Landmark Day at The Pecan Park Eagle

The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

The Pecan Park Eagle
Says:
“THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!”

I The Pecan Park Eagle Publishes Column # 2,000

Published Today, Friday July 17 ,2015

THE PECAN PARK EAGLE happily announces today that this is our 2,000th column publication since we started at WordPress six years ago on July 21, 2009. We piddled around with our entry into the blog world at Chron.com for about a year or so before finding this wonderful writer’s oasis, but none of those rookie/dabblings figure a twit into this little celebration and expression of gratitude to the growing numbers of you who apparently enjoy what we are doing here to some variable extent.

We have learned a few things along the way:

(1) Writing is my sweet spot. That need I’ve had to write since childhood was neither imaginary nor a mere phase in my life. I have to write almost on the same level that I need to breathe – and not because I think there’s something I have to say that’s all that original – or never been said before by far greater writers. I just need to do it as a soul music matter. I would do it, even if you were to never read anything I wrote. From the point of research through the blessed daily arrival of the muses who  line up all the thoughts and words for me, writing is simply where I find my daily sweet-spot swing at life. It’s where I live.

It’s me.

(2) Don’t worry about errors, but always strive to correct any violations of the truth, along with all the typos and double word repeats on articles like “the the” I so often leave on the trail in my moments of “writing rapture”. When you write this much on a daily basis, as in the long season of baseball, three things are certain: (a) you are never going to please everybody; (b) some people are going to arrive regularly to help make your glowing errors more public; (Your real friends will send you an early private e-mail and give you a chance to correct the error without expanding the public view of it.); and (c) The joy of writing is in the process of letting the subject work its way through you. No subject is worth it becoming like a piece of furniture you bought from IKEA. Those kinds of writing projects always leave you with less sanity and a piece of work that came with either too few or too many parts.

(3) Feedback from readers is sweet, whether you like what we do here, or not. And when I say “we” – I pointedly mean to include writers like the wonderful Bill Gilbert and all others who have either contributed as guest columnists or as generous volunteer researchers, like the terrific news historian and close friend, Darrell Pittman of Astros Daily. Thanks to all of you who contribute here – and that especially includes all readers who take the time to leave written comments. Greg Lucas, Tony Cavender, Rick Bush, Tom Hunter, Mark Wernick, Bob Hulsey, Miriam Edelman, Bob Dorrill, Marsha Franty, Mike Vance, Bob Copus, Tal Smith, Larry Dierker, Cliff Blau and Mike McCroskey all jump immediately to mind – but there are many others. – Please don’t get your feelings hurt, if you were not named here.

Thanks, readers and research supporters, for your growing numbers of active support for whatever we are doing here.

Since we have come to view each column produced here as a hit, and never an error – even if it is in error – we would like to show you briefly where column No. 2,000 now places The Pecan Park Eagle on the All Time Career Hit List:

ALL TIME CAREER HIT LEADERS

THROUGH JULY 17, 2015:

RANK NAME HITS
1 PETE ROSE 4,256
2 TY COBB 4,189
3 HANK AARON 3,771
4 STAN MUSIAL 3,630
5 TRIS SPEAKER 3,514
6 DEREK JETER 3,465
271 TONY TAYLOR 2,007
272 FRANK WHITE 2,006
273 DAVE BANCROFT 2,004
TODD ZEILE 2,004
275 SHAWN GREEN 2,003
276 PECAN PARK EAGLE 2,000
HAPPY 84th BIRTHDAY, JO RUSSELL!!! JULY 17, 2015 (YOU CAN SMILE NOW, JOE! THE ASTROS ARE WINNING AGAIN! - WE THINK!)

HAPPY 84th BIRTHDAY, JO RUSSELL!!!
JULY 17, 2015
(YOU CAN SMILE NOW, JO! THE ASTROS ARE WINNING AGAIN! – WE THINK!)

II. FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2015: HAPPY 84th BIRTHDAY, JO RUSSELL!!!

Happy Birthday today to – the undisputed long-time Queen of the Houston Baseball Fan Community, Ms. Jo Russell. Jo and her late husband, Allen Russell, the long-time successful President of our wonderful old Texas League club, the Houston Buffs, almost single-handedly rescued the annual Houston Baseball Awards Banquets for a period over 25 years through 2011, and who served together even earlier as prime movers in the establishment of the “Orbiters” – the first active Houston Astros Fan Club – and also for all her service as a champion of numerous other local good causes in Houston – this little powerhouse energy lady today reaches another landmark – her 84th birthday. In site of all the selective minefields we each find in aging, Jo Russell is still peddling as fast as she can in support of the Houston Astros and she still continues to make the monthly meetings as an important active member of SABR’s Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston, most of the time.Her regular attendance at SABR meetings and Astros home games are simply testimonies to Jo’s indomitable spirit and her deep love for the game of baseball.

Jo Russell is precious to all of us as a good friend of baseball, a wonderful personal friend and one of the nicest, funniest, most decent people anyone could ever hope to meet. My apologies, Jo, for not being able to come up with a smiling photo. All my smiling photos are now inconveniently archived because they pretty much all go back to the last time the Astros were still in the running on your birthday. Maybe this birthday greeting will complete the hex on losing and help Astros GM Jeff Luhnow find us another Top Gun starting pitcher, another hard throwing reliever and a guy who knows what to do with that stick he carries to the plate.

We don’t have Mayor Parker in on this note due to short preparation time, and it’s too late to call her at home, but let’s do this anyway: We, hereby, unofficially declare Friday. Jul 17, 2015 as – Jo Russell Day in Houston! – Can we get a show of support hands for that one?

Have a wonderful day, dear friend!

