Pat’s summer tour for 2013 started in Raleigh this weekend. We had a wonderful visit with friends whom we’ve known for 25 or more years. Sam prepared an excellent 8-person dinner. We learned a bit about Dan’s latest film products including one on Spanish in the Carolina’s). We also had a fine meal at Gonza Tacos y Tequila in Raleigh.
Saturday night we visited NC Museum for one of the summer concerts. It was our first visit to the venue since seeing Delbert there in 2006. Doug Paisley opened with a nice acoustic set. Clean, left-handed guitar, good lyrics, and a good voice.
After Mr. Paisley’s opening set, Glen Hansard came on with a ten-piece band (Leon filling in on keyboards; strings & horns; I missed the horns in my photo). On a beautiful evening, Mr Hansard and his band played a great, extended show to an appreciative, sometimes-singing-slong audience.
As the 1950s turned to the 60s, my family wound up in southern California. Our parents got a stereo, and my brother Frank and I started snagging records from lots of sources (nearby stores, Columbia’s record club, and more). We bought 33 rpm LPs, which were a departure from our elder siblings’ purchases, which had been 45 rpm recordings.
Some covers Brubeck et al. 33 rpm LP albums
CL 1397 “Time Out” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet was one of the big hits we bought on our subscription from Columbia. Oh, we got the Kingston Trio, the Lamplighters, Barbara Streisand, and a host of other artists available through the catalog at that time. But we played the Brubeck album a lot. And when subsequent albums became available, we bought them.
Currently I’m reading The Big O and I recently I read West by West. Not long ago, I reported about reading The Rivalry and The Inside Game. So, to those who recognize the subjects of those books, it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed stumbling across this photo in Mr. Adbul-Jabars’ Twitter pix. These are four of the guys whom I’d want in my all-time seven- or eight-man rotation.
I ran the Batesville 10K again this year. It’s still the same rural, beautiful, pastoral, remote, bird-song-filled, and brutal course that it’s always been. I had a lot of fun. It was good to see friends from the local community and run that neighborhood.
Batesville holds a special charm for me for several reasons. (i) It was the first race of any consequence I ever ran; I’d run a local, 2.x-mile Thanksgiving event the year before this, but this was my innaugural race. (ii) The Batesville village, which is essentially a cluster of houses near a store at a crossroads, is near my former home; I used to joke about living in the suburbs of “Greater Batesville.” (iii) It’s the only race I ever DNF’d. (iv) Among local runners, it’s known for its challenging nature and the good spirit of the people who run it; it deserves its reputation as a cult race.
I’ve been visiting southern California for the end of the year. In Pasadena, where I’m staying, it’s the time of the year for Rose Festival preparations. They’re in full swing, with bleachers on Colorado Blvd. and Orange Grove (though I’ve not been there to see them).
For my last run of the year, I left my mother’s place in Pasadena about 6:20 AM on this morning with a plan to lollygag along surface streets for about 2.6 miles to the Arroyo Seco, go down into the Rose Bowl area, reconnoiter the preparations for the pending football game there, then return along Colorado Blvd. so I could see about the preparations for the tomorrow’s Rose Parade. Although the temperatures were in the 30s and I hadn’t brought my cold-weather clothing, I figured I could manage the cold by wearing two t-shirts and the shell I had brought along and use some rolled up socks for my hands that I found in my pockets (trusty tube socks from the Motorola Marathon in Austin some time in the mid-90s).
As it turned out, I was correct about the clothing, but wrong about the distance. I was warm enough. But, as sometimes happens, by the time I had gone the first couple of miles, my ambitions were bigger than my legs. Remembering a long-ago run with friends Tracey and Skip (when I was in much better condition and, of course, much younger), I elected to circumnavigate the Rose Bowl. I’d forgotten that to get around the Rose Bowl, one had go around half of the Brookside golf course, too, and doing so required a 5K run. So, I tacked on an extra ~3 miles to my run, not just an extra mile. Instead of a manageable six, I wound up with something between a happy-but-taxing eight and nine.
