Monday, December 27, 2010

Another sparkling Christmas here

All the credit goes to my great wife. Sure, I do most of the shopping. But Eileen cooks most every thing and it's a great meal with a great family in attendance. On tap in the liquor department was this hot cider with vodka and pomegranate liquor. Add the chambord and champagne plus some good beers and I surrendered without saying good bye. Don't recall the prime rib nor the turkey. I did cook the sea bass with the ginger soy marinade but never spotted it. We had some new guests who we enjoyed immensely. Granted it's exhausting but since it's only once a year, I'm sure we will be back next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shrine Session No. 2

On the anniversary of the Frank Robinson trade (1965), I invited both best men from the weddings for a shrine session. After that fine meal with brisket, beans, slaw and pickles, we headed downstairs for the fine ale part of the night. Dan didn't care for the first selection of beer which I agreed with him. Dave didn't seem to care either way. And when I got my kick going with those IPA's, my thought processes began to slow down. I know we did have cognac to end the evening at 1 a.m. Now, how in the heck did I get upstairs?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Darn right it was COLD

Curse the forecast. It started raining on Saturday and it was a mess. It threatened to turn to snow at night and turn very cold. No matter, Riley and I had tickets to the Bears game and we were going, heck or high water. Luckily the Bears had switched the time of the game to 3:15 allowing us ample time to get to Chicago. No problem driving to Libertyville to the Metra Line. Plus it was just 7 bucks for both of us to travel in style. We also had no trouble waving down the bus to Soldier Field. But by this time, it was very, very cold. The stinking bus broke down. Riley and I, plus it seemed like hundreds of people, had to foot it over to the field from about a mile away. It was a nice outing. And then we ran into a very long line getting into the place. We actually sat down with 50 seconds to play in the opening quarter. No matter, Riley is a Patriots fan so he was thrilled with the big New England win. But by the time the second half rolled around it was incredibly cold. The wind went right through us. With the Bears losing big, we were also treated to a big collection of curse words from the angry fans. We finally gave up with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. By this time most of the Bears faithful had surrendered. This time, the bus survived the trip to Union Station. Riley and I were still cold the next day but we had lived to tell the story. And the story is no more Bears games for us in December.

Friday, December 10, 2010

With 25 $100 bills in my pocket

Great Grandma lived to be 101 years old. She was in great shape until near the end. Anyway, she left me some cash. Of course I saved some but I did want some really good speakers for the shrine. So, I did my research. After some time, I found Soliloquy speakers in North Carolina. So, I googled them to see where they were in the Chicago area. It was Evanston. Not a bad ride for me. I grabbed one CD from my collection, the Spoons singing "Nova Heart." I also looked at the prices. The speakers were listed at 4 grand but they had some used ones. I grabbed my collection of $100 bills (25) and headed over there. Yes, I was a great target for a robbery. But I found a decent parking spot and went into the store. I had my cash and CD ready. They set me up with some $1,700 speakers and I wasn't pleased. I wanted my Soliloquy's. They said they had two pair. They brought in the large ones you see here. I loved them. I told them my tale. I wasn't concerned with tax. But I would not pay one cent more than $2,500. They sad yes. But were stunned when I emptied my pockets on their table. Did I just rob a bank they must have wondered. Of course, I didn't go home with the speakers. Some guy brought them out and set them up in the shrine. Sorry, I didn't tip him. I was stone broke. A good seven years later, they still sound great.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yankee Pulled Brisket

I clearly recall getting this gift at the 1984 wedding. It came with a small charcoal grill and a barbecue book from Jane Butel. In it I found this recipe that is so labor intensive but worth it.
Dave and Dan (best men at both weddings) are coming over for a shrine session tomorrow and I can't just serve fine brews.
So this recipe is on tap. You have to cook the brisket for four hours in liquid smoke. The next day, you pull the brisket. This is a major pain. I thought I would listen to tunes while doing it but instead watched the news. Anyway, once it is all cooked up, it's paired with pickles, baked beans and slaw. So we will have that fine meal and then hit Binney's for the beer tasting festival. Next up is the Shrine Session with big thoughts, tunes and big brews. Oh, gosh, that's a lot of calories.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She bought Mom a VW bug

