Sunday, May 30, 2010

Reflections: In Dreamtime

I have long been haunted by the memory of a dream that I had forty years ago, circa 1970-71. In 1991, my first year in Ohio after leaving New York, I kept a journal in which I examined my life up to that point. Included in this journal were sketches of any dream that I had dreamed in my lifetime, the power of which had been such that it was never forgotten. This morning, prodded into action by reading of some dreams related by Pentimento on her blog, I dug that journal out of its box. I was gratified to find that I had, indeed, written down what I remembered of the dream in question there. On September 10, 1991, I wrote:

The dream that I wish I could remember more clearly I had in Brooklyn, now twenty years ago. I was in the presence of, I think, three robed and hooded old men. I am certain that there were more than one. I usually dream in color, but there is no color associated with this dream, perhaps because the light is so dim. I am receiving instruction in some mystery. I have been asked a question that presumably I have been taught enough to answer. I feel anxiety that I will fail to answer correctly and that I will fail my instructors, who are plainly wise men, wizards. But suddenly, led on I think by some kind of prompting recapitulation on the part of the wise men, the answer comes to me and I blurt it out proudly and joyfully – “Oil!” If only I could remember the preceding instruction so that I could know the mystery to which “oil” is the correct answer.

I did not write in 1991 that I am quite certain that I was being instructed from a text. I am also quite certain that the three wise men were not of earthly provenance. In addition to being prompted by Pentimento, I was again set to musing about this dream by this illustration of the three “men” who visited Abraham, from Chapter 18 of Robert Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated:

I call this dream “haunting” because of my tentative but persistent belief that the mysterious question to which “oil” was the correct answer –and the key to knowledge – was: What will bring about the End of the World?

Prophetic prescience?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remembrances: Fugitive Days

One of my daughter Laura's friends has asked to interview me about my experiences as a draft resister in the Vietnam era. Toward that end, I went spent some time this morning searching my archives for any graphics that might contribute to the project. The ones below are all that I have.

The b&w set were taken on my short-lived run to Canada. With my wife accompanying me, I traveled from Ann Arbor, Michigan on into Canada from Minnesota. We traveled in the vintage Mercedes of our friend, Steve Nasisse, later an officer in the Merchant Marine. We drove that old car across the great plains provinces of Canada, over the massive Rocky Mountains, eventually rendezvousing with some people in Vancouver, BC who had fled to Canada before us.

But I had already made up my mind, long before we got to the Pacific coast, that I was not going to allow myself to be run out of my own country, and that I would return to Ann Arbor to fight the draft as a conscientious objector. So the drive into exile turned into a kind of vacation. After spending a day or two with the people in Vancouver, we crossed the border, back into Washington state. My wife and I stayed with my friend and former roommate, Jim Rutherford, who was living in Seattle at the time. Steve went on down the coast to California to visit other friends.

The taller man standing by the car is Steve, who is also pictured driving below. The other shot is of Steve and me on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota:

While in Seattle, we bought a car--a used Plymouth Valiant--and headed for Athens, Ohio, where my parents were now living. We arrived in Athens just in time for me to accompany my father down to the College Green, where he, along with the rest of the faculty, had been asked to patrol in order to protect the infrastructure from vandalism by demonstrating students during what is known locally as "the Troubles," in the wake of the Kent State shootings:

After visiting with my parents in Athens, and resting up for a spell, my wife and I returned to Ann Arbor. I took a job in a Ford Motor Company plant in nearby Saline, Michigan, while I hasseled with the local draft board in an attempt to become reclassified as a conscientious objecter. We stayed with my wife's parents in Ann Arbor until I got paid by Mr. Ford, at which time we rented the second floor of a frame house on Packard Road, above the offices of a pediatrician. There we stayed until I won my final appeal with the Selective Service System. I am pictured below, chilling out in tie-dye shirt, Frye boots and jeans, on the couch of that furnished pad on Packard Road:

Once I had been reclassified, I had to find myself a job with a charity organization that would qualify as "alternate service," of which I was obligated to do two years. Through a friend living in New York City, I found both a job--at Planned Parenthood-World Population--and a cheap apartment in this building on Greene Avenue, in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn:

