Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Randy of Randy of the Rainbows Passes Away from a Heart Condition

Photo of Randy Safuto at
the Nov 2017 Meet and Greet

I found out from reading Don Tandler's Facebook feed that Randy Safuto of Randy and the Rainbows fame passed away.  This report from Vintage Vinyl News stated that he suffered a heart attack last May, so I am assuming that a heart condition was the cause of death.  

He spoke to the group at last year's Oldies Meet and Greet and was very friendly to everyone.  My condolences to the family.


Monday, October 15, 2018

I Researched Beatles Producer George Martin at the Performing Arts Library of NYPL


On an impulse, I decided to research Beatles producer George Martin at NYPL.  It certainly beats suffering through a New Jersey Transit delay.  I found this marvelous book that answered all my questions:

Martin, G. (2002). Playback: An illustrated memoir. Guildford: Genesis.

Since this was a rare book with only 2000 copies signed by the author it was held in the Special Collections of the Research Library

He was born in 1926 and self-learned music.  He actually wrote his first musical piece at age 8.  He later attended the Guilford School of Music.  He entered Abby Road studios in 1950 when he produced classical music for EMI.  In addition, he produced the recordings of the London Baroque Ensemble and later made children's records for the HMV label.

He first met Brian Epstein in February 1962 when he signed the Beatles to EMI/Parlophone after several record labels rejected them. In June of that year, he rejected Pete Best as the drummer and hired Ringo Starr.  When he recorded Please, Please, Me in 1963 he realized that this group was going to be something special.

Other groups, he recorded included:

  • Cilla Black
  • Billy J. Kramer
  • Cilla Black
  • Shirley Bassey
  • Gerry and the Pacemakers
  • The Fourmost
  • Neil Sedaka (later in his career)
He admitted that his biggest mistake was to record Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever as a double-A side.  With 20/20 hindsight George felt that those two songs should have been included on the Sgt. Pepper album.

I could have spent hours reading this book and taking notes, but I had to skim through much of the book.  There were fantastic photos of the Fab Four that I had never seen.

I also listened to an album called  Off the Beatle Track, a collection of instrumental versions by the George Martin Orchestra.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I Supported WFUV Today

I have been a loyal listener of WFUV since the early 1990s.  When I listen I never know what they will be playing.  They are not bound by the formatics of commercial radio stations.  I am only familiar with some of the artists they play.  I increased my monthly donation from $12 to $15 so I also receive a digital subscription to the New York Times in addition to the yearly CD that is offered to subscribers.  Keep up the good work!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Happy Birthday Cousin Bruce Morrow


The video as seen above is Cousin Bruce Morrow on WABC radio in the 1960s.  I salute him today which is his 83rd birthday.  I hope that all of us are as active and vibrant as he is when we reach that age.  He is heard on SiriusXM 60s on 6 Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings and sounds as great as ever.  This show has brought him to a national audience.

Happy birthday, Cuz and many many more to you.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

All About Steve - Good Cast but Poor Movie


It was a rainy day so instead of going to the local multiplex, I stayed in and watch a movie on HBO from 2009 called All About Steve.  I was attracted to it by Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper who are excellent actors.  The movie was quite silly as the Bullock character worked for a newspaper writing crossword puzzles.  She was set up on a blind date with the Bradley Cooper character (Steve) who worked as a cameraman for a nation TV new network.  She was fired and then stalks Steve as he covered stories over the country.

At least I didn't have to pay to see it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Red Grooms and Michael Moore all in 1 Day


Early in September, I read an article in the New York Times about an exhibition about the pop artist Red Grooms coming to the Marlborough Contemporary Gallery on West 25th Street.  In preparation for my visit, I did some research about him in the New York Public Library last week which I reported in this journal.

Grooms is best described as an interpreter of American pop culture.  This exhibit covers a sample of his works from 1955 to the present. I perused through three of his exhibition catalogs at the library but I especially enjoyed seeing his 3-dimensional works at the gallery.  My favorite work was a  view in the Strand Bookstore at 12th Street and Broadway.  There was also a picture of Roger Clemens with the Yankees, but he was wearing uniform #10 which belonged to Phil Rizzuto and was retired.