Mom has such good friends. One of them is Lennie who is very ill now. Mom did tell me that Lennie bought Mom a VW bug way back when. That's a pretty cool friend. That was the car I learned how to drive in. One day when shopping in the VW, I clipped the car next to me. It left a big dent on the VW. Naturally, I was scared to death. I was thinking of hitting and running but I thought I spotted a trucker watching me. So I stayed in the car and waited for the owner to show up. I also noted I had knocked his front bumper off. The man showed up. I expressed my sorrow for hitting his car. Darn if the guy went inch by inch examining the side of his car. It took forever. He finally said it was OK and he didn't want me to get in any trouble. He never noticed his bumper sitting on the ground. I got the hell out of there.
One time, my friend Al and I, stayed overnight at Lennie's house. We were stuck with Lennie's creepy dog, Charley. I'm glad no one was watching because we tormented that dog that night. Believe it or not, we set off a firecracker in Lennie's house and watched Charley chase us around before slamming the door in the dog's face. Now wait a minute, animal lovers. I admitted this tale of abuse years later and Mr. Lind gave me this quote: "Charley had only one problem,'' he said. "He just didn't like people."
We taught him a lesson that night.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The death of newspapers

The Washington Post was delivered to our house in Northern Virginia every day. I read all of the box scores for the baseball teams. My brother cut out all of the John Kennedy headlines out of the Washington Post. One time when we visited Aunt Judy in New York, I can recall seeing the headlines of the New York Post. But it was upside down in the window. And there it was how Bob Clemente died in a plane crash. Sure, I was mad at him when he helped beat the Orioles in the 1971 Series but I felt badly he died that way.
When I was a little older, I began to notice how Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell made the Orioles games worth reading. I would listen to another great Orioles win and then couldn't wait for the paper to come to house in the morning to see how he described the latest win. And then I made a career out of writing for a newspaper.
So how many years are left for newspapers to come to our door? Five? 10 at the most. Newspaper owners are to blame mostly. They gave their product away for free on the internet. That cost jobs and careers including mine. But who needs to go to the driveway every morning when it's written up on the computer almost as soon as it happens.
I think it's just our generation that needs to have the feeling of a newspaper in our hands. Our children don't care that much to sit a read a paper. It will be interesting to see how our kids explain to their kids what newspapers actually were.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love those IPA's

I think my first India Pale Ale was Ballentine Ale. I read the fine print on the label and it said something to the effect that while bringing their beer from England on ship, it was shaken up. When they tapped it in America, they were pleasantly surprised with the taste. I bet that was true.
When microbrewery fever took over in this country (Budweiser and Miller drinkers can stop reading now), I entered the field with great enthusiasm. But now, years and years later, I'm fully a member of the I love IPA's unofficial club. And I can tell a very good one from an OK one. I've posted photos of six fine IPA's sitting in my fridge. They probably will be consumed when the best men from the weddings, Dan and Dave, arrive here for a shrine session come Dec. 8. I can taste that fine ale now. Oh, thank you micro brewers of America. You have provided an invaluable service.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a great photo

Can you imagine? You arrange a blind date and the girl shows up with an automatic machine gun. Here's the H-Man on his recent trip to Israel. I showed the boys this picture and they howled. Young girls walking around armed to the max. What if he brought one of these girls to meet his Mom? Come to think of it, there would never be any trouble on any outings. These girls would simply blow away the bad guys. In H-Man news, my friend Ann is trying to arrange a date with him with a relative of hers. We'll see. I doubt she will show up like these girls did.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

That's her wife

It caught me by surprise. It's the excellent chef Cat Cora prepping for Thanksgiving with her family. And her wife, Jennifer. Of course it's none of my business but it's just odd to see two women married.
OK, enough innocence. I did discuss this with my neighbor. She liked Mrs. Cora but did not approve of her choice in spouse. She said it sets a bad example for the family. That's the big question. Is homosexuality a learned behavior or does it come from birth? And is it a bad example? Will that couple's four children grow up to be homosexual? That would make for a wonderful study. I personally doubt they would all be gay.
And how about a mixed race couple? Or a mixed religion one? Are they poor examples as well? I showed the pictures to my oldest boy and he wondered where the husband was. That's natural I suppose. The best part of America is people can pursue happiness in their own way. They should be respected for their choices. I would like to say though that Chef Cora's corn bread recipe wasn't that good. That probably made a bigger impression to her children.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Am I fired?

