brewers baseball and things

basketball, tattoos and bacardi

22 Comments

Wikipedia comes up with all kinds of colorful expressions disguised as truth, facts or whatever. It’s just people who like to write; people with nothing to do; people like you and me. They have a wiki account and a trucker’s handle and feel generous so they donate their research free of charge without byline or accolade.

All are welcome so screw your ivy league degree. Encyclopedia infinite. From Bamboo to Boxcars to Chick Hearn; born in Aurora, Illinois; became Los Angeles Laker announcer with a “style as rapid fire, staccato” inventing terms like slam dunk and air ball.

Francis Dayle Chick Hearn came to life for me in the movie “White Man Can’t Jump,” not Mr. Hearn himself, but one of his aerial verbal delights; “The mustard is off the hot dog.” Love that movie. Love that Illinois. Love basketball.

My baptism into basketball was Al McGuire as Marquette Warriors head coach and wisdom teacher until his passing in 2001; encouraging us youngeons to visit local Wisconsin farms and become a taxi driver. Do ya better than a college education, he told us. He knew america’s basketball map like Kerouac knew bars. The In your face basketball book was my bible.

McGuire called it French Pastry. The it being that razzle dazzle, but if the pill hit off the back iron and landed out of bounds….well then for sure the mustard was off the hot dog….the showy exaggerated acrobatic rendered useless, but if it swished…..african drum ballet! sweet butter basketball!

Who dares criticize tattoos? The peanut gallery is filled with virgins; people who never enjoyed a hot metal scissors piercing flesh; in arms, legs, or just above a butt crack. Sweet graffiti butter.

I don’t have a tattoo so what the hell can I say? Nothing. Stranger hops aboard a bus is talked up by a stranger already sitting on the bus. They’re talking about their tattoos because they both have em. Is the mustard off the hot dog? It is according to that virgin in the smug corner wearing Gingrich on his face. I stuff an imaginary hot dog in his sow bug face and focus on the tattoo conversation..

Matt Latos was born in Virginia, attended high school in Florida was drafted by the Padres traded to the Reds. He has 20 tattoos  He said so. He must have counted them. He’s a good, maybe a great major league pitcher. I don’t love or hate him but it has nothing to do with his 20 tattoos. Hell, he probably has 20 more by now and they wanna be free.

As far as I know this has never happened before; not in recorded tattoo history has any cluster of toos ever organized a rebellion and demanded freedoms and sovereignty and all that liberation stuff.

Kids preach rebellion; accuse parents of so few people people controlling so many resources…the anarchy symbols on t-shirts. the necrophiliac looks at anyone who doesn’t agree with them until they end up dreaming of mom and dad while steam frying purple vegetables inside apartments with prison bars.

Nature outlives pretenders; wears contenders down; trees snatching sunlight and the hell with that bush. Rulers rule, but this Matt Latos tattoo thing is scaring tycoons into joyriding atop construction cranes. Maybe a good thing. Shaking em, knocking em off center.

The back alleys are rattling with squirrels as the true lions of the animal kingdom. Screw gold and silver. Aluminum shines a Cadillac. I love Cadillac.

Latos himself injected free will into each tattoo. He likes to draw and doodle and paint and all that. He said so, but he has no interest in locking up his creations inside frames. He set em free when they were born on his arm and back and butt. Creep weed. It takes time to fly.

There’s nothing Nazis hate more than a bunch of Jews laughing. Ditto for the British control freaking a bunch of Irish enjoying pints and doing that oh so dangerous and radical act of “having a good time.”

The fear spreading through the tattoo parlor industry is rampant and understandable. The cool merchants know what one small miracle can do. It can add removal to their storefront windows verbiage.

The Brewers had an off day Thursday; traveled up the California coast; from San Diego to San Francisco; Big Sur and cliffs, splashing waves; bus stops and dreams? I love California, but it was probably a private jet and not even a cocktail. You snooze, you lose. Screw it. I’m making me a bacardi later tonight; maybe two of em.

The Brewers are still 73-60 and that equals 13 and in some circles that 13 symbolizes rising above the 12 signs of the Zodiac and kicking those horror scopes in the groin.

