~~~~~~

  • My Weather Forecast

    Morning Glory 31 by Harry LipsonWe do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather. Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.

    But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year. Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.

    I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it. It’s the gospel truth. We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference. The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.

    But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow. Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor. Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters. Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West. It rains a lot in Seattle. Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head. I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May; Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s. That’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Want to hear it. Of course you don’t. Not a chance, huh. Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.

    I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep. (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference). My mistake. Se la vie.

    As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis. 24/7/365.25 Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back. We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.

    Weather is perhaps the greatest difference separating one day from the next, from the next.P1010064

    I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue. I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.

    Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -

    Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Counting My Blessings

    HolidayAs the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings. Things could be worse. And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better. At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.” It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.

    With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.

    If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.

    I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.

    But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.

    It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.

    On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row. They almost got there. Again! Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.

    My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years. FinestKind.

    My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.

    My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.

    My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.

    I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.

    I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.

    I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.

    As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.

    And my dreams are fun to participate in. Generally speaking. They too are an adventure. Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important. As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”

    I can’t complain. I have been blessed. And there are blessings around every day. Some I take notice of.

    I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
    I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.

    I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached. It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing. On occasions, it can bring me to tears. I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose. My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne. I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there. Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
    Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
    Peace.
    H.


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Koji Uehara (Ooee)

    Koji UeharaThe Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.

    That is when, on June 21, the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.

    Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball. Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):

    Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63. That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.

    Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19. You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that. Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us. But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.

    Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters. Unheard of. That means the other 179 batters made “outs”. Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.

    Strike Outs: In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning. Unheard of. On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.

    Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him. As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long). Uehara has not lost a game.

    I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston. Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching. High five!, Ooee.

    Harry Lipson III for HarryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • What Is A Pickle?

    This crossed my mind as they say:

    What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” – Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • KG

    kg3My all time favorite athlete is leaving town.

    Going to another team in the twilight of his amazing career. Trading Celtic green for Brooklyn black.

    Leaving Boston for a borough of New York City.

    When Kevin Garnett eventually retires from the NBA, I believe that KG will think of himself as a Celtic, first and foremost.

    There have been several dozen unbelievable, game changing, ballplayers who wore the Celtic jersey. In my eyes, KG makes the all-time first team, along with Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell.

    Kevin Garnett gave all he had for the Boston Celtics.

    KG never mailed it in. He never took a night off.

    KG is profane. Yet, listening to Garnett, I always thought that he was the smartest professional athlete on the face of the earth. I mean that, sincerely.

    Stat-wise, Kevin Garnett has played more than 1,300 NBA games.
    He has been chosen as an All-Star 15 times.
    KG was chosen as NBA MVP. He won an Olympic Gold Medal.
    He has been the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
    He is the only player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steal, and 1500 blocks in their career.
    He is a career 50% shooter. In his long career, KG has averaged almost 20 points and over 10 rebounds per game.

    Now that he is leaving Boston, here are a few things about KG that I believe:

    He would likely prefer to walk on hot coals than lose a basketball game that mattered.

    He was always there for his teammates. He had their collective backs.

    Kevin Garnett was someone you wanted in your foxhole when things got tough.

    Pardon the cliches, but when you think of his game, words like sacrifice, drive, and dedication come to mind.

    To paraphrase another hero of mine, Bear Bryant, “KG weren’t nothing but a winner.”

    Off the court, to the extent that he was publicly visible, Kevin Garnett always seemed dignified, mature, and uncharacteristically soft-spoken.

    He is my favorite athlete of all time. Always will be. – Harry Lipson III, Boston


    _________________________________________________


  • My Heart

    rainb2My heart goes out to the good people of Oklahoma. My heart goes out to refugees. My heart goes out to all children who aren’t having a terrific childhood. My heart goes out to everyone in Boston who was injured in the bombings. My heart goes out to the homeless, to the hungry, to the abused. My heart goes out to the victims of bullying and to rape victims. My heart goes out to those who can’t make the next mortgage payment or cover next month’s rent.

    My heart keeps breaking and my feelings are often in tatters. I shutter and wince when a ferry goes down in waters off Bangladesh. I moan for every entombed miner, I grieve when trains collide, and I curl up in a ball when headlines of violent crimes keep streaming across the internet, day after day; month after month.

    So my heart requires daily transfusions of trees and flowers and the breeze on my face. My heart gets energy from babies and dogs, from Sam & Dave, Paul Simon, and the Southern Rock of Little Feat and The Allman Brothers Band.

    I draw upon shows like “Call The Midwife,” and actors like Denzel Washington and John Goodman. That is why I need the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Crimson Tide. Certainly, love from my own children fills my heart with happiness and pride. But like all parents, I worry for them. I worry about them. I try not to, but… I am their father and that is simply part of the job description.

