Category: my vinyl


1 – It gives me a nostalgic, Fall holiday feeling because, growing up in what was arguably the best public school system in America, New York City’s from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, we had to learn about Christopher (Cristoforo) Columbus [1451 – 1506] and his romanticized voyage in addition to getting another day off from the new school year! First report cards, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving were on the horizon!

2 – Occurring a few days after the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, it reminds me of our collective cultural heritage as Americans.

3 – His voyage proved the earth is not flat! Imagine only knowing Europe, Asia and maybe Africa as the totality of the planet and then sailing east of your world, trying to find a short-cut to the Far East (the Orient) without knowing if you would fall off the edge into oblivion! That was the prevailing geography of Columbus’ era!! He was truly courageous.

4 – Now THAT’s Italian! Even though he set sail from Spain, Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. Columbus Day is an Italian celebration! Among our earliest immigrants to “the melting pot”, they are one of my favorite nationalities and some of the coolest paisans who’ve given us pizza, pasta, romantic music and not to mention movies like The Godfather, gangsters, many streets named “Columbus” (like “Columbus Circle in NYC), and beautiful women like Sophia Loren! I recall an Italian girl named Marie from my first job at an A&P food store; she used to come in with her mom and I was the sixteen year old produce clerk weighing and bagging her melons, etc. If only I wasn’t so shy back then, I would have asked her to a movie and possibly changed my history – we definitely had some chemistry!

5 – Little Italy. There is one in every major city, but New York City’s is the most famous and where the food in the many restaurants and bars is off the chain deeee-licious. It’s sure to be poppin’ down there Monday night!

6 – The Nina. His flagship, sailed 25,000 miles under Columbus’ command and was his favorite of the three ships. Real name was the Santa Clara after the patron saint, but took the nickname from her owner, Juan Nino of Moguer. I think “Nina” means “the girl”.

7 – The Pinta. Like the Nina, a Caravel ship, light and fast; commonly used by explorers of those days. The most mysterious of the trio, she returned home and apparently that is all that is known.

8 – And The Santa Maria. The least favored by Columbus was the heaviest of them all; a cargo ship. Must have been a keen trick to keep track of all!

9 – The Parades!

10 – This Poem that helped us learn about the history of Columbus Day:

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
But “India” the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he’d been told.
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.”

Pickhit: I’ve noticed that some southeastern U.S. states, in what must be misguided, immature rebelliousness, gloss-over Columbus Day, previously celebrated on October 12th, the date he landed on our shores, universally across the land – and now on the second Monday – by renaming it shamefully as a “Professional Learning Day” while giving students the day off, ignoring it completely or otherwise denying pupils one of the most colorful and interesting holidays which celebrates the combining world and American (“the new world”) histories.
There was Ameriggo, Leif and Magellan, but only Columbus got the title of “first”.

morph verb
morphed; morphing; morphs
Definition of morph
transitive verb: to change the form or character of : TRANSFORM

I don’t follow the NFL like I used to ten years ago, but in the wake of the Antonio Brown saga, which was on every tele screen at local Pubs, I must ask these questions:
Has the definition of “rape” changed? Has the definition of “rape” morphed?
What exactly now is “sexual misconduct”? Is it flirting? Has the definition of “flirting” changed? Am I glad I am not growing up in this era? (Yes!)

Dig me, I am a man and writing from a man’s perspective because I am only hearing these complaints when I am out and about, under restaurant TV screens. One convo goes, “Men can’t help it if we have a nut sack and it produces urges we want to use!”

For what is worth, it seems now that every American woman of the past thirty years may have been or was “raped or “sexually molested” at some point in their distant past, said nothing about it until now, when the “climate” and mores have apparently changed in their favor, and when the guy becomes famous or rich (or both), then they come forward to ruin him. The latest I heard about is Demi Moore doing the #MeToo! Really?? I remember when the deep, gravelly-voiced actress first appeared on General Hospital like, forty years ago! She showed no signs of trauma on the set. Did she tell Bruce Willis about it?

