A passion for writing

for as long as I can remember

Thoughts that run through an idle mind

This was the name of a column I used to write in college for the Loyola Greyhound. The column was a collection of unrelated snippets of information that I liked to throw out there, usually to get them off my chest. In person,  I can drive people nuts unloading eclectic notions that I find interesting. Here, you get to read them in their shortened form. 

Some of my favorite [sports] quotes:

"If you listen carefully, you can hear the echoes of a great game played long ago."

 "The people who say that if you've seen one game, you've seen them all, have generally only seen one game."

"Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off." --- Bill Veeck
 
I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing, but man's failures. ---Earl Warren

The first thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else.It has to be yours. -- Peggy Fleming

 Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.   ---Mike Tyson 

Highway 61

I need for someone to explain one of the funny things about Berks County. This has been taking turns amusing me and perplexing me [makes me ferhuddelt at times]. The Pottsville Pike is the name most people casually refer to the road while it's official designation is Route 61. Why don't people call it "Highway 61" because there is a veritable host of things that could happen  on "Highway 61" and that would jazz it up a bit. I could be wrong, but I think if I was still living in Laureldale, I would be calling it "Highway 61." For the Dylan-challenged, I suppied his lyrics below. Simon and Garfunkle said it was "all happening at the zoo" but I think Dylan got it right. It's all happening out on Highway 61.

 

 Bob Dylan's  "Highway 61"

Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No." Abe say, "What ?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done ?"
God says. "Out on Highway 61".

Well Georgia Sam he had a bloody nose
Welfare Department they wouldn't give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard where can I go
Howard said there's only one place I know
Sam said tell me quick man I got to run
Ol' Howard just pointed with his gun
And said that way down on Highway 61.

Well Mack the finger said to Louie the King
I got forty red white and blue shoe strings
And a thousand telephones that don't ring
Do you know where I can get ride of these things
And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
And he said yes I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61.

Now the fift daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren't right
My complexion she said is much too white
He said come here and step into the light he says hmmm you're right
Let me tell second mother this has been done
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61.

Now the rowin' gambler he was very bored
He was tryin' to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61.

 

It Happens Every Spring

When people list their favorite sports movies, baseball in particular, usually the relatively newer movies come to mind. I count "It Happens Every Spring" among my favorites and it was made before I was born. The premise is hilarious: a college professor working on an experiment to perfect wood preservatives has his apparatus destroyed by a baseball crashing through the lab's window. The resulting liquid mess turns into a substance that repels wood. If you dipped a baseball into this liquid and it couldn't make contact with wood...well, you need to see this movie.

Kill the Umpire

Another little known baseball movie involves one of my favorite actors, William Bendix. He is mostly known for the "Life of Riley" a part actually shared with Jackie Gleason, I believe. Even though I was young, those episodes with William Bendix are indelibly inscribed on my memory. I haven't been able to see it in years but "Kill the Umpire" is a funny story about a man who absolutely loves baseball to the point where it starts interfering with his functioning in everyday life. He keeps getting fired from different jobs because he listens to the radio and gets too involved in the game. Finally, the only job he can hold down is being an umpire and even that employment almost has tragic results for him. Nobody I talk to about movies and baseball has heard of this gem, but it's definitely worth checking out.

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