Friday, May 23, 2008

Don't You Miss....?

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. "
~ Bertold Brecht

Change is inevitable, some of it is good, some is not. One of the few things I’ve finally learned is that adjusting to change will usually increase your opportunity to enjoy life.

However, you still can’t help but miss a few things that aren’t the same anymore.

Don’t you miss the Rolling Stone magazine you read in the late 70’s and 80’s? The one with great “think” pieces by Mikal Gilmore and Anthony DeCurtis, and PJ O’Rourke (his trip to still Communist Warsaw made me laugh until my sides hurt) Christopher Connelly’s reviews (and his ABBA apologies) and of course the weirdly attractive articles by Hunter Thompson. The College Issue was always worth looking foward to each year. I picked up a copy of RS several months ago – I didn’t recognize 95% of the recording artists they were talking about and I guess that their current audience can’t read an article that is longer 3 or 4 paragraphs.

Don’t you miss music videos on VH1? I’ll admit it: I liked music videos. Some of them were pretty clever and at times even a little better than that, does anyone remember Van Halen’s video for “Right Now” – maybe one of the best ever. VH1 has turned into some kind of reality TV clone, it seems the only videos they are showing are 10 year old re-runs of Pop Up Video on VH1 Classic.

Don’t you miss being able to read Peter Gammons for free on Sorry but I just can’t bring myself to pay even a nominal fee out my hard earned salary to the world wide leaders of “snark”.

Don’t you miss blog entries: like this one on Postcards From Elysian Fields?

Don’t you miss those wonderful warm, cream cheese filled, sugar coated soft pretzels at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco? They had those at the concession stands for one season (2003) and never again…too bad!

Don’t the ol’ Toledo readers of this blog miss: Faygo’s Red Pop and Rock ‘N Rye, Dudley’s Hot Dogs, the duck soup at Old Oaks, White Hut Hamburgers, Joe Ashton on Dialing for Dollars during the 4 o’clock movie on Channel 11, the Lion Store, Bob Kelley, John Saunders, Gordon Ward, and the soft serve ice cream stand on Reynolds Road near the old library and Walford’s?

Don’t you miss “Later” with Bob Costas? I worked the evening shift at the front desk of the Stoneleigh Hotel for a couple of years, when I arrived home at midnight – I always tuned into “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Later” on NBC. You either love Costas or hate him (I love him) this show was great – his interviews with Paul Simon and Paul McCartney were memorable.

Don’t you miss real Top 40 radio? I grew up listening to CKLW and WTOD – where you were likely to hear a Marvin Gaye tune, followed by a Led Zepplin song and then maybe Jeannie C. Reilly’s “Harper Valley PTA”. Take a look at the Billboard charts from 30 years ago – everyone listened to a wide range of music – I’d like to think it made us a little more open minded.

Don’t you miss warriors like Rick Helling and Bobby Witt in the Rangers starting rotation? I remember a game at Chicago during the 1997 season , the weather was terrible, windy, rainy – truly miserable. Bobby Witt stayed on the mound and pitched one heck of a game. I keep reading that Kevin Millwood has that kind of warrior mentality – it would be nice if he stayed off the DL so we could all see if that is true.

Don’t you miss “Sports Illustrated”? I saw a copy while in my dentist’s office the other day. I was shocked at how thin the magazine is, how the once thoughtful writing now caters to the short-attention span audience. The issue naming the 1980 Olympic Hockey team as the sportsman of the year is probably one of the finest piece of sports writing you will read. Just my opinion – but the last good issue of SI was the week after 9/11 – moving, respectful, loved Rick Reilly’s column.

Don’t you miss "SCTV"? Edith Prickly, Brock Linehan, Sammy Maudlin, Count Floyd (“very scary stuff”) The Great White North, Bobby Bitman, Dr. Tongue, Lola Heatherton, Ed Grimley (“I must say”) – I’m already laughing while type this (and I know Mike Hindman is too!)

Don’t you miss “The Game of Week” on NBC with Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek? Okay, in ancient times we were limited to one national game on Saturday afternoon – while now there is a national game four or five times a week. But I’m old enough to remember that it was a different set of teams every week – not just the Red Sox and Yankees. Check the ESPN and Fox schedule - there is a NY team or Boston game scheduled every week.