In these instances, why not a civil, private convo years ago when it happened?

All my scores of life, when I heard the four-letter word, “rape” it conjured images of a sex-crazed,”Jack-the-Ripper”-style insane maniac, grabbing a random woman who was maybe walking alone down a darkened street, into a dimly-lit alley and ripping her clothes off in a violent struggle despite her screams and forcibly penetrating her private parts with his dick, in a most savage manner. Has this definition changed?

AND now, as maybe with Mr. Brown, another super-testosterone-charged athlete, we have a different dynamic. I hear the word “consensual” in the mix. Which leads me to believe that there was maybe some playful foreplay involved which led the guy to want more and at first the woman would go “No, don’t…stop..” And then it led to, “Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop!” or something similar. Hmmm… So when this modern female thought about it later, I guess she decided, “I didn’t want that to happen, Ewww…” (even though she kinda enjoyed it at the time?) and one thought led to another, like the foreplay itself, which when mixed with the climate of TV news, money and fame morphed the mindset into her speaking out, where she maybe wouldn’t have in the past.

Mr. Brown, why did you have this cute female as your “trainer”? Don’t tough footballers need a man to train them? That choice had UNhappy ending written all over it, from any logical man’s perspective – but these overpaid guys are not thinking with the same “head” as we mere mortal men, right?

I’ve always wondered why a man would stoop to the conduct of rape, when there are such beings as Hookers, and massage parlors (with “happy ending”) and numerable other ways to “get some” much more easily in life – especially if you got long green to spend. Most curiously, how can you maintain an erection when struggling with someone to put it IN? How? How? How? I’ve had “problems” putting it IN when we both wanted it! lol So tell me please, what exactly are the mechanics of “rape” in the past and these days? Please describe in detail for us, what happens in “sexual harassment”?

Traveling overseas earlier this decade, I overheard how most of the rest of the world thinks about America’s sexuality, “They are Puritans publicly and perverts privately.” In other words, hypocrites.

My favorite song by Marvin Gaye is “Sexual Healing”; it was the top of the charts. Do you mean to tell me that if it was released today, it would be associated with “rape”? If so, then America is a country many men need to leave, because there obviously has been an updated definition of “rape”, the memo and specifics about which were not distributed to American men at-large. “Healing”, is what I’m feeling we all need.

“Get up, get up, get up, get up
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up

Ooh baby, now let’s get down tonight

[Verse 1]
Baby I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger

[Chorus]
And when I get that feeling
I want Sexual Healing
Sexual Healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fine
Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual Healing baby, is good for me
Sexual Healing is something that’s good for me

[Verse 2]
Whenever blue tear drops are falling
And my emotional stability is leaving me
There is something I can do
I can get on the telephone and call you up baby, and
Honey I know you’ll be there to heal me
The love you give to me will free me
If you don’t know the thing you’re dealing
Oh I can tell you, darling, that it’s Sexual Healing

(Get up, Get up, Get up, Get up)
Let’s make love tonight
(Wake up, Wake up, Wake up, Wake up)
‘Cause you do it right

[Bridge]
Baby I got sick this morning
A sea was storming inside of me
Baby I think I’m capsizing
The waves are rising and rising

[Chorus]
And when I get that feeling
I want Sexual Healing
Sexual Healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us
Sexual Healing, baby, it’s good for me
Sexual Healing is something that’s good for me
And it’s good for me and it’s so good to me
My baby ohhh

[Verse 3]
Come take control, just grab a hold
Of my body and mind soon we’ll be making it
Honey, oh we’re feeling fine
You’re my medicine open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great
I can’t wait for you to operate

(Heal me my darling)
I can’t wait for you to operate

[Chorus]
When I get this feeling
I need Sexual Healing
Oh when I get this feeling
I need Sexual Healing
I gotta have Sexual Healing, darling
‘Cause I’m all alone
Sexual Healing, darling
‘Till you come back home

Please don’t procrastinate
It’s not good to masturbate”

“Damned smartphone!” lol

Pet Peeve number “5,000″…

Remember this?

