Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year to Readers of Bruce's Journal

I wish all readers of my journal a happy and healthy 2020.  It is a little frustrating not knowing who reads my postings regularly or only once.  I get very few comments, but it is the nature of the internet for people to be anonymous.  Blogger and Google Analytics provide counts of people who read each entry, but I rarely know my writings' impact on people.  Perhaps some think I am a "nut".

See you next year.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Trump Eroding Role of Science in Government

I don't remember if I ever mentioned this here, but I have bachelor's and masters' degrees in chemistry.  Throughout my career as a sci/tech librarian, I always admired and respected the work of scientists and engineers in all disciplines.  Much research of the years has been supported by the federal government.  I quite dismayed this morning as I read in the New York Times the article stating that in three years the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking.

To quote from the article "Political appointees have shut down government studies, reduced the influence of scientists over regulatory decisions and in some cases pressured researchers not to speak publicly. The administration has particularly challenged scientific findings related to the environment and public health as opposed by industries such as oil drilling and coal mining."

I was aghast at the way Trump mocked Greta Thunberg as she was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

This attitude toward climate change and the work of research scientists must be reversed.  The only way to do this is to elect his opponent in November 2020.

Stand up for science!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Overkilling Announcements on Facebook

Yesterday, radio personality Don Imus passed away at age 79.  Within an hour I must have seen at least 100 announcements of his passing on Facebook.  How many times must this be done?  It is OK if the poster includes some unique information or perhaps an aircheck.

I moderate fan pages for Cousin Brucie and Harry Harrison and decided to delete posts on those pages about the passing since Imus's radio career had nothing to do with Harry or Brucie.  Readers of those pages heard the announcement on other areas of Facebook.

Imus's "mitzvah" was his donations to charities.  He was very popular on WNBC, WFAN, and WABC, but I never listened to him since his style was not "my cup of tea."  Condolences to his family and friends.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Today's Visit to the Jewish Museum

Sculpture by Rachel Feinstein
The clock actually works

I hadn't been to the Jewish Museum since April when I saw the exhibition about Leonard Cohen.  Obviously exhibits at all museums change, so I thought it was time for a return visit.  The exhibit on the first floor was titled Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone organized by Kelly Taxter, Barnett and Annalee Newman.  It features three decades of this contemporary artist's work in sculpture, painting, and video, as well as a panoramic wallpaper.

Moving up to the second floor we saw Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art.  She was the first significant female gallerist in the United States.  In 1926, Halpert opened the Downtown Gallery in New York City, the first commercial art space in Greenwich Village.  The exhibit featured modern and folk art works shown in her gallery over the years.

Finally, the third floor featured Selections from the Collections.  I was impressed by the various Hanukkah menorahs that were shown.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler

There are so many Christmas songs out there, but this is the only secular song that I know that celebrates Chanukah,

Monday, December 23, 2019

Special Version of the Limbo Rock Mentioning the WABC DJs in 1962

The Limbo Rock was a big hit for Chubby Checker in Fall 1962.  It is still played at parties.  I vaguely remembered a version of it where Chubby mentioned the WABC radio personalities at that time.  I sent a request to Jon Wolfert who hosts a show on Rewound Radio where he features oldies and radio station jingles.  It is heard Sundays from 3 PM to 6PM.  I sent him a query about that version.  He played it for me on yesterday's show.  I especially thank Charlie Menut who recorded it and sent it to me.

Special WABC Version of Limbo Rock

Original Version

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The First Two Years of My Retirement Journey

It is hard to believe that it is now two years since I retired.  I have not read the book whose cover is featured above, but I do believe in its premise that retirement is a journey.  For me, the journey usually comes in one-day adventures.  Sometimes the daily adventure is planned while it also can be an impulsive activity.  Some activities are repetitive when others are one-time events.  When I retired, a very heavy burden was taken off my shoulders.  I no longer have to work at a position that I didn't enjoy during my last years.  There are no more bosses who like to assert their managerial muscles by dominating their subordinates. Commuting delays are a thing of the past.  I have received the precious gift of time to do what I want.

  • Reading - I have read tons of books over the past two years.  In the summer months, I sit in parks and read while in the winter I often bring my reading material to the local public library where I don't have to worry about bean counters and scatterbrains.  I also have visited research libraries look up books on baseball and pop music.
  • Traveling - over the past two years I have visited:
    • Pittsburgh
    • Tulsa, Oklahoma
    • Phoenix
    • Seattle
  • Museums - my favorite museums (in no particular order)
    • Whitney
    • Museum of Modern Art
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Paley Center for Media
    • Brooklyn Museum
    • Jewish Museum
    • Guggenheim Museum
  • Movies - I regularly go to the local multiplex which usually screens mass appeal films.  I have often traveled to Manhattan to see independent films aimed at a niche audience.
  • Bob Dylan- I organized a group that has met once so far at NYU.  Hopefully, this group can be sustained.  I attended the research symposium at Tulsa, Oklahoma.  There were concerts at the Beacon Theater in November 2018 and 2019.
  • Music - I have more time to listen to umpteen internet radio stations and to SiriusXM.  I have probably bought more CDs than I really need.  You got to keep me away from Amazon.com 
  • Baseball - I had time to attend more Met and Yankee games.  I am also active in the Society for Baseball Research (SABR) by coordinating fact-checking for the Games Project and indexing articles from the Biography Project.
  • Hiking - I have spent a couple of hours a day walking through parks in Queens.  These walks are almost therapeutic.
My most pleasant surprise in retirement concerns finances.  I am actually saving money and not having to worry about taking on another job to make ends meet.  My savings through TIAA and my bank IRAs really worked out.  My best advice to younger readers is to plan ahead for retirement.

