Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are you fed up with the Texas GOP?

Well, are you? I sure am. I can’t find any real leadership there anywhere; unless it comes from some of the lesser know guys serving somewhere in a dark corner.

It just seems to me that there isn’t any great thinking going on at all. If it’s an idea proposed by the Dems; it ain’t gonna get anywhere with the GOP—the conversely seems to be true about the Democrats also.

So where do the you & I stand in all this? Left out in the cold is where.

Both sides seem to pick legislation that is sure to be challenged by the other.

The State GOP leaders pick legislation that isn’t needed just because they have a perception of growly bears somewhere or think this is what’s gonna garner them some votes down the line.

Take the Voter ID bill recently passed by the Texas Legislature. There was NEVER any proof that voter fraud existed on any scale that required more control at the polls—none whatsoever. But the State GOP spent much of the past two legislature sessions drumming up support and hysteria on the effort to make voting safer from fraud.

At any level, there was zero doubt that this new law was not gonna draw the ire of the DC crowd. Texas is already under scrutiny from the old days (1965 Voting Rights Act) and any legislation in this area gets automatic review and must be approved by the Feds. Did anybody not think this was gonna be easy?

The State District maps drawn up by the GOP in the last session are still under scrutiny by the courts and there looks to be no doubt that they will be thrown out and the spring elections also thrown into a tizzy.

At the national level, the GOP led House sent a bill to the Senate to stave off the raise in payroll taxes and prevent a government shutdown with a provision for the Keystone Pipeline slipped in at the last minute—an obvious provocation of the President.

Just where is the leadership, I ask you; where?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Heroes are subjective entities!

Did you have heroes as a kid? I did. There were many of them. I considered myself fortunate to have heroes. Sometimes, hero worship could be the best part of the day. Strap that six-gun on your hip, grab a brother or a neighbor and go outside and take up where you left off the day before with Roy Rogers or Gene Autry—could there be anything better? Having the chance to meet your heroes was even better. I actually had that opportunity early in life. The custom in the days of my youth was for the cowboy stars of TV and movies to perform at rodeos. At the end of their act, they would ride around the arena apron and shake hands with the throng lined up for the chance.

In the early winter of 1954 at the Cow Palace in Denver, CO, I shook the hand of Gene Autry—I didn’t think it could get any better than that. Then some three or four years later, I again had a similar chance and managed to shake the hands of Roy Rogers and Dale Evens at the Houston Fat Stock Show Rodeo—my life could have ended that day and it would have been complete; at least I thought so at the time. I guess that my one failure in this area is that I never had the chance to shake the hand of Matt Dilon from Gunsmoke fame. Matt was not initially a hero but his impact wore on me as time moved on and finally won me over.

Heroes are very subjective beings. They often come and go throughout our lives. Our desires and interests change or we move on to the next phase of our lives. It was after the second summer that I spent roomin’ with Dutch that I finally got around to figuring out just who were my real heroes. I remembered back: that guy that took me to work with him in the fields of Colorado, Montana and later Texas; that guy that managed to have Santa leave my first bicycle in Colorado the Christmas of 1953 and spent time helping me learn to ride over the next several weeks it in the ice, slush and snow; that guy who played pitch and catch in the yard in front of our trailer house when it came time to join me up for Little League (he also spent every game in the stands watching me play when he was in town); that guy that would knock off work early some afternoons when I tagged along with the crew just so we all could try our luck in a farmer’s pond or stock tank; and that guy that bought me my first shotgun and insured that I knew the rules and found me a place or two to see that I did. That’s the guy that later turned out to be my real hero—I had figured out that the TV and movies were just play-like as he used to remind me.

Howard H. "Dutch" Hatfield (1911 - 1993)

I bet you had heroes also. Who were yours?

Friday, November 25, 2011

It’s all about where you're aiming

Up early because my pups though going outside at 0400 was a good idea, I found myself in the kitchen with little on my mind than last night’s Aggie loss to tu. Oh yah, it was a loss despite what they teach you at A&M when you first get there—the Aggies don’t loose, they may get outscored, but they don’t loose.
Well last night they lost. I blame it mostly on the coaches; the kids played hard and most of the night was the better team—play calling was the biggest downfall; both on offense and defense. In the final minutes the defense was coached into the loss. Had they played the way they got to the final two minutes, they just might have won.
But let us move on to the larger issue, that being the role of the red-header step-child. That is where Texas A&M has found themselves ever since its creation as a land grant institution back in 1876—the first public institution of higher learning in a reconstruction state in the south. Later the school on the 40 acres was established—you know the one I mean. The Texas Legislature controls this stuff; if you are knowledgeable of the situation you already know how that situation goes—it’s not a pretty sight.
Where’s the beef might be the appropriate question that next pops into mind. That would be the Permanent Fund that provides a great deal of the funding for both A&M and tu. The fund was established as far as I can remember from oil revenue garnered by the state lands producing the revenue. Right or wrong in my belief, the fund is divided evenly between tu and A&M: two thirds going to tu and one third going to A&M—the Legislature you understand. From some perspective this may have seemed to be a good idea; giving the greater even share to what was envisioned as the state’s greater institution of higher learning.
Through the years tu did become the major institution of higher learning within the state; routinely three times larger than any other—public or private. Is there any question why the lopsided records of the schools slant one way and not the other?
Upon the scene comes Earl Rudder and the changes of the 60s. A&M began to grow but still remained in the shadow of tu. If I recall the stats correctly, from 1975, A&M actually holds a slight advantage in the athletic records. Quite coincidently, this is about the same time that the two schools became comparable in size.
The kitchen has become over populated all of a sudden and keeping my two fingers headed to the correct keys has become more of a challenge; I will do my best.
At any rate, changes were for the best and A&M progressed, becoming larger and larger. Under the leadership of Robert Gates, I had no doubt that this would be the right course. Then came the call from Washington and Gates was snatched away for a higher calling.
Plans had been established to take A&M into the future and the progress is still in the works. Money is being spent that will provide for more and more development and still the cronyism of the Governor seems to be the largest impediment to real progress.
A&M continued to flounder with its selection of coaches of the major sport—football. The last two selections just haven’t worked out. When you are trying to grow a program, why would an administration settle for anything but the best available? Franconia was a failure right up to the point in time that he had probably figured out the right direction—too late though. Sherman brought these questions to my mind: Who? And then Why? With all those available: Who? And Why?
Talent was present and nationally it was recognized. But the coaching staff figured out a way to hinder that talent—failing to make half time adjustments and giving away game after game and eventually leading us to where we are now—disappointed again.
Now the school is headed off to the South East Conference (SEC). According to one former coach; the Aggies are gonna play all there home games in Texas. I guess this means that we are to be satisfied by this rhetoric. We really deserve better information than has been provided.
The news and sports media claim it has more to do with money, sports networks and mostly egos. Regardless the reason, the move is ready to happen and it’s too late to alter the course. The decision is a done deal! The course has been set.
The media guys all say that A&M will not compete in the SEC any time soon. This can’t be good. They have to do better than they have, but that course is doubtful with the current coaching staff—can you say outclassed?
This brings me to the question of traditions. What are we to do about the traditions that we have all held dear for so long? Leaving the SWC or the Big 12 means that changes will have to be made—some will be tougher than others.
OK, so the War Hymn still refers to the orange and white; but that is the War Hymn. That didn’t change even with the upgrade from college to university. It stands for something bigger than a football game with tu once a year.
The Bonfire. This is a question that will have to be addressed—sanctioned or not. It can not represent the burning spirit to beat a school that isn’t being played. Outlawed by the administration since the tragedy that killed 12 students; it has become a yearly student activity, authorized or not. AS much as I hate to say it, the Bonfire should be abandoned until the game question is resolved. I know this is not a popular idea but that’s my thoughts on the situation.
The Corps of Cadets represents the real tradition of A&M. More than any other it is the longest lasting tradition and stands for what the hearts of all Aggies love about the school. Whether they are members, were members, wished they could have been members or stood with those that were members; it’s the Corps that still functions almost as it once did. This tradition has to remain and should be addressed with a stronger approach than it has attracted in the past.
The Corps itself should examine it’s traditions with a hard look to the future. I know that LTG Van Alstyne had this in mind and is probably high on the list of BG Ramirez also. The school can no longer be considered the West Point on the Brazos. Time has moved on.
Again last night, like it was when the Aggies had an opportunity to finish as the last champion of the SWC; A&M chose to come in second in what might have been their last chance to beat the hell outta tu! But second is not where we want to stay.
I know this has run long and I may have rambled too far astray. I’m gonna blame it on the interruptions that kept happening here in my morning kitchen with my pups.
It’s all about where you aim. If you want to win second place; the aim has been right on target. If you are not satisfied with second, the school’s aim must be altered

