Guaranteed to have the time of your life

There comes a time in every baseball fan's life when you begin to realize that your capacity to sit in an open field in upstate New York for four to five hours on a late July day is probably not going to grow. And, for Mets fans, there is the added realization that there may not be many more opportunities to see someone go into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Met.

So, with that in mind, when I saw that the 7 Line Army (the group of hardcore Mets fans who occupy the right center outfield section of Citi Field and occasionally travel to other ballparks) was planning an overnight camping trip to see Mike Piazza enter the Hall of Fame, I was intrigued. Intrigued, but not completely sold.

I have deftly avoided camping my entire life, and I wasn't sure that 39 was the right age to jump into that, especially on the grounds of the Ommegang Brewery with, I was assuming, people who probably enjoyed drinking beer a lot. And I'm not a huge fan of the idea of sleeping in mud and/or being pelted with rain while I slept, so the weather variable was an issue.

So I waited a long time to commit, but when it seemed like the forecast was good I finally decided I was in and made the trip to Sears to buy my first tent and a new sleeping bag. And then I went home to reserve my seat on the bus. Which is when I discovered that the trip was sold out.


That put a crimp in things. But after the initial disappointment, I decided it just wasn't meant to be. Though I might never see a Met get inducted into the Hall of Fame, I could always go back some other year (and one with a much smaller crowd than was expected for Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr.) and still cross "going to a Hall of Fame induction" off the bucket list.

Except I couldn't quite give up on the idea. I've been going to Cooperstown since I was a kid. I think the first time was when I was maybe 8 or 9, with my family, and I've probably been there more than a dozen times since, both with family members and with friends from college on what was once a yearly trip to the Hall before life and adulthood got in the way. And I'd always wanted to see an induction ceremony. Seeing a Met inducted would be great, too. And, well, it's been a rough year so far. So this year, more than any other, felt like the year I had to go to the induction ceremony.

So I checked on the 7 Line forum to see if there was any one who had a last-minute cancellation and maybe had an extra ticket. You gotta believe, right? There wasn't anything when I first checked, but when I checked at lunchtime on Friday, there was indeed a message posted an hour earlier saying that a friend had a last-minute emergency and couldn't attend. So I quickly fired off an email, and an hour later, the trip was on again.

Now I just had to figure out how to do work I had planned to do over the weekend in the next 10 hours so I could get to the Citi Field parking lot at 5:30 Saturday morning.

Somehow I did it and left my apartment a little after 3 a.m. to begin the multitrain journey to Citi Field. I arrived early, because I'm a champion. A very tired champion. And I still have a little of this kid on his first trip to Cooperstown in me.

After settling up with my last-minute ticket connection, I boarded one of the 13 buses chartered for the trip and burned up the last bit of adrenaline keeping me alert. We sat on the bus for a bit as we waited for all the seats to be filled (one of which was occupied by a guy who came wearing a Yankees A-Rod jersey...I can't even), but we eventually pulled out of the parking lot around 6:45. And, then, at about 6:55, we pulled onto the Grand Central Parkway. That would've been great if we were, as the sign leading up to the ramp said, a passenger car. We were not. We were a bus. With a height that would be problematic when we reached an overpass with a height a few feet lower. Which we did about a minute later. And that's when our bus, and the bus behind us, proceeded to go in reverse on the Grand Central Parkway.

Strong start to the trip.

We made our way out of that alive (and also survived making a thoroughly illegal U-turn in order to put us back in the right direction), and the rest of the trip passed by largely trouble-free. There were some touch-and-go moments when the guy who had commandeered use of the in-bus audio ran out of Mets-related music and eventually decided to play "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and scenes from "Rocky IV" (the latter because our driver was Russian), but, all in all, it was a smooth ride through the Catskills via the route we always took when I was younger.

We arrived a little after 11 and I soon commenced trying to figure out how to erect a tent. With plenty of help from the guys next to me, who kindly refrained from calling me a moron when they saw what I was doing, I got set up and then walked around a bit, as we had a few hours before the shuttle buses heading downtown arrived.

Main Street in Cooperstown was closed off to cars by the time we got downtown and, not surprisingly, the sidewalks were pretty crowded. The line for the Hall of Fame went down the block, so I figured I'd skip it this time around. But then I remembered the kid behind me on the shuttle bus saying that if you bought a membership, you could skip the line. I'd been a member several times, so I figured why not go all in again. I wound up being the last person they let in via the membership route, but it was so crowded that I just did a quick run-through, mainly to see the Piazza display (which featured, to the delight of many of my fellow tent dwellers, the 7 Line Army).