I know many of us still miss Mark Holtz, and always will. One of my favorite memories is a September Saturday night – the Rangers were out of contention (as they always were back then) Mark was reading college football scores with Eric naming the mascots for all the schools – it’s hard to put into words – but if you heard and remember then you are smiling too. And... don't you miss Ranger games on WBAP? - no matter where you were you could pick up the radio signal - I live in Arlington about 4 miles from the Ballpark and when I drive down Bowen Rd. the current KRLD signal fades in and out.

Don’t you miss the real “Sports Central” with Brad Sham? Not the very poor imitation that is on the air now. Brad's show had no bombast, no over hype or poorly thought out rants – just thoughtful commentary and interviews. Plus I think that Brad Sham was the best of Eric Nadel’s radio partners (after Mark Holtz) – and I understand why Cowboys fans wanted him back on their broadcasts.

And if you’ll indulge me for just a minute: I still miss my Aunt Mitzi’s smile, Uncle Steve’s wry wit, Oscar and Sophie’s kind friendship, Grandpa Lewandowski’s cigar, Granma Lewandowski’s chicken soup, Granma Czajka’s back porch, talking with Mr. K, Aunt Jo’s big hugs, the welcome at Uncle John’s and Aunt Harriet’s home, Uncle Art’s hearty laugh and so many more family and friends who aren’t with us anymore.

“In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost.”
~ (Unknown)

-- Marla Hooch


mrs. schmenge said...

The Ranger commercials with Molly
The oustanding usher in the section 320 in the old Arlington Stadium
The Red uniforms (and the Hunt for Red October)
Beat the Yankees Hanky night
A line up that you could recite all season
Mr. Catfish ball night (and Rick Honeycutt's commercial for Mr. Ball's Catfish night -- here kitty kitty)

Richard said...

re: WBAP. I was in Phoenix and dialed in 820 on my rental car and there, loud and clear, in Phoenix mind you, were the Texas Rangers ... just as Nolan finished the 6th inning. I hustled to the nearest sports bar I could find, had 'em switch a tv for me, and saw the 8th and 9th innings of his last no hitter.

WBAP was greatness in those days.

br549 said...

I miss "The Bible of Baseball" - "The Sporting News". And I miss Ol' Diz and Pee Wee. Ages ago when I was first learning to score a game, I was practicing on a Saturday afternoon game with Diz, and I knew none of the players. I only had Diz' pronunciation to go by. For over a year, I thought the man's name was Hamon Killaboo.

Richard said...

I remember how Pee Wee would wince when Diz would say he "slud" into second. Remember Missouri teachers protested to get him off the air because he butchered the language, and kids were saying what Diz said at school? And how about this: "Podnah's, how 'bout an ice cold Falstaff right now ... the choicest product of the brewer's art!" I was too young to imbibe, but he sure made it sound cold and good.

chrisc said...

I miss listening to the Tigers on WJR with Ernie Harwell and wondering how he knew that a "lady from Alpena" or wherever else it was caught that foul ball.

It's good to have such great memories!

Craig said...

I miss fishing at any one of the numerous farm watershed ponds in Pottawatomie County Kansas. Listening to Denny Matthews and Fred White call Kansas City Royals baseball games. I always made sure I had extra batteries in my tackle box for my radio . From the time I moved to Kansas in the 4th grade until my graduation from college I heard nothing but Denny and Fred from April to October. I introduced my wife of 20 years to baseball through the help of Denny Matthews. Now she is one of the biggest fans of the game. Fred White has since been replaced on Royals radio but Denny Matthews is still going strong. I listened to Denny and Fred for over 15 years on the Kansas Prairie until my move to Texas in 1989. Mark Holtz made it easy for me to make the switch to Rangers baseball.

Micah said...

If it's overcast and dark outside, I can pick up KRLD (static-ridden, but still audible) way up here in Iowa.

I miss gas that cost less than a 1/2 gallon of milk, going to dinner with Grandpa Dale on Sundays, Casey Kasem's top 40 countdown (I was a sucker for the long-distance dedications)and playing outside with my friends from the time I got up in the morning until darkness took over in the evening (you don't see kids do this much anymore).

Richard said...

Micah, I can relate. Before there were the Houston Colt 45's our team was St. Louis because Houston was their AAA team, the Houston Buffs. They'd play at least two games there in spring training and I remember seeing them play the Brooklyn Dodgers. As a kid, I remember well sitting in the front seat of our '54 Pontiac with my dad listening to St. Louis on KMOX?? with the frequency fading in and out and my dad muttering under his breath as Stan the Man swung but we never heard at what because of fade out. Then the Colt 45's came in and everything changed for we starved for baseball Texans. I grew up about 100 miles from Houston in Bryan, TX.