My first “cellphone” and,

At least it did not intrude on my mood!

Neither did it remind me;

Harken to those days of sanity.

If you were born prior to 1989 you are saved;

Who can keep count these days?

Don’t you hate it when you text someone,

Then they call you right back before you finish?

If you wanted to TALK to them,

YOU would have called in the first place!

Or Don’t you get annoyed when

You are calling someone,

Their voice mail comes on and,

Just as you are wrapping up your voice-mail,

That person is CALLING you,

Without even having listened to your voice-mail?!

You could have just tex’d them!

What’s the use in their outgoing message?

I feel then like I should have hung up on myself!

Silly smart-phone configurations perpetuate,

Conflicting communications with intrusive settings,

Unfocused communication in the middle of calls!

With options to opt-out of the conversation,

Says Alexander Graham Bell,

“What the hell?”

Let us only hearken back to a Virgin who

Was my first lover;

Of flip cell phones.

I sent her a score of indigo flowers then ago,

When this instant communication didn’t happen

And a lonely “Blackberry” was the IN thing.

Even our cool beans President had one!

With the lack of annoyance,

He made leadership non-intrusive fun.

I’d rather hear your voice;

Email, sms/text or talking?

When I was a DJ on 98.7 KISS FM,

Our slogan slug line was,

“More Music, Less Talk”.

Today, it would be

“More texting, Less talk”.

[…to be continued to fix it…”]

Be part of something diverse, positive and big and remember you heard it first here from me and our Geriatric Care Manager.

AS we Baby Boomers age, we go full circle, manage or outright care for our elders. They call it “Care-Giving” now and increasingly men/sons participate. No brag/just fact.

“Although women still make up the majority of family caregivers, more and more men are stepping into the role: Some 40% of family caregivers are now men, according to the most recent research from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, up from 33% a decade ago.” **

This topic is now a cottage industry and an issue so far neglected by those who would be our next President of the United States. As a Black American, it seems many of these agencies just want to send people who “look like” us to care for our parents, who are Octogenarian and Septuagenarian. These folks from third world counties, like Haiti and Africa, may need work and have good intentions, however their language, communication and assimilation skills leave much to be desired ninety percent of the time, in my experience. “Ask for what you want, and I’ll try my best to get it” should be the agency’s mantra.

Our hard working and lovely Irish, Italian, Jewish and other historically European-based ethnic groups call their own elder care-giver shots. Often they have long money or can acquire it from overseas to pay one thirty-five ($35) dollars an hour. Yet, when a middle class black American family, whose parents were maybe first or second generation college grads and civil servants of modest means makes a similar request of an MLTC (managed long term care) provider, we are often met with the insinuation that we are out of line, unseemly or even “intolerant” for asking that, when nothing could be further from the truth. Wanting to plug in someone superficially shows lack of real effort and imagination; “It don’t necessarily work like that!”

We too are exercising our personal family rights to have people who we feel comfortable with caring for our parents and, at least in my case, that does not automatically deem them black or brown-skinned, but it does require them to speak understandable English and preferably be from America as opposed to Haiti, Jamaica or Africa!

So these companies might as well treat me like a “white guy” then, because I’m going to ask for an Aide in-keeping with who my Mum is and the diverse values she raised me with, prior to when we let so many third world people into America to treat us, native descendant of American slaves, with disdain. You try to coach them up and they mostly reply, “Oh I know, I know” when they don’t “know” and are either too arrogant or ashamed to admit it, so that they can open the doors to empathy and learning!

When managing my own Mum’s Caregiver team (some call it “advocating for”, which is cool…) comes up in conversations that we Baby Boomers increasingly share these days, I often get the reply, “Oh you’re such a good son!”
“What else would I do? Turn my back to she who changed my diapers and gave me tough love??”, Is my response. Do people actually DO that?