Friday, November 11, 2011

For a Soldier died today

by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

I have removed the post as I found later that it was copyrighted material. Please visit the post above to read the poem. It is well worth your time.


Veterans Day 2011

"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations." -- George Washington Farewell Address, 1796

My wife & I just returned from the Austin Veterans Day Parade.

I had the distinct pleasure of standing with SGM Gill; retired Air Force and Army - 44 years service in active and reserve. He started his service in 1942 and retired in 1977—having served in three wars: WWII, the Korean War & the Vietnam Conflict. He is 92 years and has been slowed just a bit by a recent stroke. SGM Gill stood and saluted every American Flag that passed, color guard unit or not. His son kept putting him back in the chair that he had brought which just made the standing task harder each time. I guess anybody that’s been with us for 92 years deserves to take longer to get to their feet each time they do so. What a pleasure this was. We promised each other to meet again next year on the same street corner to watch the 2012 Veterans parade.

SGM Gill and his son

Standing along side of also was Perry Jefferies, the manager of the TexVet Initiative of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine in Round Rock

Perry is an interesting guy and doing fine work. He coordinated a visit with SGM Gill and his son to meet and record the Sergeant Major’s story. This, I want to hear—44 years, it oughta be a good one.

Another one of my favorite entries in the parade every year is the Retired Chief's Association. A continual participant is Dale Lyons who also happens to sit on the board of directors at the credit union where my wife, Patsy, is the VP of Human Resources.

Dale Lyons

This was the longest Veterans day Parade that I can remember. We watched for an hour and a half at least. The entries just kept coming.

The one thing that struck me was the number of youth enrolled in the ROTC programs at the local high schools. What a bunch of good looking young leaders of tomorrow. I have included some shots of the various groups below.

James Bowie High School ROTC unit

Akins High School ROTC unit

William B Travis High School ROTC unit

Bastrop High School ROTC unit

I hope you got out today and showed your support. It kinda makes you feel good inside and has the same effect on those around you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yesterday was Election Day - Fond memories of Jesse James & more - 09 Nov 11

Did you get out and vote yesterday?

Sitting here in the kitchen this morning, I got to remembering elections of the past. Nostalgic, you might say? I’m OK with that? It was just me and my pups so the feeling wasn’t rampant and actually took us exactly nowhere.

In my early adulthood days and primarily during the 1970s I was in the military serving in such foreign lands as Alaska, Virginia, North Carolina and New York—foreign to a Texan, at least. Because of this fact, I was left to cast my ballot via absentee.

Every year I would send to the State of Texas for my ballot and finally receive it in the mail with plenty of time to study it and return it via the same, U. S. Mail—regardless of the foreign land I was currently stationed.

I always took the opportunity to take that same ballot to work with me and brag a little bit about my activity—a pure Texan activity you understand?

Pursuing the names on the ballot always brought a bit of laughter from my associates. The reason will become obvious the further I relate the specific circumstances.

For most of the 1970s, one name always appeared on the Texas ballot at the State level regardless of who else was running. This name brought the questions of the validity of the document that I would proudly show around the area. Most thought that I had somehow made the entire document up and was just doing it to get a laugh—not so, not by a long shot. It was as real as it could be.

Right there about the 3rd or 4th office down was the name: Jesse James, a Democrat running for State treasurer. Most of the office holders at that time in our state’s history were Democrats—not nearly the case today. But there it was, one of the most famous names in American History and obviously not a name anyone would associate wit the position of State treasurer.

For those that don’t remember, Jesse James (Oct 1904 – Sep 1977) was the longest serving Texas State Treasurer; having held the post from 1941 until his death in office in 1977—appointed to the position by Governor Coke Stevenson when Charley Lockhart became ill and could no longer serve. Then duly elected and reelected over and over, year in and year out from that time on.

The second point of contention associated with my absentee ballot was the device furnished by the Secretary of State to be used in the recording my votes onto//into the actual ballot. The instructions included a statement (I wish I could locate the copy I have retained all these years; I think maybe my wife might have thrown it out.) advising (more like a warning than a piece of advise) me that I was “to use the provided device to punch the holes in the ballot and only the provided device to punch the holes.” This was odd for reasons I will clear up in a moment.

I would show the warning and the device around the office and have my associates read the instructions. They all would look at me with this dear-in-the-headlights grin and ask: “How they gonna know?” My only response was: “Oh, they’ll know. We’re dealing with the State of Texas here!”

The ballot itself was sort of the consistency of one of those manila envelopes and had a Styrofoam backing—those hanging shads had to go somewhere. I was always amazed that the State allowed me to keep the poking device—after being so specific about it’s use, one might have assumed that they would want it back to reuse next election day. Not so, they never requested it back.

The all-important device came taped across the bottom of the ballot itself. Right there for all to see was one of those large paper clips—not just one of those used to lip three or four pages together, but that big kind—suitable for heavy duty work. Now, it wasn’t just your everyday paper clip. No, not by a long shot. This clip had one of the legs bent straight so you could get a real hold on it prior to tackling and punching that ballot—a task not up to just your ordinary man without the aide of such a device which could be supplied ONLY by the State of Texas.

Needless to say; I followed the instructions to the letter. I didn’t want a all expenses paid trip to Huntsville the next time I showed my rosy red cheeks in the State.

I welcome your comments and remembrances of election days past. Please leave a comment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Are we scared yet?

Had the opportunity to attend three plays over the weekend in the McKinney and Frisco area. The common thread was my daughter and grand daughter.

The Bremon Town Musicians

You see, my grand daughter, Alison, the freshest electee to the student council from the 3rd grade at Ogle Elementary School, was the Cat in the Bremon Town Musicians—with lines to deliver you can bet. She did a marvelous job—no brag, just fact. The performance was a short little ditty—no more than 30 minutes—for the monthly PTA meeting. The ones in charge—you all know how controlling PTA types can be—dispensed with all proceedings excluding the financial report. PTAs may have to report on their finances at their monthly meetings; maybe something to do with the transparency in government. In any event their current treasury stood at a little over $20,000. I don’t remember Crockett Elementary, which I had the thrill of attending for some five of the longest years of my life, ever reaching a combined total of $20,000 over the complete range of my attending years. Finishing with the business, they went straight into the play.

In any event, the kids were just fantastic. Everybody enjoyed it very much. Of course the audience was made up of some of the most impartial critics walking the earth—fathers, mothers, grand dads and grand mothers. The brothers and sisters forced to sit through the performance may not have held the same esteem as the rest of us, but most—well, almost most—were well behaved. I can’t believe they got that many kids to memorize that many songs by someone other than Justin Bieber. Scanning the entire group as they sang I could not detect a slacker on any of the risers. I will report that the first narrator either knew her lines so well from an immense amount of practice or she is the third fastest reader in the free world—I could understand only maybe every fifth or sixth word—good thing I knew the Grimm’s classic by heart having performed it in one of my first grades, either in New Mexico or Montana; I can’t recall which.

My granddaughter was PERFECT! She was the hit of the show. You can ask her grand mother; you don’t have to take my word for it.

We hard trudged over to the school in the blinding rain and wind—only two blocks away, you can see it over the back fence of my Son-in-law’s and daughter’s back fence—we now had to quickly hike back home. Now trailing two quick stepping kids—we had managed to acquire my grand son Gavin just prior to the performance, he’s a kindergartener at the same school. I don’t care what the calendar says, winter had come to McKinney this very evening. Arriving at the house, we quickly traded out for dry jackets for the kids and reloaded to make our way to the high school for the next two performances.

Horror High

The ticket booth had already quit collecting money, so we found some seats—an almost completely packed theatre made this fairly difficult—as the show was already in progress. Every character from your worst memories was represented in the students attending the mythical high school: Nosferata, Gillman, Jacqueline Heidi, Larry Wolf, Carol Ann, Georgia, Claudia, Holly Goblin, Bigfoot, Blair Witch, Doctor Frankenstein, The Monster, the Invisible Girl (not enough male actors available, I’m guessing), Jim Ho-Tep (I probably misspelled this one badly.), Principal Reaper, Miss Medusa the vice-principal, and Coach Minotaur (the football coach Minos). I’ll leave it to you to connect the dots between the characters and their original movie role—see how many you can match up.

Gavin got into the play on Saturday

The lines in the play were some of the lamest I have ever come across in my play-watching career, but the kids seemed to be having a good time and that’s all that counts, especially on opening night and the first performance of the year. This attempt would have challenged Yellowbeard (the movie) for it’s current position on my all time favorites list. The impression that I got from my daughter, Stephanie, was that she was not a bit satisfied with the performance. But, ya gotta start somewhere.

Alison is the cute one in the center!

You might have guessed that the play was all about love: the Blair Witch and Doctor Frankenstein, the Monster, Larry Wolf and Nosferata—their parents actually don’t want them together—you realize how well werewolves and vampires get along. , Bigfoot and Georgia (Braineater girl zombie), Jacqueline Heidi and Gillman,—it just goes on and on—love was everywhere and it all worked out at the end.

During the intermission, Gavin and I got us some popcorn and the extremely abbreviated concession table in the hall outside the theatre.

Night of the Living Dead

The lights soon dimmed and we were quickly into our third play of the night—another zombie filled thriller. Steph did use some nifty effects to help tell the story and I was impressed with one specifically. They had a tech guy sitting in front of the stage proper that projected the TV news leads up on the wall in front stage right in black and white.  I thought it was very effective, even though you knew that the videos were pre-recorded—at least you thought you knew.

After the first three or four killings my grand daughter appeared in a scene. She was sick and being comforted by her parents. You surely remember that the dead were brought back to life by a huge release of radiation from outer space. The stress of the daughter’s (Karen, actually my grand daughter Alison: I can’t say that enough) illness heightens the need to get to help before she expires and is effected by the radiation also. The cast keeps killing one-another as quickly as possible but never having to leave the stage—just to lie there motionless in full view of the audience. Keeping still for an extended period of time is tough for a kid; but for a teenager, I am sure they just took another nap.