Waiting for the plaque

And, of course, I needed to take my updated picture in Hank Aaron's locker. I'm sure I looked like a lunatic in my single-minded mission, but, hey, mission accomplished.

There were a bunch of players signing autographs in town, including Lenny Dykstra, Howard Johnson, George Foster, Denny McLain, Jesse Orosco, and, of course, Pete Rose. I refrained from making any autograph purchases (though if Lenny had his book, I would've bought it) and headed off to the 4:30 mass at St. Mary's in Cooperstown, where, no joke, the closing hymn was "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (and on Monday, I read that Piazza went to the same church for 7:30 mass Sunday morning).

After mass, I headed back down to Main Street for the Hall of Fame Parade, where the Hall of Famers ride on the back of pickup trucks and wave to the fans on the sidewalk. It sounds a little uninteresting, but I found myself enjoying it much more than I expected I would. For a while, I was standing right near some of the '69 Miracle Mets, who were signing autographs outside one of the store, and watching them watch the parade like they were fans themselves and not peers of the guys coming down the street. Seeing Cleon Jones get up on his chair and yell, "Hey, old man!" as Billy Williams drove by was one of the highlights of the weekend.

Johnny Bench

Dave Winfield

Frank Thomas

Randy Johnson

Ken Griffey Jr. and his son, Trey

Mike Piazza closing out the parade.

After the parade ended and I loaded up on baked goods (and a bottle of Mello Yello!) at Schneider's Bakery and water at CVS, I headed back to where we hoped the shuttle bus would be (there were some last-minute changes with the shuttles) and was delighted when they did indeed show up. I headed back to Ommegang to watch the Mets game in the restaurant (and charge phones), during which we all endured a brief bout of taunting from Phillies fans (the restaurant was, sadly, still open to the non-tent-dwelling public). When it appeared it clearly wasn't the Mets' night, I headed outside to watch the end of 80s cover band Flux Capacitor's set. And the end was a good part to catch, because the lead singer of the band wound up diving off a speaker and crowd surfing (or, more aptly, being tossed in the air by the crowd), soon followed by 7 Line Army captain Darren and one other 7 Line Army member. And then there was a big group photo and lots of flag waving. Good times, nearly derailed when a guy started yelling at someone wearing a Barry Bonds jersey and many angry words were exchanged. But the good times prevailed.

Well, except for the guys whose tent was jumped on by some random dude not once, but twice (I'm guessing it was different dudes, but it's hard to know for sure). The first time was sometime in the afternoon, as I came back to my tent and discovered these guys' tent bent into a pretzel shape. The second time was sometime around 11 p.m. and occurred while the guys were standing right by their now jerry-rigged tent and talking (and I was in my tent, thinking about sleeping). Something about their tent really angered people. They eventually got hold of the tent jumper (not that difficult), and the perps wound up being locals who, I guess, just wanted to head up to the campground and break a tent. To their credit, the guys whose tent was destroyed were awfully calm about it. It's a very Mets fan type of reaction. Yeah, everything's falling apart. That's what things do. Let's just move on. Yankee fans probably would've raped people and shot them.

After legitimately catching a few hours of sleep, Sunday morning came around. I was pleased to discover that I had no discernible odor emanating from me, because though there was a shower trailer, I had no intention of availing myself of that experience. So, after packing up the tent and sleeping bag, I headed for the line for the buses that would take us to the induction ceremony. That wound up being yet another fun bus experience, as we wound up taking a 20-minute detour for reasons I'm still not sure of, which was followed by missing the turn for bus parking and burning another 15 minutes. But we made it there and everyone scattered to find a spot on the lawn. There weren't a lot of good spots to be had, but taking advantage of my solo status, I squeezed in between some chairs and wound up with a halfway decent spot (though since I didn't bring a chair, I watched a lot of the ceremony in a catcher's squat, which I like to think I did subconsciously as a tribute to Piazza rather than as a result of poor planning).

View looking back

View looking to the stage

I wound up walking down to Main Street to avoid sitting in the blazing sun for three hours waiting for the ceremony to start, but I arrived back to my tiny patch of grass about a half-hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. The people who had put down their chairs were still not in them, so I briefly allowed myself to dream that they found a better spot and just decided to abandon their chairs. Alas, everybody came back about five minutes before the ceremony started, and I suspect they weren't all that thrilled to discover that I had taken up the tiny bit of space that was available. Oh well. That's what you get for your "put down my chairs and leave for four hours to hide somewhere in shade" strategy.

