of Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, who were arguably the best pair of rookies to ever play on the same team. Richard only needs a partner. He makes up his mind that Napoleon will do the job. There is only one problem. Napoleon has never picked up a baseball in his life. That doesn't stop Richard at all. Richard tells Napoleon about it and doesn't let him say no. When Napoleon finally gives it a try, he turns out to be a great baseball player.

Richard spends all winter long teaching Napoleon all about the game of baseball and it's mechanics. Hours and hours of two-on-two baseball makes Napoleon a great pitcher, and it makes Richard a class "A" batter. Napoleon also has many other talents including reading and singing. When Napoleon is singing at church one day, a man by the name of James Connolly from the Archdiocese Choir School hears him sing. Richard felt his dream was going to come true until Napoleon is offered a full scholarship to the choir school. The school says they will take him any time. The school wants Napoleon so badly it gives him two tickets sown the first-base line to the Boston Red Sox game versus the Oakland A's. Napoleon and Richard went to Fenway Park to watch the game. While they are there, they get talking about the choir school. Napoleon feels it is really what he wants to do because he really likes choir. The next day Napoleon isn't at school. He is on his way to the choir school. Richard is sitting along in the classroom. He is upset that his dream of his and Napoleon's being the next "Gold Dust Twins" is gone, but that didn't stop him from eating, sleeping and living baseball.

There is a strength that really sticks out in the story. It was the author's ability to describe particular settings. It really helped to get a good picture in my head for what is happening. When Richard and Napoleon walked into Fenway Park, the author descries the smell of the popcorn, hotdogs and the smell of the grass, and he descries how loud the organ is. If you have ever been to a baseball game, that is exactly how it is.

The story also had weaknesses. For one example, it didn't follow a story-line very well. One chapter didn't lead into the next. One chapter might be about playing baseball, and the next would be about Richard and his family.