"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Check out the sub headline on today's lead convention story on the NYT front page:GOP Opposes Abortion and Gay Unions. You might think the paper had an agenda or something. (Via The Corner)
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No sooner does Arafat burble pacifist coos with Gandhi's grandson than the bus bombs explode. You can set your watch by the old rag-head: If you're an Israeli and you hear Arafat talking peace and diplomacy, get ready to duck.
Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
MCCAIN: Not our political opponents. And certainly -- and certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe...
Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
MCCAIN: Please, please, my friends.
That line was so good, I'll use it again. Certainly not a disingenuous film maker...
MCCAIN: ... who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact -- when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.
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MCCAIN: Let us argue -- let us argue our differences, but remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals and our unconquerable love for them.
Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express -- they fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity. We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible.
Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.
We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.
McCain, the 9/11 family members, in a dignified and moving presentation, and Giuliani struck a positive theme on opening night, positioning the GOP as the party of the firemen and the soldiers, of pride and sacrifice, of taking the fight to terrorists and building freedom across the world – the party of those who favor, with the Flight 93 widow, doing something.
It is, as has been observed elsewhere, a progressive message, in contrast to the anti-platform of the Dems and of the massed Leftie protesters, who act, as a NYC cop minding them told Roger L. Simon, as if "fuggin 9/11 never happened."
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I appreciate the late Chairman of the Board as much as anyone, but am not a great fan of the over-played "New York, New York." Here instead is a brief clip of "Sidewalks of New York," from the Smithsonian.
The game tally, itemized from hippo to bustard, that TR kept of his 1909 African expedition was, to say the least, extensive. Observes the Eyewitness to History site: Unfortunately for the animals, "collected" in those days was an euphemism for shot and killed. Between the two of them, Theodore and Kermit slew 512 beasts including 17 lion, 11 elephant and 20 rhinoceros. The animals were no doubt happy to see T.R. leave the plain. After the year-long hunt, Roosevelt proceeded to England for the funeral of King Edward VII and then on to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War.
Of the 512 animals bagged on the African safari made under the auspices of the Smithsonian, TR kept two-dozen for himself, and gave the rest to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC (where a Memorial Hall and Rotunda are named for TR) and to the San Francisco Museum.
An animated cartoon of African animals high-tailing it up a tree at Roosevelt's approach is among the TR films at American Memory.
The foot of an elephant bagged by TR is used at a Washington house is used as an umbrella stand at a Washington house for retired diplomats. The furnishings at TR's Sagamore Hill include elephant's tusk chimes and elephant's foot gong.
Not all of us will be in the Naked City for the convention, but those of us playing along at home can get in the anarchic spirit by printing out some of these handy posters created by Communists for Kerry. George Soros = Good Capitalist Pig! (Via OC Hiss)
The authors, Jason Berry, a journalistic pioneer who exposed sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the 1980s, and Gerald Renner, the former religion writer for The Hartford Courant, make a strong case that [Legion founder Marcel] Maciel was a serial predator who should have been cast aside long ago but who remained immune to credible accusations because of his clout inside the Vatican of Pope John Paul II...
Berry and Renner paint a portrait of a clueless, isolated Catholic hierarchy that is Orwellian in its absurd embrace of dubious figures like Maciel and its paranoid rejection of good priests like Tom Doyle, the Dominican canon lawyer who was ignored in 1985 when he warned the Vatican that it had to do more about abusive priests, and who was targeted for retribution when he began openly siding with victims. The pope's blindness to the scandal stands in contrast to his noble efforts to acknowledge the corrosive effects of anti-Semitism and authoritarianism as practiced by communists.
"Why did the pontiff most sophisticated in using mass media fail to resolve a crisis so damaging to the church?" the authors ask rhetorically. "The most charitable answer is that John Paul saw no crisis because he had no contact with victims. He cared about them in the abstract; but his vision of the church's purifying truth held no room for a fearless introspection of the clerical state."
Boston public radio station WBUR interviewed author Berry.
A reviewer for the Australian paper The Agewrites:This book should come, like cigarette packets, with a health warning. It is liable to overexcite those with a tendency to high blood pressure: it made my blood boil.
Shepparton News columnist John Lewis on Sally Robbins, the Australian rower who famously "didn't have a redhot go" in the Olympic eights final: She was buggered and she took a smoko. Is this, or is this not the Australian spirit?
Blessings for bees, beer, seismographs, lime-kilns, blast furnaces, railway cars, mobile film units, for anything at all – they're included in the handy and comprehensive Roman Ritual from 1964, posted online here. (Via JWZ and the Holy Whapping [Aug. 26])
A Holy Whapping post on a monsignor's blessing of sea scouts produced a frenzy of POD one-upsmanship in the comment box.
