From Bill Bryson (another favorite) and his ONE SUMMER (1927). This was the year of Babe Ruth and his herculean 60 home runs:
•”… let us note in passing that even with the benefit of steroids most modern baseball players couldn’t hit as many home runs as Babe Ruth on hotdogs.”
•” throwing at batters was a common strategy accepted by all. Burleigh Grimes of the Brooklyn Dodgers was famously bad tempered. He set a record of sorts by once throwing at a batter in the on-deck circle.”
Pat Conroy is certainly an American favorite particularly a Southern American favorite of mine, and legions. One of his new books, MY READING LIFE, details his choices, love of reading them, and thanking his “reading mentor”, one of his high school teachers. One would be wise to consult this inside “guide.”
One comment by Conroy stands out as I write this: “IF THERE IS A PROFESSION MORE VALUABLE IN THIS LIFE THAN TEACHING, I WISH SOMEONE WOULD TELL ME WHAT IT IS BEFORE I DIE.”
Filling out “the brackets” have become an American ritual. Two guys took this further in their book entitled BRACKETOLOGY. Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir took 64 items, or the size of the basketball brackets, and filled them in tournament fashion that played down to one winner, or champion, in each category. This is fun and unique work. I have listed some of finalists from a few of their brackets:
• Moments from NCAA tournament history: Laettner over Texas Western (Now, you see!) •Where were you moments: 9/11 over JFK?
• Jock films: Raging Bull over Field of Dreams.
• Leonard Elmore books: Kill Shot over Swag.
• Golf swing thoughts: Focus on target over stay smooth and balanced.
• Marital arguments: “That’s the dumbest way to stack a dishwasher” over “When are we getting married?” (That surprised me, but so have a lot of my basketball picks).
• “HIP”: Miles Davis over “Young Bob Dylan”. “Young Bob” ousted “Old Bob Dylan” in the semi- finals. (Pictures young, old Dylan)