    My heart is bolstered by every kindness and appreciation in all forms.

    My heart usually tells me that I am safe and things are all right. I know where my kids are. In my heart I know that fathers and mothers in Moore, Oklahoma felt just fine two days ago. It can all change in a heartbeat.

    So I am thankful. Meanwhile, tragedies keep happening. The News is one bad thing after another. Congress is crippled by partisan meanspiritedness. The floods, the earthquakes, the gas leaks, the rejections; the wishes that go ungranted, the prayers that go unanswered. I swallow it all in. I look for grace and for miracles.

    I live in a world that turns and burns. It is cruel and wondrous, bitter and sweet, impossible and entirely possible. It is probably the same for you as well. We write our own stories, to the extent that we can. But 2013 belongs to us all, and we catch the starfish with the seaweed. The bitter herb and the harosis. Poverty kills. Joblessness kills. Stupidity kills. We all want security and opportunity. We want a fair shake in life. My heart is full of hope and despairHarry Lipson III, 5-21-13


    _________________________________________________


  • ELEPHANT

    tufIt’s probably time for me to move on. The Boston Marathon is over. But as a Bostonian, I know that, at least for the moment, part of me is not going anywhere.

    Boston has picked itself up, dusted itself off.

    We are more than grateful for amazing outpouring of concern and support.

    To us, this is personal. And thank you for feeling exactly the same. We are all Bostonians.

    We are all Marathon runners.

    In the face of terrorism, it feels vulgar for me to devote my weekly scribble to the fine weather we’re enjoying. There is an elephant in the living room. There is a fucking elephant in here, and the weather is only the weather. – Harry Lipson – harryShots.com



    _________________________________________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • My Weather Forecast

    Morning Glory 31 by Harry LipsonWe do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather. Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.

    But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year. Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.

    I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it. It’s the gospel truth. We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference. The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.

    But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow. Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor. Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters. Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West. It rains a lot in Seattle. Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head. I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May; Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s. That’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Want to hear it. Of course you don’t. Not a chance, huh. Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.

    I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep. (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference). My mistake. Se la vie.

    As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis. 24/7/365.25 Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back. We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.

    Weather is perhaps the greatest difference separating one day from the next, from the next.P1010064

    I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue. I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.

    Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -

    Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Counting My Blessings

    HolidayAs the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings. Things could be worse. And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better. At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.” It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.

    With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.

    If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.

    I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.

    But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.

    It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.

    On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row. They almost got there. Again! Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.

    My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years. FinestKind.

    My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.

    My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.

    My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.

    I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.

    I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.

    I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.

    As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.

    And my dreams are fun to participate in. Generally speaking. They too are an adventure. Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important. As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”

    I can’t complain. I have been blessed. And there are blessings around every day. Some I take notice of.

    I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
    I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.

    I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached. It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing. On occasions, it can bring me to tears. I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose. My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne. I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there. Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
    Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
    Peace.
    H.


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Koji Uehara (Ooee)

    Koji UeharaThe Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.

    That is when, on June 21, the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.

    Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball. Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):

    Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63. That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.

    Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19. You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that. Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us. But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.

    Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters. Unheard of. That means the other 179 batters made “outs”. Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.

    Strike Outs: In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning. Unheard of. On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.

    Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him. As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long). Uehara has not lost a game.

    I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston. Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching. High five!, Ooee.

    Harry Lipson III for HarryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • What Is A Pickle?

    This crossed my mind as they say:

    What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” – Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • KG

    kg3My all time favorite athlete is leaving town.

    Going to another team in the twilight of his amazing career. Trading Celtic green for Brooklyn black.

    Leaving Boston for a borough of New York City.

    When Kevin Garnett eventually retires from the NBA, I believe that KG will think of himself as a Celtic, first and foremost.

    There have been several dozen unbelievable, game changing, ballplayers who wore the Celtic jersey. In my eyes, KG makes the all-time first team, along with Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell.

    Kevin Garnett gave all he had for the Boston Celtics.

    KG never mailed it in. He never took a night off.

    KG is profane. Yet, listening to Garnett, I always thought that he was the smartest professional athlete on the face of the earth. I mean that, sincerely.

    Stat-wise, Kevin Garnett has played more than 1,300 NBA games.
    He has been chosen as an All-Star 15 times.
    KG was chosen as NBA MVP. He won an Olympic Gold Medal.
    He has been the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
    He is the only player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steal, and 1500 blocks in their career.
    He is a career 50% shooter. In his long career, KG has averaged almost 20 points and over 10 rebounds per game.

    Now that he is leaving Boston, here are a few things about KG that I believe:

    He would likely prefer to walk on hot coals than lose a basketball game that mattered.

    He was always there for his teammates. He had their collective backs.

    Kevin Garnett was someone you wanted in your foxhole when things got tough.