From there I took the subway uptown to the Lincoln Square Cinema at Broadway and 68th Street.  Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 was only showing at a few theaters so I wanted to see it before it went away.  He made many caustic observations about the presidential election of 2016, actions of Donald Trump before and after the election, the water supply situation in Flint, MI, and the general political situation in America today.  Some critics felt that it is Moore's best work.  I enjoyed it, but just felt it could have shortened a bit due to some redundancies,

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Working on SABR's Baseball Index Project

When I was at the SABR annual meeting in Pittsburgh I found out about the Baseball Index Project,  It is an ongoing effort to catalog all baseball literature. The Baseball Index is a database for finding out what has been written on any baseball subject, from the earliest days of baseball to the present.  I have to take "all" with a grain of salt as it is impossible for any database to be absolutely exhaustive.  Even in baseball, there must be much grey literature and ephemera that are difficult to locate.  Currently, the database includes over 250,000 articles.

I volunteered to index about 1000 articles from SABR's Games Project.  I have written 5 articles for them and coordinate the fact-checking for articles that were submitted an edited.  I have already indexed 600 articles and will finish this phase of the project in about 6 weeks.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Steven Green - Facebook Friend of the Day

Some months ago I reported that I have never met about 150 of my 530 Facebook friends, but today I met radio enthusiast Steven Green for the first time after seeing his posts on Facebook and various radio message boards.  I would usually post his picture in this journal entry, but there is a cat on his Facebook page.  I supposed Steve is camera shy.

Steve lives in Austin, Texas but visits NYC for extended visits.  Since he will not be here in November I met him in Manhattan at Ben's Deli for a mini Oldies Meet and Greet,  He is a walking encyclopedia on oldies music and oldies radio stations both on the air and on the internet.  He recommended a few internet stations that I did not know.  He is an avid collector of radio airchecks on tape.  I wonder how he finds the time to listen to them. It would take him countless hours to digitize them.  Last week he appeared on Bob Radil's 60s 70s show.

After we finished lunch we took a little walk downtown and sat down in a plaza by Madison Square Garden and kept talking.  Steve is also a big Mets fan and talked about several games from the 60s and 70s.

It was a very pleasant afternoon.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Phone Was Ringing off the Hook Today


Both the cell phone and the landline phones were ringing off the hook today.  Some of the calls were important, while others were just nonsense.  It was just one of those days.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Researching Pop Artist Red Grooms at NYPL

In 2004 when the family visited Nashville to see the country music attractions we also stopped by to visit the Frist Art Museum where we saw an exhibit of the works of Red Grooms.  A few weeks ago I saw one or two of his paintings at MOMA in Manhattan.  Since I am now retired and have more time I decided to do some research on him at the Art and Architecture Division of NYPL.

I located three items in the library's online catalog and submitted call slips at their reference desk.  One must have the patience of a saint to use NYPL as it took 1 hour for me to retrieve the materials I requested.  I understand that there are miles and miles of stacks, but a 1-hour wait is quite excessive. I am guessing that they cut their help.  I found out that materials can be requested in advance.  I will obviously do that the next time I use that division.

All of the items were exhibition catalogs, but one had significant textual material that gave biographical information about Grooms who was born in 1937 and is still living.  He was born in Nashville but later moved to NYC.  Many of his works were multimedia including the one of  Fats Domino seen above.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Mets 1 Marlins 0 as a Contingent from the 60s70s Show is in the Stands



It was closing day at Citi Field as the Mets faced the Miami Marlins.  For several years Karen, Lee and I have gone to the final game of the season but today we were joined by the host and two distinguished listeners of the 60s 70s Show heard on Friday nights on Rewound Radio joined us.  Bob Radil, Mary Ellen Brown and Ira Sonin watched the game from section 515.

Noah Syndergaard pitched a 5-hit shutout improving his record to 13-4.  The hitting highlight was an RBI double by Todd Frazier.  In my opinion, it should have been caught by left fielder Isaac Galloway.  Thus, the Mets finished the season with two 1-0 victories over the Marlins.  At least today's game was completed in 9 innings while last night's game with a tribute to David Wright lasted 13 innings.

This ends a very disappointing season for the Mets who finished with a record of 77-85 which was an improvement of last season's record of 70-92.  In both seasons the team was plagued by injuries.  they won 33 of their last 55 games. but it was too little, too late.  Let's see what play moves management makes in the off-season.

Game Recap

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Three Stooges Near Bowne Park in Flushing

Three Stooges on 154th Street in Flushing

Lee with his Superman Shirt with the Three Stooges

In August 2013 I reported in this journal statuettes of the Three Stooges on a lawn at 154th Street and 32nd Avenue in Flushing.  Today we took a walk to Bowne Park about 1 1/2 miles east of our apartment.  On the way back we passed by the house with those statuettes and took a few photos seen above.  The owner of the house was holding a lawn sale.  We spoke to her for a few minutes and found out that she was unaware of the Stoogeum near Philadelphia.

