Posts Tagged ‘Off-The-Wall Time-Framing’

Off-The-Wall Time-Framing

December 21, 2018

Bill McCurdy and His Great-Grandmother,
Beeville, Texas 1939.

Eight years ago, I wrote an article on the art of time-framing our lives ~ or history, in general ~ for the sake of finding new levels of appreciation for how we value the spanning of time ~ depending upon when it happened and to whom it happened ~ in relation to our own feel for those same periods of time passage.

For example, 34 years passed from the time Babe Ruth hit a record 60 home runs in 1927 until the time that Roger Maris broke that record by hitting 61* homers in 1961. Since I wasn’t born until December 31,1937, I wasn’t even born when Ruth set the record, but, like many of you, I grew up with the thought of “Ruth’s 60” as something virtually eternal and unbreakable. Then, along comes Roger Maris in 1961, when I’m almost the same 34 years old it took in years time for anybody to become the next HR champion by hitting 61 in 1961 ~ and he does it ~ with the help of the eight extra games that the American League was playing in their 1961 first season of expansion franchise play. That fact alone was said to be the reason that Commissioner Ford Frick attached the infamous apostrophe to 61* for the sake of deference to the Babe’s “greater in fewer” games accomplishment. Unofficially, many added that Frick’s friendship and favoritism to Ruth over Maris may have played a hand in the addition of a qualifier taint to his 61 total in 1961.

Unlike the 34 year Ruth 60 period (1927-61), which had seemed eternal, the 61* year Maris period (1961-98) 37 year period as Greatest Single HR Season seemed to yours truly and others among us like a breath of fresh air. When Mark McGwire of the Cardinals (72 HR) and Sammy Sosa of the Cubs (66 HR) both broke Maris’s mark in 1998, they both made the cover of Time for saving baseball from the the stench of management-labor problems that had destroyed the 1994 season and World Series. Baseball pundits had latched onto their great power run competition as just the kind of tonic the game needed to restore the juices of broad fan support.

How little we knew back then. There apparently was something in that tonic that would threaten the game even worse on the time move into “Y2K” even worse ~ and maybe even destroy the Hall of Fame chances of some then “sure-bet” types. Even though the McGwire/Sosa punch out of the Maris record took three more years than the Maris bust upon the “eternal” Ruth reign, it almost felt like a mere overnight change of clothes when it happened in 1998.

Time-Framing at Home. Of course, we can do time-framing on anything that’s personal to us. The 1939 photo shown here again is me, of course, at age 2 years, in front of my great-grandmother’s farm house near Beeville, Texas. Born in 1857, three years prior to the Civil War, Mrs. Virginia New was “My Gammy” ~ and the sweet lady on my mother’s side who often took care of me ~ while teaching me skills like how to feed the chickens ~ and how to help her search and dig up roots in the woods that she could then clean and use as “toothbrushes” for dipping her “snuff” while we were shelling peas and snapping bean stalks. ~ And we did all this with the help of Polly the Parrot ~ who always had two words for me when Mom or Dad came to pick me up. ~ Polly would say, ~ and with great emotion ~ “Don’t Go!”

Time-Framing with Gammy is easy for me. She was 80 years old when I was born in 1937. Now I’m 80, and about to hit 81 on New Year’s Eve. ~ Geez! ~ I didn’t have this perspective back in 1939, but I do now. I’m actually old enough this deep into the 21st century actually to have been taken care of by someone back in the sweet bye-and-bye who was born prior to the Civil War!

And when you string My Gammy’s life span with mine (so far), the range of years that have passed (1857-2118) with either one, both, or the other of us being contiguously alive is about to hit 161 ~ and that works out to about two-thirds of the time that has passed since the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence.

That’s OK, folks. I may be older than dirt, but I wouldn’t trade away that time I had early with Gammy for anything in the world. She is one of my happiest early, everyday, and holiday smile memories.

Love and Peace to You All.

Here’s the link to the other earlier referenced article:



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle