That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Texas Agriculture Law Blog Don't let the name fool you - there are lots of water issues in agriculture and Tiffany Dowell of Texas A&M University does a fabulous job with this important Internet resource. Give it a read - I do every day!
The Way of Water Oregon State University Geography PhD Student, Jennifer Veilleux, records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about transboundary water resources development in the Nile River and Mekong River basins. Particular attention is given to Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos' Xayaburi Dam projects.
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
This Day in Water History Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Watering the Desert Aptly-titled blog by CJ Brooks, a lawyer-hydrologist-geologist from Tucson, AZ.
Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
WaterWired All things fresh water: news, comment, and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University.
Watery Foundation Tom Swihart, formerly of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, tells all about water management in the Sunshine State.
Western Water Blog The 'mystery blog' about Western USA water issues. What more can I say?
Wisdom in Water, Please... Kate Wilkins-Wells , who manages the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4, provides her wisdom on water issues.
xAnalytical Doug Walker's xAnalytical blog:Turning Data and Information into Knowledge
Berra was best known for his malapropisms, many of which made sense when you thought about them - Berra just had a 'special' way with words. People who knew of his quotes were often unaware of his great baseball career, in which he played 18 years for the New York Yankees, appeared in 14 World Series, won 10 World Series and 3 Most Valuable Player awards. He's been in more World Series games than any other player. There is no doubt that he was one of the greatest catchers in baseball history.
But he was also a 'regular guy'. As a teenager he found himself on a Navy gunboat during D-Day and received a Purple Heart. After the war he joined the Yankees at age 21 and became one of its best and most beloved players. He deftly navigated the path among personalities as diverse as Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford, all of whom are his compatriots in baseball's Hall of Fame.
Despite all the adulation, he never forgot his roots and remained a 'regular guy'. He was humble and kind. Like Stan Musial, he countered Leo Durocher's claim, 'Nice guys finish last.' I recall one game I attended at Yankee Stadium in 1961. I went down close to the field to see if I could get a better view of one of my heroes (Mickey Mantle, actually). Yogi walked by on his way to the batting cage, looked at me (although I was in the midst of perhaps 25 other boys), waved, and said 'Hi, kid.' Wow!
Here are some of his best quotes, not all of which may have actually been said by him.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
“Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.”
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."
“It gets late early out here.”
“I don’t know (if they were male or female) fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
“Take it with a grin of salt.”
“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”
"In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
“If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
"He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
"It ain't over till it's over."
“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
“It’s déjà vu all over again.”
We love you, Yogi. You've left two great legacies!
He was Everyman, and he will be missed by many, whether they loved baseball or not.
My favorite quote? It would have to be this one:
"I can't believe how many memories I've forgotten." -- Yogi Berra, upon returning to his St. Louis childhood home.
I am traveling in Vermont and New Hampshire visiting friends and will be attending a reunionin Bethlehem, NH, this weekend. I have not had time to read much email and this is the first time I have turned on my computer since the morning of 10 September, so I am not plugged in very well. Perhaps that is good.
I will be avoiding all the 'specials' on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Not interested in all the contrived 'linkages' between 9/11 and the guy who collects trash in Toledo who found an image of the burning Pentagon in some dumpster or the football player who has the Twin Towers tattooed on his biceps. Sorry.
My desk is littered with magazines whose covers shout features like "Where Have We Been?", "What Went Wrong?", "Are We Safer?", "Why Do They Hate Us?", blah, blah, blah, I can't read any of them. I should say I can't finish any of them.
Actually, I did read one excellent article: "What 9/11 Wrought" by Joseph Lelyveld in the current issue of Smithsonian magazine. Read it.
As much as I despise those who rained death upon us, I don't like what we have become. Xenophobes. Jingoes. Torturers. What moral authority the USA had, it's been greatly diminished.
I'm driving to Seattle today for a meeting tomorrow and Tuesday. When I had planned to drive it did not dawn on me that it would be on 9/11. Flying today wouldn't bother me, but it will be nice to be on the road for about five hours. No media folks trying to get a sound bite.
But let me give a shout-out to the first responders, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. And Pat Tillman.
Thirteen years ago today my younger sister Ann Campana Judgewas murdered by the five men you see here.
I will always remember that these men, as well as 10 of the other 14 murderers, were Saudi Arabians. The other four were nationals of the UAE (2), Lebanon, and Egypt.
When we buy Saudi oil, some of our money goes to organizations that support these kinds of people.
We should never forget that.
A few days after 9/11/2001, a field outside the Pentagon was 'appropriated' by loved ones of the victims. We left mementos of those we lost.
Below you can see what what my niece Becky and I left in Ann's memory. The Marlboro Lights and Diet Coke should have been accompanied by a fifth (or more) of Dewar's Scotch but we exercised some good judgment - we left a Dewar's ad from a magazine. Besides, Ann would have wanted us to consume it.