For my part, I was not thrilled when about 15 minutes before the ceremony started, the Mariners fans a little ways up decided to erect a giant beach umbrella to entirely block the little view that I had of the stage. I mean, if you're going to put up a giant umbrella, it seems like there should be more advance warning to the people behind you than 15 minutes. It's not like I can move somewhere else at that point. But I held out hope that once the ceremony started, they'd be respectful and put the umbrella down. I like to believe in people's ultimate sense of fairness. It's a fun belief to have. Of course, it's a crazy belief, and, not only did the beach umbrella remain, but a few more umbrellas went up among the late arrivers, including the people on each side of me who showed up five minutes before the ceremony. Super fun for the people behind them, I supposed.

Then, maybe 10 minutes or so into the ceremony, a gentlemen with the Hall of Fame came over and kindly asked the woman on my left to consider putting down her umbrella out of respect to the people behind her. And that's when the woman next to me threw a tantrum. It seemed like she did not want to be there anyway, and was dragged by her boyfriend/husband/whoever was sitting next to her. So, that, combined with the heat and now this perfectly reasonable umbrella request, resulted in the fuse being lit and the explosion taking place. She refused, pointing out the people with umbrellas in front of her (who, the HOF guy explained, were about to be told the same thing she had been told) and then eventually devolving into "What about the people in front of me who are taller than me? Tell them to move their heads! I can't see over them!" And there was lots more after that, but I tried to ignore as best I could. She (and most everybody else, except the guy to my right, who just lowered his umbrella) eventually complied and then proceeded in her fit for a while before eventually calming down. Until she started talking during Piazza's speech ("Why is he crying?"), at which point I almost had to say something. But I felt like she was waiting for someone to punch, and I was not interested in that person being me.

All that said, I had a great time at the ceremony, and, most importantly, hydrated successfully. I thought both speeches were fantastic, and I was glad I was there to hear them (and see them while in a squat) in person. And the bus ride back to Citi Field, though not entirely uneventful (our driver, when faced with a decision, seemed to consistently choose the one that resulted in us being in the bus longer) at least did not involve any moments when I felt like I might be killed. And, really, that's all you can hope for for any bus trip.

The Baseball Hall of Fame is the only major sport hall of fame I care about at all, and certainly the only one whose induction ceremony was something I wanted to see. Baseball was the first sport I cared about, the first one that really grabbed hold of me when I was a kid (and the Mets were terrible). I was never very good at playing it (I was 0-for-my-little-league-career), but that never tempered my love for the game. It also was the sport closest to my mom's heart. My dad grew up a Giants fan and cast his lot with the Mets, but surely not as fervently as he had with the Giants as a kid. My Brooklyn-born mom, however, who grew up a Dodgers fan, became a devoted Mets backer, even when things got so tense she couldn't bear to watch (during Game 6 of the NLCS in 1986, she drove around the neighborhood and came back several times to check if they'd won, and in the decisive game of the NLDS last year, she forbid me from listening on the radio because she couldn't handle it). So, sitting in my tent at Ommegang and on the grass at the Clark Sports Center, I had her with me. Well, both of my parents are with me everywhere, but wherever there's a Mets celebration (as few and far between as they might be), my mom will always be there. She would've wanted me there in Cooperstown last weekend. I wish I could've called her the next day to tell her all about it.

So that's what this was.

Let's go Mets.
Mom at the Hall of Fame ca. 1985.


What I Liked About August

*Billy Ocean, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC
*Carrot cake pancakes, Sweet Sue's, Phoenicia, NY
*The Levon Helm Band/Lucinda Williams, Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock, NY
*Newark Bears vs. Worcester Tornadoes, Newark, NJ

*The J. Geils Band, NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY
*Spanish shortcake, Hartmann's Kaffeehaus, Round Top, NY
*Mumford & Sons/Dawes, Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ
*The Del McCoury Band, Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn, NY


*Jimmy Sturr/Alex Meixner Band, Hunter Mountain, Hunter, NY
*John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
*The Sunday Blues, Arlene's Grocery, NYC
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places


The Day I Met Bob Dylan (or, What Is Buff?)

I had a decision to make when the power went out on August 14, 2003.

Seeing as I was at work in Hoboken and, thus, separated from home in Staten Island by a few different bodies of water, getting home was not going to be easy. Of course, when you live on Staten Island and don't have a car, getting home is never really "easy" in the average person's definition of the word. But without any trains running, it was more challenging than usual.