~ The Pecan Park Eagle

CATCHER IN THE RYE - NOT EXACTLY WHAT J.D. SALINGER HAD IN MIND, BUT THE IMAGED LIKENESS OF A YOUNGER HOLDEN CAULFIELD IS PASSABLE.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
– NOT EXACTLY WHAT J.D. SALINGER HAD IN MIND, BUT THE IMAGED LIKENESS OF A YOUNGER HOLDEN CAULFIELD IS PASSABLE.

III. HOLDEN CAULFIELD IS 64 YEARS OLD TODAY! – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TOO, HOLDEN!

(EVEN IF IT’S YOUR FIRST REALLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! IT’S OVERDUE. DON’T YOU THINK?)

Speaking of Miriam Edelman, another old dear friend and colleague from our Texas Medical Center salad days sent me this link today to a beautiful baseball poem called “American Summer” by Edward Hirsch, followed by a story notice too that Thursday, July 16, 2015 was the 64th anniversary of the 1951 publication of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.

“Catcher” and “Holden” remain my favorite novel and character of all time. The imagery of that young man is so strong in me  that it summoned the muses to write a snippet of dialogue featured here as our closing on this column.

And why not? – I’ve met Holden Caulfied in my office many times over the past half century.

We will go out on this one also  – with best wishes to all of you for a landmark Friday of your own:

Confidential Excerpt from a First Therapy Session

with 16-year old Holden Caulfield

Therapist (after long period of silence): “Are you OK about being here today, Holden?”

Holden: “I’m here.”

Therapist: “But was it your idea?”

Holden: “I don’t have ideas. – I have parents.”

Therapist: “OK, then why did they think you needed to be here?”

Holden: “Didn’t they tell you? They think I’m nuts!”

Therapist: “What do you think?”

Holden: “I think my lousy childhood would drive anybody nuts!”

Therapist: “So, if I hear you right, your idea is that your ‘lousy childhood’ is driving you ‘nuts’, as you say, and that’s your problem?”

Holden: “You’re not hearing me at all. I already told you once. I don’t have any ideas. I have parents.”

Therapist: “Then what’s their problem?”

Holden: “Me. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be sitting here, jerking off a whole hour of our lives together in this boring office!”

Therapist: “Do you have someplace you’d rather be?”

Holden: “Not really. Oh sure. – I could just be back at the house in our crummy neighborhood – jerking off the clock alone with the TV until dinner time – or whenever my old man gets home and is not too drunk to eat with Mom and me. Sometimes, he thinks he is up to it, but he just slides out of his chair and starts snoring on the dining room floor.”

Therapist: “That sounds pretty awful, Holden! – How do you deal with that?”

Holden: “You got any weed?”

__________________________

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17 Responses to “Landmark Day at The Pecan Park Eagle”

  1. Mike McCroskey Says:

    Congratulations, Bill. Here’s hoping you surpass Pete Rose on the all time hit list. And my hands certainly up for Jo Russell day. Happy birthday to you and many more!

  2. vdpittman Says:

    Congratulations Bill! Looking forward to your next 2,000 hits!

  3. Marsha Franty Says:

    Happy Birthday, Jo!
    Congratulations, Bill!

  4. Mark W Says:

    It’s probably genetic Bill, going back at least as far as that Beeville newspaper, if not the Magna Carta.

    And would you look at those 19th century gloves on that young catcher? I just have to believe pitches were not coming in at over 90 mph in those days, even before they took that bounce on the way to the catcher.

  5. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Congrats Bill. I don’t always comment but I always look.

  6. Tom Hunter Says:

    Congratulations, Bill, on MM. I look forward each day to the latest edition of the Eagle. When I come to Houston in October, I may have to make a pilgrimage to the little park that inspired the title of your blog. Keep up the good work.

  7. Bill Hickman Says:

    Great work, Bill. I marvel at how you are able to do this day after day without missing a beat. Your columns are enjoyable, and I look forward to reading many, many more in the future.

  8. Rick B. Says:

    Congratulations on #2000! It looks like you’ll quickly pass many others on your climb up the all-time list. I’m amazed that you have a new topic about which to write every day. Don’t stop – you have a need to write, and we readers have a desire for new information and insights.

  9. MIKE MULVIHILL Says:

    Congrats along with all the others. #2000 of anything is a big deal. Always wonder how you come up with something interesting each day. As for any errors don’t ever worry about that as those who don’t make any are lying. Keep the stories, opinions, etc. coming.

  10. materene Says:

    One of the few places you find something enjoyable and good to see and read .. It’s getting mighty hard to find something so simple as goodness.

  11. gregclucas Says:

    Congratulations on number 2000! Best part during all this time is the Pecan Park Eagle has not had to lay off a single member of staff! And that staff generally works seven days a week.

  12. gregclucas Says:

    Oh yes, Happy Birthday to Jo! Enjoy touching base at SABR meetings and hope to see you Monday.

  13. Patrick Callahan '56 Says:

    BILL: – May the Gods of the “written word” continue to smile upon you – keep up the good work; which is often the brightest spot of the day on this infernal machine!
    Semper Fidelis
    Callahan ’56

  14. Anthnony Cavender Says:

    Congratulations, Bill. The Eagle has lasted longer than many marriages.

  15. Bill Hale Says:

    Congratulations Bill on a great achievement. Jo and I read your blog religiously and pass it on to our friends. Happy Birthday Jo Russell, you were my favorite fan when I ushered at Minute Maid.

  16. strider49 Says:

    Derek Jeter, look out. But those guys are primarily hitters. Your columns prove you’re an All-Star at all positions. A Man for All Seasons. And only you have a fan club in Nova Scotia. (BTW, your dialogue ranks with Salinger’s best.) Rob

  17. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Congratulations, quite a feat

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