I've been to the memorial thrice and it is a remarkable place. It's open 24/7.
Below are some pictures, including Ann's bench and her name carved in stone at the entrance.
In August 2009 I had a nice long visit. I sat on her bench and said "God bless!" to the other 183 murdered heroes who are memorialized, including the three middle-school students and their teachers Ann and NGS colleague Joe Ferguson were escorting to Los Angeles to join others for a field trip to the Channel Islands. It was the students' first airplane trip.
Next time I vist I'll bring some Diet Coke, a pack of Marlboro Lights, and maybe a bottle of Dewar's. Those were three of Annie's favorite things.
One thing gnaws at me: what were Ann's last moments like? Was she aware that they were going to crash? She must have - she was an experienced flyer who'd flown out of DC airports many times. She knew they were flying too fast and too low. And they were going in the wrong direction to be landing at DCA. Did she die on impact or suffer? Was she comforting the children? Probably.
Somewhat morbid, I know.
I have her effects in a box (Mary Frances had this custom-built for me) in our library - her driver's license, some business cards, etc. It's amazing how well they survived the conflagration. She was incinerated but her business cards survived.
Here is an article about the foundation I created to honor Ann.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- attributed to Edmund Burke
"A little bit of irreverence is good. A lot is better." -- Ann Campana Judge
President Obama has decided to restore Mt. McKinley to its native name, Denali. The Alaska mountain is the USA's highest at about 20,237 feet (6,170 meters) above mean sea level. The State of Alaska requested this name change about 40 years ago and a dispute has existed since then.
The name change has caused consternation among some, especially Ohio natives and the Ohio Congressional delegation in particular. President William McKinley, in whose honor the mountain was officially renamed in 1917 (unofficially in 1896), is a native son of Ohio. The original unofficial naming was apparently somewhat of a joke.
So what's the solution? If Ohio thinks so much of President William McKinley, why not name itshighest peak after him, not Alaska's? And what is Ohio's highest 'peak'? It's Campbell Hill, which towers 1,549 feet (472 meters) above mean sea level in north-central Ohio, north of Columbus in Bellefontaine.
So is this a big letdown after Mt. McKinley in Alaska? Just look at some views of the new Mt. McKinley in Ohio:
Turns out the 'summit' of the new Mt. McKinley os on private property. But Ohio would not be claiming the property itself - just the naming rights. If the Campbells complain, I'm sure some accommodation can be reached.
The new Mt. McKinley may not be as impressive as the Alaska mountain, but it will be a true 'people's mountain' since so many will be able to access it. Think of the tourism aspect! And it's only a few hours from Indiana's highest point.
"You love to bash your city or state — but get really defensive when other people do it. Ohio might be like a drunk uncle, but it’s your drunk uncle, goddamn it." - Ohio saying
A new wrinkle - an Ad Bookwill be distributed to all attendees and former campers who have paid their dues. Put an ad in the book honoring friends, relatives, or whatever! A full-page ad is $100 and a half-page ad is $60. All copy and payments are due by 1 September. Contact John Daly (email@example.com). See the following forms for complete information:
Regardless of your opinion of his presidency, you'll have to admit that since he left office, Jimmy Carter has entered the realm of a national treasure. He's bypassed golf courses and gazillion-dollar speaking fees before hedge fund managers to make the world a better place.
"We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles." -Jimmy Carter
July 14th - Bastille Day, a French national holiday formally known in France as La Fête nationale or more commonly,Le quatorze juillet - was always celebrated in my childhood home.
But we were not French, although since my mother was of English and Scots-Irish descent, I suspect there was some French (Norman?) blood coursing through her veins.
July 14th was the day my parents celebrated their first meeting and date in 1941. That landmark occurred in the hamlet of Bethlehem, NH, at the Maplewood Hotel and Golf Course, which at the time was a semi-fashionable resort in the White Mountains. My father John was an assistant golf pro at the Maplewood course, and Ruth Emerson a waitress at the hotel. He was 25 and from Boston; she was only 21 and from North Carolina. Their meeting resulted in a 'soda date' at Parker's Drug Store on Main Street. Hey, Earth girls are easy!
Courtship followed, culminating in marriage on 29 May 1943. They were happily married for 41 years, till my father's death in 1984.
Great role models, and I finally got it right, Mom and Dad. My first date with Mary Frances was 18 December 1987: dinner (Marie Callender's in Reno) and a movie (The Princess Bride).
Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight and I'm going to drink till I get my fill And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it but I probably will Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days
Glory days well they'll pass you by Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye Glory days, glory days --Glory Days,by Bruce Sprinsgteen
In between the fireworks, auto and furniture sales, and barbecues, take a few minutes today to read the Declaration of Independence and the remarkable Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came along 11 years later:
While you are at it, give extra thanks for the First Amendment, which guarantees five fundamental rights, which you can remember with the mnemonic RAPPS: religion, assembly, press, petition, and speech.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two giants in American history - friends, then opponents, and finally friends again - both died on this day in 1826. As I get older, I think less of Jefferson and more of Adams. Both were great men, but the former 'talked the talk' and didn't always 'walk the walk' (e.g., slavery) whereas the latter tried to do both.
Enjoy the day, and enjoy RAPPS!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"...a Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin, at the end of the Constitutional Convention, when asked, "What have you wrought?"
Thought I would celebrate the sixth anniversary of the arrival of our SUSIE students, twenty-three young women and menfrom Central America (Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago). Most arrived on Sunday, 28 June 2009. We were all excited.
Ana Maria Peralta, one of three Dominicanas, who later pursued an MBA in Spain, assembled this photograph:
The instructors are arranged along the left side and top. The picture of Mt. Hood is signifcant because on the day before we all went to Washington, DC, we took them up to a few patches of snow where they all experienced snow for the first time.
Here is a larger picture of all of us in Washington, DC, where we spent a week after five weeks in Oregon:
Each student was different, but all shared great intelligence and a desire to learn. I told them that they were going to spoil me for my fall Geology 101 class. They did!
Three years ago at this time I was traveling through Honduras and Nicaragua and saw three of the SUSIE students. I saw Julio Eguigurems (above) on 27 June 2012 in Honduras. He was working at the national forestry school in Comayagua. I then traveled to Nicaragua to see Laura Espinoza García and Natalia Raudez. Laura has since completed her Master's degree in Belgium (with a scholarship) and Natalia is married and a mommy. I unfortunately missed Lucia Paiz Medina, who had completed her Master's degree in Brussels.
Julio may be applying for a Master's degree at OSU, and Dara-Marie Raggay of Trinidad and Tobago was accepted at OSU for a Master's in Environmental Science but did not matriculate.
You don't know how much I miss you and how much you enriched my life!
"Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom to someone else who will make the bigger difference." -- Linda B. Gray
Alex Rodriguez, arguably (?) the most vilified man in US professional sports (certainly in major league baseball) achieved another milestone in grand style yesterday - his 3,000th hit was a home run, just like Yankee hero Derek Jeter's a few years ago.
Earlier in the week he knocked in his 2,000th run.
Bud Selig, the recently-retired MLB commissioner, would be turning over in his grave were he dead.
A-Rod is having a good year for a guy who turns 40 next month and missed all of last season under suspension: 14 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .283 batting average after today's game. He's no longer playing the field but serving as the Yankees' DH.
During spring training pundits were predicting a terrible year for Alex. He could no longer get around on the fastball and could not handle a major-league curve. Granted, he will slow down as the season progresses but I don't think many thought he'd been hitting the way he is in mid-June. I know I didn't.
The Yankee management must be (somewhat) pleasantly surprised. They did not think he could hit and wanted desperately for him to take the graceful way out and not come back for the 2015 season.
Although I'm not a big fan of A-Rod I'm happy for him. The guy knows a bunch of people hate him and did so even before all the PED stuff - his reputation as a prima donna is legendary. Yet he's seemingly unfazed and in there swinging away and making contact. More power to the guy, and shame on the Yankee management for treating him like crap.
It's so sad that he screwed things up and then lied about PEDs to boot. He was on his way to a Hall of Fame career even without the drugs.
What a waste.
"I just don't see the light. Where is the light? What am I in this for?" - Alex Rodriguez
Few people know it but Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states in our union that forbid people from pumping their own gas. In all fairness, each has exceptions. Oregon has limited exceptions for commercial drivers and motorcyclists. In New Jersey, you can pump your own gas if you are a politician, know Governor Chris Christie, or are a member of the Mafia.
That may soon change, folks. Oregon's moving into the latter quarter of the 20th century
Today's Oregonian reports that our legislature passed a bill allowing us to pump our own gas in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents (half of our 36 counties) between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM. The bill now goes to Governor Kate Brown for her (presumed) signature.
One concern: in a state that just legalized marijuana, perhaps this is not a good idea.
"Today I voted for limited self-service gas in extremely rural areas late at night. Am I still a real Oregonian?" - Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis
It's appropriate that I am returning today from over two weeks in Europe after spending time in two countries: one that took a beating from World War II but stood tall and prevailed - the United Kingdom - and one that remained neutral - Sweden.
Like many others, today I am honoring those who served and those who died 71 years ago on D-Day and the entire Normandy Invasion. Special thanks to the Allied troops - American, Canadian, British, Australian, New Zealand, Free French, Free Dutch, et al. - who made it happen and rescued Europe and the world.
My father's brother - my Uncle Vic - was one of those young men who was there that fateful day. He was a paratrooper - 82nd Airborne - who made a nighttime jump into France. He survived that one, and 48 other jumps over Europe.