It must have been an omen. My last assignment for Pioneer Press came on Tuesday night. A milk shake I ordered after a volleyball match fell on the floor where I was typing. And then the call came in the morning. I needed to come to the office at 11 a.m. Heck the boys were home from school. And then I asked if I was fired. The answer was yes. I threw my cell phone on the bed. I was prepared to defend my positions all day long. But it was a massive layoff instead. They are killing my favorite newspaper. But what about me? Look at all the stuff I had done in 20 years. It's all down the drain now.
I'll always have the stories. How I was banned at two high schools for writing they didn't like. That was a badge of honor. Heck, I had my own golf tournament with all those great players and people.
There were so many emails and phone calls to make to all the great folks in Pioneer Press land. Heck, I hadn't been out work since 1987 when I moved to the Chicago area. This was the best job I ever had. And a few days later, folks were again offering me a chance to work in my chosen field. I love covering high school sports. The coaches are great. The kids are great. It's just fun. Did I have a chance to grieve? Not a chance. I was let go on Wednesday and Saturday I covered an exciting high school football game. Still, it's no fun to lose your job but everyone knows that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

9.5 pounds to be exact

Another Halloween has come and gone. And like most, we could open a candy store. I stayed home and handed out the stuff but most kids were too busy for conversation because they are working. Simply getting as much sugar as they can get in one day. Brady made a few neighborhoods and came home with nearly 10 pounds of candy. Riley was steady most the day. The brothers here made deals after the work day as Riley compiled nearly 100 Reese's peanut butter cups. You would think since I'm at home with the stuff all day long that I might fill my face as well. I must have candy burnout or something. I did have one little Milky Way yesterday.
That reminds me of a story I read in the Washington Post when I was a kid. A lady decided to go trick or treating for drinks. Pretty clever or so she thought. On someone's lawn she tripped on a railroad track and the glass she was holding cut her throat. She was dead. I imagine she didn't feel much except stupid.
Speaking of stupid deaths. How about that poor teacher from Crete who went to a fancy Halloween ball in Chicago. She wasn't drunk but decided to slide down a stairway banister. Instead, she fell four floors to her death. The fancy party was supposed to run until 2 a.m. Instead, her untimely death postponed the darn thing. Now that's a bad day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Da Bears (Skins)

"We want Billy" and "We want Sonny" were the bumper stickers I would see in the DC area. That's because we had two excellent quarterbacks in Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen. I just loved Redskins football. I recall back when we were terrible but it was still fun. But then coach George Allen arrived. The Skins started to win.
When I moved to Chicago in the late 80s, I missed my hometown. So it made me feel really good when the Skins came out here and hammered the arrogant Bears of Chicago in the playoffs. Bears fans love that great Super Bowl team of 85 but my team has Super Bowl titles in 1983, 1988 and 1993. And all we say is "Hail to the Redskins."
Well, the Skins came out here last Sunday and Brady and I went. We took the Metra train to the city and hopped on bus to Soldier Field. Our overpriced tickets were on the 10-yard line in the top deck but we could see everything. It was a dreadful game. Both teams stunk. The Skins did win but I took very little joy out of it. What's interesting is during those commercial breaks on TV, the players just stand around looking at each other. Unlike baseball where they toss the ball around the infield, they do nothing. Riley and I have tickets in early December when the Patriots come out here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodwill Hunting

Goodwill Stores? Dirty words in my world back when I was a kid. My mom loved to shop at the Goodwill. So as I grew older and wiser, I would use this as a blackmail ploy. "If you don't give me what I want, I will tell everyone that you shop at the Goodwill."
Oh, gosh, not the Goodwill. It was filthy. Full of dead folks clothes for poor people to try on. I doubt they even washed that stuff. I stayed away.
Evidently, it skipped a generation. That's my boy, Riley, up there with his hand designed Goodwill poster in his room. We have such a store walking distance. Now, off the record, I did purchase two chairs for my shrine from Goodwill. But I'm sure they cleaned them up before letting me take them.
Riley and my Mom love to go shopping together as this store is full of cheap items. He would never use his favorite store in a blackmail scheme. It wouldn't even cross his mind. In fact, he wants a gift card from this establishment for Christmas. Times have changed that's for sure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On kiddie football

Been through the wars of kiddie football. From the excitement of seeing your kid catch a touchdown pass to the tears and comments that this team is no good and your boy wants to quit.
Concussions have been in the news lately. I asked a doctor a few weeks ago if they should warn parents about the dangers of football and concussions. He whispered something to the effect that doctors could wreck football with such an order.
Our experiences have been mixed. I'm not one to paint my windows with Flames colors and slogans and ring bells for the stinking team. I will cheer when appropriate and stay away from negative stuff. This year has been tough. I actually wrote an email to the coaches (no reply) in which I stated my wonderful boy (yeah, right) has been misused and should be a star. The team mom replied that everyone has been writing the coaches complaining. And then a parent stopped by and said he heard there was a mutiny on our team.
I get it. It's not the sport where everyone gets to be a star. Sometimes, you just have to block for the other guys.
But how fun is it to just root that your kid doesn't get hurt?
Is is right to make young kids practice three days a week during school?
I think I will stick with baseball. Everyone can be a star.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The day the music died