The story continues and more deaths take place and Karen (my grand daughter—see how I worked that back in again) continues to grow worse and worse. Of course she is lying on the couch center stage and twisting and turning and feeling worse as time goes on. The sympathy of the situation has all our heart strings so tight that one could not believe. Still more deaths!

About this point in the proceedings, Gavin fell asleep in my lap. It had been a long day for a kindergartener. I still managed to watch the carnage taking place on the stage only three rows from my seat.

Miraculously, Karen (Alison) has expired, has now left the couch and is eating her own dad’s brains right in front of us all. From her dad she turns and takes out her grieving mother—what has my daughter done to my grand daughter?—how will she ever recover from this scaring? It’s so unbelievable, I can not imagine the results and the thoughts running through my grand daughter’s mind.

Alison about ready to expire!

All of a sudden, we are greeted with the curtain—an opportunity I had been wishing for some time now.

Quickly out to the parking lot and on our way to my son’s house in Forney to watch the end of Game 6 of the World Series. Patsy (my wife) sent him a text to stop watching at the seventh inning stretch and go no further so I can watch the ending with him. I’m hurrying now through north Dallas traffic in a pouring rain shower—are we there yet?

Actually both plays were much better on Saturday Afternoon. Have you seen any good young actors in plays yourself lately?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Considering adoption

Night before last, I was struggling to stay awake—way past my normal bedtime—to watch the outcome of the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers baseball game. The National Pennant and a trip to the World Series was on the line for the Cardinals, if they could remain ahead and take the NLCS at 4 to 2 games. It was getting tougher as every pitch seemed to take the game deeper into the night. Both teams were scoring runs and pitching changes were coming every inning. Man! I didn’t ,think I was agonna make it to the end.

My wife, Patsy, decided to knuckle under at the end of the 5th inning with the Cards up by a score of 11 to 6. She went upstairs to bed to read for a while and doze off when the occasion seemed right. I, on the other hand, felt that the occasion was right to watch the game until the end—why start if you’re not gonna finish?

Both teams seemed determined, as they should have been, to score as many runs as they could and stretch the end out as far as possible into the Milwaukee evening. I don’t begrudge them that—that’s as it should be.

No more runs but still pitching changes came over the next half inning. After singing God Bless America and taking his 7th inning stretch, Little Gus ambled his way upstairs. He likes to be on his pallet at 10 PM sharp—if he’s up much later, he is impossible to deal with the next day.

I really didn’t like it when Gus deserted, but Otis was still downstairs with me and looked to be in it for the long haul. He understands the game pretty good—well, he understands the going to get the ball part, but isn’t very obliging with the handing it over after the fact part. But, he was at least still on the same level of the house with me.

The last of the 7th came and went. The 8th started and Otis was still awake and watching intently. The Cardinals added another run, making it now 12 to 6—I thought at he time that would keep Otis enthused. I did see him nod a couple of time in the bottom of the 8th, but there he stayed.

I’m not sure if Oti heard something from the second floor or not, but after the commercial break and just as the Cardinal 9th started, he lopped off and disappeared upstairs—not to return that evening.

The loss of my last compadre really ticked me off. But, there I sat—six outs away from the World Series. If the Cards could just stop scoring; maybe it could be over quick.

An out here and an out there and the Cards were down to the bottom of the 9th and still leading 12 to 6. Just three more outs—but still closing in on 11 PM. It was becoming harder and harder to remain awake and fully cognizant of what was taking place. I was trying hard to do so even as alone as I felt—I just had to sit through three more outs. Every pitch seemed to drag on and on.

Then quicker than you can say: “All alone am I, ever since your goodbye,” it was over. I looked around for somebody to celebrate with and again realized that “All alone am I, ever since your goodbye.” What a downer!

I watched just the slightest bit of the jumping around on the field, turned the TV off and made my own way upstairs.

Did anyone welcome me into the bedroom. Patsy and Little Gus did not even move a muscle. Little Otis raised up onto his front feet and stared just the slightest. I told him to lay back down and he quickly did—usually he gives me some teenager-like guff, but not this time—he just looked the part of the tired puppy.

What disappoints me is that I was left behind, deserted—all by myself—to watch my favorite team in all of professional sports to win their way into the World Series all by myself. That’s right deserted—left all by myself.

 Little Gus
(2 & ½ years, 37 lbs, almost-male )
Loves: Me, neck rubs and children (especially those his height)
Believes: Squirrels can be caught
Terrified of: rides in a vehicle

 Little Otis
(just barely over 1 year, 40 lbs, almost-male)
Loves: Me, the day and the night
Believes: the world is his toy
Terrified of: Garbage trucks
It is for this reason alone that I am strongly considering putting up for adoption two of the best friends I have. I can’t count Patsy in this offer because she says I can’t. But if I could, it would be my three best friends. Any takers?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UPDATE - useless devices from the backyard

After the rains this pas Saturday—I’m guessing that was what we received; hadn’t seen anything like it in several months—and after the water level in the backyard had resided, the pups and I ventured out back there to determine if we needed to apply for some form of federal disaster aid—a tough choice to make; there’s just so many different categories and so much money to choose from.

While out there, I thought I might take a look and see how those useless devices I reported on last month had weathered the storm. The most of them fared pretty well—no federal aid money to be made there unless I can come up with some sort of  natural disaster failure to remove backyard clutter—I probably oughta look and see if I can find a federal agency that specifically handles problems of this nature. I’m sure the Democrats have one; it’s just a matter of finding the agency.

Well, at any rate, in my final check, the last device I came across seemed to have taken on a task of its own. I’m still not sure that my assessment of its ability to function as a spider trap—not with the amount of liquid it had managed to store up. No self-respectin’ spider is gonna get itself caught in that mess.

This sent me to wondering again—maybe my original idea was completely off point. What could it be?

Puttin’ the ole grey matter in gear, I began to ponder:

  • Maybe it’s a substitute bird watering hole

  • Could it be a mosquiter breedin’ device—that seemed fairly plausible

  • How about a knat swimmin’ pool

I wasn’t getting anywhere; all good ideas, but they just didn’t seem to be the solution.

