Previous October 30th Thoughts…

Yesterday, my personal record for birthday greetings was shattered by those who posted (actual numbers not revealed)… That’s not to say I weigh the joy of my birthday in social media posts… Or that I must have been a better person his year to receive that many more posts… I mean, I’m certainly a better person than this and would never have a page in my Notes app with a list of years since 2008 and how many birthday greetings there were do each year…

RING


In 1988, my traveling baseball team won a district championship.

In 1990, the same thing happened.

In 1991, I was selected for the district team. We won the county championship. The island championship. And the state championship.

When we lost two straight games in the regional tournament, one of the infielders defecated in my hotel room bed that night…

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SHAVIAN

Ten years ago, I was at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. A quick getaway day off from the Sterling Renaissance Festival. We would browse the many exhibits over the course of a few hours soaking in the history of America’s pastime before heading back to the woods. I knew it was going to be a good day when Yogi Berra was quietly walking down a side street with his wife. This was the week prior to the induction ceremony. The Red Sox’ Wade Boggs and the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg were getting the nod.

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UKELELE 

so, you take off from your blog for six weeks and the first thing you post about is… a ukelele???

About thirteen years ago, I had a ukelele. I strummed it as a character choice for the nerdy Irish brother of the bride I played in an Italian-Irish wedding dinner theater show. Just like the guitar before it, and the mandolin after it, my ukelele skills were terrible. Adding my lack of tuning ability to that, and it was not long until I traded that and my unicycle (yes, a unicycle, true story) for an undisclosed sum of cash.

The thing is, back then, I knew one person who played the ukelele. Now, I know at least a dozen… Is it because I know more people now? 

No.

Here’s my theory.

When the ukelele regained popularity in the early 2000’s, it was in great part due to the covers of ‘Over the Rainbow’ & ‘What a Wonderful World’. These two songs, in the sweet simplicity of their lyrics strike a chord (!) and resonate with the emotional centers of millions.

And that’s what I think the ukelele provides. A tranquility in music and, when accompanied by lyrics, a focused expression of honesty and truth. I’m not sure how many people realize that, but I also think that’s why so many people react negatively to them. 

Of course, my warped brain takes that idea and makes it dark:

Have you seen Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ yet? The short that precedes it,  ‘Lava’, puts my theory to the test.

LETTERMAN

Last year, I was walking down an interior staircase in a New York City building. At one of the floors, a man who I recognized as a member of David Letterman’s inner circle stood in the doorway. I passed him and then, halfway down the next level, slowed my pace down considerably.

I slowed down because there was an excellent chance David Letterman would soon be following me. 

Another flight down, I could overhear the conversation above me. When I got to the street level, I circle towards the security guard and said hello. I took out my phone as if I was important. And then the best late night talk show host not named Carson was right in front of me.

“Goodnight.”, Letterman said.

I think i said the same.

And just like that he was gone.