Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yoi! and Double Yoi!

Pittsburgh lost its best friend yesterday when Myron Cope, the outlandish voice of the Steelers passed away at the age of 79. The Steelers played many a dull game over Cope's 35 year career in the booth, but you'd never know it from listening to his broadcasts. Myron could make paint drying sound exciting.

I never got to meet Myron, but I felt like I knew him from way back. That was his style--invite the fans into his own little world, tell it like it is, and have a lot of fun doing it. He was, to say the least, outlandish, and to fans from other NFL teams, he was sometimes misunderstood, and, yes, disliked. But who cares about dem other towns, Myron belonged to us, and while he could be zany, he knew the game of football, and he knew the Steelers inside and out. But for as good a journalist and broadcaster as he was, I'll remember him for his zany antics the most.

I remember hearing the story about Steelers linebacker Andy Russell's 30th birthday. They wheeled in a huge box, and Myron popped out, looked at Russel, and in that squawky voice of his he hollered, 'kiss me, you fool.'

How many times do I remember Myron referring to the Bengals as the Bungles, and the Cleveland Browns as the Brownies? Too many to count.

At one point there was a college drinking game played during Steelers broadcasts. Every time Myron said 'yoi.' the participants would drink. Myron made mention of the game during a broadcast and said, 'To those drinking when I say yoi...yoi, yoi, yoi, yoi, double yoi. yoi.' Somewhere along the way, the powers that be supposedly asked Myron not to engage in this game. Afterwards, Myron announcemed on the air that he could not say a certain word because people in the city were using it as an excuse to get drunk. Not long afterwards, the Steelers had a big play at the end of the game to win and Myron said, 'I don't care who gets drunk! Yoi and double yoi!'

The voice of my beloved Steelers for 35 years, Cope gave name to Franco Harris' game ending catch against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs..'the Immaculate Recption.' He was also responsible for the creation of the Terrible Towel...of which, I have two.

While Myron will be missed, I don't think he'd want us to mourn. Myron loved life and had little time for those who didn't. Maybe we should all go down to Heniz Field and have a wake. Or better yet, a tailgate party. Count me in.

Bye, now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, February 25, 2008

My First Dog

In the summer of 1965 Tippy came to live with me. He was part toy collie, part clydsdale. He was never a large animal, but he was strong. After I'd had him for a couple of months Dad had to put a calf halter on him so I could walk him. Otherwise I'd get drug all over the yard. By the fall of '65 he could pull my Radio Flyer...with me in it.

Here we are right after Mom and Dad gave him to me. I'm trying to keep him from eating my banana pop-sicle.

This is us about a month later. I'm giving him a ride in my Radio Flyer. A couple of months later the tables would be turned. You can tell he's grown. When he was a puppy, Mom said he looked like a little butterball.

Here we are in the spring of '66. Look at size of his feet! By this time it was impossible to win a wrestling match with him.

What a pooch. What a pal!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What R U Reading?

I was going through my comments from last weeks Wordless Wednesday and commenting on other bloggers offerings when I came across Bold & Free.

The post was one of those, that if you read it, you're tagged. I kinda sorta brush those off, but this one was different, so I decided to play along. Here's the Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

I’m reading Football Shorts; 1001 of the Game's Funniest One-liners, by Glenn Liebman.

"I hear Elvis is living now in Michigan or Minnesota. Well, we'd like him to come and be on our bench. We don't care how much he weighs."
Former Houston Oilers coach, Jerry Glanville, on leaving tickets for Elvis before a 1988 exibition game in Memphis.

I'm tagging: Goody Two Shoes, the Gremlin Wrangler, Suzy's Bloomers, Skippy, & cj from Random Thoughts. They're all over on my favorite links. Give them a look sometime.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Difference Between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

It was 20 degrees and the snow was six inches deep in places. Go figure.

The Boy Scouts motto: Be Prepaired.
The Girl Scouts motto: It's better to look good than feel good.

I can't wait to hear Goody Two Shoes response to this post. (Stifled giggling)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Skippy Turns 26

Oh, do I feel old and decrepid. My oldest turns 26 today. To pay him back for making me feel old I will use this space to embarass him a little. Here we go....

Wearing his mother's hat.

With his first fish.

Wearing my sunglasses.

With his buds, Chris and Joey in Georgetown.

Trying to wake up.

And lastly.... This is what a college education gets you.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Filthy Beast Meets Goody Two Shoes

In an earlier post I mentioned that I married my college sweetheart. While that statement was true, it is, by the tiniest of margins, a tad misleading. I first met Goody Two Shoes in the summer of 1976 at Summer School. It wasn't one of those deals where we'd both flunked English or something and had to make it up.