If one accepts less, the system will continue to feed you less, until you accept less as the norm! Start demanding more, higher standards as were common in the 1960s, ’70 and eighties before the dumb-them-down era of President George H.W. Bush (the first).

**pickhit: stat courtesy Grace Gedye, Washington Monthly, July/August 2019

Dear Diary, THIS may be my shortest blog post ever, because “a picture is worth a thousand words” really applies here.

One reason I like to bar hop is because it is my kind of socialization communication which enables me to meet a variety of people while blowing their minds with my “non-stereotypedness” (I might have created that word, lol).

Sadly, I am still a lonely, “Choosey Lover” [Isley Brothers song] bachelor and mostly by myself when I go out – but that is a whole other post. On the plus side however, my hideous lifestyle allows me to observe couples like an Allen Funt candid camera, on-location when I am out and about briefly.

Relocating to a new city, one of the best ways to find a home is to cruise some pubs and bars, where you can network with the locals.

So, I am at an historic pub, named after one of my American Revolutionary war heroes, when a couple snuggles in behind me. I offer to “move-over” so they can have more space, but they said, “that’s aright” and went to the cozy-corner….so I stayed put. Casual convo ensues and then we mind our own.

The photo below photo says it all about how the “smart” telephone device has changed the way humans connect with each other nowadays – and not for the better! Eye contact between a man and a woman on a romantic date is like the “beam me up Scotty” of the dating game. It is what makes your “nature” rise.

Minutes later I glance over at them, in the corner of the famous, cozy bar to see them doing this:

Are they texting each-other from inches away? If not, who are they talking to? Their "exes in Texas"?

A month or so ago, while returning some DVDS to my local library around 3pm, I noticed a circle of five young people, backpacks firmly shouldered; boys and girls, of maybe ninth-grade level. They were huddled; none looking at nor talking much to each-other, necks craned slightly forward/downward (you’ve seen it) and all looking at their “smart” phones.

This is sad, not "awesome" and needs to be corrected by education. Do these people not have parents from the pre-internet era? Probably not, but can change anyway, with effort and less selfishness.
We now must reinforce a culture of non-divorce, for the sake of raising offspring who, while “cable-ready” also embrace Social Studies class to grow with more personally in-tune with other human traditional communication methods.

**Pickkhitt: Nope, not my shortest post; guess it pissed me off into a rant. Cheers.

Why does this keep happening to me?
Twice in two years in South Carolina? Coincidence? I think NOT.

Minding my own business and trying to leverage my newfound senior citizen status by writing letters, asking for interstate relocation assistance since the begging of this year, I am suddenly blindsided by the heretofore friendly apartment Manager/Landlord, three weeks ago, who apparently wants to kick me out! No reason given and apparently, they can DO this here in South Carolina?? My rent is up-to-date and never late; I’ve been a concerned citizen tenant and the guy spoke to liking me to give him a “heads-up” on anything that needed to be addressed (and boy, there were many in the past 22 months, including a deranged young man who tried to Bogart himself into my crib one Sunday night back in July of 2017!). It is a dysfunctional “community”, to my worldly, educated eyes and I will not miss it. However, to be given the bum’s rush before I have a security deposit in hand and a place to land?…

Hmmm, to me, a black American man, it seems like a remnant from the Jim Crow era is afoot; one that needs to be updated by eradication in South Carolina!
Some slow state; resistant to eradicate,
while latent lost labor legacy percolates
To this very day.
Therefore, I can’t delay

Any longer, when the current landlord is unreasonable and done a “180” on me.
I did nothing wrong to invite this. Time is of the essence with kick-out deadline looming on April 1, 2019. Too old, seasoned and good of a man to have to go out like this. Too bad I always seem to never have received the compensation my talents deserved, because if I had, nobody would be able to try and “handle” me like this now. No amount is too small.
Thank you.

**PickHit: Thanks to the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, two local Councilmen and their Admin Assistants and The Urban League of Charleston I was able to buy additional time to move more comfortably. The new state I am in new is very strange and substandard in many ways, so South Carolina may see me again – permanently – if my First Time Home Buyer campaign at www.HomeFundIt.com is successful. [October, 2019]

Happy New Year, 2019!