Still, I had some options:

(1) Go to my sister's apartment in Hoboken and wait out the power outage there. This was clearly the easiest, most sensible option. I dismissed it almost immediately.

(2) Take a ferry from Hoboken to downtown Manhattan, then walk to the ferry terminal and take the ferry to Staten Island, and then grab a cab or walk home when I got to Staten Island. Not too much of a hassle, but still a bit too easy for my tastes.

(3) Walk to the uptown ferry terminal in Hoboken (about a mile away), then walk past the Hammerstein Ballroom to see what the deal was with that evening's scheduled Bob Dylan concert, then, assuming Dylan wasn't doing a special candlelight acoustic show, walk from 34th Street all the way to the ferry terminal to see what the city looked like without power, and then grab a cab or walk home when I got to Staten Island.

So that's how I wound up on the uptown side of W. 35th St. in Manhattan, across the street from the Hammerstein Ballroom stage door, staring at two tour buses and wondering which one Bob Dylan was in and if maybe he might come outside to soak in the experience.

It seemed like a fun thing to do during a blackout.


Granted, I didn't hold out much hope for Mr. Dylan coming out to take in the sights. I figured I'd stare at those buses for a bit, try to find out when and where I could get my money back for the show, and then head for that 60-block walk to the ferry before it got too dark out. Truth be told, I was fine with the show being cancelled, as I had already seen the first night of the scheduled three-night run. Nils Lofgren sat in for most of the set, a fact entirely lost on me, as I spent most of the show wondering who the tiny gentleman on guitar was (please relax; I did not live in New Jersey at the time -- I have since, as a requirement for my residency, audited some E Street classes and learned some things). It was a fine show, but it was still in that period where Mr. Dylan had switched over to the piano, and that took some adjusting on my part. I would've been perfectly happy to get my money back for the cancelled show and put that toward my "Get Out of Staten Island" fund.

But before I found out about how that would happen, there was that staring at the buses to take care of. It wasn't very exciting, but my time as an autograph collector has made me quite good at staring at vehicles of many different shapes and sizes, so the time passed pretty quickly. There was enough activity going on around the buses that it seemed like something could happen. And the thought that something could happen is generally enough to keep your average (or, in my case, slightly below-average) autograph collector intrigued enough to stick around.

So when I saw the door of one of the tour buses open, I figured, "Ooh, activity! That means I can justify another 10 minutes of staring!"

And that's when I saw Bob Dylan come out of his tour bus.


I should point out that I wasn't the only person who had decided to spend the blackout staring at buses on W. 35th St. There were a few other Dylan fans with the same idea I had. And when we saw Bob Dylan from our various spots on W. 35th St., we looked at each other, then back at Bob Dylan, then back at each other, and thought, "Well, what do we do now?"

There was a brief hesitation. Then we advanced.

I would like to tell you that we all calmly chatted with Mr. Dylan about various things. But we most certainly did not. Naturally, the craziest people were the most eager to begin the conversation, which is how Bob Dylan was given a pair of panties with "Bob" in a heart over the crotch. These were not from me, but rather from an exuberant woman who, I guess, likes to carry these sorts of things around should the occasion arise.

There was also a lot of discussion about the then recently released "Masked and Anonymous," most of which centered around commending Mr. Dylan for his acting in said film (to which he responded, "I've been taking classes"). Lots of ass was being kissed, which I suppose was appropriate given the proximity of Mr. Dylan at the time. I, having not seen the film at the time, stayed quiet. I, having since seen the film, would have a very similar reaction if this exact situation were to present itself again.

I came up with nothing to say to Mr. Dylan, standing about ten feet away from me and, to the best of my recollection, holding on to a cup of beer (I seem to think there was a cigar involved, too, but now I think I might just be drawing my own picture). It's hard to figure out what to say to a hero. And sometimes saying nothing is probably for the best.

But as Mr. Dylan broke up the conversation and said he had to head inside the ballroom to see what was going on, I realized this was probably going to be my only chance to ask Bob Dylan for his autograph. So, as he went one way around the buses, I went the other and waited by the stage door. He soon came by and I presented him with the liner notes to the only Dylan CD I had in my bag. Unfortunately, it was the live "Hard Rain" CD, a CD it is widely believed Mr. Dylan is not very fond of. It is my favorite Dylan album, though, and its fury and anger (it was recorded at the end of a rough tour, as Mr. Dylan's marriage was falling apart and, it is said, he was frequently depressed and hitting the bottle hard) was the perfect soundtrack to bus rides to and from high school, on the days when things weren't going so great and the idiot wind was gusting pretty heavy. That is why I hold that album so dear, and why it was in my bag that day, and why it was all I had to put in front of Dylan as the only autograph seeker at the stage door.

