27, 2016 WINDOWS
Milo, an incredibly cute Jack Russell terrier. He belongs to
PittGirl @JanePitt, local writer Virginia Montanez.
notice also Milos window. It looks exactly like the
casements that my family installed when we built our new house in
Richwood, Ohio, 54 years ago!
Andersen Corporations products still use the same locking
handle on the side, the same crank to open and close the sash, the
same screen that clips into slots on the inside of the frame. I
also observed these features recently in a doctors waiting
room. Its a good design, so why change it?
is all by way of introducing this months 100 Moons
article. There youll find almost two dozen construction
photos from our 1962-63 project from drawing the floor plan,
to preparing the lot, to placing my mother's African violets beneath
the bedroom window, to relaxing with coffee in the kitchen.
I note that, except in the living room and family room, the
windows are high on the walls, with sills about 4½ feet above
the floor. This allows more flexible furniture placement,
because even tall pieces like dressers can be located directly in
front of windows without blocking them. It also provides
privacy, because anyone on the outside (looking in) can't see much
except the ceiling.
the box on the left to go to that photo album.
23, 2016 ON
is I on the right, 51 years ago today, all suited up for high school
graduation. My golden National Honor Society pin is in my
lapel. I didnt know this photo existed until a few weeks
ago, when I was in need of Terry Rockholds senior portrait for
the item dated MAY
1965, Cubberly Studios pasted all our portraits on a poster.
Its displayed at class reunions, as you can see here.
also printed smaller 11 by 14 photos of the poster, one
of which I have. I removed it from its frame to scan
and the following is all conjecture the frame also
contained an odd-shaped piece of a color print, hidden behind the
main photo. It must have fallen out unnoticed and landed on a
nearby magazine. I didnt discover it until four days later.
appears to have been taken by my father in our back yard after
church on Sunday, May 23, 1965. That evening the high school
baccalaureate service would be held in the Baptist church, and the
actual commencement ceremony would take place the following evening
in the high school auditorium.
he trimmed the print to fit in the bottom half of an elliptical
frame. (No clue as to what was in the top half of the
frame. A baby picture?) Now Ive enhanced the photo,
as you've seen above.
same weekend, I also donned my black cap and gown for some
black-and-white Polaroids. I later colorized this one.
else that Id forgotten came back to me while watching a
Peanuts special on TV last fall.
the Apollo 10 mission to the moon, Charlie Brown was
NASAs communications handle for the Command Module, and
Snoopy was the name of the Lunar Excursion Module.
that spring of 1969, Snoopy (or his Sopwith Camel?)
swooped down to an altitude of 44,000 feet above the lunar surface,
in a dress rehearsal for that summers actual landing of Apollo
11 on the moon. Ive since looked up the exact dates and times.
remember the morning when Charlie Brown left lunar orbit
to carry the astronauts home. Around 7:30 A.M. on Saturday, May
24 that would be 47 years ago tomorrow morning, and nine days
before my college graduation I was hosting the semiannual
Classical Music Marathon on Oberlins student radio station,
WOBC. Perhaps I was finishing up an all-night shift. I
stepped outside the studios briefly to visit the restroom at the
other end of the third floor of Wilder Hall. Somewhere in the
building I caught sight of a TV set with live pictures from the spacecraft.
I returned to the microphone, I mentioned this to my listeners
(assuming I had a few of them, up at dawn after studying all night
reported that the astronauts were showing us a large part of the
face of the Moon, gradually growing smaller as they sped away from it
on their return to Earth. They were only the second group of
humans who had traveled that far from our home planet.
was quite a view, for those of us who were awake to see it.
19, 2016 DOORMAN
AT THE LADIES ROOM
me, maam, may I see your birth certificate?
law. You cant use a restroom if it doesnt match
your original God-given gender.
you let that other woman go in with her two little girls.
their papers were in order.
I dont carry my birth certificate with me. But Im
obviously a woman. Cant you see that?
look like a woman, but theyre doing evil things with hormones
and surgery these days. You could be like Caitlyn Jenner.
You could really be a man wearing a dress so you can go into the
ladies room and molest those little girls.
ridiculous! I need to go to the bathroom!
its the law here. Im just doing my job. You
can try the gas station on the corner. Next?
Jennings tweets: Now is the time to invest in TransSit, my
chain of all-gender pay toilets located just across the state line
from North Carolina.