Moe, Larry, and Curly still live on.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It was Scott Muni Day for Me at the Paley Center


For readers who are not radio enthusiasts, Scott Muni was a distinguished radio personality who worked at WMCA, WMCA, WNEW-FM, and WAXQ in New York until his passing in September 2004.  I searched the Paley Center's online catalog and found two tributes for him that were held at the Center previously known as the Museum of Television and Radio.


  • September 26, 2002 - while he was living
  • May 19, 2005 - several months after his passing
At the 2002 tribute, he appeared on stage with Zach Martin who was one of his producers.  The program started with several airchecks and interviews from the various radio stations listed above.  He started in radio while he was in high school and at one time succeeded Alan Freed at WAKR in Akron before he came to New York.  He also related some anecdotes including what happened the night that John Lennon was killed.  He was at WNEW-FM's Christmas show at Radio City where he received a phone call and then rushed uptown to the Dakota.  Much of the session was devoted to questions from the audience that included radio personalities such as Dan Ingram and Meg Griffin.  I was surprised to see radio enthusiasts Mary Shaw and Matt Seinberg seated next to Dan Ingram.

Dennis Elsas moderated the May 2005 tribute with Bill Ayres, Dave Herman, Dan Neer, and Ken Dashow as panelists.  There were recorded tributes by Billy Joel and Paul McCartney.  There were many comments by the panelists and audience members who were in the radio business.  They remarked that Scott introduced obscure recording artists to a wider audience.  They considered Scott a brother to other radio personalities.

I remember Scott best for his syndicated Beatles show called Ticket to Ride that was heard on WNEW-FM Sundays at 11 AM.  There is a radio station with the calls WNEW at 102.7 FM today, but it is just not the same.  I miss the classic rock radio of the Scott Muni era.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sweetheart of the Rodeo 50th Anniversary Tour at Town Hall


I have followed the Byrds since 1965 when Mr. Tambourine Man was a number 1 hit.  The original members of the group were:

  • Roger McGuinn
  • David Crosby
  • Chris Hillman
  • Gene Clark  (deceased)
  • Mike Clarke (deceased)
Ove the years there were personnel changes in the group while the members also performed as solo artists.  David Crosby joined Crosby, Stills, and Nash while Chris Hillman later appeared in the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band.

In 1968 the Byrds with McGuinn and Hillman as the only originals in the group recorded Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a seminal country rock album.  Earlier this year they started a tour for the 50th anniversary of this album which came to Town Hall on West 43rd Street last night.  It included McGuinn, Hillman, and Marty Stuart with his Fabulous Superlatives.

The first set started out with Dylan's My Back Pages and included A Satisfied Mind, Mr. Tambourine Man and Time Between,  After an intermission, the group played all of the songs from the album,  the encore included a tribute to the late Tom Petty and concluded with the Byrds big hit, Turn Turn Turn.


I really enjoyed this concert as Roger, Chris and Marty spoke to the audience about every song that they played.  There was even a sing-a-long with Dylan's You Ain't Goin' Nowhere.  The quote of the evening was Roger saying "If it is a Dylan song, it doesn't make sense."

The only disappointment was that nothing was said about the late Gene Clark who left the group after the second album.  Gene had a career as a solo performer and also appeared in a few groups.

I observed that most of the people in the audience were baby boomers.  I was 19 years old when Sweetheart of the Rodeo was released.  It was a very enjoyable evening.



This was from an earlier performance on the tour

Sunday, September 23, 2018

I Bought an iPhone 8 Today


I have had my iPhone 6 since March 2015 so I thought it would be time to upgrade.  That phone only had a 16G hard drive so things were really getting tight.  For at least a year I had less than 2Gs left so I had to delete lesser used apps to make room.  I couldn't even upgrade to IOS 11.

I went over to the AT&T Store in downtown Flushing and purchased the iPhone 8 with a 256G hard drive.  I will never have to worry about running out of disk space again.  I will be able to transfer music from my CD collection to this phone.  The new phone has IOS 12, so I'll have to take time to figure out its capabilities.

I guess planned obsolescence is the issue as Apple forces you to buy a new phone every few years.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Paul Simon was Superb at Madison Square Garden Last Night

 

Paul Simon has recorded since the 1950s with and without his "sidekick" Art Garfunkel.  I read in a recent biography that Paul and Art have not seen eye to eye in recent years and apparently are not talking to each other.  He took a little "potshot" at Art when he sang Bridge Over Troubled Water and set he regretted giving this song away.

Hilburn, R. (2018). Paul Simon: The life. New York: Simon & Schuster.

