Friday, June 30, 2017

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum-- --Part 2: To Keep It From Being Forgotten

All of its endeavors cost money and Major League Baseball and the players union have stepped in and presented the museum with a $1 million grant to help with operating costs, expansion plans and educational opportunities.

The integration of baseball in the 1940s and 1950s led to the decline of the Negro Leagues, and the last teams folded in the early 1960s.  By the late 1980s, the era was largely forgotten.

Tony Clark, the first black executive director of the players union, said the grant will help ensure the Negro Leagues and their players are never forgotten.  "Today's players are committed to providing opportunities for underserved populations to play baseball," Clark said.  "We all believe the Negro Leagues' storied history can play an important role in our game's future by inspiring minority youth to play."

Well, I am hoping most of the money will be going to preserving the history of the Negro Leagues.  Kids can always pick up a glove and a bat and learn to play on their own.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Gets $1 Million Grant From MLB-- Part 1

Just a few days ago the Chicago Cubs played the Pittsburgh Pirates and both teams were wearing strange uniforms.  We were sitting at Sunnyside Tap in Johnsburg and trying to figure out where the uniforms came from and then it seemed to me that the uniforms worn by the Pirates had the name of an old Negro League team on it.

A guy looked it up on his "Idge"phone and found out both teams were wearing old Negro League jerseys.

From the June 22, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Museum gets boost with $1M grant"  AP.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was founded nearly 30 years ago in a one-room office and set out to preserve an important yet quickly fading era of America's pastime.

Its mission has evolved over the years to where it is not only the caretaker for the past but a bridge to the future.  The Buck O'Neil Education and Research Center and a $19 million urban youth academy is in development to attract more kids to the game.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vietnam Medic Receives Medal of Honor-- Part 2: James McCloughan

James McCloughan was then a 23-year-old private first class who had been drafted the previous year after earning a degree in sociology from Olivet College.  He repeatedly entered the "Kill Zone" to rescue wounded comrades despite the flying shrapnel from rocket propelled grenades.

He "voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades" said the White House.

McCloughan described the shrapnel as a "real bad sting."  In 2016, then Secretary of Defense Ash Carter recommended him for the honor which usually is supposed to be awarded within five years of the event, but Congress can waive that time limit which is what happened in McCloughan's case.

Congratulations Mr. McCloughan!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vietnam Medic Receives Medal of Honor-- Part 1

From the June 14, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Medic 1st to get Medal of Honor from Trump" by Mike Householder, AP.

Members of Army medic James McCloughan's unit in Vietnam called him "Doc."

Now, these soldiers, several of whom McCloughan saved during the ferocious days-long Battle of Nui Yon Hill in 1969 will call him Medal of Honor Recipient.

James McCloughan, 71, of South Haven, Michigan will become the first to receive the nation's highest military honor from President Donald Trump.  "I feel honored to be able to accept this for the 89 men that fought that battle.  Those were the U.S. combatants, dozens of whom were killed, wounded or missing in the 48-hour battle fighting hundreds of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.

The Bravest of Brave.

Monday, June 26, 2017

50th Anniversary "Summer Of Love"-- Part 5: "Turn On. Tune In. Drop Out"

Said Dennis McNally, longtime publicist of the Grateful Dead:  "Every fantasy about the summer of '67 that was ever created -- peace, joy, love, nonviolence, wear some flowers in your hair and fantastic music -- was real at Monterrey."  he has curated an exhibit at the California Historical Society on it which will run through September 10.

The exhibit, "On the Road to the Summer of Love" explains how the epic summer came about and why San Francisco became its home..

The national press paid little attention to what was going on in San Francisco until January 1967, when poets and bands joined together for the "Human-Be-In," a Golden Gate Park gathering that unexpectedly drew about 50,000 people.  It was there that LSD-advocate Timothy Leary said "Turn On.  Tune In. Drop Out."

But, that Summer of Love had its drawbacks.  Tens of thousands of youths looking for free love and drugs flooded to San Francisco, living in the streets and begging for food.  Parents journey to the city looking for their young runaways.  There was an epidemic of toxic psychedelics and harder drugs hit the streets.

Oh yes, And Peace Signs Too.  --FlowerCoot

Friday, June 23, 2017

50th Anniversary "Summer of Love"-- Part 4: All Those Great Bands

Jefferson Airplane eventually bought a house a few blocks away on Fulton Street, where they hosted legendary wild parties.

"The music is what everyone seems to remember, but it was a lot more than that," said David Freiberg, 75, bassist for the Quicksilver Messenger Service who later joined the Jefferson Airplane.  "It was artists, poets, musicians, all those beautiful shops of clothes and hippie food stores.  It was a whole community."  Counter-culture all the way.

