I met Artie

Singles and Smiles, How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier by Gaylon H. White; 2018; 201 pages; Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD; 978-1-5381-0790-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 6/22/18-6/26/18

Why did I read this?  Because i knew Artie.  My wife, Ruthann, sewed for his wife, Dottie.  When they would have appointments I would accompany Ruthann and talk baseball with Artie.  He helped our youngest son, David with a report on Jackie Robinson, offering first hand recollections.  He was a true gentleman and it is hard to believe that he left this mortal coil eight years.  I like to think he is in a cornfield in Iowa playing ball with those he never had a chance to play with due to the segregation of sport for so many years.

Artie Wilson loved baseball. When he was 11 or 12 he took a job shining shoes so that he could buy a complete uniform before he was even on a team.  He worked in the steel mills in Birmingham, Alabama and played shortstop for the company team. While there he lost the top of his thumb, so he squeezed a golf ball to strengthen his thumb so that he could properly grip and throw the ball.  He joined the Birmingham Barons of the Negro American League and became one of the best hitters in the league.  He was the cause of a grievance between Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees.  He made it into a few games for the New York Giants 1951, put was sent to the minors because calling up Willie Mays would mean that there were too many blacks on the team.  Artie played in the Pacific Coast League for years until he was injured, if he could have found a way he would have kept playing.  This is a good account of the life of a good man.  Artie is enshrined in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame, the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and the Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame.  He won four Pacific Coast League batting titles, he was a four time Negro League All Star selection, he and Piper Davis and considered one of the best double play combinations ever. More than everything else Artie was one hell of a man.

 

far from home

Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson; 2007;$23.95; 288 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0-670-03157-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 6/20/18-6/21/18

Why did I read this? I started this series with the last book and really liked it and am reading through the series.

Walt Longmire, Henry Standing Bear and Dog drive from Wyoming to Philadelphia to visit Walt’s daughter Cady, the world’s greatest legal mind.  Once they get there they start meeting members of Deputy Victoria Moretti’s family and getting entangled in the family drama.  Then Cady is attacked and the Philadelphia allow Walt to help in the investigation.  His and Henry’s knowledge of Native Americans helps in the investigation.  Things get as wild in the civilized east as they do in the wild west Walt knows best.  It’s an interesting contrast between the supposed civilization of Philly and the supposed wilderness of Wyoming.

10/10

uneven

Half Life, Collected Poems, 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart; 2017;$40.00; 718 pages; Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, NY; 978-0-374-12595-0; checkeout from Multotnomah County Library, Central; 6/14/18-6/20/18

Why did I read this? Because in 2016 I decided that I was going to read the Pulitzer Prize Winners from each year and this is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry;

Everything from Biblical influenced works, to things that seem to pedophilia and murder, there are a few lines from some of the poetry that I liked, but overall i was not impressed.

6/10

unexpected consequences

Locking Up Our Own, Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.; 2017; $27.00; 239 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY; 978-0-374-18997-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/20/18-5/25/18

Why did I read this?  Back in 2016 I decided that I would read all the Pulitzer Prize winning books. LOCKING UP OUR OWN was the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for General Non-Fiction.

The author takes a look at what drove African Americans to vote for measures such as maximum and minimum sentences, three strikes and other strident anti-crime measures.  Even though these measures would have a strong effect on the African American population of the United States.  The United States only contains 5% percent of the worlds population, however we house 25% of the worlds prisoner.  The author looks at the effects the heroin and crack epidemics, and the violent crime that came with them, had on the African American population.  Crime was so rampant that the population thought these measures would be effective in curing crime.  However due to the systemic racism in our law enforcement and judicial systems there has been an explosion of numbers of African Americans imprisoned.  Unfortunately we often look at the short term solutions without thinking about the long term effects of what we are doing.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  The population was looking for a solution for a crime wave and they imposed measures that helped stem the crime, but didn’t foresee the long term consequences.

I’m Alright

Caddyshack, The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty; 2018;$26.99; 291 pages; Flatiron Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-10595-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/8/18-5/9/18

Why did I read this? Because Caddyshack is one of my all time favorite movies.

This traces the path from the Harvard Lampoon through Lemmings to Animal House to Caddyshack for the writers and stars of Caddyshack. It has interviews with most of the people involved in the creation and production of the movie. It is an enjoyable read of what was a largely improvised comedy. The movie involved two of my favorite actors, Michael O’ Keefe and Bill Murray (what is the secret 800 number) in a movie that was targeted at the demographic I was in at the time. It was fun to read the behind the scenes recollections of those involved and to see how the movie evolved to what it was.

What is with the title of the review?  it is the name of the title song of the movie by Kenny Loggins.  It is a song that always makes me smile.

Grade 10/10