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Kottler's Corner

by Paul Kottler

Roll mouse over author's picture for Flashback

11/01/04

     So, where were we? Oh yeah, baseball. Well, my eight year old grandson, Logan, came to visit me in San Diego . Now, sports seem to be a generation skipping obsession in my family. My kids have no interest whatsoever. However, I thought since I had Logan to myself, and I am still bigger and stronger than him, I would drag him to a game to see if I could make him into a fan.

     So we went to a Sunday afternoon game against the Dodgers at Petco. Forty two thousand rabid fans, The Dodgers win it 2-1 with a 12 th inning homer, and miracle of miracles, even though Logan didn't really know what was going on, he got into the excitement of it all and had a great time. So great, in fact, that on our way out, he had me buy tickets to Tuesday's game against the Phills. Well the Padres lost again and Logan insisted he wanted to see a San Diego victory, so we decided to try one more time. We dug around in the couch cushions and came up with enough spare change to sign up for Friday night's game against Pittsburgh (I am a great believer in the cheap seats).

     Friday afternoon we were downtown, sailing a tall ship in San Diego harbor, so the lovely Mrs. Paul (yes, there really is a lovely Mrs. Paul) dropped us at the ball yard two hours before game time. I told Logan we would watch batting practice from beyond the outfield and maybe, if we were really lucky, we could get a genuine major league baseball. As future events showed, I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

Logan and I sailing in San Diego harbor
Click to Enlarge

     It was tee shirt night. As we watched BP the Padres ace closer Trevor Hoffman was signing shirts near where we were standing. I threw Logan 's shirt over the chain link fence and Trevor graciously signed it and threw it back to him. So far, so good. About a dozen batting practice balls had rolled up against this fence right by where we were standing.

San Diego's ace closer Trevor Hoffman
Click to Enlarge

     In the quest for souvenirs and to impress my grandson, when a Pirate outfielder came over to retrieve the loose balls, I asked him to toss me one for the kid. Amazingly enough, he flipped one over the fence right to me. The ball hit me in the hands. Now I never could hit and I never could field either, so, of course, I dropped the ball. As the ball hit the ground, a little kid dove for it, undercut me, and got the ball. I fell to the sand covered pavement and got a lovely scrape on my knee which was bleeding all over. An usher came over and graciously offered to take me to the first aid station but I was too embarrassed to go. How could I tell them that I had been injured by a seven year old who was a better fielder than me?

     About ten minutes later, just as the blood was finally beginning to clot, a pirate laced a Batting Practice hit into the adjacent sandy area known as the beach. I still wanted to buy Logan 's admiration with a souvenir ball, so I immediately raced (by raced, I, of course, mean walked a little faster than usual) to the half buried sphere. As I dove for the ball, another little kid who had, naturally, beaten me to it, raised the ball in triumph. His upraised elbow met my diving eyeball, driving my glasses into my face.

My shiner
Click to Enlarge

     By the time I got back to my feet, my eye was already black and swelling, and my face was bleeding. This time, I felt I really did need medical attention. As I headed for the first aid station, I ran into the usher who had gone to get band-aids for my first injury.

     She escorted me under the stands to the medical area. Now these people had a lovely facility and really well trained personnel, but it was obvious they had little to do. They were so grateful to have a patient that four of them fell on me immediately. One worked on my knee, one on my eye, one took my pulse and another took my blood pressure. They were like little kids, finally getting to play with the doctor stuff they got for Christmas. While all this was going on, I thanked the usher and told her that this all happened because I was obsessed with getting a ball for Logan . She said she would try to get me one and came back a few minutes later with a member of the �Pad Squad�, the Padre's PR crew. This lady, not only gave us a ball, but also asked Logan if he would like to be the �Play Ball Kid� for that night.

     They escorted us onto the field, introduced Logan to the crowd of 40,000, put his face on the Big Scoreboard and he got to yell �PLAY BALL� to start the game. Needless to say, he was thrilled. He got the ball, his Trevor Hoffman tee shirt, a photo of him doing his thing, and a video of the whole game including his essential role in the evening's festivities.

