Thursday, April 30, 2009


I went down to Chatham, Mass. on Cape Cod yesterday to take a picture of the Chatham Lighthouse which is currently operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. This current structure is 42 feet tall and stands 80 feet above the water sending a rotating light beam every ten seconds. The sign in front of the lighthouse states that the current lighthouse is the sixth lighthouse that was near this location and was built of cast iron in 1877. The rotating light replaced a fixed light in 1923 and the second lighthouse near this current lighthouse was moved at that time to Eastham and is known as Nauset Light.

My Mom's uncle George H. Fitzpatrick was a lighthouse keeper at Minot's Ledge Lighthouse which was located about a mile off of Scituate and Cohasset, Massachusetts in the ocean to warn mariners of the rocks and small islands known as Cohassett rocks. George Fitzpatricks was the last resident lighthouse keeper and served until the U. S. Coast Guard took over operating this lighthouse in the 1940's. My Mom said that her uncle George had a schedule of three weeks on the lighthouse and then one week off at the residence on Government Island. George and his wife used to hook rugs and also play music as George played the saxophone and his wife played the piano. My grandfather used to come and visit and sing along to their duet. So, my Mom's aunt and uncle were a couple of musical hookers. My Mom used to like to swim at the local beaches nearby and befriended a young woman named Alice who she introduced to her Dad and they later married.

The Minot's Ledge Lighthouse was completed in 1860 made of Quincy granite 114 feet high and replaced a previous lighthouse that was overturned by by a huge storm in April of 1851. This lighthouse was the first American lighthouse to be exposed to the full power of the open ocean. Two lighthouse attendants were killed, Joseph Antoine and Joseph Wilson during the storm.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was born on November 2nd at Hartford Hospital in Hartford,Connecticut which was election day that year. That same day, Janis Cayne was born. We both went to Simsbury High School and graduated the same year. We both also have the same number of total vowels and consonants if you add up our first, middle, and last names the total is 17 each.

On my high School graduation day our class was all dressed in the traditional "cap and gown" outfits as we waited in our chairs to go up and receive our high school diplomas. Guess who was assigned to sit next to me on that graduation day? Answer: Janis Cayne. I wonder what the odds are of being born on the same day at the same hospital and then going to the same high school and then graduating in the same class and sitting next to that same person at the high school graduation ?

I doubt if the school administrators researched each graduating student in my class that year and said,"Oh, we should seat Rick next to Janis as they are exactly the same age." Maybe it was just a coincidence.


Saw this single solitary swan swimming last summer in Ryder's Cove in Chatham, Mass on Cape Cod.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


In March 0f 1982 I went on vacation for a week in Montego Bay, Jamaica on a TNT vacation package with my friend Jim Byrne, Nancy Noveline, and her friend Ann. Ann pronounced her name to rhyme with "on", not rhyming with "can".

We flew out of Logan Airport on a chartered airplane called "Arrow Airlines". There was some sort of delay with this flight as they were checking out the plane so were were delayed on take off. The seats were jam packed together on this full plane and when we finally took off towards Jamaica there was a water leak that kept dripping from the airplane ceiling and hitting is in the head. To compensate for the delay the airline gave us a free open bar so we had free liquor nips throughout the flight. We joked about this old leaky cramped aircraft and said "I shot an arrow in the air and will it land who knows where."

After landing at the Montego Bay airport we were transported to our hotel the Holiday Inn Rose Hall on the beach. Across the street from the hotel was a small shopping area where a lot of Jamaican men would approach us as they wanted to exchange their Jamaican dollars into American dollars. At that time there was a set exchange rate for currency conversion you were supposed to account for the amount of money that you exchanged and only exchange your money with recognized banks or at the hotel. The Jamaican men however, offered a better exchange rate so we clandestinely exchanged some of our greenbacks for the colorful Jamaican currency.

One morning the four of us decided to have breakfast at a small restaurant in the shopping area. Our waiter was a Jamaican man who took our breakfast order. Jim, Nancy, and I ordered coffee; Ann (on) said "I'll have tea." The waiter had to search around for the tea but he did find some and returned with the three coffees and one tea. As he dispensed our beverages Nancy said "thank you"; the waiter said "thank you for thanking me"; Jim said "thank you"; the waiter said "thank you for thanking me"; Ann (on) said "thank you"; the waiter said "thank you for thanking me"; and I said "thank you"; the waiter said "thank you for thanking me"; I then said "thank you for thanking me for thanking you".

