Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Mets Lost 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers


Our 20-game plan for this season included last night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.  I thought that Tuesday night's victory could start a winning streak, but I was wrong.

Christian Yellich with 3 hits and 2 RBIs led the Brewers to a 5-2 victory over the Mets who are now 36-44, have lost 17 of their last 23 games, and are now 8 1/2 games behind the last wild card position in the standings.

Tommy Pham's performance with 3 for 3 and a long home run was the only highlight for the Mets who face the Brewers again tonight.

My Memories of Bob Shannon (1948-2023) - He Was Radio Personality Extraordinaire


Bob Shannon at CBS Radio Day at Yankee Stadium in 2010

Yesterday, we heard from Connie Shannon that her husband Bob just passed away after a long illness.  If you are not familiar with Bob Shannon, there is a bio of him on the Wikipedia
I’d like for this journal entry to convey my personal experiences with Bob.  I wrote him many times in this journal   I had the pleasure of meeting him twice:

In the mid-1990s he appeared at the opening of a Genovese Drug Store in Whitestone
He appeared at the CBS Radio Day at Yankee Stadium in June 2010.

He came to WCBS-FM in the 1980s in its heyday as an oldies station.  For most of his early years there, he was on the air from 6 PM – 10 PM and hosted the Hall of Fame, which featured specialty programming.  The “Lost Hit” feature was my favorite.  There was Tuesday Night Trivia, when survey guy Tom Natoli answered most of the questions correctly.  Whenever I dialed in, I got a busy signal.
Very often, I sent requests for songs to Bob that he played.  My fondest memory of him was in March 1988 when he announced my son Lee’s birth over the air after he played What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

Bob worked at WCBS-FM until June 3, 2005, when the executives flipped the station to the dreadful Jack format.  At that time, Bob was very active in social media protesting that miserable format change.  At that time, he moderated the Oldies Message Board, now done by Mike Riccio.  In July 2007, WCBS-FM came back as a classic hits station, and Bob was rehired.  In early 2012 Bob did not appear on the station as Ron Parker or Joe Causi filled in for him.  Finally, in July 2012 it was stated on the New York Radio Message Board that Bob left the station due to an undisclosed health condition.
After that time, Bob was completely incommunicado. I believe that medical matters should be confidential.  During the last 11 years, everyone hoped that Bob was OK.  We got the bad news yesterday that he passed away.

Radio enthusiast Alan Seltzer said Bob was a great radio DJ demonstrating great timing, expertise in the music he played, and a warped sense of humor and concern about his audience, fitting it all in short song intros. Many had two of the three, but Bob Shannon had all three. There was nobody better.  I second his thought that he was concerned about his audience.

Art Vuolo, Radio’s Best Friend. Produced a video tribute to Bob that can be found at 

Rest in peace, Bob.  You are fondly remembered by all enthusiasts of oldies radio.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dating Yesterday and Today - The Bathroom Line and Ghosting


Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s I often went to singles dances to try to meet a young lady to date.  We used to refer to them as "meat markets".  If someone danced with you, the next step would be to initiate a conversation.  Very often, the young lady would say she has to go to the bathroom and stay there for several minutes.  This meant that the young lady didn't want to meet the gentleman.

In this cell phone era, there are many dating apps.  The man or women would post a photo and list their respective interests.  The computer program would try to make matches.  Since it is now over two years since Karen's untimely passing, I thought it would be OK to test the "dating waters".  So far, I have checked out two dating apps.  When a match is made, an online chat ensues.  All of a sudden, the chatp ends.  This is called ghosting.  It means that the women does not want to talk over the phone or meet in person.

Thus, ghosting has replaced the bathroom line in the quest for dates.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Bob Dylan Medley from 1965 Featuring George Maharis of Route 66 Fame


I found this on Twitter.  It must have been from a variety TV show back in 1965 as George Maharis, Joe and Eddie, Dionne Warwick and The Animals sing a medley of Dylan songs.  George Maharis passed away on Dylan's birthday in 2023 at age 94.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Pledging My Time Conversations with Bob Dylan Band Members by Ray Padgett - A Book Review


In February 2021 I complained in this journal that there were just too many books about Bob Dylan that are being published and that I have read enough of them.  The newer books seem to uncover information that was never reported before.  Some of these books are very scholarly, and one likely needs a doctorate to understand them.  Ray Padgett, a writer, and blogger has just written Pledging My Time: Conversations with Bob Dylan Members.  Ray certainly pledged his time in seeking out the musicians that he interviewed. Some of them are well-known figures including:

  • Noel Paul Stookey
  • Jim Keltner
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Larry Campbell

I was not familiar with some of the interviewees including:

  • Fred Tackett
  • Tony Marsico
  • John Fields
  • Benmont Tench

The musicians discussed how Dylan recruited them and how Dylan coached them.  Many of them concurred that Dylan was not very talkative.  There were a few non-musicians interviewed including the notorious “Soy Bomb” aka Michael Portnoy who crashed Dylan’s 1998 Grammy Awards Performance as he played Love Sick.  Some of his interviews may be sampled at .

