This has certainly been an exercise. Took me 2 plus years to complete.
I’ve been having trouble finding books to read recently. I wander the aisles of the downtown Wichita Public Library and either give up or grab something at random. I haven’t finished the last 4 books I’ve checked out. This makes me sad.
My life is certainly busy. The boys are growing up. Playing sports, making art, building Lego ships, Science Olympiad, learning to read, making me laugh. My last grandparent (Mabel) died last week. My parents are getting older. My wife remains as beautiful as ever.
I’ve read multiple articles about how Billy Joel doesn’t really like this song. I’d agree that is isn’t his best. I wasn’t alive for the majority of the historical artifacts listed.
I think that the basic reason I wanted to write through them all was to help myself understand what the past is, where is lives in my life, and how I should try to improve the future.
Thanks for sticking with me through it all. May we still burn on, and on, and on.
So this is where I start having actual recollections….
Menachem Begin was born in 1913 at the geopolitical crux of Poland and Russia. Early Zionist stints in various Eastern European locales. Caught in Stalin’s net in 1940. Released and self-inscripted to the Free Polish Army to train in Palestine in 1943. Led uprisings against Britain, guerrilla bombings, establishing Israeli state. Begin’s political foundings also make him the grandfather of Likud.
Best known for the Camp David Peace Accords. Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 (shared with Anwar Sadat). By 1981, Sadat was dead and Menachem was bombing the shit out of Iraq under the pretense of “nuclear containment”. WMD anyone?
The US President in 1981 was this:
I vaguely remember Carter as president. My first political awareness is of Bonzo’s best friend. I think Ronnie is best addressed in listicle form:
Things Ronnie was:
- Effective communicator
- Destroyer of middle class
- Neo-con Kennedy
Things Ronnie was not:
- Al Haig
And “trickle-down” economics is nothing more than oligarchs pissing on everyone else. See: Current state of affairs in Kansas aka Kochtopia aka Brownbeckistan
At this point in my life I honestly don’t know what to think about Palestine. I don’t believe any side will be successful in violence. Would a Northern Ireland type solution work?
I remember it because it has a cedar tree on it. And the second thing I contemplate about Lebanon is this promontory proboscis:
When I was a kid, the Toledo Mudhens were the Triple A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins.
Charles de Gaulle is an airport and a brain in a jar. And I’m passing him quickly to get back to baseball.
The era of California Baseball starts in 1958 on the major league level. The Giants move from New York to San Francisco and the Dodgers abandon Brooklyn for the less bum-infested Chavez Ravine. Although Chavez Ravine is in Sulfur Canyon and therefore probably smells a lot like bums. Two points to make here:
1. I am obsessed with Ebbets Field
2. Vincent Edward Scully is still calling Dodger games.
Seriously folks, hear him call a game while you still can. He IS a tie that binds back to multiple eras of baseball. I’m out of superlatives so I’m switching to analogies. Imagine being able to listen live to a performance by Liszt, or Chopin. Or having to move your beer to avoid a Carrie Nation hatchet blow. Do it.
Ah, back on the horse. Honestly, I suspected the lag to be longer and the finish to be more distant when I picked back up. So count this as a Pinter Pause and move forward.
Sputnik translates into English as “traveling companion” which reminds me of the following (with reverse translation by me) Paul Simon lyric from “Graceland”:
My Sputnik is nine years old. He is the child of my first marriage.
Maybe that doesn’t really work.
I remember my father telling me the story of his father waking the family up so that they could listen to the beep of Sputnik on the radio. Maybe they even watched it’s orbital track? Not sure on that.
Chou En-Lai (Zhou Enlai) attended a religious school in Japan, swung through France to pick up Communism, and ended up as Mao’s slightly less bumbling Dan Qualye. He’s also responsible for Nixon going to China. So thanks for taking him off our hands for a week or so. Writing this is making me feel exceptionally ignorant about everything outside of my small world. I did actually finish reading a whole entire book written primarily for adults recently:
It was fiction, about Japan, and interesting. I bought it in an airport.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a novel written in 1952 by Pierre Boulle. The movie is better known than the book. The Music Section in the Wikipedia article provided me much amusement upon reading. Mostly because it lead me to the song “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball” (Spotify link).