    Pardon the cliches, but when you think of his game, words like sacrifice, drive, and dedication come to mind.

    To paraphrase another hero of mine, Bear Bryant, “KG weren’t nothing but a winner.”

    Off the court, to the extent that he was publicly visible, Kevin Garnett always seemed dignified, mature, and uncharacteristically soft-spoken.

    He is my favorite athlete of all time. Always will be. – Harry Lipson III, Boston


    _________________________________________________


  • My Heart

    rainb2My heart goes out to the good people of Oklahoma. My heart goes out to refugees. My heart goes out to all children who aren’t having a terrific childhood. My heart goes out to everyone in Boston who was injured in the bombings. My heart goes out to the homeless, to the hungry, to the abused. My heart goes out to the victims of bullying and to rape victims. My heart goes out to those who can’t make the next mortgage payment or cover next month’s rent.

    My heart keeps breaking and my feelings are often in tatters. I shutter and wince when a ferry goes down in waters off Bangladesh. I moan for every entombed miner, I grieve when trains collide, and I curl up in a ball when headlines of violent crimes keep streaming across the internet, day after day; month after month.

    So my heart requires daily transfusions of trees and flowers and the breeze on my face. My heart gets energy from babies and dogs, from Sam & Dave, Paul Simon, and the Southern Rock of Little Feat and The Allman Brothers Band.

    I draw upon shows like “Call The Midwife,” and actors like Denzel Washington and John Goodman. That is why I need the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Crimson Tide. Certainly, love from my own children fills my heart with happiness and pride. But like all parents, I worry for them. I worry about them. I try not to, but… I am their father and that is simply part of the job description.

    My heart is bolstered by every kindness and appreciation in all forms.

    My heart usually tells me that I am safe and things are all right. I know where my kids are. In my heart I know that fathers and mothers in Moore, Oklahoma felt just fine two days ago. It can all change in a heartbeat.

    So I am thankful. Meanwhile, tragedies keep happening. The News is one bad thing after another. Congress is crippled by partisan meanspiritedness. The floods, the earthquakes, the gas leaks, the rejections; the wishes that go ungranted, the prayers that go unanswered. I swallow it all in. I look for grace and for miracles.

    I live in a world that turns and burns. It is cruel and wondrous, bitter and sweet, impossible and entirely possible. It is probably the same for you as well. We write our own stories, to the extent that we can. But 2013 belongs to us all, and we catch the starfish with the seaweed. The bitter herb and the harosis. Poverty kills. Joblessness kills. Stupidity kills. We all want security and opportunity. We want a fair shake in life. My heart is full of hope and despairHarry Lipson III, 5-21-13


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  • ppThe best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” – Mark Twain

     

    from the harryShots.com Good Quotations


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  • tubaBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Seuss

     

    …from the harryShots.com “GoodQuotations”


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  • swfThe Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself” - Benjamin Franklin

     

    from the harryShots.com Good Quotations


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  • rainbAn economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s” – Will Rogers

     

     

    from the harryShots.com “Quotes of What”


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  • SHIPWe cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails

     

     

    …from the harryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • FUNDon’t cry because its over.

    Smile because it happened.

    - Dr. Seuss

     

    the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • convrecent bumper sticker:

    You should agree with me

    It will save SO much time

    …the harryShots.com “Quotes O’ Whatever”


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  • lumaAn eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind” - Mahatma Gandhi

     

     

    …from the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • MANThe shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time” – Richard Cech

     

    …from the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • ukeI knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture” – Bob Uecker

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • hudI laugh so hard ’til the tears run down my leg - a rare Delta Blues joke, from the seminal blues tune, Silverado in My Pathway

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • east“Everywhere is within walking distance… if you have the time”

     

    from the HarryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • brightMay the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most

     

    from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


    _________________________________________________


  • pigProcrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday

     

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • canA candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

     

    …from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • ballsI can only please one person per day. Today isn’t your day…and tomorrow don’t look good either” – anonymous

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • maskPeace begins with a smile - Mother Teresa

     

    The HarryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • sonny

    shines2

    If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing

    rock and roll or any other form of popular music” —-
    Keith Richards

    …from The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever

    .


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  • edEvery day is Earth Day

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • marshorI’ve chosen to treat my life more like a party than something to stress about” - Martin Short

     

    The HarryShots.com Quote of the Day


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  • halphFrisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck” -
    George Carlin

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • James Hood Was Here

    FosterIt is reported that James Hood died today. from THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS 1-17-2013:-

    { “James Hood, who faced down George Wallace’s stand in the schoolhouse door to help integrate the University of Alabama 50 years ago, died Thursday afternoon at the age of 70, in his hometown of Gadsden. James did a great thing for the University of Alabama,” said E. Culpepper Clark, former dean of UA’s College of Communication & Information Sciences, and author of “The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama.”