Tomorrow is another day and another adventure.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

My Back Pages - Concert Version

This was posted on Youtube in March 2017.  I don't know the date or place of this performance.

Michael Moore Predicted Trump's Impeachment in 2017

In April 2017 filmmaker Michael Moore predicted that Donald Trump would be impeached in an article in Vanity Fair magazine.  However, he thought it would happen in his second term, but as we all know it happened late in his first term.  I just found out that he was sitting in the front row in the House Gallery during the impeachment vote.

This entire episode is sad since it will further polarize the nation as indicated by the partisan votes on the two articles of impeachment.  It is likely that all Republicans will vote for acquittal in the Senate which will make Trump happy and more confident.

It will be a very contentious campaign between Trump and the eventual Democratic nominee.  Trump's actions during his presidency have been disgraceful and hopefully, he will be defeated in  November 2020.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Retirees Don't Like Rainy Days

On most days I like to take a brisk walk in a park in Queens, but you can't do that on a rainy day.  It is also an inconvenience to take a bus and subway into Manhattan to enjoy a cultural activity.  Thankfully, I don't have to worry about mass transit delays getting to work.  Nobody likes sitting in the apartment and watching TV all day.  So what can I do?

  • I'll read for a while as I have plenty of books and magazines on my shelf
  • I can spend a little time watching TV.
  • Most likely, I'll take my umbrella and walk over to the local multiplex where the prices are reduced on Tuesdays.  Even if it's a crappy movie, I'll get out of the apartment for a few hours.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Afternoon at the Whitney Museum

A Painting by Roy Lichtenstein seen today at the Whitney

Since I was last at the Whitney in June to see the Biennial exhibit, I thought this would be a good time for a return visit as most of the exhibits have changed over the past 6 months.  We started out on the 8th floor where we saw an exhibit featuring video performances of Jason Moran, one of today's leading jazz innovators.  The 7th floor included selections from the collection from 1900 to 1965 where I saw the Lichtenstein above.  Making Knowing: Craft in Art. 1950-2019 on the 6th floor showed how visual artists explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft.  The exhibit on the 5th floor featured the works of contemporary artist Rachel Harrison.  The exhibit incorporated room-size installations, autonomous sculpture, photography, and drawing.

Going to a museum kept me away from the TV set on a Sunday afternoon.  I would have watched the football Giants who even won today 36-20.  I am just not that much into the winter sports, anyway.

Friday, December 13, 2019

I Watched the DVD of The Last Waltz Today

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 

I felt that instead of reading today, I should look into my DVD collection and see a movie that I hadn't seen in a while.  I chose The Last Waltz which was directed by Martin Scorcese.  Back in November 1976, the Band did a concert at Winterland in San Francisco to mark the end of the group.  It also included performances by:
  • The Staples Singers
  • Van Morrison
  • Neil Diamond
  • Neil Young
  • Bob Dylan
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Eric Clapton
The Band did reform some years later without Robbie Robertson.  Sadly, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel passed away later on.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

So Gerrit Cole is getting $324 Million over 9 years which is $36 Million a year that equates to about  $1 Million per start and $10,000 per pitch.  Does this guarantee the Yankees will win the World Series?  Of course not.  Will Cole stay healthy for the 9 years of his contract?  Let's take a look at some long term contracts where the player lost significant time to injury:

  • David Wright
  • Giancarlo Stanton
  • Yoenes Cespedes
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
I am sure there are many others.

I went to the Paley Center for Media  to view some videos of Elton John since I just bought his biography.  For once, the cost of the print book was less than that of the Kindle edition.  When I searched the holdings I found a radio interview of Elton with Pete Fornatale in 1970.  I also found interviews with Pete interviewing Simon and Garfunkel and Carole King.

Back in September, I attended a function concerning archives of Pete's interviews coming to the Performing Arts Library of NYPL.  Three months later these archives are still not accessible at NYPL.  When I visited them I was given the name and email of the person who is the archivist.  Periodically, I have emailed her and she responds that there are technical problems about getting the archives online.  I think they should not have had the "celebratory" gathering until the recordings were available to the public.  There is no urgency on my part to hear them, but I think it is poor public relations on part of NYPL to have this function when the new unique resource is not yet available.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Select Bus Service Machine Ate Up My Metrocard

I used to have a blog completely devoted to my commuting problems when I commuted from Queens to Newark.  I stopped adding to this blog when I retired in December 2017.  I no longer ride on New Jersey Transit, but I still ride on MTA buses and subways for my leisure activities.

