Trip To NY, Philly Memorable And Educational
There’s a reason this Korner and our Fearless Forecast didn’t appear in the paper last week—we were attending our 50th high school reunion.
We flew out a day early to be able to play in the Mont Pleasant High School Class of ’59 Golf Tournament Sept. 18 on the course where we first learned how to play the game—Schenectady (N.Y.) Municipal Golf Course or simply “Muny.”
My younger brother Dick happened to be on his annual fall trip from Florida to New York and joined the golfing fun day. Luckily he had an extra set of clubs in his motor home, so we didn’t have to lug our set with us on the airplane. Nowadays, that can get quite expensive on certain airlines, including the one we flew out on.
The set of clubs belonged to our sister-in-law Gail, but we played okay, except couldn’t hit that light-weight driver very well. One of my classmates shot a two-under-par 34 on the front nine and 40 on the back, so we were way out of the hunt with our scores.
We met our sister Bobbie from Massachusetts, sweet cousin Patti and her daughter Stephanie at an Italian restaurant named Delmonico’s Steak House in Albany and had a good meal and nice visit.
Before going to the reunion that Saturday night, brother Dick and I and our spouses visited our uncle, Fred Urban, who was about to turn 85 years old, and worked on our genealogy, and were pleasantly surprised how Uncle Freddie helped us.
He informed us that his father (our grandfather) was quite an entrepreneur in his younger days. He raised geese to help feed his family of seven children before the depression and they ran wild up this vacant hill adjacent to his property. That Polish-speaking section of Schenectady became known as “Goose Hill” and is still called that today.
Our grandfather continually fixed up the house and when he sold it, he made enough money to buy three houses on the next street which he owned until he died in 1960.
The reunion itself was really a blast, getting to see former classmates and teammates we hadn’t seen since 1959. Surprisingly, from our class of nearly 500, there are five who currently live in Texas. We had a 150 in attendance, which is good because there were 70 no longer with us.
We flew out of Albany after a great reunion brunch Sunday morning for Philadelphia where we were met by our former neighbors Don and Linda Bivens, who worked for the DuPont Sabine River Works before being transferred to the Wilmington, Del. Plant.
We were guests at their home in Kennett Square, Pa. and traveled to Wilmington where we met former Orangeites Don and Mary Lee Barber and Ben and Terry Smith. We toured the famous Hotel DuPont that has been recently restored and then ate at a great seafood restaurant on the Delaware River.
The main topic at the dinner table was how lousy the Philadelphia Eagles defense was against the New Orleans Saints the day before. We were able to add our two cents about how pathetic our Dallas Cowboys played Sunday night against the New York Giants. Of course around the Philadelphia area NOBODY likes the Cowboys or the Giants.
The next day we went with the Bivens’ to downtown Philadelphia where we visited the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Franklin Square and the Liberty Bell.
We ate lunch at the five-story City Tavern, which was restored exactly to the way it was when General George Washington and other Revolutionary War officers ate and slept there in the 1770’s.
It also was interesting to learn from our guide with the National Parks Service that Thomas Jefferson was not the Father of the Declaration of Independence, but that James Madison was the brainchild of that document.
Madison gave all of his information to Jefferson, a 33-year-old lawyer and brilliant writer who wrote what we now know as the Declaration of Independence.
The week that we were gone the Houston Astros fulfilled our April prediction that manager Cecil Cooper wouldn’t make it to the end of the 2009 season, our Mighty Mustangs didn’t heed our warning that if they didn’t play better against Jasper than they did Kirbyville they would lose and that we lost a good friend in Claude Hamerly.
It was a great trip but we certainly were happy when the big 747 came to a halt at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston last Wednesday afternoon.
KWICKIES…One of the things that really changed the week we were gone was the influx of mosquitoes that greeted us when we arrived in Orange Wednesday. That certainly wasn’t a problem when we played golf in Schenectady and at Loch Nairn Golf Course near Kennett Square because the early morning temperature in both places was in the upper 30’s before warming up nicely.
Our McNeese State Cowboys certainly gave Tulane all the Green Wave could handle Saturday afternoon in the Superdome before fumbling twice late in the game and finally losing 42-32.
Last year’s Super Bowl teams—the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals—seem to be having a hard time in the early going of this season with both teams an unimpressive 1-2 going into this week’s action. On the other side of the coin the Manning Brothers appear headed for a Super Bowl showdown if the first three weeks of the season are any indication. Eli’s New York Giants and Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts both have perfect 3-0 records through Sunday.
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, there are 164 players in the NFL with hair that grows past their ears, with the Green Bay Packers leading the way with 10 players, followed closely by the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings with nine each. The lowly Detroit Lions have only one player with long hair. Defensive backs led the way with 49 players having long hair, followed by defensive backs (30) and linebackers (23). The San Diego Chargers’ third stringer Charlie Whitehurst is the only unkempt quarterback, although the Saints’ Drew Brees is getting pretty shaggy.
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the maximum a curveball in Major League Baseball can actually curve is 17.5 inches.
There’s a controversy going on in Pennsylvania concerning the state’s beleaguered budget shortfall. The legislative leaders plan is to place a tax on museum, concerts and performing arts tickets—8 per cent in Philadelphia and 6 per cent elsewhere—but sports events and movies would be exempt from any sales tax. Some say it’s because Gov. Rendell is supposedly Eagles Fan No. 1.
JUST BETWEEN US…It was ironic that Phil Mickelson stormed from two strokes behind Tiger Woods to win last weekend’s Tour Championship by three strokes and the $1.3 million first-place check only to watch runner-up Tiger collect the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. Tiger finished a season in which he won six times and was no worse than second in nine of his 17 tournaments. Mickelson holds the distinction of winning the most Pro Tour tournaments (16) in which Tiger competed.