The bands dropped by each other's houses and played music nearby, often in free outdoor concerts at Golden Gate Park and its eastward extension known as the Panhandle.

They developed an exciting new breed of folk jazz and blues-inspired electrical music which became known as the San Francisco Sound.  Several of its most influential local acts -- the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company (which launched Janis Joplin's career) became famous during the summer of 1967's Monterrey Pop Festival.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

50th Anniversary "Summer of Love"-- Part 3: Too Expensive Today

One thing for sure, that "Summer of Love" could not happen in San Francisco today, simply because the struggling artists and hippies could not afford the city anymore.  In the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, ground zero for the counterculture 50 years ago, a two-bedroom apartment now rents for $5,000 a month.

San Francisco does still remain a magnet for young people, but even those with six-figure salaries in Silicon Valley complain about costs.

In the mid-1960s, rent in the Haight-Ashbury was extremely cheap.

Bob Weir remembers that the Grateful Dead shared a spacious Victorian on Ashbury Street.  Janis HJoplin lived down the street.  Across from her was Joe McDonald, of the Country Joe and the Fish band.

--Psychedelic, Man.  --Coothip

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grabbing That "Spilt" Coal in 1917

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A car of coal going through there sometime during the night sprung a leak somewhere along the line and there was a great quantity of fuel scattered along the railroad tracks through DeKalb.

"The train stopped here and at this place several hundred pounds were lost.  Some of the coal was picked up during the early morning hours when there were no railroad men around to stop such procedure."

Procedure Meaning Stealing Railroad Coal?  I Prefer Lost and Found.  --Cootcoal

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

11 Films To Watch On Father's Day-- Part 2: And 3 You Shouldn't

7.  FIDDLER ON THE ROOF--  Trying to keep tradition in trying times.

8.  JOHN Q--  This father will just about do anything to save his son.

9.  THE GODFATHER--  OK, really bad guys, but they took care of family.

10.  CROOKLYN--  Woody steps up to maintain a peaceful home.

11.  DESPICABLE ME--  Real big bad guy ends up adopting three girls.  Poor Gru.

Here are three not-so-good ones to watch:

THE SHINING--  Chasing son with an axe, not real Dad stuff is it?

THE LION KING--  Father gets killed and son has to cope.

STAR WARS EPISODE 4:  A NEW HOPE--  Originally just "Star Wars"--  "Luke, I am your father."

Poor Tevye.  Great Music.  --Cootler

Monday, June 19, 2017

11 Films to Watch on Father's Day-- Part 1

From the June 18, 2017, Chicago Tribune by Erin Ben-Moche.

1.  FATHER OF THE BRIDE--  either the original one or 1991 remake.

2.  FINDING NEMO--  Dad fights to bring his son home.

3.  THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS--  Will Smith played the father and real-life son, Jaden, played the son.

4.  PARENTHOOD--  NBC had TV show based on it.

5.  BOYZ N THE HOOD--  What it means to be a good man to his son.

6.  TO KILL A  MOCKINGBIRD--  "walking in a person's shoes."


Saturday, June 17, 2017

50th Anniversary of "The Summer of Love"-- Part 2: I Was There For About An Hour

San Francisco is hoping to capitalize on its connection to that summer and get a new influx of tourism, both from those originals, those of us who might have wanted to be there as well as those too young or not born yet.

My parents took the family on a trip out to California that year and we drove through the Haight-Asbury area and it sure was all flower power.  But, since I was with my parents and only 16, there obviously wasn't much I did other than to observe.

The city is celebrating with museum exhibits, music and film festivals, Summer of Love-inspired dance parties and lecture panels.  Hotels are offering discount packages that include "psychedelic cocktails," "Love Bus" tours, tie-dyed tote bags and bubble wands.

Getting Psychedelicized.  --Tie-DyeCoot

Friday, June 16, 2017

50th Anniversary of the "Summer of Love" 1967-- Part 1

From the June 14, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Can 'Summer of Love' get its spring back?" by Jocelyn Gecker.

"They came for the music, the mind-bending drugs, to resist the Vietnam War and  1960s American orthodoxy, or simply to escape summer boredom.  And they left an enduring legacy.

"This season marks the 50th anniversary of that legendary 'Summer of Love,' when throngs of American youth descended on San Francisco to join a cultural revolution."

Said Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, who had dropped out of high school and helped form the group in 1965:  "There was a spirit in the air.  We figured that if enough of us got together and put our hearts and minds to it, we could make it happen."


40th Anniversary of Janet Guthrie's Indy 500 Race-- Part 3

Continued from June 7.

