Posted tagged ‘Johnny Most’

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

February 7, 2017

I am watching the Patriots and their duck boat rolling rally ride through the streets of Boston. Earlier it was snowing, and now it is raining, but the crowds don’t care. The fans are standing along the sides of the streets 20 or more deep. The players are having a wonderful time yelling, clapping and dancing. The confetti blowing all over makes it difficult to see but Tom Brady stands out. He is in the front boat holding the Lombardi trophy and waving, a huge smile on his face. The crowd loves him. Lots of school desks are empty today. Kids will remember this parade the whole of their lives.

Gracie is less reluctant to go down the back steps into the yard. She knows I’m there. I stand in front of her as she goes down front paws first one step at a time. She runs all over the yard glad to be off the leash.

When I was a kid, I followed the Red Sox and the Celtics. The poor Sox were hapless, and it was easy to get a good seat even an hour before the game. I remember sitting in a box seat behind the dugout, empty seats around me. The Sox, perennial losers, were not a great draw. I did see a moment in history when Bob Tillman, the catcher, tried to cut off Al Kaline stealing second and hit Johnny Wyatt, relief pitcher, in the head.

I listened to Celtics games on the radio. Johnny Most was the best announcer of them all. I used to hide my transistor radio under the covers so I could listen to the Celts play the L.A. Lakers, perennial foes. Even when the Celts were on TV we listened to Johnny Most. I still remember him screaming, “Havlicek stole the ball,” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals when the Sox were only a point ahead and Philly had the ball. I went to Celtics games as I could take the bus and the subway to North Station. They were often sold out. The Celts were perennial winners.

I have never seen the Pats live, but I have watched every game on TV. I’m okay with that. I get to stay warm and comfy. The kitchen and bathroom are both down the hall. I do love to go to Fenway especially for night games. It is a magical place with the green grass and all the lights.

My mother was not into sports and didn’t understand the rules of any game, but if we watched, she watched. I remember her cheering for the wrong football team, an easy mistake. We didn’t say anything. It was great to see her be a fan.

“Life and summer are fleeting,’ sang the bird. ‘Snow and dark, and the winter comes. Nothing remains the same.”

October 17, 2013

When I went to get the papers, I was surprised by how warm the morning is. The sun is shining but not with much enthusiasm. I am still struck by how much the light has changed with the season. Gracie and I will go out today and one of our stops will be the dump. Right now she’s enjoying her morning nap.

The Sox-Tigers game on Tuesday was the stuff of legend. The Sox managed to win with a single home-run being the only score on both sides, a 1-0 game. Last night was awful. The Sox lost 7-3. I’m still dealing with the horror of it all. The series is tied 2-2.

I saw a clip from a recent Celts’ game, and Paul Pierce was on the opposing team. It was strange to see him in other than Celtic green. I have been a fan of the Celts since I was young. Back then few games were on TV so I got to listen to Johnny Most on the radio. He had this raspy voice, and it filled with emotion when he was describing spectacular plays. He was a screamer: sometimes in joy and sometimes in indignation. I remember hiding my head under the covers so I wouldn’t get caught listening to the games from the West Coast on my transistor radio. I used to try to visualize the plays as Johnny described them. He had names for all the players like Jumping John Havlicek and Leaping Larry Siegfried. He was such a Celtics fan himself he never once criticized the team. He even had nicknames for opposing players but they weren’t complimentary. Magic Johnson was Cry-Baby Johnson so named when he disputed a call so all that season he was just called Cry when Johnny described the action. Even when the games were on TV, I always turned down the volume and listened instead to Johnny on the radio. His most famous line is “Havlicek stole the ball!” and I can remember him screaming that into the mike. That steal gave the Celts the series against Philadelphia, and they went on to beat LA for the championship. I still watch the Celts once in a while now and even took in a game a couple of years ago. Tommy Heinsohn, a former Celtic from the glory days, is the TV announcer, and he’s pretty good, but I miss the Johnny Most days. He made basketball, even on the radio, colorful and fun.

My neighborhood is so quiet now. The storm doors are up so I don’t ever hear voices anymore. The kids are in school. Every now and then I hear a dog bark, and if Gracie is outside, she’ll carry on the conversation, but most dogs are inside until their people come home from work. It is getting to be isolation time.