“Some try to tell me
Thoughts they cannot defend,
Just what you want to be
You will be in he end.
“Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin”
At the Star Plaza with Dave, Tom Wade, and Brady Wade for a Moody Blues concert, I found the band as tight and exciting as ever. Drummer Graeme Edge announced that the Moodies would soon be celebrating their fifty-first anniversary and then the 74 year-old started boogieing to the crowd’s delight. Justin Howard and John Lodge joined the band in 1966, a year before release of their breakthrough album “Days of Future Passed,” featuring “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin.” Until recently, I thought the title was “Knights,” not “Nights in White Satin.”
Prior to the concert we gathered at Gino’s Steak House nearby, where I opted for delicious beef tips smothered in mushrooms, onions and gravy (with a salad and a huge amount of mashed potatoes) and wine rather than beer in order to cut down on bathroom visits. A friendly waitress asked if we were going to the show and promised to serve us in plenty of time. Dave thought Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” was a Moody Blues song and joked about looking forward to hearing it. He was thoroughly impressed with Moody Blues and said it was the most responsive, appreciative concert audience he’d ever seen. Indeed the mostly sixtysomething fans were on their feet for standing ovations after nearly every song. My favorites: “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” Opting to perform several rarities, the band didn’t do “Lovely To See You Again,” but Graeme told the crowd, “Lovely to see you again my friend, walk along with me to the next bend.”
Dave spotted James and Becca’s music teacher in the audience. During intermission I searched in vain for someone I knew. Steve Kokos worked security at the Star Plaza for years but was nowhere in sight. Ditto any old Porter Acres hippie friends. Were ophthalmologist Tim Carmody, one of my first students, still alive, he’d have been there, as would have Tim Brush (“Big Voodoo Daddy”), the coolest, nicest guy, Dave and I agreed, we’d ever known. Dave noted that Tim was just 46, exactly his age now, when he died of pancreatic cancer. Tim Carmody, bless him, took his own life after his second wife left him.
History professor David Parnell won IUN’s Excellence in Online Design and Delivery Award, which has to do with online courses, the number of which is proliferating. If anyone can make them worthwhile, David can. In fact, perhaps students on other campuses will enroll.
The Cubs open a weekend series in Colorado with a 1-1 record despite having scored a mere 2 runs in 18 innings. My favorite Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin recalled a game at Wrigley 30 years when Phillies outfielder Jeff Stone’s shoe came off. Rushin wrote:
Before he can retrieve it, a Cubs fan near me in the bleachers – in a drunken gesture of goodwill – throws a sneaker onto the field. The bleachers belch up another shoe, then dozens are raining down on Wrigley, a Biblical plague of mateless footware. And I think: Who would want to be anywhere else on a Tuesday afternoon?
I vividly recall a game 8 years later when the Cubs gave out Randy Myers posters to the first 10,000 fans. The Chicago closer was having a great year (he’d register 53 saves in 1993) but this was not his day. After he blew a save opportunity and gave up two runs, bleacher fans showered the field with Randy Myers posters. It took 20 minutes before the game could resume. Two years later, an irate fan charged the mound after Randy gave up a home run in a crucial situation. The former “Nasty Boy” of the 1990 champion Cincinnati Reds used his martial arts skills to make short work of the interloper.
On campus Friday I chatted with Monica Solinas-Saunders and Mark Hoyert, both recipients of Steel Shavings volume 44, in which I highlight Monica’s work with women prisoners and Hoyert’s wit. The Dean seemed pleased that Anne Balay had been offered a teaching position at Haverford. When Hoyert referred to another former colleague, I replied, “A little wacky, but aren’t we all?”
Forty years ago, Watergate conspirators were going to jail (except for Nixon), and Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City. Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa went to lunch and was never seen again. A Senate committee investigated assassination attempts against Fidel Castro and Indonesian President Sukarno. Mob boss Sam Giancana was killed, probably by CIA, as he prepared to testify before Congress. President Gerald Ford told New York City, in effect, to “Drop Dead” when officials requested a federal bailout. Top movies included “Jaws” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Cool songs included “Fame” by David Bowie and “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. The Steelers won their first Superbowl, and Cincinnati won an exciting World Series against Boston.