My grandson Logan
Click to Enlarge

     I set out to get him a ball so he would remember the evening until he got home to his parents. Instead he got an experience he will tell his own grandchildren about. And the best part is, he will remember me every time he hears those two magic words, �PLAY BALL�

 

 

 

 

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7/04/04

Baseball

by Paul Kottler

Outside PetCo Park in beautiful San Diego

     I have been living here in beautiful San Diego for about nine months now (more than enough time to learn to hate California, so we are leaving soon, but that's not important now). Since they built a new ballpark here shown in these pictures (Petco Field?), I can get there easily on a nearby trolley.

Inside PetCo Park in beautiful San Diego

     I have been attending quite a few baseball games. Every time I go to one, I get transported back to my wasted �yout� (see My Cousin Vinnie), and the late much lamented Crosley Field, and remembering the voice of Waite Hoyt saying� �You'll always know it's Burger Beer baseball time�WHEN you hear� click here for theme song To hear Waite Hoyt talking about the '27 Yankees Waite "Schoolboy" Hoyt on the 1927 Murderer's Row Yankeesclick here.

Waite "Schoolboy" Hoyt's Microphone as it sits in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

     I heard a rumor that there has been another park or two since then, but since they hold no nostalgic value for me, I will exercise my writer's prerogative, and ignore them. So, remembering my old school assignments, I will herein �compare and contrast� the two.

     First of all there is the name. Not a faceless corporation in the business of poisoning your poor doggie, but a genuine twentieth century robber baron industrialist. Powel Crosley made everything from radios, to refrigerators to cars. Since he of course named the park, not because of his immense ego, but to promote his business interests, it is not that much different from the horrible �naming rights purchase� stadium names of today like Great American, SBC Ball Park, Bank One Ballpark (the BOB! where for a mere $4000 you can bring 15 of your closest friends to watch the game from a swimming pool). However, there at least was a Mr. Crosley, and he did own the team. This somehow seems more legitimate to me than some giant corporation with no interest in the team, paying millions to turn the park into a giant billboard for themselves. (I have yet to meet Mr. Petco and didn't Enron Field work out well in Houston?)

     Then there is getting to the stadium. Petco is downtown, on the waterfront. It is surrounded by nightclubs, restaurants, the convention center, and posh hotels that I could only dream (well, more like a nightmare of rich plutocrats) of staying in. The only residences in sight are high-rise condominiums where apartments start at a mere $1,000,000 (the average price of a house in this county is over half a mil!) When you went to Crosley, you got to walk through some of the finest slums Cincinnati had to offer. This got you in touch with the real people, provided a memorable entrance to the park, and made you grateful to have reached the stadium alive. Then if the game was a blowout, you could entertain yourself by wondering which parts of your car would be missing if you ever did find it again. On the other hand I would rather pay some local family a few bucks to park on their lawn than support the American Parking Corporation. Both stadia however, share an old fashioned lack of parking (actually, if you have more money than sense, you can park right across from Petco for a mere $17 per game.)

     Both parks have a delightfully asymmetrical field. Petco has a short, but small, porch in right field that begs lefties to try and pull one for a cheap home run. Crosley had the similarly tempting, but much larger �Sun Deck� (or Moon Deck for night games). Crosley also had the famous sloped warning track that tripped up many an unsuspecting rookie outfielder.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 1955 :: Ted Kluszewski bats at Crosely Field

     Petco has incorporated an old warehouse (the Western Metal building) into the park. Its brick façade is reminiscent of the laundry across the street from Crosley. Remember the billboard on the roof? It is pictured above. If a ball player hit the sign he got a free suit. Today's ball players can afford to buy their own clothes.They can also afford to buy your clothes, my clothes, a stretch Escalade, bathtubs full of Dom Perignon, and the budgets of several smaller towns.

     Remember the players? Gus Bell (his grandson just hit for the cycle. OhMiGawd are we old!), Wally Post, Roy McMillan, Smokey Burgess, Johnny Temple, Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuscahoma McLeish, Ted Kluszewski, Joe Nuxhall (he's been associated with the reds since 1944, 60 years with one employer).

The Ol' Lefty, Joe Nuxhall

     Then there's Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson. (Frank and Vada both attended McClymonds HS in Oakland, as did Curt Flood. When Pinson came to the plate the organist played �Show Me The Vada Go Home�). Most came through the farm system and all stayed Redlegs long enough to become legendary. Two of the Padres came through the farm system. The rest were bought last winter, and will be gone by next. (Don't even get me started on the post All-Star game fire sale, or the All-Star game, the designated hitter, inter-league play, or Bud Selig, who is definitely the anti-Christ).