Certainly, Ray could not interview every musician who played with Dylan. Sadly, some have passed away.  Bruce Langone and Mike Bloomfield come to mind.  Some of the ones not included were:

  • Al Kooper
  • GE Smith
  • Tony Garnier
  • George Recile

None of the musicians on the current leg of the Never Ending Tour were interviewed.  Perhaps some of the musicians not in the book will be later interviewed in Ray Padgett’s online publications.

I highly recommend this book for all Dylan fans especially those who have followed his career for decades. Readers won’t need a doctorate in English literature to understand it.




Thursday, June 22, 2023

I Dodged an Internet Panhandling Scam

 About a month ago I received a Facebook post from CSC saying Wow There are really good articles and interesting posts on your timeline. I checked your posts and you always posted good writing and beautiful pictures, But we are not Facebook friends. I sent a friend request, but it didn't work Tried several times but didn't go through. Please add me or send a friend request so we can become friends Thank you...

I never know if any of my Facebook posts, tweets, and journal entries impact a reader.  I friended this person and proceeded to have online chats with her.  She was 35 years old and a member of the U.S. Army stationed in Syria.  I did advise her that I was considerably older than her, but she did not have a problem with that.  For a few days, we chatted and exchanged some personal information.  All of a sudden, she asked me to purchase a card for her so she can play computer games while she was off duty.  At first, I was willing to spend $50 on it, but wisely changed my mind.  She became angry and abruptly ended the chat.

A few days later I did a Google search of her and found out you pulled the same stunt on two more Facebook users.  I suppose she picked me at random.  We all must be careful when we use social media.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

This Video Summarizes Bob Dylan's Love Interests; But Someone May be Omitted


However, check back to my Journal entry of November 3, 2022, where I post an excerpt from Jann Wenner's autobiography where he states that in 2019, he met Bob Dylan and his wife at a party for Bruce Springsteen.  Do any of the Dylan scholars know who she is?

Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Mets are Sinking as they Lose 8-7 to the Cardinals


These players are given multi-million-dollar contracts and just don't perform.  Carlos Carrasco received $14 Million this season and just sucked today.  He gave up 6 runs and was yanked after 3+ innings.  His ERA ballooned to 6.34 after 9 starts.  At one point the Mets were trailing 5-1 but were able to even the score at 7-7.  The bullpens for both teams prevented scoring for the next 3 innings, but in the top of the ninth Adam Ottavino gave up a home run to Nolan Arenado to win the game for the Cardinals. 

The Mets are now 33-38 and 12.5 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves.  They will have to get hot soon or else this season is gone. Pete Alonso returned from 10 days on the IL but was hitless in four at-bats.  Will the Mets be sellers at the trade deadline?  Who is to blame for the poor performance of the team?

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Mike and Heidi


Mike was a good friend of mine during my City College days (1967-72) as we belonged to the same fraternity.  In October 1970 he met Heidi at one of our fraternity parties at our Brooklyn location.  In November 1971 he became engaged to Heidi at the Mill Basin Bowling Alley.  We joked and said he wanted to strike at a spare moment when Heidi was in the right frame of mind.

They were married on June 17, 1973, at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows.  At that time Mike was at law school at the University of Pennsylvania while I was a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island.

I kept in touch with Mike until the end of 1976 when I relocated to southeastern Connecticut to work at Pfizer in Groton.  After then, I lost track of him for many years until the coming of Google searching.  It is an unofficial hobby of mine to try to find people I haven't seen in decades.  Mike became a highly successful attorney and lives in Brooklyn.  Mike and Heidi had two sons.  I don't know if they have grandchildren.

My reconnections with people through social media, telephone, or even face-to-face were very brief.  Thus, I decided not to try to contact Mike after not seeing him for 47 years.  I don't have any bitter feelings toward him, but I believe I must look ahead to the future, not back upon the past.

Happy anniversary to Mike and Heidi.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Mets Beat the Yankees 4-3 in 10 Innings in the Subway Series

My 20-game package for this season included last night's Subway Series game.  The game started at 7:45 with a brief rain shower at about 7:00.  I was surprised to see many Yankee fans in the stadium.  I think that in section 516 there were more Yankee fans,

Gerrit Cole for the Yankees and Justin Verlander for the Mets were the starting pitchers.  Both were effective in the 6 innings they each pitched as the score was tied 1-1 at that point.  In the seventh inning second baseman Jeff McNeil allowed Josh Donaldson to score the go-ahead run in the seventh when he bounced a throw to first that would have been way late anyway trying for a double play on Isiah Kiner-Falefa's (IKF) grounder.  IKF stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error.  In a rare play, IKF stole home as seen below.  A straight steal of home is rare.


In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets scored two runs when Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch in with loaded and when Starlin Marte singled in another run.  Nimmo was picked off second base to end that rally.

