The networks and the papers are gearing up for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28. I saw the saintly John Lewis on television the other night.
Memories kick in.
I was covering the Mets in Pittsburgh, and watched the march on television during the day, captivated by the mood, the words, the faces.
Then I got on the bus from the Hilton, down by the famed confluence, to funky old Forbes Field up on the hill. At some point I got into a conversation with Maury Allen of the Post and Jesse Gonder and Alvin Jackson of the Mets, who had all been watching in their rooms.
I’ve always treasured this memory of four people standing around the clubhouse, so enthused about Martin Luther King and the other speakers, and the people who had come so far, the joy and hope we felt.
I’d forgotten that Jackson was the starting pitcher that night, lasting four and two-thirds innings against his old club, taking the loss in a 7-2 defeat. Gonder pinch-hit for Choo Choo Coleman with two on and no out in the ninth and hit into a force play. Roberto Clemente went 3-for-4 and drove in 3 runs. I can’t remember if we asked him about the march after the game. I’d like to think we did.
Throughout the bad times and the good times, the memory remains of that march. The four of us had been sure, as the Sam Cooke song would say a few months later, a change was gonna come.
Nowadays, the sour faces on Cantor, McConnell, Paul and Boehner seem straight from the bad old days. And we are assured by Chief Justice John Roberts that things are so good that we do not need a voting rights law anymore. Governors and legislatures do their best to deny access to voting. Fifty years ago I stood around a clubhouse with three friends and talked about the March on Washington.
The box score from that game:
The history of the Sam Cooke song:
A more recent story about the March on Washington:
Ladies and gentlemen, the late, great Sam Cooke:
8/15/2013 07:34:35 am
A fine post, George. Thank you for it.
8/15/2013 01:38:38 pm
8/16/2013 01:01:06 am
Brian, thanks for your critique. I think there is a direct line from 1963 to today. The people I cite remind me of the old guard (yes, many of them Democrats) who resisted the changes that King and others sought. It may be more racial than political. The people I cite seem very disturbed by a very smart president who is African-American. They have tried to wreck this administration from the beginning by total inert non-cooperation. Is it political? Ideological? Or something deeper -- and worse? GV
8/15/2013 02:03:09 pm
One of the Great Reads of our history:
8/15/2013 02:13:16 pm
[Part 2)...we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.
8/15/2013 02:19:59 pm
8/15/2013 02:20:35 pm
8/15/2013 02:26:09 pm
I apologize for trying to reproduce too much on this blog. More than it can take (but not by too much). Here is a citation for those possibly interest in the remainder.
8/16/2013 05:09:32 am
8/17/2013 03:28:46 pm
8/17/2013 03:29:46 pm
8/17/2013 07:18:50 am
Time for a change from this important and serious reelection on the greatest evolution in America since the Emancipation Proclamation?
8/17/2013 03:33:29 pm
Oh Ed, please don't encourage our false hope....I'd rather you criticize our politics -- it's much less painful!
8/18/2013 06:03:19 am
Thank you, George. My Jesse Gonder baseball card is long gone, but I remember it. I remember a lot of those faces - Johnny Lewis, Dan Napoleon, a young Cleon ... they stand out in my mind, even now. I viewed them then as bodies filling uniforms and roster spots. It takes years to inform us that lives were lived and sights were seen beyond what we imagined when gazing at those cardboard cards - pain and joy and relief and disbelief interposed with the at-bats and runs and strikeouts to comprise the whole of a man. Opening up a person's life is not like opening up a pack of trading cards. People don't really smell like bubblegum, no matter what the blowhards of today will have us believe.
8/19/2013 02:12:57 am
Charlie, you are right. They were real people. Danny Napoleon hung around with some of the players (Swoboda? Yates? McGraw?) and a few young writers. I believe he passed young. Alvin Jackson and Larry Bearnarth played touch football with the Newsday sportswriters in the fall to keep in shape. Players and writers had the same economics. GV
8/19/2013 01:04:20 am
Plunking A-Rod. One of the most interesting side shows I've ever seen in sport happened in last night's Yankees-Red sox game and I'm still scratching my head about what to conclude about it. Unquestionably, A-Rod was targeted. The Red Sox pitcher signaled his intent on the first pitch, throwing behind his knee: "I'm not going to bean you, but I'm going make you hurt before this at bat is over," he seemed to be saying. Two more inside, but not scary enough. So on ball four, square in the side. The umpire is complicit. He refuses to throw out the pitcher, and warns BOTH teams. The Yankee manager is furious about what he sees a breach of baseball protocol. Get's thrown out himself. The Yankees rally behind A-Rod and come back to win, with A-Rod screaming a homer to deep center later in the game. So, does the game of baseball win or lose?
8/20/2013 09:30:34 am
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the moral voice of the civil rights movement. Although he was often at odds with other groups and not considered militant enough, he never wavered in his belief in non-violence, even in the face of danger.
8/20/2013 11:07:59 am
following the Dr. King theme, I think you will be interested in the obit of Albert Murray in today's Times. He was an important voice.
8/21/2013 03:48:01 pm
Ed, I wish I knew of him before your post. I didn't, but I'm very, very grateful for your introduction. Mr. Murray had a music side, it seems, but I'm not sure it's vocal. I saw the Tuskegee Golden Voices (his Alma Mater) two years ago in New Haven on one of their rare stops north. If anyone has the opportunity to see that historic student group, and listen to the songs they (and director Barr) choose to highlight, make it a priority. It's an experience even better than the pizza you'll get on Wooster Street. Important and memorable stuff. I hope he sang with them.
12/10/2013 04:20:53 pm
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4/23/2014 05:47:08 am
I then acquired around the coach from the Hilton, straight down through the popular confluence, to be able to odd old Forbes Subject through to your mountain. Sooner or later I got in to a dialogue along with Maury Allen of the Write-up in addition to Jesse Gonder in addition to Alvin Knutson of the Mets, whom received almost all also been viewing within their bedrooms.
4/29/2014 11:09:06 pm
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7/18/2014 12:26:25 am
7/18/2014 12:27:32 am
7/18/2014 12:28:14 am
6/13/2015 09:15:02 pm
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.