At the time, Janet Guthrie had spent 13 years racing and had no money.

She and Rolla Vollstedt did not qualify for the Indy 500 in 1976, but made it in 1977.

She was not welcomed by the male racers  She recalls them saying, "Our blood is going to be on your hands if you don't keep her out of this."  People would yell from the grandstands "Get the (breasts) out of the pits!"  She was amazed at how much hostility there was toward her.

Racing legend Mario Andretti was one of the few who stuck up for her at the time.  he once said she had proved herself and had become "just another car in front of you that you wanted to pass."

Sadly, Janet Guthrie had to drop out of her first race as her engine failed after 10 laps.  She finished 29th.  The following year she finished in ninth place.

The Daytona 500 in 1980 was her last major race.  For the next three years, she tried to find sponsors, but ran out of money.

Pippa Mann was the only female driver in this year's 500.

Quite the Pioneer.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Yesterday Was Flag Day-- Part 6: 50-Star Flag Is The Longest Official One

Eventually, after more and more states entered the Union, the stars on the flag got to 48 and stayed that way for about 47 years, the longest time it had stayed at a certain number up to that time.

On July 4, 1960 the U.S. flag hit 50 stars after Hawaii and Alaska were added.  Today we have had the 50-star flag for 57 years.  This it makes it the longest official flag to date.

The colors of the flag also have meaning.  The red stands for hardiness.  The white stands for purity and innocence, while the blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice.



Yesterday Was Flag Day-- Part 5: Addition of Stars

Stars and stripes were added to the U.S. flag each July 4th following the state's entry into the Union.  But once there were twenty states (20 stars and 20 stripes), designers got the notion to flag wasn't going to look good.

The Flag Act of 1818 returned the flag to its original 13 stripes, but allowed the stars in the union to increase for each new state.  Those thirteen stripes represent the original 13.  The arrangement of stars changes as their number increased.

Under president James Madison, the United States welcomed Illinois into the Union on December 3, 1818, and about seven months later, the flag had a new star update.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today Is Flag Day-- Part 4: Got My Flags Flying

This morning, i went outside and put up several United States flags.

I already have one flying by the garage door, but I also put up one on the back deck and the mailbox.

I have a small yard flag flying and flag pennants on the porch columns.

I also have my pride and joy U.S. flag, the Bennington 76 hanging from the roof of the porch.  I bought this flag back in 1976, our nation's bicentennial, so it doesn't stay up for long each year because of its age.  It is 41 years old.

Flying My Flags.  --DaFlagger

Today Is Flag Day-- Part 3: That "Star-Spangled Banner"

The flag made by Betsy Ross depicted 13 red and white horizontal stripes in alternating colors, and a blue field with 13 stars arranged in a circle.  Other flags were created at the time with stars in a staggered pattern other than her circle.

The original 13 star flag remained the official flag of the United States until the addition of two more states, Vermont and Kentucky.  A fifteen star flag made its appearance in 1785, but this flag not only had 15 stars, but also the addition of two more stripes.  This new flag was the one that flew at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet was aboard a British ship (where he had gone to negotiate the release of a friend) when the fort was bombarded.  This was the inspiration to pen the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner."

It started as a poem, but music was added and it has been the National Anthem ever since, though not officially for many years.   Currently the Fort McHenry flag is at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tomorrow Is Flag Day-- Part 2: 13 Stripes and 13 Stars

The flag went from having 13 stars, representing the 13 colonies  to the 50 stars for the states we have today.  Most of the states are located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but today it also stretches across the Pacific to Hawaii and northward to Alaska.

Hawaii is the 50th and last state to join the Union.  It was a state when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941.  back then, the U.S. flag had 48 stars as Alaska was also not a state.

The Flag Resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress on June 4, 1777, said:  "Resolved, that the flag of the 13 United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

Legend has it that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, designed and sewed the first flag.  Some sources say she was a friend of the Washington family.


Tomorrow Is Flag Day-- Part 1: Has Remained the Same Since 1960

From the June 7, 2017, Hi-Liter "A salute to the flag" by Sandra Machaj.

In 1949, President harry Truman declared June 14 as Flag Day.  United States flags should be flown from public buildings as well as private homes that day.

Sadly, many Americans don't fly their flags on June 14.

Most of the time, I do, unless it slips my mind.  And, I don't just fly one, I fly several for the day.

Most Americans, especially those born after 1960, consider the American flag to be a never-changing design as it hasn't changed since then, but such is not true of its over 200 year history.

