Ah, the sweet sound of the Mamas and the Papas still rings in my ears:
“Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me..”
They were a great sounding group, but the above verse from the song always seemed somehow appropriate for Mondays…the disappointment of the day in having to return to the work world and all the frustrations that will accompany the work week.
I know most of you are back to work today. I know you’re rather it were a holiday or that you were retired and didn’t have to work. I get it. I understand it. But I also have this to say to you today: “Pfffffuuuuutttttt!
You see, I’m not working today. In fact, I’m not working this week! I’m on vacation for a week, enjoying the happiest place on earth with one of our sons and his family, including our two littlest grand daughters who just happen to be 5 and 2. We will be going to the place of wonder and magic on Tuesday and the little ones will be wearing the Cinderella outfits that Nana and Pop-Pop just bought them for their birthdays. So, you’ll be seeing some pictures from this adventure soon!
Until then, I thought this picture that I snapped recently would be ever so appropriate for the rest of you who are going to be run through the ringer this week. We had a ringer washer like this when I was a kid on the farm in Iowa. It sat in the basement of the farmhouse and my sister and I were warned over and over by my mom to never, ever get our arm caught in the wringer rollers. Well, we never did. See? Those of us who are a bit older and remember these machines survived in spit of not having warnings plastered all over everything. Why? Because our parents scared the pie out of us about what could happen if we weren’t careful!
So, here’s to you. May the wringer treat you nicely this week, and keep your arms, hands and fingers on your keyboards and away from the wringer rollers!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: September 9, 1965: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax (my childhood super-hero!) pitches the eighth perfect game in major league history, leading the Dodgers to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. (Galen’s note: I listened to that game on the radio sitting outside in my dad’s car that night…it was incredible!!!! Vin Scully broadcast it…what a combination of Koufax and Scully!)
Sandy Koufax was a talented all-around athlete from Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York. His first love was basketball, and he attended the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship. His impressive left arm, however, attracted the attention of major league ball clubs and in 1954 he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite his promising talent, Koufax won just 36 games to 51 losses from 1955 to 1961, and was incredibly inconsistent, blowing hitters away one game and walking in runs the next. Finally, advice from veteran catcher Norm Sherry turned Koufax around. As Koufax recounted in his autobiography, Sherry told him to “take the grunt out of the fastball.” It worked: From 1962 to 1966, Sandy Koufax executed what are arguably the five greatest seasons by a pitcher in baseball history. His newfound control limited his walks from 4.8 per game to just 2.1, and he pitched no-hitters in three consecutive years–1962, 1963 and 1964.
On September 9, 1965, at the peak of his baseball career, Koufax took the mound against fellow lefty Bob Hendley of the Chicago Cubs, and a pitcher’s duel for the ages ensued. The Cubs were held scoreless, while the Dodgers scored just one run, in the fifth inning. Dodger Lou Johnson walked to lead off the inning, and then advanced to second on a sacrifice. He stole third and then scored when the Cubs catcher fumbled one of Hendley’s throws. As it turned out, one run was all Koufax needed to bring home the victory. His fastballs, which seemed to rise as they reached the plate, whizzed past batters. His curveball was typically devastating, buckling batters at the knees, almost always crossing the plate as a strike after following its parabolic path. As he closed in on a perfect game, Koufax faced the middle of the Cubs order. He struck out Ron Santo and Ernie Banks in the eighth before striking out the side in the ninth to secure his first perfect game.
In addition to throwing his first and only perfect game, Koufax struck out a total of 382 batters in 1965, shattering Rube Waddell’s 1904 record by 32. He retired after the 1966 season at just 30 years old because of arthritis in his elbow, having won three Cy Young Awards (1963, 1965 and 1966), all of them unanimous. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The average minimal speed of birds in order to remain aloft in flight is reported to be about 16½ feet per second, or about 11 miles per hour.