 

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Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

22 thoughts on “basketball, tattoos and bacardi

  1. Steve, you HAVE that book, “The In Your Face Basketball Book”???? I’m IN that book!!!

    I was seventeen years old at the time, and I was playing in a half-court pick-up basketball game. I’m dribbling a basketball in the picture. (I was put at point guard, but it didn’t matter, because all of the other players were lousy, too! Man, was I a lousy guard! I was a lousy basketball player, period, and I still am!) My cousins, who lived in North Carolina at the time, and I were visiting another cousin who was a student at UNC, and I got into a pick-up basketball game. I had no idea that a photographer was going to come around, and frankly, I was a little embarrassed.

    It’s a full-page photo. I’m the skinny guy dribbling the basketball, wearing cutoff shorts, wearing no shirt and I still had my long dark hair in those days! No, I didn’t get paid anything for letting them use my photo in that book. (Cheap bastards.) Had I known they weren’t going to pay me, I wouldn’t have let them use the photo! No, actually it was quite a thrill to be in a full-page photo in a book.

    That photograph was actually taken in early July of 1978, a few days before I left for Camp Northwood (where I was a counselor in training.) Also, I couldn’t see so well, so on top of being a lousy player to begin with, I could barely see; I normally wore glasses in those days, but my glasses had broken during the early part of the game; a guy blocked a shot of mine (which wasn’t hard for him to do) and inadvertanly knocked my glasses off, and they got all twisted and bent. The book was published a couple of years later. I don’t have the book here with me; it’s at my sister’s house in Broome County, New York, 200 miles away, and I forgot the page number that it was on. Just look at the section about North Carolina. I DID get mailed four free copies of the book by the publisher. And before that, they sent me a “proof” of the book. The guy who took my picture asked me my name and address, and wrote it down. A year and a half later, they sent four copies of it to me. (Two years or a year and a half later when the book was published.) That was kind of a thrill, although I would have preferred being paid. I was surprised that they remembered me after about a year and a half. By the time it was published, I was already almost 20.

    I don’t know why of all people they chose to use MY picture in the book, but nobody reading the book could tell from a still black-and-white picture how really LOUSY and uncoordinated I really was! I actually LOOK like I knew what I was doing in that picture, but the jerks that I was playing with taunted me and called me names like “unco” (which stands for “uncoordinated.) Well, I’ll tell you now that I DIDN’T know what I was doing, and never did when it came to playing basketball!

    Glen

    • That would be page 160 with a caption saying “University of North Carolina’s Granville Towers; Chapel Hill, North Carolina.” Holy Mackeral…..Glen, you were one super cool looking dude. The guy dribbling the ball in the photo is not wearing a shirt and has free flowing hair;just as you said. He-you Sort of look like Kelly Leak from Bad News Bears; wearing high tops like all hoops McGooos must wear and those cool striped socks at perfect below the knees length. You maybe didn’t play basketball real well and maybe you were clumsy, but you sure knew how to dress the part. It’s all in the shoes anyway. I took a picture of page 160, but don’t know where to upload it. Screw it. I know…..I’ll put it in this post as close to me mentioning the book. By the way, Al McGuire didn’t write the book. He just wrote the introduction.

    • ok, the picture is up now. I hope I spelled your name right.

  2. Trippy writing and a cool connection between Glen and Steve! My day’s complete, clocking out right now.

    P.S. Glen, my guess is they used that photo because you were obviously one cool dude. Nothing else matters, it’s a photo.

    • Thanks, Debra! Cool? DUDE? Maybe I looked like one, but two words that have never been put together to describe me are cool and dude! I wasn’t what one would call cool in THOSE days! But thanks!

      Glen

    • You’re right Debra. This is huge..so huge that it warrants clocking out right now. How can anything top this? Glen being photographed in my favorite book of all time. I’m dumbfounded, but prefer saying it the way the online dictionary defines the word. I’m greatly astonished or amazed.

  3. Oh, man. I am embarrassed now! I didn’t know you were gonna actually put the picture ON here. Thank you, though. I’ll accept it as my birthday present! (54 years old on September 1st. Born in 1960, to save you the math. Yeah, Ike was still president when I was born, and would remain in the White House for about 4 and 3/4 more months.)

    They also sent me the original of the photo, or maybe a COPY of the original. I don’t really know. That was nice of them. Some money would’ve been nice, as well! Do you happen to know if the book was a big seller or anything? Because I wonder how much money the writers and photographers made on that book (and, in an indirect way, on MY PICTURE!)

