Bob Sheppard, A Truely Great Voice Silenced

July 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Baseball, Life & Death)

What a sound!! Bob Sheppard was the best Public Address Announcer, ever. His voice will forever be in my head.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8V0W8xA8OQ&feature=PlayList&p=33B647CC69756A01&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=2

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When I Kick, Plant Me In Oakland…

June 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm (Life & Death)

… near Ms. Mary Jane Roach, a dear friend.

What a view!!

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Zelda’s Pizza… Sacramento’s Finest

December 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm (Life & Death, Unzipped Thoughts)

Every now and again, I go east to Sacramento. I spent two, six year hitches in the “city that never awakens,” and at times, I miss it… more than one would imagine. Yesterday I tasted the familiar deep dish pizza/keesh delight. Simply the best pizza on the west coast. Here are some pics. of me, the Zelda’s sign, and the booth L.G. and I shared every Friday night, for years:

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Invictus

December 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm (Life & Death)

My very favorite poem, of all time:

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

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Mourning Matt’s Pup, Bear

December 1, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Life & Death)

What an absolutely terrific Thanksgiving week it’s been, except for the news that Bear [an All-Star pup] died, in an accident. My condolences to Matt and his terrific mom, Terreye [pictured below, with Bear]. I know they are both hurting.

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Happy Birthday, Grandma

November 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm (Family & Friends, Life & Death)

The family celebrated her birthday on “Denksgivink,” but she was born on the 23rd. Bill Withers is in my ear singing “Grandma’s Hands,” as I type. Happy Birthday, Rose Niss. I think of you every day. You would have enjoyed this collage, mostly of Phillip your great grandson [some of you at the bottom], on the wall of my abode  [had you lived to be 121, as we hoped/feared you would :-)]:

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Larry Jansen, Former New York Giants Pitcher, RIP

October 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

Not only was Larry Jansen the winning pitcher in the famous ” Shot Hoid ‘Round Da Woild” game in 1951 [brought to you by Scottsman’s Productions, in association with Russ Hodges], but he was Alvin Dark’s pitching coach on the 1962 Giants. The team had, five years earlier, carpetbagged out west and no longer represented New York by then… but I digress.

I was saddened to read of his passing, at the age of 89, today.

By all accounts, Mr. Jansen was a terrific teammate and a fine man.

My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

larry jansen bowman

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Work!!

August 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Life & Death)

Televission’s first beatnick, Maynard G. Krebs [Dobey Gillis’s pal], would stare at the camera in mock horror at the very mention of the word “work.” WORK!!, he’d scream at the prospect of his participating… cringing, while running off camera as if his pants were on fire. Sure it was TV fiction, but I wondered why MGK repeatedly got the laughs he did with the ongoing bit.

Not until I read Working, by Studs Terlel, did it become clear. “Everything you need know” about the subject, mostly from the mouths of the workees themselves, is covered. I learned more about people from these writings, than from any other text I ever read.

Studs passed away a few months ago. The day he died, coincidently, I found a paper back copy of the classic. I passed it on to my son, Phillip, who is starting his first year of college this semester. He glanced at the back cover, and gave me a “thumbs up” [our signal to each other that all is cool, or that we both share some sort of perverse interest in proctology. I prey, all is cool. :-)].

Oddly, the gig in life that gave me the most satisfaction was being “Mr. Mom,” the stay at home parent, for the first years of his life. No where is that occupation mentioned in the early 1970’s classic. Fortunately for both father and son, was I able to “think out of the box.”

Here a picture of the late, great Louis “Studs” Terkel:

SF15707

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Davey Williams…

August 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm (Baseball, Life & Death, New York Giants)

… the former New York Giant’s  terrific fielding 2nd baseman, who played on the 1954 World Series champions, passed away at the age of 81. RIP, Davey.

 Here’s a picture of Davey [taken in 1951]…

 williams2

… and  his Topps baseball card from 1951:

davey williams

Here’s a list, thanks to Gary Brown, of the remaining alumni of this once proud franchise:

Tommy Henrich- 2/26/1910 (Coach 1957)
Lonny Frey- 8/23/1910 (1948)
Monte Irvin- 2/25/1919 (1949-1955)
Buddy Blattner-2/8/1920 (1946-1948)
Larry Jansen- 7/16/1920 (1947-1954; Coach 1954)
Artie Wilson- 10/28/1920 (1951)
Charlie Mead- 4/29/1921 (1943-1945)
Les Layton- 11/18/1921 (1948)
Alvin Dark- 1/7/1922 (1950-1956)
Gil Coan- 5/18/1922 (1955)
Clint Hartung- 8/10/1922 (1947-1952)
Hub Andrews- 8/31/1922 (1947-1948)
Red Schoendienst- 2/2/1923 (1956-1957)
Chuck Diering- 2/5/1923 (1952)
Bobby Thomson- 10/25/1923 (1946-1953; 1957)
Hal Bamberger- 10/29/1924 (1948)
Wayne Terwilliger- 6/27/1925 (1955-1956)
Windy McCall- 7/18/1925 (1954-1957)
Joe Garagiola-2/12/1926 (1954)
Harvey Gentry- 5/27/1926 (1954)
Mario Picone- 7/5/1926 (1947, 1952, 1954)
George Spencer- 7/7/1926 (1950-1955)
Rudy Rufer- 10/28/1926 (1949-1950)
Don Mueller- 4/14/1927 (1948-1957)
Jack Harshman- 7/12/1927 (1952)
Billy Gardner- 7/19/1927 (1954-1955)
Stu Miller- 12/26/1927- (1957)
Valmy Thomas- 10/21/1928 (1957)
Al Worthington- 2/5/1929 (1953- 1954;1956-1957)
Daryl Spencer- 7/13/1929 (1952-1953; 1956-1957)
Bill Taylor-12/30/1929 (1954-1957)
Joe Margoneri- 1/13/1930 (1956-1957)
Ron Samford- 2/28/1930 (1954)
Johnny Antonelli-4/12/1930 (1954-1957)
Pete Burnside-7/2/1930 (1955, 1957)
Foster Castleman- 1/1/1931 (1954-1957)
Willie Mays- 5/6/1931-(1951-1952; 1954-1957)
Ray Crone- 8/7/1931 (1957)
Gail Harris- 10/15/1931 (1955-1957)
Ed Bressoud- 5/2/1932 (1956-1957)
Ozzie Virgil,Sr.- 5/17/1933 (1956-1957)
Roy Wright- 9/26/1933 (1956)
Joe Amalfitano- 1/23/1934 (1954-1955)
Bill White-1/28/1934 (1956)
Jackie Brandt- 4/28/1934 (1956)
Mike McCormick-9/29/1938 (1956-1957)

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RIP Irena Sendler

July 29, 2009 at 11:42 am (Family & Friends, Life & Death)

My dear friend, Julie, sent me this:

 Irena Sendler – who recently died at 98 years of age, was a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee


    During WWII, Irena was given permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist.  She had an ulterior motive.  Being German, Irena knew what the Nazi plan was for Jews.  

    Irena smuggled out infants in the bottom of a tool box she carried in the back of her truck.  She used a burlap sack for bigger children. 

    She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.  The soldiers wanted nothing to do with her dog.  The barking covered noises of the infants and children.

    Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 infants and children, before she was caught!  The Nazi’s broke both her legs and arms, and beat her severely.  

     Irena kept a record in a jar buried under a tree in her back yard of all the children she smuggled out of the ghetto.  

blogpost pic5

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