News of the Week: Cleveland’s Guardians, New York’s Little Island, and a Big Glass of Vermontucky Lemonade

In the news for the week ending July 30, 2021, are a big win for NYC tourists, a big loss for a Jeopardy! contestant, a new name in baseball, a cartoon version of yourself, and more.

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What’s in a Name?

I don’t know much about roller derby, but I hear the Cleveland Guardians have a really great team.

No, I haven’t gotten my sports mixed up. The Cleveland Guardians is the name of the men’s roller derby team in Cleveland, which might cause a problem for the city’s baseball team, which just changed their name from the Indians to the Guardians. Using the Guardians name is probably going to be legally okay, but there might be a problem online, as the roller derby Guardians already own the domain and the @clevelandguardians Facebook and Instagram handles.

A lot of people find the switch to the Guardians to be a problem, either because there was nothing wrong with Indians or because the name is too boring. I didn’t have a problem with Indians, but I don’t see anything wrong with Guardians either. At least it wasn’t pulled out of thin air, something that makes no sense or has no connection to Cleveland. The name comes from the eight art deco statues that “guard” Cleveland’s Hope Memorial Bridge. Those are impressive and they’ll make for a great logo.

They could have gone with the Cleveland Amorys. He was one of the editors of the Post, from 1939 to 1941, and a columnist for TV Guide. But I guess that would have appealed to only a small fraction of baseball fans.

Little Island

Can someone explain how someone like me, who likes to think they keep track of what’s happening in the news every week (I do a column called “News of the Week” for The Saturday Evening Post) can completely miss a major new addition to New York City?

It’s called Little Island and it sits in the larger Hudson River Park. It’s an impressive creation, made possible by Barry Diller and Diller-Von Furstenberg Foundation, and a great rehab of an area that was damaged badly by Hurricane Sandy. It’s a green nature and art space with walking/running paths, supported by 132 structures that look like big concrete tulips. Besides the lawn space and trees and the various plantings that will change with each season, there’s even a 687-seat amphitheater for live performances.

I need to pay more attention to what’s going on in New York City.


Congratulations to Stephanie Hull! She’s no longer the worst contestant in Jeopardy! history.

How to Draw Yourself as a Peanuts Character

Because who doesn’t want to know what they’d look like as a Peanuts character?

Uploaded to YouTube by Apple.

Headline of the Week

“Council Bluffs Park Hit by Repeat Bubble Vandals”

RIP Jackie Mason, Ron Popeil, Elliot Lawrence, Dusty Hill, Chuck E. Weiss, Clarence McDonald, Harry Rosenfeld, and Mike Enzi

Jackie Mason was a rabbi who became an influential stand-up comic. He won two Emmy awards and a special Tony award, and was twice nominated for a Grammy. He was a recurring character on The Simpsons, appeared in several other TV shows and movies, and was even banned from The Ed Sullivan Show for a gesture he says he never even made. He died Saturday at the age of 93.

Ron Popeil may have been the most famous infomercial pitchman of all time. He pretty much created the form in the 1950s and went on to invent and sell such “Ronco” products as Mr. Microphone, the Food Dehydrator, the Smokeless Ashtray, the Pocket Fisherman, the Buttoneer, the Bedazzler, and the Showtime Rotisserie. He also sold the Chop-o-Matic and Veg-o-Matic, which were invented by his dad. He died Wednesday at the age of 86.

Elliot Lawrence was a conductor and composer who headed the orchestra at the Tony Awards for a half century. He also had a big band of his own in his 20s, recorded several albums, conducted the orchestras of such big Broadway shows as Bye Bye Birdie and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (for which he won a Tony), and even did music for such TV shows as The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, The Kennedy Center Honors, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He died earlier this month at the age of 96.

Dusty Hill was the bassist for ZZ Top, known for such hits as “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.” He died this week at the age of 72.

Chuck E. Weiss was a musician, bar owner, and a fixture on the L.A. music scene. He was also the subject of the Rickie Lee Jones song “Chuck E.’s in Love.” He died last week at the age of 76.

Clarence McDonald was a keyboardist and producer who played on such songs as “Movin’ On Up” (the theme to The Jeffersons) and James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is.” He also played with Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, The Temptations, Barbra Streisand, the Jackson 5, Justin Timberlake, and Hall & Oates. He died Wednesday at the age of 76.