     Then there is the food and drink. Crosley had hot, fresh roasted peanuts that you bought from carts outside. Petco has fish tacos. Crosley had Hudepohl (Get Moody wid' a Hudy!!), Burger, Schoenling, and Weidemann's. I took great pride in being able to call in a beer vendor from three sections away. Petco has NO beer sales in the stands. You have to stand in line to pay five bucks for some swill they dipped out of the bay, or $7 for some imported swill with a name you can't pronounce after your first drink, thereby ensuring you don't order a second one. You can only buy one beer at a time, and, they won't even sell you one after the seventh inning. What the hell are you supposed to do if one of those pampered millionaires blows a 4 run lead in the eighth? Go home sober? However, Petco does have garlic fries (the best thing ever to come out of California) with cheese that will keep repeatin' on you for at least six innings and they beat the crap out of Mike-Sells potato chips. They also have a peanut vendor who sticks the product in his nose and ears, a sight worth the price of admission in itself.

     The truth is, though, no matter what they do, no matter how hard the greedy executives and pampered players try to ruin it. No matter how many lockouts, strikes, steroid scandals, corked bats, juiced baseballs, or spider man bases they throw at us, it is still the great American game. No hot dog is ever as good as a hot dog at the old ball yard. No drink is ever as sweet as one drunk in the bleachers on a hot day. Nothing is as much fun as singing �Take Me Out to the Ball Game� during the seventh inning stretch. Nothing beats buying your kid a little bat with a ballpoint pen in it at the souvenir stand and then telling him about the one you bought in 1956. Nothing is as All-American as introducing your kids and then their kids to the joy of the ballpark, whether it is Petco, River Front, Great American, or a minor league park in Dayton or Albuquerque (home of the Isotopes).

     I guess the bottom line is, although I will always miss the old ballparks, just as I will always miss my youth and the years I spent with you guys, There is nothing wrong with the new parks, or the new lives I have lived since then. Each is a joy and an adventure in its own right. So remember the old, celebrate the new, and take me out to whatever ball park there is around.

The New Home of the Reds :: Great American Ballpark

Oh yeah, please comment on this article on the fabulous new Tunnel Talk Forum.

Until next time,

Cobra

Ed. Note:

Powel Crosley [Click for Bio] bought WLW Radio, eventually achieving a 500,000 watt maximum available output, heard around the world, giving it the first �Clear Channel� designation. e.g. the 700 KHz. AM Frequency was not available to any other station in the United States . It is still referred to as the �Big One', still boasting a blow torch 50,000 Watts RMS, and easily listened to on the �left coast' of California most evenings. Also don't forget WLW-T television, home of Ruth Lyon's 50/50 Club), His Crosley automobile had a four cylinder engine that he called the �Cobra�. Can you believe it?

And who could forget Waite Hoyt, the voice of the Reds, for the �Burger Beer Baseball Network'! Waite "Schoolboy" Hoyt on the 1927 Murderer's Row YankeesClick here to listen to Waite Hoyt talking about the '27 Yankees. Also don't forget Jim Greengrass, 3rd base and outfield, '52 to '55 for the Reds.

For a brief history of WLW RADIO click here

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Moose's Musings

by Bruce Hulman

 
11/01/04
Election Year 2004

Ed. Note: The following is a political opinion statement. You may submit yours now by clicking on this link.

     Many of you with whom I shared time with back in our grade school and high school days know me for, say for lack of a better description, as an �off the wall� personality. Well, I still tend to be that way. However, I do have a serious side which I will now act on for this article. Yes, I am getting on the figurative podium and making a political stump speech for removing George W. Bush from office. For those die-hard Republicans, you can quit reading this article now or if you are curious and interested, I invite you to read my thoughts as to why George W. Bush needs to be removed from office.

     Apathy is epidemic. Accountability for actions doesn't exist anymore! Is that American? Hell no it isn't!!!

     So what do these ideas have to do with not voting for George W. Bush?

     Let me start with some simple ideas or concepts as to why George W. Bush isn't good for America despite his �tough talking� ways and his love for God and all that stuff.

     At this point in the campaign, I don't see the issue as Democrat versus Republican. No! My concerns are much greater than that!