    By the way, if I remember correctly, I wasn’t wearing high-tops in that picture. I was just wearing canvas sneakers, as I recall. In fact, I don’t even recall even buying OR wearing a pair of high-top sneakers of any kind until around 1987, when I was about 27 and living up in Portland, Maine, and they were a very popular style by then.

    Steve, you’re about ten years younger than me, right? All (or a lot) of the teenagers wore high-top basketball shoes with the long shoe laces unlaced around the late ’80s. (Goofy style. Kind of cool, but kind of dangerous, too! It’s a wonder they didn’t trip over them everywhere they went!) Were you ONE of them? I remember the teenagers, including girls, walking around like that, with the laces flying all over the place! At least that’s how the teens wore it in Portland, Maine. Style is sometimes a very unexplainable thing with unexplainable origins.

    Glen

    • No need to be embarrassed. You were styling Glen and you still are. If I were you, I would keep that picture in my wallet. Yeh, I think the book went platinum or I’m not sure, maybe gold, but probably not, but I love it. Cripes. It’s one of the only books I’ve taken with me wherever I’ve moved. I’m a sucker for books with pictures so I especially dig the fashion chapter; from full page display of shoe lacings; the straight, super soul, and sister half stitch to t-shirts and glasses or no glasses. There’s a country look, inner city look, nerd look. Glen, you definitely had the right look based on the criteria in the book. Good job! And you musta sounded bad ass with that Brroklyn twang; especially in North Carolina. And then there’s chapter 3-Asphalt Argot…a 20 page glossary of street speak followed by a long list of parks to play on across the country including Canada which is sort of a country, but more of a communist island. I wore Karl Malone LA Gear three quarter tops for a while, then low top nikes like Charles Barkley, then imitation high top Jordans and then back to LA Gears….pretty much whatever was cheap and on sale and looked good…Jew in a junkyard scenario. Nowadays I get my hoop shoes from Walmart. Just picked up a pair of black Dr. Scholls with the stability bridge. Ideal for a game of horse and cheap. Got em for 40 bucks and wear em at work too. Shit like tat makes me real happy and a lot less uptight cheap bastard that I am.

    • Oh yeh, and about the lacings. I always went with a straight lace and real tight. I was horribly anal retentive as a kid. Pulled my socks up as high as they would stretch and made the laces so damn tight I had marks on the tops of my feet. I think it was part superstition and part uptightness. I still do stupid shit like that. Beer loosens me up like just like it probably does everyone else on the planet. I think I’ll have a couple tonight as a matter of fact.

      I’m glad we discovered your celebrity past. I don’t know. If I were famous like this and believe me you are now famous in my mind because this is one of the greatest books of all time to me. Shit, if I were you, I would brag about this all over creation. What other secrets do you have? Next thing ya know you’re gonna tell us you were in the Michael Jackson Video Beat it. I assume that gang scene was shot in Los Angeles. Have you ever been to LA? I wanna go there some day. Seems way less predictable than New York.

      • I never really thought of it as being “celebrity.” I had thought that maybe three people had bought that book. If I knew that those of the opposite sex might have looked at the book, too, I might have worn a shirt! (I’m blushing.) Then again, who would have ever known that a photographer would have come along, trying to get photos for a book????

        I saw it once on the shelves in the Henry Waldinger Memorial Public Library (yes, that’s really the name of the library in Valley Stream, Long Islaned; in fact, I lived at 84 South Waldinger Street in Valley Stream. But other than that, I don’t recall even seeing it on the shelves in book stores.

        Actually, I usually was pretty modest about walking around without a shirt on. I remember the game, but vaguely. It was shirts and skins, and, just like in gym classes, I was hoping to be on the “shirts” team. I was very self-conscious about that kind of thing. I just happened to be on the “skins” team. I would have preferred being on the “shirts” team, if you want to know. Hey, how do you like the chain around my neck, or as they called them back then, “chokers”. Does that complete the “cool” image or what? I remember that chain. It was given to me as a Chanukah gift by my sister. I lost it, somehow.

        Glen

        PS What was it about this book that made it your favorite book, Steve? (I wasn’t overly impressed by the book, and I got it for free from the publisher.) How long has it been your favorite? And had you ever noticed that photo of me before? (Eerie, isn’t it?)

        Jeez. Talk about strange coincidences. It IS a small world.

