John in Highland writes: “Subject: Winter (Not Spring) Training.
“The recent start of baseball spring training puts me in mind of a ‘training area’ for an MLB team that we discovered by happenstance.
“In search of adventure in the summer of ’76, we decided to drive out to California to see friends who lived in the ‘hotbed’ of Berkeley. We planned to camp all the way. Packing up my trusty VW Super Beetle (this was before kids), we set out for our first stop, Glacier National Park.
“After a couple of days camping and not feeding the bears, we studied our maps to figure out how to progress. It seemed that there was a new route that would take us from Missoula, Montana, to Kooskia, Idaho. The two-lane Highway 12 had only been completed in 1963, and it wound through some of the wildest and most unspoiled wilderness in the lower 48.
“We took a right just past Missoula, went through the village of Lolo Hot Springs and entered the deep dark pine forest. After what seemed like an eternity, with our stomachs growling because we had forgone breakfast, we saw no indication of civilization. Finally there appeared a small sign that said Lochsa Lodge, with an arrow pointing down a narrow dirt road to a log-cabin outpost.
“The kitchen was open for business, and we dined on huckleberry pancakes. We could not help but notice that the walls were hung with framed photos of players from the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. When asked, the waitress said: ‘Oh yes, they do their winter meetings here.’
“If the Reds organization had wanted to keep their meetings secret, I could not imagine a more secure location. In those days, there was no GPS, and there were no cellphones. I wondered if the lodge even had a landline phone. I could picture the team president telling Pete Rose and Johnny Bench: ‘What happens in Lochsa stays in Lochsa!’
“P.S. The Lochsa Lodge is still there, and they still serve huckleberry pancakes. Unfortunately the original main lodge burned down in 2001, and the old photos from the dining room were lost to the fire.”
It happens every spring (responsorial)
Wednesday’s Bulletin Board opened with a note from Sleepless from St. Paul (in Minneapolis), who had sent us “an interesting spring-training tidbit I came across a few years ago:
“The St. Paul Saints of the American Association once held their own spring-training camp in Florida. Unfortunately, the article has been misplaced. I am certain this map appeared in a mid-’30s Pioneer Press or Dispatch.
“As you can see, the pre-Twins held spring training in Orlando that year.”
We presently heard from The REF in White Bear Lake: “The spring-training chart is likely from the late ’30s. The Cincinnati Reds trained in Orlando for 10 years, until 1933, and the Brooklyn Dodgers were in Orlando for 1934 and ’35. In 1936 Clark Griffith moved the Washington Senators to spring training in Orlando and Tinker Field, where his club and the subsequent Minnesota Twins would train through the 1990 season.
“The field was named for Hall-of-Fame Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker — he of the poetic ‘Tinker to Evers to Chance’ fame. (All three infielders in that double-play combination entered the Hall in 1946.)
“Joe retired to Orlando and became a prominent Florida citizen. He earned a fortune in local real estate and business, but lost most of it during the 1926 Miami hurricane and the Great Depression.
“The Wiki says the City of Orlando tore down Tinker Field’s grandstands in 2015.”
Website of the Day (responsorial)
Inspired by Friday’s Website of the Day (Bill Kerr’s reading of “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”), here, first, is Cee Cee of Mahtomedi:” When I was a kid, my dad used to sing this song to me a cappella:
“I had totally forgotten about it until you posted the spoken version as the Website of the Day. Thanks for the memory!”
Cee Cee of Mahtomedi, again: “Here’s the Guy Lombardo version:
“I can understand the words this time!”
Fantomas: “Fantomas can’t hear the opening lines of ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew’ without recalling their visualization in Tex Avery’s at least equally classic MGM parody, ‘The Shooting of Dan McGoo’ ”:
Clowning around (responsorial)
Wednesday email from Poet X of PDX: “Today’s entry by Tim Torkildson was entertaining, as always, and as always put me in what I could call a ‘Duffy’s Farm’ mood. Looking the poem up on Google, I found this excellent study of the poem, especially the last line (‘I have wasted my life.’), which is specifically what I mean when I say ‘Duffy’s Farm’ mood.
“I’ve always found the line to be despairing and was surprised to learn there are other interpretations of it.”
One for the books
Leading to: Know thyself! (Aptitude Divison)
MustangPat: “In regards to aptitude tests: I told the school counselor (AMMHS, 1968) that I would like to be a Forest Ranger. I was told there were no colleges nearby for that.
“Guess the U of M didn’t count.”
“The vocation I enjoyed working for 45 years was stagehanding. I worked all the major venues in the Twin Cities area, working and witnessing thousands of happenings and artists in the fields of arts & entertainment, as well as many in the social, athletic, and political fields. I also worked on some of the movies filmed locally, and did a little touring. So Brother Aptitude was right when he almost told me to pursue work in literary and/or musical appreciation.
“Since I ran spotlight on some of the Ringling Circus stop-overs, I probably even illuminated the antics of Tim Torkildson a few times.
“Just for the record, the last job I held before I got into Show Business was a newspaper route supervisor for the Dispatch/Pioneer Press.”
Reports Jim Shumaker of New Richmond, Wisconsin: “Bald eagle, ‘The Takeoff,’ Mississippi River, Minnesota side.”
Tim Torkildson: “The reason old men have hair in their ears is to filter out everything they don’t want to hear.”
Band Name of the Day: The Dan McGoos