J. Parham’s “Ideal Book List” (44)

A movie, “Bernie”, and a book “My Ideal Bookshelf” by my son Dan’s friend, Jane Mount have prompted me into a couple of comments, etc. The sound track of “Bernie”brought back memories of a childhood’s moments in music in a southern baptist church. Thus, the “HYMNS TEST” post. Next, having admired “My Ideal Bookshelf”, I have listed some of the books I have enjoyed and benefitted from.

(1) Lyrics (1962-2001), by Bob Dylan
(2) A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
(3) Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
(4) Sports in America, by James Michener
(5) Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
(6) Chesapeake, Michener
(7) The Drifters, by Michener
(8) The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
(9) My Losing Season, Pat Conroy
(10) The Little Red Book of Golf, by Harvey Penick
(11) The Short Game Bible, by Dave Pelz
(12) Centennial, by Michener
(13) Inside Tennis, by Jim Leighton
(14) The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
(15) The Synonym Finder, by T.J. Rodale
(16) The Legend of Bagger Vance, by Steven Pressfield
(17) Cyclone Country, by Russell Rawlings
(18) Stikky Night Skies, Lawrence Holt Books
(19) Shit My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern
(20) Chronicles, by Bob Dylan
(21) The Covenant, Michener
(22) Mexico, by Michener
(23) Fire in the Hole, by Elmore Leonard
(24) The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
(25) A Season on the Brink, by John Feinstein
(26) On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
(27) The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis
(28) Texas, by Michener
(29) The Fifties, by David Halberstam
(30) The Awakening, by Karl Fleming
(31) Blood Done Signed My Name, by Timothy Tyson
(32) Catch 22, by Joseph Heller
And finally and for fun,
(33) The Final Four of Everything (Bracketology), by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir…

K.The Juke Box (30)

My first job paid $4600 a year in 1964. The only affordable housing I could find was a back room at Mae Hollowell’s Beauty Shop. A plumber named Luther Goff occupied the other rented room. Luther liked philosophy aided by Ancient Age and whiskey, “Sex won’t kill you, but running after it will wear you down.”

Joe Robinson, Carolina tight-end on the 1963 Gator Bowl, was rooming with a Tar Heel family. They charged him $5 a week. Joe and I decided to look for an affordable bachelor’s pad.

I found one. In a new concept for Wilson, North Carolina, Briarcliff Apartments were new and quite nice. My good friend, Jean Peake, suggested I move in with a guy named Phil Nordan. Phil was a liquor salesman.

We were having a great time, car, Briarcliff, twenty-six years old and coaching. I was paid little. Sometimes that bothered me, but mostly I was doing okay.

Then a bump. Joe got drafted. Phil got married. I was back on the street.

I moved into all I could afford. Varita Court, downtown Wilson. I slept on a chaise lounge until Jean heard about me. She sold me two single beds for $12.50 each from hospital storage. The beds and the jukebox were my only furniture.

The juke box featured a green light bulb. I located it so I could sit on the fire escape and throw beer cans at the Shell Station chimney located below me. “Like a Rolling Stone” was #1, “ A Whiter Shade of Pale”, “Since I Lost My Baby,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and other great 60’s music were my roomies. I was very lonely. The total utility bill was $3.48 one month.

I was the only male in the three story building, in apartment “R”. There was an elevator with a stroke-ridden black man named Jesse sitting in it all day. Most of the tenants were widows. They peered out their doors as I put the jukebox on Jesse’s elevator. Jesse giggled.

Everyone ought to live alone for some period in their lives. It’s not all bad, but I didn’t like it in Varita Court.

–excerpt from “Play is Where Life Is”

The jukebox mentioned in this passage was a “god-send” of sorts.

One of our basketball stars was a young man named Larry Jones. Jones was called “Chief” because he was a handsome, “Indian-looking,” 6 foot 5 inch, 210 pound stud from Mt. Olive. I casually mentioned that I would like to find a jukebox. Maybe that would help with my loneliness in Varita Court. Jones said, “I’ll find you a jukebox.”

