Friday, December 24, 2004

....wouldn't be a good snow with out large icicles (is that how it's spelled?) hanging from the gutters of the cribs on Chippewa Drive...

I have conquered the Blizzard of '04! Against the wishes of my better half (ahem), I and my faithful compadre, my 4 yr. old daughter Jacquelyn, cleared a path to park at least three cars for X-Mas! Ohhhh Ann, we are waiting for you!!!!!

The beauty of day old snow is something to behold.....NOT!!! You see, it's wonderful for the first day, but once you realize that you are penned in, jailed, cabined, under the restraints of tiddily wink snow, well then things begin to change....all in good gest!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Well, I made it out in my car (even though there is about five inches of snow under dem tracks. My only problem was I broke a mirror off Susan's car while going the equivalent of 60 mph down the driveway, and I only got hung up once at the end of the street. Thank God for those two wimpersnappers who helped me get on my way. Tis the season to be freakin' jolly!!!!

Notice the high pile of snow on the back of this four door? Talk about the creepies....You can't know how much snow we got without walking through it...

Ahhh yes, holiday cheer, frosty fun, and barely visible Christmas decorations adorn our precious wintery wonderlandscape....

Yeeehhiiiii!!!! How's about 20 inches of snow for ya for Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

To Madison, Blake, Allana, Ben, Tristan (and Madison B. who wasn't there when daddy took this picture) have a safe and happy holiday!!!

To Ms. Kelly, thanks for a great Christmas Party today! I had so much fun with my friends. We got to dance, and we got to make a Christmas card, and it was on Friday.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Ohhhh myyyyy.....Josie has insisted on becoming a part of the holiday season. Even if it means consuming its artifacts!!!

From Jackie and Josie, have a safe and happy holiday season!!!!!

That Josie girl is a silly nilly! She loves knawin' on anything she can put in her mouth. She's a character....

Monday, November 29, 2004

Bike Path Initiative an Opportunity for Owensboro

We haven't seen a shortage of discussion and awareness of the problems our community has in terms of health status. It has become a vernacular that many of us has become too accustomed to understanding: cancer, obesity, overweight, heart disease, and the litany of terms and terminology goes on. Our community and our state are particularly very very unhealthy.

We have done a good job of documenting it locally, from the All is Not Well research report commissioned by the Public Life Foundation to the GRADD Health Report Card completed by the GRADD Health Council, we know we are unhealthy. Contrary to people's wishes, we are not unhealthy by chance. It has a whole lot to do with what we choose to do, or not to do that makes us healthy or unhealthy.

At the same time, we have made strides in affecting this crisis situation in our community. American Council for Fitness and Nutrition Chairperson Susan Finn's comments echo the successes that we have had. We also continue to see some degree of movement on the state front, as is indicated by how elected officials were cited in the Messenger Inquirer of the need for healthy lifestyles.

At the beginning of 2005, we will have yet another opportunity to change our community for the better. Stay tuned for more from the City Connections bikepaths initiative that soon will pick up steam.

Want to be part of the solution? Get up to speed and get an idea of what the City Connections committee has been working on by going here. Then, stay tuned and let the community leaders know where you stand on improving the health status of our citizens with the assistance of a community that provides opportunities for citizens to improve their health and lifestyle.

The difficult, sometimes depressing, or the wonderful, sometimes extra special, "thing" about the holiday season is the coming together of family and friends.  It is that time of year that those that do come together arrive at the occasion or occasions with all that they are.  They bring their up-to-date hearsays, their laden drenched gossip personas from the year before, they bring their baggage of life's trials and tribulations, and they bring their willingness to toss everything up in the air in the family/friend focused deliberation of "the coming together". 

For me what is central to the holiday season being successful is the "feel" or perception of feeling that I take away from each of these events.  Did everyone pitch in their part?  Did everyone sacrifice enough of themselves to benefit the goodwill of the whole?  Did everyone come away with a sense of fulfillment of interacting with others?  Did everyone take away from the occasion that they played an important part in the enrichment in the lives of others present, or at least enough of the others present to "feel" justified in attending?  Certainly family and friends understand that the "coming together" takes on a life of it's own.  Sometimes we as individuals though certainly do not recognize this, and worse still is that we do understand it and do our damndest to brink our link in that chain that strives to hold it together.

Oh what a dilemma…..dare I say, what if instead of coming together, all of the baggage and excess immaterial objects land dead center in the nucleus of coming together?  Uuuuuggghhhhh, that could be icky….

Hmmmm……I'm not taking away a sense of fulfillment of at least the Thanksgiving holiday season, other than the entirely too many pieces of pecan pie that I ate...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Mexico: Development and Gender Equality

Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, (IPS) - Latin America and the Caribbean have up-to-date statistics on inflation, trade, GDP growth and other economic indicators. But there are few to no hard figures on violence against women, a problem that reportedly affects as many as four or five women out of 10 in the region. Click here to read more...

Sustainable Growth and International Economy: Trinidad Seeks an Alternative Economic Fuel

By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer

POINT LISAS, Trinidad and Tobago — Half a millennium ago, Spanish colonialists put this tiny Caribbean land on the international trade map by putting the indigenous Amerindians to work growing cocoa. Click here to read more...

Population and the Environment: Study Links Smog Increases to Urban U.S. Deaths

By Michael Conlon

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Increases in air pollution caused by cars, power plants and industry can be directly linked to higher death rates in U.S. cities, a study said on Tuesday. Click here to read more...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hey everybody (Bret and Jen, we miss you!)! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!

Alexis DeTocqueville: Democracy in America

I came across this website as a link in the book homepage of one of my sociology courses. I have worked with colleagues in the community and on various projects related to civic involvement. DeTocqueville provides keen qualitative insight on democracy in the United States on what has been termed the "Bible of Democracy". DeTocqueville has been classified as a political scientist, social philosopher, sociologist, historian, and field researcher. Don't know about DeTocqueville? Maybe you could take a moment to get introduced to him and his work....Click here to visit the site

The Chronicle: Scholars Who Blog

I've decided to post this article specifically for those educators or like-minded individuals who are visiting this blog to consider the notion of blogs, blogging, and bloggers. In short, can we dare not to capture our scholarly, personal, and community histories? Enjoy...

Scholars Who Blog

The soapbox of the digital age draws a crowd of academics


Is this a revolution in academic discourse, or is it CB radio?

In one form or another, that question inevitably arises in conversations with scholars who have taken up the habit of writing Web logs, or "blogs." Some have started blogging in order to muse aloud about their research. Others want to polish their chops at opinion-writing for nonacademic audiences. Still others have more urgent and personal reasons. ("The black dogs of depression are snarling at my feet," reads the first entry of one scholar's blog.) Click here to read more...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Worldwide effects of sinking US dollar

By David R. Francis | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The sinking US dollar in recent weeks has raised what is suddenly a top concern from Washington to Berlin and Beijing: Is America's currency undergoing a benign adjustment or a precipitous plunge? Click here to read more...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Philippines: APEC adopts trade plan for growing countries

By Ma. Theresa Torres, Reporter

THE Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has adopted the Philippines’ proposal to let developed countries assist developing countries in securing favorable trade terms. Click here to read more...

