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 above...it'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. *****

The Third Place

Ray Oldenburg , a sociologist, is credited with establishing the concept of “a third place.” (see his words above)  His books have included “Celebrating The Third Place” and “The Great Good Place.”  The first two important places in a person’s … Continue reading

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Memorable Words from TV

Television has been around for a long time.  When I was a child, it was black and white.  Movies started the same way.  Then TV and movies became colorful.  Here are some quotes from and about television.  Feel free to … Continue reading

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PIXAR: A New Dynasty

“Steamboat Willie” (see above)  was a landmark event in the history of film animation. It was the first time Mickey Mouse (or any other cartoon) had synchronized sound and image. Silent animation’s time was up. Disney studios became an empire. … Continue reading

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The Twilight Zone

Does the man in the picture ( see above) look familiar? Rod Serling was responsible for The Twilight Zone television series.  He wrote more than half of the series’ 156 episodes.  How many of the 156 have you seen?  From the … Continue reading

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Good Deeds #4

  (The first 2 paragraphs of this article are the same as the first two paragraphs of Good Deeds #3) New Yorkers live in a unique environment.  It is a sports capital, a cultural  hub, and a media center.  It has … Continue reading

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Good Deeds #3

New Yorkers live in a unique environment.  It is a sports capital, a cultural hub, and a media center.  It has its difficulties, too, but to those who love it, they will live only there.  Even if it’s a high-priced, … Continue reading

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Gromit Never Speaks

As I began to write this article, it dawned on me that readers may not know who Wallace and Gromit are.  Oh dear. How is that possible?  They have appeared in a full-length film and 4 shorts (approximately 30 minutes each) … Continue reading

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