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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Earl of Doublin'

Major League baseball player Earl Webb was born on Sept. 17, 1898 in White County, Tennessee. In 1931, he broke a major-league record by hitting 67 doubles in 589 at-bats, averaging one every 8.79 trips to the plate. Today, it is one of the longest-lasting records in major league baseball. It earned him the nickname, Earl of Doublin'.

William Earl Webb was born on a farm in Blue Spring Cove community of White County, less than 10 miles from Sparta. His father worked in the coal mines and when Earl was 6, the family moved to the Ravenscroft community, another seven miles or so from Sparta. Earl’s father not only mined but served as assistant deputy sheriff. He also pitched and played the outfield for the Ravenscroft baseball team and taught singing in the local school. Earl’s mother was the former Helen Victoria Palmer. She is listed in the 1920 Census as “matron” in a hotel. (she ran the coal company’s boardinghouse.) Before baseball, Earl was a coal miner. He claimed to have be…

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Marv Albert

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now-legendary voices and characters.

Marv Albert was known as the voice of the New York Knicks from 1967 to 2004 (getting his start by being a ball boy for the Knicks before getting his first break on New York radio by sportscaster Marty Glickman). He has called the play-by-play of six Super Bowls, NBA Finals, seven Stanley Cup Finals and Wimbledon Tennis Championships and worked in two World Series (1986 and 1988). Albert is currently lead announcer for NBA games and NCAA tournament action works for Turner Sports and CBS Sports.

He was born Marvin Philip Au…

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Pat Summerall

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now-legendary voices and characters.

Pat Summerall was born on May 10, 1930 at Lake City, Florida. He died in Dallas Texas on April 16, 2013 at the age of 82. Summerall was a football star at Lake City. His position was place kicker. He played college football at Arkansas and was drafted into the NFL during the 4th round in 1952. He spent one year with the Detroit Lions, four years with the Chicago Cardinals and three years with the New York Giants. He was later named to the Florda High School Athletic Association's All-Century Team.

After retiring from fo…

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Dick Engberg

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters.

Enberg was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Following high school, he played college baseball and earned a bachelor's degree in 1957 at Central Michigan University. Enberg then went on to graduate school at Indiana University, where he earned master's and doctorate degrees inhealth sciences. While at Indiana, Enberg voiced the first radio broadcast of the Little 500, the bicycle racing event popularized in the film Breaking Away. He was also the play-by-play announcer for Indiana Hoosiers football and basketball games…

Life

Life can be hard.

Unbearable...

Crops fail...

Sickness comes...

Friends will fail you...

Wives betray you...

Husband's will turn to drink...

That awful sound that comes from your child's stomach when you put him to bed hungry at night.

WHO CAN BEAR THAT?

Losing your mama...

Burying your child...

Without God, who can bear it?

Life breaks your heart.

Life will drive you to your knees and then you have finally gotten somewhere, because then the only way there is for you to go is UP!

We're not stuck here crying out in the night...

Crawling through the darkness...

Broken and alone...

Separated from the ones we love forever...

No sir, we are not, because we have the promise of Heaven.

(Bro. Jake Owens/Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors)

The Deaf Taxi Driver

George A. Guinn was a deaf taxi driver, who transported people between Albany and Monticello. Born on August 4, 1868, he was the grandson of Reuben Bayless Wood, who was murdered by Champ Ferguson during the civil war.

(From Albany's New Era newspaper...)
"Mr. George A, Gwinn, successful farmer and influential citizen of near town, died in a Nashville hospital, Sunday, June 16, where he had been following a stroke of paralysis at his home Friday. His death removes one of the county's most prominent citizens. He was seventy-two years of age, and is survived by his wife, formerly Mrs. Ida Mae Armstrong, and one brother, Mr. R. W. Gwinn of Danville. Funeral services were held at the Baptist church here Tuesday morning at 10:00 a. m., and were conducted by Rev. G. H. Lawrence through Sewell Funeral Home. The burial was in the Albany cemetery following the services at the church."



Happy National Pfeffernüesse Day!

Pfeffernüesse Cookies are one of the oldest and most popular holiday cookie in Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands. Known as Pepernoten in Dutch (plural), Pebernødder in Danish and Pepper Nuts in English, Pfeffernüesse cookies are so beloved in many European Countries that there is a National Pfeffernüesse Day, held each year on December 23rd honor of these little cookies.

Pfeffernüesse are great for dunking in hot mulled cider, amug of hot tea, hot chocolate or a steaming mug of Gluhwein.

Pfeffernüsse Cookies are spicy, small, round cookies, made with butter, molasses, and lots of spices. Pfeffernüsse are hard when they come out of the oven but soften with time....if they last that long! Pfeffernüesse cookies are a variant of the German Lebkuchen or gingerbread. Pfeffernüesse are a special treat, left for children by St. Nicholas!


"Sid Scott, What A Man"

Laying Sid to rest yesterday was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but the service was exceptionally great, especially the words of Sid the Kid and Courtney. Loved it. Sid's death is the end of an era for me. He was the last of a group of a group of broadcasters I grew up with at WANY radio. It is an era that I did not want to see come to an end. Sid was such a huge part of my life and life is not going to ever be the same again. I am not looking for sympathy, but it has been a rough year, with the loss of my aunt Pat on June 3rd, followed a week later by the death of my sister. Sid was in the hospital during the entire month of July. He kept bouncing back, as he had done years before during a previous episode with sickness, but God's will is not always what we wish to happen. Sid came from Lillydale, Tennessee. His family were neighbors to my great grandfather Hige Boles and they were sharecroppers. Both families migrated to Clinton County when Dale Hollow Lake…

In Memory of a Legend

I started in radio in the spring of 1976 and was blessed to work with or be close to many legendary on air personalities and radio executives around the area. People like my grandfather, Cecil Speck, my uncle, Wallace Allred, my dad, Darrell Speck, Welby and Mae Hoover, Elmer Goodman, Ray Mullinix, Eddie Neal, Bob Glover and Eddie Paul Coop. And then, after a couple of decades I started having to write most of their obituaries. Writing obits was part of my job, but what had been routine became difficult when I found myself writing them for the very people I had worked with and idolized. Today, I wrote one more and it was hardest of all. Hard because Sid Scott was like a second father to me. Hard because his passing marks the end of an era that I was not ready to shut the door on.

Grace

This photograph has lots of memories for me. All through my childhood, up into my earlier adult years living at home, it hung on the wall facing our kitchen table. Times, life in general, were simpler back then. Sometimes I long for those days to return.

Grace was photographed by Eric Enstrom st his studio in Bovey, Minnesota. Most sources note the year as 1918, though Enstrom's daughter Rhoda, born in 1917, claimed to remember being present when the photograph was taken, and it may have been taken closer to 1920. The man in the photograph, Charles Wilden, was a Swedish immigrant who lived in nearby Grand Rapids, earning a meager living as a peddler and living in a sod house. While the photograph conveys a sense of piety, the book shown in the photo is a dictionary, not the Bible.

What happened to Wilden after the photograph is unclear. In 1926 he was paid $5 by Enstrom in return for waiving his rights to the photograph. He disappeared thereafter. After the photograph became p…