Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hofstra 88 UNC - Wilmington 81 (OT)

Hofstra should have won the game in regulation since they led the entire time until UNC - Wilmington tied the game with seconds left to play. Hofstra retired the number of Rich Laurel who played from 1973-77. The strange thing was that he was not there to be honored. It certainly would make sense to have this ceremony at a time when he could be there.

Paul Harvey 1918-2009

As a radio enthusiast I should report on my journal the passing of commentator Paul Harvey at age 90. Harvey was the oldest radio personality in America. His daily commentaries on ABC Radio were heard by an estimated 22,000,000 listeners.

In NYC Paul Harvey was heard on WABC. The only time I listened to him with some degree of regularity was back in 1977-78 when I heard him on WSUB - Groton, CT.

He was clearly a giant in the field of radio broadcasting.

Found - Maggie's Farm by Richie Havens

Over the years I have bought hundres of vinyl records. The only one that I lost was Somethin' Else Again which included a cover of Dylan's Maggie's Farm. Yesterday, I heard it on Sirius XM's The Loft. I then thought to search for it on YouTube, and I found it. It seemed that the video was taken by someone at a concert, so it is not the greatest. The audio is just fine.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Alternative Version of Beatles Revolution?

This morning I was listening to Claudia Marshall on WFUV when she said that there may be a newly uncovered version the the Beatles' Revolution which was the B side of Hey Jude. I did some Googling and found the following link . This article gave the Youtube audio of this version. The article also suggested that that it could be the work of a fan who manipulated bits and pieces of various Beatles songs' to compile this audio. Anyway, the audio was taken away since it violated copyright.

Tonight I turned on Bob Radil's 60s and 70s show on WNHU - New Haven which is heard on the web at . At about 7:50, he played this version. Luckily he was able to download it before it was taken away. I had my record on and have an MP3 of it that can be downloaded at

There is a little extaneous noise. You can hear the notorious AOL voice saying "You Got Mail". Oh well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We Miss Johnny Cash on His Birthday

I don't want to repeat what I wrote in this journal last year on this date. The Man in Black would have been 77 years old today. As I listen to WFUV this morning, I am hoping they will feature his music. Johnny collaborated with many other recording artsts throughout his career. The video below makes the entire Slutsky family very happy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We miss George Harrison on his birthday

George sadly left us in November 2001 at age 58. We never know what he would have written and recorded if he had lived. There are plenty of sites on the Internet that talk about his music as a Beatle, solo artist and Traveling Wilbury. I did a search today on YouTube and found this video that I never saw. It apparently was done as a rehearsal from the Concert for Bangla Desh in 1971.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Keith Feuer

Almost every year I forget to send my brother-in-law Keith a birthday card. I forgot again this year. For some strange reason we always remember Sasha's birthday (the dog) but not Keith. Anyway, Happy Birthday Keith and many many more.

Strangest thing happened after my consultation with the oral surgeon

I drove over this morning to the oral surgeon's office in nearby Bayside. He concurred that it would be necessary to extract one of my teeth. He has to send the paperwork to the insurance company to get everything approved before we can set up an appointment for the extraction. So it goes these days with doctors and dentists. When I left his office, I saw a FedEx truck parked outside. I am not making this up. Could someone be spying on me? :)

Cartoon about Facebook

I'd like to thank my real friend Linda Cohen for finding the actual cartoon. She succeeded where I failed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cartoon in Sunday's New York Times about Facebook

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I saw this cartoon in the Sunday NY Times. I could not find it anywhere on the internet, yet. So I'll have to type out the words. It was done by Jeff Koterba of the Omaha World-Herald King Fetures Syndicate.

A guy is sitting at his laptop and is thinking - There are still some aspect of Facebook's Terms of Service that bother me.

The terms of service says: You agree to waste precious and valuable time searching for new friends and and also boring the daylights of friends you currently have with the most mundane details of your sad, sad, life.

I think I can relate to that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spotlight on Don K Reed

Don K Reed worked as a DJ for WCBS-FM from 1971 until it was hijacked in June 2005. For most of that time he worked on the light night or overnight shift. He was best known for hosting the Doo Wop Shop on Sunday evenings. For readers who are not oldies enthusiasts, Doo Wop was a vocal style of music that was popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. Please see the Wikipedia entry for a longer description. When WCBS-FM was relaunched in July 2007 Don came back to host the radio greats show the last Sunday of every month. I am listening to Don right now. A few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to see a small picture of Don in a mural at Yesterday's diner in New Hyde Park. I hope that Don is enjoying his retirement. His loyal listeners welcome his monthly appearance on WCBS-FM.