My older brother bought a single of "Winchester Cathedral." We had a record player in Virginia and I ended up playing that 45 all hours of the day. It was my introduction to modern music. Of course the tunes of the sixties were great with the Beatles, the Who and the Stones. When the 70s kicked in, I was hooked for life. The Eagles were my favorite followed by the Marshall Tucker Band, Poco, Grateful Dead and Nils Lofgren.
When I moved into a dorm at the University of Maryland, I put my Panasonic speakers in the window and blasted Jay and the Americans singing "Cara Mia". I'm sure that went over big. As time went on, I moved the speakers to the hallway and hammered out "Carry on My Wayward Son, by Kansas.
Ah, the amazing obscure 80s. So many terrific bands inspired by that great DC station WHFS. I went to so many concerts like Rank and File, the Long Ryders, the Bongos, The Slickee Boys, Stranglers, Three O'Clock, Wall of Voodoo, Smithereens, Talk, Talk, Richard Lloyd, the Rivits, New Musik, the Neats, Magazine, the Lucy Show and on and on and on.
It was incredible. And then I moved to Chicago only to see the music die out. I even called a local radio station to find out what happened. One blogger told me I got old. Heck, the music of the 90s was dreadful. Grunge? Crap!
I lost track of the 2000s since I was still stuck in the 80s. And that's totally fine with me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

H-Man sighting in Chicago

Now I don't mean to scare all those eligible ladies out there but H-Man does have a girlfriend. Her name is Cynthia. She is a former American Airlines flight attendant who is keeping H-Man company in DC. The most striking thing he told me about her is the number of funerals she attended after the attacks of 9-11. We forget about all those flight attendants who were murdered that day and the friends they left behind. Anyway, H-Man had another trip to Chicago last week for a meeting with his fellow dentists. We seem to have our watches in sync as I always pick him up at Ohare. We time it almost perfectly for when he picks up his bag, I am just pulling it in. He was laughing when he spotted my No. 1 Orioles fan license plate on my old Camry. I took him downtown where he checked into his hotel. We had a meal and some drinks and talked until after midnight. It did take me about three bars to find a decent beer. Yes, I had to blast my IPOD on the way home to keep me awake. It's fun knowing the H-Man will be visiting Chicago a few times a year.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Free Cubs Tickets

We went back and forth. Lake Zurich Cougars or Lake County Stars? It was a tough call for both Brady and us. Which traveling baseball team should we select? One day it was the Cougars and the next it was the Stars. No matter which way we chose someone would be mad at us. When we finally decided on the Stars there was something dangling at the bottom of the emails. Save Sept. 23 for a Cubs game with the Stars team. Yeah, with free parking, free tickets, free food and drink. Also, pre game we went down on the field. There was a brief autograph session. I'm no Cubs fan but for a few innings we even sat in the front row down by the field. Back in my Orioles days, I was on the field more than a few times but it was still fun for me and Brady. What kind of a traveling baseball team did we sign up for? Should we expect plane tickets for games? The suite we were sitting in (can't give away my sources) was filled with snacks and drinks and meals for the boys. Also, a dessert table went wheeling by. Oh, gosh. By the way, the Cubs were slaughtered.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shrine Session with Dr. David Hansen

Dave didn't arrive until 11 p.m. No matter, the beers were chilling in the shrine. I opted for Itunes to play random songs but after a while went back to the 200 CD player.
There wasn't always a shrine. My great friend Dave would come to my apartment and I would serve fine beers and we would listen to tunes. One time, I played 6 Grateful Dead CD's and he left exactly when the last song ended. Anyway, the mission of these shrine sessions is a search for big thoughts.
Dave is now working on hypnosis. He's trying to market young tennis phenoms and help them with the mental part of the game. I always go back to a great Superman episode when a crooked hypnotist puts people in trances and made them rob folks. I'm pretty sure Dave doesn't do that. Do I get a free therapy session when Dave arrives? It's a big odd as we drink alcohol and listen to songs at the same time.
These sessions, over I'm guessing about 20 years, are just great. It's nice to sit around, drinking fine ales, and laughing. Oh, Dave does sleep on the sofa so there is no drinking and driving at night. When the boys were young, he would chase them around the house in the morning. That part of the deal has passed over. We had just one very large IPA and a glass of cognac.
No, you can't steal Dave from my shrine sessions but if you know someone who needs help with their head, contact Dave at

