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Tomconroy

Profile Information

Name: Tom Conroy
Gender: Male
Hometown: CT
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Mar 6, 2021, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 1,955

About Me

65 years old. Lifelong democrat. Saw JFK in New Haven CT on election eve 1960. I was all of 5 years old. Cast my first vote for Jimmy Carter. Stayed up all night at the English Speaking Union I London to watch the returns. We celebrated the results about 9 AM London time. I cried the morning I learned Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I don't think I ever quite recovered, although President Obama's election helped a lot. These days I'm a moderate democrat and a cultural conservative. I miss the world of good manners, fancy dress and dancing cheek to cheek. Big TCM fan.

Journal Archives

Has anyone attended a legendary sports event?

I've been to one for sure. The one game playoff between the Yankees and the Red Sox in 1978. The two teams had finished the season in a dead heat tie. The division champion was to be determined in a one game playoff for the first time in 30 years.
The game happened on a perfect fall afternoon on a Monday at Fenway Park. Completely sold out, tickets were impossible. But my brother, a big Boston fan, had been prescient. He had tickets for the last games of the season and foresaw the possibility of a playoff. I think he decided to hang around the box office on Friday night just to see what happened
Sure enough, they put on sale tickets for what was then only a possibility. My brother bought a bunch for friends and family. My parents and I drove up from CT. Then as now parking in Boston was impossible to come by. We parked out in the fens somewhere. The instant we got out of the car somebody approached us to buy tickets for ten bucks a piece (above the face price). The closer we got to Fenway Park the higher the offers went. By the time we got to Fenway the offers were $125 a piece, a lot of money back then.
I remember the game pretty well. I can still see Bucky Dent's (forever affectionately known in New England as Bucky Fucking Dent) bloop hit barely make it into the net over the outfield fence
The game ended in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on third. The Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski came up to bat. Everyone was on their feet screaming. Unfortunately Yaz hit a ball into foul territory by third base. The game was over. The curse of the Bambino would not be laid to rest for another difficult twenty years or so.
My most vivid memory though is what happened next. The fans got out of their seats and headed to the exits. There was absolutely no sound. No one spoke a word even when they got to the streets. You could literally hear pins drop. Just utter silence, such was the deep disappointment of the Boston fans.
My father told a story. He was born in 1920 and was a lifelong Red Sox fan. He told me that growing up he would run home from school to listen to games on the radio. If he ever knew that some day tv would be invented and you could see the games live he would have died of anticipation waiting for it to happen.
It was early spring 1939. Red Sox fans all over New England were hearing rumors that the team had signed a kid who could hit like no other. Of course the kid was Ted Williams.
The Sox made there way north from Spring training in Florida. They made a stop in new Haven CT. The Red Sox general manager was hall of famer Eddie Collins and his son was captain of the Yale baseball team. Smokey Joe Wood, another Red Sox legend, was the Yale team manager. It had been arranged for the Sox to play an exhibition game against Yale. My father got a ticket.
He remembered Yale had a promising sophomore pitcher that year who started the game. He remembered before the game Lefty Grove showing the young Yalie a few things about throwing a baseball. Well, the game got underway and wouldn't you know it, the kid from Yale struck out the soon to be immortal Ted Williams three times before being relieved! In the ninth inning Williams did send a mighty blast towards the fences, only to be robbed by a spectacular catch by a Yale outfielder. The Red Sox scraped by with a one run win.
Many years later my father ran into Smokey Joe Wood's son. They got to talking and figured out they had both been at this game. My father asked, "Whatever happened to that young pitcher who struck Ted Williams out three times?"
Mr. Wood knew the answer: "Oh, he got into a fight with one of the coaches the next year and quit the team!"
Now that's the stuff of legends!




The Go Go's - Vacation



I think the Go Go's performed at the last rock concert I attended.
Belinda Carlisle! You never called back!

I used to to have a thing for those pretty girls with issues.

Gerry and the Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone



And it became the anthem of the Liverpool football team!

Gerry and the Pacemakers - Ferry Cross the Mersey



Back from when England swung like a pendulum!

Vidal v. Mailer - The Fight of the Century!

It all happened in prime time television: The Dick Cavett Show. Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal do everything but get into a physical brawl on national TV. The woman is Janet Flanner, the long time Paris correspondent for the New Yorker.
What amazes today is that two writers could so dominate the popular culture. Their feud was the stuff of legend.
Mailer later admitted he was pretty much bombed on the show.

Some Rhode Island Beaches not named Bailey's.

If you've been by Bailey's Beach in Newport you know the beach itself isn't that great. Grey sand. It's Narragansett Bay so the waves are tiny. OK for a little kid, but not the real ocean beach experience. Yes can do better.
Head down to the south shore. The real ocean. Check out a place called Blue Shutters Beach, the town beach of Charlestown, RI. Anyone can go there (not true of a lot of New England town beaches). Best to get there early. Way early on a weekend. The parking lot is adequate but not huge. It has facilities and a snack bar. Because the parking is limited the beach is never crowded. Great waves and on a nice day a view all the way to Block Island that the wealthy in Newport can only envy.
Another nearby spot is East Beach. Just keep driving around the bend from Blue Shutters and go for a little bit. It's a state beach. Go early because it's a very small parking lot. The facilities are just portable toilets. But the beach! A very long stretch of sand. Maybe a mile. And because of the limited parking it's always deserted. Same waves and great view as Blue Shutters.
Still insist on hanging with the wealthy? I have an answer. Look for the town of Watch Hill. This time go incredibly early. Drive through the main drag until you get to the old carousel. Take the left up the hill. Your looking for a little parking lot on the left. It's tiny, that's why have to get there way early. Pay the fee, park and grab your stuff. Make the little hike the rest of the way up the hill and you'll come to the marked right of way to the beach. It's the very same beach that's used by the owners of the enormous mansions on the hill. If you feel like it, stick your beach umbrella right next to the ones belonging to the Ocean House Hotel on top of the cliff. Your umbrella is free. Theirs is costing north of a $1000 a night. The only down side is no facilities. I've got an answer! Pack up your gear in the early afternoon, head to the car and drive down to the main drag. During the week, and always go during the week, you should be able to find a parking spot.
You're looking for a place called the Olympia Tea Room. Been there forever. Wood booths. Order the lemonade. It comes in a big glass and is fresh squeezed right in front of you. For desert order an Avondale Swan, an ice cream concoction in the shape of a swan, swimming in a sea of chocolate.
And while you're there check out your fellow diners. That enormous white mansion you saw at the top of the cliff? It belongs to a young lady named Taylor Swift. The Tearoom is a favorite hangout. And Conan O'Brien bought his parents' place. He might be in town too

Enjoy!







Check this out! How hot is my wife!



A few months ago I put up a post mentioning that my wife Sarah Ruden had just authored a new translation of The Gospels, published by Random House. The hour long video is of an interview she did with a professor from Regent College in Canada. In it she explains some of the difficulties of translating The Bible and why her translation is just the cat's meow.
My wife is hot! There is just something about those Harvard girls!

RFK announces the death of MLK



The video starts up about 30 seconds in.
There aren't a lot of politicians out there who can recite Aeschylus from memory.

The Anti-Mar-A-Lago? Bailey's Beach Club, RI



Bailey's Beach Club has been in the news, with Sheldon Whitehouse. Here's a little video showing some of it. Not very luxe. No marble or gold plated fixtures. Trump would hate it. And I suspect they would hate Trump.
You can see some pictures of the outside on the net. Basically two long wings of large cabanas flanking a two story wooden club house, probably featuring a restaurant. The pool and tennis courts must be in back. Pretty low key.
Now I wonder who those people are in the video?

Dedicated to all the DUers



On this holiday long weekend.
All the best from Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald!
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