Many thanks Mr. Jamaican waiter for your courteous service that day.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Here's a shot taken on 3/3/08 in Wellfleet, Mass on Cape Cod on a sand dune leading to the ocean at the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I saw recently on television that first lady Michelle Obama and her kids were in the process of establishing a vegetable garden at the White House. I don't know where she and her kids are going to find the time to faithfully plant, weed, fertilize, and water this garden but their action reminded me to make sure that I plant my own small garden here on Cape Cod. Michelle, you truly are an inspiration to me and I'm sure countless other Americans in your efforts to show us the benefits of fresh vegetables. I admire your ability to "get your hands dirty" as I'm sure that this garden could save as much as $59.00 in food costs for the White House kitchen. I'm sure that you will do all required work necessary to produce a bounteous harvest and won't rely on any outside help or White House gardeners or employees to tend this garden. I'm sure that you won't treat this garden as a "photo opportunity" with the initial turning of the soil and another "photo opportunity" of picking a few vegetables at the end of the summer.

I'm sure all your vast experience in urban gardening while living in Chicago will be of help in your new "national garden" in Washington D.C. You are truly an inspiration to me and I'm sure countless other Americans in your devotion to your garden. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your tireless efforts with your garden. I appreciate your efforts and I'm sure that tending your garden won't interfere with your other duties as First Lady, mother, and advocate for social justice and making sure that never again will the rich and ambitious people get away with not paying their fair share to "spread the wealth" around.

It is important that no one in America strive to better their situation in life because this may leave other people behind. Whether earned or not; everyone should have the same benefits in life. I'm sure you will share the hard work and efforts you spend in your garden with the poor and less fortunate. I'm sure you will start to invite the homeless and poor to your White House parties as the While House is the "people's house".

You are my inspiration Michelle..............(NOT).

Friday, April 24, 2009


Saw several swans serenely sitting on December 19, 2006 in South Dennis, Mass. on Cape Cod on Follins Pond. They were probably deciding if they wanted to stay for the upcoming winter or fly away somewhere. Or maybe they were trying to decide what to get each other for Christmas as they only had a week to go.

Who knows? I asked them what they were doing but they were just silent. Probably they were told not to talk to strangers.


When I first "washed ashore" on Cape Cod in the Summer of 1976 after graduating the University of Connecticut that Spring I used to go to the "Improper Bostonian" located in downtown Dennis Port.

Back then then drinking age was eighteen and the "Improper" was always jam packed with people each evening particularly on Monday nights as they had "Quarter Beer Night" where you could order twenty-five cent draft beers and listen and sing along with Ray Boston while sipping your cool frosty draft beer and wandering between the upstairs and downstairs bars. It was quite the sweaty, smokey place back then as smoking was allowed and there wasn't any air conditioning. The quarter beers were served in a glass mug with a curved in glass bottom so that there were probably only five or six ounces to each beer. For a quarter I guess you can't be that picky. I splurged one time early in the Summer and bought an Improper Bostonian glass imprinted beer mug which held about ten ounces of beer so I was able to get a better value for my hard earned quarter spent on each beer.

The "Improper Bostonian" is still in business after all these years and I saw from their sign that "Shango Ax" will be playing there on April 30th. I understand that there are new owners at "The Improper" from the days when I used to quaff their fine inexpensive ales for pocket change. The drinking age in Massachusetts is now twenty-one with no smoking allowed and they probably have air conditioning and them there fancy televisions.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Here's a photo I took last April 15th on top of a small hill in Orleans , Mass on Cape Cod while performing a routine insurance inspection of this property.

This dock is resting prior to the invasion of the water activities of the Summer season.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Birthday Singer"

YouTube - Tom Rush - No Regrets As described in the article below "Dog named "Jim", Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards were in concert together at UCONN on February 8, 1976 which was Tom's birthday. (Click the You Tube link to hear Tom Rush sing one of his memorable songs "No Regrets".)

"Dog named "Jim"

YouTube - Sometimes in the Morning - Jonathan Edwards On February 8,1976 as concert co-chairman of the Student Union Board of Governors at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut we had a concert at the Jorgensen Auditorium with Jonathan Edwards and Tom Rush. (Click on the You Tube link to hear the song "Sometimes In the Morning").

