Do I Love Baseball Quotes? You Betcha!

The Philadelphia Phillies win the 2008 World Series in one of the strangest ways imaginable – closing out a game that began in the bottom of the 6th after a 46 hour rain-delay – and the morning papers are full of the great quotes and writing that make baseball such a delight.  Can you imagine getting an intelligible quote out of a football coach after the Super Bowl?  Of course not.  But even the lowliest man on the World Series roster can provide some wonderful, thought-provoking line that brings a smile.

Here are a few gems I picked up from today’s Washington Post and New York Times.

The Phillies and Rays turned a mess into a mini-masterpiece, transforming a suspended game into a tense, 79-minute suspension of disbelief. – Tom Boswell, Washington Post

A game that began with a deluge has washed away an epic drought. The Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series. – Tyler Kepner, New York Times

Rays Manager Joe Maddon said he considered using phenom lefty David Price from the start Wednesday night, but decided to use a matchup-focused bullpen strategy instead.  “Retrospectively, may you could have done that [with Price] but I really had it mapped out the exact way it occurred…[The Phillies] just did not cooperate with their offense.” – Maddon as quoted in the Washington Post by Dave Sheinin

“It’s kind of weird, kind of odd, that the game is going to start with the seventh inning stretch,” said the Phillies’ Brett Myers, who exaggerated by an inning, but made his point nonetheless… – Quoted by Tyler Kepner in the New York Times.

“‘The mind, once stretched, can never return to its original form.’  I like that expression.  Our minds have been stretched.  Our players will never be satisfied again with less than winning.” – Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon on his teams “worst-to-first” rise in the American League, as quoted by Tom Boswell

The Fog Bowl and Jeff Ruland, Scott Stevens and Joe Carter – all of the symbols of local futility – can be put to rest.  The Philadelphia fan does not need them anymore as proof of a hardened soul.  Hearts are light now, joy has come to Mudville.  The Phillies are champions. – Tyler Kepner on the long drought between Philadelphia championships, in the New York Times

More to come…

DJB

Beauty in the Mountains

I spent the last two days in the mountains of North Carolina.  A colleague and I had a meeting in the region and our timing could not have been better.

Few things are as beautiful as the mountains of western Virginia and North Carolina during the fall.  This was my favorite season during the 15 years we lived in Staunton, in the middle of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. 

So Tom and I were thrilled to find ourselves on a lake with a jaw-dropping historic dam and a shoreline filled with trees in all their fall glory.  We viewed a great historic property with the owner on Tuesday afternoon, but knew we had to get up this morning to see more of this wonderful place.

After a restful night’s sleep (boy it is dark in the country), Tom and I hit the hiking trail this morning to walk around the lake, enjoy the wonderful light, and examine the dam up close.   As you can see from these pictures, the trees were spectacular and the dam was awesome in all its 700′ wide X 90′ high glory. 

One of the great things about my job is the chance to be with some of the smartest and most passionate people in the world in some of the nation’s great historic places.  The past two days were just more evidence of my good fortune.  I’ve been viewing dams since my father (the TVA engineer) took us to Fontana Dam when I was about 10, but this is one special engineering feat.  You only get a slight sense of the beauty of this place in the pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  All in all a wonderful two days.

More to come…

DJB

 

Take Me Home Down Route 66

Just arrived home after a week in Tulsa for the National Preservation Conference.  National Trust staff posted some great updates throughout the week on the PreservationNation.org blog which I recommend.  I did see some great art deco architecture and thought the Gilcrease Museum was a real treasure (check out the amazing Ansel Adams exhibit).  But since I spent the better part of the week in partner and board meetings, I’m not the best judge of all the city had to offer. 

So I’ll just post this picture from last evening’s terrific closing party with Asleep at the Wheel and say thanks to Marty, Marcia, Cliff and all our hosts from Oklahoma for a great week.

We’ll let Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel take us home with a great version of Route 66!

