Saturday, April 23, 2011

Traveling 60 mph in the mountains, my doors opened

Lugubrious or ridiculously sad was the one word that came on the GRE test. I wanted out of government work and set my sails to Ohio State University for graduate school. Alas, I had to wait a whole semester to get into their sports administration major. So I chose James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for the same program. That's where I met my roommate Dave Buck who greeted me with "oh, you from the state of Northern Virginia."
I still had my ties in DC and would make the 2.5 hour trek through the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. I had the same trip every time just listening to tunes and motoring along.
So one time, the Tourists (Annie Lennox) were blasting when my doors started opening. How could this be possible? I heard voices. "Hi" and "And I'll get out."
What the hell was happening?
I was looking all over my car and saw no one. And then I heard my great friend Joel's unmistakable voice. "There doesn't seem to be anything on this tape,'' he said.
And then click. The music came back.
My heart beat returned to normal. And then it dawned on me. Those car door openings and voices were on the tape. Joel evidently had borrowed it and pushed record instead of play. I could hear his ex Sara on the tape and one of our old roommates.
I told him about the scary road incident and he flatly denied it. Of course I asked if it was osmosis that got his voice on my tape. I wasn't angry. After the scare, I was glad to have my friends voices on the tape.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Darn right I voted for John B. Anderson

1980 was kind of fun. I lived in DC with H-Man and Joel. My Orioles had a near-great year. And living in the capitol of the US, there was politics. When Joel would go out with Sara, I would listen to his great radio. The music was fresh as it could be. Marshall Crenshaw was belting "Someday Someway" and "Cynical Girl." And on that same radio came primary results. I wasn't happy with Jimmy Carter and that California governor scared me. Yes, it was Ronald Reagan. But also in that Republican primary came George Bush Sr and some unknown congressman from Illinois named John B. Anderson.
New Hampshire and Vermont held primaries and my new candidate John B. was right in the hunt. I was excited. The Washington Post chief cartoonist did a drawing of flowers with the same old politics. And then he drew a smiling flower named John B. Anderson.
History says it didn't work out. But on election day 1980, I ran outside to my 1974 Plymouth Scamp. I was headed to Laurel, Maryland to cast my ballot. In fact, I wasn't going anywhere. The DC cops had placed a Denver boot on my wheel. OK, I guess I was supposed to pay those parking tickets. I took a bus ride to my bank. I pulled out the $300 bucks and paid my debts. I waited for the boot removers. And then I saw my wheel go in and out as they took the boot off.
I made it. I drove to Laurel and was met with a big line of voters. I cast my ballot for John B. I got back into my car and it was announced on the radio that he had lost.
It was still a good year.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Top 10 reasons why I hate hockey

The Top 10 reasons was a column I wrote back when I was a young reporter. I never fell in love with hockey growing up so with newspaper space at my disposal, I authored that column. I don't recall too many reasons but recall, there were too many players named Guy. It was before the internet so hockey fans didn't write in to complain.
Anyway, on Saturday, Riley and I took in Chicago Wolves hockey. As the leading fundraiser for Jump Rope for Heart, he got two free tickets. Why else would we go?
Actually, it was quite fun. The Wolves do a great job of promotion with explosives and flashing lights. Riley ran into some friends from school so we all sat together and made the best of it.
And I learned that hockey isn't so bad. It takes great talent to skate and try and score goals. Naturally it was 0-0 for one period and then both teams began to find the net. Our free outing cost $11 bucks to park; $30 to eat and twelve more bucks for dessert. But resourceful Riley grabbed a free cookie out of the deal.
All in all, it was fine night of fun for this non-hockey fan.
And sorry about the photos. I forgot the camera and took pictures with the cell phone.