    “With Vivian Malone, he liberated the university to serve all the people of Alabama and thereby join the ranks of the nation’s flagship universities.”

    Hood and Vivian Malone Jones, who died in 2005, attempted to register and pay fees June 11, 1963, at UA’s Foster Auditorium, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Gov. George Wallace, surrounded by a phalanx of state troopers, barred them, attempting to keep his infamous inaugural promise of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Later that day, Wallace backed down after President John F. Kennedy federalized the National Guard. }

    JAMES HOOD WAS HERE. Thank you Sir. Lord, may he rest in peace.HL


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  • bayLife can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard

    The HarryShots.com Quotes o’ Whatevah


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  • How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.” – Benjamin Disraeli




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  • HAPHappiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens” – Andy Rooney

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • goalposts-150x150I’m happy now!” - Nick Saban, 3-time National Champion Football Coach of The University of Alabama




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  • No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant




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  • May 2013 bring good health and happiness to all my friends; I wish you the very best.
    hcts Let us renew our faith in ourselves, and in each other, and let safety and well-being be a given for everyone, everywhere. Happy New Year. – Harry


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  • TPMy religion is very simple. My religion is kindness“. – Dalai Lama

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha




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  • My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.” – Mark Twain

    …from The HarryShots.com “Quotes”


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  • gggNo one has ever drowned themselves in sweat” – Coach Lou Holtz

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes


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  • chGreat minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    The HarryShots.com Quotes


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  • bbhMost American children suffer too much mother and too little father” – Gloria Steinem

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha (whatever)


    _________________________________________________


  • Electricity is really just organized lightning” - George Carlin

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage” – President Teddy Roosevelt

     

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha (Whatever)


    _________________________________________________


  • Think off-center” – George Carlin

     

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


    _________________________________________________


  • Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss - Black Elk

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


    _________________________________________________


  • Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


    _________________________________________________


  • Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude” – Dale Carnegie

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever




    _________________________________________________


  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” – The Dalai Lama

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of WhAtEvEr


    _________________________________________________


  • Imagination rules the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte

     

     

    The HarryShots QuOtEs oF wHaTeVeR


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  • Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated” -  Coach Lou Holtz

     

     

    The HarryShots qUoTeS oF WhAtEvEr


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  • When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

     

     

     

    the HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • I am easily satisfied with the very best” – Sir Winston Churchill

     

     

    the HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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.

  • “PAGE ONE:

    INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES”

    a documentary (premiered at Sundance – 2011)

    A very interesting movie about a very interesting subject. The question posed was (paraphrased): “Do we need the Grey Lady in an age of internet news, instant information, tweeting, the blogisphere, round the clock cable news channels, among the myriad ways we find out about the news?”

    There are those who see the New York Times, always “the newspaper of record” as either anachronistic now or soon to be so. In this digital age where everybody is a reporter and we all have cellphones, cameras, and are “tapped in” to what is happening, how important and useful, relevant is the NYT and its worldwide bureaus, staff writers far flung around the globe, and the thousands more in New York City who shape and deliver a newspaper on a daily basis?

    Michael Kingsley of the New York Times panned the movie saying it was “all over the place” and “it does little to illuminate that struggle, preferring instead a constant parade of people telling the camera how dreadful it would be if The Times did not survive.”

    David Carr, the Times media and culture columnist, is the man who gets the lion’s share of the face time. Frankly, I don’t think the Times could find a better advocate, one who can relate to the question of “relevance.” David is a very interesting man, casually impressive in an offhand but on-point way. I found the movie engrossing and highly interesting.

    So, I’ll disagree, rather strongly, with Michael Kingsley and say that this is well worth a couple of hours, if only to see behind the veil and watch decisions being made and the paper put together. I give it “five highfives” “and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • Ratatouille

    Ratatouille (rat-a-too-ee) is just plain fun to watch. For adults and kids alike. From Disney/Pixar studios and the creative people behind Cars and The Incredibles. Paris never looked so beautiful at night. Voicing by Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Janeane Garofolo, Peter O’Toole, Brad Garrett, among a host of others. Light, friendly, and charming, although set in a Paris restaurant’s kitchen that is anything but. As improbable as a story can get, but it’s animation, so relax take off your critic’s hat, and let yourself be entertained.

    I give Ratatouille five highfives, and and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
    stars George Clooney, John Goodman, John Tunturro, Tim Blake, Holly Hunter, Chris Thomas King and Charles Durning

    From the creative minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. Which means its both funny and good.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    click to buy the mp3

     

    We start out with a chain gang prison break at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm Penitentiary in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta. The year is 1937. The film is said to be loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey, but you sure don’t need to be a Greek scholar to enjoy the hell out of this great movie. The soundtrack won the Grammy award and is good to the very last “Amen.”