A week later he said he’d found one.
“How much do they want for it?” I asked.
Surprised he asked, “You want to pay for it?!”

We did find one, to buy, for $100 from a black guy named Kay Wooten in Fremont, North Carolina. It was a 1945 AMI Woolden. Not the Wurlitzer Double Bubble Circler but it would play. Loud. It was too big to mount in a Corvette, but I do believe that I could have competed with the Wilson “Boom Boxes of 1968”.

I painted it red and kept it throughout my kids’ stay with us. When they left, I sold it to my good friend Bill Morningstar, the golf coach at Elon. “Star” is a pinhook, he’ll buy anything. Mostly old cars. He painted it black. Macho. And he still has it.

You could rotate 40 records. The list below are some of the AMI Selections of 1968-1988.

1. Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan
2. Cleo’s Mood-Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
3. Whiter Shade of Pale-Procol Harem
4. Since I Lost My Baby-The Temptations
5. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down-Joan Baez
6. Yesterday-Ray Charles
7. The Weight-Jackie DeShannon
8. Light My Fire-Jose Feliciano
9. Any Day Now-Chuck Jackson
10. Ain’t That Loving You Baby-Jimmy Reed
11. Silver Threads and Golden Needles
12. Walk On By-Dionne Warwick
13. I’ll Be Doggone-Marvin Gaye
14. Hey Joe-Jimi Hendrix
15. Sweet Baby James-James Taylor
16. Rescue Me-Fontella Bass
17. Baby Love-The Supremes
18. Good Golly Miss Molly-Little Richard
19. Don’t Be Cruel-Elvis Presley
20. Fire Lake-Bob Seger
21. What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am-The Tams
22. Born to Run-Emmylou Harris
23. Get Rhythm-Johnny Cash
24. Get Back-The Beatles
25. Honky Tonk Women-The Rolling Stones
26. I Still Miss Someone-Emmylou Harris
27. He Stopped Loving Her Today-George Jones
28. Knock On Wood-Eddie Floyd
29. Take Out Some Insurance-Jimmy Reed
30. Little Help From My Friends-Joe Cocker
31. Lay, Lady, Lay-Bob Dylan
32. Roll Me Away-Bob Seger
33. Still the Same-Bob Seger
34. Stand By Me-Ben King
35. America-Ray Charles
36. Georgia-Ray Charles
37. Busted-Ray Charles
38. Maybeline-Chuck Berry
39. Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Jerry Lee Lewis
40. I’m Walking-Fats Domino
41. Jim Dandy-Lavern Baker
42. Rave On-Buddy Holly

“Music can save your very soul.”
-Don McLean, “American Pie”

L. PULP FICTION (162)

North Carolina is divided into 3 distinct parts. The eastern part features our real characters. They get out of bed thinking of something funny to say. Being a child of the 60’s (Brando, James Dean, Dylan) cool things to say catch me ear.
Jules from “restaurant scene in PULP FICTION: “I been saying that %^*& for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold blooded thing to say to ^%*%$#@% ‘fore you popped a cap in his ass.” Jules was as cool as Miles Davis.
How bout JUSTIFIED’S Raylan: “It is hard to imagine the wonderful things that might happen if you can plant the seeds of distrust among a garden of assholes.”
Winston Churchill: “When you are going through hell, keep going.”
“He could fight as good from the bottom as from the top”. (Did Country say that?)
Jim Drummond: The boss said his worker had ADD (…all day to do it).
Regarding current politics, one easterner says he is suffering from E.D. or “Electile Dysfunction.”
“How do I sound more Southern and blend in better?” asked the newcomer. Southern friend: Next trip to the store tell the clerk you want some nanners, maters, and taters.
Upon trying this technique the clerk replied, “…you’re not from around here are you?” Northern newcomer, puzzled, “…how did you know?” Clerk: You are in HOME DEPOT.
“The secret to management is to keep the guys who hate you from the undecided.” Casey Stengel.
Jake LaMotta claimed they we were so poor that one Christmas eve his Dad took his twelve gauge out into the back yard and fired off a round. Came in and declared,”…Santa committed suicide!”
One golfer said another was even tempered on the golf course: “He was an asshole the whole round.”