15, 2016 WELCOME
TO 1,376 NEWBIES
told that this website has had 1,630 total visitors since the middle
of January, 84% of them new. In an average week, 109 people
each viewed two pages for 3 minutes 39 seconds. A typical
visitor was in Ohio, used Google Chrome, and reached the site via a
13, 2016 BROADENING
years ago I flew into Milwaukee to televise baseball, Pirates vs
Brewers. But the top of my left foot was puffy and swollen,
from the middle toes all the way back to the ankle.
the game I returned to the Pfister Hotel and painfully removed my
left shoe, which had been pinching the top of my foot. In case
I needed to explain the problem to my doctor after I returned home, I
took the photo at the left.
swelling was even worse later that week, as shown below.
Eventually a different doctor determined the cause to be gout.
now on medication to control my uric acid, and there have been no
when I recently turned 69 years old, a new problem developed.
I became reluctant to walk very far because my toes were complaining again.
time there was no visible swelling, but I did develop a corn on the
outside of my left little toe, as though my shoes had become too
small. I hoped maybe the difficulty would go away. Then
last Saturday I read the following on Mark Rothmans blog.
(Hes a retired sitcom writer about my age, co-creator and
producer of Laverne & Shirley.)
was going along swimmingly until a few months ago. I was
starting to develop trouble with my feet. They had both gotten
bigger! I used to wear an 11 triple-width, but now my right
foot required a 13 triple-width and my left foot required a 12
triple-width. With two different sized feet, I had to get a
pair of size 13 and a pair of size 12.
mentioned all of this to my sister, to see if this seemed unusual to
her, and she regaled me with tales of her own growing feet. Not
too long ago she was a size 8. But recently, within a very
short amount of time, her feet expanded to a size 9, then size 10,
then size 10½ wide. She says she now wears clown shoes.
her, I don't consider my shoes to be disproportionate to my overall
leg. I'm just glad they make them that big.
Googled around and discovered its not unusual for senior
citizens feet to spread out. In my case, my smaller toes
(especially on the left foot) are now pointing outward, leaving a
huge gap between themselves and the big toe.
therefore, I paid a visit to the shoe store. The kindly clerk
helped me replace my 9½ narrows with 10½ mediums.
feet are much happier now, and Im walking everywhere again!
7, 2016 MOTHER'S
sketch depicts the Grandmother of Our Country. Did her son
George actually say he owed everything to her?
generally, when we find a quotation is it really real?
my article Washington's
5, 2016 CAST
the HBO comedy series Veep, the self-important young politico
smirks to the undistinguished stranger at the bar, Remind me
again what it is that you do thats so interesting.
replies, I work at CVS.
perks up. Really? CBS? I would love to work
you seriously think that you could get me something?
Nights perfect! And off they go together.
always did think CVS and CBS sounded alike.
noticed one actor who looked familiar, so I consulted imdb.com to
find his name, which turned out to be John Slattery. It
wasnt that easy. Veep has aired 40 half-hour
episodes, and how many actors do you suppose have appeared? I
counted 713 names. On average, a new face shows up every 101 seconds.
2, 2016 TERRY
Rockhold, my best friend from high school, has been gone almost ten
May, with our 50-year reunion coming up, we were asked to recall the
members of the Class of 1965 who are no longer with us. I wrote Remembering
you can read it, in a slightly-revised version, on this website.
28, 2016 SPIRALING
started as a discussion group for Methodist college students.
However, the traditional concept of God no longer seems real to
many people, we observed. We found that for us, at
least, the creed was relatively unimportant so long as we all had a
common purpose, namely to share our experiences with each other
in order to give each other strength for meeting the world.
member of our little group could freely discuss his thoughts, no
matter how controversial.
encouraged even more openness, in a process we dubbed the
thats what we renamed the group.
letters from the 1960s tell the Non-Threat Spiral story. It's
this months 100 Moons article.
24, 2016 BACK
TO THE TRACK
for the first time in three decades, I paid a brief visit to The
Meadows. Thats a harness track near Washington, Pennsylvania.
the track began televising its races in the 1980s, I often operated
the graphics, as shown at the left and described here.
then its become The
Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and non-racing gambling (mainly
slot machines) provides most of its revenue.
is still live harness racing. The familiar voice of Roger
Huston still calls the action. And when the sulkies are on the
backstretch, the video screens still feature the Branch Buxton wipe.
was a local driver who suggested this effect to us more than 30
years ago. To see how your horse is doing, especially if
hes not doing very well, you need a wide view of the whole
field. But that wastes a lot of screen space above and below
the horses. Branchs split screen fills the unused half
with a closeup of the fight for the lead.