    We’ve got buried treasure, wanted prisoners trying to stay wanted, a scene at the Mississippi “crossroads of musical fame”, the Ku Klux Klan, Mississippi state elections, and a great deal more to feast your tired eyes upon. John Goodman is extraordinary as always in his cream colored Southern business suit and suspenders. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? is a great movie and I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn. HL


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  • OUT OF AFRICA

    starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep (1985)

    About once every year when I am restless and looking for something good, really good, to watch, I reach for one of the all time great movies, Out of Africa with maybe the finest work ever done by both Meryl and Bob.

    This is an epic movie. It won the big awards as it should have: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Set Decoration, Best Musical Score, Best Sound, and Best Screenwriting.

    Further, Out of Africa was nominated for: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Costume, and Best Film Editing

    Suffice it to say that Out of Africa is a triumph of the human spirit. It is grand, it is large; a tour de force and very well worth your seeing, or seeing again. I love the scene where Meryl’s character, Baroness Von Blixen surprises a lion in the Kenyan brush. She implores Robert Redford to shoot the beast and the dialogue and tension are memorable. And that is just one of a great many rather extraordinary scenes we are part of, in this riveting and well told story. I give it five HighFives, “and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • MASKED AND ANONYMOUS

    Want to see the coolest movie you never heard of? Want to see a movie with a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Bruce Dern, Christian Slater, Fred Ward, Angela Bassett, Cheech Marin, and stars Bob Dylan?

    Then you want to seek out an amazing piece of cinema called “Masked and Anonymous” (2003). The soundtrack is sensational. John Goodman channels The Big Lebowski to a certain extent. The dialogue is incredible. Val Kilmer is at his peak in his brief but unforgettable cameo.

    The poster at left is a Spanish language promotional poster.

    I give this film five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story (2009)
    Two brothers who hated one another and wrote the most wonderful songs. Songs you sing, songs you hum, songs your kids (grandkids) sing or will be singing a hundred years from now. The two brothers, Robert (Bob) and Richard (Dick) Sherman collaborated uneasily, but wrote songs such as:

    It’s A Small World * A Spoonful of Sugar * Chim Chim Cher-ee * Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious * Winnie The Pooh * Chitty Chitty Bang Bang * Tall Paul (a pop hit on the Billboard charts) * You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine) (another Billboard chart topper). Their list of songs is as long as your arm. Walt Disney recognized their talents early on and they were integral parts of the Walt Disney empire. They won Academy Awards, Grammies, Presidential Medals of Freedom, and more.

    The movie is a documentary about their careers and lives, as told by their adult children. This is a story of two families, fame, creative genius, rivalry, dysfunction on one level and acclaim on another. It is truly amazing, award-winning documentary and definitely worth seeing. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story is a HarryShots.com Ramble recommendation, I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • Barney’s Version

    I am a fan of Paul Giamatti so it was a treat to stumble on Barney’s Version (2010) not long ago. If there was press and media hyping this movie, I totally missed it. You probably did as well, ’cause I think it was minimal at best. So if you are looking for a something not too taxing or heavy handed, may I recommend Barney’s Version, with a nice role for Dustin Hoffman as icing on the cake.

    Rosamund Pike is magnificent to watch. Bruce Greenwood, Minnie Driver are both in the cast. “Barney” time travels back and forth over a handful of decades, weaving a remarkable and quirky story but a cool one. I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • SOUTHERN BELLES

    Stars Anna Faris and Laura Breckenridge. Looking for a good movie to rent? I’m recommending Southern Belles (2005). Might be hard to find, but good stuff often is. It is a little Georgia small town slice of life picture. Numerous memorable scenes and dialogue. It’s a lot of fun. Rated H for happy. I rate it Five HighFives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Here’s To A Wonderful 2012 !!!

I want to wish you, my readers, the happiest and healthiest in 2012.  May those dreams you wish for,  come true, and be everything you always imagined.  May those dreams you keep to yourself add interest and meaning to your life.  May you find things working out in your favor.  If I could grant wishes, I would like you to all find satisfaction and contentment in the new year.  Laughing and crying make us better people.

Be brave. Be courageous.  Be forgiving.  First and foremost, of yourself.  Show kindness and patience to those closest to you.

