Tuesday, November 10, 2020
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The Villages

Days when things were good!

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

I was looking at a photo the other day of a ticker tape parade in New York City. It was taken Aug. 13, 1969, and it shows the Apollo 11 astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong in a ticker tape parade. Everybody is happy, American flags are flying, people are cheering and smiling.  I am not certain what The Blonde in the house and I were doing. However, since that was a Wednesday, I was probably laboring away at my city manager work in New Jersey. (City Managers had to be in the office unless something dire was occurring in the community outside the office).  The Blonde was most likely watching and cheering with two of our kids – the third one did come along until a few years later.

The Apollo 11 ticker tape parade in New York City.

I can look way back to 1944 when I was a tad just getting interested in baseball.  That year the St. Louis Browns won their first and only American League pennant after 41 years of trying.  Most people today probably never heard of the Browns. (The Blonde definitely hasn’t). However, St. Louis used to be the home of two major league teams.  Unfortunately, for the Browns when they finally did win the American League pennant, the St. Louis Cardinals won the National League. The Browns lost to the Cards 4-2 in games, but St. Louis was happy. Eventually, the Browns decided to move on and became the Baltimore Orioles where they did win some more pennants. St. Louis couldn’t cry foul on their leaving since they had been the Milwaukee Brewers until they went to St. Louis in 1901. (Even I do not recall that!)

Now it only took the Browns a few months in 1944 to win the pennant.  However, it took IBM five years to build the Harvard Mark I computer which was completed in 1944. It was considerably bigger than the one that sits today on a desk, or perhaps in your hand.  IBM build the Harvard mark II later, and it was the one that caused the coining of the term “computer bug”.  This was because a programmer found a moth stuck inside the Mark II. Now isn’t that a pleasant thought to hold in your head!  By the way if you want to see old Mark I, you can visit the Smithsonian. There you can also see lots of other things to remember there.

Does anybody know if they still have majorettes?  Now my high school was too small to have any.  We certainly did not have enough to have a band, so what are majorettes without a band playing oom-pah behind them. Now The Blonde did as she went to a big-time high school in Pittsburgh. In fact, we still have a photo of her as a majorette from those days, and I can vouch that she looked might fine!  In any case, when majorettes were strutting around it made for a happy day – at least for the guys. The ladies can think back to the handsome, strong football players.

Now what I have written above has no real cohesion about it except that they are happy thoughts when you think about them. My suggestion is that we turn off the TV, especially the news every so often and bring back happy memories.

It couldn’t hurt our sanity!

Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com.

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