Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Belmont Stakes

So I'm watching the running of the 152nd  Belmont.

I gotta admit I was wiping tears from my eyes.  Why? A lot of reasons. First, I'm a New Yorker. After all it's been through it was great to see pictures of the city. To see Governor Cuomo who's been so strong, so fireside chatty, the voice of reason every day during this pandemic say "Riders Up."

 So cool.

To see shots of Manhattan. To see shots of Times Square. To be reminded  that no New York bred horse has won this race since 1882.

So cool.

Mike Tirico and his commentary?

So cool.

Frank Sinatra singing New York New York. If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere.

So cool.

Part of the reason for the tears was watching that race and seeing the empty stands and understanding why. Part of the new normal is to not be in crowds and I get that but still. To see a sporting event with an empty stadium was something to see.

Okay, on to the race.

The New York thoroughbred they were all talking about was Tiz the Law. He was favored but you know the old saying-you still have to run the race. See sometimes in sports the favorite wins, but sometimes...

You never know.

Well guess what kids? He won. And I'm on my bed, along with Lola the Dog, with my arm in the air hollering and whooping at the TV. For Tiz the Law, for the Belmont, and for the fact that a lot of us have missed sports on TV.

These are strange times. Covid-19, the protests everywhere because of police brutality and racial injustice, the economy so scary; masks, masks, and more masks. It's tough watching the news because it seems it's always bad news.

But here comes the Belmont to remind us of other things. It was great to see that. And it was great to have something on TV that was just sports. 

Tiz the Law, New York bred and the winner. Never heard of him before today.

And I'm glad I did.

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

My Dear Friend Jerry

I knew Jerry Steffen long before I met him.

Here's the deal...I used to come to Orlando before I lived here to court Denise before she became my wife. Jerry was a deejay on the radio and she loved him and he was on the box it seemed every time I came. Being a former one myself I listened to him differently and found out Denise has great taste in on air people.

He was very good.

So then I moved here to anchor and Jerry, which I did not know, was a weatherman as well. We worked side by side and our friendship began.

Not only was he the weatherman we shared a love of the card game cribbage. I learned it in college, Jerry learned it from his Dad. We used to play all the time at work in between updates. He ended up giving me a cribbage board with this on the back of it.
Pretty cool, huh?

A few other things. He's from Wisconsin, a huge Packers fan, as you'd assume has great taste in music, and is one of the nicest people I've ever known.

Okay, I told you that story to tell you this one.

Jerry moved to Palm Springs and is on the air there but here's what I didn't know. We talked on the phone this morning and I casually told him how proud I was of Maya going to her first protest. Jerry just as casually said, "Over the years I've been to about twelve of them." What? And get this, he's made a bunch of signs over the years to take to them.

Flabbergasted is a good word. I told you you how proud I am of Maya add Jerry to that proud list. As our conversation wound down and after we made plans to hook up here I hung up the phone and thought, "Gee whiz, who knew?"

Jerry has always had a heart of gold and his heart has always been in the right place. He told me his Dad taught him to be understanding and empathetic (his words)  to all human beings when he was young. His Father also taught him to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves (his words again.)

Yay Dad!

It's great to learn something great about a friend.

Today was a good day but never forget.

Like a lion in the tall grass I wait for him to come here.

With my cribbage board at the ready.

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Saturday, June 6, 2020


My Maya went to her first protest. I can't tell you how proud I am of her.

Actually she's been to three and actually spoke at one. It wasn't me who suggested she go, this was all her idea. She said, "Dad, I have to go." And that was it.

She lives in California and we all know about the pandemic and how that state has been in the crosshairs and that was a major concern for her father. But George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were at the front of her mind and in her heart so she went.

When I was much younger there were riots and cities burning and people looting. Think Detroit 1968. So what's been going on and what is going on is something I've seen. But. Millennials have never seen this before. To see them demonstrate, most of them peacefully, has been something.

I'm not the first to say this but next time you see a protest on television look in the crowd. The rainbow of colors is astounding. Black, white, brown, yellow, red. Astounding.

Let me tell you a story. I'll bet every black man got the lecture from their father, I did. About how to act around police. I can remember mine. If stopped while driving keep your hands on the wheel, smile, and no quick movements. I'll also bet if you're white you never got that talk.

Like I've been fond of saying, "I've been black a long time." The rules have always been different for me. Oh, they've gotten better as I've gotten older but the rules are still different.


The pride that a father feels toward his child is something that is difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have kids. Your children make you see things differently, make you think differently. Maya has friends of all kinds of colors, she listens to music by people of all kinds of colors. Her heroes are all different colors.

My Dad has always said you love your kids but liking them is a bit different. I love Maya. I like Maya.

So she went to the protest with her mask on, hand sanitizer at the ready, making sure to practice social distancing. She said she was at the front of the crowd to help avoid getting you know what.

You know what's funny? Every time a news program shows a protest in the L.A. area I stop and look at it to see if I can see my daughter.

Powerful stuff.

One last thing, Maya is a big sister. To show her younger brothers that this is important to her is just...

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