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life of Riley

Of course the first song of this party is "Life of Riley" by the Lightning Seeds. On Labor Day Sunday, we hosted the ninth annual Life of Riley party. Neither Eileen or I could figure out who exactly had the idea for the party but it sure is fun. The first party in 2000 celebrated the comeback of our boy Riley. Born with a bleed on the brain, he was in intensive care for 15 days. I still recall one surgeon commenting when he saw the bleed on our baby's head. "It is not necessarily devastating."
Riley has come all the way back and every Labor Day Sunday we host a large party to celebrate that fact. Now the party has a life of its own. Our friend Marie, husband Computer John and children have never missed this party. She even noted she celebrated by dropping a kidney stone in our downstairs bathroom. Yes, she kept it. I just love visiting with all the different folks. I give tours of my shrine to those who are interested. Dave and I even shared a large beer in the shrine. Eileen made her vodka limeades while I gave out a Raspberry Rum drink that was great. There were tons of micro brews around for folks as well. It did have the nerve to rain just a bit but no complaints. We are still munching on the leftover chicken.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The last time I will see you?

Mom met Mary Foster while the two young mothers walked their infant children in Montrose Park in Washington DC. The year was 1948. World War II was a recent memory. Harry S. Truman was awaiting his first election run.
Growing up, I knew that Mary wasn't related to me. But we were at their apartment in DC for all major holidays. The Fosters were part of our family.
Mary is 90 now. She lives with her daughter in Traverse City, Michigan. Mom kind of invited her to visit. And then Mary took her up on the invite. The thinking was at 90-years-old, Mary Foster wanted to see her great friend one last time.
How do you plan that? When is it the time to say good bye to people you love? Sure, we can die at anytime but can you stage a good bye tour to see everyone one last time?
But back to the present. Oh, gosh, Mary Foster is so old now. She has walking sticks. She will fall down. Mary booked a bus ride (8 hours) to come here and we (Mom and I) were to meet her bus in downtown Chicago at 8:30 p.m. Wait a minute? Isn't that the same bus that Mom and Ed (soon to be 89) nearly died on a few summers back?
Luckily that plan died as well. Mary's cousin brought her down to Evanston where Mom and I picked her up. Wouldn't you know it Mary is doing fine at 90. No need to fret. She gets around fine. Mom was amazed she looked so good. Better yet, she didn't have to call 911 for her friend.
I always liked the saying, "God chose your family, thank God, you can choose your friends." Imagine having a close friend for more than 60 years. Good for you Mom and Mary Foster.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Don't Fit In

It was really my theme song when I worked for the Orioles. I worked 5 years for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and did some good things. Also got drunk and muttered I wanted to be a writer. But in 1979, a new wave band called the Beat with Paul Collins released an amazing album. One of the great singles was called "I don't Fit In." It was true, the Orioles didn't know what to do with me as I didn't fit it.
So I drove last night to Fullerton and Western in Chicago to a bar called the Empty Bottle. It took forever to find a parking spot but around 10, I secured one. My name was on the list (10 bucks) to see Paul Collins. I thought I might be a little late but a warmup band was on stage. While the rest of small crowd drank Pabst Blue Ribbon (redneck beer) and Hamm's (crap), I nursed a Goose Island IPA. Next up was a great Metropolitan Lager. And then the second band came on around 10:30. They had a few good songs. I did wonder near the pool table and spotted folks selling Beat stuff. I jumped on the "I don't Fit In." tee shirt. Collins, now missing his hair, came on at 11:30. It was excellent. Of course, he sang about six songs from the super album. He said his new band didn't know, "A Different Kind of Girl," so he did that by himself. That album should have had 3 number one singles. It was incredible. I made it home at 1:10 a.m.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My golf tournament