Mexico: Plight of the Migrant

By Anabelle Garay, Associated Press

ALTAR, Mexico -- Migrants make their way through the dusty streets of this northern Mexico town toting backpacks stuffed with a few belongings and carting jugs of water to sustain them on their upcoming treks into the Arizona desert. Click here to read more...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Economy: Market mergers

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The planned acquisition of Sears, Roebuck and Co. by Kmart Holding Corp. highlights a changing retail environment that could soon eliminate the department store as we know it, analysts and consultants said on Friday. Read more

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Global Economy: Libya and US trade

For more on this article, click the title of this post

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration has asked Congress to quickly lift a ban on U.S. Export-Import Bank loans in Libya and said "timing is critical" to help American companies invest in the oil-rich country, according to a letter released on Tuesday.

Mexico: A Brief History of Chocolate in America

I came across this recently. It's quite interesting, and sheds some like on chocolate. No pun intended....Click the title of this post to read this brief chronology!

Mexico: Sights & Sounds: Maya Underworld

Click on the title to the post to view a recent article from National Geographic. Viewing this multimedia presentation will work best with a high speed internet connection.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits: Gathering and using data


Published: November 14, 2004

HURRICANE FRANCES was on its way, barreling across the Caribbean, threatening a direct hit on Florida's Atlantic coast. Residents made for higher ground, but far away, in Bentonville, Ark., executives at Wal-Mart Stores decided that the situation offered a great opportunity for one of their newest data-driven weapons, something that the company calls predictive technology.

Read more by clicking the title to this post.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Kentucky "Votes for Marriage", but has 3rd highest divorce rate

Click the title to this post to read the entire article...


Published: November 14, 2004

BOSTON — If blue states care less about moral values, why are divorce rates so low in the bluest of the blue states? It's a question that intrigues conservatives, as much as it emboldens liberals.

As researchers have noted, the areas of the country where divorce rates are highest are also frequently the areas where many conservative Christians live.

Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas, for example, voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. But they had three of the highest divorce rates in 2003, based on figures from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Left wing rises to power - the Cold - World

The 2004 election may have shifted America's political agenda to the right, but another November election marked the leftist trends emerging in South America, that of Uruguay's Tabare Vaz-quez. A 64-year-old oncologist, and self pro-claimed socialist, Vazquez beat out rivals in Uruguay's traditional White National and Colorado parties, which have both lost favor during recent economic downturns.

Read more by clicking the title to this post.

Ivory Coast: Mass exodus

By Nick Tattersall and Peter Murphy

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - An exodus of foreigners from Ivory Coast showed no signs of easing on Saturday as West African leaders prepared to meet in Nigeria for emergency talks about a crisis which threatens the entire region.

For more on this article click the title of this post.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

China: Marriage and cultural change

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- From simply laying the bed rolls of a man and woman together to welcoming a bride home by hot air balloon, weddings in China have undergone great changes, a survey indicates. "

Nepal: Free Trade and Global Economy

The Rising Nepal: "Kathmandu, Nov 10: Only 50 days remains for quota system in readymade garments under the Multifibre Agreement (MFN) of World Trade Organization (WTO) and Nepalese garment entrepreneurs are worried about the future of the industry. "

South Korea: Free Trade

INCHON, South Korea: South Korea began construction on Thursday of a multi-billion dollar free trade zone, hoping to lure global businesses by cutting red tape and providing a site close to the booming China market.

Read more here:Daily Times - Site Edition

Czech Republic: EU Constitution

Read more here:

The Prague Post Online: "Vlastimil Kucera is not a typical Czech in one respect: He's quite familiar with the European constitution. "

Uganda: Human rights issues

Midnight's Children ( "Posted on Thursday, October 7, 2004. The following accounts are included in When the Sun Sets, We Start to Worry . . . , published in November 2003 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "

U.S.: Integrity of Voting

To steal elections is human nature. In 1948 a U.S. Senate seat was stolen, by simple ballot-box stuffing, for Lyndon Johnson; without it he would never have reached the presidency. John Kennedy only won the presidency in 1960 with the support of dead voters in Chicago. But now we approach a national election that is susceptible to theft in its very machinery—not just in Florida but almost anywhere.

Read more here:No Appeal (

Uganda: Human rights

International News Article | "UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The kidnapping and torture of children by a Uganda religious sect was high on the list of a new United Nations appeal on Thursday for the world's forgotten tragedies."

U.S.: Immigration

Politics News Article | "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush appears ready to spend some of his newly gained political capital on immigration reform but could run up against fierce opposition from conservatives in his own Republican Party, analysts said on Thursday. "

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chile: Torture Commission Report

By Ignacio Badal

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Chilean President Ricardo Lagos received a chilling report on Wednesday from a government commission that interviewed more than 30,000 victims to chronicle for the first time the systematic use of torture during Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship.

Read more at the following link: International News Article |

Colombia and Mexico: International Drug Trade

Despite the recent, much-talked-about captures of drug-trafficking kingpins, their organizations are far from being dismantled in this country. Colombian investigators affirm that their influence is increasing rapidly, to the point that they could be heading up the production, transportation, and distribution process that ends in the sale of drugs on the streets of the United States.

Read more at the following link:Overseas Security Advisory Council

Brazil: Amazon forests to disappear without foreign aid

CUIABA, Brazil (Reuters) -- The forests on Brazil's agricultural frontier will disappear without international financing to provide alternatives to slash-and-burn farming, the farm secretary of Brazil's leading soybean state said.

Read more at the following link:

Global economy

THE CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will not become reality next year as initially scheduled.

This is according to reports from the Trinidad Express, which quoted Prime Minister Arthur as saying that instead efforts will be made by CARICOM member states to establish a CARICOM Single Market by the end of next year and the Single Economy will be dealt with subsequently.

Read more at the following link:Advocate

China's Health

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Sixty percent of China's 1,832 counties, have joined a health education initiative for rural population, said deputy Health minister Gao Qiang here Wednesday.

Gao made the announcement at a 10 year anniversary seminar on the National Health Promotion Project for Chinese Farmers. The project aims to universalize health education among China's 900 million rural population who lack basic hygiene knowledge.

Read more at the following link:

:: Xinhuanet - English ::

Public Life Advocate: The Tracker

Data of Interest

Compiled by Chad M. Gesser

* Finland, Denmark, and Sweden are among the nations perceived to have the most dependable public officials in the world. The United States is tied for 17th.

* 84 percent of Americans believe the Iraqi people will be better off without Saddam Hussein.

* 70 percent of Jordanians believe the Iraqi people will be worse off without Saddam Hussein.

* Holding a favorable image of the United States has plummeted 40 percent from 1999-2004 amongst residents in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, and Turkey.

* 58 percent of Americans believe that community problems are too big for individuals to solve alone.

* 90 percent of United States citizens say that working with others to solve problems takes more time but gets better results in the long run.

* 74 percent of United States citizens view the quality of life in their community as excellent or good. However, whites are twice as likely as African-Americans to view their community as offering an excellent quality of life.

* 40 percent of working adults (54 million Americans) say they have gotten together with co-workers to sponsor a food-drive, walk-a-thon, or other type of community activity in the past 12 months.

* 87 percent of Republicans believe George W. Bush is a uniter.

* 81 percent of Democrats believe George W. Bush is a divider.