     At the present time, we have an administration in power that has outspent any �bleeding heart� liberal Democratic administration for a war that has no clear end in sight!!

     The present administration is promoting the �world is a safer place� with our being in Iraq and the ouster or removal of Saddam Hussein from power. Based on the fact that we (The United States Military and Intelligence groups) have found no weapons of mass destruction which was the basis for our invading Iraq in the first place, I would submit that our presence in Iraq is for something else. George W. Bush keeps telling us the world is safer now. In my family we have patent expression in response to that assertion��BULL expletive.�

     Hey, even reasonable Republicans are mentioning how distraught they are at the performance of this administration. Lee Iacocca has expressed his support for John Kerry. What kind of blasphemy is this! No, it's not blasphemy! Lee is smart and understands, as a businessman, that which this administration is doing is clearly not good for the country. After all, isn't our country like a business?

     Other informed individuals have commented on how divisive we have become on the basis of �we versus them� type thinking. Remember in my previous article about John Kennedy and the space program where I mentioned how proud we all felt as Americans (Democrats and Republicans together) about the successes of the Mercury program. What have we done that compares to those national successes and pulls us together for something very noble and good? If anybody would like to respond to this rhetorical question, please feel free to do so.

     The disharmony in our society based on such things as religious differences or ways to express humility or sexual orientation has become pronounced beyond any reasonable measure. What I see is ignorance and a growing lack of human sensitivity to our lot in life. Why? The answer is too long to write but I believe it is partially due to the dumbing down of America . Our educational standards are slipping and we are more concerned with being politically correct than with teaching basic skills necessary for functioning in society. Further, the home education about life skills seems to be sorely wanting. People just don't seem to know how to treat each other. Based on what I see and read or observe in the media, I am inclined to agree.

     Do our kids (not mine of course!) read books? Do they get into debates among their peers about current affairs? These questions about social or behavior may be a direct result of people living for the moment and not planning for the future. Why? Maybe the answer has to do with our elected and business leaders and how they demonstrate very short-term greed. Maybe our leaders are not considerate of how their actions might have long-term effects on others.

     So, you might be asking, what is the point other than to recommend �not vote for Bush.� The point is to think beyond traditional campaign issues. Yes, you should consider the traditional points, but you should also expand your areas of concern. If you have trouble focusing on many societal aspects, then I suggest that you just think of Bush in this simple term. He literally has bankrupted America . He has spent all the excess money accrued previously and we are now borrowing money to keep the USA running. As the Guinness beer commercial goes, �Brilliant!�

     Our country was once regarded as the epitome of what can be done by a bunch of rebels who got angry with governance without representation and subsequently started doing �their own thing.� Well, it seems that idea, which is still well and good, is fading some. Our international respect has been diminished by the fact that we have continually shown a tendency to focus on minutia or trivial points as opposed to things that have nothing to do with running a country. Further, we seem to make bad decisions about who we should support by aligning ourselves with some real foreign low-life leaders who ultimately have to be removed from power. Go figure!! It's like we have too much time on our hands and we can't figure out what is important and what isn't!

     Finally, in the aftermath of the greatest government spending spree this country has had since World War II and for reasons that seem somewhat unclear, it appears that this country is in dire need of leadership that is solid and can bring back some sense of stability; especially as it relates to all Americans and not just the wealthy or privileged. Our government runs on the backs of average American workers who dutifully pay their taxes and likely are part of a two-income household.

     The present economy is such that it is putting a strain on how the family scene is evolving because both spouses need to work to make ends meet. So, when you hear arguments regarding why families can't raise children who are disciplined or taught �family values,� you might want to consider how the family scene has changed largely due to the lack of a parent at home when the children come home from school or just be there for the children. Not ever having been a parent, I am not in a good position to speak from first hand experience, but I do listen and read about the hardships so many young people are facing just getting started in family life.

     The religious overtones of the Bush administration are an insult to anyone other than a �born again� Christian. For some reason, George W. Bush seems to think he is connected to the almighty and guided accordingly. That's fine in church but don't take that stuff on the street or in a public forum. If you tell a policeman you just talked to God, then you might get apprehended as a preemptive measure because the policeman might think you're nuts! It seems George W. Bush wants to demonstrate is his humility or feelings of being humble to forces or circumstances outside his control and that is fine. However, our Constitution provides for a separation of Church and State. It seems many Bush fans want to use the Second Amendment to the Constitution as a basis for owning all sorts of firearms and at the same time not separating Church and State. George W. Bush does not seem to see this double-standard.

     Even if you don't agree with taking religion out of government or public places or keeping the government out of the lives of a women; i.e. the right to choose, here are a couple of points for your consideration:

•  When George W. Bush took office, the US had approximately 5.6 trillion dollars in surplus;

•  At this time, the US is in the �red� by about the same amount; i.e. 1.4 trillion dollars. So, the range of expenditures is about 7 trillion dollars.

     Most Board of Directors of any corporation I know would fire the guy or gal who spent money like that and put the company that was otherwise in the black into the red. In short, this administration has mortgaged the future of children and many of us who are at the leading edge of the �baby boomer� generation. So, for fiscal mismanagement alone I think we need to reconsider who is running the country. As previously mentioned, the United States is borrowing money from other countries in order to pay for programs we otherwise were paying for with our own money. Now does that make any sense when we had the money in surplus at the time when this administration came into power? The Bush administration has cut taxes (reduced revenue) and increased spending which has been contributory to our deficit.

     An interesting point made in the recently published book, �Running On Empty� by Peter Peterson is that Democrats will expand social programs while Republicans cut taxes. These actions are in direct opposition economically. But, as simple as the statement is, it speaks to a basic philosophical difference that exists between the Democrats and Republicans. Peterson describes a very grim economic situation facing this country. Why? Because when we continually borrow money from other countries, our �image� as a strong country is clearly weakened because we are in need. In short, we are beholden to others for our sustenance. Bad idea!!! We demonstrate fiscal mismanagement when we need to borrow money seeing as how we are the richest country on Earth. The fact that the richest country on Earth is borrowing money seems to indicate we can't manage ourselves and we are now beholden to the countries we borrow from. How does that project strength? It doesn't! What it does mean is that in times of need, the United States does need allies to help us out and we shouldn't be so public brash about how we are going to do this or that when we run a deficit. What if the countries we want to borrow from won't do a deal as we would like? Not a pleasant thought but a thought or scenario that we are actually going through now.

     One point I think is important in all the rhetoric we read and hear is that it is possible to be a Democrat and be a loyal American. For some reason, this campaign is fraught with �you're not an American unless you rally behind the war in Iraq or you love Jesus.� Come on!!!

     The archetypical Republican may say, �I don't want any more government give-away programs for people who could otherwise work and won't get off their ass and get a job.� Well, I agree with that thought except finding work isn't all that easy due to the changing work scene in this country. What is our current administration doing about it? Not a damn thing as far as I can tell. I ask you, �Is it more American to say the pledge to the flag, pray to God or do right by your fellow American and don't say anything like the pledge or pray?� To me, the answer is easy. Words are just words but action is clear and meaningful.

     If you disagree with my premises, that's fine and your privilege, but just consider what is going on. Our country is in need of new leadership. In my opinion, we have none, nada, zip, zilch!!! Please don't bring up Bill Clinton because this issue has nothing to do with him. It has to do with fiscal responsibility and being loyal to all Americans�not just the privileged. We can discuss Bill Clinton another time.

Please send your political responses to Hulman's opinion by clicking HERE.

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6/6/04

Our generation and what we have seen in our lives

by Bruce Hulman

     Now that our class is collectively approaching the age of 60 years… I thought it might be fitting to reflect a little on what people our age have seen and experienced. Most of us were born in 1945, the year the “Good War” ended. We grew up in post WWII America, beset with all the recovery and sense of ease that the end of war brought to our society. As kids, growing up in the late 40’s we saw the advent of television, the police action in Korea and the peace-time life of the Eisenhower years. Life was pretty simple then. As kids, we all went through our respective education regimen; i.e. nursery school, kindergarten, grade school and finally culminating with our 4-year stint at Colonel White.

     As we grew up in Dayton, we saw or became aware of society’s capability of doing great and noble things, and the worst that society has to offer.

     Let’s see how many “things” we all experienced as kids, teenagers and young adults. Here is a list of things/places/activities that I can think of. Maybe this offering triggers some memories for you.