I remember that this day was Tom Rush's birthday and a lot of us yelled out 'Happy Birthday, Tom". Tom Rush back then was very quiet in person back stage before the show but gave a great performance singing songs such as "No Regrets", "Urge for Going", and "A Child's Song".

I met with Jonathan Edwards as well back stage before the concert. He was there with his band, his wife, and his dog "Jim" an Irish Setter, who later walked out on stage and sat on a rug while Jonathan Edwards and his band played songs such as "Shanty", "Sometimes in the Morning", "Emma",and "Sunshine Go Away Today". "Jim lay there on his rug the whole show occasionally lifting his head to watch and listen to Jonathan play his guitar, harmonica, and sing.

It was a great show and everyone enjoyed these two accomplished singer/song writer/ musicians. Both Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards are still performing more than thirty years after they playing together that wintry night back in '76.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Fresh from the sea and into my belly on Saturday I bought a dozen "little neck" clams from George's Fish Market in Harwichport on Cape Cod.
After finishing off the dozen clams with a "silver bullet" I deposited the shells outside in front of my enclosed porch and crunched them up among the rock driveway where I park my car. I am gradually adding clam shells to this area and figure it will only take about a hundred years and about fifty thousand dollars worth of clam shells to have a clam shell driveway as the "little necks" sell for $4.80 per dozen and I usually at the most go once a week to buy them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


YouTube - Arlo Guthrie/Motorcycle Song In 1968 as a member of my local Simsbury Connecticut church fellowship group I went to my first concert as we went to see Arlo Guthrie at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford. I remember that our group sat in the center section about twenty rows from the stage. Arlo, son of famous troubadour Woodie Guthrie, is known for his long rambling story telling songs particularly "Alice's Restaurant". The You Tube link is of Arlo singing his "Motorcycle Song".

Before we went to the concert I remember that someone in our group said that when we get to the concert we should yell out "Stockbridge School Sucks" as Arlo went to Stockbridge School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. At the concert we did yell out "Stockbridge School Sucks". Arlo, heard us and started chuckling and said "Yes, It is a question of what they suck."

In the "Motorcycle Song" Arlo states that he doesn't want a pickle, he just wants to ride on his motorcycle. So, if Arlo Guthrie comes into a restaurant or stops by your house some day while riding his motorcycle you can hold the pickle.


YouTube - SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOS Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs singing "Wooly Bully" (see You Tube link) in 1965 sold 3 million records that year and was the song of the year despite not reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Sam the Sham" (Domingo Samudio) from Dallas, Texas later recorded other songs including "L'il Red Riding Hood' and"The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin".

I like this video with the two live girl statues, campy outfits and background, and a drummer who stand up while playing. "Wooly Bully" has stood the test of time. So don't be an L7 and get out on the dance floor and learn to dance. Uno, dos, one two tres quatro.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

YouTube - 51 Jokes (in Four Minutes)

YouTube - 51 Jokes (in Four Minutes) Over 12 jokes a minute. Watch this You Tube clip then see how many jokes you can remember and also how many make you laugh real hard, guffaw,chuckle, smile, say how cleaver, how stupid, or I don't get it.


YouTube - John Lennon--Cold Turkey Live (Not Dubbed) I came across this video of former Beatle John Lennon singing "Cold Turkey" live at Madison Square Garden in New York City back in 1972 at a benefit concert for the Willowbrook State Hospital for abused children. (click the You Tube link to see John, Yoko, and a guitarist who looks like Jesus).

I don't get it. Maybe it is just me but I think in this song that he "protesteth too much". So he doesn't like cold turkey. Why doesn't he just heat the turkey up then? Why eat turkey at all if you don't like it? When I eat turkey at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other time I don't mind if the turkey is hot or cold. I certainly wouldn't get bent out of shape and write a song about it and go screaming "NO NO NO NO NO NO" OVER AND OVER AGAIN like John Lennon. So maybe he had a bad piece of turkey. GET OVER IT!!