To read the hard copy of The Tracker, visit the Public Life Foundation and the Public Life Advocate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Reform of U.S. immigration laws to let more Mexican migrants work legally is a high priority for President Bush in his second term in office, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday.

Read more at the following link:

Politics News Article |

Global economy: Cuban US dollar ban takes effect

Cuba has ended circulation of the US dollar in an attempt to resist a tightening US blockade.

Dollar transactions that have been allowed for the last 11 years were replaced by convertible Cuban pesos, which are worthless outside Cuba.

Read more at the following link:

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Cuban US dollar ban takes effect

Monday, November 8, 2004

Sociocultural evolution: The Oil We Eat

The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.—Balzac

The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money, as even our vice president will tell you, is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.

Read more at the following link: The Oil We Eat (

Saturday, November 6, 2004

War in Iraq: The Intelligence Chain

This is a very interesting piece of investigative journalism that documents the intelligence chain prior to the War in Iraq. Read it at the following link:

The Intelligence Chain

FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Defining Bush's "Mandate"

November 5, 2004

Winning 51 percent of the popular vote in Tuesday's election, Bush administration officials were quick to declare that the results constitute a "mandate" for Bush's second term. This interpretation of the election caught hold in the mainstream media-- a sign perhaps that White House spin was triumphing over the actual numbers recorded on Election Day.

Read more at the following link:

FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Defining Bush's "Mandate"

Lucky for some - part one: The mixed blessings of a lottery win

Each week we spend £90m on the national lottery and, in the 10 years since it began, 1,600 of us have hit the jackpot and become millionaires. Some winners have had their lives since portrayed as a horror story. What is it really like, Simon Hattenstone asks.

Read more at the following link:

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Lucky for some - part one: The mixed blessings of a lottery win

Friday, November 5, 2004

Culture and Capitalism: Wal-Mart owned store opens in Mexico despite protests

Associated Press

TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico - A Wal-Mart-owned discount store quietly opened its doors Thursday less than a mile from the ancient temples of Teotihuacan, despite months of protests claiming the sprawling complex was an insult to Mexican culture. Read more at this link: Wal-Mart-owned-store opens in Mexico despite protests -


Thanks for visiting The Sociology Blog.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Tributes to those that have passed

This is too beautiful not to share. These come from the Boston Globe website, two days after the Sox have won the series. Mine, #2, and #27 inspired me to include these here...

Sox playoffs board

Folder: On the front burner

Discussion: Tributes to those who have passed ...

#1 10:33 AM From: BostonDotCom To: ALL

What relative or friend passed away before they saw the Sox win the Series ... tell us about them and their devotion to this team.

#2 10:43 AM From: KYSoxFan To: BostonDotCom

Here's a story that I sent to another subject. I blogged it just after the Sox won the World Series.

#3 11:45 AM From: patstag To: BostonDotCom

For my grandmother. When I came home from school she would be in the kitchen ironing and I would help her and we would watch the Sox together - or listen to them on the radio.

For my mother, who was an avid sports fan and probably never missed a game of any of our four sports teams and who really showed me how much fun they all were.

For my friend Ike, a season ticket holder for years - two of the great loves of his life were the Red Sox and the 27th Lancers. Hard to believe he didn't have something to do with the Sox winning on the 27th.

#4 11:47 AM From: pooh To: BostonDotCom

My grandfather was a fan... he loved New England and its teams... we'd watch all of the games together growing up, my grandfather and I.

He passed away Labor Day 2001...

#5 11:54 AM From: taig To: BostonDotCom

1) My Grandfather who had a heartattack watching in 75 and died before the start of the 86 season. He was 8 when the Sox won it back in '18. He can sleep easy now.

2) My Uncle Mac who watched every game on television with my Aunt M. May he rest in peace.

3) My Uncle K who was a die ahrd fan and passed away only a couple years ago. req in pacem

For all the others of my family who have come in gone in 86 years as well..

#6 11:59 AM From: tim850csi To: BostonDotCom

To my cousin in law Rich, a avid Sox Fan who died of cancer in 96 and to his beloved wife and my cousin Melissa who died in September of 2003, a day after seeing The Boss play at Fenway, I will be thinking of you both while watching the boys of summer parade down Boylston on Saturday.

#7 12:04 PM From: Sakos To: BostonDotCom

This is for two wonderful people.

My father Peter who passed away in 1987. He was a life long fan and rarely missed a game by radio or T.V. Some of my fondest recollections are the muted sounds of the game from an AM radio while he listened to the game with one of those old fashioned single ear pieces.

My cousin Judy died just two weeks ago. She loved the Red Sox and those of us who love her, know she's up there smiling.

#8 12:12 PM From: ari_foley To: BostonDotCom

My grandfather was a die-hard Red Sox fan. In fact, while he and my grandmother lived in North Ft. Myers, FL, he got a job at City of Palms Park. I have his "Staff" shirt to this day. He took tickets at the gate. Even though he never got to see the Red Sox win a World Series on Earth, I know he's in heaven cheering them on!

#9 12:16 PM From: Bacca To: BostonDotCom

This win was for my father who passed away from pancreatic cancer on November 14th, 2003. He was the biggest Sox fan I had ever known and I truly believe the ‘03 playoffs kept him going. After Game 7 on that faithful night, he turned for the worse.

During the 2003 series a neighbor wrote Larry Luchino (also a cancer survivor), regarding my dad’s health and how much it would mean to him, to us all, if he could just get to one game. Though tickets never arrived and my dad passed away soon after the off season began, a letter came from Mr. Luchino a few weeks later.

He explained how he had gone through cancer and was pulling for my dad to win his battle. He was so uplifting in his message, saying he hoped to see my dad in the stands next season, and that next year is THE year. The letter was immediately framed and hung in my brother’s home.

I never thought I would be saying this, but the Curse of the Bambino is one of the best things to ever happen to . Though no one realized it until Wednesday night, the Curse brought families together. The Curse is why I cried after seeing the Sox receive the trophy. It wasn’t the World Series title, it was knowing my dad would have given anything to see this last year...

I love you Chief!


Cancer Survivor

#10 12:16 PM From: ZootInNH To: BostonDotCom

My maternal grandfather, whom I called Dziadziu (Polish for grandfather) is surely smiling from above at this week's turn of events. He, along with my parents. took me to my first major league game, a Red Sox-Kansas City Athletics doubleheader in the spring of 1964. Most easygoing man I ever for one night when my brothers and I were staying at his house. We were listening to the Sox game on the radio as we were falling asleep, when Bob Tillman's attempt to throw out an opposing base stealer nailed pitcher John Wyatt in the head! My then 9 year old mind thought that was the funniest thing that ever happened in the world of sports, and I started laughing uncontrollably. Dziadziu immediately picked up on this and roared in a manner totally out of his character "THAT'S NOT FUNNY THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!". Extremely nice and gentle man, but you DIDN'T mess with his Red Sox....

#11 12:16 PM From: schillingfan To: BostonDotCom

My dad was born in 1919 and he died in 1982. We watched together in 1975, and when I went through a rebellious stage and rooted for the Yankees, he didn't talk to me for a whole week.

I know he's up there smiling now.

#12 12:18 PM From: dinademaio To: BostonDotCom

This one was for my Nana, who sat beside me in 1986, waiting to cheer for her team. She died without ever having seen them win.

Also for my grandfather, who was buried in 2002 with a Red Sox schedule in his pocket.

