“When you learn a thing a day, you store up smart.”

Today is already warm at 48°. It is another lovely morning. It is the first full spring day. When I got the papers, I noticed the green pointed tops of the daylillies have poked above the ground. More croci are in boom. The dafs have buds. Spring is running rampant over winter, and I want to scream with joy.

Sometimes I sit here staring at the screen hoping my muse will take notice of the blank page and throw some inspiration my way. I’m still waiting.

Here I go!

When I was a kid, I once went door to door to collect money for some organization I don’t remember, maybe the Jimmy Fund. I was not thinking of altruism. In Boston, at the collective site, were Miss Kitty and Doc from Gunsmoke. I wanted to meet them. My father drove me into town. I carried my money in a can. The place was crowded and had a long line. I didn’t mind waiting. When it was my turn, I emptied my can into the money bin. I got to shake Doc’s hand and Miss Kitty thanked me personally, or at least it seemed that way. I was star struck.

One July 4th at the bandstand in the next town over, Big Brother Bob Emery was there. He was a local television personality who had a show for kids. I remember the theme song was “The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Fella’s Yard.” He accompanied himself on the ukulele and sometimes a banjo. He called us small fry. On the wall behind him was a picture of then President Eisenhower. Hail to the Chief would play, and we would raise our glasses of milk in tribute then drink to the president. Anyway, I was right behind him on the bandstand. I remember he wore a checked suit jacket. It was so crowded none of us, even Big Brother Bob Emery, could move. What I remember the most is he had a bug on his neck. I watched the bug move across his neck and wondered why he didn’t whack it away. I was so intent on the bug I missed whatever he had to say.

In Ghana, I met Prime Minister Kofi Busia. He was running in the first election after the military coup. Campaigning was happening while I was in training. When I was in Bawku for my Iive-in with a Ghanaian family, there was a huge rally for Busia. My Ghanaian father was a mucky muck in the Progress Party, Busia’s party, and insisted we, a Peace Corps friend, and I sit on the bandstand. Wrong move! We got a bit of a reprimand for appearing to support Busia by sitting on the grandstand, right in front, as we were not supposed to have anything to do with politics, local or otherwise. Well, he won. Later, after his inauguration, he visited my town, Bolgatanga, for a luncheon at the governor’s house. I didn’t get an invitation, but my principal insisted I accompany her. I did. They made room. That was when I met Prime Minister Busia. He would be overthrown by the army 27 months later.

That’s it, the entire total of well-known people I have met.

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8 Comments on ““When you learn a thing a day, you store up smart.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    Yes, spring is finally coming but very slowly. Some rain, some sun, still cold. Courageously I turned off the heating. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea, we’ll see.
    I don’t think I’ve met anyone famous yet.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Birgit,
      Other than a bit of conversation with Busia, my encounters with the famous were brief and either a handshake or nothing at all.

      It was warmish today, in the 50s. It was the nicest day so far. The nights here too get cold. I have yet to turn off my heat.The house in the morning is quite chilly anyway.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was cloudy and cool with a high temperature of 67°.

    In 1972 the Washington Senators moved into an expanded minor league ballpark next to the Dallas Ft.Worth turnpike. It was renamed Arlington Stadium. My best friend, Art, was the news and sports director at a daytime AM radio Station in Grand Prairie. He couldn’t leave the station in the evenings. I was a struggling flight student working for minimum wage at a retail Jewelry store. Art got me a press pass and I bought a portable cassette tape recorder to tape player interviews before the home games.

    I remember opening week and we went down into the home clubhouse after a game to interview the manager, Ted Williams. He was sitting behind a big wooden desk in his underwear in his office. When he saw several of us in the electronic media pointing microphones at him he declared, “Get those microphones out of my face”. Art replied, “But thumper, how can we get quotes for the radio and TV news?” He replied, “I don’t want to be taped, that way I can always claim I was miss quoted”. The Boston print media did a number on him all those years he played with the Red Sox. We left his office and never returned the entire season.

    After his passing years later, I read that Ted Williams didn’t want to move to Texas with the team. However, he made the move and spent the entire season as the first Texas Ranger manager. He did that to give several older members of his coaching staff the required minimum number of years of major league service to receive their entire pensions.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We got into the 50’s today, but the afternoon got chilly.

      I always thought the Washington Senators were well named.

      It is good to have friends in high places!! I would love to have a press pass to get into Fenway every game. Now they don’t go into the club house for interviews except after a big game like a division title or championship. The players after a regular game are interviewed on the field.

      Ted Williams had a bigger than life personality. He loved to fish, mostly fly fishing. I remember the last All Star Game at Fenway. Ted Williams came on the field in a golf cart. Every player without fail circled that cart. They wanted to play homage to the greatest hitter who ever lived.

      • Bob Says:

        Imagine his stats if he hadn’t gone into the Marines as a fighter pilot in both WWII and in the Korean War. I remember that All Star game.

      • katry Says:

        They would have been astronomically high!!

        In Fenway, among the blue seats in the right field bleachers is a red seat. It signifies the 502-foot home run that Ted Williams hit on June 9, 1946, after his return from WWII. It is the longest homer in Fenway history.

  3. Bob Says:

    The best part of having a press pass is that they serve the press dinner every night and as many free drinks as you want. The Rangers served barbecue brisket to the press every night. After two years eating barbecue brisket at every home game, I couldn’t look at it for several years. Not having to buy dinner during the baseball season helped my budget. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I totally understand not wanting barbecue brisket for years.

      During my last year in Ghana there was a delay in the arrival of the rainy season, a drought of sorts. Rice was just about the only thing available i n the market. I had given the garden boy seeds from the US. He grew green peppers which no Ghanaian would eat, too bland. I bought them a and had stuffed peppers with rice for many dinners. I also had rice by itself for many dinners. I did not touch rice for years.

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