Richard Powell (1936-2020)

“Hammerin’ Harmon”

The late Richard Powell, me, the late Les Green
My father-in-law Richard Powell and I bonded over baseball. He loved the game, and I had grown up with it, even having a big baseball card collection in the 1960s and early 1970s. When he moved to Oneonta in the early 1990s, he usually had season tickets to the minor league farm team, first for the Yankees and then, from 1999 to 2009, the Tigers.

Richard was an avid, and serious fan. He kept score of the games in a series of ledgers And by “keeping score”, I mean recording every out or hit of every batter. He was so reliable that the official scorekeeper, the person who decides whether that was a hit or a fielder’s error, occasionally called on him for his expertise.

We went to the exhibition games in Cooperstown nearly annually through 2008. No way would we drive to Cooperstown. We took the bus, which was much more civilized. And much cheaper, as the local homeowners charged exorbitant fees to park on their plot of land. He became quite expert at picking out the old-timers who would be in town to sign memorabilia.

We even went to a New York Yankees game on Father’s Day weekend 2015, which I wrote about here.

Minnesota Twins

His favorite player was Harmon Killebrew, who hit 573 home runs for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins in an era when reaching 500 homers was an achievement. He’s still 12th all-time among home run leaders. He led the league in that stat six times and all of major league baseball five.

Richard’s persona was like the play of another one of his favorite players, Kirby Puckett. Not ostentatious but steady, reliable, showing when necessary a surprising bit of power.

And in October 2019, Richard seemed quite healthy and vital. Then he got what seemed to mimic a bad flu, which lingered into the new year. He had excessive calcium, which was treated by his doctor. But he spent about a week at a hospital in Oneonta, and another week and a half in a hospital in Schenectady, taking an ambulance 75 miles between the two.

Finally, he was diagnosed with Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. It’s a rare form of lymphoma. While there were medical options presented, none were particularly attractive. So we were told he had about a year to live around Presidents Day. Four weeks later, and after a number of falls it was suddenly only another month to go.

As it turned out, his wife and three surviving children were all present on the day he died, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Expect more on Richard Powell, especially if/when I find that picture of the two of us in Cooperstown.

May Rambling

Susannah Spencer is somehow an ancestor of Diana Spencer, who married Prince Charles, who had two sons, William and Harry.

When Blogger was down for about 24 hours earlier this month, it really threw off my blogging rhythm. For reasons mundane (I’m used to it) and functional (it’s a backup system), I still compose my blog in Blogger, THEN copy and paste into this WordPress format. And the day it was down was a Thursday, which meant I actually HAD time to post for an hour between work and choir. Or go to other people’s blogs, or leave comments on other people’s blogs, but I couldn’t do that either. Then when Blogger finally came back up, I realized that none of the blogposts that I had Scheduled actually saw the light of day, so I had to repost them. Oh, well. Arthur, and others whose primary blogs are on Blogger, had it worse than I.
***
Went to see HAIR this month.
***
The eldest niece’s website.
***
Gordon at Blog This, Pal! has been blogging for seven years, which is amazing. He’s the only out-of-area blogger I’ve met through blogging, when we went to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field in 2008. Naturally, the home team lost.
***
Who hit the most home runs during the 1960s? More than Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, or Willie McCovey. That would be Harmon Killebrew, whose goodbye note to his fans was very touching, and who died this month of cancer at the age of 74. He was probably my father-in-law’s favorite player. Incidentally, my father-in-law’s 75th birthday was this week.
***
Samoa will lose a day! And willingly, no less. Gotta mess up birthdays, astrological charts…
***
A Berlioz Requiem sampler of the Albany Pro Musica concert. The “Dies irae” and the “Lacrymosa” are only fragmentary parts of the longer originals, due to uploading limits.
***
The National Jukebox, from your Library of Congress.
***

Did you know Jack Kirby had an alternate design for Captain America, created for some purpose he couldn’t remember, that never appeared in a comic book?
***
***
I feel as though I really need to see the movie Thor. It got a 70%+ positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes, but a real negative one from Roger Ebert. Something about his take, though, 1) compelled him to respond to his critics and 2) makes me think that I might like it anyway.
***
Addresses of Marvel Superheroes in New York City.
***
Fight the Rebellion! Darth Vader is countng on you!
***
This is an interesting video. I’ve subsequently found more people doing this on other videos, but this pair seem to be the best.