And that's what I did on my summer vacation.
Photo credit: The Athens scene above is from the Ohio University Alumni Journal, August 1970 Special Edition
Update: The interview went off, pretty much without a hitch, yesterday afternoon. Around fifty minutes of reminiscing will be boiled down to a three-minute presentation to fulfil the assignment for Kristen's multi-media class. I've been promised a copy of the final product. I imagine that viewing it will be cringe-making--like the first time you hear your own voice on tape: I SOUND LIKE THAT?!?!?X

Friday, May 28, 2010

Remembrances: Baseball 1961


Several days ago, while looking for something else entirely, I came across the Tiger Stadium rain checks pictured above, dated September 17, 1961. I didn’t even remember that I had these little bits of memorabilia. But I certainly did remember that game. Or, at least I thought I did. One’s memory can play tricks. Sometimes a bit of research reveals that one’s most cherished memories have been manufactured out of proverbial whole cloth by one’s own mind.

The 1961 season lives in my baseball-lovin’ heart as the very best season ever. The home team—the Detroit Tigers of Al Kaline, Rocky Colavito, Charley Maxwell, Stormin’ Norman Cash, Frank Lary, and, yes—Jim Bunning—as well as a whole roster of other heroes, battled the monstrously strong New York Yankees neck-and-neck for the American League pennant for the first three quarters of the season. But the primary excitement was provided by the hated Yankees, as both Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle spent the season on a pace to break Babe Ruth’s single-season homerun record of 60 round-trippers. The fragile Mantle broke down late in the year, but Maris soldiered on. My father'd had the presence of mind to purchase advance sale tickets for a late-season Tiger-Yankee game. He took me, along with my friend Jimmy Malcolm, to the stadium early enough to watch BP. Although we didn't get the foul ball we hoped for, we were both in heaven throughout the entire twelve-inning contest.

My memory had been that we saw Roger Maris hit number 58 that day. This was a significant homerun, in that it tied Maris with legendary Tiger hero, Hank Greenberg, and the equally renowned slugger, Jimmie Foxx, as the only men other than the Babe himself to reach that figure. But was this a true memory, or merely some retroactive fantasy, concocted out of dreamstuff by my inner fan?

Maris, of course, went on to hit 61 homeruns that year. He didn’t get number 60 within the 154 games that measured the season in the Babe’s day; but he did set a new record, nonetheless. It was not difficult, after finding those rain check stubs and confirming the date of the game, to go online and find a day by day run-down of Maris’ homeruns. Happily, this confirmed my memory: I’d been in the house for number 58. You can have a gander at the nostalgia-provoking inventory here.

Fortuitously, 1961 was the one season during which I kept a day-by-day scrapbook. The write-up of this memorable game is on the page below:


I was 14 years old during that season. I was on the brink of developing other interests—including, but not limited to, girls—that would somewhat dilute my obsession with baseball. But 1961 remains for me a season to remember. And remember I do.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflections: Mark 8:18

A couple of months ago, I quit wearing my glasses. Oh, I still wear them to drive my car. But most of the rest of the time, I leave them folded up somewhere; near at hand, but off my face. It’s not that I can suddenly see any better. Far from it. It’s just that I no longer care if things are in focus. I take this as a troublesome sign of my growing detachment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Reporter - Part 4: September 8, 1955


As the banner on the cover indicates, the September 8, 1955 issue of The Reporter focuses on New York City. While living there, I never found the City to be colorful in quite the same way as suggested by the cover art. Color me concrete and soot. This issue also has several articles about the on-going Geneva Conferences (1954, 1955) and other aspects of then contemporary Cold War geo-politics. Interesting history, but this time I am going to concentrate on the magazine’s coverage of things cultural. As a dim reflection of what is going on in Arizona today, however, I will quote this one bit about the demographic makeup of New York City in 1955:

A generation ago, a rule of thumb had it that the city was a third Jewish, a third Protestant, and a third Catholic. Today, the best estimate of New York’s population puts Catholics at fifty-two per cent, Jews at twenty-five, Protestants at twenty-three—which, on the surface, would support the politician’s dictum that the Catholic Church is the greatest single power in municipal politics. …While Protestant migration to the suburbs has been heaviest, Negro Protestants have largely replaced white Protestants in the city’s percentages. …Meanwhile New York’s largest single ethnic group remains its two million Jews, closely followed by its Italians, and then the Irish and the Germans, who in turn are followed by eight hundred thousand Negroes. …The Puerto Rican…is the city’s biggest emotional problem if not its biggest administrative one. …In a city smarting with so many irritants, angry at dirt, traffic, taxes, and crowding, a scapegoat has had to be found, and the Puerto Rican fills the role currently. He is the one who is cursed when a middle-class neighborhood starts to crumble. His “Bodega Latina” and “Carniceria Hispaniola” are banners announcing to residents that the “invasion” has begun.

And so it goes.

As a novelist, Aldous Huxley is probably best known today for his futuristic fable, Brave New World. As compared to his entire oeuvre, however, Brave New World cannot be evaluated as artistically among the best of his works of fiction. We will briefly discuss below another of his novels.

Huxley happens to have died on November 22, 1963—the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. That seems a long time ago. It feels somewhat strange to be holding in one’s hands an issue of a magazine containing a review of a new novel by Huxley; one written when he was younger than I am now. The novel is The Genius and the Goddess. I’ve never read it, and probably never will. The review is by our common thread in this collection of The Reporter, Sydney Alexander. He didn’t much care for the novel, but didn’t want to trash it either. Call the review lukewarm. I will quote in full only the opening and the penultimate paragraphs:

For openers:

The phases of Aldous Huxley, like those of the moon, are luminous dialogues between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. Darkness is human bondage, the flesh; light is nonattachment, an apprehension of the Highest Common Denominator, the metaphysical Ground. Over a long and prolific writing career Huxley has stressed first one and then the other of these terms: sense and spirit, flesh and soul—back and forth in his erudite, witty, and abstract mind has shuttled as if between two ancestors: his Darwinian grandfather, T.H. Huxley, and his pedagogical great-grandfather, Dr. Thomas Arnold.

And toward summing up:

… [T]here has always seemed to be an air of meretriciousness when westerners drink their deepest draughts from Oriental wells. One wonders how much of the cosmic jag results from the exoticism of the liquor. The Huxley in California with its Bahai temples and musical cemeteries and kidney-shaped swimming pools, the Huxley at the corner of Hollywood and Heard—somehow it was difficult not to wonder whether his flights into Nirvana weren’t really rope tricks. Philosophy may be perennial, and the metaphysic Ground may know no East or West. Nevertheless an Englishman in a loincloth is ridiculous.

To be fair to both Huxley and Alexander, the final sentence of this review is:

For the first time we feel that Aldous Huxley has not tried to be clever; for the first time he bows his head and is as mired as the rest of us in the human condition.

This magazine also uses the occasion of the Second Annual Newport Jazz festival (only the second! imagine that!) to launch an article on the advent of “serious jazz scholarship.” This is “serious,” one concludes, as opposed to “shouting, stomping, or cries of “Go, man, go!” To prove that jazz has become worthy of intellectual, highbrow, consideration, the author points out that, “There are record albums entitled ‘Annotations of the Muses,’ ‘Badinage,’ and ‘Innovations in Modern Music.’ Single compositions have titles like ‘Thelonius Epistrophy,’ (sic?) ‘Euphoria,’ ‘Cyclotron,’ ‘Fugetta,’ and ‘Futurity.’

Fugettaboudit. This reporter was obviously sans clue. So, moving right along…

Another book review, perhaps the most striking piece in this issue, is of Dr. Michihiko Hachiya’s Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician: August 6—September 30, 1945. Below, an excerpt from the review:

When the bomb fell Dr. Hachiya was badly wounded, but that is not quite the way to say it, for he did not know that a bomb had fallen; he was aware only of a bright flash of light, that his house was collapsing, that he was pulling a piece of broken glass from his throat, that the flesh had been torn from one thigh, and that he was stark naked: “…although I did not feel the least bit of shame, I was disturbed to realize that modesty had deserted me.” With his wife he made his way…to the hospital of which he was the director. He came upon a soldier standing with a towel slung over his shoulder. He asked for the towel to use as a loincloth and the soldier gave it to him but did not say a word. On that day no one said anything. He lost the towel and his wife gave him her apron. Before he reached the hospital he fainted. …the dying and the dead lay in filth in the rooms, the corridors, the entrances, and out of doors. They carried the dead out when they could, cremating them on makeshift pyres. …The stench was all-pervasive… Dr. Hachiya bowed to the dead. He regretted the absence of priests and fitting ceremonial. …His duty was to the living. Despite his physical weakness as the result of his wounds, and his instinctive desire to flee the dead city with his wife, he accepted his duty. That is why Dr. Hachiya’s diary is so proud a testimonial to man’s courage in adversity.

And you thought you were having a bad day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reflections: Up In Smoke


The ubiquity of the disposable lighter has all but done away with one of the classic street corner put-downs:

Naïf: xxHave you got a match?

Wisenheimer: xxSure. My butt and your face!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWhich reminds me:


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quote du Jour: Robbing Paul to Hype Peter



On this rock? Really?:

The most significant pope to exploit the new possibilities [after Constantine] was Damasus (366-84). After a highly discreditable election, in which his partisans slaughtered more than a hundred supporters of a rival candidate, and some very shaky years following that while he established his authority, Damasus sought to highlight the traditions and glory of his see. He was the first pope to use the distant language favored by the imperial bureaucracy in his correspondence. He took a keen interest in the process of making Rome and its suburbs into a Christian pilgrimage city, financing a series of handsomely sculpted inscriptions at the various holy sites in indifferent but lovingly and personally composed Latin verse, some of which survive. [...]

One aim of this programme was to place a new emphasis on the role of Peter rather than the joint role of Peter and Paul in the Roman past. Moreover, it was in Damasus' time that Peter came to be regarded not merely as the founder of the Christian Church in Rome, but also as its first bishop. Ironically, it was actually a North African bishop, point-scoring against his local Donatist opponents by stressing the North African Catholics' links to Rome, who is the first person known to have asserted on the basis of Matthew 16:17-19 that 'Peter was superior to the other apostles and alone received the keys of the kingdom, which were distributed by him to the rest'; yet significantly it was in the time of Damasus that this thought occurred to the North African, sometime around 370. All this promotion of Peter was not merely for the pope's greater glory; it was a conscious effort to to show that Christianity had a past as glorious as anything that the old gods could offer. The faith adopted by Constantine and his successors was no longer an upstart, but could be a religion fit for gentlemen. ~ Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch

The divine plan: Political assassination, sectarian conspiracy, public relations, concession stands, franchising, conventioneering, pyramid climbing, favorite son-ism, historical revisionism...

...this is what Jesus had in mind all along?
Update: In the interest of being "fair and balanced," here is the more orthodox spin on it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rants: In It For the Money

Stealing a neat gimmick from Kyle Cupp:

Memo to Dennis Miller: Not since Irma la Douce has there been a filthy ho as cute as you are, Cha-cha.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quote du Jour: Historico-Spiritual Amnesia

Western Christians have forgotten that before the coming of Islam utterly transformed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia, there was a good chance that the center of gravity of Christian faith might have moved east to Iraq rather than west to Rome. Instead, the ancient Christianity of the East was nearly everywhere faced with a destiny of contraction in numbers, suffering and martyrdom which still continues.
xxx ~ Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Can you picture conservative Irish or Bostonian Catholics lobbying for a return to the traditional Arabic Mass?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quote du Jour: Awesome

A line from a David Foster Wallace story with a title too long to cite:

xxxxHer nipples the color of a skinned knee.

What a tender and subtle image of the human condition!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Reporter - Part 3: May 19, 1955


Several weeks have gone by the boards since my last post concerning the collection of vintage issues of The Reporter that came into my possession was presented here. And several years—nearly six—elapsed between that first issue of The Reporter in the collection and the one now coming to bat. There are no issues to fill the gap between 8/30/49 and the issue under discussion today, dated May 19, 1955. As we have no evidentiary explanation for this hiatus, we will attempt neither speculation on its causes, nor interpretations of its significance. What we can say, since we have it in writing, is that the common thread running through the collection, columnist Sidney Alexander, is no longer an American ex-pat wandering the streets of Florence, Italy interviewing alienated minority former G.I.’s. At this juncture, we learn, he is “teaching in the English Department at Fairleigh Dickinson College. So, out of Tuscany, into New Jersey: we can only hope that there was some kind of half-way house available along the way to help Prof. Alexander acclimate to the culture shock.