The Sports Museum of America has closed

I read in today's New York Times this morning that the Sports Museum of America which we visited last July closed on Friday. These are difficult economic times for everyone and cultural institutions are vulnerable. I didn't realize that the museum was owned by a for profit organization not a foundation. I really enjoyed the interactive exhibits there, but attendance was low. I think part of the problem was that location in lower Manhattan was not popular with sports fans. Perhaps it would have been successful had it been located in midtown near Madison Square Garden. Afa mily could come to Manhattan in the early afternoon, take in the museum and then go to a Knick or Ranger game.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Beatle Song of the Day - We Can Work it out

Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries

I was checking Expecting Rain , a Bob Dylan fan site, to see if the link to the latest Theme Time Radio hour was posted. I was pleasantly surprised to Bob Dylan New Ending Tour Diaries issued by Highway 61 Entertainment. Since Dylan has been on tour almost continously since 1992, his fans have called it the Never Ending Tour which after a short hiatus, will resume in March in Stockholm, Sweden. Winston Watson, was a drummer on this tour from 1992-97. He performed about 400 shows with Dylan.

Joel Gilbert, the front man for the Dylan tribute band Highway 61 Revisited, interviewed Winston. He discussed how he was recruited for the tour and showed short clips from some of the concerts. For legal reasons Dylan songs were not played here. Dylan did not need a teleprompter with the words of his songs. The songs were his babies and he knew them backwards and forwards. He preferred that the audience hear new versions of his songs rather than hearing the original recording. Tony Garnier, another backup musician, helped Dylan devise the set list for each concert. Winston left the tour after 5 years since the traveling was so tiresome and it kept him away from his family.

This DVD is for the Dylan fanatic, not the casual fan. You will learn quite a bit about Winston Watson. Backup musicians usually don't get the recognition they deserve.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Comedy should be Seen and Heard not Read

What is Don Rickles doing here? This is the story. I always must have a book with me when I take the trains and buses to work every day. I never know when I can get tied up. Since the small public library down the street has a poor collection, I often have to settle not select a book. Last Saturday I picked up Rickles' Letters. It is a collection of letters that "Mr. Warmth" wrote to real and fictional people. The contents of the book were funny but a comedian like Rickles must be heard and visualized. There is an old saying "it is not what you say, but how you say it." By reading a book you can not see gestures or body language, and not hear the inflection of a comedians voice. I will return this book tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rumor about a New Bob Dylan CD

There is a rumor published in the Rolling Stone magazine that Bob Dylan recorded a CD of new material last october and that it will be released in April about the time of my 60th birthday. This seems to be a good source, so we'll have to wait for the official announcement from Sony Records. April will be a big month for me:

  • My 60th birthday
  • Opening of Citifield
  • New Bob Dylan album


Shea Stadium in completely gone

The last piece of Shea Stadium went down yesterday. Thus, it took about 4 1/2 months from the end of last baseball season to demolish it. It had to be done piece by piece since it is illegal to implode a building in NYC. A piece of baseball history is now gone. We celebrated the history of Shea Stadium throughout the 2008 season. It will take some time to clean up the debris and pave over the area for a parking lot for Citifield.

On a related issue, I feel a litle bad for the people of the South Bronx who lost a significant amount of park space with the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. As of now the old stadium stands as it was at the end of the 2008 baseball season. Shea was demolished immediately since the 2,000 parking spots for each game would generate revenue. No revenue is generated from parks.

Let me quote from Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi:

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve gotTill its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Police in the Subway should pay more attention to major crimes

Riding between subway cars is illegal in NYC, but is certainly not a major crime. There is a gentleman about 50 years old with prematurely gray hair who is often at the bus stop at 6:45 AM each morning. I am not acquainted with him, but I always notice that he is reading a scholarly book on the bus. He as I gets off the bus and transfers to the #7 subway. I was walking on the platform to board the train when I saw him being pulled over by a transit cop who said to him "do you know that it is illegal to walk between subways cars whether or not the train is moving?" The cop asked him for ID. I had to walk away and mind my own business. I hope this gentleman did not receive a summons for this very minor offense. Perhaps he just got a warning.