Her teammates threatened to throw her overboard after Australian rower Sally Robbins, apparently suffering a psychological and physical breakdown, quit pulling and opted for a lie-down with 500 meters to go in the recent finals of the women's eights. A bigsplash has ensued in the Australian media, with even the prime minister weighing in. Google News has a roundup of coverage.
Elsewhere on the water, Israel has won its first Olympic gold, in windsurfing.Mazel tov!
'40s Boston fan favorite Tommy Holmes named to Braves Hall
Also inducted at a ceremony at Turner Field in Atlanta earlier this month was 19th-century pitcher Kid Nichols of the Boston Beaneaters:
Nichols…was represented by a pair of his great grandchildren.
"Fifty-five years ago, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame [in Cooperstown], he said, 'this is truly the thrill of my life," Nichols' great-grand daughter Sharon Everett said. "So I know if he were here today, he would be saying the same thing. His heart was baseball, and this would be overwhelming for him."
The day was also special for the 87-year-old Holmes, who played with the Boston Braves from 1942-51. A charitable man, who spent much of his life teaching the game to young children in New York City, Holmes was instrumental in developing the current lucrative pension plan enjoyed by Major Leaguers.
"The greatest thing that ever happened to me was getting a call about coming here to the Hall of Fame," said Holmes, who was named The Sporting News Most Valuable Player in 1945.
Holmes shared his moment with his wife and good friend Alvin Dark, who won the 1948 NL Rookie of the Year while batting behind Holmes…
His Baseball Library bio notes Holmes set a National League mark when he hit in 37 games in row in 1945. When Pete Rose broke his hitting-streak record in 1978, a tearful Holmes thanked him "for making people remember me."
Now it's back to the Senators forum for discussion of what the Expos should be called if they move to D.C. (For a National League team, I say the Nats, natch.)
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Dressed to the Nines, an online exhibit by the Baseball Hall of Fame on the history of the baseball uniform, includes an illustrated database of the evolution of individual teams' uniforms over the years. Want to see how the White Sox looked in shorts, or the Astros in horizontal Technicolor? This is the place. (The sad demise of the stripes on the Red Sox' socks is also noted, for those of us who care about that sort of thing.)
If you wish you were in Maine at the current moment, Down East magazine is much conducive to day-dreaming, and has some pretty good articles, too. The publication doesn't post much online, unfortunately, but this month's cyber-offerings include a historic feature on a Klan march in a small Maine town in 1923.
The early '20s were busy years for Klan marches, and a new book touted at the Holy Whapping describes how Notre Damers in 1924 put the Kluxers to rout.
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I'll tell you what's seared – seared – into my mind at present: the song from the Six Flags Guy commercial. A skit on Letterman the other night featured the odd character being backed-over by his own bus, which caused a stir on the roller-coaster messageboards.
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Welcome back to Amy at Ever So Humble, whose retirement from blogging was happily brief.
The Marines screamed for a medic and tried to stanch the blood. But in the end, there was nothing they could do.
In a surreal battlefield of tombstones, in a Muslim cemetery thousands of miles from home, a young Marine lay unconscious after a mortar barrage, five minutes from death.
Lt. Cmdr. Paul Shaughnessy, a chaplain, pressed a thumb across the motionless corporal's blood-drenched forehead, made the sign of the cross and summoned the strength to perform last rites on a man he barely knew.
"I absolve you of all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," Cmdr. Shaughnessy said while kneeling beside Cpl. Roberto Abad, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, just before he died Aug. 6. "May God, who gave you life, bring you everlasting life."
As U.S. troops cope with life -- and death -- on a faraway battlefield, military chaplains cope with them, offering prayers, comfort and spiritual advice to keep the U.S. military machine running. (Via Bettnet)
The late Rev. William Leonard, SJ, wrote a memoir of his three years as an Army chaplain in the South Pacific during the Second World War that was titled Where Thousands Fell. Here's an excerpt of a brief review that ran in the Trenton diocesan paper:
Reading it is like having a chat with Father Leonard, the Boston College professor who left the academic world to minister to soldiers in the jungles of New Guinea and the battlefields of the Philippines…
While serving six months in New Guinea, Father Leonard undertakes the building of a chapel with an altar. The Finschhafen altar was made of materials found at hand and donated by soldiers of all faiths. The materials included a Jeep piston for the incense burner, missile and shell casings for candle holders and the legs of the altar and a cross carved from mahogany, a native wood of New Guinea. He wanted to represent three things: a Catholic altar, the ordnance battalion and the hardships the soldiers faced in the tropics.