Thank you! And a special thanks to the French people, still so welcoming and appreciative lo these many years!
Giovanni Pellegrino Campana would have been 101 today.
That name is on his birth certificate, but we knew my father as John Pilgrim Campana. Born on 6 June 1914, he was the son of Italian immigrants Consiglia and Domenico Campana, who arrived on these shores from Naples, Italy, in the late 1890s.
The family settled in Boston, where my father grew up working, playing baseball, ice hockey, but most of all, studying. He vaguely recalled the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. He attended Boston Latin School, the oldest and arguably still the best high school in the USA.
After that, it was off to the oldest college in the USA, Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history in 1936. In those days, Harvard was not a hospitable place for Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, or Jews; forget about Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, or African-Americans! It was the bastion of WASPs - White (or Wealthy) Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
He loved playing hockey - he was a right winger - but didn't play for Harvard after his freshman year. He told me that the rich kids on the team would rent one of the indoor arenas for practices that were restricted to themselves and their friends. So while he worked, they practiced and his skills fell behind. When he told me this, there was nary a trace of bitterness in his voice. That's just the way it was.
But his true sports love was baseball. He played shortstop and pitched on the Harvard team till he graduated in 1936. Here is the team ball signed by all the players on the 1936 team, with the cherished inscription: Harvard - 3, Yale - 0.
He married 'Southern belle' (North Carolina)Ruth Ellen Emerson in 1943 and they had three children. They first lived in Manhattan, then moved out to Queens, and finally, headed to the Long Island suburbs in December 1951, where they remained until 1978, retiring to Mooresville, North Carolina.
He started teaching in the New York City school system in 1938, a career that spanned 36 years, 26 of which were spent at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, the nation's second-oldest high school. He taught history and political science. He recalls EHHS students Barbra Streisand, chess champion Bobby Fischer, Neil Diamond, Billy Cunningham, and Lainie Kazan. Don't ask him about the first two. In those days, EHHS was one of the nation's best. Its top students won scholarships to the USA's finest universities. Even the top Jewish students, who for years could not get into the Ivy League schools, routinely made Princeton, Yale, and Harvard starting in the mid-1950s; African-Americans (few in number at EHHS in those days) and others soon followed. As I grew up, I remember many visits from former students who would drop by to thank him for all he had done. They told me what a remarkable teacher and man he was and how much he had helped them.
He left EHHS in 1964 to help open Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. He was the Assistant Principal, a position that earned him more money but meant no more teaching. That was a tough call for him.
His time at CHS was difficult - an unreasonable boss and trouble from the start. In those days, the races and ethnicities mixed far worse than they do today. On some days scores of NYPD officers patrolled the halls and grounds. When a chair whizzed by his ear during a cafeteria free-for-all, he knew it was time to retire. That was 1974. This photo was taken a few years before he left CHS.
My father was an inveterate and prolific letter-writer. He would write letters to all kinds of people: political leaders, heads of state, CEOs, editors, sports figures, et al. At the time of his death he was working on a book titled, One Small Voice, a collection of his letters. His favorite target was Tom Yawkey, then the owner of his beloved but then-incompetent Boston Red Sox. He would instruct Yawkey on whom to trade, whom to release, etc. It was a futile exercise, of course, but he enjoyed it. One of my big regrets in life was seeing him die in 1984, before the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, 2007, and 2013. But at least he did not witness the 1986 debacle. That surely would have killed him. My father's devotion to the Sox and their history still have an impression on me: although I am a Yankees fan, there is a soft spot in my heart for the Red Sox.
I often wonder how the Internet would have appeared to him. Given his love for writing and commentary, would he have become a blogger? Somehow I doubt it. He was committed to letters.
He was a student of history, languages (five), politics, sports, chess, and more. He was small in stature and an unlikely athlete. Baseball, hockey, golf, bowling, and tennis were his games. He was a Democrat who was not overly fond of John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy clan. He remembered too much from his early days in Boston and also never forgave patriarch Joe for being an early Hitler supporter. But he voted for JFK over Richard Nixon in 1960; that was a no-brainer.
My late younger sister Ann and he would have some epic confrontations; they were too much alike. One of his unbreakable rules was, 'Never drive the car into Manhattan.' I recall an incident where Ann was to drive his precious Mustang into Queens to catch the subway into Manhattan. Well, she sort of forgot about the rule, and drove into the city. Next morning as he got up to go to work, he saw a note from Ann that said, 'Sorry - it was the g-d [god-damned] bus!' He did not understand the note till he went out for his morning drive into Brooklyn. That's when he noticed a huge crease running the length of the driver's side of the Mustang. Seems that Ann had had an encounter with a city bus. She left the note and was spending the day at the beach. Lucky for that, too - she had been partying with friends in Manhattan and was in no shape to face my father.