When Author David Hunter found my ACX.com narrator profile and contacted me to read his book as an audio-book eighteen months ago, honestly, I thought it was another random scam attempt comin’ at me.

However, when I ginned-up my skeptical courage and contacted him via email, his enthusiasm for my chops (radio DJ talk for “voice”) was infectious! Suddenly I remembered the 1970s LIFE cereal commercial tag line, “Hey Mikey! He likes it!”

I invite you to join in our growing experience early in this clean year. Here I am, a (currently) former music radio personality, aka “Disc Jockey” with much left in my tank, trying to remain viable among changing media seas, in-concert with an Author who has written importantly, educationally and sociologically to help a specific ethnicity of mankind, exploring uncharted waters. You can listen to and purchase with a special discount promotion via itunes by right-clicking on this reference to open in a new tab or window:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/i-flunked-sambo-university-10-invisible-schools-by/id1375877725

Also available on Amazom and Audible.com (an Amazon company), complete with link under the cover art to hear a sample of my reading. I couldn’t believe how patient and positive Mr. Hunter was throughout the months-long process of recording/producing each chapter and attending credits, because that kind of adulation is what I got used to in radio and which is suddenly sorely absent in the current corporate landscape of my earlier fun broadcasting on-mic career, sadly.

As for the book itself, I could not have written such a persuasively enlightening masterpiece that is so possibly controversially precise, because I avoid or am weary of the whole “race thing” in America. That is for others to cause. My eyes glaze-over when I hear and see the so-called current “President” of the United States of America waffle on violent race rallies and cavort/encourage with the radical fringe of insecure and mentally challenged anachronisms who attach a hue to the word “supremacists”. It is so passe`.
In my world, and as I hope in yours and most of today’s earthly humans, as the mid-1980s classic song by Jimmy Cliff says, “We All Are One”.

So now…to lighten things back up, for those of you who don’t know about the “Mikey” I mentioned above, I cannot resist plopping-in the video of that classic TV commercial of my youth below.

Enjoy and please travel with a good audio-book,(hopefully this one) soon!

flout
verb [ T ]
“to intentionally disobey a rule or law, or to intentionally avoid behavior that is usual or expected.”

[They think they can flout the law and get away with it.]
[He conducted business in his pajamas to flout convention.]

As we honor Veterans Day, 2018 and The Holidays begin again in earnest, I especially honor those of World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam this year. They fought for what the “Father of Our Country” lead his men into war over: Freedom and our Declaration of Independence, which led to our American Constitution.

When I was raised, not so long ago, we were taught that there are three things you do not talk about in polite company: your religion, your salary and who you vote for. If more people followed these traditional tenets instead of flouting them, there would be less contentiousness these days. It is the main reason I mostly refrain from writing about politics here.

I am of the opinion that ever since we noticed it – I say “we” meaning my good buddies and I who used to look out over and settle our world from a high-terraced apartment in the north Bronx – the “GOP” planned to dumb-down a significant portion of our nation, specifically those not in traditional big cities and urban areas, so that they could capture the less-educated, disenfranchised and less questioning gun-owners, often in the wilds, and turn them into supporters of whatever pablum they fed them. It hasn’t worked as well as they hoped.

This toilet paper to his shoe photo typifies FLOUTUS45’s term and character:

Attacking public education and family unity by encouraging single parenting, they almost have achieved this with a trumped-up Oval Office. We who know better can take it back – and we better before we have a DICTATOR on our hands in the “good ole USA”. I won’t dignify him by mentioning his name in my blog, but this fake “President” speaks to flouting all of the norms we have become accustomed to as a nation, including our Constitution, whether you agree with all he says or not, on a daily basis! This needs to end soonest. IMO, he is a third-party candidate that got in because both major parties laid-down and especially the “Donkeys” ran a weak horse in the race who didn’t challenge @FLOUTUS45 when she had opportunities to be a bitch. The “Elephants” were no better; remember Jeb Bush cowering and almost kneeling without a come-back when Casino Man played the dozens on him during a televised debate? It was shameful!

