Thursday, July 1, 2010


A flip of the fedora to Jimmy Cannon .


1)      Since they allow tie-breakers up until the 5th set at Wimbledon would it not be worthwhile to go all the way and allow them at the 5th set as well?  If they really want to stick with tradition they should not have tie-breakers at all.   What would the queen say?  She is probably at the Polo Ponies (or is it, as Jackie Gleason famously said  Polloponies)
2)      Why are writers so amazed when Federer loses some tournaments and call it the end of an era.  No player can last forever---none have and 28 is a ripe old age in tennis.
3)      If there are Gay Pride parades should there not be Heterosexual Pride parades?  I doubt it is written anywhere that your sexual orientation, your race, your religion requires an acknowledgement of “pride”---it’s just a fact.  How about a Sunrise Pride Parade---also a fact and it happens everyday.
4)      Never thought I would see the day when a Helen Mirrin film would be panned by the NY Times and compared unfavorably  to some sleaze from HBO billed as a documentary---“Cathouse”.  Her film may be bad but HBO is nothing but a bit of porno on cable.
5)      I am always amazed, when thinking back to some sporting goods stores of yore, that Modells is still there (albeit a corporate giant) when the Davegas, the Vims, and such are gone.  I never would have picked Modell to last---it was the grimiest of them all.  Now it is the ---as Gilbert and Sullivan said---The Model of A Modern Major General (Sporting Goods Store)----overpriced name brands and all.
6)      Speaking of stores of yore---gone but not forgotten---to this person---Lafayette Electronics (you got your tubes tested---not bad---no Urologist needed), Trader Horn, Chock Full O Nuts, The Automat (they still own a lot of the real estate and are the largest purveyor of franchised fast food in NYC), and, of course, all those nice local businesses that are now gone and replaced by the corporate giants---Staples ( for the local stationer), The Corner Kosher Deli—(no one really unless you think Hebrew National is a personal friend), and so many more including the local butcher who recently retired his thumb that pressed on a scale and retired along with that digit.
7)      One has to be amazed how old becomes new---and fashionable and pricey.  “Balaboosta” is a Yiddish expression for “Boss of the House”(usually the woman) and now that the lower East Side is not the land of immigrant tenements anymore but an “in” place there is a restaurant serving the food Mama might never have served at the humble immigrant table and for a much higher price.  Shamefully, named Balaboosta.  I wonder if the clientele even know what the hell that is all about.
8)      In speaking of restaurants let me have a brief remembrance of authentic Hungarian restaurant that had dinners (all prepared individually) from soup to ---well, not nuts but better—Crepes—for 12.95.  The NY Times critic once recalled that is was like a stop at her psychiatrist to recall all those good times of her youth---and a cheaper session.  Mocca.   It was on 2d Avenue and 81st St in NYC.  Long gone. 
9)      Summer Camps that make the campers stay in semi-rough surroundings and make their own entertainment, offer sports and crafts avoiding the electronic games and pop entertainment are really good character builders.  Also---they should also wait their own tables for some sense of responsibility.   Best to avoid the ones that offer hotel like accommodations ---unless you want to create your own monster.
10)                    Strangely summer camp fees are approaching college tuition.  Maybe they should offer partial life experience degrees---if they offer life experience as described above.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Senator Robert Byrd---A Remembrance

There are only a few people who can be leading statespeople (note the political correctness in that word) and also record some brilliant music and all the while still be taken seriously as leading political lights.  Robert Byrd was such a person.

TRADITIONS was on yesterday and had the Senator passed on prior to the program rest assured what you will see below would have been included.  Happily he lived longer than the time that is allotted to the program.

No sense to go into his many accomplishments, his strength of character, his ability to change, and more here since you have probably heard them many times on NPR and the like today.  Briefly--

Raised by and uncle and aunt and dirt poor (his mother died before he was 1), joined the KKK later, apologized later, served in the Statehouse of his state then on to Congress---and now dying as the longest serving Senator.  A Senator who truly embodied the tradition of what the Senate was and should be.  He carried with him a copy of the Constitution and was proud to talk of the equality of the 3 branches of government---and never as strongly as when he chastised the Bush Administration for riding roughshod over the Constitution and the equality of the 3 branches.  He was also one of the rare politicians (statespeople) who was willing to apoligize for mistakes made----KKK,  his vote for Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and was also willing to name the names in the Bush administration that he felt have usurped the Constitution.  

If you read, a while back, the novel Advise and Consent he was not the Southern senator depicted there.  Truly a man open to change and to honesty---and, finally, we get to what this is about since you can read and hear about Sen. Byrd on radio, TV, and forthcoming books (for sure).  He was a talented musician.

We have Ralph Stanley, The Osbornes, Bill Monroe---but there is also a wonderful practitioner of the form---Sen. Byrd.  In fact, at many of his rallys he performed and was known to say that people of his W Virginia area believe in 2 things---well, maybe a few more but this is a praphrase---God and Robert Byrd. So as to his music---time to see a video of some music he made on a recording issued by County Records---honesty now---what is not on YouTube these days---but the good part is it preserves our history so well.

To be able to be talented in this area and have it respected by his peers and still be a leading and, frankly, honest light in the Senate the Shakespeare comment comes back to us once again---"....when shall we ever see his like again".