The concert started out with America as Paul sang with a very large backup band.  He did talk to the audience at times, unlike Mr. Dylan who just doesn't even introduce his backup musicians.  Most of the songs he performed were from his solo career which started in 1970.  Toward the end, he did an acoustic set of some S&G hits from the 60s.  Most of the audience were older people like myself who have followed his career for years.

My favorite performance was the "Boy in the Bubble."

There is an extensive review of the show by Ben Yakas in the Gothamist.




This performance was on Thursday night.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Volume 14 Will Be Released on November 2


Many fans of Dylan (not me) feel that Blood on the Tracks originally released in 1974 was his greatest work.  My favorite is Blonde on Blonde from 1966.  This 6 CD set to be released on November 2 includes alternative versions of the songs and a hardcover book.  I just ordered the boxed set on Amazon.com so I'll receive it on the release date.  I am disappointed that there have not been any new Dylan compositions released since 2012.

Thank Goodness I'll Never Have To Ride on New Jersey Transit Again


New Jersey Transit is a major reason why I have not set foot in the Garden State in 2018.  I hear every day on the TV or radio news reports of significant delays on the trains which I rode for 25 years.  One of the reasons is a shortage of train engineers which I feel is a result of poor management.  I always hear of switch problems and downed overhead wires. I also think of the money that I save by not having to buy a monthly ticket from NYC to Newark.

Yesterday there was a situation where a door on the train was open while it was going full speed ahead toward NYC.  If you look at the photos, you'll see a few passengers standing near the open door.  It was also my observation that often commuters don't use common sense.

Hey, Governor Murphy, Can you fix these problems?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

4 Concerts/Shows this Fall


  1. Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden - Friday, September 21
  2. Roger McGuinn and Friends - Sweetheart of the Rodeo Tour at Town Hall - Monday, September 24
  3. Girl From the North Country - A musical based on Bob Dylan Songs - Public Theater.  Saturday, November 24
  4. Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater - Saturday, December 1.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cultural Activities of the Week


On Thursday I took advantage of the Culture Pass that I got by using my Queens Library card and visited the Bard Graduate Gallery on West 86th Street.  It featured an exhibit called Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place. The exhibit provides a perspective on why humans across the globe create these material objects with the intention of being offered as acts of faith.

Yesterday we walked over to Flushing Town Hall to see a concert by New Music Horizons featuring classical music and jazz.  The classical works were composed by Yui Kitamura while Mark Wade was the jazz composer.  It is nice to have a cultural institution in the neighborhood.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bob Dylan is Coming to the Big Apple

 

How about 7 more nights!  The Never Ending Tour is coming to NYC in 2018 after all.  Rolling Stone reports that Dylan will appear from November 23 - December 1 at the Beacon Theater.  I will be there.  The pre-sale starts this Tuesday, September 18.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

David Wright to Play During Mets Last Home Stand


Mets.com reports that David Wright will be activated for the Mets last homestand from September 25-30 and will start at 3rd base for the last time on September 29th against the Miami Marlins.  He suffered from spinal stenosis which is a condition, not an injury and has undergone three surgeries in recent years.  His determination to return must be admired by all.  The article did not indicate retirement but states that David does not expect to be ready to play in the future.

His not playing for the last 2 1/2 years likely precludes him from being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but obviously will make it to the Mets Hall of Fame.  It would be a crime if Mets management did not retire his number 5.

We already have tickets for the closing game on September 30.  Perhaps David will pinch-hit in that game.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The True Meaning of Rosh Hashanah


Please, always keep the following in mind.  It is the true meaning of Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many will pass and how many will be created?
Who will live and who will die?
Who in their time, and who not their time?
Who by fire and who by water?
Who by sword and who by beast?
Who by hunger and who by thirst?
Who by earthquake and who by drowning?
Who by strangling and who by stoning?
Who will rest and who will wander?
Who will be safe and who will be torn?
Who will be calm and who will be tormented?
Who will become poor and who will get rich?
Who will be made humble and who will be raised up?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mets 6 Phillies 4 in the Rain at Citi Field

There was a steady light rain all morning, but since we live close by we decided to venture out to Citifield.  When we arrived the tarp was taken off the field, but the game did not start until 1:37 PM.  Jacob deGrom was scheduled to be the starting pitcher but was scratch since management did not want him to pitch in the rainy weather.  We sat in the nosebleed seats and were covered by the roof of the stadium.

The Phillies took the early lead with a home run by Rhys Hoskins.  But the star of the game for the Mets was Michael Conforto who hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning.  On defense Conforto reached into the left-field seats to grab Santana's fly out for the final out of the sixth, stranding a pair of runners.

