Month: October 2015

Setting the Record Straight (Or When “True But Not Always Factual” Won’t Do)

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a visit I’d had with my dad.  When it comes to writing about family, I tend to follow the dictum that I first used in It’s a Wonderful Life (For Tom Brown on His 90th Birthday) back in July. In that post, I listed 90 things about the wonderful life of my father and included the caveat that these were “all true, even if they are not all factual.” Well, I guess that wasn’t good enough for my father!  As an engineer, he likes things precise. So earlier this week I received an email from my dad entitled, “More to Come, editing.” I had recounted a story I’ve heard many times before. My parents were part of the post-war (WWII) marriage boom that begat the well-documented baby boom.  Both were from the small town of Franklin, located about 20 miles from Nashville.  My father had just graduated from Vanderbilt and he and my mom were married in the First Baptist Church in Franklin.  Before beginning his …

Live Blogging World Series Game 3

Here we are – ready to watch World Series game #3. The Kansas City Royals are up 2-0, but these series don’t really get interesting until someone wins on the road.  Citi Field is excited. Let’s do this. 8:08 p.m. – First pitch – at Escobar’s head.  Typical New York reaction.  I think I could lip read Mike Moustakas after that pitch at the head, and he wasn’t saying “good job.”  Next batter up, Zobrist, provides the best answer to a knock-down pitch with a one-out double. 8:16 p.m. – Well, it took 15 pitches and 8 minutes for the Royals to score as only they can.  Check swing instead of a strikeout is key.  Ian Desmond, are you watching this? 8:21 p.m. – Yordano – what a great name!  I’m going to find every chance I can to use that name. 8:24 p.m. – The Mets obviously enjoy being home.  If Wright and Murphy get hot, we’ll have a series.  Wright homers and Mets go up 2-1.  But Yordano Ventura bounces back to get …

Before World Series Game 2 begins…

Before tonight’s Game 2 of the 2015 World Series begins, just a couple more random thoughts to add to last evening’s post. First of all, do yourself a favor and read Joe Posnanski’s column about Game 1. Posnanski worked for a long time in Kansas City and he understands the Royals.  Here are the first three paragraphs to whet your appetite. The Royals lost Game 1 of the World Series to the New York Mets many times on Tuesday night. They lost it when two-time Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer could not decide whether to charge or back off a chopping groundball. They lost it when their No. 3 hitter Lorenzo Cain inexplicably tried to bunt the tying run from second base to third with nobody out. They lost it when manager Ned Yost decided to pinch run for the team’s best slugger Kendrys Morales, leaving the team with the punchless Jarrod Dyson in the middle of the lineup. They lost it when the Mets sent their unhittable pitcher with his Hollywood name — …

World Series Game 1 Random Thoughts (The Never-Ending Edition)

Random thoughts while watching Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. Mets vs. Royals.  I know I’m a National League guy, but I’m rooting for the Royals this series.  (Sorry KC, I know that’s likely the kiss of death.)  I love the way this team plays.  Few strikeouts, great defense, not a lot of “stars” but a terrific team concept.  And a goofy manager who lets ’em play.  So let’s do this! Wow!  What a way to start a game.  First pitch inside-the-park home run to start the bottom of the first.  Alcides Escobar was motoring!  What fun. Have you noticed that the nature of commercials at the World Series has changed – and not for the better.  It use to be beer, beer, and more beer.  Now we get Viagra (yes, because everyone should have to explain ED to their 6 year old) and Opdivo drug commercials (the latter for your lung cancer).  Then there’s Eliquis.  Side effects?  Oh, only significant bleeding, spinal problems, stuff like that.  Really?!?  I know baseball’s demographic is older, …

Talking Preservation’s Future on “Back to the Future Day”

I am in Missouri as part of a cross-country trip that began on Friday in Los Angeles and will end on Thursday in New York City. The annual Missouri Preservation Conference – where I was the keynote speaker – brought me to Cape Girardeau, winner of a 2015 Great American Main Street Award. The conference theme?  The Past and Future of Preservation.  As luck would have it, my talk was on Back to the Future Day!  What better occasion to talk about the future of preservation! Here’s the description of Back to the Future Day from the New York Times: On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at 4:29 p.m., our today will finally catch up to the tomorrow depicted in “Back to the Future, Part II.” In that 1989 film, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) appear with a flash in their DeLorean time machine from 30 years in the past. Suddenly, they find themselves in the same town, Hill Valley, but surrounded by impossible technology and outlandish social mores. It’s …

Train Travel, 78 RPMs, Chiggers, and Other Memories of Cleaning Out a House

I took a day off from work today to be with family in Tennessee.  My father – who earlier this year celebrated his 90 birthday – is transitioning from living in his home of the past 26 years to living in an independent living facility. (The home he is leaving is not to be confused with “The Old Home Place” aka 407 E. Main Street, where I spent my formative years from junior high through college.) My two sisters and a brother who live nearby have handled most of the details of the move, and Daddy now spends much of his time with my sister Debbie and her husband Mark as he waits for his new apartment to become available. However, before I was able to focus on family I had work to do along Music Row in Nashville, and I found myself at one of our Historic Hotels of America, the Union Station Hotel on Broadway. I’ve told the story before, but it is so good it bears repeating again. My parents were part …

Mr. Emerson Has Thought About Everything

(Editor’s Note: Teachers are such an important part of our lives.  Our twins were blessed to have many wonderful teachers, and a few real mentors from that group. Last evening, Candice and I went to a celebration of the teaching career of Tim Emerson, the retired head of the Upper School at Maret, and one of the teachers who changed our Claire’s life.  During the evening we heard tributes to Tim – loving, personal, and funny – that indicated he had changed many lives for the better over his 36 years at Maret.  As one former student said to Tim while surrounded by about 400 friends and family, “Just look at the people here tonight.  This is your report card.” The lesson that we should never underestimate the impact one person can have on the world fits as well with Tim as it did in my last post written for one of Andrew’s teachers.  The following is our thank you to Tim on the occasion of his retirement, and we wanted to share it with …