Al Batt: Transistor radio brought game to life 482 miles away

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“Good morning.”


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“Why the long face?”

“My short one is in the laundry.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: he who hesitates isn’t at a stop sign.

I’ve learned:

­—Everyone is at a difficult age.

—Parents of great scholars or athletes are great believers and heredity.

—No two showers are alike.

The headlines from Hartland

Football team produces a no-hitter.

Choke ’N Chew Cafe cook arrested on two counts of attempted burger.

The Witness Protection Bar, where nobody knows your name, opens.

Cafe chronicles

The poet, Thomas Hood, wrote, “No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!”

I added, “no food.” I’d been driving since 3 a.m. and I was hollow.

I drove into a town filled with churches and beer joints. I stopped at one of those cafes where they know you by name and by order. I’d passed the pepper. I did it well. A man, who had lived in that city from little on up, occupied himself with biting a chunk out of strong coffee. “When a spoon stands straight upright in the middle of the cup, the coffee is just strong enough,” he said. “If you have to shake the cup in order to get the coffee out of it then it’s perfect.”

Another fellow related the cautionary tale of his neighbor who toppled from a stepladder while he was cleaning leaves from gutters, and fell through the picture window of his house. The homeowner was injured, but the window had no pane.

It was a fine eatery. If I’d been hungrier than I should have been, they’d have given me a bowl of alphabet soup, all in capital letters.

We all hoped for a nice winter. In the words of Emily Dickinson, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

Emily pretty much summed it up for all of us.


When you visit Hawaii, greeters drape a lei around your neck. How should visitors be greeted in your neighborhood?

Would Lassie have been able to find Waldo?

Minnesota has a state muffin. If yours had a state sandwich, what should it be?

The World Series

I rooted in vain for the St. Louis Cardinals to defeat the Boston Red Sox. I grew up listening to the Cardinals on 1120 on the AM dial KMOX, the voice of St. Louis. It was a 50,000-watt signal that found its way to my transistor radio, 482 road miles away. It brought me Hall of Fame announcers Joe Garagiola, Jack Buck, and Harry Caray, who brought the game to life.

Did you know?

Glabella is the smooth area between the eyebrows just above the nose.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 9 percent of people would drive naked.

Only 3.9 percent of US men are 6 feet 2 inches or taller.

Nature notes

“Why do we have robins here during the winter?” It might be that your robins flew south and were replaced by those that migrated south to your area for the winter. You might have Canadian robins wintering in your yard. They are bigger than our summer robins. Some researchers say that there are robins that migrate and those that do not. Robins overwinter in ravines and wooded areas where there is an open water source. They feed on the fruit of buckthorn, crabapple, cherry, mountain ash, hackberry, sumac, hawthorn, rose hips, etc. during the winter. When I accompany my wife grocery shopping, my job is to stay by the shopping cart. I’ve learned that it is always a good idea to get a cart. There are no shopping carts for birds, but it’s not a bad idea for a robin to stay near the food. With food, it can take cold. Migration is a perilous journey, a regular robin roulette.

 Meeting adjourned

“Kindly words, sympathizing attentions, watchfulness against wounding men’s sensitiveness — these cost very little, but they are priceless in their value.” — F.W. Robertson