It rained throughout the game, but there was no stoppage.  The announced crowd was 24,000, but likely no more than 10,000 fans were in the stadium.  There are always diehards like me.

Game Recap

Shana Tova to All


I wish all my family, friends, and followers on social media a happy, healthy, and prosperous Jewish New Year.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Accidental Visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)


Today Karen and I want to go to the Paley Center but when we arrived we find out that it was closed for a special event in the evening.  We decided to walk around the corner and go to the Museum of Modern Art.  Lee and I were there in March so I thought there would be new exhibits.  We saw:


  • Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980
  • Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams
  • The Long Run
I wish there was more time to examine the numerous paintings, sculptures, and photographs in more depth.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

We Got Tickets for Girl From the North Country After All


Please disregard yesterday's journal entry.  Girl from the North County was extended until December 9th.  I phoned the box office and got tickets in the second row.

Second Trip to the Guggenheim Museum in 2018


At the last moment yesterday I decided to visit the Guggenheim Museum.  All museums have permanent and temporary exhibits.  I just checked and I had visited there back in April.

The main exhibit featured the works of artist Alberto Giacometti whose plaster sculptures and paintings investigated the human figure.  The second exhibit called One Hand Clapping featured newly commissioned works by Cao Fei, Duan Jianyu, Lin Yilin, Wong Ping, and Samson Young.  This is the first time that I had seen films at the Guggenheim.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Already Sold Out!


On Sunday I reported in this journal about Girl From the North Country playing from September 11 - November 18 at the Public Theater.  I phoned the box office yesterday and found out that all the shows were sold out.  The woman said that it was possible that tickets could be released in the future or that the run may be extended.

I checked Stub Hub and Ticketmaster and found out that secondary market tickets were available at least twice the regular price.  It seems that it is common that people are not interested in the show, but buy tickets just to make money.  I would like to see this show, but it is not worth $300/ticket to see it.  There is nothing I can do about this.

Please disregard this journal entry.  The run was extended until December 9.  I got tickets for Saturday November 24 at 1:30 PM.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Girl From the North Country, a Bob Dylan Musical, is Coming to New York


Girl from the North Country was originally released by Bob Dylan on the Freewheelin' album in 1963,  Six years later he recorded a duet with Johnny Cash of the Nashville Skyline album.  I read some months back in the Dylan fanzine Isis that a musical of Dylan songs titled Girl from the North Country was showing in London.  At that time I was able to get the soundtrack CD of that show as I reported in this journal.

I just found out from my friend Roy that this show is opening at the Public Theater in Manhattan on September 11 and will play until November 18.  As of today, tickets are not available.  Of course, I will be there.

In 2006 a Dylan musical called The Times They Are A'Changin' flopped on Broadway.  I think Girl from the North Country has a storyline that was lacking in the 2006 production.  If it succeeds at the Public Theater, perhaps it will come to Broadway.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Mundane Labor Day Weekend for Me



I guess I have nothing much planned for this holiday weekend.  We will go over to the Applebees in Bayside for dinner tonight.  Last weekend we went to the Applebees in the Skyview Mall in Flushing and found out it was closed.  It seems that selected restaurants in that chain are closing.  I think we'll also take a walk over to the local multiplex to see Operation Finale.  I hope someone doesn't try to kick me out of my seat.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Former Mets Now Playing For Pennant Contending Teams

The following former Mets are now on the rosters of pennant contending teams:

  • Neil Walker - Yankees
  • Asrubal Cabrera - Phillies
  • Jose Bautista - Phillies
  • Lucas Duda - Braves
  • Jeurys Familia - A's
  • Rene Rivera - Cubs

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Do Not Like Reserved Seating at the Movies


For many years one would go to the window at the movies, buy a ticket and go to the theater and take a seat.  I would like to arrive a few minutes early and not get a seat right in front of the screen.  In recent years theaters including the multiplex near me have implemented a reserved seating policy.  One can even buy tickets online in advance for a showing.  Of course, there is a surcharge for this.  I do not like this policy for a number of reasons:

  1. I have to wait on the ticket line longer as patrons take time to pick their seats from a computer screen as seen above.
  2. I get to the theater early, but the good seats are taken by people who paid extra to buy tickets in advance.
Today I have a strange experience which I think never happened to anyone before.  I bought one ticket for Mile 22 at the local multiplex. I walked in and observed I was the only customer.  Just as the movie began someone walked in and accused me of taking his seat.  I said, that it really didn't matter, but he insisted that I move.  The theater was darkened at that point and I couldn't show him my ticket for that seat.  I didn't want to start a fight over something very petty so I moved over two seats.