I visited this weekend, there werent many people in the lower
grandstand watching the races. The two huge garages were mostly
filled with the vehicles of slots players. In the background
you can see one of those garages. Its location had a different
purpose back in the day.
was where we parked our TV trucks, as in my 1984 photo below.
be fair, racing attendance isnt always as sparse as it was
yesterday. I did find online a shot of the crowd on a
Friday Fun Night, which you see below.
I had come on a Saturday afternoon in April. Few fans crowded
the rail to see the close finish of the second race. Maybe when
the weather gets warmer . . .
20, 2016 CAST
OFF THE LINES!
war is over, and these men are ready to sail for home aboard the General
is my father. Along the way, he will take nearly 20 photos
that appear in Homeward
Bound, Part Two,
I've just posted.
a cruise through the Suez Canal with Vernon and Signe!
15, 2016 FISH
again Ive rewritten an old tale.
it has nothing to do with Ernest Hemingways novel, Ive
alluded to his title by calling my story The
Old Mann and the Sea.
Besides the geezer, well also meet the meathead and the pointy guy.
10, 2016 PRÊT-À-PORTER
a snobbish April 6 essay for the New Zealand Herald (not on
my usual reading list), Rachel Wells wrote in part, On
Thursday, Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M will launch its first
ever bridal collection. The most you will pay is $599.
The launch of the affordable wedding gowns comes just weeks after
fellow fast fashion giant ASOS launched its first bridal collection
to the Australian market. Prices for ASOSs wedding gowns
start from as little as $137.
think its a little tacky. I am well aware that not every
bride can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a bespoke wedding
dress, but I cant help feeling that wedding dresses that cost
less than your weekly grocery bill somewhat trivialise the
significance and sanctity of a wedding.
cheaper garment is ready to wear or off the
rack, while a custom gown the only kind worthy of a
bride evidently is bespoke. But that word bothers me.
guess its the proper term if youre a tailor.
No, you cant buy this suit Im constructing.
Its not destined to hang on the display rack. Im
not making it on spec to a standard set of
measurements. Its bespoke. Im making it on
the request of a specific client who has already spoken for it.
until very recently Id never heard the word outside
Albanys line in the fifth act of King Lear:
you will marry, make your loves to me;
lady is bespoke.
means the lady is engaged. Someones already called dibs.
describe clothing designed for a particular person, lets use
custom made. The word bespoke is
bespoke. (Besides, shouldnt it be bespoken?)
6, 2016 BURNING
DOWN THE COUCH
after Villanova's exciting victory in Monday night's NCAA
Tournament championship, arsonists uprooted campus shrubbery to
fuel this celebratory bonfire. A sofa and other small items
were also ignited.
in riot gear were on hand. At least six people were arrested,
two of them for hitting a police horse. One report says that 30
were injured, five of them hospitalized.
is nothing new. Following the 2002 title game, for example,
rioters at both schools assaulted police and committed other
mayhem. At joyous Maryland, there were 17 arrests and four
injuries; at enraged Indiana, 30 arrests and 40 injuries.
2002, Dick Moreland told Ron Cook, a sports columnist for the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: People are basically
uncivilized. [Theyre] held in check only by fear of
punishment. Moreland, a professor of psychology at the
University of Pittsburgh, does research on social behavior in groups
remarked, People are nameless and faceless in a mob.
That leads to courage they wouldnt have in another situation.
concurred. Even nice people will do these kinds of
things when theyre in a group. To be influenced by your
conscience, you have to turn your attention inward. That tends
to happen when youre by yourself. But the acts of a group
draw your attention outward. That tends to short-circuit guilt
when it comes to your values and beliefs.
basically selfish people who are prone to misbehave as long as we
can get away with it. Well try almost anything if we
think we wont get caught. ...And even if [we] are caught,
the punishment probably wont be as severe because, well,
everyone else was doing the same thing, werent they?
go ahead and break the speed limit and cheat on your taxes,
right? Its okay. The rest of the mob is doing it.