Kick up your heels once in a while.   The writer Tom Robbins said, in  Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, that “taking small excursions when invited out of the blue, is God’s way of having angels ask you to dance.” (I paraphrase)

Let’s worry less.   My wish, my resolution, my hope is that we will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  I look back asking for forgiveness.  I look forward with guarded optimism asking for all good things.  I hope the world finally recognizes your genius and mine.  I hope we rise to all occasions and notice when angels are inviting us to dance.  Happy New Year everyone.     HL

Boston Convention Center

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

“Sing Sing With A Swing” by Benny Goodman

 

Click here to download this mp3 at Amazon.com

One of the greatest big band jazz tunes is Benny Goodman doing one of his signature instrumentals, a variation of the great “Sing, Sing, Sing,” here is Benny and the Band doing “Sing, Sing, With A Swing” which is today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Enjoy.  HL

December Morn

December Morn

Sugar Maples

Sugar Maples

“Pachelbel Canon” by The Canadian Brass

 

Click here to download mp3 at Amazon.com

Today’s post Christmas, HarryShots Song of the Day is The Canadian Brass performing “Pachelbel Canon in D.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

Light on the Lake

Light on Water

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to All

Mark E.

I found a name in the obits that jumped out at me last week.  It took me back to my freshman year in college at the University of Alabama where I was a new freshman pledge in a fraternity.

Long story, short; I was hazed, nearly every day, for the duration of my freshman year in college.  Mark E. was the Hazer in Chief.  There was Animal House-ish hazing, but plenty worse than that.  Mark E. liked to get in my face and shout, up close and personal.  He played the part of the drill sergeant in the movie that was my life back when I was a freshman pledge.  I was warned repeatedly that If I touched him once, I would be blackballed.  He  got a kick out of downgrading me in front of everyone.  The hazing was both verbal and physical.  I duckwalked the halls of my frat house on a regular basis, to his amusement, and that of others (at age 55, I had two total knee replacements).  I was paddled, hard, on occasions.  There were the usual push-ups.  They got pretty imaginative.   I provided entertainment to a few upperclass assholes.  Most of my pledge brothers were hazed in a slightly amusing, once-in-a-while way.  Not me, I got the full metal jacket hazing.  This “Brother” (upperclassman), Mark E. was the one who died last week.  It was his name that I read in the obituaries of the Birmingham News.  It said he was 65.

With the hazing, I suppose that I could have de-pledged and quit the fraternity.  I heard that from him, and many others, all the time.  I was their whipping boy.  It was not just Mark E. who hazed me, but he was the worst.

But I stuck with it.  I kept my anger in check and dealt with it all.  No one in the fraternity ever intervened on my behalf, or stopped it from happening.  A number of upperclass Brothers privately spoke with me, some saying that I should quit for my own good.  They said “why take it.  Just quit.”

I never waivered, never strongly considered leaving.  Also, I never told my family.  I didn’t tell anyone.  Everyone in the fraternity saw it go on.  A handful of my pledge brothers had my back and did what they could to help me through it.   I decided that I was in for the long haul and a long haul it was.  I was humiliated on a regular basis and I could not fight back.  It was ritual hazing 1950s-1960s style.  But I endured and hung in there.  Should I have stayed, I think yes.  Would I put up with it now, not for five minutes.  But I was seventeen years old, a freshman in college, and I toughed it out.

At the end of the year, on the night of Initiation into the fraternity, every pledge was secretly voted on by the Brotherhood.  As pledges, we were in the basement and were brought upstairs, one at a time, blindfolded.  There was a widespread belief that I was going to be blackballed.  One down vote by a Brother was all it would take.   I had no idea if I would get in or not.  The Brothers had hung that over our heads all year.

I was blindfolded by two Brothers who led me up the stairs, one holding onto me under each arm.  I was marched into the Chapter Room.  Even though I was blindfolded, I could tell the lights were off or very low.  I was spoken to by the chapter president, Alan A.   He was standing right next to me, and he asked me how bad I wanted in. Then I was  jostled and there was a lot of shoving and yelling.  I heard them all yelling that if I wanted in, I had to “go through” Mark E.; literally take him on.  Someone removed the blindfold, I saw I was surrounded by all the Brothers,  and I looked around and found him.

I charged him wildly with all the pent up frustration of the whole year of hazing.  I was scared, enraged, unbelievably angry, and I really went after him.  It took a bunch of them to hold me back before I got to him.   There was a lot of cursing and shouting while they were trying to hold me down.  Finally I heard them telling me over and over that I was IN.  It took a moment for me to realize they were laughing and clapping me on the back and telling me I was a Brother and that I had made it.  They let go of me and asked me shake hands with Mark E., which I did hesitantly and reluctantly.

After my freshman year, I had a truly wonderful time in the fraternity. I knew I had earned respect for taking it and being strong through the hazing. It turned out to be a great life experience. Looking back at college, I laughed a lot, I had lots of friends. It was the time of my life. I would not trade it for anything. That was in the late 1960s, in Alabama, where the Greek fraternity system was the center of social life on our campus.  I totally related to the frat house dances in  Animal House.  I partied to a bunch of Otis Days.

So Mark E. died last week.  I never spoke to him or saw him after college.  Obviously, I never forgot him. I can’t forgive him, but I have not had malice toward him for decades.  I know who he was.  My bitterness faded away a long time ago.