Turkey usually makes me sleepy especially after a Thanksgiving dinner with mashed potato,green beans,salad, turkey dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato, perhaps a beer or a glass of wine, pumpkin pie,pecan pie, rolls and butter, etc. Why does John Lennon say he can't get to sleep? John says cold turkey "has got me on the run". Does he mean that he has to spend massive amounts of time on the toilet? Is he allergic to turkey? Why does he compare cold turkey to hell? Again, if you hate cold turkey so much don't eat it.

I remember that President George H.W. Bush stated that he didn't like broccoli. You didn't see him moan and scream about this and write a song called "Steamed Broccoli" did you? Some people are allergic to peanut butter and being around peanut butter can cause them great harm even perhaps death. These people have a better case for a song than complaining about turkey whether cold or hot.

I don't get it. Maybe John Lennon was a vegetarian and accidentally ate some turkey and is feeling guilty. Me, I like turkey. Although sometimes especially at Thanksgiving you can eat too much. There is a saying "Turkey,turkey, gobble gobble, eat too much, wobble wobble."

Friday, April 17, 2009

YouTube - Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning

YouTube - Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning Here is a You Tube link to the song "Ashes Are Burning" by Renaissance with lead singer Annie Haslam. See blog post below "Instant Karma" on the 1975 concert at UCONN where they planned to sing this song as an encore but were thwarted by the Fleetwood Mac road crew.

Annie Haslam has an extraordinary voice which according to "Wikopedia" has a range of five octaves. Annie is still involved in the music world and apparently lives in the Penn Dutch area of Pennsylvania.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


YouTube - Renaissance - Carpet of the Sun On October 25, 1975 as concert co-chairman of the University of Connecticut Student Union Board of Governors we had a homecoming concert with Renaissance and Fleetwood Mac. (see You Tube link above to see a 1977 video of Renaissance).

This concert was held in the old field house where UCONN basketball and track events were held. I had to meet with John Toner, Athletic Director, to get permission to hold a concert in this facility. To stage a concert in the field house we had to rent a stage, lights, folding chairs and have a crew of 160 volunteers to help with setting up the chairs and stage, breaking down the stage and removing the chairs after the show along with cleaning up after the concert. We made yellow tee shirts silk screened in blue ink in the Board of Governors office for all of the student volunteers.

The show was a sell-out and the first show ever held in the field house. There were approximately seven thousand tickets sold. I believe the tickets were about four dollars each. I was able to hire Fleetwood Mac for this show for $6,000 and they signed the contract just before they hit the "big time" with their "Fleetwood Mac" "white album" with the addition Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to the group of Christine & John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood Mac was playing other venues at the time for around $100,000 per show.

On the night of the show we had to provide Renaissance with a baby grand piano along with some dry ice that they needed for their dry ice machine to create a fog effect for their song "Ocean Gypsy". Prior to letting all of the concert attendees into the field house I was informed that the road manager for Renaissance said that the piano we had on stage was not acceptable to their group. He said that the group wouldn't go on stage with that piano. Winston Wilson, our student union advisor, commenced to make a few calls around the university to try to locate another piano. We called around to the fine arts department and a few other locations but we couldn't locate a replacement piano. As we were calling to locate another piano; the crowd was waiting outside the field house and anxious to get in and claim their seats as it was an open seating concert.

After our best effort to locate another piano, we were resigned to the fact that Renaissance may not play. We were encouraged however, when the Renaissance road manager started asking about the dry ice. We figured that was a good sign as why would you ask about the dry ice unless the group was going to play.

We finally opened to doors to the concert goers and everyone found their seats. We were behind schedule due to our scrambling around to try to find another piano. After everyone was seated I climbed up onto the stage to address the crowd. I said "Good evening everyone. On behalf of the Board of Governors we would like to welcome you to the Homecoming show with Fleetwood Mac and Renaissance. This is the first show ever held in the field house and could be the first of many future shows or the only show. There is to be no smoking or drinking." (After saying this there was a thunderous BOOOOOOOOOO!!!! from the crowd.)

I then introduced Renaissance and left the stage to sit down in my seat. Renaissance performed their set. Lead singer Annie Haslam came on dressed in a long white floor length dress and commenced to sing in her angelic sounding voice songs such as "Scheherazade", "Ocean Gypsy", "Mother Russia" among others. Above the stage was a mirror ball that they planned to use for their encore song "Ashes Are Burning".