3, 2016 DRONING
Gilliland, North Union High School class of 2008, used to live in my
old hometown. He moved last year to Dublin, Ohio. But he
returned with his drone and shot aerial video of Richwood, especially
the school and its athletic fields.
Blue shared a link on Facebook, which is where I discovered
Dustins edits. One is here,
another is here,
and the third is here.
The village looked even nicer after the trees put out their
leaves. Dustin's fourth edition is here.
now live outside Pittsburgh, which is currently making a big deal
about its bicentennial. The 200th anniversary of its founding
is long past, but this time were celebrating the 200th
anniversary of the day when the state legislature promoted the town
to full city status. The Borough of
Pittsburgh became the City of Pittsburgh a mere legal distinction.
is another example of something that mildly annoys me: the
pompousness of local government employees who wear silly hats
and give their agencies officious names like County of
Allegheny or Department of Fire.
snow coated the windows of my car last night and lightning flashed,
Major League Baseball cant wait any longer to start its
162-game schedule. Today will be Opening Day in
Pittsburgh. The latest forecast Ive seen calls for a
balmy 37 degrees at game time with a wind chill of 25.
usual, the Pirates have come up with new ways to distract fans while
making a little extra revenue.
the Riverwalk Grill, you can get a Cracker Jack & Mac Dog on
naan (Indian flatbread) with deep-fried pickled
jalapeños. A fantastic creation, the food
concessionaires manager called it. People eat baked
beans on a hot dog, right?
I dont. I prefer my baked beans in a little dish on the
side, and my Cracker Jack in a little box. You can spice up my
macaroni and cheese with jalapeños if you like, but I want to
eat those nachos separately from my hot dog.
may like to add as many ingredients as possible to a sandwich, but I
find such a pile very messy to
handle. Of course, as a kid I was the kind of finicky eater who
didnt want the gravy on my plate touching the broccoli.
1, 2016 FICTION
IS STRANGER THAN SPORTS
sports is merely the toy department of news media,
sporting types sometimes play hoaxes.
In 1941, a group of stockbrokers wondered about the many college
football results that were listed in tiny agate type in
the New York Times. They suspected the newspaper was
making up games to fill space. Slippery Rock State
Teachers College? Come on! That cant be a
real school, can it?
the guys invented Plainfield
Teachers College and began phoning in its scores.
Plainfield Teachers? Thats
right. Where is that, in New Jersey?
Uh, sure. Theres no fact-checking in the toy
department, so Plainfields fanciful results got printed.
Bill Christine relates in this article
how readers were regaled with tales of stellar performers like Johnny
Chung, the greatest Chinese halfback ever to wear the mauve and puce.
A quarter century later, George Carlin as sports anchor Biff
Barf asserted, I call em the way I see
em. And if I dont see em, I make em
up! No games today; however, weve got a few late football
scores still coming in from the Far West. Guam Prep 45, Tahiti
14. Mindanao A&I 27, Molokai 10. Cal Tech 14.5, MIT 123.
And heres a partial score: Philadelphia 29.
the fall of 1965 I was a freshman on a campus near Cleveland.
And this is not fiction: The Cleveland Browns were actually the
defending champions of the National Football League. I had no
TV in my dorm room, so I listened to local sportscaster Gib Shanley
calling the Browns games on the radio.
was also the source of my daily newspaper. Every morning, I
bought a copy of the Plain Dealer for a window on the wider world.
PD covered American college and pro football, of course.
But it also had its own football scores coming in from the Far
West. Each week that fall, columnist Bill Hickey reported on
the exploits of the Pusan State Panthers.
Pusan State fullback was Won Sok Hung, the Sun Prince of
Korean football. Once Hickey included a photo like this
of the 411 128-pound Sok in his golden helmet. I
thought he looked more like a Fighting Irishman, but what did I know?
read with raised eyebrow that the Panthers quarterback was Kim
Dip Thong and the coach was Nu Rok Nee. Finally, when Hickey
quoted an enthusiastic comment from announcer Gib Chan Lee, I caught on.
State won the Sake Bowl in a thrilling upset but was never heard
from again, except for a mention in this Scorecard
column in Sports Illustrated.
That was not the end of imaginative sportswriting, of course.
Two decades later, George Plimpton wrote about a Mets rookie with a
168-mph fastball. The story of Sidd
Finch ran in SI on this very date in 1985. The
date, of course, was April 1.