Someone please give FLOUTUS45 some lukewarm milk with a double-shot of his favorite bourbon whiskey – I recommend 114-proof “Old Granddad”, because it befits his style and is concocted in Kentucky, the state of his fellow good old boy Senator – maybe adding some Fruit Loops to it in a bowl, as homage to the many zanie things he “tweets” all the time would be good. Then put him on ice and to bed for a long winter’s nap in a cave somewhere, before he listens more to his closet advisor, Russia’s Putin (who wants our land by any means), and flouts us into World War III.

Where are our collective manners, common sense, etiquette, patience and respect? Not that far away, but we need smart leadership which teaches the masses to embrace “The Golden Rule”. Wake up, “to play a trump on (a card or trick) when another suit was led”! House wins…you LOSE.

Sincerely,

Tired of the Embarrassing Current Foot-in-Tweet Daily Scandal Circus

PickHitt: Ignore the Tweets from @POTUS45/FLOUTUS45 and #unfollow him. No other President has ever spoken to the nation less on TV. I think that we should check Trump’s BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Maybe he was born in Russia! It increasingly looks like a possibility. He should produce the real one!

Depending upon who you are ethnically, how old you are, your gender, politics (if any), what country you are from, how long you have been in the USA or how old you are (again), we probably have different views on the recent sentencing of long-time comedian and actor Bill Cosby, who is eighty- one (81) years old, to prison for an alleged sexual transgression decades ago.

Bill Cosby is not my favorite comedian, but he was part of their ilk when I was growing up in the sixties and seventies. I laughed harder at Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx’s bits. Yet, I even have a couple of his record albums included within my vinyl! Most notably, “To Russell, My Brother Whom I Slept With”, which has a few hilarious, timeless and memorable bits on it. He really was pretty “clean” with his humor…

That was maybe a different “Coz” than now and one who I prefer to remember, along with “Mr. Huxtable” and acting along side Sidney Poitier in “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974).

I also fondly remember Bill Cosby as one of the first black American actors to be on a weekly show on NBC network TV during the sixties, “I Spy” with his partner, the late Robert Culp! It was an Oreo cookie espionage hit show not to be missed, if my parents allowed me to stay up past homework and curfew bed time. I bet Mr. Culp would be very distressed by this turn of events.

On the album, “Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…RIGHT” the bit “Noah, Me And You Lord” is one of his best classics! “A Nut In Every Car”, from the same album, is still relevant on our roads today! It is still a great album for congruent laughs.

My understanding of being incarcerated is that it is supposed to rehabilitate the offender of laws. What is Bill Cosby supposed to do in a cell at eighty-one? Jack-off (if he still can)? Contemplate his wrongs and come out a better man? Have contrition, remorse and beg forgiveness? He should have taken the stand to defend himself verbally! Shoot, the man may have dementia and not even understand why he is there! This is like…elder abuse! Surely “house arrest” with electronic monitoring was an alternative, right? No matter what you think of him or his accusers, to put him in a sterile state prison at this point in his life does not seem to rise to the level of punishment fitting the crime and I doubt he survives it for long if appeals fail.
How come the current occupant of the Oval Office, who has tens of similar accusers, isn’t in prison or on trial, by the way?

His accuser? To me looking at it or “her” (looks like a guy to me! lol), I see emotionally disturbance issues (drama) right off the bat and I hate that “Russell’s Brother” felt he had to even waste time on that. What was he thinking? Was his game so lame that he had to resort to slipping a ‘mickey’ to a chick in order to get some ‘strange” – all while having a wife and family back home? I don’t watch television anymore, but I read a headlines clip from USA Today on my android, where this individual seemed to externalize everything wrong in their life to Mr. Cosby! Duh? I believe they had diffidence issues long before the two met and maybe also should spend time in a small locked room reading a self-help book called, “Your Erroneous Zones” [Dyer].