What a jerk!  After the film ended I checked my ticket which was correct for my original seat that the idiot insisted was his.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Thirteenth Annual Oldies Meet and Greet is Scheduled for Saturday November 10

Randy Safuto of Randy and the Rainbows
appeared at the 2017 Event

I called Ben's Deli in Manhattan and reserved Saturday, November 10th from 2PM - 4 PM for the 13th annual oldies Meet and Greet.  This is just a "keep the date open" announcement, but more information will be made public when it becomes available.  My collaborator Jeff Scheckner and I will create a Facebook page for it.

To make a long story short the event started as a "protest" to the "hijacking" of WCBS-FM in 2005.  For a number of years, the event celebrated the anniversary of Saturday Night Oldies on WABC.  For most of the years, it was a gathering of enthusiasts of oldies radio and music.  We have had some distinguished personalities as guests.

Please see https://bit.ly/2ws8179 for several posts in Bruce's Journal about past events.

I promised that this entry would not be about the Mets.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mets 3 Nationals 0 and I got a Jay Bruce Bobblehead Doll

For the third time this week I went to see the Mets play at Citi Field.  Does this guy have anything else to do?  I bought the tickets months ago and didn't realize at first that fans would get a bobblehead doll of Jay Bruce who just returned from the disabled list.  In other years all fans would get a doll, but recently they limited it to the first 15,000 or 25,000 people who entered the stadium.  Thus fans would arrive at the gates at least 2 hours before game time to wait on line,  Once they got their bobblehead they would have so much time before the game, they would spend their time by eating the overpriced food.  The next day the bobblehead would be on auction on Ebay.  We arrived at 3:30  for a 4 PM start and had no problem getting the doll.

For the first time since the franchised moved from Montreal, the Nationals were shut out for the third time in a row.  Zach Wheeler was magnificent in 7 innings while Jerry Blevins got the save by getting the last 2 outs.  Amed Rosario and Todd Frazier hit home runs for the Mets.

Recap

I promise that the next entry in Bruce's Journal will not be about the Mets.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

SF Giants 3 Mets 1

One of the nice things about being retired is being able to attend weekday afternoon games.  I have attended 3 such Met games and 1 Yankee game this season.  It was sunny and relatively cool today as I headed out to Citi Field with my ticket bought through Stub Hub,

The pitching match was Madison Bumgarner vs Jacob deGrom.  All too many times this season de Grom has pitched well for the Mets, but could not get any run support. He struck out 10 in 6 innings while the bullpen fanned 5 more Giants.  Pitchers could strike out 27 and still lose the game.  The only offense for the Mets was a home run by Todd Frazier in the 7th inning.

Two of my Facebook friends were at the game:
  • Ira Sonin - oldies radio enthusiast
  • Marcus Banks - medical librarian whom I met back in 2005.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

SF Giants 2 Mets 1 in 13 Innings

It is very unusual for me to go to a mid-week ball game, but Gary Mintz of the New York Giants Preservation Society invited me to his game. I had the pleasure of working with his late dad at the New York Public Library from 1983-90.  The older people in this group rooted for the NY Giants when they played in the Polo Grounds until 1957.  Their loyalties moved to San Francisco with the team.  We were sitting in center field near the home run apple.  During the "kiss cam" segment a medley of Aretha Franklin was played.

The game was an uneventful pitcher's duel with Zach Wheeler of the Mets facing Derek Holland of the Giants.  The game was tied at 1-1 as it went into extra innings.  In the top of the 13th with runners on first and third with two outs, Brandon Crawford hit a lazy fly ball that shortstop Amed was poised to catch to end the inning.  Left fielder Dominic Smith collided into Rosario causing him to drop the ball allowing the go-ahead run to score.  Oy vey!  See the video below.



Monday, August 20, 2018

Some Comments on National Radio Day

National Radio Day is a time for communities across the country to celebrate radio.  I'll acknowledge it by making some personal comments.

Certainly, my listening habits have changed over the years as I listen more to internet radio instead of traditional AM or FM radio.  Commercial radio is not interested in appealing to older people like me as we are not desired by advertisers.  I used to listen to WCBS-FM for hours a day, but now I only listen to them for an hour or so a week for "old times sake".  They no longer play the music of the 60s and early 70s and concentrate on the 80s.  I also don't like their music mix which I think is too rhythmic.  I now listen mostly to WFUV and WBGO which are not for profit.  For news, I listen to WINS.  I also listen briefly to sports talk on WFAN and ESPN radio.  After I while I get tired of hearing callers dream up trades.

