Richard, Oscar, & Irving – WE NEED YOU!

July15/ 2008

In my unceasing efforts to slow down America’s descent into the bottomless pit of incivility and general moral decadence, BobLee may have found yet another point of light in the Stygian abyss. …. Those Great Broadway Musicals !  ….. and on the silly inconsequential side, two area academic institutions want to ramp UP their intercollegiate sports programs. …. There has to be a dumber idea but this will do til a dumber one comes along.

Among the unexpected joys of empty-nesting is “Ya wanna ____?” …. “Sure, lets.”  No second thoughts on babysitters or coordinating plans of 3rd persons, etc.  Especially if the parties involved are additionally unrestrained by corporate handcuffs.  BobLee & Mizzus be so footloose these days.

If Kid needs anything from the Great White Frozen Heartland she can reach us by I-Phone so where we are is of no matter.  Where we were Thursday night was at an off-Broadway production of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun.  Next week we’ll be in “the city of the big shoulders” with ol’ pal Jerry Agar aka The Radio King of Chi-Town ….. but first it was Annie Oakley and Frank Butler (played by Larry Gatlin) determining whether “ya can/can’t git a man with a gun …”.  Since it ends w/ Annie and Frank requited, the answer is an NRA-friendly “ya can”.

Have I mentioned that Mizzus played “Annie” in her senior play at Cape Girardeau Central High?  “Cape” sits on the banks of the “mighty Missisip” midway between St Louis and Memphis.  Veteran boatmen piloting heavy-laden barges downriver still swear they can hear her rendition of Moonshine Lullaby on a clear summer night.

One of the provisos I attached to our going was “when you start singin’ along” keep it confined to a radius of three rows of our seats.  Actually she was only so moved about three times (I pretended not to notice.)  Luckily that high note at the end of “Anything You Can Do ….” was not one of the three.

OK ….. my point of all this is CLASSIC BROADWAY MUSICALS are, along with Mount Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, and military fly-overs at ball games …. VERY GOOD THINGS!  Maybe that’s what we need to suture this country back together again.

Among my quick determinants of whether certain folks deserve my time and company is “who were Ben Cartwright’s three sons?” …. “what did Nellie Forbush sing in the shower?” and “when should chicks and ducks and geese better scurry ….?”  Maybe include “what does P–O-O-L spell?”  A Baby Boomer without the very basic knowledge of classic Broadway musicals is fifty+ years of a life with an empty hole in it.

Maybe Michelle Obama has never seen a Rodgers & Hammerstein show ….. or one of Irving Berlins …. or Meredith Wilson’s.  Maybe she would feel better about America if she had.  I do.

When I lived in cities that had those “amphitheaters in the park” summer productions, I always went.  Like last nights, those off-Broadway productions usually bring in 3-4 “big name headliners” in the key roles then use local wanna-bees in the chorus and minor roles.  What a great thrill that must be for local kids dreaming of the smell of the greasepaint on The Great White Way.  ….. Whenever we go to NYC, a Broadway show is a MUST.  Kid and I saw Lion King from 3rd row center a few years ago.  VERY COOL!

“Those musicals” were all designed on a formula as recognizable as a James Bond movie.  Expecting the toe-tapping overture, the lovers’ wayward courtship, the comic sidekick, the twirling dancers, the “big production number”, and THE HAPPY ENDING were what you really enjoyed.  There was great comfort in that predictability.  Life carries way too little “predictability” these days.  Other than “dirty politics” and “jackass sports fans” which are both way too predictable these days.

For the younger generation of BobLee Buddies like D-Bo and Todd The Pharmacist and the rest of you pups ….. go to I-Tunes and download any of the albums from the aforementioned composer/playwrights.  It helps if you know the wonderful story that goes with the songs but just get those incredible tunes in your head.  Once you get them imbedded, they’ll never leave you.  You’ll be driving along the Interstate some day and like a holy roller being touched by the spirit you’ll burst out in “OOOOOK-la-homa, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain and the wavin’ wheat ……”.