Anyway, I really feel that police officers should really be looking for major crime on the trains.
In this day and age there is always the threat of terrorism in the subway. I often see aggressive panhandlers on the train, but the police are nowhere to be found. Likewise in Penn Station I see police officers looking for fare beaters. That is illegal, but I still think the police should be more concerned with more serious issues.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Results of my Citifield Survey

A few weeks ago I posted a survey about possibly renaming Citifield. I only got 20 answers, so here are the results:

Keep the name as Citifield - 1
Jackie Robinson Stadium - 1
Gil Hodges Stadium - 2
Shea Stadium - 5
Others - 10
Other responses included:
Bailout Field
New Shea Stadium
Metropolitan Stadium
Woody Guthrie Field

The possibility of renaming the new stadium has been out of the news for at least a week. When a corporation is bought and name is changed the stadium must be renamed. In Arizona Bank One Ballpark became Chase Field. Who knows what may happen to Citibank in the years to come? I remember 30 or 40 years ago it was known as First National City Bank.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bob Dylan Song of the Day - Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window

For some strange reason this song was in the my head today. It was released as a 45 RPM single in Fall 1965 as a follow-up to Positively Fourth Street.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jazz on A Sunday Afternoon

I put on my WBGO hat today as we walked over to Flushing Town Hall to see the Ayako Shiraski Trio. It's nice to have a concert hall in the neighborhood. Karen especially enjoyed this group so she bought one of their CDs. It is unfortunate that cultural institutions in NYC are facing big budget cuts and may have to reduce programs like these in the future.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

College Basketball on Valentine's Day

It's nice for the family to be together and do things that we enjoy. We drove out to Brookdale, Long Island and saw CW Post wallop the University of Bridgeport 107-71. Post is now 20-0, but nobody knows about it since they are play in Division II. Certainly colleges in Division I get much more media coverage.

After the game we went to Ben's Deli in nearby Greenvale. Ben's has several restaurants on Long Island. I don't want to bore anyone so I won't report on what we ate. We listened to Saturday Night Oldies in the car on the way home when Mark had a discussion with hits that were not love songs. Right now I am listening to Cousin Brucie on Sirius XM, but I will turn back to WABC at 9:05 to hear Mark interview Clay Cole.

Camp Wel-Met 1961-65

It’s time for another trip back to the summers of 1961-65 when I went to Camp Wel-Met, a Jewish camp with locations at Barry, Narrowsburg and Silver Lake which were in the Catskills northwest of NYC near the Delaware River. It hard to remember details of what happened over 40 years ago, so here goes:

1961 – I went to the 3-week session at the Barryville location since it was my first time living away from home at age 12. My counselors were Eddie Fisher (same name as the entertainer) and Bob Kipness, a student at Cooper Union. I remember that I had a tough time adjusting since I was a very picky eater.

1962 – I went to the 6-week session at Narrowsburg. My counselor was Ira Levinson who was a medical student. The only campers that I remember from Unit 5 Bunk 92 were Perry Stuart, Joey Heumann, Alan Metzger, and Kenny. The last two were classmates of mine at Russell Sage. I went with Alan Metzger to my first game at Shea Stadium in April 1964. I fondly remember the Wel-Met cocoa that they gave us every morning for breakfast. A couple of times we would go out and sleep in the woods in our sleeping bags. I remember parents visiting day when all the kids, including me, got care packages of junk food from their parents.

1963 – I went back to the same 6-week session and was in Unit 5 Bunk 97 while my counselor was Marty Wasserman. The only camper I remember is Lee Cannon who lived in Coney Island. There was a counselor named Indira who taught the entire unit to sing Blowin’ in the Wind. At that time I was not familiar with the writer of that song. Toward the end of that session I was bitten by an insect on the back of my neck and developed a boil that had to be opened surgically after I came home in August.

1964 – I went to Pioneer Camp at Narrowsburg where we lived in an open tent. My counselor was a tall man named Steve who looked like Abe Lincoln. Lloyd Setlis was the director of the entire unit. The only two campers that I remember are Douglas Kaye, Dave Karp, and Howard Levine. I remember we took a day trip to Scranton, PA to observe poverty.