"Mr. Dylan, could you please sign this?"

He looked at the liner notes briefly.

"Sorry, I gotta get inside."

And so ended my chance of getting Bob Dylan's autograph. Tragically, I'd had the liner notes to the "Masked and Anonymous" soundtrack in my bag earlier that week. I feel that if I had put that in front of him, he might've reacted differently.

But the experience wasn't over yet. As all the crazy Dylan fans recapped what had just happened, the Hammerstein security set up a barricade by the stage door. Knowing that Mr. Dylan had to come out at some point, more crazy people had gathered for his next appearance, though there were still no more than 25 people around, including some people who, as often happens in New York City, just saw a crowd and a barricade and assumed something must be going on.

So, after a few minutes, Mr. Dylan emerged and came over to the barricade and started talking to people. Once again, crazy people reigned. Or, more to the point, one crazy woman reigned. I don't think it was the same woman who gave him the panties, but she was just as bizarre. Mr. Dylan was right in front of her (along with his stone-faced security guard, whose name I used to know but it's probably for the best that I've forgotten), so she grabbed the proverbial mike and peppered Mr. Dylan with several bizarre questions.

I can remember two in particular. The first was "Does your wife breastfeed your kids?" Yes, I am serious. That is the question she came up with for Mr. Dylan. Granted, it was more than I came up with, but still it seemed a touch odd. And I think I have the tense correct, which makes it even more odd, as, as far as I know, Mr. Dylan had neither a wife nor a child of breastfeeding age at the time of this inquiry. And, in fact, hadn't had either for quite some time. I do not recall Mr. Dylan's reaction to this line of questioning, but, to his credit, he did not recoil from it and run back to the bus.

I do recall his reaction to her other question, which was something along the lines of "Do you work out?" Now, I have much love and respect for Mr. Dylan, but I have never looked at him on stage and wondered, "Hey, I wonder what his fitness routine is?" But this was an important issue for the crazy woman, who then followed up with "How do you stay so buff?" And, then, Bob Dylan turned to his security guard (who fought hard to suppress a laugh) and, in what might be the greatest thing I've ever heard come out of Bob Dylan's mouth, said the following:

"Buff? What is buff?"

That's maybe one of the greatest moments of my life, which may speak poorly of my life, but so be it. It was incredible.

As the woman continued to rattle on about buffness, Mr. Dylan finally had enough of the conversation and turned to an elderly couple further up behind the barricade and asked, "So what are you guys doing?" Soon after, he pulled away from the barricade and stood over by the buses talking to his security guard in a conversation that I can only imagine began with "See, that's why I don't talk to people."

Mr. Dylan stood there away from the crowd for a while, and it seemed like our audience with him was over. I was still lingering around trying to process everything, but I moved away from the barricade and went to the barricade on the other end of the buses, where I was talking to two other Dylan fans about what had just happened. They were a husband and wife and they wore matching Dylan shirts, which I either surmised or was told was their thing at Dylan shows. They told me about some other times they had seen Dylan by his bus at various venues, and they seemed reasonably nonchalant about it. Then as the three of us were talking, I saw Mr. Dylan pull away from his conversation and start to walk toward us. "This is it," I thought. The three of us are going to get to have our own personal conversation with Bob Dylan, without interference from crazy people. And Mr. Dylan was going to sign my "Hard Rain" liner notes and apologize for not doing so earlier. It was going to be awesome. Stay cool.

But then the people at the other barricade saw him walking toward us and bolted down the street. So by the time Mr. Dylan made it over to the barricade, a crowd had formed. He just looked at the three of us and said, "We're gonna try this again tomorrow." And then went back to his safe spot in between the barricades. So much for that meaningful conversation. And autographed "Hard Rain."


By then, the sun was gone and the city--and, W. 35th St. in particular--was dark. I spent a few minutes with the crazy people as we sought to track Dylan's movements by his white cowboy hat. But then it became sad and pathetic to me (surely a sane person would have reached that conclusion much earlier), so I headed out for my walk to the ferry terminal in quiet, dark Manhattan. It was a fun walk, and the memory of being that close to Bob Dylan made it go pretty quickly. If all blackouts led to something that cool, I think I could learn to like blackouts.