And finally, for my father, who is healthy as a horse, but who let me stay up late on my birthday to see Carlton Fisk's home run in the wee hours of October 22, 1975.

Dina DeMaio

#13 12:19 PM From: roofgirl To: BostonDotCom

To my Grandpa, who came here when he was 14 in 1912 and became a die-hard Red Sox fan. He got to see them win back then and he watched faithfully until he died in 86 before that other World Series. My fondest memories are hot summer days with Grandpa watching the Red Sox. Being Italian he especially loved Rico. I'll never forget watching the end of 1978 playoff game together. We were so upset.

To Pat, who was also a lifelong Sox fan. When you visited her and the Sox were on you had to watch the game with her. She just loved them.

#14 12:22 PM From: DaPats To: BostonDotCom

I remember in 1986 when they lost. My 76 year old grandfather stood up and said, "Well, that was the last chance I had at seeing them win it all." He passed away 6 years later in 1992. My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago never seeing them it all either. My father in-law passed away this summer also never seeing them win it. Well Papa, Nana and Walter I know you all were watching from up above. They did it!!!!!!

#15 12:23 PM From: DFC101 To: BostonDotCom

This is a double tribute.

I was ten years old during the summer of 1967, when two major events unfolded: the Impossible Dream team was marching toward a pennant and my father was dying. Both seemed completely improbable. For any Red Sox fan at that time the idea of a pennant was about as credible as an invasion from Mars, and the loss of my father, well...I still don't think I believe that one.

We were the first family on the block to get a color TV and my mother set up a bed in our living room so my Dad could take his one comfort of convalescing, watching the Sox. Not that watching the Sox was ever good for one's health, but you understand.

He lasted until Septmber 1, by which time you couldn't find the daylight between Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota in the standings. Our family went through the funeral in the grief-haze you might expect...a blur of mysterious aunts and uncles from all over and neighbors and kids and no time to really talk. New Englanders aren't good at that anyway, and my mother was a sudden widow with four little ones and school was starting in a few days and we all had our agenda, and we all just kept going. Against this suddenly-surreal backdrop, making it surreal to the whole world, the Sox looked like they might actually win, and to make the whole word completely unreal, they did.

Part two of the story: what was it, the 8th or so, when they clinched? We lived in Peabody at the time, and several of the players lived there too. Everyone my age knew where Rico and Mike Andrews and all the guys hid away while the team was in town. So being a kid and not realizing that the eyes of the whole country were on them it made perfect sense to me, on the day after the biggest day in their careers, to go to the door of the manager, Dick Williams, and ask him for an autograph.

I knocked as my friends huddled on the stairs of the apartment, out of sight and probably expecting that I'd be thrown bodily off Williams' doorstep. He answered the door himself. And he signed an elaborate autograph with an inscription for me, and shook my hand. I don't remember what, if anything, I said. I hope I thanked him.

It didn't occur to me until much later what an interruption that was, and how he'd have been perfectly correct to tell me never to do that again. It never occured to him--it couldn't have--that the kid standing on his doorstep that morning was mourning the loss of his father and reaching out to any man decent enough to stand there and shake his hand. I was just one more little boy. And he was a hero being nice.

Wherever Williams managed after that, I always made sure to write him and wish him well and remind him of that story. I have inscribed photos of him in a Sox uniform, and with the As and the Expos and even the Yankees. And a signed ball. I hope he makes it into the Hall at last not only for his achievements on the field but for that moment and what it gave me.

Dad, they did it at last. Dick, congratulations to you for '67, for starting the long march to the flag, and for being a gracious gentleman. I never forgot.

#16 12:23 PM From: TmC To: BostonDotCom

My Friend Brian passed away a couple of months ago, he never understood how much he meant to everybody. I could always count on him being at my house when I got home watching the sox with my husband (at that time) and monopolizing the TV with it, he never missed a game. I believe he helped the sox in some manner this year along with everybody else everyday! You are very missed Brian!

#17 12:29 PM From: bostnbirdybu To: BostonDotCom

For my mom, who had planned on traveling around the country with my dad this summer to see the Sox play in other cities

For my good friend Jay Burgeson, who was murdered in Providence 4 years ago. He was in college in MN in 1999 when the Sox went to the playoffs, and he came all the way home to watch the games here with other Sox fans.

#18 12:29 PM From: dkenney To: BostonDotCom

My grandfather, Tony Meleski, talked tirelessly about the Red Sox. He died four years ago on October 23, the same date of the 2004 World Series opener in Fenway Park.

Grampie, this one is for you!

#19 12:32 PM From: hefc To: BostonDotCom

My Great Grandfather, Herman Streeter, was a lifetime Red Sox fan. He witnessed (not in person) their win in 1918 & always held out hope that they would do it again before he died but alas, he did not make it dying in 1990.

We watched or listened to every game & drove my Great Grandmother crazy with the noise ;-) He & my Dad would often sit together & discuss the ups & downs of the current team. The last question he asked before passing was whether or not the Sox had won that day. When my Aunt answered "Yes" he died a happy man. And I know he's up there smiling right now too!

#20 12:33 PM From: Doc_Leos_kid To: BostonDotCom

My father and best friend in the world, you may know him Dr Leo from the Cape was the biggest Sox fan. We would sit listening to the games night after night. Doc passed away Dec 2000 and never got to see the Sox win the series. It really makes me sad to think that. Congrats to Curt and all the boys.

#21 12:35 PM From: Chrysler To: BostonDotCom

For Grandma, who used to subscribe to NESN in April and cancel it in October, just so that she could watch the Red Sox. She was seven years old and still in Ireland when they won in 1918, but after coming to Boston in 1930 she was a huge fan. She passed away in 2002.

For Nana, who was also a huge fan. When I was in college and living in town, I'd take the subway over to visit her in Charlestown at her apartment and we'd watch the games together. She died in 2000.

For Uncle Dick, who died this past April at age 65, who never saw the Red Sox win a World Series. He was another great fan, and took me to one of my first games when I was a kid. When they beat the Yankees to win the AL title, my family went to visit his grave and put a baseball on it that said "Go Sox!"

Rest in peace,


#22 12:37 PM From: sealepe To: BostonDotCom

For my Father, Richard (Dick) Seale who passed away last July at age 60 from Diabetes. If only he had lived to see his beloved Red Sox win the World Series. Here is an article my Aunt wrote about him and his love for the Red Sox in his last moments. It was published in the Daily News Tribune up in Mass.

Seale: Can the Sox repay a fan's devotion?

By Rosalyn S. Seale / Guest Columnist for the Daily News Tribune

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Dick Seale was born in Boston, but spent the majority of his youth and all his high school years in West Newton. An avid Red Sox fan, he would take the T (then the MTA and the old Watertown trolley line) into Fenway Park to sit in the bleachers (75 cents to get in) and watch his beloved Red Sox play.

Dick moved to New Jersey, married and raised a family, but never gave up his love of the Boston teams. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 2 and the illness took its toll on him. Through his two heart by-pass surgeries and the amputation of both legs, Dick never lost his spirit.

In the summer of 2002 on a trip home to visit family, number one on his "to do" list was getting tickets to the Sox. On two prostheses he trudged across the parking lot from the Beacon Street side into Fenway Park to cheer on the Sox. I don't know if the Sox won or lost, but you could probably hear his cheers out on the Mass Pike.