Last Saturday I took the Q44 which is part of the select bus service program.  Riders must insert their Metrocard into the machines seen above and receive a printed ticket as proof of payment.  It saves time since the bus driver does not have to wait for riders to dip their Metrocards.  Occasionally a fare inspector will ask riders for their slip to ensure they have paid.

After I inserted my reduced senior citizen Metrocard into the machine, I received a ticket, but it ate up my Metrocard.  When I got to the Main Street Station I had to buy a full-fare card to get on the subway.  Today I phoned the MTA and reported this incident.  The person I spoke to said that this type of incident does occur.  I will have to wait about 3 weeks to get my senior citizen discount card.

Oh well. 

Anyway, I am writing this for Gregory Wolf who loves to read about my commuting problems.  He is an excellent baseball writer and editor for SABR (Society of American Baseball Research).  By the way, I was on the way to see St. Johns University Basketball at Madison Square Garden.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Musical Tribute to John Lennon

Empty Garden - Elton John
All Those Years Ago - George Harrison
Here Today - Paul McCartney
Roll on John - Bob Dylan

Saturday, December 7, 2019

St. Johns 70 West Virginia 68 at Madison Square Garden

Since it is prohibitively expensive to go to professional basketball games at Madison Square Garden, we go to a few college games there every season.  The Knicks are awful as their record is 4-18 and just fired coach David Fizdale.

The game with St. Johns facing West Virginia in the Holiday Festival was pretty even most of the way with the score tied at 36 at half-time.  At one point in the second half, the Red Storm took a 10 point lead but the Mountaineers tied it up at 68. Rasheen Dunn hit two free throws for St. Johns with 5 seconds to go as the home team won,

The Garden was less than half full. I guess college basketball is not that popular in NYC.  St. Johns has not been nationally ranked in several years and has not had an impact player that gave the program national attention.  Also, there were some West Virginia fans in the stands, but I think there would have been a bigger crowd if two NYC area schools were playing.

Game Recap

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thoughts on Impeachment

I usually don't comment on politics, but here goes.  During a common criminal trial, the judge asks prospective jurors if they can be objective.  Jurors must hear both sides of the argument as to whether the accused is innocent or guilty and make a decision that must be unanimous.

Impeachment is synonymous with an indictment and does not remove the president from office.  The full House of Representatives votes on articles of impeachment.  A majority is needed to impeach the president.  The representatives will not be objective since all Democrats will vote for impeachment.  Since the Democrats have a majority, impeachment is likely.

After a president is impeached, he must stand trial in the Senate where a two-thirds majority is required for removal from office.  The Republicans have a 54-46 majority in the Senate.  Every Democrat plus 21 Republicans would have to vote to convict resulting in removal from office.  This is not going to happen.  Trumps's impeachment will be a historical footnote.

It is my opinion that the Electoral College should have been abolished years ago as it is a relic of the early days of our republic.  Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than Trump but lost the elections since Trump had an electoral majority as he won "battleground states" with small majorities.  A constitutional amendment is required to abolish the Electoral College.  It is a very difficult process described in this document.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Gathering of Bob Dylan Enthusiasts on the Upper West Side

Selfie of Your Truly at today's luncheon

There have been yearly Meet and Greets of oldies enthusiasts for many years as documented in this journal.  For the first time to my knowledge, there was a gathering of Bob Dylan enthusiasts at a restaurant.  Most of the people were from out of town as they made a trip to NYC to see one or more of the 10 Dylan concerts at the Beacon Theater.

Nancy Cobb organized the event that was held at the Tessa Restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue at 77th Street which was within walking distance of the Beacon Theater.  The conversations were not completely about Dylan.  One man discussed why he thought Trump would win a second term.  Most of the people were at least  60 years old.  Everyone stated that the concerts on the current leg of the Never Ending Tour were excellent.

Nancy took a few photos of the entire group.  When she posts them, I'll will add them to this journal entry.

The Group at the Tessa Restaurant

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Miami Heat 109 Brooklyn Nets 106 at Barclays Center

View from my nosebleed section seat

This was the first sporting event that we have attended since the end of the baseball season.  Professional basketball and hockey tickets are very expensive, so I have to seek at a bargain, but including the fees, it was $65/ticket to sit upstairs.  

It was a close game from the start as neither team had more than an 8 point lead.  Kyrie Irving missed his 9th game in a row, so the Nets were shorthanded.  Spencer Dinwiddie led the home team with 29 points, but that just wasn't enough.  The Heat scored the last 10 points as they won 109-106.  The Nets are now 10-10 while the crosstown rival Knicks are now 4-16.  This could be a long season.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Trip to the New York Transit Museum to See the Exhibit on the Redbirds

A #2 Train as a Redbird

According to my records documented in this journal I last visited the New York Transit Museum was on November 11, 2018.  When Lee heard that there is a new exhibition about the Redbirds we had to visit it again.  In transit jargon, the R-26 cars that were first introduced in 1959 in different colors were later branded as Redbirds since they were all painted red.  They served the lines then known as the IRT which are now the numbered subway lines.  Below is a photo of the #7 line that went to the World's Fair in 1964/5 that was later painted red.

This train took me to Shea Stadium.  It was later painted red.

When the Redbirds were retired in 2004, they were dumped in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware where they serve as reefs.

The rest of the museum was unchanged since our last visit.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

One Thing I am Thankful

The photo above is of New York Penn Station today as people try to get trains out of the city.  Even on a normal day, it is very crowded.  It never had the capacity to handle the volume of commuters today.  I am thankful that I don't have to ride trains in and out of that miserable place.  Likewise I am thankful that I don't have to ride through Newark Penn Station.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Remembering WMCA Radio Home of the Good Guys in the 1960s

Today, I started a Facebook group for WMCA when it was a top 40 station in the 1960s  In the first 13 hours 56 people have already joined.  The station was at 570 on the AM dial with a signal of only 5,000 watts limiting its signal to New York City and its immediate suburbs.  Its major rival was WABC with its 50,000-watt signal.

I liked WMCA for its broader playlist while WABC's was much too restrictive for me.  When the Beatles released a record they would fight over which station played it first. Winning a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt as seen above was a big prize for their listeners. Both stations had legendary personalities.  The major WMCA personalities included:

  • Joe O'Brien
  • Harry Harrison
  • Jack Spector
  • Dan Daniel
  • B. Mitchell Reed
  • Gary Stevens
  • Dean Anthony
  • Ed Baer
  • Frank Stickle
In September 1970 the station adopted a talk format and eventually became a religious broadcaster as it is today.  The following websites provide useful information about the station.

WMCA Page from the New York Radio Message Board authored by Allan Sniffen

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bob Dylan's First Show at the Beacon Theater

As soon as the Beacon Theater shows were announced, I purchased tickets for the first of 10 shows.  If I remember correctly, this is the third November in a row that he was at the Beacon as the 2019 leg of the Never-Ending Tour comes to a close.  In Fall 2019 he has pretty much kept to the same setlist as seen below.  Those Bobcats are really fast as the setlist was on Bill Pagel's website less than 1/2 hour after the concert ended.  Lee was disappointed since Tangled Up in Blue was not played.  Bob played the guitar on Things Have Changed, but otherwise, he was on the piano or on center stage singing.  My favorite was the new version of Not Dark Yet .  Last night's show was sold out as seen above, but it is possible that there are tickets left for the 9 remaining shows.  Most of the concertgoers were middle-aged or elderly who have followed Dylan for years.

Father-Son Dylan Fans

Lee has gone to Dylan concerts since he was 9 years old.  His first one was at William Paterson University in 1997.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Listening to Archives of the 60s 70s Show While it is on Hiatus

Friday nights have not been the same over the past several weeks since The 60s 70s Show has been on hiatus.  There was an unfortunate disagreement between Bob Radil and the owner of the internet radio station that carried the show for 9 years.  It is my opinion that the owner was unnecessarily nasty and irresponsible in his actions.

In any event, Bob needed a little break as he had to attend to various personal and professional issues.  I know of at least one proprietor of another internet oldies station who is interested in carrying the show.  I am sure that the show will come back bigger and better in 2020 and all the loyal listeners will return.

I am actually listening to the archived shows on a Saturday morning as I usually do.  Friday nights are usually busy for me:

6 PM - 7 PM - Listening to the 60s 70s Show with the family on the Amazon Echo
7 PM - 8 PM - Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune
8 PM - 10 PM - Watching a sporting event.  If it is bad I'll go back to the  60s 70s Show

On Saturday mornings I check the archives and listen to the parts of the show that I missed.  Thus it is now Saturday morning as I am listening to the archives of a show from 2018.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

Right now I am reading two Beatles books simultaneously:

Asher, P. (2019). The Beatles from A to Zed: An alphabetical mystery tour - this is by Peter Asher who discussed the book with Cousin Brucie and Dennis Mitchell host of the National Breakfast with the Beatles show.  I am still finding out more information about the Beatles after all these years.

Mansfield, K. (2018). The roof: The Beatles' final concert.  - Since I started reading this book I have listened to Let it Be Naked (without Phil Spector's overdub).  I am hoping that there will a DVD release of the film Let it Be in 2020, the 50th anniversary,

Only two days to go for the Bob Dylan concert at the Beacon Theater.  My show will be the first of 10 that he will be performing there.  The concerts on this leg of the Neverending Tour have been given favorable reviews.  More on this will be coming later.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Moe Resner Speaks to the New York Giants Preservation Society About the last Giant Home Game at the Polo Grounds

Moe Resner 

Moe is a baseball historian familiar with the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs.  He was at the Polo Grounds on September 29, 1957, to see the Giants' last home game there before moving to San Francisco. He discussed a new film produced and directed by Janko Radosavljevic, entitled: Moe Resner 1957 Baseball. The video will show Resner’s passion for the fabled Polo Grounds. This video will be available shortly on Amazon Prime.

