Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Time of Man

Time itself is Long,
Even if the Time of Man
Is Short.
- Pete Hamill

Programming note:  Starting tomorrow and continuing through next Saturday - March 1st - there will be no link to this silliness on either Facebook or Twitter.  In the event that you are one of the nice folks who spends a moment or two of your day here daily, then you need to do two things.  First and foremost, start reassessing your decision-making process.  Second, make a note to yourself to access this space through this link:

The wonderful thing about having an empty head unencumbered by important thoughts is that I have much more time than most to reflect upon things of utter silliness and banality.  It not only gives me wonderful insight into what it must be to be a Kardashian - minus the requisite cosmetic surgery.  

Tuesday late afternoon/early evening I was heading home from an afternoon spent at a mediation.  Happiness is a productive mediation, which this one was.  While it took a fair amount of cajoling and arm-twisting all around our mediator Daniel Mecca - one of my favorite members of the Judiciary when he was the Presiding Judge in Bergen County - forged a resolution that was equally unpleasant for all sides.  In other words, he forged an ideal compromise.  As I motored home from Judge Mecca's office I was listening to Mike Francesca's radio show on WFAN.  A promotional spot played reminder listeners that effective this season WFAN (both AM and FM) shall serve as the radio home for the New York Yankees.  The spot made reference to this season being the final one for Derek Jeter and implored the audience not to miss a single pitch.

What struck me - and what I had not considered for even a single second prior to that very moment until I heard his voice played in the spot - was that Jeter's final at-bat at the Stadium, which might very well take place during the final home game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 25, shall mark the end of two eras.  Bob Sheppard spent more than a half century as the P.A. Announcer at Yankee Stadium, starting his career with the ballclub in 1951.  Illness forced Sheppard from the booth after the 2007 season and he died, at age 99, in July 2010.  However, even though he was not behind the microphone from Opening Day 2008 his voice has still been heard at the Stadium in the years since.  Jeter, because of his own reverence for Sheppard and his recognition of Sheppard's place in Yankees history, has been introduced for every home at-bat since Sheppard retired by Sheppard's recorded voice.  

Neither Sheppard's retirement nor his death silenced his voice.  Jeter's retirement shall.  It may speak volumes to the advanced degree of my own mental illness that upon arriving at that realization while driving south on the Garden State Parkway on Tuesday evening, I felt of wave of genuine sadness wash over me.  If so, then so be it....

....I stand guilty as charged.  And unashamedly so. 


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