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October, 2004

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October 30, 2004

One more note about the Boston Red Sox. Could they have received help this season from a "higher source"? One of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers is Nez, who lives in my city of Albuquerque. The Code Talkers used their native Navajo language to develop a secret code for World War II American radio transmissions and the five surviving members were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Bush in 2001.

Nez has become a Beantown fan ever since he did a Navajo blessing for the Red Sox before their second home game of the season in April. Read the story in the Farmington Daily Times.

October 28, 2004

Yes, yes...I've been basking in the glow of the Red Sox victory. 86 years is a long time to wait to be World Champions again. The "curse of the Bambino" is broken (Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees in 1919, one year after the last Red Sox series win...and you know what happened after that).

By the way, if you are a baseball nut like me you probably know that the official Major League Baseball site is amazing - You can find lots of history there!

October 26, 2004

I've been a lifelong baseball fan. I even dreamed - I mean, really dreamed - of playing major league ball. I was in organized baseball through high school and by the time I graduated I knew I wasn't gifted enough. But, I have fond memories of playing, including stickball in the streets when I was fifteen and several years of serious fun in softball leagues.

I continue to love the game and the Boston Red Sox have been my favorite team since 1967. I'm a lefty and my idol was Carl Yastremski. I had the Yaz batting stance down pat.

Red Sox fans know what it means to almost grab the brass ring and then see it slip from their grasp. Over and over and over again my heart has been broken. I think Boston may have lost more seven game championship series than anyone. The last four times they made it to the World Series they lost each time in seven games. You can't say they don't make it exciting.

So it is particularly gratifying that the Bosox came back against insurmountable odds to beat the Yankees and advance to the Fall Classic. And so far against a very good St. Louis Cardinals team they are rolling. With all due respect to the other teams and their fans, I can't wipe this silly grin off my face.

October 18, 2004

I've been following a discussion on the APH (Association of Personal Historians) email list about when to preserve life stories. Typically people think about doing it as they get to the latter years of life. However, it was interesting to hear about those who are preserving personal history of children. That's a great idea and of course you can add to the history as the years go by.

Another thing to consider is that no matter what stage you are in life you can contribute new and wonderful things. Look at Grandma Moses (real name - Anna Mary Robertson). She was a farm wife into her mid-70's but became a world renowned painter at 78, wrote her autobiography at 92 (My Life's History) and continued to paint for nearly ten more years!

October 17, 2004

Robin Williams, the comedian and actor, was a good friend of Christopher Reeve and remembers him fondly. Reeve's passing is particularly poignant for Williams when you consider his new movie. The near-futuristic thriller film, "The Final Cut", has just been released and in it Robin Williams plays a "cutter", someone who edits together highlights of a person's life stored by a chip implanted at birth. He edits the recordings of a colleague and discovers a childhood memory that involves him and has haunted him all his life. Sounds like a fascinating premise and quite interesting for those of us involved in preserving personal history.

See more at the Entertainment Tonight web site.

October 14, 2004

Don't you just hate those "know-it-alls"? Especially the wise-cracking new college graduate. Here's a humorous little story a fellow personal historian passed along:

A college student challenged a senior citizen, saying it was impossible for the older generation to understand him. "You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy and computers."

Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, the older gentlemen said, "You're right. We didn't have those things when we were young. So we invented them."

October 11, 2004

The story of Superman - a man from another planet who has superhuman qualities - is part of our culture. Christopher Reeve, the fine actor who portrayed the "Man of Steel" in the movies, was a superman in real life. His life after the tragic equestrian accident that left him paralyzed in 1995 was one of hardship, endurance, faith and inspiration. He hoped to one day walk again if medical science advanced to the point where he could recover. He passed away yesterday (see this Forbes story), but his life will be remembered as an advocate for others dealing with such crippling injuries.

Now he is free of the bonds of his body and I believe his spirit soars in the afterlife. Yet another reminder that what happens to us in life is not nearly as important as how we respond to it.

Here in Albuquerque the annual International Balloon Fiesta has wrapped. It's quite a sight - hundreds of colorful hot air balloons drifting in our New Mexico skies for ten days. This year was another visual treat. The weather only hampered a couple of days and gratefully there were no injuries or deaths, although there were a couple of mishaps. It's not possible to steer the balloons like a normal aircraft. They drift with the wind and alternate their altitude with blasts of propane. On Sunday, Ocotober 10, the last day of the Fiesta, one of the special shape balloons got tangled in a radio tower antennae and it was quite an adventure for the crew and passengers to climb down. Fortunately they were able to do so without injury. You might have seen the reports as it made national TV news.

Last year at this time my mom, dad, aunt Liz and cousin Chip visited for the balloons. A great family time, surely one for my personal history records.

Aunt Liz in a hot air balloon Here's a photo of Liz from her historic flight in a hot air balloon. What a trooper! Thanks to Chip for the shot (she's quite the photographer).

October 5, 2004

I worked in radio broadcasting for many years (still do, parttime) and when I was the program director in Grand Rapids, Michigan our morning show for WKLQ used to do a "celebrity death watch". It wasn't gruesome, just a radio bit. When a celebrity died they always believed two more would follow within a week. Certainly that is the case these past few days.

Today comedian Rodney Dangerfield died. Actress Janet Leigh (mainly known for "Psycho", but she was in 60 films) passed on October 3. And longtime radio personality Scott Muni died September 29.

Scott Muni, along with me and  T-BoneMuni worked in New York City and was an early supporter of the Beatles and a good friend of John Lennon. He was an encyclopedia of rock n' roll and as a rock jock myself I looked up to him. I had a chance to meet him briefly at a radio convention in the late '80's. That's me on the left (still had hair!) and "T-Bone" of KISS/San Antonio on the right of the "professor".

Celebrity deaths always make the news, but every life is special with a story. I guess when "famous" people die it reminds us of times in our lives. It helps us connect the dots on our own timeline.

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
- Woodrow Wilson

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