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. *****

Gifts for Famous People

I know you are busy finding appropriate gifts for all your friends and family members. Now, image you had to get appropriate gifts for famous people as well. Here are some suggestions for a dozen folks who are known everywhere. … Continue reading

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My Favorite TV Christmas Shows

TV Guide listed 109 Christmas shows to be broadcast this holiday season. (Golly, I hope I counted correctly. Did I miss something?) I know everyone eagerly awaits their favorites. Here are my mine. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer. I like to … Continue reading

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A Dog’s Life

Have you ever wondered how a dog (your dog?) perceives life? This article consists of cartoons by Charles Barsotti, whose drawings appeared in The New Yorker for more than 40 years. It can answer the question I just suggested. (Caution: … Continue reading

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Giving Thanks

  Thursday is Thanksgiving. I, like many of you, will sit down to a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a variety of vegetables, and pumpkin pie (a la mode?). We may remember to say “thank you” to the pilgrims … Continue reading

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Roy “Doc” Halladay: 1977 – 2017

On Tuesday, 11/7/17, Roy Halladay died when the plane he was flying, crashed. His wife and two sons were not on board. He had retired from baseball in 2013 after a 16 year career. He was 40 years old. Chase … Continue reading

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When I think of tap dancing, I think of Gene Kelly (see below) “just singin’ and dancin’ in the rain” as he explains to a police officer what he is doing in that film’s famous dance number. Kelly had a … Continue reading

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Baseball 2017: Awards

Baseball gives out awards in November: Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year. This article will be a discussion of the players most likely to contend for these awards. MVP, American League. There are at least 6 … Continue reading

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