Saturday, October 22, 2016

Come What May...

Every action of our lives touches on some chord
That will vibrate in eternity. 
- Sean O'Casey

Today, in a church on Staten Island, Judi, who is the eldest child of Margaret's cousin, SalliJo and SalliJo's husband, Kevin, shall take such an action.  She shall marry her fiance, Rob, in front of the couple's families and friends. 

Margaret and I shall be in attendance at the wedding, as shall Joe.  Suzanne and Ryan are making the journey across the water from the Jersey side as well.  I am not certain whether Mother Nature shall grace the happy couple with weather as delightful as the day's circumstances deserve or, perhaps, something less so.  While weather is always a wedding-day concern, in the long run it matters not. 

They marry today - not simply for the day - but hopefully forever, which time frame shall undoubtedly include at least one or two less-than-ideal days, speaking in terms both metaphorical and meteorological.  Today's UV rating has no legs.  Whatever it is, its significance dissipates upon the snapping of the day's final photograph. 

The important stuff?  Much like the day's photographs, it is intended to last a lifetime.


Friday, October 21, 2016

A Lost Generation

Among the many things that I do not know how to do is how to accurately calculate a generation.  A quick check of various resources on-line yesterday did as much to further confuse the issue for me as it did to resolve it.  Based on a number of pieces at which I looked, including the one linked to here, it appears that when being measured for family purposes, anywhere from twenty to twenty-five years is an acceptable answer. 

I mention that today in this space because of two things that occurred the other night in Las Vegas, Nevada at the third and final Presidential debate.  First, the two candidates once again did not shake hands before the start of the debate.  Second, during the debate the Republican candidate repeated his claim/assertion that the election shall be "rigged" and refused to acknowledge that if he fails to win the White House, then he shall accept the results.  A remarkable night to be sure...and I do not mean "remarkable" in a good way.  

Perhaps Chris Wallace should have asked the Republican nominee, after the latter declared that he shall keep the nation "in suspense" with respect to his acceptance of an adverse outcome on Election Day whether he had bothered to notice the debate stage's backdrop, either the six words themselves or the imagery in which they were contained, and whether he believed in the sentiment behind them and represented by them. 

"The Union and the Constitution Forever"

In 1992, William Jefferson Clinton took incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush out behind the Electoral College woodshed, capturing almost 70% of the electoral votes.  It was a loss that stung not only President Bush but his family.  Yet, two and one-half months later, as his successor prepared to take the oath of office, President Bush wrote a short letter to President Clinton, which letter he left on the President's desk in the Oval Office, which in the event that your eyesight is as poor as mine now is, the Huffington Post has transcribed in easy-to-read, large-sized type.

The letter that President Bush wrote to President Clinton, with whom (by all accounts) he has continued to enjoy a warm relationship, which relationship President Clinton also enjoys with the "other" President Bush (#43), and with whom he has worked on a number of causes and projects in the years since each man left the White House, was written less than twenty-four years ago.  Within the span of a generation - a period of time in which we the people of these United States have made extraordinary advances in countless different industries and fields - we have apparently regressed with frightening speed in this most critical of areas.   

Make no mistake either.  Whether this year's major-party candidates (or simply one markedly more than the other) repulse you or fascinate you, invigorate you or sicken you, there are not too many of us of the adult persuasion who do not have at least a trace amount of blood on our hands owing to their existence.  By and large, whether we realize it or not, we the people end up with the candidates for national office who we have chosen.  

To have reached this point in time in this particular election cycle, and to have secured the nomination of the party, the Democratic Party's nominee and the Republican Party's nominee had to compile more votes than their respective rivals did during the seemingly-endless primary process.  Is the last person standing on either side in this cycle - or in any cycle for that matter - the "best" qualified person to be President?  Not necessarily so.  He or she is, simply and critically, the person who garnered the most votes, which in turn secured enough delegates to be awarded the nomination at the National Convention.  Those votes came from somewhere.  If not from you or from me, then perhaps from a co-worker, a neighbor, or a spouse.  

We lament the death of the "best and the brightest" candidates for public office and gasp in horror at the diminution of the election of this nation's President to a high-school student government level popularity contest.  But should we really be surprised?  I know not of a nutritionist or a physician anywhere who will advise a patient that a Big Mac is better for his health than Brussels sprouts. But there is not a McDonald's in this country that would have a "Billions and Billions Served" banner outside of its front door if the latter - and not the former - was its signature menu item.  We the people cannot always be trusted to do that which is best for us.  It is a character flaw that has dogged us since it was just Eve, Adam, and an apple.    

May we find our collective footing to ensure that declarations such as those made by the Republican nominee on Wednesday night remain the exception and that those such as the one made by President Bush (#41) to President Clinton remain the rule.  For if we do not, then we may in fact ensure that in the not-too-distant future there shall be no more words to write.  


Thursday, October 20, 2016

And Somewhere Larry Doby Smiles...

It may sound blasphemous for a Yankees fan to say but I have always been a fan of Terry Francona. In my defense, I follow the example of Joe Torre, who was always an enthusiastic Francona supporter when Francona managed the Red Sox and Torre the Yankees.  