I loved listening to him discuss history, especially American history. He actually 'rescued' my interest in history, because my high-school history teachers were pretty pathetic. They often emphasized rote memorization with little dicussion of what the events meant. That's where my father came in. He provided the big picture.
Whatever my skills are in teaching and education, I owe to him. He was so proud when I received my PhD. He had an ABD ('all but dissertation' - half done, on Stephen Decatur and the Barbary Pirates) from Fordham - marriage and a family intevened - and he never finished. He would have made quite a professor!
I doubt his beloved Red Sox will win this year. And the Bruins are not en route to the Stanley Cup as they were a few years ago. Oh, how he loved watching Bobby Orr!
I miss you, Dad; I think of you each day. You're my role model.
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ―G.K. Chesterton
"Democracy is like a raft; you're safe, but your feet get wet." -- John P. Campana
Great humor from friend and colleague Ari Michelsen, who is a long way from doing this task.
LIVING WILL FORM
I, ____________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.
Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead partisan politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers/doctors/hospitals interested in simply running up the bills.
If a reasonable amount of time passes, and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:
______a Beer ______a Margarita ______a Bourbon and Water ______a Bloody Mary ______a Gin and Tonic / Vodka Tonic ______a Glass of Chardonnay ______a Steak ______Lobster or crab legs ______The remote control ______ a bowl of ice cream ______The sports page ______Sex ______or Chocolate.
It should be presumed that I won't ever get any better.
When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, and call it a day.
At this point, it is time to call the New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band to come do their thing at my funeral, and ask all of my friends to raise their glasses to toast the good times we have had.
The wonderful reminiscence below is by Nicholas 'Nicky' DiMasi, whom I remember from my early days as a caddy in NH. Nicky was a few years older than I, and I hope to see him in NH this September. I did not know 'The Sandbagger' but I knew some golfers like him, like 'The Inventor'.
Some of you may know the meaning of the title of this piece, but if you have never played the sport of golf, you will not know the meaning. I want to share with you a story of how I came to learn the meaning of this word.
From one of my past essays, you may recall that when I was thirteen years old, I left my home in the city to spend my summer at a caddy camp in New Hampshire. This caddy camp was affiliated with a rather large hotel called “The Maplewood” hotel, and it was located right in the middle of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, not far from the famous Mount Washington. This story takes place in the 1950s. It was the time when wealthy people from the New York City area used to take their whole family up to the mountains for summer vacation. The hotels were great resorts. They provided all your meals, all sorts of activities and sports to play, and had entertainment every night in the hotel theater.
Every day, I would arrive at the golf links, and be assigned to caddy for one of the guests, or for one of the senior managers at the hotel. Now, in the first few weeks caddying, I wound up caddying a lot for the fellow who was the singer in the nightly show at the hotel. I did not like caddying for him, mainly because he was cheap. He never gave me a good tip, and often treated me in a rather condescending way. However, there was one thing that I admired about him, and that was that he was a really skilled golfer. He was great at driving the ball, and even better around the green. He rarely made a mistake in his game.
Now comes the part of the story when I learned the meaning of “sandbagging”. You see, after weeks of caddying, I realized that the game of golf, even among amateurs, was not always played for the fun of it. It was often played for money. Many times, while I was being paid for caddying, I witnessed large piles of money being exchanged between the losers of the round and the winners of the round. The amount of money exchanging hands was eye-opening to a young boy like me.
Often times, I would be one of the caddies in a foursome that included the singer that I mentioned earlier. He was playing in a round of golf with some of the wealthiest guests at the hotel. I knew this from the fact that they often gave me a big tip. Well, I was somewhat shocked to see this singer guy hit some awful shots in the early stages of the round. He would laugh it off, as he said he was having a bad day, but after the betting on the round got more expensive, since players were doubling- down on each hole, suddenly his game would improve tremendously. I quickly figured out what he was doing. He was purposely losing the beginning holes in order to make the guests think that he was just an average golfer, or even a hacker. Then he would take all their money in the back nine holes, while he laughed it off by saying he was lucky. He wasn’t lucky. He was setting them up for the kill, luring them in so to speak. What a scam he had. He was, as it is referred to in golf, a “sandbagger”.
So, in conclusion, I want to let you know that I learned more than how to play golf as a caddy. I also learned, at this really young age, to be very careful in my dealings as I grew to adulthood. There are people in this world that will lure you into real danger, and to use a Yiddish word that my good friend Mike might enjoy, I learned not to be a “schlemiel”, as some of those guests were.
"While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake." - Henny Youngman
She knows I love novels but always 'forget' to get them. And I will even be able to read them because of a special gift...
Such an auspicious day, too - got the regular Avastin injection in my right eye so the vision's okay for another 5-6 weeks. And I am so thankful for that! After all, it earned me a free espresso drink at Starbucks!