After the war, the altar was transported back to Boston, and then found a home in the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum.
Father Leonard leaves Finschhafen to participate in the beachhead invasion of Lingayen in the Philippines. Armed only with a bola knife to dig foxholes, he accompanies the soldiers inland where they endure Japanese bombs and shelling.
Through the words of Father Leonard, Where Thousands Fell pays tribute to all the chaplains who serve and die offering spiritual comfort to soldiers in war or peace. It is a story worth telling and remembering.
The US Army Chaplains Museum website has historic images of chaplains in the field.
The Cropulence of the Woozled: Otto Clemson Hiss, through the fog of a morning-after breakfast meeting, channels Irving Berlin and Wodehouse for an ode to the New Criterion's Algonquin-esque Tuesdays at the Fitz.
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Search Engine Queries o' th' Day: olympic synchronized diving nipple and masonic sword refurbishment.
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An American rower is the first veteran of the current Iraq War to compete in the Olympics. He's the sculling partner of the first black man to row for the American team.
Staging the shot put at ancientOlympia, returning athletic competition to the site after 1,600 years, was inspired. And it was amusing when American relay swimmers the other night placed their laurel wreaths over their hearts for the national anthem. What is proper wreath etiquette on such occasions?
And you know, because of the jaunty chapeau, it must be Christmas! Steve the Llama Butcher photoshops Apocalypse Kerry.
A similar holiday theme informs this Charlotte Observer cartoon linked by InstaPundit, who observes: WHAT'S REALLY INTERESTING about this Kerry cartoon…is that it assumes the reader's knowledge of a story that's gotten, even today, very little coverage from the traditional media (including, based on a site search, the Observer itself). I think this says something significant about how people get news nowadays.
Meantime, Hugh Hewitt takes up Douglas Brinkley, historian as hagiographer.
My late father once said that if he had it all to do over again, he'd be an archaeologist.
He was on to something. Lost civilizations wait in the South American jungle to be found:
LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - An ancient walled city complex inhabited some 1,300 years ago by a culture later conquered by the Incas has been discovered deep in Peru's Amazon jungle, explorers said on Tuesday.
U.S. and Peruvian explorers uncovered the city, which may have been home to up to 10,000 people, after a month trekking in Peru's northern rain forest and following up on years of investigation about a possible lost metropolis in the region.
The stone city, made up of five citadels at 9,186 feet above sea level, stretches over around 39 square miles and contains walls covered in carvings and figure paintings, exploration leader Sean Savoy told Reuters.
"It is a tremendous city ... containing areas with stone etchings and 10-meter (33-foot) high walls," said Savoy, who had to hack through trees and thick foliage to finally reach the site on Aug. 15.
Covered in matted tree branches and interspersed with lakes and waterfalls, the settlement sites also contain well-preserved graveyards with mummies with teeth "in almost perfect condition," Savoy said.
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Theodore Roosevelt said: "I am always willing to pay the piper when I have a good dance; and every now and then I like to drink the wine of life spiked with brandy in it."
TR came close to paying the piper when his pursuit of the strenuous life led him on a jungle expedition to explore the uncharted River of Doubt in Brazil in 1913.
It's not the first time Kerry has happened across his boonie hat for use as a campaign prop.
See this 1996 Boston Globeprofile of Kerry focusing on the Vietnam vets who featured prominently in his Senate campaign that year:
Sen. John F. Kerry had just entered the political fight of his life, so Chris Gregory knew it was time - again - to round up The Dog Hunters.
They responded, as they always have whenever Kerry has been in trouble. They are comrades of a unique sort: Like Kerry, they fought both in and against the Vietnam War. Protagonists in the central drama of their generation, their bond is unbreakable.
When Gregory and a dozen other Dog Hunters invited Kerry to dinner on the day he announced for reelection, their goal was to boost his spirits. Instead, he boosted theirs, showing up with a triumphant smile on his face and a Vietnam-era "boony" hat on his head. "Look what I found in my drawer!" Kerry exclaimed. "You can't get these anymore!"
Later in the piece, it is interesting to note how the reported genesis of the Dog Hunters name reflects an ongoing Kerry MO: placing military service front and center, and then, if and when that service is questioned by a rival, howling in indignation as if all veterans had been affronted:
During Kerry's first campaign for Senate in 1984, his opponent, US Rep. James Shannon, criticized Kerry for serving in Vietnam, then changing his mind about the war. When Kerry demanded an apology on behalf of veterans, Shannon said: "That dog won't hunt."
Incensed, Gregory and other veterans rallied to Kerry's side; the name they gave themselves was The Dog Hunters. They stand by him still.