The flag we have today is not the same flag as originally authorized by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

Continued.  --Cooter

Monday, June 12, 2017

Carl Swanson's WWI Sopwith Camel-- Part 3: Another One In New Zealand Now

In Wikipedia's article on the Sopwith Camel, they listed yet another Carl Swanson plane.

It says it is unknown airworthy and is with the Vintage Aviator Collection in Masterton, New Zealand.

It was originally built by Carl Swanson for Gerry Thornhill.

Powered by a 160 hp Gnome Monogoupape rotary engine and is painted a 83889.

Carl Swanson, Builder of Camels.  --Cooter

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Carl Swanson's WWI Sopwith Camel Pup-- Part 2: German Fighter Pilots Tried To Avoid the Pups

Evidently, this Carl Swanson was very good at building World War I planes.

"A Pup could turn twice to an Albatros' once" and that was very important in a dogfight.  German flyers tried to avoid fighting a Pup.

The Museum of Flight's Sopwith Camel Pup was built by Carl Swanson of Darien, Wisconsin, and is considered a masterpiece of replication-- right down to the LePhone 9D, 80 horsepower rotary engine and .303 inch Vickers machine gun.

If I'm ever in the Seattle Area Again, I'll Have to Visit This Museum.  --DaCoot

Carl Swanson's WWI Sopwith Camel Pup-- Part 1: "A Tiny Little Thing"

From the Museum of Flight Museum in Seattle, Washington.

I was trying to find out if someone had the 2F1 Sopwith Camel plane that Carl Swanson has built.  I did not find it mentioned anywhere.

I did find Carl Swanson's name mentioned in connection with another Sopwith Camel British biplane.

It is in the collection of the Museum of Flight in Seattle.


Pilots called the Sopwith Camel Pup "the perfect plane, light, basic and simply simple.  A British pilot said, "They were tiny little things, just big enough for one man and a machine gun."

The gun was a Vickers machine gun with hydraulic synchronizing gear that allowed it to fire through the propeller without shooting it off.


Friday, June 9, 2017

World War I Plane Takes to the Sky in 1967

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

""'Hey!  Watch our Red Baron!'  Another World War One fighter plane has been restored by Carl R. Swanson, owner of the Sycamore Airport.

"The British made plane is a navy version 2F1 Sopwith Camel Bi-Plane, and there are only two like it still in existence.  It is called a Camel because of the hump it has on the front of the plane where one of its twin guns fit."

Sure Would Like To Have Seen It.  --DaCoot

Crime Spree in Sycamore in 1942: Police Suspect Thirst Led to It

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Sycamore's crime problems have been few and far between in recent years.  The latest episode on the blotter is a minor theft that must have been brought on by last week's heat wave.

"A case of pop was burglarized from the cooling machine in the George Miller gas station on DeKalb Avenue."

A Case of Drink and Relief.  --Coothirst

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bad Boys Back in 1917: Gettin' In a "Peck of Trouble"

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Unless some of the kids of DeKalb cease the practice of breaking the insulators on the Western Union telegraph company's property along the railroad, they are going to get into a peck of trouble.

"Of late several complaints have been made by linemen on the practice and unless it is stopped, some sleuth work will be done and the parents of the boys will be called in to donate a fine."

You know, though, it could have been girls who did it.  Why do boys always get the blame for such shenanigans?

I can almost hear the "Bad Boys" song from that TV show.

Juvenile Delinquents Even Back Then.  --Cooter

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

40th Anniversary of Janet Guthrie's Race at Indy 500-- Part 2

Janet Guthrie, 79, wanted to be an astronaut.  Both her parents were pilots and she learned to fly at age 16.  When she tried to become an astronaut, she was rejected in 1963 and then turned her attention to racing cars.

Unlike her male counterparts, she could get no sponsorships (and it is very expensive to race those cars)  She couldn't even get any funding.  She built her own engines, did her own body work.  She'd tow her Jaguar XK 140 behind an old station wagon (which she bought for $45) around the country.  At night, she'd sleep in the station wagon.

Racing has come a long way for women since then

Her career changed in 1976 when Rolla Volstedt called.  He was an innovative, low-budget team owner from Portland, Oregon, who wanted to take the first female driver to the Indy 500.  No woman had ever raced it before.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

40th Anniversary of Janet Guthrie's Race at the Indy 500-- Part 1

From the May 27, 2017, Indianapolis Star "40 years ago, Janet Guthrie changed auto racing for women" by Laken Litman.

"Janet Guthrie used to sleep in her car.

"Long before Danica Patrick, Katherine Legge, Sarah Fisher or Pippa Mann were offered sponsorships in competitive racing, Guthrie funded herself and drove -- and slept in -- her own cars."

Forty years ago, Guthrie became a pioneer in motor sports as the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.