Standing there while I crunched the brain cells, it began to dawn on me that I was closing in on real trouble. The pups had continued there quest of backyard relief—they’d been cooped up for some time and not allowed out. As they churned up the mud and what little grass remains, I realized that my wife wasn’t gonna let them back inside without some form of cleaning, washing, or scrubbing. They were beginning to look pretty bad; Gus not so much—he doesn’t like to get wet for any reason; but Otis is another matter entirely. He has no fear of  water unless it’s in the form of a bath. Otis will get as dirty as dirty will comply with his need, desires or devious humor.

I knew I was gonna be in as much trouble as they would soon be.

That’s when it dawned on me. The device in question was one of the most ingenuous device ever invented by man to keep man outta trouble.  Its entire purpose seems to be to alert man—prior to ever venturing out the back door—to the mud level in the immediate area of his intended roaming. I’m thinkin’ bout getting one for the front yard as soon as Home Depot opens up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

6 reasons why Austin’s Stage 2 water restrictions will not work

Otis (my baby puppy—8 days short of 1 year) woke me up this morning to go outside at 0423 hrs. He usually gets Patsy up at that time, but she’s outta town doing Strategic Planning for her position at the credit union, so it was my turn to take the early shift.

Gus (the older of the two—he’s 2 years & 8 months) came with us to supervise I guess.

At any rate, there I sat on the deck steps while the two of them ran around the yard hither and yon as dogs do. There was some noise that shouldn’t have been there at that time of the morning—there shouldn’t be any noise at 0423 hrs in the morning in the pitch black out-of-doors. The pups gave the racket some notice but eventually let it go as not any of their concern.

I recognized the noise right away. There was no doubt what it was and where it came from. Yep, the neighbors were watering their yard. They have a sprinkler system which makes it easy to do so at 0423 hrs in the morning. There might have been more than one of them doing so but at 0423 hrs, I wasn’t gonna go check to see.

Let me describe my cul-de-sac to you.: most of the houses have an underground sprinkler system. Of the seven houses, only two don’t: mine and one other. They all got them on the cheap—a friend of a friend kind of deal. Of the seven houses in the cul-de-sac and the two facing the entrance only two no longer have any grass in the front yards. Both of these two, as far as I can tell, have rigidly complied with the City’s watering restrictions: only watering two days a week originally and now only one day a week. These two yards are now almost completely grassless. The other yards are lush and green.

The lush and green yards have nothing to do with the sprinkler systems however—it’s all about following the rules. If ya follow—ya got no grass; if ya don’t follow—ya got grass. The house without the system that has grass tends to water three or four days a week; even outside the restricted times: before 10 AM and after 7 PM.

The current rules (under stage 2 restrictions) allow odd number residences to water on Saturday and even numbered residences to water on Sundays. Of course hand watering is allowed any day of the week—but why hand water if ya got a sprinkler system?

Oh, I almost forgot! What are the 6 reasons why Austin’s Stage 2 water restrictions will not work?

1 – Monday

2 – Tuesday

3 – Wednesday

4 – Thursday

5 – Friday

6 – Saturday or Sunday (depending on your assigned watering day)

I guess come spring I will fork over the money to have the yard xeriscaped or concreted. Maybe I should clandestinely cut there source of moisture every night and stop this foolishness at the source.

You got any ideas on how to go about this?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why the Nice morning in Austin, TX and where did these hummingbirds come from?

The temperature in Austin is 66ºF. Perfect for a stroll around the neighborhood with the pups (actually we do it everyday, but today was special). Thinking we may never see this temp again within our lifetimes, we spent a little longer in the park watching the birds and the kids getting off to school. Got back home and moved our whole operation to the back deck. The hummingbirds are here already and a load of blue jays making racket in the area.

Billy Joe is back again this year

Still a little early in morning light for their best colors.

Some time he sits and guzzles instead of hovering.

Long cool (??) drinks.

He will go to both feeders and try to protect them from all the other hummers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

4 Useless devices in the backyard

I know I am getting older; heck it’s obvious. It hurts to do just about anything, especially if it requires the movement of my appendages—any or all of them.

As I was coming back inside yesterday afternoon upon completion of a game of retrieve the bird with my pups, Little Gus & Otis, I noticed a device laying by the back door that I could not for the life of me remember why I had it or why it was where it was.

But there it lay. Right in front of the back screen door. It seemed to be a leaf specimen collector. What do I do with the leaves once I get them collected. I’m not about to catalog a bunch of leaves and anyway; once I had them cataloged, then what do I do? I’ve just been stepping over it or walking around it for so long now, I can’t remember why.

Off to the left were some objects that resembled the chairs that we use inside the house. These objects seemed to be collecting leaves also—I remind you here of my argument above. They could be chairs for lounging outside but we haven’t done that in some time. I guess we stopped about the same time that the weather started hitting 100+ºF or more—ya just can’t sit out there in that heat. Maybe I should put them away for the winter; you know we have some pretty tough winters around here. But wait! What if we have a fall this year? Might I need them that week? I guess I will leave them out for the time being.

Oh! There’s that swing over there. I faintly remember what that does. We used to sit in it with the grand kids when they visit. The heat has kept them away from Austin this year. It seems to be cooler up in North Texas—boy they’re some lucky son-of-a-guns up there.

I walked back out in the yard to see what was setting on the fence my neighbor and I share—it keeps us from doing battle over the little rat dog they have. That rat keeps my two pups stirred up all the time. They have never seen the rat, but they instinctively know that they shouldn’t like it. The device that is attached to the fence looks to be the most useless device of all the devices that I probably own. It seems to be a spider trap. Now, like in the case of the leaves—you remember those leaves I mentioned earlier—I have absolutely no use for spiders or know anywhere I could sell (or donate) a gaggle of spiders should I be able to trap them in that gal-darned trap.

I stood scratching my head for a moment until it became way to hot to be standing out in the middle of the yard in the 100+ºF heat so I decided to go inside and come back out about 2 AM—it’s a lot cooler at 2 AM—and try to make heads or tails of these contraptions. They must have some use, but danged if I can remember what it might be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ever hear a song that conks ya on your head full of memories?

Driving to the grocery store just now I heard an old tune on my Sirius XM satellite radio that made me almost pull over to the side of the road and think for just the slightest bit of time.

“Primrose lane, life’s a holiday on Primrose Lane, just a holiday on Primrose Lane with yo-u-u-u!

Can’t explain, when were walking down the Primrose lane, even roses bloomin’ in the rain, with yo-u-u-u!”