1965 – I went to the Western Trip. We started out in Narrowsburg where we had an orientation. One of the campers was Phyllis Silverman whose parents were friends of mine from Forest Hills. In 1998 I met her at a Forest Hill High School in Tenafly, NJ. She brought a scrap book of photos and even saved a diary of that trip. Some of the other campers were Mitch, Steve, Mark Solloway, Dick Seltzer, Mark Cohen, and Nancy Yellen. The director of the tour was Jarard while some of the counselors were Bernie, Louise, and Marge. One early morning we left Narrowsburg and drove out to Columbus, Ohio where we changed drivers. We then continued on to St. Louis where we stayed by a Jewish Community Center. The highlight of the trip was the Grand Canyon. Some of the other stops were the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, Mesa Verde National Monument, the Jensby farm in Kansas, the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan and Niagara Falls.

I’m sure that as time goes by more details will come to me, but I’ll close at this point. There is a site for alumni of Camp Wel-Met at . Most of the posters are some years younger than I. I found a few familiar names, but I really didn’t want to reconnect. There have been some camp reunions of the years, but thousands of kids over the years went to Wel-Met so it would be unlikely for me to meet someone I knew.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spotlight on Simon and Garfunkel

Hello darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

'Neath the halo of a street lamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light

That split the night

And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you

"But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed

In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming

And the sign said,

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway wallsAnd tenement halls"

And whispered in the sounds of silence

If winter comes, can spring be far behind? Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet

Winter has been here for a while, although we had a thaw this week. There have been several small nuisance snowfalls, but no blizzards this year, yet. There is a good sign that the warm weather is coming with the opening of spring training camps in Florida and Arizona this week. The Mets and Yankees have spent big bucks this winter to improve their teams which did not make the post season last year. More to come.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My take on Blogs or Journals

Blogs, a contraction of web logs, have become very popular over the last 10 years. They are part of the Web 2.0 phenomenon which promotes information sharing. There must be millions of blogs on the Internet these days. Many of them are very transient while others have lasted for years. I don’t like the term blog, so I call mine a journal.

The Wikipedia states that blogs are “usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.” The writing style is usually very informal.

There are several types of blogs:

Personal – resembling a diary
Corporate – used for business purposes
Question blog
Genre – political, fashion, news, project, education, etc

I chose the personal journal for . Let me quote again from the Wikipedia : “Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read by anyone but them. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life or works of art.” I like to use my journal to try to remember what I did and when I did it. I understand that not everyone cares if on January 18, 2007 I ate at Uncle Bill’s diner. If I was to write a formal autobiography, I would not include that. I use this journal to reach out to people I know and to strangers. I don’t expect everyone to read every entry. I have been told the people enjoy reading about my memories of growing up in Rego Park. I don’t expect all readers to be fans of Bob Dylan or oldies radio. They can skip those entries if they prefer.

My other journal, is a corporate journal even though a university is not a corporation. I like to use it to document work experiences that are out of the ordinary.

On the other hand my good friend Dave DuBrow’s World Journal File is mostly a news journal. Often there is a story that I missed, but I find it in Dave’s Journal. He also reports on Saturday Night Oldies and Mark Simone. Dave also keeps a personal journal which is less active.

I am certainly welcome to receive any constructive criticism from readers of this journal.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad News From the Dentist

No, I didn't lose my posting privileges on radio message boards. About a week ago a filling fell out of one of my upper teeth. When I came to the dentist's ofice this morning I thought it would be an easy job of just refilling the tooth. I found out the the tooth was cracked and the dentist suggested the tooth be extracted. So I called the oral surgeon who extracted Lee's wisdom teeth a few months ago and made an appointment for February 24th. he would have to confirm that the tooth be extracted and set up another appointment for the surgery. My dentist said that it can be done in the office not a hospital and local anesthesia can be used. These things happen when we get older.

Russell Sage Junior High School 1961-64

In September 1961 I began 7th Grade at Russell Sage Junior High School (JHS 190). For those of you not in NYC, the schools here are numbered, but many are given names as well. If you are really interest in who he is, pleas check this Wikipedia article. The big change was that we had to take the bus to school. We were given a bus pass to take the Q60 bus along Queens Blvd to get to school. It was only about a mile away, but I was not a walker in those days. Another big difference was a departmental schedule. There were periods of about 45 minutes when we would go from class to class in different rooms. There was a different teacher for every subject.

Another big issue back then was integration of the school. Sage was in an almost exclusive white Jewish area of Forest Hills. Back then it was called de-facto segregation since students went to schools near where they lived. In order to achieve integration Negro students were bused from Jamaica to Sage in Forest Hills. The terms Black and African American were not used back then. There was some apprehension on my part about going to school with students of another race. I did feel that my parents were prejudiced back then. The Yiddish term Schwartzer was used as a slur for Black people. When we see that Barack Obama was elected president 48 years later, and think back to the early 1960s, I realize how things have changed for the better. There were mostly good relationships between students of different backgrounds. I do not recall any major racial incidents back then.

