April 15th is not only known to be the dreaded day that your income tax returns are due, but it’s also known (on a happier note) in the sports world as Jackie Robinson Day.
April 15, 1947 was the day that Jackie Robinson made his major league debut as a Brooklyn Dodger (now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers). He was the first black major league baseball player of the modern era.
I had the opportunity to visit the Dodger stadium on April 9, 2011 while on a Mystery Tour of Los Angeles and the highlight of the tour was a behind the scenes look at the ballpark from a point of view that many people don’t get to see.
The tour started at the top deck level so we could take in an overall view of the stadium, it took us into the Vin Scully press box, through the hallways that feed the different box suites and down to the field and dugout area. The last part of the tour took us through some more corridors past a framed number 42 jersey, the number worn by famed player Jackie Robinson and to a very large wall of Dodger player names. Jackie’s name was right in the middle.
The Mickey Mouse Club and Beach Blanket Bingo had one thing in common, Annette Funicello starred in both and in my opinion, made them what they were.
I grew up watching both, first the Mickey Mouse Club when I was in my youth and then the Beach Blanket Bingo series in my teens.
Rather than me rehash what’s already out there online, I’ve included links to some interesting sites about Annette:
This is a video from Annette Funicello’s website and is titled: “Annette’s Story: A Hollywood legend’s struggles with multiple sclerosis”. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.985726
Remember back in ’70s listening to songs like Sara Smile, She’s a Rich Girl & She’s Gone? These were all songs performed by Daryl Hall and John Oates, or more commonly known by their stage name, Hall and Oates. I had the opportunity to see them back in the ’70s or ’80s at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California. It was actually an afterthought to see them, so me and my friend didn’t purchase tickets ahead of time, so we wound up sitting in the nose-bleed seats (the seats towards the back of the venue were actually bleacher bench seats and not individual seats).
Fast forward 30 plus years to August 2012, my wife receives an email from a friend of ours which asked if we wanted to get together to see Hall and Oates in concert at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on September 22, 2012. My wife responds with a definite yes.
The day of the concert arrives and we prepare to make the 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive down to Palm Springs to meet our friends. We get to our hotel where we will be staying the night after the concert and get ready for dinner. We pickup our friends at their place and we drive to our dinner destination–Lulu California Bistro on South Palm Canyon Drive. Mmmm, great food!
Time to make our way to the concert, so we head over to Indio, which is the next city to the South of us. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get over to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and it takes another 10 to 15 minutes to find a parking spot, the parking lot is filled to capacity. After many minutes of driving around, a car pulls out of a spot and we’re there!
We’re inside and the concert is about to start. The band starts playing and the crowd is getting into the music and at about the 30 minute mark during their song, Say it Ain’t So, the audio and lights goes completely out, on the stage, in the audience, in the casino and more importantly, in the bathrooms, where many of the people went during the power outage. It takes about 15 minutes before the power comes back on and it was explained that they were running on backup generators because power went out in the area around the casino.
We’re back to enjoying the concert again and during the song Private Eye, the power goes out again, but for only a brief moment. The band completes the song, but without full stage lights or projection screens.
Despite the disruption from the power outage, the concert was great and it brought back many memories of the past.
Over the years, many music bands have come and gone, but Hall and Oates still survives today and are still actively performing and pulling in good size crowds to their concerts. During the concert, I noticed a yellow sticker on Daryl Hall’s keyboard, but couldn’t read it from where I was sitting, so I searched Google when I got home and it was advertising his, “Live From Daryl’s House” website/show.
I checked out the website and it was great, Daryl invites other musicians to his house and they play a combination of that artist’s songs as well as Hall and Oates songs. There was a session between Diane Burch (who I’ve never heard of before) and Daryl. Diane’s song “Nothing But a Miracle” fast became one of my favorites from the site. I actually like this arrangement better than Diane’s original on iTunes. Check it out at the link below:
The roar of 43 stock cars was heard loud and clear, in and around the Daytona International Speedway throughout the week in Daytona, Florida. The race was won by Matt Kenseth in the number 17 Best Buy car, but before Matt could to put the pedal to the metal for his celebratory burnout on the track, he and his fellow racers would have to endure one of the most unusual races in Daytona 500 history.
Matt Kenseth celebrating his win at the Daytona 500 race with a burnout
This was a race plagued with problems from the start. For instance, this was the first race in its 51 year history (under the Daytona 500 name) that was postponed due to rain and run during a weekday. The race was scheduled for Sunday, February 26, 2012, but the rain never let up in Florida, so the race was rescheduled for Monday evening, and at times it was touch and go with the weather again, but the weather cooperated and the race started and ended with no further delays due to rain. But rain was not the only thing that delayed this race–read on!
On top of the day and a half of rain delays, it seemed as if you were watching a demolition derby, rather than an oval track race because of all the bumping, skidding and crashes in this race, it was unbelievable. The first crash came just 2 laps into the race.