Complications of his illness had him on thrice weekly dialysis, and rendered him so weak he could barely get around. His spirit remained. Hospitalized in New Jersey last month with an infection that took the rest of one leg, he was still fighting to survive. On Saturday, the 26th of July he was sedated for his pain after the surgery. In his intensive care room the TV played the Sox game -- we hoped that Dick was somehow watching. When the Sox beat the Yankees, he managed to open his eyes and his oldest daughter told him they had won. With his left arm -- the only limb he could still move -- he gave a salute to the Sox.

Dick gave up his fight and passed away at 3:40 a.m. on July 27 at the age of 60. The Sox still had another game against the Yankees that night -- they won. We'd like to think they did it for Dick as a last request.

Can we hope that this will be the year we finally win the World Series? If so, I'd like to think it was in honor of one of their most loyal fans -- Dick Seale.

Dick Seale's sister Rosalyn S. Seale is senior vice president of Proctor & Company in Natick.

#23 12:39 PM From: MB9 To: BostonDotCom

This Red Sox's World Series win was for my grandfather "Chuckie". He was the biggest Red Sox's fan I ever knew. He was such a big fan we waked and buried him with his Red Sox's hat on and a picture of Fenway Park by his side. He never missed a game even when he was in intensive care we had it on the radio for him to listen. Chuckie wasn't able to see them win as he passed away this past July 23, 2004. But I know in my heart that he somehow helped them get to this win, I also know he is celebrating with a beer or two.

#24 12:41 PM From: cmderinchief To: BostonDotCom

This is just a small note to recognize my long departed great-aunt Amy. She religiously listened to every Sox game until her death in the '90s. As her hearing got worse, the rest of the neighborhood heard the game too! :-) I vividly remember a spiral notebook with her homemade line scores of each game. She had line scores acrcived since the 40's. Even though I am a flatlander by birth.....I have always been a Sox fan, albeit marred in the middle of Cubs and Reds country. For this, Amy made a point to bequeath me her Sox stuff which is hanging in my office as I type this.

I suspect that Halloween will be a quite one in New England. A lot of spirits can finally rest!

#25 12:41 PM From: Lucille To: BostonDotCom

This message is for Ma...... They finally did it and my thoughts were with you the whole series... Ma went to one game and had to leave early because she felt that if she watched continually they would lose.... so she would sit in front of the TV if they were losing she would go to the other room say a rosary and then come back ..... THEY HAVE FINALLY WON THE SERIES and your grandchildren and Papa were thinking of you and smiling..... Ma was an true RED SOX fan and those who were not a fan became one after they sat and watched a game with her..... Marty Fair can attest to that........ Well GO SOX........and THANKS for bringing back all the wonderful memories of our loved ones who look on from above.....

#26 12:44 PM From: joplinspig To: BostonDotCom

My mother, Madaline, lived her entire life between Red Sox World Series wins, so she never experienced the thrill of victory. She told me 1000 times that when she was a little girl, she would listen to the games on the radio, and cry when they lost. As soon as our first baseman tagged the Cardinal's runner out, I thought to myself, "They won, Ma!"

#27 12:45 PM From: 2blv2wn To: BostonDotCom

yesterday I was waiting in a very long line for World Champion t-shirts. This man in front of me was probably in his late 80's. As He Got to the front of the line he asked for 4 " Now I can die in Peace" T-shirts. He then told us that later that day he was going to visit graves of his buddies who were lifelong fans that never got to see this day. The t-shirts were for the headstones.

My eyes well up every time I picture this man. He was so passionate. So proud that he could do this for his friends. So proud that we was able to witness this.

#28 12:46 PM From: lgibbs1446 To: BostonDotCom

My husband Bob died unexpectedly in Fort Myers, Florida in 2002. We were there to watch the Red Sox play in spring training. Bob was born in Brighton, Massachusetts and had been a Red Sox fan all his life The Red Sox won the World Series on what would have been his seventy second birthday. That was a wonderful gift.

My stepfather Harlow died this year on October 16. When I spoke to my mother the next day, her first words were, ' As if yesterday wasn't bad enough, the Red Sox lost 19-8.' We buried my stepfather on the day the Sox won the ALCS and feel he had something to do with that win.

#29 12:48 PM From: mel1966 To: BostonDotCom

My father was a devoted fan of the Sox. He would faithfully sit in front of the television and watch them in his old winged back chair. He would call them bums when they would lose, but he would never lose faith that someday they would win, win it all. In fact, he was almost a Sox player himself back in the '40's. He coached my brother's little league teams. He even taught me how to throw a baseball, and I wasn't too bad for a girl. The year he died (1996), two of my brothers took him to Cooperstown to enjoy the memoribilia of a lifetime of being a baseball fan, but most importantly a Sox fan. He probably would have cried the night they finally won. This is for you, Dad.

#30 12:48 PM From: scmurph To: BostonDotCom

My father-in-law was a life long Red Sox fan and had season tickets for a few years when my husband was young. He passed away this past April. Among his keepsakes we have a scrapbook he made when he was 14 years old of the 1947 Red Sox season. It has every article from the Boston newspapers regarding the team right down to the last game that year in the World Series with the Cardinals. It has an introduction page, handwritten by him when he made it, about what it was and why he was making it and throughout the scrapbook he has annotations with his feelings about the team. The best entry is one of the games the Sox lost during the World Series that year. It is an otherwise blank page that says something to the effect that it was too painful to even comment on it. He has programs and everything stuffed in this book. It's about 6 inches thick. How ironic that this year the Red Sox beat the Cardinals. We are taking the covers and articles from yesterday's newspapers and adding them to the back of the scrapbook. My mother-in-law stayed with us Wed. night to watch the game. The end of the game was a tearful moment in more ways than one, but we believe that he was watching too.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Time for a bit of history....thanks to our good friend Emily Istre, I've come to understand that Emily and I are related! This picture here is of my Great-Great-Great-Grandparents on my father's mother's side....The G-G-G-Grandfather here is Valentine Wink, and my G-G-G-Grandmother is Apollonia Strobel. He was born in 1823 in Prussia, and she was born in 1830 in Baden. Emily and I came to realize that we are related through their sons Michael and John. Emily is related to John through her mother's mother's side.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Baseball as religion in Owensboro?

Ok, if you are remotely a baseball fan, you cannot help to be emotionally moved by the baseball antics of the past three days. Consider these stats from three wild days at Fenway:

• The elapsed game times were 4 hours, 20 minutes; 5:02 and 5:49.

• Thirty-five pitchers combined to throw 1,299 pitches (412 Saturday, 416 Sunday and 471 Monday).

• The Yankees had 27 runs on 46 hits - and left 38 men on base. The Red Sox had 19 runs, 36 hits and left 31 on.

Ok, before I go further, let me make a confession. I'm Catholic, and I'm a Red Sox's fan. At this time you are supposed to tell me what prayers or actions I need to do to assist me in my future endeavors, and to help the Red Sox keep keepin' on.

Ok when I began this blog I had no intention of being sacriligious. Rather I have become a victim to my own recognition of the prayer like, religious like fervor that has swept Red Sox Nation, and won't be too far from good 'ol San Luis (St. Louis for the non-spanish speakers).