What Renaissance didn't know was that the road crew from Fleetwood Mac was unhappy that the show started late. They found the field house light panel switches and turned on all the lights after the last Renaissance song so that there was no encore for Renaissance. Annie Haslam was upset and burst into tears as she ran to the backstage dressing room.

Fleetwood Mac came on next and gave a good show. Songs they played included "Over My Head", "Rhiannon",and "Landslide". Prior to their performance they were originally supposed to wait in one of the locker rooms. They objected to this so we were able to use the athletic department lounge for them. After the show we found out that there were burns on a lot of the athletic department furniture from something that they were smoking which wasn't a cigarette.

After the show was over the crowd left quite a mess of trash and beer bottles which took hours to clean up in addition to breaking down the stage and removing the portable chairs. This show ended up being the only show ever held in the field house.

Renaissance ended up paying the price of not having an encore for their song "Ashes Are Burning" when they delayed the concert as we tried to find another piano. The only ashes that burned were in the athletic department lounge from burn marks left by Fleetwood Mac.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I ran this brand new flag up the flag pole today a couple of minutes ago. It is windy up here on Cape Cod in the Spring so I'll be curious to see how long this flag will last before the wind starts to shred.

Looks good so far!


While driving recently I saw these signs posted on a tree near the road. With an ever expanding governmental incursion into every one's affairs and pocketbook it is good to see that the First Amendment rights of Freedom of Expression haven't been totally curbed as yet so that people can still express their opinions.

On this April 15th "tax day" where do you stand? Do you agree with the steady beat of increased governmental socialistic policies or do you favor a more limited role for government where self-reliance and individual efforts are rewarded ?

We get the government that we deserve. Has government gone too far or should we expand government until all industry is under a central planned government? Will you be supporting the "tea party" protesters today or do you feel that the more government we have the better off we all will be?

Monday, April 13, 2009


The biggest tree in Connecticut is the Gifford Pinchot Sycamore tree located in Simsbury, Connecticut right near a bridge which crosses the Farmington river. I'm sure this tree never gets too thirsty being so close to the river that it can sip all the water it wants through its roots.

Gifford Pinchot, a Simsbury native was a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt and was appointed the first chief of the United States Forest Service by Roosevelt.

This tree is at least 200 years old and some people estimate that it may be 300 years old or more. In 1998 the tree was measured to be 95 feet tall, 26 feet around, and a canopy of 140 feet. Located at the base of Talcott mountain the tree is lit by flood lights at night and welcomes visitors to Simsbury and the Farmington River Valley.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


My Dad had a next door neighbor in Simsbury, Connecticut growing up on Hopmeadow Street in the early 1930's across the street from the Ensign Bickford Company. Ensign Bickford made fuses for dynamite and also blasting caps. This neighbor, I'll call him "Bill Roberts", which may or may not be his real name, was about forty-five to fifty years old and not a candidate to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist. My Dad at the time was about five years old.
"Bill" had a habit of chasing the neighborhood kids around with a knife. On one occasion Bill went into my Dad's yard with a knife in his hand shouting "I'm gonna cut your toes off, I'm gonna cut your toes off". "Bill"got closer and closer to my Dad until he was about seven feet away and closing in with his knife just about to liberate the toes from my Dad's bare feet when my Dad spotted a wagon handle grip on the ground in front of him. As he leaned forward to cut off the toes my Dad picked up the wagon handle grip and threw this grip right into "Bill's"face slicing up his forehead. This act stopped "Bill"in his tracks as blood poured down his forehead into his eyes.
My Dad's sister Muriel who was nine or ten at the time comforted my Dad by saying, "You are going to jail, you are going to jail". My five year old Dad was crying as he didn't want to go to jail.
My Dad's father John Shaw took "Bill"to the doctor to get his forehead stitched up.Later "Ärthur", one of the neighbors, said to John," your awful son Ernie did a bad thing to "Bill" and almost killed him." John replied, "Ärthur" get back in your own damn yard and mind your own damn business."
The moral of this story is that if you are a 45-50 year old man chasing around five year old boys with a knife on their property and threatening to cut of their toes; don't be surprised if you get whacked in the head with a wagon handle grip. That is wagon handle justice.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


YouTube - Donovan - The Mandolin Man and His Secret I remember when I was in 8th grade hearing this Donovan song (click on the You Tube link) while attending one of the weekly youth fellowship meetings of my church in Simsbury, Connecticut. Dan Reilly and his wife Lorna were the head of this group. Dan encouraged us to "think for ourselves" and brought to us interesting ideas and books such as 'Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain.