Then under the yellow caution flag, Juan Pablo Montoya in the number 42 car, was traveling along the low side of the track when something on his car broke and it caused his car to slide sideways and right up into one of two jet dryers that was circling and drying or blowing debris off the track. The jet dryer exploded on impact flooding the track with 200 gallons of jet fuel and sending flames high into the air and down to the in-field. The race was red flagged, stopping all of the cars on the track, away from the incident. It took 2 hours to put out fire, check the track for damage, clean the track, dry the track and prep the surface so the race could continue. Both Juan Pablo Montoya and the driver of the Jet Dryer truck are fine.
During this 2 hour period, the drivers began to exit their cars and start chatting amongst themselves. At one point, a group of racers started walking up the track towards where the fire broke out, but a track official stopped them and asked them to return to their cars.
One of the drivers, Brad Keselowski (seen in the blue Miller Lite jumpsuit above), just happened to have his phone with him and started tweeting during the 2 hour delay. At the beginning of the race, he had roughly 65,000 followers, but during this 2 hour period, he tripled that number to nearly 200,000 followers.
Here’s a picture that he tweeted from inside his car–his car was stopped of course.
This was one unusual race for sure!
Compilation video of the multitude of crashes during the race:
Juan Pablo Montoya Crashes into jet track dryer:
Danica Patrick Crashes Hard During Daytona Qualifier Race
Florida, Puerto Rico & Bermuda all share the Atlantic ocean, but that’s not the only thing they have in common, they each make up the 3 points of the most mysterious triangle in history, The Bermuda Triangle. The more ominous name that haunted me the most when I was younger was the Devil’s Triangle.
As a young person, hearing about a vast area out in the middle of the ocean that made planes, ships and people vanish into thin air was mind boggling. It has been speculated that the cause of all these disappearances could have been anything from alien abductions, rogue waves, violent weather and more.
I know I’m not the only one that has been mystified by the Devil’s Triangle, because there has been so many movies and documentaries created about this phenomena. Rather than me repeating everything in the documentaries I’ve seen, take a look at the National Geographic and History Channel documentaries below to get a good insight about; The Devil’s Triangle!
“Don Cornelius, the producer and television host who created the dance show “Soul Train,” was found shot dead in his Los Angeles home early Wednesday morning in what appears to be a suicide, the Los Angeles Police Department and the county coroner’s office said. He was 75 years old.”
I use to watch this show all the time when I was in high school. They had so many, now famous bands and singers on the show. You knew they were lip syncing, but it didn’t really matter, it was still entertaining.
For many of us on the West Coast of the United States, we were probably still in bed sleeping. I was awoken by my wife’s alarm clock at around 6am in the morning. The alarm turns on the radio and I was half awake listening to whatever was on the radio. Then I heard the radio personality announce that a plane flew into one of the World Trade Center towers (I’m paraphrasing here). I immediately sat up in bed and turned on the television to see if there was any news stations covering this, and that’s when I saw it. They were televising smoke billowing out from the North tower of the World Trade Center–it was 8:46am in New York (Eastern Daylight Time). At this point in time, it was just thought that this was a terrible accident, but then the unthinkable happened, at 9:03am Eastern Daylight Time, another plane flew into the South tower of the World Trade Center. This scene was played on every news station all throughout the day and for many days and weeks after, the image of these jets flying into the World Trade Center towers is something I will never forget. The following video clip is what I remember seeing when I switched on the television that morning. I’ve only included this first clip in the series, the actual news broadcast starts at time code 1:30.
After the first jet hit the North tower, more and more news crews were on the scene and they had videos from every conceivable vantage point. Here’s a short video showing the 2nd jet flying into the South tower.
Although the World Trade Center gets most of the press due to the shear magnitude of the event, we must not forget all those that lost their lives at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania sites. American Airlines flights 77 and United Airlines flight 93 respectively.
All together, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
I really don’t remember anything in particular about that day, except that I was watching a lot of different news stations. And remember, back 10 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter to get up to the minute news tidbits.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Nova just aired a great episode called “Engineering Ground Zero”. I enjoyed it because it was a behind the scenes look at what’s going into the building of “One World Trade Center” and the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. http://video.pbs.org/video/2119539367
The City of Manhattan Beach, California had a dedication ceremony on September 11, 2007 on the corner of 15th St and Valley Dr. in front of the Manhattan Beach Fire Department. The two sections of the World Trade Center beams were donated to the city so they could construct a memorial site. Here are some photos that I took of this memorial.
I am going to skip posting for this coming Friday, but will have a teaser for you the following Sunday.
Following are a couple YouTube videos I found on the web that meld together photographs and music. The first was put to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” and the second to Jo Dee Messina’s, “Heaven Was Needing A Hero”.