My favorite Internet stations are:

  • Pop Gold Radio
  • Rewound Radio
  • Dylan Radio.com
  • Bob Dylan Tracks
I have a subscription to SiriusXM and regularly listen to:
  • 60s on 6
  • Classic Vinyl
  • Watercolors
  • Willies Road House
  • Outlaw Country
  • Deep Tracks
  • The Village
  • Coffee House
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Channel.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History


Throughout 2018 I have reported on several museum trips that I have taken by myself or with the family.  However, I have not visited the American Museum of Natural History until today. I searched in this journal and determined that my last visit was in May 2009.  Many museum exhibits are permanent while others are temporary.  It is so big that one must visit at least twice to see everything.

We started out on the 4th floor to see "Unseen Oceans" which addressed many questions at the cutting-edge of ocean research.  We also saw the Warburg Hall of New York State Environment, the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, the Hall of Biodiversity, and an exhibit on North American forests.  I will not wait for 9 years to visit again.

We also stopped by the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda where I took a picture of Lee with the 26th President.


Friday, August 17, 2018

World of Bob Dylan Conference in 2019 at the University of Tulsa


I just read in the Dylan fanzine Isis that there will be a Bob Dylan conference at the University of  Tulsa starting on May 30, 2019.  Since the announcement was brief I used my Google skills and found out more information at https://dylan.utulsa.edu/tu-announces-world-bob-dylan-conference-may-2019/  .  It will gather scholars, critics, musicians, fans and experts from around the world for panels, lectures, exhibitions, performances and more.  I think I will be going and will have to look at that website for registration information.

The article in Isis also states that the Bob Dylan Center will open in Tulsa in 2021.  Currently,  the archives are open only to serious Dylan scholars.  I'll be there.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Think is My Favorite Aretha Franklin Hit


This was a hit back in 1968 and has always been my favorite from Aretha.  Thanks for all the wonderful music over the years.  RIP.

Comments about the Paley Center


Yesterday Karen and I visited the Paley Center and viewed a seminar from 1996 about the documentary maker Ken Burns.  It started out with highlights of some of Burns's works, including, among others: "Brooklyn Bridge" (1981), "Huey Long" (1985), "The Statue of Liberty" (1985), "The Congress" (1988), "The Civil War" (1990), and "Baseball" (1994).  Mr. Burns fielded questions from universities across the country about various aspects of making documentaries.  We also saw a "Midnight Special" hosted by Wolfman Jack from 1981 that featured performances by David Bowie and Paul Simon.

I have visited the Paley Center at least once a month since I retired and am impressed by their rich and unique collection.  I am disappointed when I see so few people in their library viewing programs.  Perhaps everyone is at home viewing Youtube and Amazon Prime.  I think the Paley Center needs to market themselves more aggressively to the public.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bob Dylan Sings Don't Think Twice It's Alright in 2018


This concert performance of Don't Think Twice was posted on Youtube.  I don't know the exact concert venue.  It looks like Bob has colored his hair.  His voice seems shot, but I am glad that he is still performing at age 77.  There are concerts scheduled until 11/11/18, but presently nothing is planned for the NYC area.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Yankees 5 Texas Rangers 3 While Dodging the Rain

When you buy tickets for an outdoor event in advance, you never what the weather will be on that day.  I bought tickets for Yankees vs Rangers for August 11th months ago and found out this morning that the forecast would be for rain all day.  We usually leave for a 1 PM game at 11 AM to get to the game on time via subway.  At 11 AM I was still uncertain about going since I was afraid of having to sit through a long rain delay.  Some Yankee fans tweeted that the team wanted fans to come to the stadium to eat food while they wait for the game to start late if at all.

We decided to leave at 11:40 AM and arrived at our seats after the second inning.  Before we came Giancarlo Stanton hit his 29th home run as the Yankees lead 2-0 at the end of 2 innings.  Lance Lynn was solid in his second start for the Yankees but left after the 5th inning.  The Rangers tied the game in the 7th inning on a balk by Dellin Betances.  In the bottom of that inning, Miguel Andujar hit a 2-run homer to give the Yankees a 5-3.

It started to rain steadily in the 9th inning as Aroldis Chapman got into trouble by loading the bases with a walk, hit, and a hit batsman.  He struck out Jurickson Profar to get a shaky save.