Plus, your chances of ever having dinner with BobLee will go up immeasurably if you can do that.


   Kudos to BobLee Buddy Bucky Waters.  The former State BBer and former Duke Head BB coach was on Dave Glenn’s radio show yesterday.  DG had Bucky on to discuss Rosemary’s Other Baby’s approaching Win #800.  Bucky has been around ACC Basketball longer than the combined ages of any bunch of board monkeys.  Listening to Bucky’s reminisces of the past 50+ years of local ACC rivalries gave me solace.

As I discussed w/ Dave, the “lunatic fringe” are the most vocal fans these days but listening to Bucky reminded me of the halcyon days when the on-court rivalries were as heated as ever (Art Heyman v Larry Brown et al) and fans “cared” just as much DURING THE GAME ….. but everyone knew it was “just a game” and once the “game” was over folks became neighbors and co-workers once again.  Those of us who understood how that worked are aging out.  The “they’re all abuncha ____” jackass mentality is taking over.  I’m glad I’m leaving.


   Speaking of idiots running the asylums …… UNC-Charlotte is “seriously” (cough, cough) considering adding Football to their intercollegiate sports program.  Crimenently ….. why not just plant land mines around the campus, open a meth lab in the student union, and add ground-up glass to the mystery meat in the school cafeteria.  These suggestions would bring less long term damage to the North Charlotte campus on Hwy 49.

Kindly Ol’ Bill Friday (KOBF) and former UNC Prez C.D. “Dick” Spangler have both warned the UNCC folks how incredibly STOOPID such a decision would be.  I add my voice of reason to KOBF’s and Dick’s.

The impetus behind this idiocy is, of course, from lunk-headed students and a handful of local numbskulls, neither of whom will be forking over the untold millions of $$$$ down that bottomless rat hole.

The Choo Choo of UNC-C is BobLee Homie Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell.  “Cornbread” and his phantom free throws led the 49ers to The Final Four in the mid 70s.  UNCC has had consistently competitive Div 1-A BB since then along with an assortment of other “Olympic sports”.

The misguided logic that “Football” would give the school an identity and “enrich the college experience” for the students is balderdash.  It would redirect funds from more meaningful purposes ….. cost 20X more than being projected …. and bring in 10X less revenues than being projected.  Of course the economic realities are as unimportant to the “We GOTTA Have Football” crowd in Mecklenburg County as it is to the “$150,000,000 Worth of Kenan Bling Bling” crowd” around Chapel Hill.  The “GIVE IT to me but I ain’t paying for it” attitude sounds familiar.  Maybe if Barack wins in November, he can add “UNCC gets a Football program” to his Hope list.   …… 50% of the colleges currently “competing” in Division 1 football should seriously consider dropping it.

Locally, Wake Community College is considering instituting an athletic program.  I am not as adamantly opposed to that as I am to UNCC’s proposed lunacy.  Competing in intercollegiate athletics has a real value in the sports dedicated to the athletes rather than the fans.


   Honor Blackman hasn’t frolicked in haylofts in many years BUT HER MEMORY LIVES ON based on your comments from the recent column.  Ms Galore not only still elicts adolescent giggles but lustful thoughts.  She was the oldest Bond girl both the character and the actress.  Since most of us were younger than either at the time, that brings up some interesting psychological issues. ….. Goldfinger’s momma called him Auric or Au for short …. the periodic symbol for Gold.

   Follow-up to that last column on “acceptable comments” ….. I get more torqued when humanoids supposedly on my side of issues behave like jackasses.  Tar Heels nitwits and right-wing idjits are THE WORST in my estimation because they embarrass the rest of us.

   The current SI (with Jason Kidd on cover) has an article on “fan misbehavior” in college basketball.  Get it, read it ….. we’ll discuss it soon. 


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