Reading his obituary, I was surprised to learn he served in the Vietnam War. He apparently had no wife, kids, or close family.  The paper said his closest relative was a cousin.  They didn’t say much else other than he loved Bama athletics, Broadway shows, and horse racing.

Having outlived him and knowing that his life is over, I am not exactly sure how I feel about it all.  The best I can come up with is that I finally feel sorry for him.  Maybe that is payback enough.  HL

Nature’s Christmas Card

Nature's Christmas Card

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

 

Click here to download song at Amazon.com

Back again with the Mormom Tabernacle Choir, except this time it is the Mormon Tabernacle Hand Bell Choir with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

The Promise

The Promise

“Suo Gan” by John Williams, from the movie soundtrack of Empire of the Sun

 

Click here to download the mp3 of Suo Gan, by John Williams, from the sountrack of Empire of the Sun, via Amazon.com

The greatest living composer, John Williams, adapted “Suo Gan” for the sountrack to the Spielberg movie, Empire of the Sun.  There are many versions of Suo Gan.  To my ear, none rival or compare to this moving version of this incredible song.  I give it my highest recommendation and it is today’s Harry Shots Song of the HoliDays.  Enjoy.  HL

Autumn in Massachusetts

Autumn in Massachusetts

Christmas Medley by Placido Domingo

 

Placido Domingo at his very best, pours himself into this Medley of Christmas Carols.  Included in this song are Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wencelas, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and the 1st Noel.  Enjoy the Christmas Medley as today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  HL

 

The End of the War in Iraq/ Now What Next?

American combat troops crossed into Kuwait last night, and the War in Iraq officially came to an end.   I am profoundly struck by the quiet, “ho-hum” nature of this news.

The Iraq War was among our nation’s longest.  The cost was incredibly high.  Far too high in lives lost, lives destroyed, and in “treasure” as they say.  Lies, and the aggression of the Bush 43 administration, including George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney boldly and with malice aforethought, deceived the American people and the world, in taking us to war.

The War, and the manner in which we entered into it, was Topic One for years in the American dialogue.  Our leaving last night barely seemed to be noticed.  No agate type headlines, no breaking news bulletins interrupting our football games, and TV re-runs.

Most of the “democracy we established” in Iraq will largely evaporate.  Iran will fill the void.  Bombings and regular acts of terror in Iraq will become commonplace.  Kurds will try to reassert their independence.

We are working/hoping for regime change in Iran.  Israel and/or a Western Coalition/United States will, at some point in the short term, strategically bomb numerous Iranian nuclear facilities.  It will ignite the region in anti-Israeli/anti -American fervor.  It may lead to another Arab-Israeli war.  At the very least, Israel will come under withering criticism, rocket attacks, and acts of terror.  The Arab “street” will erupt in bitterness toward Israel and the U.S.

The War in Iraq was a great failure.  The next chapter will be far more important in determining meaningful long term peace in the entire Middle East and beyond.

True peace, honest self governance, equality, safety, security, and the chance of a decent life are goals to which most in the Middle East aspire.  Someday Peace will come.  That is a very long way from where we are as 2012 begins.

Nevertheless, tonight the War in Iraq officially ends and that, for damn sure, is very good news.     HL

 

 

Sky Flyer

Sky Flyer

“Last Month of the Year” by the Tarbox Ramblers

 

Click here to download mp3 of “Last Month of the Year”, at Amazon.com         

The Tarbox Ramblers originally came out of the Cambridge, MA music scene.  They have a raw hard blues sound which is fairly primitive and harkens back to Otha Turner, but as a bues rock band, if you can imagine that.  I love their hard driven “Last Month of the Year” an old African-American church/gospel hymn.  Done here like no other, it is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Closing for the Winter

Closing for the Winter

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by John Starling

 

Click here to download the mp3 of this song, at Amazon.com

John Starling is a fine artist and his version of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” from the album, Sugar Plums:  Holiday Tunes from Sugar Hill, is today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

Wind Powered Tall Ship

Wind Powered Tall Ship

“The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting by An Open Fire) by Mel Torme

 

Click here to download this song at Amazon.com

 

The Christmas Song” was co-written by Mel Torme, who made this his signature song.  Back in 1944, Mel wrote this with pal, Bob Wells on a scorching summer day in Southern California.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  They were trying to think “cool thoughts” and came up with the whole song in less than an hour and a half.  Not bad.