I must say I have noticed more religious and prayer metaphor in my focus on the Red Sox-Yankees series over the past few days than in any other series or series of sporting events in my life. The Red Sox Nation has become attached to slogans such as "Keep the Faith" and "We Believe". Could you imagine this type of religious fervor over our very own baseball team in Owensboro? Ah ha you say.....well, maybe we could...

So, uh, are you following the Bring Baseball Back Committee's efforts at bringing professional baseball to Owensboro? As you continue to watch the major league baseball playoffs this year, just think about what could be....on the other hand, I'd hate for us to have a team that is destined to lose, destined to be cursed, and destined to have fans that eat and breathe Owensboro baseball.....just like my beloved Red Sox Nation.

Go Sox!

Economic Summit=Same 'ol Same 'ol

We cannot underestimate the utility of viewing our work, our application of knowledge, and what we do to survive as anything less than a system. When we strive to pinpoint the golden key to everything economic, we miss the systemic view and the attachment of peripheral economic activity and their subsequent importance on the quality of life of a community and its citizens.

We must look beyond the notion that our well being as a community and for its citizens rests in the hands of the sometimes invisible being of economic development. The central issue as brought out in the economic summit was the community quality of life.

As Jo Ann McCormick noted, economic development leaders want the buy in of the community, but usually stop short by relying on the “safety” and “comfort” of those in their immediate circles. Economic development leaders want community input, but they don’t get it, nor do they ask.

While there is an obvious need for a community strategic plan for our economic development, their certainly is also a broader need for a community vision. At the heart of this need of a well crafted, representative vision, are the citizens of the community. What might be the most important aspect of the development of any sort of plan, is the process taken to achieve its final draft. No, we do not need a man, white man on a white horse to assume some understanding of the type of economic environment that our community wants. A couple of sessions in our Leadership Owensboro program will suffice to provide the historical, and current background as to how “business”, rather how “leadership” is conducted in this community. While the work and the agreement of a few may be easier “to get things done”, and may be better in the short term, it does not benefit the community in the mid to long term. This appears to me to be the struggle that was echoed in the economic summit. A different planning strategy for the mid to long term is needed, a process that builds relationships of community citizens, and outlines with citizens their views with the overall community vision of this community. I would suggest that for many community leaders, this is a scary proposition. The small power elite model of leadership is still in full force, and is unfortunately the foundation of which we are led to believe that rational, intellectual, and progressive thinking occurs in Owensboro-Daviess County.

Might we be best served to go to the community, to its workers, to its citizens, to its families, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, and ask them what their vision of the future of Owensboro-Daviess County would be? Might we build upon their dreams? Are the ramifications too grand if their hopes and dreams are fundamentally different than those in administrative and in community leadership positions? Do we know what the citizens of this community think and feel about our future? Is it not important that we ask them? Would community wide ownership of a strategic vision for the future enable us to be more efficient, effective, and successful in meeting our goals?

Wiener Fiasco part 2

Here are the official results of the first ever Wiener Race at the Oktoberfest: one dog almost jumped off the RiverPark Center patio and into the river; another, just out of the gate, turned to my friend Pete, and tried to lick his forearms; another, ventured off track and sought refuge in the stands with the gullible audience; oh, and two others crossed the finish line.

Top 5 phrases heard at the Wiener Race

Top 5 phrases heard during the wiener dog race at the Oktoberfest (love that spelling):

"If you haven't registered your wiener, make sure you do."

"Look, there is an African Wiener!"

"There's an Arabian Wiener!"

"Look at the size of that Wiener!"

"What pedigree is your Wiener?"

 Posted by Hello

Wiener Fiasco

You are looking at the King of all Wieners, Tobby Joe.... Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I'm ready for Chinese New Year!! Thanks Mimi! I love you!!!!

Thanks Mimi for the Chinese outfits! I'll wear this one to the Chinese restaurant to eat some Rakishaki!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ahh yeah...for all da baby pimps and playas out there...Josie Rosie is in da house, keepin' it real for all her peeps... Posted by Hello


Ok, call me bold, but I decided to brave the wind, as it dares me by shifting my LCD on my laptop, to experience the wonder and joy that is the first ever Oktoberfest (spelling is correct, as those putting the event on would attest) at the RiverPark Center in good ol’, rather guten ol’ Owensboro, Kentucky.

So I have to admit, strolling up the sidewalk to the Oktoberfest (I love that little twist on the name) that the anticipation was building of this event. How would it be? How would we, Owensboro, pull off an Oktoberfest? What kind of beer would be here? The food, what would we have? I heard something about the music, the wieners (dogs, not hot) and dancers. So my anticipation was just about to culminate into something tangible…..

…thus I heard the music, and then I saw the singers in their red and black kilts, standing on stage on first street, playing to a small shivering crowd in the lot of the Community Development building. Is that not ironice?

Yes, a smile certainly struck my face. This was fun. Well, this was different, maybe not fun (yet) but different. Thus a smile to my face, because it was at least entertaining to see the first ever Oktoberfest in swing. It was not a forgone conclusion, something, yes something was happening here.

Something that added to my keen interest was the fact that in the middle of this 50 something degree weather, albeit a very pretty fall day, folks were watching the singers/dancers while comfortably sipping their brew…ah yes, just what folks at an Oktoberfest should do. I was indeed thirsty for some suds, as my German ancestry boiled to the surface of my lips, with nothing there yet to meet its rebirth.

So there they were (were they really there?) drinking beer, sitting at tables, being entertained by the German-esque singers/dancers. Hmmmmmm, what next….

I then ventured to the RiverPark patio, greeted by wieners soon after entering the arena. The patio was transformed, well not visibly transformed by barriers, but I could tell that I was entering into a German style “dog show”. The first thing I heard was the MC saying, “We have a Wiener!”

Little wieners everywhere, dogs that is……they were cute, mostly very funny…..little wieners, big wieners, brown wieners, darker brown wieners, boy wieners, and girl wieners….reminds me of the upcoming ballot initiative banning gay marriages in Kentucky.

I digress.

So into the RiverPark Center proper. I find myself definitely thirsty, my German heritage practically begging for the satisfaction of some German suds. I head to the beer counter, ah yes, what better way to celebrate an Oktoberfest (love the name) than drinking German beer? I remember watching some German festival on E television. There were some drunk bastards at that festival. Thousands. Drinking out of those large mugs, just loaded. Men, women, and some that I did not know were which. But they were in their German attire, kilts, etc…and were visibly, almost grotesquely drunk.

Ok, I decided I’m not going to look like that. That impression in Owensboro would not go over well with the locals. “What kind of German beer do you have?” I politely asked. “We have Coors Light, Miller Light, Bud Light, blah blah blah, blah blah blah…” her words fade into oblivion as my German cheer turns into an understanding of a masquerade of a festival. Ok, I’ll take it easy on the folks. “Well, this is the first year we’ve had this festival, and maybe next year we will have some German beer.” Shame shame shame. The younger, more “creative class looking” attendant empathized with my desire for German beer at a friggin’ Oktoberfest. “I’m flabbergasted.” So were the two of them with my use of the word flabbergasted. “Ok, I’ll take a Foster’s.” Australian for beer. What am I doing drinking a Fosters beer at an Oktoberfest?

