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. *****

NYTimes’ Poet-in-Residence

Beginning in 2008, Dr. Larry Eisenberg  (see below)  contributed more than 13,000 letters to the Editor of the New York Times.  His huge output most often took the form of limericks regardless of the topic upon which he commented.  He … Continue reading

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Just Another Day

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 was just another day.  I read a newspaper.  (Remember when we all did that?)  And the top stories included these items.  An essay by Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times Opinion Columnist) (see photo below)  with … Continue reading

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The Top 25 War Movies of All Time

I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s.  My Father fought WWII in Europe and missed a couple of my birthdays.  Like all my playmates, I watched every episode of “Victory at Sea” on a new thing called television.  It … Continue reading

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Top Dogs

The New York Yankees, perhaps baseball’s most famous team, have won 27                                      championships.  But there is another group even more successful.  This year, the American Kennel Club chose Labrador Retrievers as the most popular breed for the 28thconsecutive year!  (We … Continue reading

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The Finest Mr. Hyde

Those of you too young to remember the actor, Jack Palance, missed a treat.  6’ 4”, until he got older and slouched to reach 6’ 3”, a former boxer and injured member of a WWII bomber crew whose face was “improved” … Continue reading

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Open Your Wallets

Spring training is here again!!  GMs take out their REAL money  this time. Something expensive will be bought, eh, excuse me, someone will be hiredwho will make a  “difference.” With prices like this, no one’s blowing smoke now.  (Or they hope you don’t … Continue reading

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Ferlinghetti Turns 100!

“Freedom of speech is always under attack By Fascist mentality, which exists, In all parts of the world, Unfortunately.” –Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti (See above) is a poet (think the 1950s Beat generation) and founder (in the 1950s) of San … Continue reading

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