Christmas carols don’t have to be old to be great (unless you consider 1944 old, which it certainly is not).  So here is Mel Torme singing his original song which is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

 

 

Almost Christmas at Walden Pond

Almost Christmas (at Walden Pond)

Reflecting: Walden Pond

Walden Pond

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by Faith, Family, and Friends

 

Click to download the song at Amazon.com

Not sure where I ran across this group, but I’m glad to have found them.  I am unsure if they are a group in and of themselves, or a larger group effort from various musicians.  Here is a great version of the wonderful Christmas carol, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and it is today’s HarryShots.com Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Christian Science- Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy

The Brussel Sprout Kid

The Brussel Sprout Kid       (EXPLORE)

Check Out The Pilot

Wheels Up.  American Eagle out of 500 ft.  Check out the pilot.

Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

“The Holly and The Ivy” by The New York Choral Artists

 

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The Holly and The Ivy” is believed to have been written and first performed in the early 1700s.  No one knows its author, but it was published in England, which makes sense because this song is of Gaelic/GBR roots.  I am told that holly and ivy were both worshipped as long ago as The Druids, which is going back a long way.

This version, today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay is sung by the New York Choral Artists, from their album “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

“Silver Bells” by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely

 

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Margaret Whiting was a very popular singer in the 1940s and 1950s.  She died this year and I pay homage to her by making her version of “Silver Bells” our HarryShots Song of the Day.  Interestingly, Margaret’s father was a well known songwriter (“Hooray for Hollywood”) and she was performing for Johnny Mercer at the age of 7.

Silver Bells” was first heard at the movies.  Bob Hope sang it on the big screen.  Bing Crosby was the first to record “Silver Bells” and it is now a Christmas classic.  Enjoy  HL

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Roanoke Road

Roanoke Road

“Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops

 

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Well it becomes the Christmas Holidays when Arthur Fiedler is on the old turntable leading his beloved Boston Pops in Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”  Anderson, a Cambridge native, and Maestro Fiedler had a special working relationship over the years, and it was many a Leroy Anderson piece that debuted with the Boston Pops.

Sleigh Ride” is a great picker upper and crowd pleaser, and it is today’s HarryShots Song of the Holidays.  Enjoy.  HL

Tough to Tackle

Tough to Tackle

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by Jerry Douglas

 

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Not only is this one of my favorite Holiday songs, this version is by Jerry Douglas, the finest dobro player this side of Timbuktu.  The entire album is one to cherish, and it is hard to pick one song from the record.  That being said, here is today’s HarryShots Song for the Day, Jerry Douglas and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”  HL

The Three Pumpkins

The Three Pumpkins

“Go Tell It On the Mountain” by Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops

 

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Well, here we go with the first of our twenty-four Holiday Songs running from December 2 through December 25.  We are starting out with Erik Kunzel at the

baton, directing the wonderful Cinncinnati Pops that Maestro Kunzel was so instrumental (pun intented) in bringing to prominence.  One of my favorite conductors and one of America’s most energetic during his long career, I honor Erik, the Cincinnati Pops, and the great Afro-American spiritual that is “Go Tell It On theMountain,” today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Spread some holiday cheer, y’all.  HL

In December The HarryShots Songs of the Day Will Focus On Superb Holiday Music

For December, the HarryShots Songs of the Day will be exclusively featuring wonderful holiday music.  I have chosen my favorite songs to share with you and I hope it brightens your season.  Some of the songs are well known and popular.  You’ll here the best version of those songs.  Some of the songs are not so well known and again I will choose the good stuff, that I hope you will enjoy.

We cover a lot of musical ground here at HarryShots and the holiday music will be varied as well.  The daily song selection will come from such artists as the Morman Tabernacle Choir, Margaret Whiting, Buddy Clark, Patty Loveless, Dan Crary, John Starling, Jerry Douglas, Yo Yo Ma, Robin Petrie, Bryan Bowers,  the Philadelphia Brass, Leroy Anderson and the Boston Pops, the Harlem Parlour Musicians, Peter Rowan, John Williams, Stile Antico, The Elizabethan Singers, Celtica among others through the month of December, which will conclude with a daily variation of “Auld Lang Syne” between December 26 and New Years Day.

I hope that you will each drop by daily during December for a taste of my favorite holiday music.

Happy Holidays,

Harry

A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault“.   -  John Henry Newman

Sunlight in the Forest

Sunlight in a Forest Woods

“Love’s Old Sweet Song” by Thurl Ravencroft and The Mellomen

 

Click here to download “Love’s Old Sweet Song” at Amazon.com

“Love’s Old Sweet Song” is what my Mother sang to me as a bedtime lullaby when I was a little tyke.  I remember this song with all of the fondness and all of the nostalgia my heart can hold.  It is one of my favorites for purely sentimental reasons.  “Love’s Old Sweet Song” was probably the first song I ever heard for obvious reasons.

Today would have been my Mom’s 91st birthday.  Sadly, she passed away in 1971.  So this one is for you, Mom.  Happy Birthday.  Today’s HarryShots Song of the Day is “Love’s Old Sweet Song” sung barbarshop quartet style by The Mellomen with Thurl Ravencroft.  Oh my.  HL

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