"My dear, congratulations upon entering your 40th year." - My late Aunt Angela, to my mother on the occasion of her 39th birthday
Realice cream she loved; butter pecan was by far her favorite. Today's penchant for frozen yogurt would be a non-starter. Strong coffee? You'd better believe it! Don't ever serve her a cup if she could see the bottom; it would go right down the drain. Kids? No, a 'kid' is a baby goat; the word is 'children'. Four-letter words from a Southern lady? Numerology? Well, you'll have to read this entire post.
My mother, Ruth Ellen Emerson Campana, is shown below (c. Easter 1953 or 1954) with the family. Note the scowl on Ann's face - not the angelic smiles of older sister Ellen and me. Did that facial expression ever portend the shape of things to come!
Mom died on 8 May 2003 at the age of 83. Hard to believe that was 12 years ago. Although she lived for almost two years beyond 9/11, that event killed her just as sure as those five Saudi Arabian terrorists killed her youngest child, Ann Campana Judge, on American Airlines flight 77.
My mother was a remarkable woman. Born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1920, she was an archetypical Southern lady. No profane language, kind, compassionate, soft spoken, a beautiful drawl, proud of her Southern Scots-Irish roots but no apologist for the Confederacy and slavery although her great-grandfather fought for the South. At age 23, she married my father, John Pilgrim Campana, an Italian-American from Boston, and the two of them settled in New York City, where my father taught high school in Brooklyn.
Although my Harvard-educated father was the family scholar (American history ABD) , my mother was no slouch. She majored in history and English at Flora Macdonald College (now part of St. Andrew's Presbyterian College) in Red Springs, NC, and graduated at 20. She acquired her love of learning from her mother Julia Johnston Emerson, who was a college graduate in a time when that was almost unheard of for a woman. What stubbornness she had no doubt came from her father Harris Emerson, a farmer and an avowed Republican in a time when the South was the 'Solid South', always voting for Democrats (hard to believe, I know). My mother said he was a Republican because everyone else was a Democrat.
I owe many of my semi-decent English skills to her. Each Sunday night she would would write five words and their definitions on my blackboard. Those were the 'Weekly Words.' I relied on her to correct my writing more than I did my teachers. Why? Because she was far better than they!
My friends loved her. 'How come your mother's so nice?' was a common question. But she was no pushover. My father's hot-blooded Italian nature often manifested itself when one of us overstepped our bounds, but my mother would generally raise her voice only slightly, or just glare at us. The message got through.
While still raising three children, she returned to teaching in 1960 and taught fourth grade. Her students idolized her. Here is a beautiful tribute from one of her fourth-grade students, Fred Avolio. Fred also remembers the 'Weekly Words.' And yes, Fred, I remember bringing my pet iguana Leroy into class.
My mother was also somewhat naive. One story, somewhat risqué, stands out. I must have been 16, Ann 13, and older sister Ellen was away at college. We were chatting at the dinner table, something we did every evening. My mother related a discussion that occurred in the teachers' lounge at her school. Seems she came in during a conversation, and a few of the teachers were laughing about something called '69'. She was puzzled so she asked one of her colleagues what it was (she had concluded that it had nothing to do with math). He told her that she had better ask someone in her family. So she did. Ann and I could hardly contain our laughter, and my father's jaw dropped like I had never seen (he taught high-school in Brooklyn so I knew he knew). I believe it was Ann who matter-of-factly told her what it was. Then my mother's jaw dropped. I think what surprised her and my father more than anything was that their 13-year old daughter knew exactly what it was. Yes, that faclal expression above was coming home to roost.
On another occasion at the dinner table, she told us that one of her fourth-graders had made a gesture to a classmate and she was unsure what it meant. We children knew what was coming. When my father asked what it was, she extended her right arm and raised her right middle finger. Before my father could recover, Ann, all of 12 or 13 at the time, exclaimed, "'Fuck you!' It means 'Fuck you!'" I thought the Big One was going to strike my father. I chimed in and said that it didn't mean that literally but more like 'Fuck off!' At that point my mother said she got the message and did not need to know any more. In all our years chatting at the dinner table that was the only time I recall the word 'fuck' being spoken - not once, but thrice.
Needless to say, I did not mention either of these instances in the eulogy at her funeral service, although I was tempted to. It would have sent those North Carolina Presbyterians over the edge.
Despite the fact that she lived in the North for 35 years, she never lost her Southern grace and charm.
In 1978 she finally returned to her beloved Tar Heel State. She and my father settled in Mooresville, just north up I-77 from Charlotte. She and I shared one dislike: that of including 'NC' after Charlotte in lists of US cities' weather or some other characteristic. Every other city stood alone, but there was 'Charlotte, NC'. She viewed it as very disrespectful for NC's beloved Queen City. Check it out - some newspapers still do that.
