Monday, July 14, 2014

In the News 1

While I have not touched an actual newspaper in some time, I do skim through the news headlines online each day. There is always something that catches my attention, whether it involves human conflict, a human interest piece, the sports wrap, or just the usual absurdities. In this new series, I carve out a space for my opinions, reminiscences, or comments.

Goodbye to Tony Gwynn - Tony Gwynn played 20 seasons as the right fielder for the San Diego Padres. He was a notably skillful baseball player. I remember at one point late in his career, someone told me that he could play a full season, not get a single hit, and his lifetime batting average would still be above 0.300. For many years, from my late teens until my mid-30s, I watched countless of his highlights on SportsCenter. That kind of regular presence over such an extended period, built up strong associations that kind of linked him with that time of my life. Also, somehow, it always seems to give you pause to reflect when the sports stars that you grew up with pass on. Tony died due from cancer on June 16.

Goodbye to Casey Kasem - Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s one of my usual Saturday morning rituals was to listen to Casey Kasem's radio program, American Top 40. In the 70s Casey's velvety smooth voice penetrated through the tinny speaker of my small AM transistor radio. In the 80s, Casey transitioned over to the FM dial. I can close my eyes and still hear his backup singers belting out "Casey's coast to coast" between the countdown songs, the stories, and the long-distance dedications. His program was a very happy memory from my childhood. Of course, the fact that Casey Kasem also was the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo, one of my favorite cartoons of all time, just increases my fondness for him. Casey died from complications of Parkinson's Disease on June 15.