Go to You Tube and give a listen while you read the rest:

I sat there and thought back to the time that this song had significant meaning to me. Did you ever do that?

At the time I was a 6th grader and on top of the world—at least at Crockett Elementary. That may not be the case anymore—a lot of 6th grades are now in middle schools. I guess that makes the 6th graders just little fish in big ponds—a shame don’t you think (unless you are the 5th grader and king//queen of all you survey.

Mr. Peter Newman's 6th grade classroom

At any rate, there I was on my way to dance class. I had no idea what was waiting on me. I couldn’t dance. My mom hadn’t taught me. I didn’t know my left foot from my right—al right, that my be an exaggeration and a complete stretch of the truth. I wasn’t dumb; but in a lot of ways I was as dumb as a rock.

We unloaded and were ushered inside. Then the meanest man on the face of the earth took over, Manning Smith. He was about to push the limit of my courage, my mind and my existence or so I thought at the time. You remember Manning Smith. He was the center of all our worlds for a year or two at that time in our lives.

Somehow once we were inside all the boys seemed to congregate on the west side of the room and the girls were stationed on the east side. Remember that huge dance floor at the KC Hall? I guess we just naturally gravitated to our positions in life.

We all knew each other but somehow this was a different situation; sorta like a battlefield, don’t ya think? Well, there we stood fearin’ the worst.

I do not recall the exact words, but soon they were uttered and the time had come: “Gentlemen, cross the hall and ask one of the girls to dance, taking her hand and leading her to the center of the floor.”

Now what? Fear struck at my very heart. What would I do? Could I do it? What if I trip? Who would I pick? Who could I pick? What if I ask one and she says NO?

There was a cute redhead that I sorta had a crush on, but I couldn’t ask her; could I? The lump in my throat got to be about the size of a football, maybe worse.

I had to go; all the other guys were headed that direction. Was any of them as afraid as I was? I looked around and couldn’t tell. Every male in the room was shuffling there feet in the same direction as I was; some faster than the others but all headed that direction.

I remember scanning the entire bevy of beauties across the hall and still had not a clue where I should end up. I bet I started six or eight directions, probably all at the same time—how I stayed on my feet I will never know.

Somewhere about 13 and a ¼ inches from the edge of the earth I finally made my decision. I didn’t pick the girl I had the crush on. I instead chose a friend that I had know for the entire time I had been at the knowledgeable institution that we both attended. She also was a redhead; but this one I could talk to and not be afraid. She was just about the easiest person in the world to be with at that point in time in our lives (I know you will agree). She was almost six inches taller than me at the time and I know that must have looked a little odd on the dance floor, but all the girls were taller than me at the time—it was the 6th grade after all. It wasn’t that she was the safe choice. It was all because I knew it was just the right thing to do at the time; even as a 6th grader. I bet I felt like I was Chuck Taylor and had just broke the sound barrier for the first time—I had asked a girl to dance.

I’m not positive that Mr. Smith played “Primrose Lane” as the first song that we would start our two semester trek of learning to dance so as to not embarrass ourselves at our 6th grade graduation dance. But to the best of my memory that song has stuck with me all these years as the one I remember best that was perfect for the exact place and time—we were all walking down a primrose lane. Eventually I would dance with many members of that 6th grade class. After awhile, it wasn’t that hard a task.

I do know that I couldn’t have made a better choice in my 1st partner that warm September evening; thanks Jane Nabors. I never would have made it without you.

“Primrose lane, life’s a holiday on Primrose Lane, just a holiday on Primrose Lane with yo-u-u-u!

Can’t explain, when were walking down the Primrose lane, even roses bloomin’ in the rain, with yo-u-u-u!”

What do you do when you hear a song like this that brings back memories like a 2X4?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grammar & Spelling

This morning I was editing an posting and was appalled to see so many grammar and spelling mistakes. See, there’s one right up there at the first of the preceding sentence. I don’t know if I am making them or Mr. Gates’ programs have it in for me. There just might be a conspiracy.

Just thought I would take this opportunity to apologize for the faux pas that you might come across in my postings. I try not to make them, BUT through the power of astute cogitation, I think I have figured out how they happen.

Ya see, I type with two fingers; the middle one on each hand of course. When I get in a hurry and my brain has sent out messages to both hands simultaneously on the word(s) to come (the correct spelling being know to the brain) I believe that the one hand//finger being sometimes previously positioned on the keyboard closer to its next letter than that of the appropriate hand//finger; the closer hand//finger has a undo distance disadvantage over the proposed next hand//finger that should be obviously preceding first. This being so, it is my strongly held belief that the closer hand//finger goes ahead and takes the opportunity to strike its key even though it fully knows it is doing so completely out of sequence. It’s that damn left hand; I just know it. Ya can’t trust a left hand as far as ya can throw ti. See what I mean, there’s another one?

So ya see, it’s not entirely my fault—I do think Bill Gates has just a little to do with it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tickets in the Nose-Bleed Section – Part 3


Up early and on to our last breakfast at Granny’s, we soon had loaded our destination into Lady and were on our way to East St Louis, IL.

After making a pit stop—my two compatriots need many—Dilin, no longer riding the shotgun seat was required to serve up the pimento cheese sandwiches and peppers. Eating on the roll saves a lot of time—ya gotta make up for those to-numerous-to-count pit stops. I gonna get me a big Coke bottle to carry with me when I go with these two again.

Half way to St Louis, I convinced the guys that we could make a quick side trip to Taylorville, IL. I was living in Taylorville as a small child the last time I had seen the Cardinals play. That was in the old Sportsman Park in 1951—Sportsman came prior to the now torn down Busch Stadium I, a long time ago.

Within no more than thirty minutes we had reached Taylorville, had taken a picture of the welcome sign, searched for the likely location of the trailer park next to the rail road where I resided in ’51 and were back on the road—all with no luck whatsoever. I can remember running to the rear of the trailer to watch out the big window as the trains would roll by. At times it felt like they passed forever.

I’ll probably never return to Taylorville also; there isn’t much going on there. I did see some oil wells pumping on the way into town but had no way of knowing if they were the results of my Dad’s exploration efforts in ’51—one can only surmise.

Taylorville, IL - my old, old home town (1951)!