The county Vocational Technical Center offered summer classes...sort of like the Continuing Education program at the local Community College. Goody Two Shoes went to Summer School with her best friend simply for something to do. I, on the other hand, was left with little choice when my mother announced that I was going to get off my lazy butt and do something constructive. Since I was already a student at Vo-Tech, enrolled in the Carpentry & Cabinetry program I figured why not.

Once I was back in shop class...and knowing this wasn't a pass/fail thing...I embarked on a summer of unbridled capitalism. In other words, I made money. I had made a set of dog silhouettes for my next door neighbors. They were mounted on sticks and designed to be sunk in the ground facing each other. I took a router and cut their first names, one in each dog, then cut their last name in a small scrap of pine then suspened it between the dogs. Get the picture?

While I was working on my project, one of my summertime classmates, a woman in her thirties with a voice like Edith Bunker, asked if I could make a set for her. I said, sure, and that it would cost her $15. She agreed and my little business was off and running. Before the summer was over I had made 20 to 25 sets. Not bad, huh?

Where does Goody Two Shoes fit into all this? I knew the friend she came to summer school with. Her friend was also a student at the Vo-Tech center. Anyway, we met in the hallway one day after lunch and her friend introduced us. I thought she was cute, but painfully shy. But man, was she ever cute. And being a guy it didn't take me long to notice her natural charms. Yeah, she uh, wiggled and jiggled in the right places...and just enough to hold my attention. I thought, wow, now if I can get her to talk I might have a chance with her.

That chance didn't come until a year later; in September of 1977. Unbeknownst to one another we both enrolled at Allegany Community College. It was an overcast day as I walked into the Student Activity Center for Freshman Orientation. There were at least two hundred of us milling about. I recognized very few faces, other than old classmates from high school. After talking to a couple of my buds for a few minutes I wandered around a little. About thirty seconds later I spotted a familiar face.

There, sitting on a couch all alone was Goody Two Shoes. If my memory serves me right, I walked over, sat on the coffee table facing her and said hello. Believe it or not I actually got a hello back from her. Now, in her version of the story, this is the part where she adds that, yes, she did say hello, BUT (there's always a but) she was scared to death and she hoped I'd go away.

The Student Activity Center

I didn't go away. Instead I walked with her to the gym where the new freshmen were herded into groups alphabetically. Since her last name began with J and mine with H we found ourselves in the same group. That's about as much as I can remember from that day, except for the fact that she still looked cute as can be, she was dressed nice, and she smelled pretty.

As time passed that first semester we passed in the hallway of the Humanities building, and we'd bump into one another in the cafeteria. We even shared a booth together once. Talk about a thrill. Finally, I asked her a movie. We had a good time, but when I dropped her off at her house, she got out of the car and ran inside. Yeah, I was really wearing her down.

The Humanities building.

Needless to say I wasn't smooth when it came to dating. And she was so shy it wasn't funny. But we both kept at it, and one day in the Spring '78 semester a bunch of us skipped class (it wasn't my first), piled in a friend's van and went...are you ready for Burger King. On the way back to school me and Goody Two Shoes sat in the back seat laughing and carrying on with everyone else. But there was one point when no one was watching that we kissed for the first time.

We were off and running after that. I dropped out of school while she went on and got her A.A. degree. I got a job with a local carpenter and tried to make a few bucks. Over the summer we went to the movies, went to Kennywood, and spent a lot of evenings on her parents front porch listening to our favorite music and between visits from her overly protective mother.

Here are a few snapshots from the vault

My favorite photo of us from that time. It's also living proof that I wore a suit at one time and that I did clean up pretty good.

Here we are on March 13, 1979. Our wedding day.

So what came next for Goody Two Shoes and the Filthy Beast? It was a simple mathimatic equation...and a lot of fun. Still is! (Giggle, giggle, giggle)

Here's a little something from 1977 to early 1979...the days when we were dating. See how many you can pick out.

Belated Happy Valentines Day, Hon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And the Winner Is

"The Road Home"

Congratulations, June, an 8x10, matted copy will soon be on it's way to you.

I want to thank everyone who submitted an entry for my 100th Post, 'Name that Photo Contest.' There were some really good ones, and picking a winner wasn't easy. Here are a few samples:

'Uphill both ways,' by the Gremlin Wrangler. Very funny! I laughed for ten minutes. My mother used to tell the story of how she walked uphill to school. And being the goof that I am, I would always chime in, "Both ways!" I always got a dirty look from her...I wonder why?

'Coming home,' by Robert. All country roads seem to say that.

'Days gone by,' by Angela. How true.

'Just around the bend,' by Neen. Another good one.