M. UPDATING (150)

For about two years I have spent a lot of time self-publishing two books. One is plenty but two was troublesome. One writing critic gave this example: A physician told him he had three weeks vacation in August and would write “his” book then. The writer’s response was that he had the same time period off and would become a brain surgeon during the same three weeks.
THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS by Tom Parham was recommended and accepted as a guide for all North Carolina public high school tennis coaches. Hopefully  all 711 coaches now have their copy. This was my “opus” though it really is a summation of the great teachers and coaches I learned from. I am proud of this book and am confident it will help players, teams, and coaches.
Now–I have two new grandsons. Only one more book to finish, with the intention of leaving them with some idea of their past. This one is entitled THANKSGIVING, is more or less family related.
Hopefully now I can return to fun writing on the blog.
My natural topics seem to have been and continue to be Sports, mostly college sports–Tennis, humor, politics of war, friends and friendship, dying right, and living right. One will be reflective on past blogs and and an evaluation of whether they were ‘prescient” or mistaken. Stay tuned.

N. LOCAL RULES

•Tom Brokaw concluded: “For parents, bribery is a white collar crime. For grandparents, it’s a business plan.” Loved Brokaw.
•This from DRIVING WITH THE DEVIL, a great book on the real beginnings of NASCAR (know
who Roy Page was?) has this comment: “Money won’t buy everything, but it’ll keep your family closer.”
•And children getting named down here? One kid in the local paper had a first name of “Wedjunald”. “Mam, what do you want his first name to be? (Wedjunald? Reginald?). Some classic names out there.
• At a recent post-golfing social event, I overheard one wife chastise another. “Alice, you’ve got the wrong name tag on.” Alice: “… I’m much too drunk to wear my own name tag.”
And then, there are always the Duke Cameron crazies. In unison this bunch pleaded with Miami’s super large Reggie Johnson, “PLEASE DON’T EAT US, PLEASE DON’T EAT US.” He IS a big tater.
• Tough choice coming up! A local fisherman from Stella, North Carolina has concluded that the White Oak River is being contaminated by run off from the many hog farms in eastern N.C. HMMM. Seafood or barbecue?
•Remember the “HOI TIDERS” (HIGH TIDERS) from way
DOWN EAST? My friend, Randy Campbell, told me this one.
A hoi toiler from “…down to Atlantic” was asked by another local if the guy would mind him leaving his boat in his yard for a week. ‘My Lord, no. A week will be okay.” After the original guy burned this boat down, the issue went to court. Whereupon the judge asked why did you burn the man’s boat? “Well, your Honor, he didn’t show up after a week so I called him. He said he’d be by soon, but he didn’t show the second week. I thought about calling him a second “toime” (time), but then I thought what the hell. “I LIT HER UP”
• I have included a couple of pictures of the pier. I continue to be a PIER GROUPIE (blog article #75 with the pictures). The operative question on the pier is “anything biting?” A hoi toiler responded recently, “Not on this pier, mate, but “oi” (I) heard the red drum was eating the sand off the end of the oiland (island).”
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JAMES ALLEN ROSE
•A local high school running back was extremely quick and agile. A zig-zagging touchdown kickoff return brought this comment from an admiring hoi toiler coach: “My lord Son, you run ‘er like a hard crab”.

O. PROPER BREEDING (410)

Picked up a library book on Will Rogers. Still funny. Clipped this vignette from animal lover Will: “In London five years ago, old Lord Dewar, a great humorist and character and the biggest whiskey man in the world, gave the children a little white dog (Sealyham), saying, “If this dog knew how well he was bred he wouldn’t speak to any of us.”
“We have petted him, complained at him, called him a nuisance, but when we buried him yesterday, we couldn’t think of a wrong thing he had ever done.
“His bravery was his undoing. He lost to a rattlesnake, but his face was toward him.”
from Daily Telegram
Mar.24,1931

P. OUCH ( )

“I have no idea what you are writing about, but that advice you just gave would be good for a lot of people.” So, while I’m thinking about it, allow me a serious moment here.
For people undergoing surgery:
• Expect the unexpected. Somehow something happens that can throw you if you let it.
• Judge improvement by the week, not by the day. • Be patient. Did you get me?
Be patient. It takes time. When it is over you won’t remember the bad.
• Do your rehab. This is a must. Sometimes it’s painful, but do your rehab.