In this particular song "The Mandolin Man and His Secret" from the album "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" it was pointed out that the townspeople laughed at the Mandolin Man when he came to town seeking " all that is pretty and nice". The children of the town however, drawn to the mandolin player told him "pretty and nice things". This album was the third pop double album ever released and featured an infrared photo album jacket.

Scottish music artist Donovan Phillips Leitch was born on May 10, 1946. He was known for his "flower power" folk songs. Among his more popular songs are "Sunshine Superman","There Is A Mountain", "Season Of The Witch", "Mellow Yellow", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Atlantis", "Lalena", "Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" and "Catch The Wind".

Donovan went to India along with The Beatles, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence, for a few weeks to commune with transcendental meditation guru Mararishi Mahesh Yogi. Donovan taught Paul McCartney and John Lennon some guitar finger picking styles such as the "clawhammer" according to Wikopedia.

Donovan was the first high profile musician arrested for marijuana in 1966 and although he experimented with LSD he later took the position in 1968 that young people should give up drugs. Donovan was friends with many of the musicians of his time such as Bob Dylan, Jimmy Paige and John Paul Jones of "Led Zepplin", Brian Jones of the "Rolling Stones", and all of "The Beatles".

Donovan is still active and reportedly is working on another album as well as forming a university focusing on transcendental meditation called the "Invincible Donovan University". He will be sixty-three this May.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Congratulations to the University of Connecticut Women's Basketball team on winning the national championship last night in St. Louis over the Louisville Cardinals 76-54 to complete a jaw dropping record of 39-0. This Connecticut Husky team won every game this season by at least ten points to capture UCONN coach Geno Auriemma's sixth national title and third undefeated season. (see the AP photo)

Junior center Tina Charles had a dominating performance in this title game with 19 rebounds and 25 points on 11 for 13 shots. Charles was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Way to go Huskies, "You are simply the best".

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

YouTube - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood-Show #1555 (opening)

YouTube - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood-Show #1555 (opening) On Cape Cod I live across the street from Mr. Rogers. I guess you could say I live in Mr. Roger's neighborhood as he was living here prior to the building of the house where I live. When he sees me out in my yard he says "Hi neighbor, It is a beautiful day!" I reply "Yes it is Mr. Rogers, it is a neighborly day in this beauty wood; and I'll be ..... your neighbor."

(Click the link to see another Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood). Unfortunately, I can't be Fred Rogers' neighbor as he is recently deceased although his neighborly spirit lives on. I live near a cemetery but not the cemetery where Fred Rogers is buried.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Gumby the Hero"

YouTube - Gumby - The Little Lost Pony Remember Gumby? In this You Tube episode (click the link) watch Gumby be a Hero as he saves "Pokey" while the "Blockheads" don't help. Gumby earns a reward from "Farmer Glen" of 100 ice cream cones which he has to eat all at once.

In my younger days my brothers and sisters and I used to imitate the high voice of Gumby saying "Hi Pokey" and then the lower voice of Pokey saying "Hey Gumby".

I have heard that "Mr. Bill" of "Saturday Night Live" fame thinks that the adventures of Gumby and Pokey are the best television shows ever. He can relate to them.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I was walking on the beach today on Cape Cod when I came upon this flock of sea gulls who seemed to be searching for something. I asked the head sea gull what they were looking for and he replied "Well, "Sammy Segal" one of our flock lost one of his contact lenses so we are helping him look for it. We sea gulls need our good vision and without his contact lenses "Sammy" is as blind as a bat".
"Oh" I replied. "Good luck with that".


In 1990 my friend John Polak from Fall River, Mass invited me to a "Meet the Candidates" night in New Bedford at a local steak house. It event was hosted by the Republican Party as a chance for some of the public to meet and hear some of the candidates for state wide offices in the upcoming elections. This event was held in the lower level of the restaurant meeting room area.

John and I decided to have dinner first in the upper level restaurant before the event. We sat down and were in the middle of our meal. Both John and I were dressed in sport coats. I decided to visit the men's room at the restaurant. As I was walking toward the back of the restaurant to the men's room I overheard someone say "There goes our next governor" and they were referring to me as I passed by their table.