Harry Rosenfeld was the Washington Post editor who assigned Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to the Watergate story. He was played by Jack Warden in the film All the President’s Men. He died earlier this month at the age of 91.

Mike Enzi served four terms as a Republican senator from Wyoming. He died Monday at the age of 77.

This Week in History

O. Henry Released from Prison (July 24, 1901)

Going to jail was probably a plot twist he didn’t see coming. After he was released, O. Henry — real name William Sidney Porter — moved to New York City and wrote a short story every week for New York World Sunday Magazine. He died in 1910.

And yes, he wrote for the Post! His classic story “The Ransom of Red Chief” appeared in our July 6, 1907, issue.

Plane Crashes into Empire State Building (July 28, 1945)

The B-25 hit the 79th floor of the New York City landmark. Fourteen people were killed, including three crew members and 11 people in the building.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Golf Driving Range (July 26, 1952)

Golf Driving Range
Golf Driving Range
John Falter
July 26, 1952

What I love about this John Falter cover is that every station at this driving range has something different going on. Everywhere you look there’s a little story.

A Trip to Vermontucky

I don’t know if summer has an official drink, but lemonade would be in the running for the honor. This recipe for Vemontucky Lemonade is from one of my favorite food blogs, The Smitten Kitchen, and “Vermont” is in the name because it has maple syrup in it.

Please note that this lemonade contains bourbon (that’s the “tucky” part). If you want something without it (or you want something for the kids), try this Best Lemonade Ever from AllRecipes.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

International Clown Week (August 1-7)

It’s a real celebration that began as National Clown Month after a proclamation by President Nixon in 1971.

National Fresh Breath Day (August 6)

I try to make every day Fresh Breath Day.

Featured image: Vuelo Aerial Media /

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  1. I love everything about the Saturday Evening Post.
    I am a subscriber.

  2. I’d like a glass of that lemonade with extra bourbon. Bob Jr. I just can’t forget or dismiss what I feel was too much information as you casually say to do. A boy that went to the Catholic school that would have such holidays from school pulling a stunt like that? Your mother had her hands full. I also remember now about that other dog wedding you referred to with I believe had a real nun in attendance? Terrible. Sacrilegious and mocking the sanctity of marriage. Now you speak of another one only postponed due to gathering safety, not because it’s morally wrong. The whole thing reeks of only in California depravity. I’m grateful to be far away from that state.

  3. The Guardians is probably a better name than the Indians, since the “Indians” were always Native AMERICANS, never Indians at all. The reason it’s being done is that the name and image is “offensive” and actually is, but not for the reasons most people think. The art deco Hope Memorial Bridge will make for a great logo.

    I love art deco. There used to be some great buildings in L.A., like I Magnin and Bullocks Wilshire. My mother took me shopping with her one day when I was in the 1st grade on a non-school day (probably one of the Saints’ holidays) in early 1964 where I embarrassed her getting caught looking up a mannequin’s skirt by one of the employees while she was distracted. Got a swat on the rear for that, but then off to lunch at their swanky restaurant. I just thought ladies were huge (tall) back then. High heels, high hair-sprayed hair. The mid-century American woman. Fortunately, she was too happy with the purchases for herself and me to stay mad long at all.

    Too much info? I’ve had a not-so-great week and threw caution to the wind. Forget about that anyway. Think about Little Island! Never heard of it either until now. It has a mid-century (future) look to it that’s pretty awesome, Bob. Like the Apple/Peanuts link. Poor Snoopy. Such a cute Beagle from the 50’s to the 80’s. Wonderful snout, eyes. Now he’s bloated and shapeless. No snout and slits for eyes? Whoever did that has some explaining to do.

    Speaking of Beagles, a work friend was going to have a wedding of her male Beagle to another friend’s female Beagle, but that plan has been iced for the foreseeable future. Well, there’s still that other one from a few years ago to fondly remember.

    The 1945 plane crashing into the Empire State Building is eerie on a lot of levels. It’s a real wonder it hasn’t been talked about a lot more over the years. Chilling. The ’52 golf cover really does have a lot going on, including anger and frustration. Never knew about International Clown Week before. Isn’t this the week our do-nothing Congress goes on another vacation at our expense? I’ll have a glass of the Vermontucky lemonade, minus the booze.


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