Gone from this issue is the urgency of the domestic Red Scare. Gone, too, is the interest we saw in 1949 in the Race Issue. There are no cartoons in this 1955 edition. Still, it is to be hoped that there was sufficient truth proclaimed in the pages of an edition 55 years old this month that some of it at least will have proven to be prophetic. I find that this is the case.
While Alexander was still writing very much in the wake of WWII in 1949, by 1955 we see him writing a standard book review of a critical biography of Walt Whitman. Along the way, Alexander has this to say:

The American psyche…is woven of these two extremes—the tartly asserted individual and the myth of the Common Man. We’re always shuttling between saving the world for democracy and scowling behind our ocean fronts, those overgrown Walden Ponds.

And a bit further on:

In our jittery age we shy away from figures like Whitman. We just can’t grasp that amoebic all-inclusiveness of his. His impulse to be a universe swallower strikes us as a circus trick; we marvel but we have no desire to do it ourselves. We want sharp boundaries, not inner suspensions; answers, not the coexistence of contradictions.

Well, Alexander doesn’t exactly predict the advent of the Age of Aquarius, LSD, and “In A Gadda Da Vida” there, does he? He concludes as follows:

More than ever we need the sound of Whitman’s voice. A great voice—a wind in the upper branches—not the whine of our poetlings and the ululation of our despair. Lesser writers snap and rot. But he continues to grow—a great live oak, ever utter for us joyous leaves.

“Lesser writers snap and rot.” Hmm. (Kerouac, perhaps? Kerouac, still at this point two years away from fame and avant-garde respectability; more than a decade from rusting out…?)

The focal point of this issue, coming as it does about ten years before this country had gotten itself seriously mired in a pointless and tragic war in southeast Asia, is a series of articles on “Red China.” The banner on the cover announces, Three Windows on Red China. These are: 1. Chou En-lai at the Asia-African Meeting; 2. Mao’s ‘Paradise’ as Seen from India; and 3. Are Religions the Opium of the People? The latter article concerns itself with the struggles of Buddhists (the “liberation” of Tibet comes into play there), Confucians, and Taoists to coexist with a Maoist regime. Strangely, the fate of Chinese Christians does not seem to be of interest here.

But, of interest to me is a mini-review in the “Editor-at-Large” column of the novel Something of Value by Robert Ruark. This is the fictionalized history of the Mau Mau insurgency in colonial Kenya. I read it as a high school student and was strongly affected by it. I recommend it still today.

In the end, I found the most prophetic item in this issue of The Reporter to be a snide little piece of doggerel composed by “Sec”—who I take to be the mag’s poet/humorist-in-residence:

Riviera Emperor

To destiny I will not bao,
xxxFor I would sooner dai
xxxThan leave my croupiers
xxxxxxhai and drai
And ngo to Vietnam nao.

Ha-ha-ha. Is this the attitude that forged the fate of my whole generation?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Quote du Jour: more Proust

The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished; as it was not they that engendered those beliefs, so they are powerless to destroy them; they can aim at them continual blows of contradiction and disproof without weakening them; and an avalanche of miseries and maladies coming, one after another, without interruption into the bosom of a family, will not make it lose faith in either the clemency of its God or the capacity of its physician.
X XXX~ Marcel Proust, Swann's Way, tr. C.K. Scott Moncrieff

If only.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Riffs: Blue, blue windows

A beautifully simple rendition of one of my all-time favorite tunes:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quote du Jour: You're Having Me On!


And George Martin tells of an incident during the present series of recordings
when John wanted the saxophones to play a certain note. Martin told the
saxophonists what to play and John interrupted.
"Look," said John, "I'm playing G but you're asking them to play B flat."
"That's right," Martin told him. "If they play their B flat, it sounds the same
as your G"
"How's that?" asked a puzzled John Lennon. "Why doesn't it sound the same
if they play G?"
"Well," said Martin, "it's because the instruments are in different keys and
their B flat is the equivalent of your G."
"I don't know," said John, “sounds bloody silly to me."