• Polio vaccines; both Salk and Sabin vaccines
• Various antibiotics
• Safe and reliable airline travel leading to jet airliners
• Car design improvements; i.e. more power and air conditioning
• Great rock and roll music that was thought to be the “instrument of the devil”
• Television leading to color television
• John Kennedy becoming President of the United States
• The Cuban missile crisis
• Synthetic products like rayon and other chemical products hence the cliché: “Better living through chemistry.”
• The transistor and other electronic advancements
• The hula-hoop; it isn’t one of my biggies but might be one of yours!!
• Fizzies! Yes, that’s right! Fizzies!
• Pez sugar candy dispensers
• Nuclear attack drills while kids in grade school, bomb shelter lunacy!!!
• Orthodontic therapy so we could look our best
• Walt Disney television shows such as Davy Crockett and Our Friend the Atom
• Contact lenses
• The Bell Science Series with shows such as “Hemo the Magnificent” or “The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays”
• “I Love Lucy”
• “I Married Joan”
• “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”
• Richard Nixon as Vice President. Little did we know how Nixon would rise again
• John Glenn’s orbital flight in February 1962
• The paranoia that grew out of fear of the Soviets including but not limited to the rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy
• Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney
• Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy plus indirectly the greatest gift a man has bestowed upon the masculine species…Candice Bergen
• Nikita Khrushchev and his “shoe pounding” episode at the UN
• If your memory is good enough, try recalling the 1952 election with Eisenhower and Stephenson as the candidates
• The New York Yankees and Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford
• The New York football Giants and Frank Gifford, Charlie Connerly, Sam Huff, Pat Summerall
• The Cincinnati Redlegs with Ted Kluzuski, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson
• The Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello and her twins
• Popsicle’s (all inclusive with “drumsticks,” “Dreamsicles,” “Brown Giants,” “Pushups” or “Torpedos”) sold in the summer by guys riding bicycles with freezers and dry ice in them
• The Vernors place on Salem just up the way from Goody’s
• WONE radio with Joan Dole, Jolly Roger, WING with Gene Barry
• Going to summer school at Roosevelt High School
• The Montgomery County Fair each year during Labor Day weekend
• National Cash Register
• Rike’s dining room on the fifth floor and creamed chicken served in the white porcelain dishes that look like chickens
• Frigidaire
• Rikes and Elders
• Being able to go out of your house in the summer to take a walk and leave the door unlocked
• The Cincinnati Zoo
• The Dayton Museum of Natural History and the mummy display
• Annarinos restaurant on Keowee
• Brown Derby restaurant on Main Street
• Friends you made in grade school and/or high school
• Sweating out getting your driver’s license
• Paul Kottler, escapes from the 8th grade
• Your first girlfriend or boyfriend aka “going steady”. Today, this would translate into “your main squeeze”
• Getting reprimanded by authority such as your parents or teachers. I wrote the book on this!!
• Going through adolescence aka “To Hell and Back”
• An atomic or nuclear powered submarine which was imagined by Jules Verne in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
• Passenger planes that can fly faster than the speed of sound
• Advances in medicine that are too numerous to mention but simply made our lives healthier and longer
• Advances in the pharmaceutical industry to help people with controlling specific maladies or health problems
• Integration of our public schools which led to a greater dialogue between African Americans and Whites
• The societal recognition of women and more than servants to men or objects of male admiration
• Landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth
• The Mars flights and landing of robotic mechanisms to survey the planet
• Our attitude about conduct especially resulting from the “sexual revolution” of the sixties
• The abundant use of drugs to make us “feel better” and cope with life
• The Viet Nam War and its societal impact
• Pocket calculators leading to the development of personal computers
• The Internet and how it has made the globe so much smaller
• The assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Paul Kottler, now in High School
• Exploration of the oceans depths and learning the earth is still a dynamic planet
• The startling revelation that the probability of life in the universe does exist
• The Cuban missile crisis (SEE # 8) and how close we came to the total destruction of humanity
• The discovery or validation of human evolution by virtue of discoveries made in Africa
• The discovery and spread of the AIDS virus and how we learned its origins in Africa
• The fact that people of all races and cultural backgrounds live with hope that things will be better tomorrow!!!!!

