Impeached by the Perfect Call
Nori – Congrats to your niece, Emma, and the Mystics. She’s very attractive and has a great job.
On a more combative topic, I will grudgingly admit that Nori was justified in questioning my earlier post. The second phrase of my opening paragraph, as Nori so noted, failed line up perfectly with the ending. In my quest to write a clever lede, or as Trump might say “perfect” opening, my left-leaning thoughts got the better of me and I wrote something that didn’t quite match what I intended to say.
Let me clarify. I did indeed rejoice the Nats 10th inning win. That was a great comeback – one that will be remembered for years. Last night’s one-hitter wasn’t bad either. Go Nats!!!
But to be truthful, baseball and the ongoing and never-ending Trump scandal mix about as well as oil and water. In this case, the Nationals and baseball represent the sparkling fresh water necessary to sustain life; the Trump scandal is that oily grime that coated the Gulf of Mexico and its coast following BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout several years ago. Or, as Michael Cohen says, “everything Trump touches dies.”
To be perfectly honest, let’s say I am greatly relieved and encouraged that the House is moving forward with its impeachment inquiry. The faster we impeach and remove Trump from office the better. The guy is a train wreck – reckless, dangerous and un-American to the core. But I’ve said all that before.
But this little exchange did give me an idea for my next t-shirt promotion – “Impeached by the Perfect Call.”
Joanie – I, too, am impressed by your artistic talents, and I apologize for not making it to your showing in Maryland in August. I got sidelined in late summer for about three weeks with a bug I caught coming back from the West Coast. But Nina and I enjoyed viewing your website. I promise you I will make it to your next exhibit.
Nori – Johnny and Kitty Adams make a great couple. They started dating in high school and have been married for more than 50 years. Johnny, Dean Scalvounos (not sure about the spelling either) and a kid named Dick Cass were my best friends and teammates in 6th and 7th grades. John and Dean were a year ahead. We all played for Sportsman, a sporting goods store that sponsored our American Legion team. The store was on Wisconsin Ave. about three blocks my house. I played third, Johnny short, Dick was our catcher and Dean played centerfield.
Dean was an amazing player – a very mature 12-year old Greek kid and a natural athlete who could hit the ball a country mile. Joe Branzel, who was a scout for the old Washington Senators and later the Minnesota Twins (Branzel, along with a couple of DC cops, also coached my 8th and 9th grade football teams at Jelliff Boys Club in Georgetown), started scouting Dean when he was playing as a freshman at Bullis Prep, where Dean coached for years after college. Dean’s parents owned a commercial laundry that did business with all the major restaurants and numerous hotels in DC. Dean’s parents were good friends with the Greek owner of Blackies House of Beef – remember that joint. Dean was the only kid to go to school every morning with starched underwear. Sorry Dean, but I couldn’t resist adding a little color to this story.
The first time I saw Dean play during tryouts for Sportsman, I was blown away, “This guy plays like Mickey Mantle! He’s a sure bet to make the pros– he could hit, throw, field and run, and had the perfect body and attitude (confident but not cocky).” He also was a super good friend and fun to be around. He was so much better than anyone else in the league it was ridiculous. Dean’s homers would fly into a stand of trees in deep left or center never to be found. (No fences on our fields back then.)
When Dean entered Bullis Prep as a 9th grader, he played with the prep football and baseball teams as a freshman – a 15-year-old playing with kids 18 and 19. He was that good. Back then Bullis and a few other prep schools recruited high school athletes who had pending scholarships with major schools but needed a year of prep school to pull up their grades. The Bullis Prep team played the Navy Plebes, the freshman team at Maryland and other prep and freshman teams of major schools in the area.
We used to hang out together during the summer months at Bethesda Rec Center over by Dean’s house in Somerset, where Mike Trainer – another BCC grad, believe 1959 – ran the recreational program. Mike was a classy, very competitive guy who went on to law school and then became the manager for boxer Sugar Ray Leonard –an Olympic boxing champion in 1976, one of the best middle-weight boxers of all time and the first boxer ever to earn more than $100 million during his career.
Interestingly, Mike Trainer raised $21,000 from 24 friends (most of them BCC grads, Dr. Carl McCarthee, Ricky Sullivan, ’64 Mike Windsor, just to name a few) following the 1976 Olympic games to underwrite the beginning of Sugar Ray’s professional career. After I moved back to DC, I opened the Washington Post one morning to see a full-page ad purchased by Sugar Ray thanking by name each of his 24 sponsors. Classy act. Remember, back in those days, boxing was ruled by the Mob. By underwriting Sugar Ray’s training costs for his first couple of fights, Trainer was able to keep Sugar Ray mob-free. This allowed Sugar Ray to have a great career and retire as a very wealthy guy. Remember those classic Coke or Pepsi ads performed by Sugar Ray’s young son, including the runway ad with the Mean Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Hey, I’m on a memory roll. Let me tell you about our catcher, Dick Cass, whose dad was an officer in the Coast Guard and was transferred to California as we were going into 8th grade. Dick was a solid athlete and the smartest of all of us. Rather than moving to California for a couple of years and then moving again before graduating from high school, he entered a prep school in Pennsylvania – believe it was Mercersburg, PA prep and then went to Yale for undergraduate and law school. That’s when I lost track of Dick. Years later, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, I saw someone on the podium during the victory celebration who looked familiar and discovered that Dick Cass was President of the Baltimore Ravens. Shortly later, the Post ran a profile piece on Dick, mentioning that he spent part of his youth in the Bethesda area.
That’s it for now from memory lane. Bests everyone.