When my sister Ann was murdered, my mother was living with her and husband Geoff Judge in Great Falls, VA. After Ann was killed she continued to live with Geoff (an amazing man who treated her as he did his own mother) but soon after that she began to shut down. When Ann's beloved black Lab Bubba died, that was it. First she decided she couldn't walk on her own. Then, she stopped talking. Finally, she stopped eating. The end came soon after that, peacefully, while she slept. I believe the death certificate read 'heart attack' but I knew better. It should have read 'broken heart' - burying her baby killed her.
The irony is that today's saying is something she would say whenever she heard of a parent burying a child. I doubt she ever expected she'd have to do the same.
Especially her youngest.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
One last thing - I turn 67 in three days, and the older I get, the wiser I've become. You were right about so much stuff, Mom. I do forgive you for trying to transform me into a Southern gentleman. Some things aren't just meant to be. Probably one of the few times you failed. But I still won't apologize for not going to law school.
Boy, do I miss you! In a couple of weeks I will finally get to visit your ancestral homeland - Scotland. I'll be thinking of you.
And it's funny, but each time this year I get a strange hankering for some butter pecan ice cream. And none of that low-fat or frozen yogurt stuff - the real deal.
"The hardest thing any parent has to do is bury a child." -- Ruth Emerson Campana
"We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the rising generation. I am an oldster myself and might be expected to take the oldsters' side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of parents to children than by those of children to parents." - C.S. Lewis
You then scroll down past row after row of frowny faces till you reach the end:
I doubt Ms. Fiorina does her own domain-name registration so I can't really call her out for failing to do so. But it does not reflect well upon her campaign, especially for someone who touts her business acumen.
A veterinarian in Texas has been fired after posting a disturbing photo of herself holding a dead cat with an arrow through its head. She boasted about shooting the cat and joked she was the 'Vet of the Year' for doing so.
Kristen Lindsey, 31, of Brenham, Texas was a veterinarian at the Washington Animal Clinic when she stalked an orange cat in her backyard with a bow and arrow and shot it deadthrough the head.
She posted the photo of her holding the dead cat on Facebook. She boasted of the kill and said it was a feral cat, which it was not. It was a family's cat named Tiger, one that had been missing for two weeks. A video was posted online of a cat on a tractor on a farm and the poster said it was the one Lindsey killed, but there's no confirmation it is the same cat.
This is what Lindsey wrote alongside the photo she posted: "My first bow kill...lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's head. Vet of the year award...gladly accepted."
Later, she posted a joke about how she would not be fired for having killed the cat: "And no I did not lose my job," she wrote the second time. "Psshh. Like someone would get rid of me. I'm awesome."
However, as soon as the Washington Animal Clinic heard about the photo and took a look at it, they fired her. Not only did they fire Lindsey but they also roundly condemned her for such a cruel act, making it clear that she won't be welcome back.
"We are absolutely appalled, shocked, upset, and disgusted by this conduct," the clinic wrote on their Facebook page. "We have parted ways with Ms. Lindsey. We do not allow such conduct and we condemn it in the strongest possible manner.
"Please know that when informed of this we responded swiftly and appropriately and please do not impute this awful conduct to the Washington Animal Clinic or any of its personnel."
The now-disgraced vet has also been condemned by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and by Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes, who said he would "get to the bottom of it and get the truth, one-hundred percent truth, and get it to the DA and put it in his hands if it needs to go any further."
So though the veterinarian who seems not to care much for cats has not yet been charged for killing Tiger, she may soon be. Meanwhile, a Facebookpage called 'Justice for Cat Murdered By Kristen Lindsey' has 17,964 likes and counting.
Maybe Lindsey will learn some kindness and compassion, as well as the difference between 'it's' and 'its'.
“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.” ―César Chávez
Remember those who suffered two years ago today in Boston.
Another memorable event of a different type occurred on this day in 1947.
Sixty-eight years ago today, on a cold Tuesday in Brooklyn, Jack Roosevelt 'Jackie'Robinson took the field in a game against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field. He was to face Johnny Sain, one-half of the legendary "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" pitching duo of the Braves.
Robinson didn't do too well that day: grounded out, flied out, hit into a double play,reached on an error. But his feat went far beyond what he did at the plate or in the field. He became the first African-American since the 1880s to play in a major league baseball game, and entered the history books. We didn't know it at the time but the USA's civil rights era began that day.
Jackie Robinson was a great athlete, but he proved to be an even greater man. Robinson endured a lot of crap (a euphemism) from other ballplayers, the public, sportswriters, and fans. He was a proud man, but had promised Dodgers owner Branch Rickey that he would hold his tongue and his fists for two years. Rickey feared that if Robinson proved to be too combative right off the bat, naysayers would proclaim 'I told you so!' and the cause of major league baseball integration would be damaged.