The Kerry Spot at NRO recalls the Dog Hunters who thereafter hounded rival Jim Shannon in the '84 primary campaign. Kerry Spot reporter Jim Geraghty comments:
Kerry charged that Shannon had “impugned the service of veterans in that war by saying they are somehow dopes or wrong for going.” (He had not taken the more appropriate step of accusing them of war crimes, as John Kerry had done in 1971.)
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Back in '84, a Brahmin's Brahmin, Elliot Richardson, was in the Senate race in Massachusetts, and when he got thoroughly waxed in the primary, it marked one of the last gasps of Yankee Mugwump Republicanism in the Bay State.
A 1984 Washington Postprofile stirs a bit of nostalgia: I stuffed envelopes for Richardson, whose mailing list laden with racket club dowagers pretty much reflected the tenor of his campaign, which ended with a drubbing by Reaganite conservative Ray Shamie in the primary.
It was felt at the time (though in hindsight it is by no means clear) that Richardson in a general election might have beaten then-Lt. Gov. John Kerry, who was then sounding his by-now familiar theme:
Kerry, known for an ego to match his 6-foot-4 height, projects confidence. "No one has a clue what Elliot stands for," he said in an interview. "The moment I get him into a debate, he'll fold . . . . I was in the leadership fighting the war while Elliot was defending the war in Cambodia. When he says he was secretary of defense, I can say, 'Listen, fella, I was in those rice paddies' . . . . If I were Elliot Richardson, I wouldn't want to run against me."
Larry Miller at the Weekly Standard pays rather touching tribute to Frank Fontaine, who lived in Winchester, Mass., and played Crazy Guggenheim on the old Jackie Gleason Show.
A Gleason page at TV Party includes vintage footage of a "Joe the Bartender" sketch with Crazy Guggenheim singing.
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One lump or two? Oh, threee or fourrrrr: The humorist who gave voice to Crazy Guggenheim's cartoon catamount cousin Pete Puma, Stan Freberg, is applauded by Dawn Eden.
Pete Puma's laugh is recorded (July 22-23, 2000) at the Daily .Wav, a goldmine if you happen to be a fan of Foghorn Leghorn or, for that matter, of the late Julia Child (Aug. 16). The site's motto: Annoying your cubemates with non-sequitur soundbytes since 1995!
Two US crew shells at the Athens games are named for Rusty Wailes, a member of the gold-medal winning Yale eight of 1956 (pictured above), who died two years ago doing what he loved:
On a sunny fall morning, the kind that Rusty Wailes lived for, the 66-year-old retiree did what he did best. He got into a boat with friends all around, and rowed. He pulled the oars through deep water as if it were almost a half century ago, as if he were back at the Olympics and another gold medal was on the line.
Then Wailes did something uncharacteristic: He stopped rowing. Sensing something was wrong, a fellow rower turned to look at him. Wailes let out a big grin, then fell backward…
US rowers in the eight named for him set a world record while stunning favored Canada in a heat on Sunday to earn a place in the Olympic finals.
Who knew yours truly ranked third on the Google search for Olympic nudes?
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Time Suck o' th' Day: The IOC Web pages are full of interesting history on the Games. I like this vignette from the 1900 Paris Olympics on the unknown French boy who medaled for the Netherlands in rowing, and the religious long-jumper who refused to compete on Sunday, then socked the rival who beat him by a centimeter.
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Christina Larson at the Washington Monthly argues for a permanent home for the Olympics.
The sight of all those empty seats at the current Games suggests many Athenians have done as Bostonians did during the recent security-heavy convention week – they've skipped town. With the cost of the current Games reported to be soaring to upwards of $8 billion, you have to wonder if many cities in the future are prepared to bankrupt themselves to host the Olympics.
But synchronized diving? Team handball? Women's weightlifting? The Olympics have become so inflated there's even serious talk of adding ballroom dancing.
Sports no longer played at the Olympics include rugby, lacrosse, polo, cricket, croquet and tug-of-war – all more widely popular, I'd submit, than rhythmic gymnastics.
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Aquil Abdullah, who won the Diamond Sculls at Henley in 2000, and now is the first African-American to compete in Olympic men's rowing for the US, has advanced to the semifinals in the double sculls.
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College and club crews used to represent the US in Olympic Eights competition. With the gold won by the Navy eight at Antwerp in 1920 "began a run of U.S. victories in that event that lasted until another U.S. Naval Academy eight lost in Rome in 1960," according to Rowing History. "Yale won in 1924 and 1956, Cal-Berkeley in 1928, 1932 and 1948, Washington in 1936, and Navy in 1952…marking a domination of one Olympic rowing event by one country that has not since been equaled."