Game recap

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Using My Librarian Skills For Baseball Research

For most of my career, I was a reference librarian, but I did do some indexing of professional journal articles.  For a while, I indexed articles for inclusion into a database of published articles cover products of a pharmaceutical company.  For a short time, I worked for H.W. Wilson who published the Applied Science and Technology Index.

When I was at the annual meeting I found out about the Baseball Index Project. It was formed to locate, identify, evaluate, classify and describe the literature of the national pastime.  Right now I am indexing articles from the Games Project to be included into the database.  There are about 1000 articles that need to be indexed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Reading Baseball Books for Pleasure at the NYPL Research Library


I decided to take a trip to Manhattan to look at a couple of baseball books at random at the Schwartzman Building of NYPL.  There seemed to be more tourists than users of the collection there.  The building is certainly a landmark which is of interest to visitors from all over the world.  When I went to the reading room, I observed that most of the patrons were using laptops and may not have been accessing the library's resources.

I looked at the following books:

Weeks, J. (2012). Cellar dwellers: The worst teams in baseball history. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

The 1962 Mets were obviously listed

Kurkjian, T., & Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. (2006). Major League baseball hometown heroes: The most outstanding players in baseball history, club by club. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

This was a coffee table book.

Bondy, F. (2014). WHO'S ON WORST?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History.

This included Anthony Young who lost 27 games in a row for the Mets in the early 1990s.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Remembering Charlotte Rae for Car 54 Where are You


It was announced today that actress Charlotte Rae passed away at age 92.  Although she is best known for her roles in "Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes", I remember her for playing Sylvia Schnauzer in "Car 54 Where are You?"  Sylvia was the wife of Patrolman Leo Schnauzer played by Al Lewis, best known for being Grandpa Munster.  Sylvia was a recurrent character in the series which was on the air from 1961-63.  She was very funny when she appeared.

Hank Garrett who played Officer Nicholson is now the only living member of the cast.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Braves 5 Mets 4 in 10 innings

Corey Oswalt started the game for the Mets today since Steven Matz is on the disabled list.  He looked good as the Mets took at 3-0 lead into the 4th inning, but the Braves started a comeback as pitcher Julio Teheran hit his first major league home run in the 5th inning.  Ender Inciarte hot a two-run homer in the 7th inning to tie the game.  Ozzie Albes drove in the go-ahead run for the Braves in the 9th, but Devin Mesoraco's homer in the 9th inning tied the game at 4.  Nick Markakis hit a home run in the 10th inning to give the Braves a 5-4 victory.

It has been a long and frustrating season for the Amazins.

Game Recap

Saturday, August 4, 2018

By the Time I got Out of Phoenix


I was booked on a Delta Airlines Flight scheduled to leave Phoenix on Friday at 10:55 AM and arrive at JFK at 7:00 PM.  I heard the day before that there had been some big thunderstorms in NYC the day before and that many flights in and out of the 3 airports were affected.  There was a tornado that touched down in College Point, just a mile from my apartment.

I left my hotel at about 8 AM and got into a taxi to the airport.  While I was in the cab I received a text message stating that my flight was delayed until 1:15 PM.  I thought I would continue on to the airport and sit around an extra 2 hours.  At 11:45 AM the airline announced that our flight was canceled.  The only alternative was to book a "redeye" flight that would leave Phoenix at 10:30 PM and arrive at JFK at about 6:30 AM.  We took that option, but it was just so boring to sit around the terminal.  All I could do was read, play with my iPhone, or walk around the terminal.  Such a situation creates anxiety as we were afraid the "redeye" could be canceled as well.

Thankfully, the flight left on time and we arrived home at about 7:15 AM.

What a day!

SF Giants 8 Arizona Diamondbacks 1

It was Zach Greinke vs Madison Bumgarner on Thursday night at Chase Field.  Greinke gave up two runs on four hits and struck five in six innings to lose for the first time in nine starts.  Four Diamondback relievers gave up 6 runs to give the Giants a comfortable lead.  Bumgarner got out of a few jams in the 5 innings that he pitched to get the victory.

Game Recap

The Phoenix Art Museum


The Phoenix  Art Museum was the last cultural institution we visited on our vacation.  It reminded me of the Metropolitan Museum in NYC since in both places the collections were eclectic featuring works from all over the world and different time periods.  A docent gave us a tour when we arrived.  She was quite knowledgeable, but I thought spent too much time detailing a few paintings.  Such tours should be more general.  Some of the exhibits were:

  • To Be Thirteen: Photographs and Videos by Betsy Schneider
  • In the Company of Women: Women Artist from the collection
  • Warriors of World War I: Sihk Art and Heritage
  • Rauschenberg and Johns - The Blurring of Art and Life
 
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