It’s 8:43 on a Saturday evening and I really should be watching the Black Hawks beat up on the Nashville Predators in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
But the Hawks lost the first game – at home – on Thursday night, and now they’re losing 3-0. So I walked upstairs to listen to the radio, and it’s hard to believe, but right now AM 1230 and 104.7 FM has the best hockey game on the radio in the whole Chicago area.
We’re airing the Washington-Toronto game, which just tied up at 3-3 with 7:21 left in the third period. And there’s a great announcer and a loud arena. I don’t know how WJOB sports director Ryan Walsh picked up NHL playoff hockey, but he did. Ryan’s been around so long even doesn’t even ask me anymore if it’s okay.
…. In other ME news, my buddy Jon from San Marino, California, stopped by unexpectedly late Thursday. He has two sons in the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut and a daughter who plays soccer for Holy Cross in Massachusettes, so he and his wife Carolyn bought a house in a place called Mystic River. I don’t know if it’s in Connecticut or Massachusettes, and I’m really too lazy to Google which it is.
Jon says that he and Carolyn were going back East so much that they decided to just buy a place.
“The only thing I told her was that I didn’t want an old place that we have to fix up,” Jon said.
“So guess when our house was built – 1791.”
There is one thing that Jon and I have always agreed on since our days at Occidental College – that the world is a comical place populated by a lot of hapless slobs like us. Jon told an entertaining story of a Renaissance Faire.
“Renaissance Faire? What are you talking about?” I asked.
“You don’t remember that? I’m not surprised. They have this Renaissance Faire out in the Valley, and I said we should go so we did. And as soon as we got there, you met some girl named Mary and I didn’t hear from you for six days.”
“You really don’t remember this? It was back in the days when you lost someone at a concert or carnival, you just lost them. There were no cell phones. Mitch and I looked for you for a while and then we just drove back to East LA.
“A couple days later I get a phone call from you – collect – asking if my family still had that condo on Catalina Island. Somehow you wound up on the island with this girl named Mary. That’s all I know.”
Hmm. Sounds vaguely familiar. But when you’re prone to week-long adventures void of reason, sometimes it gets a little foggy after 35 years. I remember Mary. I remember talk of a Renaissance Faire, but for some reason I don’t remember the Faire itself. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t there for very long. I met this Mary and next thing you know I’m sitting on a barstool on Catalina Island.
I do remember, however, who the bartender was in that bar. It was Eddie Haskell. Yes, that Eddie Haskell. It seems that after a long run on “Leave It to Beaver,” the actor who played Eddie Haskell wound up as the bartender at the most popular bar on Catalina Island, California. I talked to him for a while about Chicago and going to Cubs games. I don’t think he was a Cubs fan, but he sure was curious about what went on in the bleachers there.
Anyways, Jon and I sat around for several hours, then at 2:30 in the morning he got up and walked to his car and drove off for a 5am flight at O’Hare. He sent me a picture from this mysterious Mystic River place where he’s in the middle of two of his kids. Good stuff.
…. In other ME news, I thought I’d write a poem. Actually, today at the beach after wrestling in the sand and the ice cold water with my 10-year-old nephew, I came back and sat on the beach chair and wrote a poem. That’s how they come to me. I really never have any idea when they’re going to knock at the door. Kind of like my buddy Jon from the baseball team at Occidental College. One moment I’m watching the Hawks kill a penalty. Next thing you know I’m peering through the little window trying to figure out who would possibly come to my house during a Black Hawks playoff game.
She’s always by my side
even when she’s not.
I never pictured myself
I pictured myself alone,
wild and ferocious,
ready for anything.
Now, me and the dog
watch TV together,
waiting for bed.
The poem had nothing to do with playing catch in the ice cold April water of Lake Michigan. The water really does feel like when you put your sprained ankle in a bucket of ice water. I’d throw the ball and little Jack would dive to catch it. And then he’d charge me kicking at waves and splashing water in my face. Somehow in the middle of this, I thought of a poem.
…. No advancement yet on getting it set so that I can broadcast from my den straight to the radio. I keep trading emails with a guy named Tim and a woman named Ruth from Streamguys in California. Here’s the latest email.
I tuned into the stream http://peace.str3am.com:6550/listen.pls and I did not hear the garbled audio.
The settings for this stream look correct, but if you would like, you can increase the bitrate and test the stream out.
If there is a different bitrate that you find to be sounding better or you want to proceed with, please do let us know.
Please let us know of any questions.
… It’s probably a good thing that I can’t yet go into my den and start talking on the radio. I would not have known that we are broadcasting an NHL playoff game between Toronto and Washington that has now gone into overtime. I would have gone in there and cut off the game without knowing it and just started playing “Bertha” by the Grateful Dead. And how professional would that be? Another Thousand Words. Good night.