Nimmo turned out to be the hero as he doubled in the winning run in the 10th inning.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Finally, Somebody Agrees with me on Abolishing the Electoral College


Please view this video narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.  Of course, a constitutional amendment to abolish it would require a vote of 2/3 of the House and Senate followed by 3/4 of the state legislatures to approve.  That is not going to happen.  He discusses the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  However, that would face legal challenges.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

NYC Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR Meeting in Midtown Manhattan


Sadly, the COVID pandemic prevented the Casey Stengel Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research from holding in-person since January 2020.  Today the group met at Scandinavia House on Park Avenue between 37th and 38th Street.

The first-panel session discussed New York Baseball at its Best with Marty Appel, a prolific baseball writer, and former executive with the New York Yankees, Tony Guida, veteran TV journalist for CBS, NBC, and CNN, and Anthony McCarron, a sportswriter for the Daily News who previously worked at Newsday and the Miami Herald.  The three discussed topics including:
  • Controversy over whether Pete Rose should get into the Hall of Fame
  • The Yankees are just not the same without Aaron Judge
  • What salary will Otani get in 2024 and beyond?  They thought he would command a package with at least $500 million.
  • The new rules in baseball.
The next speaker was Bradford William Davis who discussed investigative reporting in baseball.  He reported in 2021 MLB was using two different baseballs but kept it quiet.

Erik Sherman described the impact of Fernando Valenzuela on baseball in Los Angeles.  Before he came to the team in 1981, very few Mexican Americans attended Dodger games. When he pitched, Dodger Stadium was mobbed with his fellow countrymen.  He discussed Game 3 of the 1981 World Series when Valenzuela faced Yankee rookie Dave Righetti. The Dodgers won that game and took the World Series 4-2.

The day concluded with Erik Weiss's trivia contest.

Hopefully, the chapter will meet more regularly in the future.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Songs with the Same Title That Are Different - Run Run Run by Jo Jo Gunne

Songs with the Same Title that are Different was a feature of the Bob Shannon Show when he was on WCBS-FM.  He left for an undisclosed health issue over 10 years ago.  I hope he is doing well.  In my last entry, I posted Run Run Run by the Supremes.  Above is another Run Run Run recorded by Jo Jo Gunne, a one-hit wonder from Los Angeles.  It reached #27 on the Billboard chart.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Run Run Run by the Supremes - Obscure Oldie of the Day


Run, Run Run only reached #93 in Billboard in 1964 before the Supremes hit it big.  When I hear that expression, I imagine all the candidates that are running for president over a year before the nominating conventions.  Can any Republican stop Donald Trump when his opposition is so fragmented?  I think some people would vote for him even if he is convicted on several federal and state charges.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

The Mets Drop to .500 as They Lose to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4


Steve Cohen is paying hundreds of millions in salary, but after 60 games the Mets can only muster a .500 record.  Since it is Sunday, Bruce and Lee must be at Citi Field hoping for the best.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 4-0 lead off starting pitcher Kodai Senga.  Buck Showalter took him out in the third inning.  Perhaps Senga needs more time off between starts.  The Mets tied the score at 4 with single home runs by Tommy Pham (2) Starlin Marte and Pete Alonso who leads MLB with 21 home runs.  He now has hit more home runs in Citi Field than anyone else with 72.

Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer off Dominic Leone in the seventh inning for a 6-4 lead that the Jay's bullpen protected.

Now the Mets travel to Atlanta to play the Braves.  They must get hot soon!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Rebecca Slaman Speaks at World of Dylan 2023 Symposium - Come Writers and Critics

 In 2021 during the COVID pandemic, an online Bob Dylan Symposium was celebrating his 80th birthday.  Two years ago, it would have been impossible to hold a large in-person meeting.  Since the pandemic is over (COVID is still out there) the wonderful people at the University of Tulsa decided to have an in-person conference.  I hoped it would be a hybrid conference but it was not.  My friend Sal who teaches at NYU said this conference was more academic than the 2019 conference that I attended.

Rebecca Slaman, an enthusiastic Dylan fan in her twenties, presented a talk about people who criticized Dylan over the years.  Certainly, Dylan fandom has transcended the generations.  Someone in the audience video-recorded her talk and uploaded it to YouTube.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

The World of Bob Dylan 2023 Starts Today in Tulsa but I'm Not There


This conference will undoubtedly offer an excellent exchange of interpretations of Bob Dylan's works over the last 60 years.  I attended the first conference in 2019 which was in person and the 2021 virtual version.  Last year I traveled to Tulsa to see the Bob Dylan Center.

I decided to take a pass at this year's conference.  I enjoyed the 2019 meeting, but I felt it was too academic for me.  I regard myself as an avid fan, but not a scholar.  There will be many reports on social media of what transpires there.  Several of my Dylan friends including Sal, Danny, and Phil will be there and will discuss it at our next Google Meeting.

I expect that several years from now I will return to Tulsa to see the Bob Dylan Center again as museums change with time.

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