Besides the trains of Taylorville and a trip to the capitol and statehouse in Springfield, the other main memory I have is the trip that August that my family and another family of close friends on my dad’s crew that we all took to St Louis to see the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cards play baseball. My dad and I discussed that trip over and over right up to the time that he passed away—it always felt just like it was yesterday. That day we only saw the Cardinals on the field—they won by the way—but while making our way to our seats in old Sportsman Park, the Dodgers came out of their dressing room and passed right in front of us—we coulda reached out and touched them. One by one as they made their way to the dugout tunnel my dad would point and name each one as they made their way by: Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Don Newcombe, Ralph Branca (threw the shot heard ‘round the world), Preacher Roe, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo, Dick Williams (rookie in ’51, but the A’s manager in ’72 & ’73 World Series) and the rest. I can still close my eyes, lean back and see them as they walked right there in front of me. You probably have a memory of the like that all you have to do is close your eyes and it’s right there—fantastic, huh?

We found the motel and decided to use our included-in-the-price drink tickets almost right away. We had a beer apiece (Dilin had a Mountain Dew wantabe) and talked with the guys at the bar for some time prior to heading back to the room to decide on the next day’s activities—lots of choices


Down to the breakfast buffet (also included in the room price), we load up and finalize our day’s activity schedule. Deciding last night that the St Louis Metro system is a pretty good alternative, we get directions and head that way. No parking fine today; we’re gonna take the Metro ($7.50 each) and park free at the terminal.

A cool ride across the Mississippi and we detrain at the arch metro station. A short shady walk and we can see the arch from the side—really impressive. We are missing the cooler temperatures of Chicago and Michigan already; it is a bit warmer in St Louis than we were expecting.

We do the tourist thing and get a lot of pictures of us and the Arch of the Americas. You’re there, ya gotta take pictures.

The Arch of the Americas - Gateway to the West.

That's my grandson, Dilin, leaning on the Arch.

We walk up the hill and circle the Old Court House; another impressive building right on the mall with the arch. Past the court house we find a bus stop and start our wait—the busses run every thirty minutes and we had seen the previous bus pull away just prior to us arriving. We just happen to be waiting on the corner that is the centerfield gate for Busch Stadium right behind our stop—just where we need to be in six or so hours.

A short wait and bus ride later we exit at the northwest corner of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery plant—this is a big place and we later learn that our tour will encompass seven blocks. We have three more blocks to trudge up hill to get to the welcome center, tour start and hospitality room (the tour end). Inside we find we have only ten minutes before the next tour.

Joseph & Dilin getting ready to tour the Anheuser - Busch Brewery

Our guides gather us and we’re off to see the Clydesdales; wouldn’t ya know they’d start there?

Beechwood aging vats.

Next comes the Beechwood aging room, a room kept at a cool 50ºF—this was really a relief as the further south we had come, the warmer the days. I think the guide said there were sixty vats in the room with each holding some 3600 barrels of beer. They asked the question if there was anybody in the group that thought they could drink that much beer. As you might expect there were some takers—maybe they thought they were gonna give one to them. Then the guide clarified the length of time required: each vat held the equivalent of 220,000 cases of beer and a body would have to drink one bottle of beer every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 (6) days a year for 137 years to drink up the 3600 barrels in just one vat. Of course everyone gasp on queue. From the aging vats we moved on to the mash tanks, another impressive showing. As you walked through the yards you noticed that every thing had the Anheuser-Busch symbol on it—everything.

Bottle Line #34 - there's some beer being bottled here!

Eventually we made our way to the bottling building. This is where we saw the speed at which the finishing machinery could move. This was very impressive. From bottling and casing the product went into an underground 10 acre warehouse which by-the-way held only an eighteen hour capacity of inventory. This place never shuts down and the lead time through the factory of a bottle of Budweiser is between thirty and thirty-one days. They said: “Not to worry. There’ not gonna stop.”

Loaded onto busses, we were transported back to the start where we were invited to sample two glasses of any of the product produced at the facility—and try it we did (Dilin had a Pepsi). Next we hit the gift shop—ya gotta get stuff for those that didn’t come along—do that we did.

On the street again, we walked around the massive facility and found our bus stop to wait out the heat that continued to develop. It took a full forty minutes for one of those busses that run every thirty minutes to show.

Waiting on our ride!

We found seats together but couldn’t hold on to them long as they were designated for removal should a wheelchair rider need access—five minutes into the ride, there was one. We had a map showing the route and thought we were in great shape. About twenty minutes into the ride—stopping at almost every corner—I saw the edge of Busch Stadium out the window about two blocks away. Joseph said we were gonna circle around and drop off right beside it. That’s the way the route map looked also.

Well, that was just the most wishful thinking of our day. The ride continued on and on; continually getting farther from our destination the longer we were aboard. We saw some parts of town that the St Louis Mayor has never seen nor the sanitation department or the police department I am sure. We stayed right in our seats until we had a chance to gather closer together. At that point I am not sure where we were but we still had some thirty more minutes until what I figured was the turn around. We’d just ride it all the way back if we had to do so. On and on we rode—Mr. Toad would have been envious; he surely hadn’t had such an adventure.

Mr. Toads wild ride.

Just about the time we thought we were at the end, suddenly we were. The driver pulled into a Metro stop where we could board the train back downtown. We were just about worn out and completely at the mercy of the St Louis Metro System—I think they knew they had us by the short hairs all along. In any event, we beat feet to the train platform and stood in line to board. Back in the air conditioning, we were again happy and cool campers.

No more than fifteen minutes later we were standing across the street from the Stan Musial statue waiting on the light to turn so we could cross the street and go inside. First I had to have a picture of me and the statue of my favorite ball player of all time—actually a tie between Stan and Willie Mays.

Howard in front of the Stan the Man statue

As soon as the gates opened, we were in and looking for the best stand to buy a stadium bought ball cap. We decided on the fan store and spent much more in there than we should have, but what the hell, it’s only money? Decked out in our new finery, we head for the other side of the stadium where our seats are located.

Climbing the escalators we go up. Second deck and another escalator. Third deck and there’s another one. Finally we arrive at our fourth deck destination and now we have to climb to the next to last row of seats. I looked over the row behind us and nearly had my head taken off by a jet that had recently left the St Louis airport. If you squinted your eyes just right, you could just barely make out the trains and cars below us on the street.

