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. *****

From Zaharias to Ledecky

In my lifetime, the idea of women participating in ( often professional) sports as an individual or team took off. In my opinion, the first woman to demonstrate such a direction could be taken was Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias. She … Continue reading

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Just for Laughs, 2

I posted my first “Just For Laughs” article on March 31. This is the second such article featuring samples of cartoons from The New Yorker magazine.                        

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Sgt. Pepper: Why So Popular?

By 1966, The Beatles were tired of touring and the quality of their musicianship had deteriorated. During a performance in Japan, their audience was polite and restrained. The Fab Four could hear their own voices as they performed, a rareity. … Continue reading

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Dog Owner’s T-shirts

This is my fourth consecutive article about dogs. The first three described the dogs we’ve had in our lives –and how they made our lives more complete. Here are some dog themed T-shirts I’ve come across on a variety of … Continue reading

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Dog Stories: Angus,Jake, Luna = Part 3

Once again, time passed and we grieved. Once again, we knew we loved and needed a dog in our lives. We were better people in such an arrangement. We went through another rescue organization and the result was different this … Continue reading

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Dog Stories: Angus, Jake, Luna = Part 2

Months passed. Friends asked us if we’d get another dog. We knew the answer, but “when” was the important question. No one would replace Angus. He would be part of us forever. But perhaps someone else could add to our … Continue reading

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Dog Stories: Angus, Jake, Luna

I never had pets as a kid. Instead, I had allergies. Dogs and cats were off limits for me, just like chocolate and wool. But no one in my neighborhood had pets. So, being pet-less was not a concern. That’s … Continue reading

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