Q. THE FUNNY PAPER ( )

Unrelated favorites:
• Women and cats will do as they wish. Men and dogs should get used to this fact.
•2. The game film looks suspiciously like the game. Coach Bum Phillips
•3. On Coach Landry of the Dallas Cowboys: “Does the coach ever smile? Player (Walt
Garrison) “I don’t know, I’ve only been here three years”.
•4. “…if you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?”
Response: “Living—-you think I am stupid?” From Jim Hightower.
•5. Eulogy at “Curly’s funeral. “God, we give you Curly. Don’t piss him off!”
From “City Slickers 2”.
•6. From Coach Darrell Royal
A: …faster than small town gossip”.
B…”I had hoped God would be neutral”.
C ”You are “what-iffing”. Anybody can “what- if”.
•7.Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. W.B Yeats. •8. Every harlot was a virgin once. W. Blake
•9. Courage is fear, holding on a minute longer. G. Patton
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•10. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Hunter Thompson
•11. Don’t go around thinking the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. M. Twain
•12. If today was a fish, I’d throw it back in.
•13. Jesus was a Jew, yes, but only on his mother’s side. Stanley Ralph Ross.
•14. It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life. Irish Proverb.
•15. Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion. Muhammad Ali
•16. Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.
•17. He that hath no children brings them up well.
•18. A good scare is better than good advice.
•19. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
•20. For three days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off. Johnny Carson
•21. Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a rock. Will Rogers. •22. One Father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters. George Herbert
•23. Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable. Plato
•24.”…he that is without sin…Pick some up”. Barry Saunders
•25. “I graduated with a 4.0, but it was my blood alcohol level.” James Carville.
•26. “I cussed him out in Spanish, and he threw me out in English”. Lou Pinella, on being
thrown out of a game by umpire Armando Rodriguez.
•27. “I can’t believe that out of 100,000 sperm, you were the quickest. Steven Pearl.
•28. “All pro athletes are bilingual. They speak English and profanity.” Gordie Howe
•29. “Thank you from the heart of my bottom”. Nick Faldo.
•30. “I’ve been around since “Preparation A”. Jack McKeon
•31. “Think you are a leader? Turn around and look back: if no one is following, you are just taking a walk.”
•32. “It’s hard to kiss the lips at night that chew your ass out all day long”. Vince Gill in drag (You Tube)
•33. I used to be Snow White, but I drifted. Mae West
•34. I’ve been in more laps than a napkin. Mae West
•35. I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died. Richard Diran •36. Schizophrenia beats dining alone.
•38. “I’ve worked 3 weeks on this “impromptu” speech. Mark Twain.
•39. The mystery masked man, he was smart,
He found himself a Tonto,
Cause Tonto did his dirty work for free.
But Tonto, he was smarter, and one day said, Kemo Sabe, kiss my ass.
I’ve bought a boat, and now I’m out to sea. Lyle Lovett Bob Dylan Quotes:
•On the “Ball Park Tour” with Willie Nelson. “We intend to touch all the bases, and get home safely”.
•There are no ex wives. Only additional wives. Willie Nelson
•Kick your shoes off, do not fear, and bring that bottle over here. I’ll
be your baby tonight.
•Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.
•Bob Dylan introduces a backup band as…”my wife, my ex wife, my next wife, and my girlfriend”
•High Water Every Where: Got a crazy love for blinding speed, Got a hopped-up mustang Ford. Jump into the wagon, Love, Throw your
panties overboard.
•I ain’t lookin’ to block you up. Shock or knock or lock you up, analyze you, categorize you. All I really want to do is baby, be friends with you.
•Living in the land of Nod, Trusting their fate to the hands of God. They pass by so silently, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
•In the dime store and bus stations, people talk of situations, read books, repeat quotations, draw conclusions on the wall. Some speak of the future, my love she speaks softly, she knows there’s no success like failure and that failure’s no success at all.
•I was raised in the country. I been working in the town. I been in trouble ever since I put my suitcase down.
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•Lots of water under the bridge, Lots of other stuff, too. Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through.
•People are crazy and times are strange. I’m locked in tight, I’m outta range. I used to care, but, things have changed.
•Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy,
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers.
•You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely But you know you only used to get juiced in it.
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used it.
•I got sidetracked in El Paso, stopped to get myself a map,
Went the wrong way into Juarez with Juanita on my lap.
Then I went to sleep in Shreveport, woke up in Abilene
Wonderin’ why the hell I’m wanted at some town halfway between.
•To make you Feel My Love
Storms are howling on a raging sea,
And on the highways of regret.
The winds of change are blowing wild and free, You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.
•If your memory serves you well, You’ll remember you’re the one That called on me to call on them To get you your favors done.
Duck Dynasty:
•“My guess is she’ll do most of the talking” … Phil Robertson (on a conference with his Wife). •“The top ten times I’ve been in trouble always included Si”. Phil on brother Si
•“Healthy Friction” provides a family balance.
Justified:
•“That is the purpose of “organized crime.” It’s supposed to be organized.”
•“We don’t sell donuts, so why don’t you get your fat ass outta here.” (From roadhouse bartender)

