Showing posts from November, 2010

When the World was Old

Years ago, the boy sprawled on the living room floor, rested his chin on his hands and looked up at the television. The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports was on the air and men were urged to look sharp and feel sharp too by baseball players, who were frequently seen shaving on national TV. In those days, ballplayers had to be clean-shaven, because during the Eisenhower administration only bankers and diplomats with graying slicked-back hair on their heads were permitted to grow hair on their faces, but only a pencil-thin moustache and nothing more.The country was hopelessly na├»ve in those days, completely unaware of the insidious gay agenda. Not a single eyebrow was raised over commercials in which an incompletely dressed baseball hero stood before a mirror admiring his face, while a bevy of his less talented and incompletely dressed teammates crowded around and admired him too. While the freshly showered star, who had just driven in the winning run, shaved, one of his admirers would say:“…

The Book I Didn't Write

In March 1997, I was working at Ash/Craft by day and moonlighting as a stringer for the Star Beacon’s sports department. There is very little work for stringers in March - the basketball and wrestling seasons have ended and the baseball, softball, track and tennis seasons have yet to start - and I was getting antsy.If the Star Beacon wasn’t going to keep me busy, I needed to find someone who would. I walked to the Harbor Topky Library and cozied up to The Writer’s Market, making note of the publishers who used freelancers to write books – mostly for middle-school libraries - on assigned topics. Then I went home to update my resume, make copies of some clips and compose a cover letter. The spring sports commenced a few days after I dropped my letters in the mail, and I was a busy writer again. Two weeks later, a staff position opened at the paper. I was hired and the lulls disappeared from my sports-writing schedule. None of the letters to the publishers sparked a response and I soon f…

Instamatic Jealousy

Baby pictures; I’m the first born,There are so many more of me.My sibs all fume with jealous scorn.
Four albums full that I adorn –Pictures of me and not those three.Baby pictures, I’m the first born;
I’m on Dad’s shoulder, they’re forlorn,And there I sit upon Mom’s knee.My sibs all fume with jealous scorn.
Barb says, “Your bare butt; that’s just porn!!Is there not but one shot of me?”Baby pictures; I’m the first born.
Ed’s become a whining thorn.Jim asks, “Was I an absentee?”My sibs all fume with jealous scorn.
There’s no need to blow my own horn,The Kodak made a star of me.Baby pictures, I’m the first born,My sibs all fume with jealous scorn.

Thoughts from the Gutter

A few years ago, live fish were seen flopping around on the streets of Manna, India, which quite some distance from the Indian Ocean. They were carried there by a waterspout. This is the story of one of those fish.

Well, Mother was right. Here I am, flopping around along the side of the road in Manna, India. She always said if I didn’t straighten up, I’d land in the gutter some day.How was I to know? I’m a fish. Until today, I’d spent all of my short, uneventful life in the Indian Ocean. Have you ever seen a gutter in the Indian Ocean? Neither have I.This morning, I was feeling jaunty and looking mighty dapper, if I do say so myself, as I set out for the spawning grounds. It would have been my first time, but then I was scooped up by a waterspout. Lifted from the ocean and carried gloriously aloft, I thought at first it was the intoxication of love. Alas, it was but a fleeting thrill, and this day, that was to be given over to youthful, lusty, masculine desires, came to an ignominious …

Words Remembered

Words in a newspaper are transitory things. They are, almost without exception, little noted nor long remembered.

The words are read at the breakfast table or at odd moments during the day, after which the paper is gathered up and put in the wastebasket or given new life as birdcage carpeting.

The words penned by those of us in the press box occasionally enjoy a longer life. Proud parents sometimes clip our articles from the paper and stick them in a scrapbook, from which they will emerge several decades hence when the former teenage athlete tries to stave off geezerdom by reliving the past. That those words survive, it should be noted, has nothing to do with our abilities and everything to do with our good fortune to have been assigned to cover the game in which the geezer-to-be rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns.

There are times, though, when the words in a newspaper jump from the page into a less-than-stellar mind and refuse to leave. For instance, seven years ago, in…