Give ‘em a break. The shitzenirkem have done their work. Ok, I don’t know if that is German, but it’s all I got.

Ok, now I shall brush my wind blown German heritage brown hair, and congregate with those masquerading at the “German” Oktoberfest. Afterall, I hear the wieners, smell the bratwurst, and my Fosters is staring at me.

Was the Miss Oktoberfest actually Hispanic?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Josie learns at an early age the love of the Louisville least I am bringing her up in a rich tradition... Posted by Hello

Jackie and Josie are becoming two peas in a pod.  Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Can Owensboro Build a Free Internet Network?

While the talk of the creative class and its meaning for Owensboro continues, little is left in the way of specifics regarding public and/or private initiatives.  One can only assume that this is a philosophy, an idea, and nothing more.

A few years back there was indeed an effort at increasing high speed internet access to residents in the Owensboro area.  OMU has forged that effort ahead, but the access is limited to residential and small business.  Is it possible to develop a network of wireless access points in the community, whereby small business, residents, and anyone in the community with the proper equipment could access the internet and other high speed services?  Could local government sponsor this initiative along with private investment and support to offer high speed, wireless where desired, internet access at a cost that is substantially lower than current costs, even free?   

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Neighbor Receives the Biznas

In the dead of night, with Susie sleeping on the couch due to her asthmatic style cough that she has been sporting for a week, Brittany's "friends" took care of business at her house. Brittany, a youngin' at Owensboro High School, apparently attracted some of her more familiar acquaintances to her humble abode as they totalled her house and family's cars with the shit wiper. Having committed the same juvenile delinquent act in the past, I wasn't too upset. The only thing that has me worried is that they live directly next door to us, and toilet papered trees tend to bring the property value of immediate real estate down. To be continued.... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Baby Bird

Our little Josephine is growing. My mother told me when our Jackie was a few months old how remarkable the life cycle was during the first year. She told me with her motherly wisdom that a child will change more in the first year of life then any other year in their lifetime. Wow, that was such a profound statement.

Today I experienced something new. It's been four years since I became a father, and I am so overwhelmed by having two angels that I sometimes think I must be in a heavenly dream. Today I was holding Josephine, and she was eagerly following Ms. Jackie with her interested eyes. Josie wants to know what is going on. She realizes she cannot be fully engaged in social activity, but she is committed to making a contribution, even if it means that intense stare she will give. While following Jackie, Josie burped. Jackie recognized Josie's behavior, and if you know her father you know why that burp would signify an open door to the absurd, even to the novice.

Jackie leaned into Josie, and mimicked her burp, looked at Josie, with them both wide eyed. Josie got such a sisterly smile, and just simply giggled. That gleam in her eye was only a gleam that Susie can recognize as a sister, and that I certainly recognize as a brother. What a sight to see, an occurrence to stumble on after a boring's day of work, while taking in the playoff season.

The exchange lasted several minutes, with Jackie continuing to giggle, with Josie eager to match her smile and giggles too. Back and forth they went, completely content to be engaged with each other as siblings I guess can do. I think Josie and Jackie will be great sisters.

Baseball is more than past time

You know the time is right when the major league baseball playoffs begin. The playoffs intersect with the change from summer to fall in the bluegrass state. During the spring the state is indeed about the grass, the flowers, and the fresh bloom. But the playoff season in Kentucky is about the change in colors of the leafs on the trees, the persuasion of the summer heat to the cool autumn nights, breathing the stress of the humid months into the cool evening air.

It's amazing the connection to the past time that can be felt having grown up with the baseball tradition. I am probably very fortunate, more so than most youngins' to have been the youngest of three boys. Some of my earliest memories are indeed of being at Eastern Little League in Owensboro.

The baseball tradition involved most everyone in my immediate family. That's what is so neat about my baseball connection. Of course my brothers and I have fond memories of our baseball years, but so does my mother, so did my father, my aunt and uncles, their children, and even some of my colleagues that I now work with in the community. There is something extra special about the baseball tradition that surpasses that of basketball, soccer, all of the other sports.

I have tried to make a personal commitment over the past few years to make myself sit down on a Sunday night to take in a Sunday Night baseball game with John Miller and Joe Morgan. I can still recall watching Joe Morgan play with the Cincinnati Reds. I cannot recall anyone to this day that had or has a quirkier batting style. He used to do this thing with his back batting arm (he was a switch hitter), that really serves no logic in terms of hitting style. It certainly had to be nothing more that habit, nervousness, or a way to fend off the demon spirits of strike out ghouls and hit batsmen. You ever see anyone mimick flatulence with their hand under their armpit? Call me crazy, but that's how Joe Morgan approached his batting sessions.

Baseball provides one of the very few organizational structures that nurtures the comfort of knowing right and wrong, but at the same time promoting a non-stressful, leisure atmosphere that simply puts one to sleep or forces one to relax and take in the daydream. You can look away for a moment during a game, miss something, and be able to come back and understand what has occurred in a short period of time. A little talent, a lot of practice, a little luck, and suficient patience can produce memories that will last a life time. Just ask my brother: no hitter in the semi-state. Just ask my family: the Gus Gesser ball diamond at Eastern Little League. Just ask me: go Red Sox, Keep the Faith.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

In the Beginning...

In the Beginning…

We’ll, I reckon I’ve been putting this off for at least 2 years. My excuse for not writing was that there never was time. But even now I still question as to why I feel or felt the need to write? I suspect that my interest in writing stretches back to those innocent and energetic days of my late high school and early college years. More specifically, my early years at the Owensboro Community College. Anyway…

So I now have two children and a lovely wife. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I’m sure my lovely Susan will chuckle once she reads these first two sentences of this paragraph, and likely will repeat the chuckle. Unfortunately I’m also short a father now. Back to what I mentioned in the first paragraph for I’m now reminded of another reason for the need and more importantly the inspiration to finally write. Former President Bill Clinton recently came out with an autobiography and was on the talk show circuit. My mom caught him, in fact we both did, when he was on the David Letterman show. I’m not sure about mom, but you wouldn’t catch me watching the Jay Leno show (you see, since he replaced Johnny Carson some….uh, well it’s been a while), unless of course Bill Clinton was on. Come to think of it, maybe Clinton (nor his wife) would appear on the Leno Show for similar reasons. Anyway, mom and I saw Clinton speaking of the writing process on the Letterman Show. He said that if you are 50 years old then you should make the commitment to sit down and capture your life story. He said that he too thought it was a daunting task, but after he committed to writing on a somewhat irregular basis he soon discovered the pleasure he experienced in recollecting his early childhood, adolescence, early adult and certainly his public life as an elected official in Arkansas and the President of the U.S.A. So mom told me over the phone that she was going to commit to writing. She showed me what she had “accomplished” the other day, hand written on paper. I quickly glanced at her beginnings, not wanting to ruin my pleasure of understanding her full story by taking one or two sentences. I looked to her and said, “Please make sure you write legibly so it can be interpreted”. I’m not sure she liked that remark.

Hence I find myself, maybe a couple of generations removed from the manner in which one’s story or stories are captured, typing away at my wife’s laptop, on what is now a quiet Sunday’s evening trying to find my way through the early beginnings of my writing. Josie (who is now a bit over 5 months old) hit the hay around 8:30pm. She was very tired tonight, so I’m hoping that she will be sleeping through the night. She usually does, we have been blessed that way. My older angel Jackie is still watching a movie (Sleeping Beauty). She likes (has to) watch a movie before she goes to bed each evening. We started that when she was younger, and well, I guess it’s a habit that has lasted longer than expected.