Another part of me remember’s Bill Cosby as a militant during the civil rights protest era when we had to “overcome” segregation and racial prejudice in the USA. I’m not one to always blame things on race, however part of me thinks maybe ‘the man’ had it in for him all this time, and proves that no matter how elderly, “wealthy” or infirm you are in America, if you are a black man accused sexually by a Caucasian woman, you are likely to get no justice – still in 2018 – just a modern day lynching. And that… may be the most telling and saddest, unkind cut of all.

And now for something completely different for my blog: A Book Review!

First and personally, I am so proud to have finally found and tied into the public library here in the land of Spanish Moss. It always takes a while to humble myself again and do these things – maybe deep in my soul I should own a library! Oh I do, and it is just vinyl record albums. I digress again.

In the Autumn of 2017, I had three titles on my list of books to read and one of them was a no-brainer, when I heard about it, Maria Sharapova’s autobiography. I have always been one of her fans.
Why now? I knew I had to begin to read again because I was in a writer’s limbo, and you know that, as I stated in past blogs, in order to write well you have to read much. So let’s get to it!

I just finished reading Maria Sharapova’s first autobiography,“Unstoppable – My Life So Far” with Rich Cohen in record time (for me)! Masha (her real name in “Russian) weaves a compelling and enlightening story, with candid diary clips throughout that I could only put down to sleep, eat and run my own work errands. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a major player on the Women’s professional tennis tour as a girl becomes a woman, this autobiography is a must read and a real page turner.

It is the first sports autobiography I remember reading since The Roy Campanella story, as a teen, and more recently, “Namath” about my main New York Jets quarterback, whose style and ability I grew up admiring, although I must have read Mickey Mantle’s and others through the years.

I learned that we share admiration for Monica Seles, whose audible power release as she hit the ball (some call it a “grunt”, but it is more sexy than that to a man’s ears, believe me, I’ve had sex with many women who make the same sound when they orgasm) first turned my attention into women’s tennis back in the 1990s. Indeed, Ms. Seles’ story of rising as a teenager achieving stardom on one of the biggest stages in sport, the Pro tennis tour is similar to Ms. Sharapova’s!
The Author also emulates Lindsay Davenport, whose classy game I too came to admire and shows respect for another of my favorites to watch, Serbian, Jelena Jankovic`. We learn about her coaches and even a favorite brand of shoes in these pages.

She used what I call the “sandwich” format for this first part of telling about her life. Using this format allowed Ms. Sharapova to recount her life, so that the reader can get to know her better and it works. She started with the present unjust failed drug test scandal drama and then retraced how she got to this point, while setting up her feelings about going forward with her career and life. The major theme was to tell her side of the suspension story to help clear her name of being associated with doping and I commend her for that. Hell, the substance they flagged her for was not even on the list of illegals throughout 99% of her career, and something smells very fishy about how it was suddenly added. It is almost like the suspicion East Germans who were competing in the Olympics were under, back in the Cold War days.

There is a nice pictorial section mid-way through and I like how neutral her cover photo is and how she describes her relationship with her main motivator, Yuri, her father and their initial trek following the ugly Chernobyl, now part of Ukraine, melt-down, eventually into Sochi, Russia and on to Florida as unknowns when she was a little girl with a huge racket.

She speaks about what I have often wondered while following women’s tennis: her main nemesis, Serena Williams. Oddly, she only mentions her older sister, Venus once. I would have like to have read her comparison of their games.

My favorite quote is from her father, Yuri, who said, “When you let your brain overrule your gut, you screw up your life.” Wow, my mentor used that philosophy and so do I programming my radio shows and identifying hit music through the years! Even though I borrowed it from the library, I will gladly purchase it for my private hardcover collection once I move into my own home.
Nice job, tall lady!! Whatta twenty-first century Fox. You are a “hit” and I’d look up to you without insecurity, rating your book with five out of a possible 5 tennis rackets.

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