Harvard's was the last non-national team eight to represent the US at the Games, in 1968.
The WSJ ran an editorial Aug. 12 on the threat, "Mother of All Blackouts." The editorial is not online, but here's an excerpt:
An EMP attack occurs when an enemy sets off a nuclear explosion high in the Earth's atmosphere. The electromagnetic pulse generated by the blast destroys the electronics and satellites in its field of vision. For a detonation above the Midwest, that could mean the entire continental U.S.
No American would necessarily die in the initial attack, but what comes next is potentially catastrophic. The pulse would wipe out most electronics and telecommunications, including the power grid. Millions could die for want of modern medical care or even of starvation since farmers wouldn't be able to harvest crops and distributors wouldn't be able to get food to supermarkets. Commissioner Lowell Wood calls EMP attack a "giant continental time machine" that would move us back more than a century in technology to the late 1800s...
[I]t's a relatively unsophisticated EMP weapon in the hands of terrorists that really scares the Commission. All it would take is one nuclear warhead attached to a Scud missile launched from a barge off the U.S. coast to shut down much of the country…
The EMP study, which came out the same week as the 9/11 Commission's report, got little media attention. It deserves more.
John Derbyshire terms the Olympic opening ceremony "poshlost," or falsely beautiful. It's true the Contemporary Art approach the French must love – with a premium placed on walking puppets, atonal music &c – must render the festivities incomprehensible to the onlooker in the stands who doesn't have a docent to explain the meaning.
Junk Mail: I understand how I've managed to find myself on Catholic mailing lists and history book-club mailing lists and conservative Republican mailing lists (that personally autographed glossy of the President and First Lady is just the thing to alarm liberal family-members). But the Planned Parenthood mailing list? Believe me, nothing about my parenthood has been planned. And I would say to Gloria Feldt: I'd heretofore not thought of myself as an "anti-choice fanatic," but after your mass-mail alarums, I readily accept the label.
Meantime, a fund-raising appeal arrived the other week from Tom Monaghan at Ave Maria University, and it is interesting to note the accompanying brochure contains an artist's rendition of the proposed campus that still includes the Windex church. Supposedly officials had backed off plans for the great greenhouse, but they're still promoting in their brochure an oratory that will measure 300 feet long by 150 feet high and seat more worshipers (3,300) than any other Catholic church in the country. And the reader is directed to an artist's rendition of the campus with the glass church at center.
My mother spent her childhood on Lake Quinsigamond, in Worcester, Mass., where her father was steward at a club, and where many rowing regattas have been held over the years. According to family lore, my uncle as a boy served as a mascot for the great Jack Kelly Sr., and it's possible, as the rowing nationals were held at Lake Quinsigamond in 1919 and 1920.
The oft-told story of Jack Kelly, Sr., is that the Irish-American bricklayer from Philadelphia, finest oarsman of his day, was not allowed to row in England's gentlemanly Henley Regatta in 1920 because he worked with his hands.
At that summer's Olympic Games in Antwerp, he beat the Henley champion for the gold in the single sculls, and a half-hour later rowed to a second gold in the double sculls. He is said to have then mailed his green racing cap to England's King George V with the message, "Greetings from a bricklayer."
He went on to make millions as a contractor. His son, Jack Kelly Jr., twice won the Diamond sculls race at Henley, avenging the snub of a generation before.
And his daughter, Grace, of course, went on to become princess of Monaco.
Turns out the legend may be only partly true, but it’s a wonderful story, nonetheless.
James Rockefeller, oldest known US Olympic medalist, has died at 102. He captained the Yale eight that rowed to the gold medal at the 1924 Games in Paris. (Dr. Benjamin Spock was another member of that crew.) His accompanying appearance on the cover of Time was the first by a Rockefeller.
A post at the Wild Geese Forum recalls athletes of the Irish Diaspora who won Olympic medals under the flags of other lands.
Here's the entry on James Connolly, of South Boston, first medalist at the 1896 Athens Games:
Although born in Boston JAMES BRENDAN BENNET CONNOLLY was the son of Irish immigrants and was proud of his Irish heritage. In the Triple Jump competition (or the Hop, Skip and Jump as it was then called) Connolly displayed supreme theatrical bravado by marching up to the sand pit, where Prince George of England and Prince George of Greece were acting as judges, and tossed his cap into the sand a yard beyond the marker of the previous best jump. Then with a cry of, “Here’s one for the honour of County Galway” he proceeded to leap beyond his cap to a distance of 44ft 11¾ in and thus become the first Olympic Champion for 1527 years.