'The long and winding road,' by Diana. I would have picked this one, except for the fact that the Beatles used it first.

And now a little history lesson. The photo is of the 'out buildings' on the Mumma (pronounced Moo-ma) Farm at the Antietam National Battlefield. Just before the armies of Lee and McClellan met on September 17, 1862, the Confederates burned the Mumma farmhouse so it couldn't be used by Union troops as a sharpshooters den. The photo looks roughly northwest, towards the Dunker Church, and the current day Visitors Center.

On September 17, 1862, this little piece of pastoral splendor became the most expensive piece of land in American History--in terms of the blood that was spilt and the lives lost. In twelve hours of fighting over 23,000 Americans fell...that's one man every two seconds.

Here are some other photos of the Mumma Farm. You can see the out buildings in the background of the first two.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter Reflections

We got about four inches of snow the other day. Being a Camera Totin' Idiot, I played hooky from work. Okay, okay, I used a personal day. Still, while my co-workers were hard at it, I was out having a blast. Here are a few images from my snow day.

Remember this barn from one of my earlier posts? It's one of my favorite subjects. Here it is in summer...

...And in winter.

A few photos from the Western Maryland train station.

The frozen tundra east of Cumberland.

Looking out my mother's patio door.

A counrty lane in West Virginia.

Looking out my buddy Tim's sliding glass doors.

Our canoes. Mine is the one in back.

A deck chair waiting for spring.

Good old Cumberland photographed from the middle of Route 28 in Wiley Ford, WV. I get the strangest looks when I stand in the middle of the road.

Here's the same photo, but with some of the landmarks identified.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - 100th Post!!!!!!

Today is sort of a milestone for me, my 100th post...ta-da!! So, in honor of my centennial post I thought I'd have a little contest. Here's the deal in a nutshell. Submit a name/title for photo below. If I select it I'll send you a copy...absolutly free. You can't beat that with a stick. You can enter more than once, but ya gotta keep it clean. The contest will end Thursday evening at 11:00 PM EST, and I'll announce the winner on Saturday, February 16. Okay, put your thinking caps on.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dimples

Dimples turns 22 today...actually at 11:30 tonight, if you want to be exact. It snowed like crazy that day and her mother was in labor all day long. I went to work anyway and about seven that evening we went to the hospital. Goody Two Shoes and I watched television in the labor room while we waited for Dimples to make her grand entry. The thing that ticks me off was that she decided to show up in the middle of WKRP in Cincinnati.

Anyway, here's Dimples at about nine months.

Here she is at age 2.

And here she is this past Christmas. You've come a long way, baby.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

NASCAR's Here!

It's that time of year...Speed Week at Daytona. Why am I so excited? Simple I'm suffering from football withdrawl. I'm also excited because my driver...Dale Jr. got himself a sweet new ride, new colors, and a new owner. Oh yeah, he also got himself a win the first time out with his new car. It oughta be a fun '08 season.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I'm Bored

When I get bored, things like this usually happen. It's a Saturday, I slept in and missed getting an early start with my camera and now I have to go and buy blue jeans for work. Yippie flipping skippy! Have a great Saturday everyone.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Will the Real Abe Lincoln Please Stand Up

For my latest Wordless Wednesday entry, I posted a photo of living historian James Getty portraying Abraham Lincoln. Being a photographer/artist I have times when I'm not happy with my work. In this case, I had to shoot through a crowd, that and the photo just didn't look old. I wanted old, something along the lines of my Great-great Uncle Henry way back in 1910 or 1911.

This the original photo of Mr. Getty, taken in 2003 in the chapel of Gettysburg College. Notice the young Mr. Lincoln on the right.

To create the image I wanted, I cropped the photo down using Photoshop. Next, using the cloning tool, I took out the folded program the elderly man on the left was holding. Next I took the color out of the photo then started playing around with the tone. I added a little yellow, a little red, and another dash of yellow. But after an hour, I still couldn't find the look I wanted. That's when I reached for the phone and called number 1 son, a.k.a., Skippy.

Say hello, to Skippy. Aside from being my oldest, he's a graphic artist. So, I says 'help' and he says 'e-mail me the original image.

Two days later, Skippy sends me the finished product. At first I thought he went a little overboard with the yellow. But, over time, the image has grown on me. I think he did a fantastic job. Now, if he only lived close, he could give me lessons in Photoshop.

Thank you son, er uh, Skippy. By the way, folks, did I mention he's single and has his own place? I didn't? Well he is. Want his phone number? Give me a shout. Serious inquiries only.

P.S. Check back next Wednesday. I'll be doing something special for Wordless Wednesday. Until then...see you in the funny papers.