David McCullough

I recently finished reading the latest work by David McCullough, “The Wright Brothers” and was, once again, awed by his narrative and research skills. I have read all of his books. He has tackled some technically challenging topics, i.e., the Johnstown Flood, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Panama Canal, as well as some daunting biographies, i.e. John Adams, Harry Truman, and Theodore Roosevelt. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, each book seems like an easy read. He doesn’t overwhelm with arcane and forgettable factoids, but chooses them carefully, and places them in such a way that the reader can see both the forest and the trees.

Certainly he has been lauded for his efforts, a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize among others. I am generally wary of writers who are too popular. For example, I think Stephen King should be buried up to his nostrils in moldy copies of his own books and left to suffer.  But Mr. McCullough deserves all the accolades and tributes that have come his way.

I know he is not young any more, and has been honing his craft for several decades, But, each time I finish one of his books, like “The Wright Brothers”, I find myself thinking, ‘Just one more David. Please, find it in you for just one more.’

Surprisingly, actually amazingly, there is video of one of the early flights of Wilbur and Orville, and here it comes now;


A Trip To The Hospital

Little Gene just didn’t feel well. He told his mommy that his chest was hurting him. She was a very smart mommy, and took him right away to a special doctor. He was called a cardiologist. Can you say that big word? Card—eee—ahl—ah–gist. He knew all about chests and things and scheduled a special procedure at the hospital for little Gene.

Gene was nervous at first, but the nurses were so nice, and pretty, and they gave him some special presents. They gave him socks that wouldn’t slip on the hospital floor; a funny little robe that he couldn’t tie in the back so you could see his heinie (but no one seemed to care); and a very special, heart-shaped red pillow to squeeze whenever his chest hurt. Which it did. A lot.

They told him that there would be a lot of people in the operating room to take care of him and make sure that everything was okay, but he didn’t remember the operation at all.  Which was a good thing, because what they did to him in that operating room was certainly not suitable for children.

After he woke up, late that afternoon, he still didn’t feel well, but he knew he just needed to rest and get his strength back. Which he did, although it took a few weeks.

When he saw his new friend, the card–ee–ahl–a–gist, a few weeks later, he felt so much better, and no longer needed to carry his red pillow around with him.  The card–ee–ahl–a–gist told him that he needed, from now on, to eat right and exercise everyday.  Little Gene promised that he would, if only to avoid wearing that robe where everyone could see his heinie.


 Here is a clip starring Curious George and my personal favorite, The Man With The Yellow Hat.  If you are able to watch all fifteen minutes of this film, you really need to examine your priorities in life.

C. C., et al

I was watching the Yankee game the other day, with C. C Sabathia pitching, and Didi Gregorius playing shortstop.  They were probably unaware, but several luminaries were in the stands as well.  For example;

—BeBe Rebozo, deceased friend and confidant of Richard Nixon was being propped up along the third base line.

—e. e. cummings, was in the bleachers, accidentally spilling beer on his latest poem.

—A. A. Milne had his binoculars out, studying Sabathia as a possible model for his famous character, Winnie the Pooh.

—H. H. Munro, between innings, was composing short stories.

(If Derek Jeter had been there, I’m certain someone would have said, ‘aye-aye captain’.)

Oh, it was a great day at the b.. b… ball park.