Not much posting this week – the Fiscal CliffTM kabuki seemed meaningless, and the Sandy Hook massacre is almost too painful to discuss.
Before I fade into a holiday oblivion, a few notes:
- John Boehner is in deep, deep trouble.
- Pete Souza’s White House Photography is worth perusing.
- This history of the Bushmaster AR-15 Assault Rifle is fascinating and depressing.
- Someone on Facebook pointed out that it took Congress 10 whole days to address this country’s existential crisis following Janet Jackson’s nipple reveal in a Super Bowl halftime show – an incident to blatant it required freeze-framing one’s DVR to see the offense – while NRA allies in Congress are already suggesting that the problems with guns isn’t guns after all.
I don’t want to sign off on a downer, so away from politics and on to sports.
This story, about the late Roberto Clemente and the bat that he swung to get his 3000th – and final – hit before he was killed in a plane crash bringing relief supplies to his native Nicaragua, has lots of nice tidbits. (Barry Bonds, for example, was a jerk from day one.)
Clemente was not only a larger than life figure, but a mensch:
My dad has Alzheimer’s, so I can’t ask him what happened next, but when his memories were still present, he took out a yellow legal pad and wrote down many of his baseball stories. In these pages, he describes his first encounter with Roberto. Dad introduced himself as the new PR guy, and in the next breath asked whether Clemente would do an interview with the sports director from KDKA-TV.
Roberto reacted with a three or four minute outburst, combining English and Spanish, to let me know exactly how he felt about Stockton. Apparently he and Dick had had a falling-out some time ago over something Stockton had said on the air.
Then Roberto paused, regained his composure, and looked at me with a little smile. “Would it help you if I did the interview?” he asked.
“Well, it’s my first day on the job and I’m trying to get off on the right foot,” I said. “Yes, it would help me if you would talk to him.”
Clemente nodded and said, “Ok. For you I will do it, my friend.” He finished dressing, walked out on the field, and gave an interview to Dick Stockton for the first time in years.
Dick Stockton, of course, is the sign that the football game you’re watching is so horrible and/or inconsequential that they’re letting Dick Stockton do play-by-play.
Anyway, the Clemente story is a palate-cleanser, and God knows, we need them.
Enjoy the holidays. I’ll pop in here and there, but probably not regularly until next year.
Assuming the Mayans weren’t right.