Baseball is the most beloved American sport probably because of the way one can pour over the performance statistics and twist it anyway he wants. That is part of the charm of kids looking forward to getting baseball cards and comparing the stats of the players with the cards friends have. Football may have more intensity to its current popularity but it is a team sport. Outside of yards gained by a running back or receiver and the ubiquitous quarterback rating there is not much for the average fan statistics-wise to drool over. C’mon- how many people compare one player’s sack count or passes deflected or intercepted to those of another defensive back? Continue reading “Derek Jeter- A Man For All Baseball Seasons”
Kids growing up nowadays marvel at the thought that there was a time when a person had to use a rotary dial to make a phone call. It sounds so quaint yet archaic. This is not that much different when we baby boomers looked in amazement during the early 1960’s watching The Andy Griffith Show. Sheriff Taylor would click a receiver to get Sarah’s (the operator) attention in order to put a call through
Today’s kids cannot believe that we could only choose among five or six channels to watch on television and that the tv set needed an aerial or sometimes a wire hanger to get half decent picture reception. Or that cars didn’t come with air-conditioning and a rear defogger or an on-board computer screen that helps you navigate where you were going. Part of the fun of going on a vacation trip used to be waiting for the motor club to send a map with the route laid out highlighted by a colored magic marker. In our family, one of us- usually me- would have the responsibility to hold onto the map and tell Dad ever so often how we were doing on course. (It was usually a ruse. He knew where he was going- it was just to keep me preoccupied) Continue reading “Changing Times”
September of 1960 I turned eight, ready for third grade. The previous autumn I made a fool out of myself the earliest that I could remember when I rushed home to our new apartment in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood a half block from school to proudly tell my mother that I saw a 1964 car. Ma told me that there was no way as it would be four more years before that year’s models would be introduced in the fall. â€œButâ€, I insisted, â€œPerry told me that we both saw a 1964 car pass byâ€. She then explained to stupid me that my buddy probably meant that the two of us had seen a 1960 Ford car.
Another dumb thing I did that second grade school year was beat up a kid a year older than me during lunch recess. When we returned to class, a student representative from the third grade class was sent to my room to come take me for a dressing down by the ex-nun who taught the eight years old kids. She told me that it was wrong to hit other kids. I tried to reason with her that he started it and that he was a year older than me and should have been able to do a better job defending himself. She didn’t like my answer and had a look on her face that indicated that she couldn’t wait to get a hold of me the following year. Continue reading “Class Action”
If you were born before the 1970’s then you most likely remember going into a small grocery store usually at the corner on the block where you lived or otherwise pretty close by. Such a store was an old-fashioned, claustrophobic emporium where in order to get something off a very high shelf the clerk used a long stick with a hook at the end. It acted like an artificial hand that magically grabbed a carton or jar without crashing or crushing it. There was also a ladder on rollers which the braver employee used to slide over from one part of an aisle to another to re-stock merchandise.
The Chicago West Garfield Park neighborhood grocery store I went to in the late 1950’s was on Kostner in the middle of the block south from the corner at Jackson. This was where I bought penny candy and fed my growing baseball card habit. My favorite sweet junk was little waxed bottles with a sliver of colored water inside that was good for one quick slurp as well as rolls of paper with sugary dots on them. I ended up eating more paper than candy. Continue reading “Baseball Cards”