Friday


8
Feb 19

To help you ease into your weekend …

Here are three sports programs the sports crew produced in the studio last night. This first one is the weekly talk show, four people sitting around talking about sports:

This is a highlight show, which features various Indiana sports and the crew is showing you the highlights and telling what’s been going on with each program:

And this is a condensed highlight show, for those people who are interested in IU sports, but can’t watch a full-length program:

You are too busy and you should watch more programming, really. They are having a lot of fun making it:

I was back in the studio this morning for a take on the old Dating Game show. That should be out early next week.

A game I’ve been running on Twitter has concluded:

What do you think? Did the voters get it right? What should have made the final round? Even if you have an entirely different set of songs, at least one of these is now stuck in your head. You are, of course, welcome for that.


1
Feb 19

One of these stories is bigger than the other

I go to this particular grocery store for a particular thing every eight days or so. It’s across town, in the next town, really. It is 10 miles away and takes 20 minutes, if you’re lucky. You navigate the pot-holed parking lot, park, go inside and back to the front left corner to the refrigerated section. It is a small store and I’ve never seen more than two of the registers open. There’s never been a line of more than two people waiting to checkout.

The Salvation Army sets up during the holidays outside, of course. And the girl scouts are there every now and then. Once I visited while the local food bank was taking donations. I bought some things and gave them to the people manning the food bank table and you’d have thought I gave them the winning lottery ticket. It’s a little country town, really, just stuck on the northside of this other little town, a town which happens to have a world-class university at its center. You wouldn’t know it to be in this next town, or in this tired little grocery store. It’s perfectly fine, but it needs an update. It is always clean, but the white floors and the fixtures have an age to them to make it feel a little scuzzy, somehow.

Or maybe it’s some of the shoppers:

This is the fourth time I’ve moved someone’s cart out of the handicapped spot. I’m only there once every so often for four or five minutes, but I’ve done this four times. It is a little thing that, one supposes, happens all the time, which makes it a big thing, which makes it something more than inconsiderate.

This afternoon I produced another oral history. This one featured Dean Gerardo Gonzalez. He’s a dapper fellow, exceedingly and unfailingly considerate and polite. And he looks good in a bow tie:

He’s semi-retired, and is now technically a dean emeritus, but he’s still teaching. And these days taking students on trips to his native Cuba.

Gonzalez has had a full career, as you might expect of a man who has reached such a standing. He’s an expert on alcohol and drug education. He’s worked at Miami and at Florida and has supervised different programs at all six of the IU campuses. But his full story is a fascinating one. I wish you could hear it. You can read about it. His memoir came out late last year, and has been well received.

Today he told the story about how his parents brought he and his sister to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962. It was three years into Castro’s revolution. Those were the last days when you could still come directly here. The process was this: You applied for an exit visa, if it was approved, the state would come and inventory everything you owned. You could use it, but it all now belonged to the state. Then, at some point after that you’d receive a telegram telling you your visas had been approved. You had 48 hours to leave.

Gonzalez was 11 years old, and said he remembers a great deal of commotion. They swapped out his parents’ good mattress for his grandparents’ bad one. The state owned a mattress, but a mattress is a mattress to the state. He said his father had $40, but got scared of trying to carry that much. They bought two bottles of Bacardi rum.

It was the four of them, a man, his wife and two kids. They had the clothes on their back, five bucks, two bottles of rum and virtually no English. That’s how they came to America.

That’s the story that sent me into the weekend.


25
Jan 19

To a warmer weekend than I’ll have

By each of our office doors, there is a little plastic name plate. And beneath the name plate there is a little piece of bulletin board cork. They are maybe five inches wide and four inches tall. On mine I have a business card. Most people leave little notes about their office hours. Right now, a journalism colleague has this on his:

Perhaps this explains why we get along.

Spent this morning, which was stupid cold, in the television studio watching a student production come to life.

It was stupid cold outside:

If I keep saying that, maybe it will warm me up.

Here are the YouTube versions of the shows the sports crew produced in-studio last night. First up, the weekly clip show:

Then there’s the talk show:

And this is the new project, a brief social media only digest they’re calling The Chase:

This evening I stopped by the local tailoring concern to pick up two pairs of suit pants. The recent snow was occupying several parking spots, and the Friday evening crowds took up the rest. I had to walk a fair amount of way in that cold cold. But then I saw this person’s parking effort.

The license plate implies the driver might be a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. So thanks for your service and all. And kudos on parking over the snow pile. But you double parked.


18
Jan 19

We skipped town for the weekend

There’s going to be snow at our house. But we are not there. It is several degrees warmer here. And we will see the soon and clear skies for a few days. It is a glorious thing.

Guess where we are. This is your clue:

Any further visual clues would give it away.

We’ve been here many times. It was the first trip The Yankee took together, in fact, as a grad school bit of tourism. We were going to go elsewhere on our second trip, but the chosen place was under threat of a hurricane. So we came back to this place, and had another great time. And then, for a long time, we visited once or twice a year.

Finally, we got engaged here. Well, not right there at that sign. I’ve always wondered what made steps historic. Did something happen at these steps? Did they play a role? Or are they just old, and un-square? Solid, but unevenly spaced? We got engaged a mile up the road, in a historic park, where things did happen, which is square and old and evenly spaced, as laid out in the town’s grid system and carefully delineated in its modern incarnation by surveyors. It was 10 acres when it was first created in the 1840s, and became 30 acres in the next few decades. Today you’d see it as a rectangle on a map. It’s an easy mile around the perimeter, 1.3 million square feet. Just across the street was where we got married.

In the middle of that park, on the spot where this picture was taken, that’s where we got engaged:

That picture was from three years ago, which was the last time we’d been there, which was another great trip, but it’s obviously been too long in between visits.

Do you know where we are yet?

We’re in Savannah, Georgia.

We are staying at an AirBnB right across the street from our favorite little breakfast cafe. We walked down to the touristy area for a few things, then just sat in a park, enjoying the weather and the views. And I sat beside this note:

We went for a jog around the park this evening. A quick three laps make for a quick three miles before dinner. Here’s a wide and long shot of the big fountain in Forsyth Park:

And later in the evening, we tried this:

View this post on Instagram

Status.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

So, yes, it was a good day.


14
Sep 18

Welcome to the weekend

My online friend Susan Crowell is editor at Farm and Dairy. Today she shared a photo, and a story, of the unveiling of a new historic marker in Fredericktown, Ohio. That’s the home of the original FFA corduroy jacket. That famous blue item goes back to 1933, and it still means a lot to many of us.

There’s a mention that the jackets were uninsulated, which should bring forward a memorable shiver from anyone who has ever worn one someplace like Kansas City in November, or somewhere perhaps even colder.

This is the best part …

The two gentlemen that helped with the unveiling are now 99 years young. They wore some of the original corduroy jackets.

This picture isn’t of those guys, but some of my friends, in some of our last FFA jackets.

Last night‘s show from IUSTV:

Now in full on weekend mode, which is starting like this:

So you’ve seen the Twitter feed in this post. Be sure to check out Instagram as well. Tomorrow, a bike ride!