As I stated in my last Rail, I get a big kick handing out tons of candy to young, unsuspecting kids. On a more personal note, when I was a kid I always said to my Halloween friends "Man, when I'm grown up I'm going to give out lots of candy". Therefore, to me there are just some things in life that must be, and one of mine is to be the mack daddy of Halloween Candy Land.
Usually the passing of the goodies is done whenever kids ring my doorbell, or I hear the famous "Trick or Treat". This year, however, I decided to accompany their arrival with the sweet sounds emanating from my Ovation. Naturally as they'd walk up I'd have to put the guitar down to present them with the bounty they had arrived for.
Mixing it up, I give the kids a chance to take what they want. Suprisingly, most times they only took one when presented with this format. I'd say "take another one","be good to yourselves", "take as much as you can grab". Most times this was responded to with great suprise and in a couple of cases mass confusion, which I found as humorous.
Some little kids came up with their dads and asked me to play some Tele Tubby song. For once in my life I was presented with an impossible music request, as I'm just not up on the Tele Tubby anythings let alone songs. I introduced them to the reality of life, and played them an Ramones-esque, uptempo "Johnny B Good". The kids really got into it, as did their dads. I was told I should do a concert, which felt pretty cool.
A couple teenage girls approached as I was whipping out a rendition of "Crystal Ball", and Denise (wifey) told me she overheard them from upstairs. Turns out they were hanging out just out of my vision for awhile. Okay, are you ready for the ego stroke? Yes, it's true, I was considered "awesome" to their young ears. Ah yes, the reason I picked up the guitar in the first place. I'm just so damn goose pimply right now! PInch me! Savage.
Some time later I was placed in a higher plane of Halloween lore existence when a kid came up wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform which just happens to be my team of choice. I held out the technicolor mass of sugarized substance and said "Help yourselves". "How many can I take" he said as he picked out 3 pieces of candy.
"No. Like THIS" I said, as I dug my hand deep in the candy bowl and snagged a giant sized offering of goodies. He was so happy he started to laugh, his eyes wide with excitement. "Dude, you are the MAN!!!" said this obviously enlightened child. His friend concurred as I did the same for him. As they skipped away the proclaimed to all within earshot "Hey, this guy ROCKS. He gives a TON of candy". Ah yes. All there is to say at this point is: Prophesy Fulfilled.
As Nolan mentions on the front page, Tampa legend and Hall of Famer Alfonso (Al) Ramon Lopez has passed away at the age of 97.
To most Tampa residents of the '60s and '70s, Al Lopez was identifiable by the field bearing his name, but unless you know baseball you don't know how famous Al Lopez really was.
For instance: From 1949 thru 1964 the New York Yankees, whom Lopez didn't play for, dominated baseball's American League and won the penant every year except for 2; 1954 and 1959. And it was Manager Al Lopez who lead the Indians ('54) and White Sox ('59) over the Yanks breaking their string of AL Titles.
As a major leaguer Lopez was a Hall of Fame catcher whose 1918 games caught was a record that lasted for 40 years! Not known for his offensive prowess, Lopez was lightening quick with a very accurate cannon arm. Just a couple things that really mean a lot if you're a catcher.
During his managing years no other manager in baseball won more games than he did during that stretch ('51-'65'). And his '54 Indians won a then record 111 games, a mark which stood for 44 years.
Quite a list of accomplishments. Second only to the many assertions that he was just a really nice guy. And that makes my Hall of Fame.
Till next time, take care and God bless,