~ Saturday Review, October 12, 1968

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reflections: Lost at the Last Link

Excerpted from a story by Yvor Winters:

“It was as if there were darkness evenly underlying the brightness of the air, underlying everything, as if I might slip suddenly into it at any instant, and as if I held myself where I was by an act of the will from moment to moment.”

I have been there -- in 1969 or 1970. It was as if a lens had clicked in place, or a skrim had suddenly been lifted, revealing in an eternal instant the authentic existence that underlay the world of illusion. The "real world" was seen to have possessed no more essential reality than a Disney cartoon of frolicking forest creatures. Existence was known as the ass-end of the Great Chain of Being: dead matter, imbued with that evil which is the utter absence of goodness. It was understood that once this horror had been realized there was no going back to the almost-happy dream, which was now known as a thin veneer covering an eternity of cold, dark, mineral death.
I think that I'm back there now.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Quote du Jour: Beatessence


Excerpted from Jack Kerouac’s short and rather late (he actually uses the word “beatnik” in it) novel, documenting the hopelessly unrequited love of the Kerouacian protagonist for the Mexican title junky (or junkette) Tristessa, the following quote captures the essence of “beat” sensibility across the spectrum of its nuances:

Because Tristessa needs my help but wont take it and I wont give—yet, supposing everybody in the world devoted himself to helping others all day long, because of a dream or a vision of the freedom of eternity, then wouldnt the world be a garden? A Garden of Arden, full of lovers and louts in clouds, young drinkers dreaming and boasting on clouds, gods—Still the god’s’d’a fought? Devote themselves to gods-don’t-fight and bang! Miss Goofball would ope her rosy lips and kiss in the World all day, and men would sleep—And there wouldnt be men or women, but just one sex, the original sex of the mind—But that day’s so close I could snap my finger and it would show, what does it care? … About this recent little event called the world.

Yeah. Let IT take up the Cross…

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rants: Take Me Out with the Frauds?


Any true fan of the game of baseball is a student of the game’s history. And being a student of the game’s history, he is ipso facto a collector, classifier, analyzer, and interpreter of statistics.

From the time I could read, I was poring over the backs of baseball cards, learning the stats. I was studying tables full of columns of numbers, the significance of which grew on me, and with me, as the years—and successive baseball seasons—rolled on.

I was also reading books for boys about the heroes and history of the Game—the Babe, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle—either borrowed from the public library, or received as gifts for Christmas and birthdays. I was an addict. I could tell you the name of the player holding the single-season or lifetime record for virtually any aspect of the game on which states were kept.

In addition to rooting for the home team (mine was the Detroit Tigers) to beat the hated Yankees and win the American League pennant (for these were pre-expansion, pre-ALCS days), one of the prime joys of each new season, and every single game, was the hope that this would be the year when some titan in spikes would break the Babe’s record, or pitch a perfect game, or fan 20 hitters in nine innings, or steal more bases in a season than Ty Cobb. And eventually, since God is good, somebody did; although I’m waiting yet for the man who will hit .400 in my lifetime.

But these days my enthusiasm for the America’s signature game has waned. It’s hard for me to get it up even to watch the Yankees—the team I adopted by default while living in the Bronx for more than a decade in the ‘70s and ‘80s—on television: the stats have been ruined; polluted and corrupted by steroids-fuelled and completely illegitimate numbers, achieved by frauds--by gigantic juicers with track-ravaged buttocks.

These sentiments are nothing new or original. Others have said all of this long before now. It’s just that I had hoped that I’d get over it—just as I got over the strike season. I really had hoped to get finally get back to my joy in the Game. But it hasn’t happened. Like a romance that’s died and fallen into an irretrievable past, it’s over.

That said, I want to go on record with the following. So far as I’m concerned, the single-season record for dingers is still held by this man:

And the record for career round-trippers belongs to Hammerin’ Hank:

Don’t even talk to me about asterisks and accommodations. I don’t want to hear it.