Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Polls and Poles

It's political season and time for polls   poles...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mike Roberts, THE Voice of the Lobos

Mike Roberts, one of the few “Voice of the Lobos” that has ever existed, has left the broadcast booth on earth, headed for a higher plain.  Here a couple stories

For years Mike and I worked in the broadcast/television business in Albuquerque.  We were never real competitors, other than we worked at competing stations.  We might have even worked at the same place at the same time.

When Mike was ousted as the Lobos play-by-play may, I was in attendance at the last Lobo Basketball game he called.   It was at Cal in California.

I walked over to say hi, and he told me, “This may be my last Lobo broadcast, they’ve sold the rights to the games to somebody.”  It was a melancholy moment for him – and he was correct on both points.

My wife, Connie, worked for a while at KOB (when Stanley Hubbard still owned the radio station – before it became K-KOB).

She recalls having to work a shift “on the board” – punching buttons – during a Mike broadcast.  

Those can be nerve wracking times – things have to go right, the timing has to be right.  Mike knew Connie was nervous about punching the buttons for the commercials, so when it came time for a commercial break, Mike would say, on the air,  “We’ll get back to the game after  this 30 second commercial message from Rich Ford”…at which point Connie would push a button and the commercial would play.  He was instructing her from the remote site.   He did that for the entire broadcast, “I’ll be back after this ___ second message from ____.” 

By stating the obvious he made a complicated broadcast come off as a symphony.

Keep callin’ ‘em as you see’m Mike!

Wasn't there a time

Wasn't there a time when candidates for public office talked about what they could or would do to make our lives better?

What happened to those times?

 And, all this talk about "transparency" of our public officials, and those who want to be a public official.

None of them want transparency!

 About transparency, I say... "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pittsburgh - a city

Ever heard of Pittsburgh?

You know, the smoke belching Iron City of western Pennsylvania?

Well, it ain’t that no more!

Our first view of the city was somewhat “clouded”

They city is dominated by bridges (more than 400 of them) that, among other things, cross 3 rivers.

The Monongahela, and the Allegheny join up to become the Ohio.  Better picture below.

The impact of old-old wealth remains.  Almost everywhere you turn you hear two names.
Carnegie and Heinz.   One of United States Steel fame (pronounced car-negg’-ee, not  car'-neg-eee" like we all do) and the other of ketchup and political fame.

Right next to the Carnegie “children’s center” is Heinz field – where the Steelers play. 

And a stone’s throw from there, just across the Roberto Clemente bridge from downtown is the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC park.

Andrew Carnegie’s legacy to this community is libraries, museums, and cultural centers.  Same for Heinz – be they named for the ketchup king, or his offspring like the late US Senator John Heinz. 

Pittsburgh is a happenin’ place.  And an important place -you can just feel it. Look who was in town when we were there!

From atop one of the Incline Rides looking toward downtown.

From near downtown looking at one of the inclines - cable cars that actually haul working people in suits and ties from homes to offices every day of the week.

 The original Primanti Brothers restaurant in the strip district - that never closes.   People eat well.

 The 3 most notable professional sports teams in the city, the Pirates, the Steelers, and the Penguins (who won Lord Stanley’s cup this year) – all have the same team colors - the colors of Pittsburgh's flag, which in turn, is based on the coat of arms of William Pitt, the 18th century British Prime Minister   - for whom the city is named. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Steeler Nation Report

On a hillside in Latrobe sits the Basilica at St.Vincent College.  Now in it’s 50th year as the summer training camp for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Around the green grassy bowl, during a recent sweltering hot and humid afternoon, sit the faithful – and a couple outsiders from Albuquerque.

“What kind of a season are you going to have?”  The response – “It depends on Ben!”

Every question I asked, got the same response – “Ben, Ben, Ben”

This is Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback.  Long sleeve white shirt and a few jogs the width of the field.  Pads were reserved for the other guys.

Under the watchful eye of Coach Mike Tomlin, in sweats on a sweaty afternoon, they work, work, work!

For more than 3 hours, they practiced.    

That robot looking thing, I think, is a giant Gatorade dispenser.

Practice over, head covered by a Terrible Towl, Ben autographs…and autographs…

Soon thereafter, A-B, Antonio Brown goes through the same exercise.   These athletes know, they wouldn’t be making millions if they didn’t have fans who were ready to pay to see them.

Along another fence, not the big names, but autographs nonetheless.   Here’s # 30 Running Back Cameron Stingily

And here’s #24 Corner Back Doran Grant

Soon, it’s going to be time for some football…

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Democrats Convention Throwback

Democrats in convention – 1972 – Miami


The New Mexico delegation was assigned to the Sea View Hotel – across from the Bal Harbor shops – some of the highest priced real estate in Florida.  The Sea View was owned by a fellow by the name of Dwayne Andreas – who was the head honcho at ADM – Archer Daniels Midland Company – said to be the biggest food company in the world at the time. Condo tenants later included Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, the late House Speaker Tip O'Neill, television journalist David Brinkley, and ADM board member and Washington superlawyer Robert Strauss.   

Perhaps the most visible person I saw while we stayed there was a Canadian man in a white suit with white hair.  When he got on the elevator, I started humming the theme to the TV show Bonanza.   Dum-dee-dee-dum-dum. Dum-dee-dee-dum-dum-dum-dum.

This was the convention that nominated George McGovern to run against Richard M Nixon.  The convention was so disorganized – sessions went on-and-on-and-on.  McGovern didn’t start his acceptance speech until 2:48am eastern time – when all of America (except Hawaii) was asleep.
There were other complications along the way, as my friend Ed Mahr noted in a story from the Albuquerque Journal (the same paper as the above clip was taken)…

From 1972 to 1976…
Democrats in convention in New York City.   A pretty big shot place for a reporter from little ol’ Albuquerque. 

My most memorable recollection – I had left the convention hall and was walking-yes walking- back to the hotel and I saw the limo carrying soon to be president Jimmy Carter driving along a darkened street – he and Roslyn were inside – waving to the empty streets.  The lights were on inside the car, so he couldn’t see there were no throngs of folks watching the motorcade.

Then in 1980, the Democrats again met in New York City.   My most memorable…our video camera broke, and the folks from NBC had set up a repair shop/help desk for all of the traveling correspondents who had come to the big city.   They fixed the camera…and away we went.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Philly Spot

Glad to see Morning Joe on MSNBC found one of our favorite joints for their home during coverage of the Democratic Convention.  It's a real "pub" - public place.