A one minute clip of the video

Moe Resner Throws Out The First Pitch at Wrigley Field

Monday, November 18, 2019

Another Professional Disappointment in Retirement - My METRO Science Librarians Group Folded

In 2000 I organized a Special Interest Group (SIG) of Science and Medical Librarians through the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).  I conducted about 50 professional meetings over 17 years at their headquarters on East 11th Street in Manhattan.  A few years ago that organization moved to 11th Avenue and 45th Street.  Over the years there have been several SIGs covering different areas of librarianship.  A few years ago the SIGs were rebranded as "Meetups".  I didn't care for the rebranding, but there was nothing that I could do.  It was a great source of professional satisfaction for me as I learned much from the speakers and met many fine colleagues from other universities.

In anticipation of my retirement, I found a science librarian from CUNY who was interested in becoming the new convener of this group.  He ran a few meetings and held an organizational meeting in October 2018.  I wanted to be on the mailing list to keep in the loop to be aware of what was happening.  I had heard anything for a while and then checked the METRO web site and noticed that the Science/Medical Librarians Meetup was no longer listed.

It is a disappointment to me that it didn't continue after my retirement.  On the other hand, maybe I accomplished something that nobody else could do.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Our First Visit to the Expanded Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

A Picasso at MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) was closed for several months for expansion and renovation.  It re-opened a few weeks ago, so we thought this was a good time to revisit it.  I must say that it was very crowded with mostly younger people as visitors.  We started out on the 6th floor and worked out way down.  There was so much to see with artists from A to Z.  We were there for about 3 1/2 hours, but it would take a full day to thoroughly examine the exhibits.

If my readers are interested in going, I suggest perusing their web site and leave at least a full day to see the thousands of artworks.

Friday, November 15, 2019

My Son the Andy Rooney Fan

Here is a photo of Lee wearing the t-shirt he got during our vacation to Seattle this past summer.  For some strange reason, he really likes Andy Rooney since we watched him for many years we watched his segments on 60 Minutes on CBS.  Sadly, Andy passed away in 2011, but now Lee likes to watch him on Youtube.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Researching Two Different Topics at the Performing Arts Library of NYPL

It was an unusually cold day for November and the last thing I wanted to do is sit home.  I am indexing articles for the SABR Biography Project and found a biography of Harry Coyle, the director of many baseball telecasts.  I looked in the bibliography and found:

Walker, J. R., & Bellamy, R. V. (2008). Centerfield shot: A history of baseball on television. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

So I went to the Performing Arts Library to read the book.  Here are some of the notes that I took:

  • Breaks in the action of a game made baseball a difficult sport for TV.  I just hate it when they bring in a pitcher for one batter, but that will end next season.
  • Even with declining ratings, the World Series is the "Crown Jewel" of the TV Game
  • TV led to the contraction of the minor leagues
  • The availability of baseball games on TV created more fans
I found this book by accident in the library's catalog:

Etling, L. (2011). Radio in the movies: A history and filmography, 1926-2010. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.

I concentrated on a chapter that considered disk jockeys in movies.  There are several films that considered Alan Fried:
  • Mister Rock n Roll: The Alan Fried Story
  • American Hot Wax
  • Rock Around the Clock
  • Rock Rock Rock

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Congratulations to Pete Alonso 2019 National League Rookie of the Year

Pete Alonso easily won the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year Award after setting the rookie record for hitting 53 home runs.  He is now the 6th Met to win this award:

  • Tom Seaver (1967)
  • Jon Matlack (1972)
  • Darrell Strawberry (1983)
  • Dwight Gooden (1984)
  • Jacob deGrom (2014)
Tom Seaver eventually made to the Baseball Hall of Fame, while personal problems prevented Strawberry and Gooden from reaching their potential.  Will Pete be able to maintain his statistics in the years to come?  Baseball is a team sport, so no matter how well he performs, the other players on the Mets must perform for the team to make the playoffs in 2020.

Hearty congratulations to Pete.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The 2019 Oldies Meet and Greet was a Big Success with Some Surprises

Big Jay Sorensen spoke to the gathering today

Today's oldies meet and greet brought some surprises.  Jeff Scheckner and I announced the event on Facebook and Oldies Message Board.  Of course, many people say they are going to be coming but something comes up and they must back out.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that as emergencies always come up.  Today's event was unique for people who unexpectedly came.

Jim Kerr came by toward the end of the event

Jim had attended a few of the earlier events, but this time he came unexpectedly and spoke to the group about Harry Harrison's induction last night into the Radio Hall of Fame.  Getting back to Jay Sorensen; he spoke about his days at WNBC, NJ101.5, and WCBS-FM.  Anita Bonita, formerly of Z100 and now with WCBS 880 came with Russ DiBello whose radio name is Famous Amos.

