Rhode Island: longest name

What’s not to like?

Rhode IslandRhode Island I always favored conceptually because it was founded by Roger Williams in the 17th century. As a kid, I was a sucker for people named Roger: Bannister, Daltrey, Maris, Miller, e.g., but not Taney.

Williams was “a Puritan minister, theologian, and author… He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and fair dealings with American Indians, and he was one of the first abolitionists.” What’s not to like?

Ironically, the smallest state in the United States bears the longest official name. It is the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The state is the seventh least populous, but the second-most densely populated.

The Ocean State is also the 13th state, the last of the original colonies to ratify the Constitution, on May 29, 1790. In fact, it was “the only state not to send a representative to the Constitutional Convention,” which had approved the document on September 17, 1787. The First Congress subsequently “passed 12 proposed amendments to the Constitution” without RI, most of which became the Bill of Rights.

I have visited Providence a few times. Its view of the Atlantic Ocean was spectacular. My daughter particularly enjoyed it. But back in 2007 or so, a friend of mine tried to wean her from her fear of dogs with his very tame canine; it did not work at the time.

In 2012, many of my in-laws were staying in Newport at a couple of timeshares. We spent a good chunk of time visiting the mansions of the Gilded Age. Very Upstairs/Downstairs, or I suppose now, Downton Abbey.

Some of us also visited the Tennis Hall of Fame. I STILL get emails from the organization, where I give my opinions on who should next be enshrined. I’m a sucker for a good Hall of Fame, and that one definitely qualified.

RI Rhode Island, a US state in New England. Capital and largest city: Providence. I recommend the New England Clam Chowder.

Little Rhody for ABC Wednesday

Enjoying Aussie interaction: sports edition

The Blue Jays lead grew to 8-1 in the top of the 7th when Tommy Kahnle from Albany County, NY, the fourth of seven Yankee pitchers, gave up three runs in only 2/3 of an inning.

Making only my second trip to the new Yankee Stadium, Marconi and I took Metro North from Poughkeepsie (halfway between Albany and NYC) to see the New York Yankees take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, September 15, 2018. I’ve only known him since September 12, 1971, so not very long.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the two empty seats on the aisle nearest us were filled by this young couple from Australia, in the City for a couple weeks. She was wearing a borrowed Blue Jays top, while he was nominally a Yankees fan.

Soon after they arrived, the Yankees starting pitcher, the usually reliable CC Sabathia, had given up five runs in only 2 1/3 innings, including two solo home runs by right fielder Randal Grichuk. CC was taken out of the game.

Meanwhile, the Yankees had opportunities to score, twice with the bases loaded, and once with runs on second and third base, but failed to do so. This really deflated the home team crowd.

We, mostly I, since I was closer, answered some of the idiosyncrasies of the game, such as the foul ball rule and how the defensive positions are numbered.

Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 6th, and the female Aussie frowned. “You still have a big lead.” I also coaxed her into acknowledging that he had made a great basket catch over second base.

The Blue Jays lead grew to 8-1 in the top of the 7th when Tommy Kahnle from Albany County, NY, the fourth of seven Yankee pitchers, gave up three runs in only 2/3 of an inning. Toronto had the bases loaded and no outs, and the Aussie guy was savvy enough to know that the situation was still perilous for the Yankees even when the lead runner was thrown out at the plate.

In in the bottom of the 7th, designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (I explained the DH) and Gregorious hit solo homers, and pinch hitter Miguel Andújar hit a grand slam. Suddenly Toronto was up by only 8-7, and the Aussie woman fretted. But that’s the way the game turned out.

The scoreboard displayed narratives of what the batters had done earlier in the game. But in the latter stages, it showed scorecard shorthand. F7 meant flying out to the left fielder. The Aussie guy was bemused to know that a forward K meant struck out swinging while a backward K meant struck out looking.

“How do you KNOW these things?” he asked. “I’ve been only going to games since I was eight.” “So 20 years.” HA! A splendid time was had by Aussies and at least these two Americans.

Oh, I was in Washington, DC at the beginning of September. I was starving one muggy evening, and I ended up at a tavern/restaurant. I sat at the bar, got a burger and a drink, and had a nice conversation with an Aussie woman currently working in the US. She mostly bemoaned the leadership of her home country and her current one as we watched the US Open tennis on TV.

A for Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe’s mother had suffered from cardiovascular disease before she died at the age of 27.

ArthurAshe Arthur Ashe (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was a top ranked tennis player in the 1960s and ’70s, despite experiencing the slings of segregation, which did not allow him to participate in the sport, growing up in Richmond, VA. Tennis was not a sport I much paid attention to until Ashe came on the scene.

He was the #2 ranked men’s player in 1976, and he was competitive at many levels of the sport, from making the Davis Cup team in 1963, to being the only black man to win the singles title at the US Open (1968), Australian Open (1970), or Wimbledon (1975) v. Jimmy Connors, against whom he had never won previously.

Ashe was committed to issues of social justice, Continue reading “A for Arthur Ashe”

G is for Zina Garrison

Zina Garrison claimed her third Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1990, partnering with Rick Leach.

From the Wikipedia:

Zina Lynna Garrison (born November 16, 1963, in Houston, Texas) is a former professional tennis player from the United States. During her career, she was a women’s singles runner-up at Wimbledon in 1990, a three-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, and a women’s doubles gold medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games.

She finished 1989 ranked a career-high World No. 4 in singles.

Continue reading “G is for Zina Garrison”