Some of my friends in Russell Sage were:

Larry Stahl
Joshua Socoloff
Alan Nelson
Alan Metzger
Eric Fradkin

Some of my teachers:

Mrs. Allen - English
Mrs. Minov - Social Studies
Mr. Seligsohn – Social Studies
Mr. Cahill – Math
Mrs. Klein – Math
Miss Singer – Spanish
Mr. Lederer – Spanish
Mr. Jackson - Math

There was one incident that comes to mind. In the eighth grade Larry Stahl brought his portable tape recorder to school and taped some classes. Mrs. Klein, the math teacher went into a rage when she found out her class was recorded.

The major news event of that time was the assassination of President Kennedy. We came to math class on that fateful Friday when Mr. Jackson told us that he had been shot. He cancelled the exam for that day and we just sat. Dr. Charles Tanzer the principal later got on the loudspeaker system and announced to the school that President Kennedy was dead. Some of the girls in the class openly cried. About 20 years later Dr. Tanzer came to the New York Public Library. He seemed impressed that I remembered him.

Of course, the other big event during that time was Beatlemania. The teachers just could not understand what the kids liked about them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trying to remember the very early years growing up in Rego Park

It’s very hard to recall my very early days growing up in Rego Park since it is now over 50 years ago. When my parents were married in 1946 it was very difficult to get an apartment since there was no construction done during World War II. So, they lived with my grandmother in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Thus, I was born in what’s now known as Brookdale Hospital in 1949. Two years later my family moved to Rego Park Queens. At that time my uncle Ben (my dad’s twin brother) and some close family friends lived there. We moved to 61-40Saunders Street which was a wlkup building built in the 1920s. It was on the border between the Jewish and gentile sections of the neighborhood. I have to remember that because the Catholic kids would not play with me. They all went to a parochial school nearby. I did have a Jewish friend named Jodie who lived across the street.

The elementary school P.S. 139 was just a couple of blocks away on 63rd Drive, the business street in Rego Park. Almost the entire school was Jewish. Back then you would just stay in one classroom all day with one teacher. Some of my teachers were:

Mrs. Avidon

Mrs. Michelle

Mrs. Randall

Mrs. Chesser

Mrs. Milstein

Mrs. Berger

Some of my friends were:

Steven Gaber

Richard Jacobowitz

Ron Freisenger

Ronnie Blum

Ronnie Bierman

Michael Weisbrot

Jeffrey Little

Lorin Merinoff

Jeffrey Mehler

Philip Kart

Robert Stok

Mark Epstein

Robert Klein

Joel Truehaft

Maybe these guys will google their names and find this journal. A few years ago I reconnected online with Richard who changed his surname to Jacoby and lives in California. In the Spring of 2000 I met Steven Gaber who now lives in Toronto and we walked around the old neighborhood. I spoke with Robert Klein on the phone some years back. He lived in Virginia back in the 1990s.

I may as well talk about my Hebrew School years at the Rego Park Jewish Center. We left PS 139 at 3:00 and had to go for Hebrew classes at 3:30. Everybody hated learning the Hebrew language since it was so difficult with different letters and vowels. One of my teachers there Jay Bushinsky becam a journalist and has been the correspondant from Israel for 1010 WINS radio. I remember Mr. Yardeni, the mean music teacher. I fondly remember Rabbi Josiah Derby, syngagogue assistant Jack Feldman, Cantor Morris Loewy who gave the Bar Mitzvah lessons. Right next to the temple was a barber shop. Back in the early 60s, the adult price was $1.25 and children paid $1.00. The barber who was not Jewish always asked a young man when is his Bar Mitzvah. Of course, we all liked to brag about that, so if we had our big ceremony we had to pay the adult price.

Here is a good web site about Rego Park.