        • as mentioned in one of my flurry emails. Excuse the flurry by the way but it’s not often or it’s never that these in your face things happen like this. It is my favorite book and as I mentioned.in the post…Al McGuire was my hero..still is…I pretty much love everything he had to say. He coached Marquette which was about 15 minutes from where i grew up. dad took me to the games, watched the others on tv. I liked basketball way more than baseball.From Oliver Lee to Trevor Powell to Dwayne Wade…we loved the marquette warriors who became the golden eagles because of that over sensitive PC crap.

          I didn’t really like playing baseball…not as much as basketball anyway. And then the fashion in the book and the pictures and satire and map of where to play all over america and the little stories and wisdom nuggets. each chapter had some famous quote to kick it off and that glossary….man oh man. i just love that book. It may not be as cool as your gold chain, but i wouldn’t trade this book for nothing especially because it might be hard to replace. The basketball or pill as we called it is maybe what playing baseball was to you.

    • and I almost forgot just in case I forget..Happy Birthday you old poop. I’ll be joining you in the 50’s one of these days we should meet with wide lapels and shuffle around main street, find a park bench, see the sights. Too bad I quit smoking or I’d offer you a cigar.

  4. Steve, do I look like a “cool dude” in this photo, too, taken just six years earlier than the one of me that’s in the “In Your Face Basketball Book? I’m the one who thinks that puckering his lips will help me run faster. It seemed to be helping, as I’m in well in the lead! As you can see, I was badly in need of a haircut at the time that THIS photo was taken, too!

    http://talltalesandtruestories.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-boy-who-wouldnt-stop-running/

    Glen

    • I think Gary is onto something. There are definite traces of Vinny Barbarino in there; maybe an electric Barbarino with the hair all wind spiked.

  5. Wow, the angle is a bit off, but I’m getting a young John Travolta…Vinny Barbarino era.

  6. I just remembered something about that game. One of the guys on my team, this really tall guy who looked well into his 20s, yelled his lungs out at me. He had a heavy Southern accent, and he absolutely screamed at me, “WHAT THE F–K IS WRONG WITH YOU, YANKEE BOY????? DON’T YOU KNOW HOW TO PASS A F–CKING BASKETBALL??????” or something lovely to that extent. It was after I passed the ball and it went over his head and went out of bounds. I was an awful passer. Some of the other Southerners laughed, even other guys on my own “team” and on the other team. (Actually, I was the only one without a Southern accent, as I recall).

    I was going to stop playing then and there because I didn’t need that crap; it was just a stupid pick-up basketball game. I’m glad I didn’t quit, though, because the photographer came pretty soon after the guy screamed at me (who would have ever imagined that a guy would be taking pictures of this stupid basketball game for a BOOK???), and the game was almost over and I had made quite several passing errors, missed shots, and things of that nature. My cousins and I went back to where they lived, in Carrboro, right near there, shortly after the game. I didn’t even notice the photographer, at first, and I didn’t pay much attention, anyway. He seemed to be shooting a lot of photos in the direction of different guys in the game, including me, and I was feeling a little bit self-conscious. It wasn’t until after the game when the guy came up to me and asked my name and address and said that I am probably be going to be in some book that I realized what was going on. I was a little confused, though. I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, and why he wanted my name and address.

    Glen

  7. By the way, Steve, I got so caught up with the post that I forgot to say that I love your post.

    If you like Chick Hearn (who I confess I’ve never heard announce a basketball game), then you’ll LOVE Johnny Most. Johnny graduated from the same high school that my father graduated from, DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, and he went on to become a legend in New England. People used to turn off the sound on their TV sets and put on the radio, including WPOR, the station I worked for in Portland, Maine. I ran the board for the Celtics games on the WPOR-AM (I also DJed and announced country music on WPOR_FM), and it was a blast getting to listen to the over-the-top craziness of Johnny Most almost every night. He was definitely a rooter for the Celtics. He made no secret of that! And the team he despised the most? The Detroit Pistons, and he hated them openly and vociferously, during their “Bad Boy” Era in the 80s. He despised Bill Laimbeer more than any of them! He was a trip!

    Here’s a great sample of Johnny Most’s insanity—-

    Glen

  8. I hate anarchy symbols on t-shirts. I hate the idea of anarchy being made into a commercial product. I have nothing against the Irish having a good time. I don’t know any other Brits who do either.

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