Thursday, November 01, 2018

Two highlighted NYT obits today --- McCovey and CIA writer... does that make sense...

Today's New York Times has two featured obituaries that have personal importance.

The first one concerned the death of Willie McCovey at the age of 80.  McCovey played for the Danville Leafs of the Carolina league in 1956.  The ball park was not far from our house and my parents would take their seven year old to games several times a year.  They would always have popcorn and they always let me have a Nehi orange soda, a major treat.  The stands were never too crowded and at one game I walked about ten seats down, stood over the home dugout behind the netting, and as Willie came out for a bat I yelled "hit a home run Willie".  He glanced and smiled, and then went to the plate and hit a hooking line drive down the right field line that just barely stayed fair for a home run.  I can still visualize the event today.

The second obit of note was of Victor Marchetti, who wrote the 1974 book "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence".  It was a groundbreaking book at the time.  Why important to me?  At that time there were three goals in my life --- to become some sort of writer, to live in New York, and to travel internationally.  The last two were certainly achieved.  In 1974 I was living in Goshen, KY outside of Louisville, a teacher there.  To pursue that first dream I introduced myself to the book editor of the Louisville Courier Journal, at that time an esteemed regional newspaper.  She agreed to let me become a free lance book reviewer for the paper, and Marchetti's book about the CIA was one of my reviews that was published.  I worked hours and hours on that article, and $25 was my reward, actually not that bad, inflation adjusted.  That stint of writing reviews was the height of my writing career.

In 2003 I saw a game in Candlestick Park, and Willie was acknowledged by the announcer as being in attendance but I was not close to his wave.  Writing adequately was a significant positive for my career in banking, because it was not a widely held skill in that industry.


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