The photo above shows him more than a half-century later, at 80, accepting a varsity letter from Harvard.
One of nine sons of a South Boston immigrant family, Connolly had worked his way into Harvard, but when the college wouldn't give him leave to compete in the Games, he dropped out to go to Athens and become the first Olympic medalist of the modern era.
There was a parade back in Boston for the city's returning Olympic champions, but Connolly wasn't there. Instead, he went to Paris after Athens, spending what was left of the money he had saved to go to Harvard. It was May by the time Connolly returned, alone and unnoticed, taking the trolley to his home in South Boston, weighted down with suitcases and souvenirs. The silver medal, the first Olympic medal awarded in 15 centuries, was tucked away in a pocket of his pants.
His mother made him a cup of tea and brought out an apple pie.
"Cheered and refreshed," he wrote some years later, "I delivered a two hours' travelogue on the glories of Greece, the perils of 12,000 miles of land and water going, the ways and customs of five nations I had met with en-route. For myself, my college savings went by the boards. I did not regret it then; I do not regret it now. For a few minutes after I saw that flag go aloft in the Stadium, I felt that my spirit was having play, and that is life -- to give the spirit play."
The host Dublin University Harriers and Athletic Club describes the event: Racing is in pairs with the final held at noon. The course starts at the Rubrics, goes under the Campanile, then the runners loop around opposite halves of the lawn in Parliament Square, finally finishing under the Campanile...To keep with tradition the bells of the Campanile ring out across Front Square during the final...[T]he winner is never certain due to the merciless cobble stones.
Mudville Magazine has been updated, finally, and it's been worth the wait. Included is Jeff Kallman's review of Mark Gauvreau Judge's Damn Senators: My Grandfather and the Story of Washington's Only World Series Championship, a reminiscence of Senators first-baseman (and later longtime Georgetown coach) Joe Judge and of baseball's tormented history in the nation's capital:
"Stout" was one way to describe Joe Judge. He was the son of an Irish farmer who had emigrated from somewhat parched Eire to bristling Brooklyn in 1883…[and later] moved the family to "a cramped Lower East Side neighbourhood of Jews, Italians, Hungarians, and Irish," called Yorkville…When not playing ball, the boy was learning to swim at the end of a rope his mother tied around him to lower him to the East River. "Although I assume she did it in shallow water, near the shore," writes grandson, "my mental picture of this is always of a small boy struggling in rough, stormy waters." The future first baseman found those soon enough, sort of: with two buddies, he once swam out to Riker's Island, where the jail guards denied the trio safe landing, drawn guns the exclamation point. One of the trio drowned on the return swim.
Surely Judge was building the fortitude necessary for life with a baseball basket case. Indeed, the Senators seemed underwritten by stark tragedy as much as larking calamity. Their earliest star, Ed Delahanty, either walked or was thrown off a New York-bound train before falling to his death from a bridge. Their greatest star, Walter Johnson, was bereaved of his father during and his two-year-old daughter following the 1921 season. Another future Hall of Famer, Sam Rice, who joined the Senators the same season as Judge (1915; the two became so close they bought adjoining Washington row homes), had earlier lost his wife and children in a threshing tornado, while he was away trying out for a tough minor league club.
In another entry, the Golden Age of New York baseball in the 1950s is highlighted in webmaster Peter Schilling's review of Summer in the City, a coffee-table book of Weegee-like fanphotos from the Daily News, and the reissue of Arnold Hano's A Day in the Bleachers.
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On this day in 1924 the Nats tallied 20 hits in the nightcap to salvage a split with the Chisox. The Post is providing a daily look back at the Washington Senators' sole championship season of 80 years ago.
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A Medusa detail on the grandstand of New York's old Polo Grounds is visible in this striking postcard from a gallery at Vintage Ball.
More wonderful cards of the Polo Grounds here and here.
Here's an interesting 1912 scene from the Acmegraph Co. of the crowd milling on the field of the Cubs' pre-Wrigley West End park, captured in another rather nice shot here.
And Cincinnati loyalist TS O'Rama will appreciate the classic Greco-Roman lines of that city's Palace of the Fans, where in 1909 he might have toasted the Reds' health from under the grandstand in "Rooters Row."
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Interesting factoid picked up Mudville Magazine: Duke Ellington's first job as a teenager was selling peanuts and hotdogs at Senators games. Here's his "Tiger Rag (Part 2)" from 1929.
Golly, what a lot of slapping in this movie! Cagney slaps Humphrey Bogart, he slaps the Dead End Kids, the Dead End Kids slap each other AND other kids, even the good Father O'Brien slugs a guy in a bar. Happily, no one slaps Ann Sheridan.