One row from Heaven.

But our view of the playing field was fantastic. It was gonna be a great night for baseball.

The view of St Louis skyline from our seats. Notice that we're above the scoreboard line!

We watched batting practice and didn’t miss anything. Not a sole showed up to sit on our row, making it all the better. The guys went down to get some eats and brought me back a couple of dogs and a souvenir cup. It’s sitting on the counter behind me as I peck this out.

Just before game time the Farmers Blimp flew by just below us. There was a good breeze blowing but we ended up being blocked from it when several ticket holders showed up with seats in the row behind us—just this side of Heaven.

Farmers Blimp was at the game

Here we are to see the Los Angeles Dodgers play the St Louis Cardinals. I hadn’t been to a Dodger-Cardinal game since that time back in 1951. But I’m here now and ready to see it.

The Dodgers started off like they were on fire, scoring three runs in the top of the 1st inning. The Cardinals put up a goose egg.

Another hit for Pujols - see the ball off the bat.

The Dodgers came out in the 2nd and scored another four runs. Again, the Cardinals put up a goose egg. I began to really look forward th the 3rd inning—things just had to get better; the Cards were still in striking distance. In the top of the 3rd, the Dodgers only got one run and now lead 8 to 0; but things looked just a bit better—they only scored one run.

7 to ZERO going into the bottom of the 3rd inning!

In the bottom of the 3rd, the Cardinals put up another goose egg. The 4th was still better; the Dodgers failed to score but so did the Cardinals. In the Dodger 5th, they managed to get back into form and scored three runs. The Cardinals managed another goose egg.

Through the 5th inning I had not been feeling well at all and thought just maybe I was suffering from altitude sickness—we were sitting just one row below Heaven. The longer I thought about it, I realized that it wasn’t anything to do with altitude; the Cards were trailing 11 to Zero; it was the Cardinal pitching staff that was making me sick—tonight they stunk! From that point on, it was just any old ball game—an important one to me, but still just a ball game. Nobody scored for the next three innings and the both teams put up two apiece in the ninth—the Cardinals even using one of their shortstops, Schumaker, to throw the last inning. The game ended 13 to 2 and had an attendance of 37,062. Come to think of it, the wishful thinking of our earlier bus ride pretty much matched the wishful thinking of the Cardinal pitching staff!

With the last out, we were down those escalators, across the street to the Metro stop and on the very next train to leave. We did draw a couple of strange cohorts to travel with. One guy was positive that the illuminati was in control of all the money and was out to get all us poor people. He was a real trick to have a conversation with and talked to us through the windows of the train even after we got off at our stop. No more than thirty-five minutes later we were loading into our vehicle for the short ride to the motel and a good night’s rest.

Wrap-up & parting comments

During the trip to the motel a thought struck my mind. Think of the differences of that Cardinal-Dodger game of sixty years ago and the games we had seen during our Grand Stadium Tour. It was a far, far away galaxy off from the games we saw in the previous couple of days. The times, they were different. In 1951, the President was from Missouri (Truman) and in 2011, the President is from Illinois (Obama); can you imagine that? In 1951, the game was played in old Sportsman Park and this year in the new Busch II as they refer to it. The scorecard I bought the first time cost a dime; this year it was $2.50 and still just a scorecard. I did buy a Cardinal yearbook the first time—only $0.50; this time, should I have wanted one, it would have cost me $15.00—that’s right, fifteen dollars and I hardly know anybody in the darn thing. In 1951, there was no 4th deck or luxury boxes; in 2011, both are present. In 1951, the scoreboard was completely manual with real people on the back side hefting numbers into the spaces; in 2011, it’s all electronic was visuals (What would Enos Slaughter say about that?). Oh and yes the ballplayers of today make a quadrillion times more today than back then and most of them aren’t worthy to carry the shoes of those playing in 1951—most of whom had taken off time to go on that WWII field trip.

Significant differences, maybe; but the bases are still ninety feet apart. Even with all the conditioning and speed in the game today an infield out is still by about a step and a half—tell me that Abner Doubleday didn’t know what he was doing? The pitchers may throw in the 90MPH range and over 100MPH at times, but I will bet you that if any of the old timers were here to comment they would still fear Bob Feller or Sal Magile just as much as anybody throwing today.

But, in my judgment, the major difference is the number of quality ballplayers on any one team or in the majors totally. The additional teams has had a lot to do with the watering down of the available talent. In 1951, there were eight teams in either league; in 2011, the National League alone has that many and the American League has fourteen more—then 16 and now 30.

Consider this fact—I could be wrong but I bet ya I’m not far wrong if I am at all—I would venture to guess that in the five games we saw in the last few days, on the teams involved (New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and St Louis Cardinals—all quality teams and organizations) I would bet you that we saw only two future Hall of Famers—Derek Jeter (NY-Y & 3000+ hits) and Albert Pujols (StL – currently 442 home runs, 2000+hits, a real talent that is not questionable and just 31 years old). There might be a budding start that was not yet recognizable—just maybe I missed him. Maybe Josh Hamilton (TX Rangers) can continue to put up stats and move into this realm.

Hall of Fame inductees on left field fenced.

But in that August game of 1951, I saw for the Cardinals: Stan Musial (6), Enos Slaughter (9) and Red Schoendienst (2). A few other names you might recognize that was there that day was the backup catcher Joe Garaoligo (17), Harry Walker (38) and Peanuts Lowery (37)—recognize any?. On the field for the Dodgers that day was: Roy Campanella (39), Pee Wee Reese (1), Jackie Robinson (42), Duke Snider (4) and Dick Williams (38) (eventual inductee as the manager of the great Oakland A Teams of the 1970s). A few other names that might be recognizable from the Brooklyn team that played that day are: Gil Hodges (14), Carl Furillo (6), Wayne Terwillger (34), Don Newcombe (36), Ralph Branca (13), Carl Erskine (17), and Preacher Row (28)—all some great ballplayers.

All in all, I enjoyed every minute of the time I was able to spend with both my son and grandson on our little adventure. It was very special to have seen the Cards and Dodgers play in St Louis again after sixty years to the month.

I had such a good time that I have decided to make it a tradition and go see the Cards and Dodgers play every sixty years in August. I’m looking forward to the next time already; so much so that I have also decided that the next time the entire deal is on me.