Bill Dillane with Louise Murray in the background

Today's event drew about 50 people which is more than have come in recent years.  Many of the people from the early days (c.2006) have "moved on" but new people are coming.  For the second year in a row, must of the "Survey Guys" have attended. Milton Love of the doo-wop group The Solitaires also came. 

We will have it again next November.

Friday, November 8, 2019

6 Dylan Enthusiasts Talk it Up at NYU

First of all, I thank Sal Fallica for arranging a conference room at NYU for this meeting.

Whenever I have announced a meeting on Facebook it is inevitable that people just don't show up.  There is certainly no malicious intent.  3 people contacted me on the day of the event with regrets.  6 people were enough to initiate many stimulating mini-discussions about Bob. The following Dylan fans came:

  • Bruce Slutsky
  • Lawrence Kaplan
  • Steve Joyce
  • Sal Fallica
  • Matt Waters
  • Philip Hale
The meeting was very unstructured with discussions from A to Z and topics that occurred from 1962-2019.  The average topic was discussed for about 30 seconds.  Off the top of my head we discussed:

  • Dylan at the Beacon Theater
  • The relationship between the Beatles and Dylan
  • Gene Clark
  • Laura Tenschert's radio show Definitely Dylan
  • Ringo Starr requesting that Murray the K play Corrina Corrina from the Freewheelin' album
  • Stephen Scobie's book Alias Bob Dylan
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti 
  • Planet Waves
  • The Tempest
  • Dylan singing adult standards
  • Blonde on Blonde as some people's favorite Dylan album
I didn't take notes, but there were many other topics considered.

We felt that a restaurant or bar would be too noisy for future meetings with similar discussions.  I feel that future meetings should be more focused.

Lawrence Kaplan had some rare videos in his personal collection and felt we can show them at a future meeting.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

Since my building is having a new elevator installed, it has been a real pain to do food shopping and laundry.  I've had to help Karen schlep the groceries and laundry up and down the stairs.  I am estimating that the job won't be completed until December 15.  It bothers me that the contractors did not work on minor holidays like Columbus Day and Election Day.  That means more days of inconvenience.

I heard this funny remark on WFAN today.  The Giants and Jets are playing this Sunday in the "Toilet Bowl."  Both teams stink.

Here is a Jewish joke that was on Alan Reiman's Facebook page.

A young Jewish man walks into the lingerie department of Macy’s in New York. He tells the saleslady, "I would like a Jewish bra for my wife - size 34B."

With a quizzical look the saleslady asked, "What kind of bra?"
He repeated, "A Jewish bra. She said to tell you that she wanted a Jewish bra and that you would know what she wanted."

"Ah, now I remember," said the saleslady. "We don't get as many requests for them as we used to. Most of our customers lately want the Catholic bra, the Salvation Army bra, or the Presbyterian bra."
Confused and a little flustered the man asked, “So, what are the differences?"

The saleslady responded, "It is all really quite simple. The Catholic bra supports the masses, the Salvation Army lifts up the fallen, and the Presbyterian bra keeps them staunch and upright."
He mused on that information for a minute and said, "Hmm … I just know I’ll probably regret asking, but what does the Jewish bra do then?"

“Ah, the Jewish bra," she replied. “The Jewish bra makes mountains out of molehills.”

Monday, November 4, 2019

Visit to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Duke Ellington's piano on display at the Museum

I have listened to jazz radio station WBGO for years.  Recently I heard a mention of the National Jazz Museum of Harlem so I thought I would go over there to see what it had to offer.  I had never been in that part of Manhattan and observed that it was very much gentrified.  The museum, affiliated with the Smithsonian, was established in 1997 and moved to its current location on 129th street in 2015.

There were displays of well-known and obscure musicians including Duke Ellington's piano seen above.  Visitors were able to sample recordings of many traditional jazz artists.  The museum emphasized jazz music from the early to the mid-20th century. There was also a library of jazz-related books. There wasn't much about contemporary jazz.

The exhibit was small so it only took about an hour to see what was there.  Hopefully, the collection will grow in the future.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Travelin' Thru - The Bootleg Series Volume 15 by Bob Dylan is Released Today

I didn't have to run to Alexanders' record department today to get this new release.  I just had to wait for the UPS delivery of the last volume of Dylan's Bootleg Series.  There hasn't been a release of new Dylan compositions since 2012.  This 3-CD set provides alternate takes and previously unreleased recordings of Bob Dylan's journeys to Nashville between 1967 and 1970.  I am especially thrilled by the official release of the Dylan-Cash sessions.  Those two are perfect together.  I especially enjoyed this duo of Wanted Man (Duluth and Hibbing)

Congratulations to Carlos Beltran on Becoming the New Manager of the Mets

When the Mets hired Mickey Callaway two years ago there was a concern that he had no managerial experience.  Even though the team improved to a record of 86-76 is the second season he was fired.  I think new GM Brodie Van Wagenen just wanted his own man as manager.  Callaway's hiring was done quickly, while several candidates while many candidates were evaluated during this search.

