Summer is upon us with foggy mornings and sunny afternoons. The season prompts us to attend the weekly Port Ludlow “Car Cruise In” on Wednesday afternoons and watching sports, maybe. In any case, a couple of sports stories are on my mind.
The grandsons visited from Seattle on Memorial Day weekend, a time filled with traffic, US Flags, and sunshine. It was just after the news broke that Football Hall of Fame and Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr had died. A conversation with our son about Bart’s passing precipitated the surprising question from a couple of the grandsons, “who is Bart Starr?” Upon reflection, the query should have been expected. So, if you are reading this column and you don’t know who Bart Starr was, you should know the column is written for a different age demographic or your name is Steve Gross (he does not care for sports, except me).
In the early 1960s, BJ spent her teenage years in Saint Louis, MO as a devoted Cardinals baseball fan. Her father took her to games and she learned how to score the game and finally how to enjoy Budweiser. One of the stars then was Stan Musial. BJ and a couple of friends concocted a scheme to drive by the Musial home. They stopped out front and BJ approached the house with the intent of claiming car failure so that Stan would come out and help them. Thus they would all get a chance to meet him, get autographs, touch the legend, etc. Unfortunately, the door was answered by somebody else, the gardener or butler or friend or whomever. One might think the caper was a failure. Not quite. Many years later, I was at a business meeting at Tan-Tar-A, a resort on the Lake of the Ozarks in the middle of Missouri. Stan was the speaker. I told him of BJ’s failed efforts many years earlier and he graciously gave me a signed picture for her.
One of Stan’s Cardinal teammates from that era, pitcher Ray Washburn, will be the speaker at the weekly luncheon of the East Jefferson Rotary Club tomorrow, Thursday, at noon at the Tri Area Community Center. He was on the team for their World Series wins in 1964 and 1967. Ray lives here in the Pacific Northwest and should be an entertaining speaker. Admission is free, though you have to buy your own lunch, if you want lunch.
This coming Saturday the Port Ludlow Performing Arts “Sounds of Summer” concert features Tom Rigney and Flambeau. Reports are that the band simmers and cooks with high energy, virtuoso fiddling, fiery Cajun and Zydeco music and heartbreaking ballads. (Description courtesy of the Port Ludlow Voice.) The doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Bay Club for this last concert of the season. It looks like a great one.
I ask, what would a column talking baseball be without a quote from Casey Stengel? (I suspect my grandsons don’t know who that is, either.) “They say some of my stars drink whiskey. I have found that the ones who drink milkshakes don’t win many ball games.”
Love a curmudgeon and have a great week!