January 28, 2017
Reflections from the back nine
January 28, 2017
February 1st —February 28th is Black History month.
===========Just some thoughts:
“I’ve come to recognize that one of the functions of a grandparent or family elder is to pass on these stories, in an effort to sustain a sense of family history across time and the many separations that occurs. This is an important function –the forces that blow families apart have reached a gulf force in our time. One can see this in the demise of the family dinner table. In my childhood it was uncommon for the family to eat less than two meals a day around the same kitchen table.”
“But dinner (called supper then) was a virtually inviolable ritual. Only natural disasters, severe weather or some catastrophic breakdown in the day’s work schedule could daily or abrogate family dinners at the kitchen table. In this I don’t believe we were exceptional. Working and middle-class families sat down at the dinner table every night–the shared meal was the touchstone of good manners. Indeed, that dinner table was the one time when were all together, every day: parents, grandparents, children, siblings. Rudeness between siblings, or a failure to observe the etiquette of passing dishes to one another, accompanied by “please” and “thank you,” was the training ground of behavior, the place where manners began.”
Larry McMurtry–Dairy Queen
In reading such I though of how in my own childhood how this was true and at those times stores were told and family history remembered. This practice would still serve our families well.
January 24, 2017
“Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?”
Ernest Hemingway–The Old Man and The Sea
My 75th birthday is just a few weeks away. I seldom have need of that alarm that sits on my night stand next to our bed. Hum…
January 5, 2017
It is a movie that came out in 1999. The setting is Baltimore, Maryland in 1954-1955.
Anti-Semitism, race changing relations, youth dealing the issues of coming of age, the birth of rock-n’-roll, life is changing very quickly for this Baltimore family as also is for others at this time. A movie with humor about the times yet a great deal of seriousness in dealing with the times and the issues they brought.
I really liked the movie. I found some great lines said during the show. One of the best lines was said at the end of the movie by Ben the teenager who had just graduated high school:
“If I knew things would no longer be I would have tried to remember them better.”
Who among us has not felt that way about some matter?
January 21, 2016
This morning early (6 A.M) as I sat in a booth by myself at my coffee place I watched as two men stood up . They shook hands and as they prepared to leave I heard one of the men say to the other:
“You’re always a pleasure to see
and even more so to be with.”
From the man’s tone one could tell it was not a passing statement. It was said with great sincerity.
As I sat and watched the two go out the door, separate and walk to their cars I thought what a nice thing to have said of you.
“A pleasure to see— even more to be with”
April 7, 2014
Recently I read a book that in some ways left me more sad than glad.
True, it did have a good ending, but the journey was often sad. The book is “Pistol: The Life of Peter Maravich.” Most of you are too young to remember him. Plain and simple, he was one of a kind and well ahead of his time. He has been voted one of the fifty greatest players in the history of all basketball. That says it all.
The book is about Pete, his life, and his growing up years with his father. For most of Pete’s life his father, Press, was his coach. From the earliest beginnings of Pete’s life, his father had him marked to be a basketball player, not just any player, but the greatest ever. One of the saddest statements I found in the book comes after a game in which Pete had played and his team lost. Pete would often go off to be completely alone for long periods of time and often weeping for hours on end and walking home alone.
The author said it this way, “Press had never devised a drill for his son to deal with defeat. Pete took all defeats personal and hard.” I thought how sad it is that he never taught his son how to deal with loss. It makes no difference who we are, prince or pauper, sooner or later in life we are gonna lose at something.
“All the shots won’t go in the basket, and all of us will experience walking home alone.”
Losing and dealing with defeat and adversity is a lesson we all need to learn and be taught, generally the sooner the better.
By the way, I saw Pete play on a few occasions. He was something special.
March 18, 2011
Tom often was paid a grand sum of $35 to officiate not one but two basketball games, the JV game and then the varsity game. The school’s AD told him “You can bring someone with you to work the JV game but you will have to pay him out of that $35.” I guess one of the fringe benefits might be the free hot dog and coke one might and I said might get at halftime. Maybe even a free bag of popcorn as they leave for the evening. Note: One of the highlights might be if the band was having a chili supper,after the game was over one could grab a cup of coffee and a piece of homemade pie. The evening not a total bust.
This thinking about sports officials was prompted as recently I sat in the afternoon sun at a minor league baseball game here in Nashville. The Nashville Sounds are a Triple AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. I often go to a game, I could just sit, watch and let the world roll by. But I got to thinking about the guys in blue that afternoon, the baseball umpires. The beginning salary for a minor league umpire is $1800-1900 a month. If a umpire makes it to the highest level in minor league ball that is Triple AAA his top salary would be $3500 a month. The minimum salary for a major league umpire is $90,000.The minimum salary for a major league baseball player is around $500,000 a year.
In John Feinstein’s new book, Where Nobody Knows Your Name, he speaks of thirty year old Mark Lollo. In 2013 Lollo began his eleventh year as a minor league umpire. He began his career much as a player does starting in lower leagues and making his way up to where this would be his fourth season in Triple AAA baseball. That is one league away from the majors. Lollo’s salary was $3200 a month along with his $48 a day-per-diem he received. He was responsible for all of his expenses he incurred doing his job. In his eleven years he had been off only two weeks at the birth of his son and two days to attend the funeral of a close relative.
Why, why would my friends Mark, Tom, Roy along Mark Lollo go through what would often appear to many people as “it’s not worth it”? Major reason is not only do players, coaches and fans love a particular sport but how else can you explain why an official does what they do, one reason, because they also love the game as much as anyone else.
The next time you are inclined to think the official is “blind, lame, stupid and or feeble” you might cut him just a bit of slack he sure aint gettin’ rich doin’ it. So stayed seated and think twice before you shout out something to the folks officiating the game.
=============================================================August, 23, 2016