Although I was born on election day, I hadn't given any thought to running for governor. I ran for selectman one time in Dennis, Mass on Cape Cod but winning a race for governor would have been an extreme long shot for me. It would have required a massive write in vote plus I wasn't planning on campaigning or advertising any desire to be the next governor. I doubt if people would just decide in the voting booth on election day that they would all just pick me and my name out of the top of their head and write in Rick Shaw for governor in enough quantity to elect me out of the blue.

The reason I suppose that the man who said "There goes our next governor" when I walked by his table is that I have red hair and the Republican candidate William F. Weld also has red hair. Back then, William "Bill" Weld was known as a US attorney and he was known to have red hair but he wasn't a household name in Massachusetts politics. That man in the restaurant just assumed that I must have been Bill Weld as Bill was among the candidates scheduled to speak that night and I was dressed in business attire.

I told John about the comment I had heard and he thought that was funny. After we finished dinner we went downstairs and listened to the various candidates speak including Bill Weld. After Bill Weld spoke he ended up sitting near John and me in the audience. Bill had a distinctive way of clapping for the other candidates as he would clap his hands together in a cupped manner which made a different sound, a deeper sound, than the average flat hand clap.

Bill Weld ended up being elected Governor of Massachusetts for two terms. I did meet Bill Weld a couple of times at some fund raisers. That man in the restaurant was right; the man who he thought was Bill Weld became the next governor. It wasn't me though, I think I received about two votes if that many so I was defeated but a redhead did win.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today Saturday April 4th,2009 at 6:07 pm. the University of Connecticut Huskies battle the Michigan State Spartans in the first game of the "Final Four" Men's Basketball championship held at Ford Field in Detroit. The Spartans are the "home team" as their campus is only 92 miles away whereas UCONN is over 700 miles from the stadium. It is expected that over 72,0000 fans will be watching this game live at the stadium with at least 60,000 fans rooting for the Spartans. Should be a sea of green and white for the Spartan faithful.
In a role reversal of the movie "300" where 300 Spartan warriors faced a Persian horde of tens of thousands; this time the Huskies take the "Spartan mantle" of the few against the many. The game however is played on the basketball court five on five. UCONN has had a great road record this season and is used to winning games against loud opposition hometown crowds. Will the Huskies triumph against the the might Spartan fan horde? The winners of the West region (see Yahoo Sports photo above) UCONN has never lost a Final Four game. Time will tell. GO HUSKIES! We got Thabeet! The Price is right! Yo, Adrien is a Warrior! Robinson is a Skywalker! Austrie a steady senior contributor! K Walker is a blur! Vanquish "The Spartan Majority".

Friday, April 3, 2009


As Director of Group Sales while working for the Manning family back in the early 1980's representing their motels and restaurants in Dennis Port on Cape Cod; I would coordinate the various motor coach groups that would visit each season. We primarily had senior citizen tours stay with us with many of the groups originating in Connecticut. One regular group we had visit us each season was the Bristol Seniors from Bristol, Connecticut.

With the frequent repeat groups such as the Bristol Seniors; we would get to know some of the people in the group in addition to the senior group leaders. One member of the Bristol Seniors was a man named "Billy".

Chris and Dick Manning the owners, and I used to joke around with "Billy" each time the Bristol group visited the Soundings motel, the oceanfront motel, where the Bristol group would stay each fall. Chris and Dick Manning would also have fun with Dick Carey who worked in the Soundings coffee shop along with his wife Ruth. Each season back then in the fall Chris and Dick Manning and Dick Carey would each take a large cylindrical silver fire extinguisher filled with pressurized water and run around outside on the motel grounds. They would play a variation of the "hide and seek" game with the fire extinguishers with the object being to spray each other with the fire extinguisher water.

One year Chris, Dick , and Dick were in the midst of playing their annual fire extinguisher game of trying to spray each other. Above one area of the Soundings non-ocean view rooms is a group conference room where we would host cocktail parties, bingo, clambakes, as well as small business meetings. The conference room has two sets of stairways. Chris Manning saw a man go up the back stairway who he thought was Dick Carey as it looked like him from the back. Chris let loose about a fifteen foot stream of cold fire extinguisher water all the way up the back side of this man. The man let out a loud yell of surprise upon being drenched from the fire extinguisher.