Sure I have written in various forms in the past. I began to find my writing form at the Owensboro Community College, probably in English and in Public Speaking. My writing certainly progressed through those years, through my baccalaureate education at Kentucky Wesleyan College, and then my graduate career at Western Kentucky University. My master’s thesis turned out to be near 200 pages. That structure of writing has certainly become my backbone in terms of writing style. But I must say that I have not taken on such a free form style, not fiction, but free form of thought, subject manner, and coordination of thought as I feel that I am now moving into. My writing has been so structured, due largely to the focus on educational style related to school and work. Not that I will choose to write in free from, devoid of meaning, coordination, and subject manner. On the contrary, I now recognize that what I’m setting out to do now is to let my writing foundation be indeed that, as I seek to explore what I have to offer now in the form of literary expression. I am not choosing to communicate a variety of thoughts and ideas that I have, that I feel finally needs to be captured, to flow through my fingers and into the electronic realm. Doesn’t ye olde pen and paper, rather pencil and paper sound more romantic?

This is not to suggest that I think that what I have to say matters. Well, in fact I do believe that what I have to say does indeed matter. If not to you, the reader, then maybe someone you know, or better yet, someone you do not know (maybe as of yet). I mention the latter because I do think that I will now venture into a sustained period of writing, in which I will capture beyond the file I’m saving to this flash drive so that my children may be amused by their father’s ramblings. Lest I say their children be amused as well.

Ah yes, their father’s ramblings. I know that as my Jackie becomes old enough (to read, to interpret, to define, and/or to understand) she will recall with me one of many of those “sayings” that she as a young lady has bestowed upon me as a young adult: “Daddy, you are so funny.” Shewwww, I mean after working on establishing my comedy routine with her over the past 4 years, I finally get the credit that her comedian father deserves. My dad would be so proud of me. I can feel him smiling with me.

So have you ever written? What’s funny is that once you sit down to write, the reason you sat down to write ultimately does not appear on your writing pad, laptop, or Sony mini disc recorder. Isn’t that a farce? My mind now thinks it’s so funny. It likes to deceive me at times, but affords me the patience I ask of it in my efforts to crack the egg of my need to write.

I’m so sure you see what I see. The struggle to stand up on my feet after venturing out onto the ice. Sure that’s a metaphor for my effort to write, and unless you are Susan or her older sister Ann you cannot attest to whether that is a truth…my struggle to stand up on my feet after venturing out onto the ice.

I know that Susan, the kids, and Susan’s mom have missed Ann and her kids for a while now. I was so happy to go ice skating with Ann and Andrew last Christmas. Susan couldn’t get on the ice with them, Jackie, and I. She had little Josie in the oven then.

Well, I’m thinking my writing is going to be just like my initial efforts at establishing my personal exercise routine: work your way up to 30 minutes each session, and try to do it at least three times a week. Damn those “medical experts” that came out with higher recommendations for DAILY exercise earlier this year. Well, regardless (irregardless is not a word) we all have to start somewhere.

I love you Dad. You too were so funny. In my heart and in my mind you are still always funny.

City’s low costs not a positive

Keith Lawrence reported in today’s Messenger-Inquirer Owensboro’s new ranking of being lowest among smallest metropolitan areas east of the Mississippi River for cost of doing business. The question to be asked regarding this ranking is this a good thing?


This is not a good thing in that local leaders can react to this news with an urgency to work with the Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Inc. to persuade businesses to come to Owensboro to do their work as a short term political necessity. Suffice it to say the Owensboro metropolitan area leadership simply does not do a good job of strategic planning, and planning in conjunction with the entire population. Planning in this community is left to the very small few, hampering the opportunity to tap into the larger community and working with the community at large in promoting opportunity for Owensboro.

This ranking is a good thing in that it is another opportunity for the leadership of Owensboro to do right by planning for the future of Owensboro. The planning approach that this community has taken, and continues to take is an outdated approach to community development. Community leaders once again have the tremendous opportunity of working with the community at large in a manner of dialogue and deliberation to move the community forward. Social and economic development simply cannot be seen as one person’s or one institution’s work. A tremendous error in planning has occurred and continues to occur in the Owensboro community: tunnel vision planning, whereby a single institution (local governments, economic development authority) do not consider the broad implications of ‘other’ institutional planning, while not planning with the community at large. Our problem institutional errors, such as job growth and job development, must be owned by the community at large. The way to make job growth, good job growth, responsible job growth, and equal job growth across economic sectors is to involve those actors and players of each economic sector, and community citizens at large to first determine where our community has been, where it currently is, and ultimately where our community WANTS to go. Residents will simply not work with the community to move in a direction if that is a direction they do not wish to go. If one believes this is apparent, which I do, then this situation is a reflection of poor local leadership.

Issues to consider

Education and the relationship of job growth to educational attainment were mentioned in the article. Judge Executive Reid Haire suggests that good paying jobs must be available before the educational level will increase. Others suggest the opposite, that the overall community educational level must increase before the good jobs will arive. But what appears to hamper our understanding of job growth (good paying jobs, sustainable employment, and responsible job growth) is our understanding of the dimensions of economic development. The aforementioned commentary on social and economic development can shed some light on this. Economic development and job growth simply does not rely on one cause to achieve the effect of development and growth. Education affects job growth, but so does health status of the community, the rate of crime, the demonstrable creativity of the community, the quality of life, and the niche that the community market plays. Currently, there is no visible no strategy that suggests an understanding of any of this. Rather what we have is the occasional lecturer or presenter at community events that are typically not public enough or open to the public (Rooster Booster or Leadership Owensboro), or editorials or letters to the editor will appear in the local newspaper that will shed some sort of light on the issue.

We as a community have not drawn the connections between these indicators and job growth, nor have we defined what our niche market is. Suffice it to say, with the changes in the tobacco economy our niche market has been in flux for the past decade or more. With a lack of a strong strategic vision then, our local government, economic development authority, and the local population has failed to move in a direction that is consistent with the vision of the community at large.

The lack of broad based, public oriented planning which taps into the will of the community at large has failed this community here in late 2004. A vision needs to be created, that is the community’s vision, and it needs to become the foundation for which everyone and every public and private group or institution pursues job growth, educational attainment, improvement in health status, creative opportunities for our citizens, and the creation of a niche market. Richard Florida's work on the creative class might serve as some insight.

The economic sector is certainly not dictated by strategy nor should it be. But an understanding of where we have been, where we are, where we want to go and where we will most likely be successful in going can certainly go a long way for creating a sense of direction for this community. Our community’s well being still suffers from the sundry elements of our lives such as low mean family incomes, family’s with multiple employment to maintain financial status, loads of debt for local citizens, a less than vibrant creative community, a lack of a meaningful invitation to participate and to become involved in local leadership, and most of all an unwillingness of the community leadership to do something different or to change our current path.

Check out our Census numbers to understand Owensboro a bit better.

Saturday, October 2, 2004


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Welcome to the Owensboro Blog. I hope you will come back and visit, as I and others explore the local dynamics and issues found in Owensboro, Kentucky.