Sometime soon I will write about my days at Russell Sage Junior High School and Camp Wel-Met

Those were the days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pink Panther 2

I just searched the archives of this journal and realized that it was almost three years ago to the day that we saw the first Pink Panther movie with Steve Martin. It seems that it is very hard to find new ideas for Broadway shows and musicals, so older themes are rehashed. There were many Pink Panther movies dating back to the 1960s with Peter Sellers, so today's movie producers want to recreate the character Inspector Clouseau with a different actor. If you read my previous entry you will realize that I enjoy those movies for the music. Most of movie goers leave as soon as the credits start to role. Karen insisted that we stay until the famous Pink Panther theme ended as the credits rolled.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yesterday, Yesterday's and Hofstra Basketball

On the way home from work yesterday I stopped at the Borders in Penn Station. I bought Bruce Springsteen's new CD and Joe Torre's new book The Yankee Years. I had time to start on in today and read until page 80. Back in 1996, the baseball world didn't think highly of Joe since he had a losing record as a manager for the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals. I don't want to write a critique here, so see the Los Angeles Times for a book review.

This morning Karen, Lee and I drove to New Hyde Park and met radio enthusiast Cara Sieden for breakfast at a diner called Yesterday's. There was a mural on the wall with pictures of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James, Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and retired WCBS-FM personality Don K. Reed. Cara said that Don K. lives nearby and eats at that diner regularly. On the way there as we listened to WCBS-FM, Sue O'Neill announced that Andrea from Brooklyn keeps sending her text messages and photos of her doing the laundry. Oy Vey!

From there we drove out to Hofstra to see their basketball team beat Towson State 71-68.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lucky to be on the late shift tonight

Once a week (usually on Thursday) I work from 1:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the NJIT library. I would not have to leave home until 11:00 AM. On all other days I leave home at 6:40 and if there are no delays arrive shortly after 8:00. I heard on the radio that this morning there are substantial delays on trains leaving Penn Station due to overhead wire problems. Link from WCBS-TV.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Writer's block today

It's one of those days when I just don't know what to write for this journal. Tomorrow is another day, so I'm sure I'll have something to say.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens

Today is the 50th anniversary of the terrible plane crash the claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, J.P Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Richie Valens. Please see this article from if you are not familiar with the event. Certainly much has been said and written about this tragedy over the airwaves and in print. I was a little short of my 10th birthday at that time and did not yet follow popular music. I do not remember directly how people reacted 50 years ago. We have heard the cliche "The Day the Music Died." which may have been first said at the time the plane crash but was popularized by the 1971 hit American Pie by Don McClean. Earlier in this decade WCBS-FM played it to death.

Buddy Holly was certainly a major artist at the time of his death at age 22. He with the Crickets had many hits including That'll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, Rave On and others. People of all ages are familiar with his music. J. P. Richardson only had one hit with Chantilly Lace. Richie Valens had the two sided hit Donna/La Bamba. We never will know what music these three artists would have produced had they lived. Likewise we don't know what other recording artists who died before their time would have done. Their work influenced many other artists in the 1960s. The Beatles and the Hollies would have chosen other names.
I do think that the expression "The Day the Music Died" has been overused over the years. It was even used to described the hijacking of WCBS-FM on June 3, 2005. I hope that rock journalists will stop using it in the future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bob Dylan at the Superbowl and the Morning After

Oh well, Bob Dylan has sold out. There was a commerical on the Superbowl for Pepsi with Bob Dylan and Will.I.Am. Dylan fans will see that the Bob Dylan in the commercial is from 1966 while the song Forever Young was released in 1974 on the Planet Waves album. I would have to rank it one of my 10 favorite Dylan songs. The Joan Baez cover version was played at Lee's Bar Mitzvah reception in 2001. It was also covered by The Band and Diana Ross and many others. Does this mean I will buy Pepsi all the time. No. Karen does all the grocery shopping and buys soda from Coke and Pepsi. However, if I want to buy a drink at work, I have to buy a Pepsi product since NJIT has an exclusive contract with them.

Of course, Bruce Springsteen performed at half time at the Superbowl. Below is a video of the boss and Dylan singing Forever Young together.

For years I have had the clock radio on WFUV or WCBS-FM set for 6:10 AM. You never know whether a song, commercial, DJ talk or the weather report will come on when the alarm goes off. Today Like A Rolling Stone came on as the alarm went off. The day started out on the right note.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shea Stadium is almost gone

There was an article in today's New York Times about a group of diehard Met fans who came to view the remains of Shea Stadium as its deconstruction nears completion. I can not put that photo in my journal, so if you are interested, click on the link. As I pass the site of Shea Stadium as I go to work on the #7 train, I just can not look it at since I spent so many wonderful times there since 1964. Nothing in this world is absolutely permanent. Shea Stadium lasted longer than stadia such as Veterans Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, the Kingdome, and the RCA Dome among others. Citifield opens April 13 with our first game Saturday April 18th.
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