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. *****

Some Films’ 25th Anniversary

The website http://www.IMDB.com recently posted a list of films that were celebrating their Silver anniversary this year (ie, 1994 – 2019).  Here are some comments regarding my favorite films on that list. Forrest Gump:Received 13 Oscar nominations and won 6, including … Continue reading

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Stand-Up Comedians

The cover story of Time magazine, March 11, 2019 is about Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  One part of the article is entitled “The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever.”  Ms. Louis-Dreyfus gives her 5 top choices.  Three of the choices I can easily … Continue reading

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Forty Years Later…

I still remember an ad for “Alien” that told us: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”  Yes, it was 1979 when we first met the creature that attached itself to someone and, later, burst out of their body … Continue reading

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Most Important Person Who Never Lived

In 2013, Time Books published “The 100 Most Influencial  People Who Never Lived.”  Guess what: Donald Trump, George Clooney, and Billie Jean King are not among them.  Of course not.  The point is: the most important people in an event … Continue reading

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Women Meet Monsters

Actress Julie Adams died on 2/3/19 at age 92.  She had 149 film credits from her work in movies and television and was busy from 1949 into the 21stcentury. She worked with many stars (eg, Jimmy Stewart, Rock Hudson , Elvis Presley).  … Continue reading

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Pitchers and Catchers Report

Pitchers and catchers are reporting to their respective teams.  Spring Training is beginning.  Baseball has returned. This is also the time of year when baseball magazines, full of pre-season predictions, make themselves available.  I got mine at CVS.  Reading through … Continue reading

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The Hammer of God

Nicknames have always been part of baseball.  Some of the better known and the players they refer to are:  “The Sultan of Swat” (Babe Ruth); “The Splendid Splinter” (a young, thin Ted Williams); “The Say Hey Kid” (Willie Mays); “The … Continue reading

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