Beltran certainly excelled as a player and may even make the Hall of Fame.  However, like Callaway, he comes back to the Mets with no managerial experience.  Beltran seems to have good "people skills" and can relate well to the Latino players on the Mets.  With any new hire, management never knows how well he'll work out and how long he'll stay at the position.

I certainly wish Carlos all the best as he assumes the position of Manager of the Mets.  Hopefully, he will bring the World Series to Flushing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Bob Dylan's Not Dark Yet from the Fall 2019 Tour

The Never-Ending Tour continues.  Dates have been set for Japan in April 2020.  Anyway, early this month the tour resumed on the west coast featuring a new version of Not Dark Yet which is on my list of Top 25 Dylan songs.  It obviously illegal to record and post it to YouTube, but someone has done it and gotten away with it so far.  Hopefully, he will play this version when I see him at the Beacon Theater on November 23.

Monday, October 28, 2019

My Votes for The Top 77 Oldies of All Time

Every year Rewound Radio polls its listeners to compile a list of the most popular oldies of all time.  The compilers who include Mike Riccio and the "Survey Guys" who are very enthusiastic about charts.  They feel that radio stations fudge surveys that are voted by the listeners and that their survey is a completely accurate reflection of the voting. The number 77 is selected out of respect to Music Radio 77 WABC.  It is very hard to list just 10 of my favorites, but mine are listed below.  I only have only one Bob Dylan song on my list.  If you want to votes there are links to the voting page at Rewound Radio and the Oldies Message Board.  During the week between Christmas and New Years there will be a countdown of the Top 77.  Other hits that received votes will be played as well on Rewound Radio.

Song/Artist 1: Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (1965)
Song/Artist 2: Mrs Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel (1968)
Song/Artist 3: Mr Tambourine Man - Byrds (1965)
Song/Artist 4: Mellow Yellow - Donovan (1966)
Song/Artist 5: Strawberry Fields Forever - Beatles (1967)
Song/Artist 6: Outa-Space - Billy Preston (1972)
Song/Artist 7: White Room - Cream (1968)
Song/Artist 8: All Things Must Pass - George Harrison (1971)
Song/Artist 9: Imagine - John Lennon (1971)
Song/Artist 10: It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr (1971)

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Getting More Exercise These Days

View from the roof of my apartment building

They are installing a new elevator in my building which means that there is no elevator until about December 15th.  Since I am on the 5th floor this is turning into an inconvenience.  I can walk up the 5 floors or go to the other side of the building and take their elevator to the 6th floor, walk up to the roof and then over to my side of the building and then down to the 5th floor.  I must say there are some good views up there.  Above there is a view of the Manhattan skyline.  On the other side of the building, there is a good view of the Whitestone Bridge.  It is a pain doing food shopping and laundry since I have to schlep the stuff up and down.  I'll be getting more exercise for the next 2 months.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

It seems that "Out of Sight Out of Mind" Wins Out Over "Keep in Touch"

When I retired in December 2017 people asked me to keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. This is easier to do in this era of email and social networking.  Years ago people had to contact each other by telephone. On several occasions, I sent an e-mail to former colleagues.  Sometimes they answered me, but very rarely did anyone take the initiative to contact me.  A week ago I announced that I won an award from Marquis Publications.  Several Facebook friends who are essentially strangers congratulated me.  I sent an email to the University Librarian and the Business Manager of my former employer asking to make an announcement to the staff.  Only 4 of the 20 people responded to me.  I am especially disappointed that my former direct supervisor did not contact me.

There is nothing I can do.  I guess "out of sight, out of mind" wins over "keeping in touch"

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

My Recent Trip to The Museum of the City of New York Prompted Me To Do Follow-Up Research the Performing Arts Library of NYPL.

One of the exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York demonstrated photographs of Frederick W. McDarrah in the Village Voice.  I never read that newspaper regularly throughout the years, but seeing that exhibit piqued my interest.  I spent some time with the following book.

Frankfort, E. (1976). The Voice: Life at the Village Voice. New York: Morrow

The Village Voice that commenced publication in 1955 upstarted the careers of rock critics including Richard Goldstein and Robert Cristgau.  The editors of the paper did not cultural accept the folk music of the early 1960s.  The editors felt that the folk music destroyed civic life in the neighborhood.  The newspaper was aimed at readers in that iconic neighborhood in the 50s and 60s.  In later years people outside Greenwich Village read the paper as well.

The Voice loudly celebrated Bob Dylan as his celebrity magnified.

While I was at the library I listened to an interview with Pete Fornatale by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1980 as they discussed his book Radio in the Television Age.

I also stopped by the exhibition about the famed Broadway producer Harold Prince.  It detailed the genius and innovative vision of Prince.

Monday, October 21, 2019

I am 70 1/2 Years Old Today

For many years I maintained an individual retirement account at my local savings bank.  Most of my retirement savings are in TIAA, so this is a supplement.  At age 70 1/2 one must begin to withdraw from their IRA which I had to do today.  I have other funds that I can draw from.  I am quite pleased with my retirement income.