     I know there is a little bit of silliness in my list. But these are things I thought of while trying to offer the thought that we (our class) has seen and lived through a lot. Once, when we were students at Colonel White, we didn’t have a care in the world. Now, having lived most of our lives, our perspective has changed. Of that, I am certain. I’d like to think that friendships and good memories of our collective youth and growing up together will remain a positive thought in each of our lives. I know I had some of my most wonderful times acting freely as a kid as many of my acquaintances can surely say. I only wish for more years of our collective sense of fondness for an innocent time in our respective lives.

Bruce Hulman

Ed. Note: Please go to the ‘Tunnel Talk’ area and add your own special memories to: "What we have seen in our lives".

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WHY WE SHOULD KEEP IN TOUCH

by Sam Kurtz

 
Cougar Columnist/Jefferson Elementary Student

11/19/04

     It has been quite a while since I wrote something for the Cougar web site. I could say I've been busy at work (which is true) or that I played too much golf this past summer (Is there such a thing as too much?), but the bottom line is that I have no excuses. As a matter of fact, my closest friends tell me this frequently. �Kurtz, there's no excuse for you!� Mea Culpa!

     Even though I have not written much I am always thinking. Nothing profound, mind you, just that I frequently think of my friends from grade and high school and I wonder what they are doing, or whether they are thinking of any of us. Hmmm.

     I think the web site is a great excuse to keep alive a time in our lives that I think was wonderful for the great majority of us. Certainly the Eisenhower years were a lot less stressful than the Clinton-Bush era. When we were growing up we didn't have to worry about going to war until we were well into our high school years. Today's kids not only have to worry about war, they have to worry about jobs, whether they will be able to afford college, drugs, the stock market, affordable health care. Feel free to add to this list.

     Until Vietnam , most of us didn't have any life-altering worries. Even Alfred E. Neuman said over and over, �What, me worry?�

     So��I think we should keep in touch by personal visit, by e-mail, by web site, by phone or by snail mail. It really doesn't make any difference how we do it � just that we do it. Organize a small pizza party with some old friends that you haven't seen in a while. Make a surprise call to see how an old friend is doing. Send a birthday card to someone (if you can still remember the date) from grade school or high school. I really don't think you will regret it. And to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry , � You just might make their day!�

     On November 19 th of this month, I will be meeting some old (We are not getting any younger!) friends from grade school and high school for dinner. A couple I have known for many moons is going to be in town and another high school friend is calling classmates to see if we can all meet for dinner. I am looking forward to it. I am glad someone thought enough of me to invite me. It will be fun to see everyone.

     I hope you can do something like this for whomever you want. We should keep in touch whenever we can. Life is too short not to cherish our friends and our memories.

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Things I Don't Miss

by Sam Kurtz

7/05/04

     It has been a couple of months or more since I wrote anything for the web site. And for that I do apologize. I have been mucho busy closing down school for the year and hiring new staff and all the other good stuff that happens when the kids and teachers evacuate the schools every June. I finally have a breather now so I can write something.

     Since last time I wrote about things that I miss from grade school and high school�.so�.how about I write about things that I don't miss? Perhaps some of these will be a few of your �unfavorite' things too?

I DON 'T MISS:

  • Henry Bucco's freshmen algebra class
  • Henry Bucco
  • Math homework�.Do you see a pattern here?
  • Sweaty palms when you asked a girl out for a date
  • Sweaty palms when you picked up the phone to ask a girl out for a date
  • The upset feeling you got when the girl you asked out for a date didn't want to go out with you
  • Being called to Lucille Wallace's office because you were in trouble
  • The ribbing you got from your friends when you got called down to Lucille Wallace's office because you were in trouble
  • Tests for which you were unprepared
  • Tests for which you were prepared
  • Hero worship
  • Lusting after someone who did not lust for you
  • Carling Black Label beer
  • Running out of gas � the unplanned variety
  • Square dancing at Jefferson School
  • Worrying about how you were going to get the money to go to college
  • Worrying about whether the college you wanted to go to would want your money � or you
  • Trying to fill up my Cotillion card
  • Being cut from the reserve basketball team
  • Being cut from the varsity basketball team�.Do you see another pattern?
  • Lawrence screwdriver
  • Doing stupid and embarrassing things�Does this ever end?

     These are just a few of the things that I do not miss. Let me know of some others by commenting on this article in the fabulous new Tunnel Talk Forum. I can laugh with you about them now that we are older and supposedly wiser. HA!


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