For all of their success, the final scenes of Torre's final days as Yankees skipper and of Francona's last days in the Red Sox dugout played out in an unkind fashion for both men.  An argument can be made that each deserved a better fate.  

Joe Torre is long retired from managing in the big leagues and is now, in fact, enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  Francona is still at it.  And still doing one hell of a job.  His Cleveland Indians are the 2016 American League Champions.  For the first time since 1997, the Cleveland Indians are playing in the World Series, which they won most recently in 1948.

I know that a lot of people are rooting for the Cubs, whose date with destiny is not nearly as sure a thing on October 20 as it might have appeared on September 20, and still others are cheering for the Dodgers. Irrespective of whichever of the two represents the National League in the World Series, I am cheering for Francona and his Tribe.  


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

R.A.W. Wednesday

Having never resided in South Boston for even one day in the first half-century of my life, Wednesday has never been Prince Spaghetti Day for me.  This week, however, Wednesday is something immeasurably better than little Anthony's favorite day of the week. 

This morning, serving as further irrefutable proof of the absence of God in 21st Century America, I have to travel to one of my least favorite places, Atlantic City.  While the adversary with whom I shall spend some time this morning is both a skilled advocate and a very nice human being, I loathe Atlantic City.  Simply loathe it. 

Atlantic City, New Jersey's Cesspool by the Sea.  If the Chicken Man was alive to see the condition of Atlantic City here in late October, 2016, he would go back and kiss Springsteen on the mouth for blowing him up in Philly thirty-five years ago.  

Yet, today is still a terrific day - road trip through the Gates of Hell notwithstanding.  Why?  It is R.A.W. Wednesday.  Atlantic City is simply an onerous drive from either my regular home base 'Neath the Snow Globe or from my office in Parsippany.  So, last night I packed a bag and drove south to my little Paradise by the Sea.  This morning, before the sun ascends, I will be on the boardwalk, enjoying an otherwise impossible to pull off in the middle of the week Run Along the Water.  It shall bookend nicely with the one to which I treated myself last night after I got down here. 

There is a cliche about even if one applies lipstick to a pig, the wearer of the lipstick is still a pig.  But when a bit of lipstick for the soul is applied to a day that involves a round-trip to Atlantic City, Atlantic City - for that day anyway - ceases to be the boil on New Jersey's ass and dissolves into something significantly less obnoxious.  

Such is the power of R.A.W. Wednesday.   Anthony, the kitchen is open and you, you little short-pants-wearing spaghetti monster, have been served...

...Buon appetito! 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vox Populi

Three weeks from today - twenty-one short days - is Election Day.  For whomever you vote is your business but vote you should.  

Voting is indeed your right but it is a right that - in order to be exercised - has to be perfected.  How does one perfect it?  Simple.  One registers. 

In New Jersey, the last day to register to vote on Election Day 2016 is...TODAY.  If you have already done so - as Yours truly has - then good for you.  If you have not yet registered, here is a newsflash for you, Slick:  No one is going to do it for you.  

But, first, watch this Schoolhouse Rock video that explains the Electoral College.  It might take your mind off of the fact that none of the options with which we are presented in this year's Presidential election is particularly encouraging...

...and even if it does not, register and vote anyway.


Monday, October 17, 2016

A Toast to Nostalgia

Sentimentality is always about a lie. 
Nostalgia is about real things gone.
Nobody truly mourns a lie. 
- Pete Hamill

On Saturday evening, a fairly representative group of the Kenny Family assembled in the All-Purpose Room at Wardlaw-Hartridge for the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, during which W-H honored our father, WPK, Sr., as the recipient of this year's Distinguished Faculty Award.  It was a very nice event - as it is every year - and it was great to see the reaction of honorees such as Athletic Hall-of-Fame inductee, Steven Maxwell, and to keep company with such an outstanding group of recipients.  When time permits you, click on the link below, which shall take you to the video of the Awards Ceremony and enable you to listen to and to watch the remarks of the honorees and their presenters.

Thanks again to Greg Casagrande for his incredibly gracious and generous remarks about Dad.  And thanks again, as well, to the people at Wardlaw-Hartridge, including Head of School Andrew Webster, Board of Trustees President Robert Rizzo, Athletic Director Karl Miran, Associate Head for Institutional Advancement Bill Jenkins, and the dynamic duo who oversee the school's Alumni Relations efforts and coordinate the annual awards ceremony, Rudy Brandl, Director of Communications and Publications, and Emilie Marvosa, Director of Alumni Relations/Annual Giving and a great friend of mine for close to thirty-five years (during which time she has aged approximately forty-one seconds).


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Twenty-One Club

Three weeks from today is the 2016 New York City Marathon.  This weekend here in the State of Concrete Gardens and the New York City metropolitan area has been a dazzling example of fall in this part of the United States.  Here is to hoping that Mother Nature has at least a bit of a memory, three weekends from now.  

The show must go on of course and Kara, Russ, Gidg, and I shall run irrespective of the weather but it will make a tough task a damn sight less so if - while being undertaken - Mother Nature is smiling upon us.