Cagney is fascinating as always as the tough guy with the heart of gold -- nobody does it better. O'Brien is thoughtful and subdued as the priest torn between his loyalty to his pal and his duty to the kids of his parish, who idolize Rocky and want to be just like him when they grow up. Their final scene together could have been overblown and mawkish, but they made it work beautifully.
Going My Way – Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald and Toora-loora-loora.
Nun's Story – Audrey Hepburn among the missionaries in the Belgian Congo.
I Confess – Hitchcock, with Montgomery Clift as a Quebec priest who hears a murderer's confession, then is himself accused of the crime.
Honorable Mention: Gregory Peck as China missionary priest in Keys of the Kingdom; Ward Bond's parish priest, leading the cheers given by the Catholic villagers to the Anglican vicar to impress the visiting Anglican bishop, in The Quiet Man; Rudy, in which underdog becomes football hero under the Golden Dome; Eugene Pallette's friar in Robin Hood and Mark of Zorro; Emperor Maximilian lying in state at the end of Juarez is a POD-fest; Spencer Tracy's Fr. Flanagan; and the Sound of Music, of course.
Not on the list: I haven't seen Black Robe but think I'd like it. I haven't seen The Passion of the Christ and am not sure I'd like it. Ingrid Bergman certainly is a pretty nun, but the plot sinks Bells of St. Mary's.
Nominations, refutations and arguments welcome.
(Inspired by a post at Through the Narrow Gate, a new blog devoted to Catholic arts and letters and the promotion of the Old Mass that is worth a visit.)
10. Excessive hugging at Mass, unless it's the Roman Pax.
9. Someone saying "Hey, that relic of the shriveled dismembered hand of St. Veneranda of Smaragdina, patroness of sock-weavers, is just too weird for me, man."
8. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko.
7. Jacques Derrida look-alike contests (with a bathing suit requirement).
6. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko on a mantle piece with an apple, a dollar bill, a glass of water and lots of candles around it.
5. Diminutive nuns with bowls of incense.
4. Bizarre references to Rap Music. (Wait, too late).
3. Unitarians (or anyone else) attempting to win convers through interpretive dance.
2. High Mass translated into High Elvish
1. One word: Chasu-alb.
Another thing you're likely not to see is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel in which the walls are covered by 600 pounds of beeswax.
Or a Mass featuring John Lennon's Imagine, Bette Midler, Eric Clapton and the Sean Hannity Independence Day theme all in one, as at this South Dakota outpost. (Via Dale Price)
HALIFAX—Pothiers from Spain and Cotrauds from the Caribbean gathered with Gallants from Sweden and Comeaus from Hong Kong.
Thousands of Acadians, their families in tow, have flocked to Nova Scotia for this week's World Acadian Congress to celebrate nearly 250 years of surviving attempts to sever their family ties.
The smell of crawfish and the excited chatter of old friends filled the air yesterday as more than 5,000 people gathered in Church Point for ceremonies to kick off the Congress.
"The emotion was just palpable," said Danielle LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the event that will run for the next two weeks.
In 1755, fearing a rebellion aided by the Mi'kmaq, the British governor of Nova Scotia ordered the deportation of the French-speaking Acadians. More than 11,000 were packed in ships' holds and sent to unknown shores.
According to family lore, my mother's Acadian ancestors hid in the woods to escape deportation by the British.
Current PC sensibilities are evident at the Iroquois dress-up page. No similar disclaimers are attached to the Asterix-like depiction of Leif Ericsson & Co., the Ancient Norsemen Grievance Lobby not in full letter-writing mode these days.
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Bill Cork has been posting coverage of the Acadian festival at his website and plans to attend. He maintains a website devoted to his Acadian heritage at L'Acadie Toujours.
Noms de Spam of the Week: "Octopuses L. Severest" and "Prognosis J. Incarnating," the latter via RC, who also sends along a link to a gallery of cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines. It's good to see annoying junk mail clutter being put to artistic use!
On the Republican side, a race-baiting candidate who believes in quack science is considered something of an embarrassment. On the Democratic side, he'd be invited to speak at the national convention.
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Jennifer Graham's piece at NRO is the best I've read on the lady who disposed of two of her unborn triplets so she wouldn't have to shop at Costco.
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Choice Chick vs. the Judgebots: In this Flash animation from Planned Parenthood, the heroine out of the action-packed pages of Our Bodies, Ourselves appears to be a mix of Olympia Snowe and a skinny Janeane Garofalo, and is aided by her backup superheroes, the Ambiguously Democratic Presidential Duo. (Via Bill Cork)
The racy 1920s tabloidNew York Evening Graphic and its eccentric publisher, Bernarr MacFadden, who changed his first name to sound more like a lion's roar, are colorfully recalled by William Bryk in the NY Sun.