"It seems I was born adventurous and grew up insufficiently socialized," she says with a smile.  She wanted to be an astronaut.


Monday, June 5, 2017

World War I Chronology, June 1917-- Part 2: American Doughboys Arrive

JUNE 26--

A Naval convoy bringing the first United States troops to France successfully withstands submarine attacks.

JUNE 26--

First U.S. Ground Combat Troops Land at St. Nazaire, France.

13,000 members of the 1st Infantry Division (ID) and 2,759 men of the 5th Marine regiment arrive.

H Company, 28th Infantry lands first.

Doughboys must be a "distinct and separate component of the combined force, the identity of which must be preserved."

Our troops would operate on their own and not be added to British and French units.


Friday, June 2, 2017

World War I Chronology, June 1917-- Part 1: Americans Arriving in France

One Hundred Years Ago.

JUNE 5-6--  The Navy's 1st Aeronautical Detachment arrives in Pauillac, France, for training in Caudron aircraft.  Naval aviation eventually sends 18,000 men to 27 overseas air naval stations.

JUNE 13--  The first echelon --  177 staff members -- of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) lands on French soil.

Lafayette, We Are Here.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Battle of Jutland May 31-June 1, 1916: Battle of the Battleships

Today marks the conclusion of one of the last major clashes between battleships, the Battle of Jutland, between the German and British Denmark.

The British had 151 combat ships, including 28 battleships and 9 battle cruisers fought the Germans who had 99 combat ships, including 16 battleships and 5 battle cruisers.  British losses included 3 battle cruisers and 6.094 killed and 624 wounded.  German losses were one battle cruiser and 2,551 killed.


Near Death Experience at Indy 500 in 1992-- Part 3: Steve Wissen's Other IMS Encounters

As horrible as was his experience, Steve Wissen remembers other:  "I was the first one to get to Gordon Smiley when he died  (in 1982).  I was with the first crew to reach Danny Ongais (1981) when he had his horrifying wreck.  Good grief, who can forget Jim Crawford (1990)?  We had already started to pull out, and the next thing we know, he's 10 feet above our heads, car and all."

But, he says, he has also had some great times with the friends he made.  He remembers A.J. Foyt telling stories during rain delays.

Buddy Lazier was the 1996 Indianapolis 500 Champion and made his 20th run in the storied race on Sunday (but didn't finish).

Wissen did not attend the 101st Running this past Sunday because of a family wedding.

We did have a terrifying wreck this past Sunday on the 52nd lap between Scott Dixon and Jay Howard.  How Dixon walked away from this is beyond me.


Near Death Experience At Indy 500 in 1992-- Part 2: Steve Wissen

"Disaster was avoided, but for Steve Wissen, scars remained.  He never worked at IMS again.  He quit after 16 years at IMS, including 13 years on the safety crew, and he was traumatized by the near-death experience.  He began having nightmares, haunted by visions of Lazier's race car getting closer and closer.

"Wissen went to Lazier's garage after the race to have a conversation, but was denied entrance.  He never got a chance to talk to Buddy lazier until This past Thursday.  You'd think that Lazier would have tried to contact Wissen, but that never happened.

But Buddy Lazier, now 49,  says, "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thibnk about that when I'm here at the Speedway."

Steve Wissen has returned to IMS multiple times over the intervening years as a spectator, including last year's 100th running.


Indy 500 Safety Crew Member Almost Killed in Race 25 Years Ago-- Part 1

From the May 27, 2017,Indianapolis (Ind.) Star "Driver meets safety crew member he nearly killed during race 25 years ago" by Clifton Brown.

Buddy Lazier also cpmpeted in this year's 500.

"Steve Wissen was nearly killed by Buddy Lazier's race car 25 years ago.  The two men had never met until Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"In 1992, Lazier's race car streaked toward Wissen while he was doing his job on the track as chief of the IMS safety crew, cleaning up debris from Tom Sneva's wreck in Turn 4.  Lazier left the pits and re-entered the track after the accident, accelerating to catch the field that was under the yellow flag.

"Lazier didn't realize Wissen's crew was still on the track in Turn 4.  By the time Lazier saw Wissen, it was almost too late.  The race car moved toward Wissen at more than 200 mph like a guided missile.  Wissen raised his hands to his head.  He closed his eyes.  He prepared for the worst.

"'I was standing in the high-speed groove,' recalled Wissen, now 65 years old.  'It was like I watched it in slow motion.'

"Lazier missed Wissen by inches, deftly guiding the car between Wissen and the wall.  Wissen was so close to being hit that he was spun around and knocked to the ground by the backdraft from Lazier's car."