But it was fun to remember the good times with my friends, to see the old sights, to ponder the preparations for the throngs of people who would be in the area the next day, and to get back to the place of my departure with some good-tired legs.
So, that’s my year-end report. I’m having to back date it now, as the return travel delayed the actual final editing and posting. But there it is.
Looking at a series of photos from 50 years ago showing John F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign and presidency, I was struck by how simple things seemed. Security was not particularly tight! He’s standing there on a kitchen stool among townsfolk. In other photos one sees that the cameras were rather plain, movie cameras had three lenses. The crowds pressed up around the cars. The first family was young. And then, again, how terribly hard it was that he was killed. See all 26 photos on Boston.com. Also, see the Life magazine feature with other recently released photos.
I’ve just spent several minutes twisting and smashing new running shoes before I take them out the door for their first miles. It’s a fun ritual, one that I don’t get to perform as frequently as I did when I ran about, oh, 2-3x as much as I do now, but performing it brought back happy memories of those days. How it is that I’m not reminded of the pains and tiredness associated with logging (for me) big miles when I twist these shoes is a marvel of human memory and, perhaps, a question I can entertain while I’m out and about the city this morning.
Meanwhile, here’s a shout-out to Ragged Mountain Running Shop, where I got the new shoes yesterday. I think I have bought only one pair of running shoes from another place in the ~30 years I’ve been running. When the shop was upstairs from the old Blue Wheel bicycle shop, Cynthia Lorenzoni fitted me in my first pair—Nike Day Breaks—after my first injury from running in Converse All Stars.
I got about 300 miles out of the last pair of shoes. They’ll go down chain, reserved for use on rainy days and when I run the trails. The oldest pair, which have been held for those reserve uses, will go into a recycle bin at RMRS.
Hoppy birdthay, Bob.
Today would be the 60-somethingth birthday of my friend, Bob Davidson. In his honor, I’ve taken an obligatory celebratory run and, true to Bob’s routine, I’m having a beer afterwards. Although the beer’s not Bob’s usual Bud (and I don’t drink beer often), the run was on trails and that’s quite fitting.
I recall more than one trail run with Bob, but one was sticking with me this morning. It was a Saturday morning in Phoenix in the early ’90s and he took me to South Mountain Park. We parked somewhere near where a lot of kids were riding mountain bikes (they were just becoming fashionable, or at least the fashion was just coming into my consciousness) and we took off on foot. Bob knew where he was going. Very soon we left the pavement and wound up on single-track paths. We ran and ran: up hills, down slopes that nearly required scrambling, along ridges, and through canyon bottoms.
Lots of folks remember Les Richter as prototypical football player for the Los Angeles Rams during the 1950s and early 60s, but I remember him as a baseball coach who lived in my neighborhood. In the Los Angeles Times Jerry Crowe provided a recount of Mr. Richter’s accomplishments and musings about why he hasn’t been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I wasn’t much of a football fan, but just about any kid in LA at the time knew who Mr. Richter was. So, it was quite a treat to have him serve as the assistant coach one year for the team on which I played. To me he was the big man&mdasheach of his thighs must have been as big in diameter as my entire, reedy, early adolescent waist—who looked you in the eye and spoke to you directly and clearly.
In my book, he should be recognized for his community work as well as his football prowess. Mr. Crowe recounts some of both of those, as well as more about Mr. Richter in The gripping story of former L.A. Ram Les Richter (where you’ll see that Mr. Richter still has lots of his hair…more than I have left).
I worked the Charlottesville Women’s 4-Miler yesterday, as I have pretty much every year for a long time. The setting at Foxfield is beautiful and the weather was very nice this year. The crowd was very large (I’d like to obtain a well-documented estimate of the number of spectators) and wonderfully enthusiastic. The decorations, including the banners with the names of loved ones lost to cancer, attached to the fences along the last mile or so of the course, were familiar, but they still get to me.