Particularly funny is the description of the sensational divorce case coverage of Peaches, the woof-woofing tycoon and the honking gander. My favorite tabloid headline: "I Murdered My Wife Because She Cooked Fishballs for Dinner. I Told Her I Would Never Eat Them Again but She Defied Me to the End."
Many students said they were "disgusted" by the community member and his selection of porn. However, Katherine McNabb '06, who observed the incident, said that she was not particularly fazed by the transvestite pornography.
"Don't yuck someone else's yum," McNabb said.
Associate librarian Cindy Pawlek said the mysterious porn-watcher did not necessarily do anything illegal during the incident, as viewing pornographic material is not in violation of Baker-Berry's public computer regulations.
"If there are complaints about pornographic viewing because it is making students uncomfortable, we'd probably ask them to relocate to a more private area of the library," Pawlek said.
Despite Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe's promise that a pro-life speaker would be allowed at the convention, the only speaker to oppose abortion, Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, promoted embryonic stem cell research by introducing Ron Reagan for a speech on an issue pro-life groups oppose.
Check out the exchange that took place before Boston between Chris Matthews and convention chairman Gov. Bill Richardson:
MATTHEWS: Speaking of the life issue, are you going to let anybody who‘s pro-life, who opposes abortion rights, speak on the convention floor? Are you going to do what you did to Bob Casey back in ‘92, no pro-lifers allowed to speak? Is this party going to be a one-point-of-view party.
RICHARDSON: No. You know, this is a very broad cross section...
MATTHEWS: Name one speaker who is pro-life at the Democratic convention coming up.
MATTHEWS: One speaker.
RICHARDSON: The final set of speakers haven‘t been finalized. So you may be surprised. But I...
MATTHEWS: I will be very surprised if you guys let a pro-life speaker speak at a Democratic convention.
RICHARDSON: Yes. Well, we‘ll see, Chris. We still have a few more announcements in the days ahead.
MATTHEWS: Well, plenty of opportunities to diversify on that issue.
The disenfranchisement of Democrats for Life has been raised here and here at the Kerry online forum, with little response.
Meantime, at the Democratic National Committee's website, the Women's Vote Center trumpets the arrival of Kate Michelman to lead a DNC "Campaign to Save the Court," and deems Bush's opposition to the "right to choose" the No. 1 Reason W is Bad for Women.
A search found still no link to Democrats for Life from the DNC website. But the recent responses to a Democrats for Life commenter at the DNC's Kicking Ass blog were suggestive of the prevailing party line:
Democrats for Life: Too often pro-life Democrats are excluded from the big tent of the Democratic Party. We are pleased with Terry McAuliffe's decision to permit pro-life speakers to talk openly about the right to life despite the fact that most of the Democratic Party stands for pro-abortion. "Chairman McAuliffe's statement proves that the Democratic Party is truly the party of inclusion," asserted Kristen Day in a statement. "Despite our differences on the issue of protecting the rights of the unborn, the fact that McAuliffe is not going to exclude pro-life speakers from addressing the Convention in Boston is encouraging." McAuliffe said he would not exclude pro-life speakers, so why were pro-life posts "deleted" from the comments section of Kate Michelman's chat yesterday? Forty three percent of Democrats can't be ignored. Our party can't just disenfranchise the pro-life democratic vote.
Paul Matthews: "Pro-life Democrats" are not Democrats. They are unfortunate bigots in disguise.
Veneita: I have no problem with those who call themselves pro-life holding a personal view that abortion is wrong. As is often said, if you believe abortion is wrong, don't have one. I do not believe they have the right to impose their view of when life begins on a body and mind that are not their own.
I believe there is an inconsistent position in pro-life politicians. If they believe that life begins at conception, they should call for the separate insurability and tax deductibility of conceived cells as full humans. Women who suffer first trimester miscarriages, like I did, should be allowed to take a child tax credit for one year and collect death benefits. If life really begins at conception, than from that moment, every 14th amendment right that a citizen has should be invested in the fetus. That means that a foreign woman visiting the U.S. and conceives here should be able to claim U.S. citizenship for her conception.
I love children. I have two. But having a miscarriage taught me something very important. The "child" I lost was only a child to me because it was wanted and my mind endowed it with personhood. The state has no right to force me to see it in that manner.
On the stem-cell-research front, the website Bioethics.com is a useful resource, with an updated archive of articles. The emphasis appears to be on criticism, with Ron Reagan Jr. coming in for a (well-deserved) thrashing.