Author Archives: rcarmean

About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****

World’s Grumpiest Boss

Monday, 10/16/17, is “National Bosses Day.” Is this (see above) a picture of “the world’s grumpiest boss” and his (Dr. House’s) staff? No, but if you would like to see that man’s picture, here he is… “Tiger” Mike Davis (see … Continue reading

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Words, Words, Words

Polonius: What do you read, my lord? Hamlet: Words, words, words.   Remember Hamlet? The play you read in high school. Or was it Macbeth? Let’s say it was Hamlet. Everyone knows and has seen Hamlet. In films or on … Continue reading

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Ken Burns Looks at America

Fall has arrived. Another school year has begun. The leaves are changing color. And PBS has shown another Ken Burns documentary to entertain and enlighten their audience. Ken Burns’ Mother died when he was 11. Later, a psychologist told him: … Continue reading

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The Name Game, 2

    This topic may be familiar to you. The first “The Name Game” was posted by me on this blog on December 4, 2016. So, back by (my) popular demand is another edition. The instructions are the same, but … Continue reading

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Women’s Firsts

Who was the first women to fly (solo) across the Atlantic Ocean? That’s right: Amelia Earhart. She was quoted as saying: “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” (Yes, baseball fans, I thought Yogi Berra might … Continue reading

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Paris, 1946

“America’s Greatest Generation” was Tom Brokaw’s term to describe the people who endured the Great Depression and fought in WWII. My parents were part of that generation. Recently, I rediscovered a small box of my Father’s possessions (he died in … Continue reading

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My History With Ice Cream

Where did you go on your class trip? Disney World, Disney Land, an amusement park, NYC for a day? As a Senior in high school, my class went to Washington, D. C. for a day, by train. I remember eating … Continue reading

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