Yes, it's very hard to talk about my golf tournament without bragging. But I will try. This week marked the 12th Pioneer Press Foursome Tournament. 17 golfers came to a gorgeous course in Grayslake called Stonewall Orchard. There they played 18 holes free of charge. I collected three gift certificates from the cool restaurants of Lake Forest known as Southgate Cafe and Bank Lane Bistro. I also had a heavy trophy from Awards and Engraving of Libertyville for the winner. The players involved had their names written on their golf carts. Despite threats of rain, it was totally dry. I was the only reporter in attendance so I got all the news.
Flash back to 1997. My good boss, Kevin, asked me what I wanted to report on during the summer. It came to me. I had married Eileen and her father, Marty, had tried in vain to make me a golfer. So I say, how about Marty and I go out golfing with the two best players on each golf course. Switch to the phone. I called golf courses. They eventually got back to me. This Pioneer Press Foursome golf program was inaugurated. A year later, a course in Mundelein (now torn up) offered to host my tournament of the players I had golfed with. It rained hard that morning but the players dressed for it. The next year, I did the same thing. But I made an almost fatal mistake. I didn't invite the players from the past year. I had four players at the tourney. One got hurt and I was left with three. I thought of the scene in Gone With the Wind when Scarlett O'Hara proclaimed she would never be poor again. And I would always keep a list of my players.
The only requirement for this tourney is that a golfer plays 18 holes with me. I take notes and golf terribly at the same time. In the tourney yesterday, golfer Ned ripped off a 32 on the front nine and prepared to claim his first tourney. Alas, he had a tough back nine. Golfer Chris (who is very good) won his third title with a 71. Yes, this is another reason, I hold on to my job at Pioneer Press.

Friday, August 6, 2010

On second marriages

My friend Dave says "get that first marriage out of the way." But all kidding aside, it's one of the worst things you can hear in life. "I want a divorce,'' my ex-wife uttered to me some 17 years ago. It was crushing. It was unbelievable. I felt I didn't do my job to watch out for my family (the two of us). But on second thought, maybe it wasn't my fault. One of her friends noted to me that her marriage didn't fail, it just ended.
Of course it was the best thing to ever happen to me so I could move on. The way God looked at it, it was six days after that horrendous announcement that I met my best wife for the first time.
So what do we know about second marriages? Isn't a very good idea to marry a person who has at least some marriage experience? That's invaluable. That person should know something about sharing and taking care of expenses.
I did tell my friend Joel upon his second marriage that if you hear the same complaints in the second marriage that you did in the first, those comments are probably true.
Do your best not to divorce with children in the picture. If you do that, you might not have a choice on who raises your kids. That in itself should frighten anyone. Your ex might marry some loser and your kids and you will pay for it.
When I was growing up, I knew nothing of divorce. But my friend Brian's mom lived alone so I guess she was divorced.
These days it's not easy to find folks who have been married just once. It makes you wonder.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Old Friends Part III (final)

Ignore the guy on the left; he vomited at my first wedding. And Crazy Tommy, second from right, found drugs and alcohol more interesting than real life. So please focus on Mark and Eddie. I met Mark in my psychology class at Laurel High School. And when I was riding my bike to Mark's house for the first time, I was helped with directions from Eddie. And Eddie was going to the same place. Mark, Eddie and I were key players in the pie throwing incident that nailed Phillip Murphy.
Mark loved baseball, the Stooges, goofy stuff, the House of Lui and Ledo's Pizza. We hung out forever until he found a girl friend and then a wife. I won't comment on what I thought of his first wife but he got it right the second time and Connie is terrific.
Eddie was a good athlete who was more sensible than the rest of us. Smart and funny. He dated Ann forever in a long distance relationship and then married her and still lives with her and the kids on Long Island. I called Eddie a week back (still refuses to use a cell phone) and it's like we've never been apart. The three of us had many adventures together and having good friends like this makes the world make more sense.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meet Me in St. Louis

It was National League baseball for the boys and family this week. Got up at 5 a.m for an easy drive to Missouri. Saw the gorgeous Busch Stadium from the road and took a strange tour of the famous Gateway Arch. What a strange item to have in the middle of town. Highlites of the trip included the Sheraton moving us into the Presidential Suite; me losing the baseball tickets for a few hours and some very hot weather. We took a horse drawn carriage for a few blocks on a big horse named Rex. The one microbrewery (Morgan Street) had a disappointing collection of ales. St. Louis is an interesting city; part DC and Baltimore. There were a few bums in the street who gave us a minor case of the willies but there were no other fears. It did take us 7 hours to get home because of construction delays. That truly stinks.
In other news, Riley (age 10) sold his Cardinals banner (from the Goodwill at 4.99 to some St. Louis fan for $14.00. Riley was delighted.