Sure, it would've been a cooler story if I had gotten an autograph out of it, or even a picture with Mr. Dylan (I had a camera in my bag, but I knew if I took it out, he'd bolt), but it was still a night to remember.

And the most important lesson of all (other than always have something other than "Hard Rain" in your bag)?

Always choose the most difficult option. You get the best stories that way.


What I Liked About July

*The Stanley Cup, Ithaca Ale House, Ithaca, NY
*Meeting Tiffani Thiessen
*Plain pizza, Sally's Apizz, New Haven, CT
*Hudson Falcons, Partners, New Haven, CT

*Getting Robin Zander to sign a picture I took
*The Campbell Brothers, Hecksher Park, Huntington, NY
*Amy LaVere, Joe's Pub, NYC; Rosie's Cafe Concerts, Brick, NJ
*Adding three new names to my semi-retired Woodstock poster

*Los Lobos, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
*Star & Micey/Carolina Story, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC
*Pot roast pierogies, Veselka, NYC
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places


What I Liked About June

*Clearwater Festival, Croton-on-Hudson, NY
*Jon Langford and the Newport Nippers, Madison Square Park, NYC
*The reopening of Torico's

*Joe Walsh, Apple Store, NYC
*Tuesday Night Pizza Party, Staten Island, NY
*Buddy Guy, Barnes & Noble Tribeca, NYC
*Dustin Brown winning the Stanley Cup

*Somerset Patriots v. Bridgeport Bluefish, Bridgewater, NJ
*Getting Emmylou Harris to sign three LPs
*Johan Santana's no-hitter and R.A. Dickey's one-hitters
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places


Great Moments in TV History: Robert Culp Falls Asleep While Standing Up

I have been carefully rationing my viewing of the fantastic Celebrity Bowling DVD (which everyone should buy immediately) because there are only three discs and I can't bear to think that there will be a time when I have no more Celebrity Bowling episodes to watch (though I can buy the Brady special edition, which I will be doing the second the last match on Disc 3 ends). So, after breezing through the first disc several months ago, I held off on Disc 2 until Saturday afternoon.

After watching the team of Ed Asner and Elena Verdugo (whom I don't know and who genuinely seems annoyed about her inability to bowl throughout) lose to Gavin MacLeod (Go Bombers!) and Loretta Swit, I skipped over the Billy Barty episode (saving it for last because my eyes are not ready to see the majesty of the great Billy Barty on a bowling lane) and went to the Bob Newhart/Bobby Troup (from Emergency!, which I vaguely remember, and, holy cow, he wrote "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and "The Girl Can't Help It"!)) team take on the Roy Rogers/Robert Culp squad.

I was excited for this one because I had seen past episodes with Newhart and Rogers and they are both good bowlers. Rogers seems to take the game particularly seriously, which, combined with his ability to produce the all-time best fast food biscuit (yeah, KFC, I said it), might make him some sort of god. Newhart has also clearly spent some time on the lanes, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with old Roy.

The highlight of the show, however, has nothing to do with either Newhart or Rogers, or Bobby Troup for that matter (though his measured bowling approach turned me into a fan). No, the highlight of the show comes before the bowling even gets under way, when the snazzily shaded, chest-bearing Robert Culp, in the midst of host Jed Allan explaining the rules. falls asleep while standing up. I videotaped it off my TV (illegal, yes, but I'm doing a public service here; I'll take it down if there are any complaints from the Celebrity Bowling people, whom I love with all my heart and would never harm) so you can see it. The nodding off begins at the 35-second mark. It is awesome. (Forgive the sound; I can only blast Celebrity Bowling so loud in my apartment before the neighbors talk.)

Thank you, Robert Culp, for that Great Moment in TV History.

(And as if that weren't exciting enough, while looking up links for this post, I discovered that there is a new Celebrity Bowling DVD. Glory be!)


What I Liked About May

*Hanging with the McCormicks, Wilmington, DE
*Sigman Family Mother's Day Weekend Road Trip
*Ray Price/Gene Watson, American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA
*Avett Brothers, MLB Fan Cave, New York, NY; Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA

*The Wandering, Concerts in the Studio, Freehold, NJ; Joe's Pub, New York, NY, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
*Clemmy's Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip ice cream
*The Guttenberg Bible
*Amanda Shires, Living Room, New York, NY

*Getting Al Anderson to sign my Lou and the Q LP
*Boston cream cupcake, Robicelli's, Brooklyn, NY
*Oatmeal raisin pancakes, River's Edge Cafe, Oakhurst, NJ
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places