Rivera, Mussina, Martinez, and Halladay
Winter punched us in the face this week, with bitter temperatures, several inches of snow, and ice ice ice. Actually, the snow wasn’t even the problem, it was that ice, which covered everything from cars to the sidewalks to stairs and even waterfalls. It’s a cliché at this point to say that there was so much ice it turned everything into a skating rink, but at one point during the storm I’m pretty sure I saw Dorothy Hamill outside my apartment spinning around. (Yes, all of my ice skater references are from 1976.)
I didn’t mind it, since I’m not one of those people who has to actually leave his apartment to get to work. I had to shovel, and the snow was wet and heavy, but it really wasn’t that bad. I was more irritated by the clerk at the supermarket who had no idea what I was talking about when I said I needed “rock salt.” After describing to her what I meant, she said, “Oh, you mean ice melt,” which made me feel 85 years old.
If you’re the type of person who hates these winter days and longs for the lazy, warm days of July, here’s something to get you in the mood. The Baseball Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees, and it’s a good list. The guys going into the Hall are New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who some call the greatest relief pitcher of all time; Seattle Mariners DH Edgar Martinez; Mike Mussina, a pitcher who played for the Baltimore Orioles and Yankees; and Roy Halladay, who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay died in a plane crash in 2017.
Rivera is the first player to be voted into the Hall by every single member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
If you love cocktails but not all of the annoying alcohol that goes into them, then have I got news for you.
Mocktails are all the rage! The non-alcoholic alternatives have always been a thing, but now they’re apparently a THING. According to USA Today, 13 percent of people (especially women) see mocktails as a good alternative to drinking, and 45 percent of millennials say they would give up alcohol for health reasons.
That’s all well and good, but if I’m reading this correctly, these are alcoholic drinks that … don’t have alcohol in them. These are also known as “drinks,” and if they’re cocktails with no alcohol, I don’t really see the point. They may taste great, but people drink alcohol for reasons other than flavor.
When I was 13 years old, a bunch of us smuggled in some “near beer” on a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. It was very exciting.
J.C. and Norman
We’ve had a lot of great artists here at the Post over the years, and two of them (among many others) are celebrated at the beautiful National Museum of American Illustration in Newport, Rhode Island. Chronicle, the nightly news and culture show on WCVB in Boston, did a segment this week on the museum and two of the Post artists featured there, Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker.
RIP Russell Baker, Mary Oliver, Kaye Ballard, Bradley Bolke, and Reggie Young
Russell Baker was a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times syndicated columnist for several decades as well as a humorist and the author of many essay collections. He was also the host of PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre from 1993 to 2004. He died Monday at the age of 93.
As an 8-year-old in Belleville, New Jersey, Baker actually sold copies of The Saturday Evening Post. He later wrote for the magazine.
Mary Oliver was a popular and influential poet. She won both the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. She died last week at the age of 83.
Kaye Ballard is probably best known as the star of the ’60s sitcom The Mothers-in-Law. She was also a singer, appeared on Broadway, and was in many movies, including The Girl Most Likely, Freaky Friday, and Which Way to the Front?, and on such TV shows as The Doris Day Show and The Love Boat. She died earlier this week at the age of 93.
Bradley Bolke was a voice you heard on such TV animated classics as Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (he was Chumley), The Year Without a Santa Claus, and The New Casper Cartoon Show. He died last week at the age of 93.
Reggie Young played guitar on tons of songs you know, including Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “The Letter” by the Box Tops. He died last week at the age of 82.
Picture of the Week
Dear CBS: If I can speak for my fellow Gen-Xers, I’d just like to say: WE EXIST!
CBS just Thanosed Gen X out of existence pic.twitter.com/Q4c9OeZgtx
— Jordan Frith (@jhfrith) January 20, 2019
This Week in History
Lucy Has a Baby on I Love Lucy (January 19, 1953)
The episode was titled “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” and it was seen by over 71 percent of the people watching television that night.
Edith Wharton Born (January 24, 1862)
The American writer was the author of such novels as The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome, which is always dumped on (even in the John Cusack movie Grosse Pointe Blank), but I have a special place in my heart for it because I got an A on a report I did on it in high school.
Here’s “The Refugees,” a Wharton short story published by the Post in 1919.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Krispy Saltines Ad (January 23, 1960)
I picked this ad for two reasons. One, I happened to buy a box of them last weekend. And two, they go great with …
Winter is the season for soup, unless you’re one of those weirdos who eat their soup cold. And since we’re still in January and it’s National Soup Month, how about some recipes for this ultimate comfort food?
If you’re looking for something a little more vintage, here are 12 soups from the archives of the Post and The Country Gentleman, including Ham and Pea, Creamed Onion, Creamy Potato and Bacon, and even a Mock Bisque.
Pair it with one of those mocktails that are all the rage.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
National Puzzle Day (January 29)
Take a look at these 1879 crosswords to see if you can solve them. Note: those are puzzles from the year 1879. There aren’t 1,879 puzzles on that page. That would take too long to complete.
Bubble Gum Day (February 1)
I didn’t learn how to blow a bubble until I was in my 40s. I don’t know why you need to know that, but you’re probably going to do it to celebrate this day.
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