More to come…

DJB

Asleep at the Wheel and Cain’s Ballroom – Can It Get Any Better?

Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom – the home of Bob Wills – was the perfect setting to hear Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.  We were there for the final party of the 2008 National Preservation Conference, and Benson used the occasion for a history lesson of western swing. 

With his beautiful bass voice, fluid guitar lines, and expert showmanship, Benson had the crowd in his hand from the opening notes of Take Me Back to Tulsa.  The tight band worked through song after song in the western swing catalog (“Western Swing Ain’t Dead…It’s Asleep at the Wheel!)  We danced to Choo Choo Boogie, Faded Love, and so much more.

It was great to hear this band with so many friends and colleagues.  Kaye told me they are her favorite band and she cleans the house while listening to their CDs.  Ed told me he saw them once in New York, but “they’re much better here.”  Must be that cultural context.  Newcomers to the music kept saying, “what a terrific band.”  Indeed. 

Great way to end the week in Tulsa.  Does it get any better than barbeque, Cain’s ballroom, and Big Balls in Cowtown:

Workin’ on the railroad
Sleepin’ on the ground
Eatin’ saltine crackers
Ten cents a pound
Big Ball’s in Cowtown
We’ll all go down
Big Ball’s in Cowtown
We’ll dance around

More to come…

DJB

Will Rogers…Why Can’t New Public Schools Be This Cool

As the regular readers know, I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week for the 2008 National Preservation Conference.  Tonight’s event was in this great building, Will Rogers High School, which reminds us all that public schools weren’t always bland, boring spaces.

As we drove through a non-descript neighborhood, my colleagues were doubting that anything of great value could be found in this landscape.  And yet, the moment the school, with its towers rising above the treetops, came into view, it was clear we were in for a treat.  The school was built in 1938 as part of the Public Works Administration (PWA).

The auditorium was an Art Deco wonder, the library a pleasant surprise, and the entire building a delight for the eyes which has to be a treat for the discerning and observant student.  I’ve posted a couple of pictures to give you a hint of what we enjoyed.

More to come…

DJB

An Art Deco Masterpiece

Today’s opening plenary of the National Preservation Conference was held in the spectacular Boston Avenue Church – a National Historic Landmark and Art Deco masterpiece.  Seldom have I been so surprised – and moved – by an interior.

The church was built in 1929 and is filled with great detail large and small.  I took numerous pictures of the interior, several of which I’ve posted.  Today has been a gray, rainy day in Tulsa, so the exterior shot doesn’t show off the building at its best. 

The stunning setting was a great place to hear the Cherokee Youth Choir, with a group of middle-school and high-school boys and girls who sang three beautiful songs in their native Cherokee. 

The keynote speaker was Chief Wilma Mankiller of the Cherokee Nation.  She gave a terrific talk about indigenous people, ending with the old Mohawk proverb:

It is hard to see the future with tears in your eyes.

More to come…

DJB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a Look at Tulsa

I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2008 National Preservation Conference and took some time this afternoon to become acclimated to my home for the next week.

Tulsa is known for its great collection of art deco architecture, and on my way to the TV studio this morning to do a stint on Good Morning Tulsa I drove past the magnificent Boston Avenue Methodist Church.  What a building!  It was highlighted on the cover of the July/August 2008 issue of Preservation magazine in a beautiful photograph and – seen in the morning light – is even more stunning in person.  I hope to take some photos later in the week when we’re there for conference events.

In walking around downtown on a beautiful fall day, I found a range of 20th century architecture – not just art deco.  The photo at the top of the post just gives a hint of the range of styles one sees when walking around with an open eye.

The newest landmark in Tulsa just opened last August – the Cesar Pelli-designed BOK Center.  One of my colleagues went inside yesterday afternoon and said it was a terrific space.  I’m posting a couple of photos of that building from different angles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the shot on the right, you can also see the mid-century modern Federal Building, which I learned this morning is threatened.

I took more photos and will upload more posts – including those art deco gems – later in the week.

More to come…

DJB