R. BEST SELLERS

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.”

BRACKETOLOGY
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.
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• 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)

S. COMEDIC HISTORY

OLDIES
Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Johnny Carson, Robin Harris, Jackie Gleason and the list goes on. If you don’t know these guys you missed great moments in comedy. Dean Martin and the roasts, Chuck BurrIs and the Gong Show. Still laughing. Here are some clips that a little research will render.
• Bob Nelson, His classic being his All -America football selections (“shoulda ma pads”).
• Any by Jonathan Winters. He was THE BEST of em all. Precursor to Robin Williams, his Maude Frickett, Elwood P. Suggins, and uncanny improvisations are tops.
• Amos and Andy. While banned, great. Red Foxx got away with the same thing.( Remember Iron jaw—-“…yeah, but can he do this?”). Flip Wilson, Eddie Murphy, Pryor was untouchable.
• Brother Dave Gardner? “Hail Caesar. Hell yes.”
• There was a football game on ESPN between South Carolina State and Grambling University. The game went eight overtimes. Damnedest game I ever saw. And I’VE WITNESSED A TON. I made a sincere and severe effort to procure a film of this classic. Still will offer considerable cash.
• The next few will take some research: 1. the squirrel maze. Fifty consecutive puzzles; they solve them all. You can’t defeat squirrels.
• Pumpkin chunking. On Sunday Morning-CBS. About the year 2000. Computer geeks bomb a lady’s mustang, a mile away.
• From MICROCOSMS (again, about 2000). I made every team watch that “dung beetle” roll that “ball”. After their viewing it, I would say nothing. Just stare at them until one of them figured it out: “Oh, I get it, Coach. No matter what it takes get the ball where it’s supposed to go.” AH—EDUCATION.
• Oh, and Robin Harris doing BEH BEH’S kids. Plus “Sweet Dick Willie” and DO THE RIGHT THING.
•Steve Martin, doing FLYDINI on the Johnny Carson Show. 82
•Bobby Rush from the introduction to Ken Burns jazz documentary. Featuring “Mizz Lowe”. OUTST ANDING!
•I heard David Sedaris bought a beach house in our town of Emerald Isle, N.C. years ago I mentioned an article David had written on Brother Paul. My nephew, Scott Ritter and wife, Denise, told me they went to school with David. Lots of Sedaris pub since then, but YOU CAN’T KILL THE ROOSTER is hilarious. Every time I go to town, I look for David. I want to find out more about Paul. (Google David and “the Rooster).
• Most of the jewels above can be “googled”, or “you-tubed”.