It turned out this man wasn't Dick Carey. It was "Billy" from the Bristol group. At first Chris thought to himself "Oh Oh" as it usually isn't a good idea for a motel owner to spray their guests with a fire extinguisher unless the guest is on fire. "Billy" however, after his initial surprise at being sprayed, thought that the situation was funny and liked being included in the fire extinguisher game and being treated as "one of the boys".

Thursday, April 2, 2009


YouTube - Aztec Two Step - Prisoner Sometimes in life you have a difference of opinion with someone and to prove your point you just have to let things develop and see what the future will bring and let the future decide who was right.

In 1975 I was a senior student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut and the co-chairman of the concert committee of the Student Union Board of Governors. My co-chairman was a fellow student named Rick Schoor. So, Rick Shaw (that is me) and Rick Schoor headed the concert committee that year.

Rick Schoor was a fan of the English group "The Strawbs". Rick Wakeman was at one time a member of "The Strawbs" before he left and became a member of the band "Yes". " The Strawbs" were a talented professional band with a lot of guitars, synthesizers, etc. that played loud rock and roll music. I didn't mind that type of music personally but I thought that "The Strawbs" weren't well known enough at UCONN to sell many tickets for the concert we were planning for the Jorgensen auditorium at the campus. I told Rick Schoor of my concerns about "The Strawbs" not being a big enough draw with the students. I said "Rick, I'll agree to "The Strawbs" if we put somebody like "Aztec Two Step" with them as I know that they are popular".

"Aztec Two Step" is a folk-rock type of band formed by Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman in 1971. They had a good following on the UCONN campus at the time and used to play frequently in the area including a local night club called "Shaboo." (Check out the You Tube link of their song "Prisoner".) So, Rick and I agreed to this "grand compromise" as each of us had a band that we thought was popular for the concert.

The concert was well attended. It was determined that "Aztec Two Step" would perform first. The crowd was very excited by their performance and clapping, cheering, wildly after each of their songs. I was backstage during part of their performance and remember speaking with the road manager of "The Strawbs" during the "Aztec Two Step" performance. He said "Wow, sounds like a great crowd. Wait until they hear "The Strawbs".

"Aztec Two Step" and "The Strawbs" were like oil and water in the respect that fans of one group aren't necessarily fans of the other style of music. After "Aztec Two Step" finished their set; a substantial part of the audience got up and started to leave the auditorium. "The Strawbs" came on stage and started a loud, intricate multi-layered song I believe called "Round and Round" with their guitars, synthesizers, drums, blazing away. They finished their song to very muted clapping, mostly silence, and a continuation of the exodus of people getting up to leave the auditorium. I tried to clap as loud as I could for them; but one person can only make so much noise.

Needless to say, "The Strawbs" weren't well received that night. The show went about as well as I thought it would go prior to the concert. I was glad that at least "Aztec Two Step" was part of this show so we were able to sell some tickets and that the audience liked their performance.

It was a cruel joke to subject "The Strawbs" to a show with a folk-rock band although of course they were paid and did receive top billing. I did ending up proving my point to Rick my co-chairman.

Shortly after this concert I happened to be listening to the Hartford radio station WHCN which is known for their "progressive rock" format. They were interviewing "The Strawbs" band members. "The Strawbs" members discussed that they had just played a concert at UCONN with "Aztec Two Step". They said, "Boy, whoever put us on the same bill with "Aztec Two Step" must have been nuts."

I understand that both of these bands are still playing after over thirty years from my UCONN show. So, check them out if they come to your area. You probably won't see them at the same show.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

YouTube - The Big Premiere (1940)

YouTube - The Big Premiere (1940) Back in 1975 as a junior student at the University of Connecticut I was co-chairman of the Media, Film, & Lecture Committee of the Student Union Board of Governors.

One of our events that year was a "Little Rascals Film Festival" (Spanky and the gang") held at the Von Der Madden auditorium.(click the You Tube link to see some of the "gang"). My sister Janet, a freshman at the time, was event chairperson for this event. She made a large poster which was hung in the Student Union building to advertise this event. She was embarassed when I took the microphone prior to the movies and singled her out for her help.

It was a really funny event. Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Peety the dog and the whole "gang" were in true form and no one in the audience cried at all (except a few people who were laughing too hard!)