I like this 1997 passage by Ira Berkow, in which he talked about Robinson and Dodger teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese, a Southern boy from Kentucky who was the Dodgers' captain at the time Robinson came to the big leagues.
The first of the two incidents occurred at the beginning of spring training in 1947, when Robinson had been called up to the Dodgers from Montreal, Brooklyn's top minor league team, on which Robinson had starred during the 1946 season. A petition was drawn up by a group of mostly Southern Dodgers players that stated they would not take the field with a black man.
"I'm not signing that," Reese told the ringleaders, who included Dixie Walker, Kirby Higbe and Bobby Bragan. "No way."
Reese, the soft-spoken but respected team captain, with a Southern upbringing, perhaps surprised the petition-carriers. "I wasn't thinking of myself as the Great White Father," Reese says now. "I just wanted to play baseball. I'd just come back from serving in the South Pacific with the Navy during the Second World War, and I had a wife and daughter to support. I needed the money. I just wanted to get on with it."
But there was more to it than the money.
And Reese's refusal to sign the petition, many believe, meant the end of the matter.
Robinson played, and endured vicious abuse from opposing teams, from beanballs and spikings to racial epithets and spitting. Robinson had promised Branch Rickey, the owner and general manager of the Dodgers, that for at least his first two years in the major leagues, he would hold his tongue and his fists, no matter the provocation. And one day -- it was probably in Cincinnati, Reese recalled, in 1947 or 1948 -- the attack was so nasty that Reese walked over to Robinson and put his hand on the black man's shoulder.
"Pee Wee kind of sensed the sort of hopeless, dead feeling in me and came over and stood beside me for a while," Robinson recalled, as quoted in the forthcoming biography "Jackie Robinson," by Arnold Rampersad (Alfred A. Knopf). "He didn't say a word but he looked over at the chaps who were yelling at me through him and just stared. He was standing by me, I could tell you that." The hecklers ceased their attack. "I will never forget it," Robinson said.
After reading that pssage I gained a huge amount of respect for Pee Wee Reese. He could have easily gone the other way, but he did the right thing. Not easy for a white guy from Kentucky in the late 1940s.
Jackie left us at the all-too-early age of 53. What he endured no doubt contributed to his untimely death. Robinson was a truly remarkable man who rose to a challenge few of us could ever imagine, much less face with such grace, strength, and courage.
At the tender age of 8, in 1956, I saw him play against the St. Louis Cardinals and Stan "The Man" Musial at Ebbets Field. He was nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career, but still went 2-for-4. My father attempted to explain to me the significance of what he had done, but I was too consumed with hot dogs and cotton candy to comprehend. Later, I understood, and realized that what Robinson had done helped free us all. He is now one of my all-time heroes, right up there with Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Arnold Rampersad wrote an excellent biography, Jackie Robinson. Read it. Never mind that you're not a sports fan. It is not a sports book; it's about a courageous man, a hero for all, who just happened to play baseball.
And don't forget the movie,42.It's well worth your time.
To honor Robinson, all major league baseball players will wear number 42 in today's games. With the retirement of Mariano Rivera, no player permanently wears 42.
"Some numbers will always be associated with an athlete; '42' will forever be associated with a movement." - John Saunders, ESPN
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning? WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Ann?' ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you? WITNESS: My name is Susan! _______________________________ ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active? WITNESS: No, I just lie there. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth? WITNESS: July 18th. ATTORNEY: What year? WITNESS: Every year. _____________________________________ ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you? WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you? WITNESS: Forty-five years. _________________________________ ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory? WITNESS: I forget... ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot? ___________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam? ____________________________________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.. ___________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken? WITNESS: Say what? _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time? WITNESS: Glad I wasn’t with you. ____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: How many were boys? WITNESS: None. ATTORNEY: Were there any girls? WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney? ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated? WITNESS: By death.. ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated? WITNESS: Take a guess. ___________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual? WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female? WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male. _____________________________________ ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work. ______________________________________ ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people? WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight. _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to? WITNESS: Oral... _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time? WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample? WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question? ______________________________________ And last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing? WITNESS: No.. ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor? WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Q: What's the problem with lawyer jokes? A: Lawyers don't think they're funny, and no one else thinks they're jokes.
Last May I postedtwice on a small caddy camp reunion in New Hampshire. Work on the shrine, Our Lady of the Fairways, was unveiled. At that time there was talk of having a larger reunion in Fall 2015. Things have taken off since then.
Many thanks to Frank Colvario, Tony Wozniak, Gary Conserva, Robert Caggiano, John Daly, and James Daly for serving on the steering committee and doing the heavy lifting. Please contribute making a donation to support the newsletter and other efforts.
Here is a picture from the early 1960s. I believe I am in the very top row, first one on the left.
See you there!
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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