My advice to readers here is that it is never too early to start saving for retirement.  Some people don't plan to fail, but they just fail to plan.  I saw that in a poster at my financial adviser's office several years ago.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Another Visit to the Museum of the City of New York

I last visited this museum this past February to see there the exhibit about Jackie Robinson.  In 8 months time were some new exhibits installed so I thought it was time for a return visit.  I was attract to "Cultivating Culture: 34 Institutions that Changed New York".  This exhibition tells these institutions’ stories through original imagery and objects.  I was most impressed by "The Voice of the Village that included photographs by Fred W. McDarrah whose photos were published for decades in the Village Voice.  It is a shame that the print newspaper folded in August 2017 while the online version ceased in August 2018.  Hey, Look what I found:

Bob Dylan Karen Dalton, and Fred Neil at the Cafe Wha in February 1961

We also saw "City of Workers, City of Struggle" about labor movements throughout the history of New York City.

We spent a little time looking at some of the permanent exhibits we had seen during other visits.

Comments About My Award

I received an email some time ago from Marquis Who’s Who publications asking for revisions for my biography as I was listed in a few of their directories.  I mentioned that I retired at the end of 2017.  In early September I received a phone call from that organization stating that I won their Lifetime Achievement Award.

The irony of this situation is that I never received an award from my former employer, but I was recognized by strangers.  Some years ago, the former University Librarian said that he would nominate me for the American Library Association’s “I Love My Librarian” Award.  When the call for nominations was announced, he saw that the application was extremely lengthy, and he did not want to go through this long process.  He said he would nominate me for a local, award but never did.

I had to overcome managerial prejudice at my last employer as I never received a promotion in 25 years.  I had to self-mentor and seek out challenging work on my own.  One of the directors marginalize me and effectively dragged me down professionally.  I remember those who valued me over the years and appreciate their support over the years.  Most of my memories of library managers are very negative.  Anne Buck, may she rest in peace, was the only manager there who motivated me.

I also appreciate the many congratulatory messages that I received through e-mail or Facebook.  I am disappointed that certain people did not contact me at this time.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I won the Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award

I'd like to thank the numerous students, faculty, and staff whom I served throughout my career as a science/engineering librarian.  I would also like to thank Selenay Aytac of LIU Post, Vitaut Kipel and the late Moritia-Leah Frederick of the New York Public Library, and the late Anne Buck of NJIT for motivating me.

Announcement from Marquis Who's Who

Bruce Slutsky Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who
Mr. Slutsky has been endorsed by Marquis Who 's Who as a leader in the field of library science
FLUSHING, NY, September 10, 2019 — Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Bruce Slutsky with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Slutsky celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Mr. Slutsky is a retired science and engineering librarian whose career at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark spanned 25 successful years. During his years at the institute, he was responsible for providing reference service to students of the technical disciplines offered by NJIT. He also instructed students how to effectively use printed and electronic resources to support research and course work.  He officially retired in 2017.
Accumulating four decades of experience in library science in all, Mr. Slutsky came from St. John's University in Jamaica, New York, where he served as head science librarian. He also held appointments in the New York Public Library's science and technology division in New York City and Schering-Plough Corp. in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and was a chemist for three years, working for Rhodia, UOP Fragrances, and Pfizer.  For one semester he was Adjunct Professor at the Palmer School of Library & Information Science teaching a class in Science and Technology Reference.
Further, Mr. Slutsky was active in the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific community, in the Career Consultants Program and its Division of Chemical Information.  Over the years he organized several Careers in Chemical Information workshops to advise chemists of the various career options outside of the laboratory.  He also served as chair of the Division’s Publication Committee and edited its newsletter.
Through the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) Mr. Slutsky organized and sustained a Special Interest Group of Science, Technology and Medical Librarians.  Through meetings and other events, members work to identify and develop effective strategies to promote the interests of professionals working in this area and their library organizations
Mr. Slutsky has contributed numerous articles to various professional journals in his area of expertise. He recently published "Nobel, Priestley, and Perkin Medal Winners in Chemistry: Their Publication Productivity for the Years 1992-2016" with co-author Selenay Aytac of LIU Post, which has since been released in 2017 in Science and Technology libraries.
Since he has retired, Mr. Slutsky has been active in the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  He wrote a few articles for the Society’s Games Project and serves as the coordinator of fact-checking for that endeavor.  He applies his library skills to the society’s Baseball Index, an ongoing project of the Society to catalog the entirety of baseball literature, from the earliest references to the present day.
An alumnus of the City College of New York, Mr. Slutsky received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1972. He soon after attended the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a Master of Science in chemistry in 1974. Following these accomplishments, he concluded his studies with a Master of Science in library sciences from Pratt Institute in 1982. In an effort to remain up to date with developments in his field, Mr. Slutsky maintains professional affiliation with the American Chemical Society. A celebrated Marquis listee, he has been included in the 27th edition of Who's Who in the East and the 54th edition of Who's Who in America
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