Tribe and Cavs Bringing a Potent One-Two Punch

Not to be too woo-woo about being a Cleveland sports fan, but over the past year the Tribe and CAVs do seem to win in sometimes uncanny tandem. I’ll first cite the Indians’ 14-game winning streak last June, mounted during the same few weeks the CAVs were storming through the Eastern Conference of the NBA, on their way to meeting Golden State in the finals, when for the first time in league history, a team—the CAVS—overcame a 3-games-to-1 deficit. They won the franchise’s first NBA title,* and the city’s first pro sports championship in 52 years.**

So, early in the first weeks of the new baseball season, the pattern seems to be holding. Yesterday, the following sports event occurred over the span of about six hours:

  • In the afternoon the Indians overcame a 2-0 deficit in the late innings to beat the Twins, 6-2, thus sweeping a series on the road in Minnesota, 3-0.
  • Last night, as is being widely reported in sports and general media today, the CAVs pulled off a parallel, yet far more remarkable feat.
  • On the road, in Indianapolis, up 2-0 in a best-of-7 series versus the Pacers—after trailing by as much as 26 points in the 2nd quarter, and 25 at halftime—they outscored the Pacers 70-40 in the 2d half and won the game 119-114, to go up 3-0 in their first round playoff series. This, it turns out was, the greatest 2nd half comeback in playoff history.

* When the CAVs began as an NBA expansion team in 1970, I was a teenager, and in their inaugural season began attending games with my father and two siblings at the ratty old Cleveland Arena.  They were lovable losers (mostly) in those days. In their 46 years as an organization the CAVs had some very good teams and great players, with deep runs into the NBA playoffs many times, though they had lost both of their previous Finals trips, in 2008 and 2015, making the comeback versus the Warriors in 2016 so very special. 

** Seeing the CAVs win the NBA title last June was especially sweet, because I had attended the game the last time a Cleveland team won a pro sports title. That was in 1964, when the Cleveland Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts 27-0 to win the NFL championship, then pro football’s ultimate crown, two years before the first Super Bowl was played. Here’s a blog post I wrote about that game. I was ten years old.

Seven Years On, Saying Bye Again to my Brother, Joel Turner

Just before it popped in to my Facebook feed today, this photo of my late brother Joel, a career bookseller—which ran with a Cleveland Plain Dealer obituary of him on this date in 2009—I happened to have only a moment earlier responded to a bookselling-related job posting. Unlike Joel, I branched in to editing and publishing after being in the stores together starting in 1978, but I’ve remained tied to bookselling, too. In 2015, I worked for Rizzoli and helped them reopen in New York City, after the wrecking ball took their midtown store. Undercover Books, the small bookstore chain that Joel and I—and our sister Pamela Turner, and our late parents Earl and Sylvia—founded and ran in Cleveland beginning in 1978 really gave me my career and allowed me, in 1985, to move to NY.
You want to know something kind of amazing? For a long time, the number of years I lived in Cleveland always exceeded my briefer term in NY, but a couple years ago that began to turn over, as I have now lived in NYC more than half my life. Here’s the math: I was born in 1954, and moved from Cleveland to NY when I was 30, in 1985. When the calendar turned to 2015 and 2016, after I’d turned sixty, it occurred to me one day that NY had now been my home for more than half my life. Does that mean I’m not a Clevelander anymore? Sort of, but then there are still my sports team preferences (Go CAVs!). Am I a New Yorker? More and more, but not fully that either (I still can’t believe the way people in the tri-state area drive, like in the Midwest no one will ever drive on the shoulder of a highway amid a long jam and construction backup; here in the NY area, people do it all the time!)  
 The photo of Joel—who died unexpectedly, age 58, on December 8, seven years ago—popped up today in one of Facebook’s memories reminders, a feature which I am of at least two minds about. I don’t like that it tempts me to look to the past too often, but it also reminds me of the precious. Here’s the eulogy that I wrote about him on December 9, 2009, the day after my sister and I learned he’d died, and screenshots of that post as it appears elsewhere on this blog. 

For my friend Ruth Gruber, Sept 30, 1911-Nov 17, 2016

The funeral for my dear friend and longtime author Ruth Gruber will be this morning, Nov 20, 11am at B’nai Jeshurun on W 88th St in Manhattan. She died on Thursday at age 105. One of her mentors was Edward Steichen, who urged her, “Take pictures with your heart,” which she always did. Here’s an album with two pictures of her, and a few of her images. Among her hundreds of great photographs, these three are some of her most moving. Links below offer more info on Ruth’s long life and career.

 

NY Times obituary

AP obit

All my blog posts on Ruth Gruber

 

 

Remembering Mark Twain, and his Bucolic Grave Site in Elmira, NY

Paying affectionate homage to Mark Twain, who died on this date in 1910, in Redding, CT, one day after Halley’s Comet’s close approach to Earth, a celestial visitor that also neared Earth around his birth in 1835. Here’s a photo I took of his grave a few summers ago at the lovely cemetery where he’s buried in Elmira, NY.

Catching a Precious Part of the Day, Pictures March 9 2016

With March advancing toward mid-month, Iit keeps getting dark later everyday, and on a fine day such as this one was, it was light until past 6:30. I’ve been under the weather, and so not riding my bike this week, but I got down to the Hudson River for the first time in several days late this afternoon, leaving my home office after 5:00. I left work on my desk, lest I lose the chance to see how today’s sunset would turn out, and I wondered if I’d catch much of the light. As many who know me and this blog may attest, I have an appetite for late afternoon light. The amazing thing about living on the west side of Manhattan? We happen to have great sunsets, especially right at the river edge, or standing on the bluff above in Riverside Park, peering across to the river, with New Jersey on the far shore, and the rest of the continent beyond. I live near the park, and appreciate this practically every day. My appreciation of the neighborhood—the enchanted landscape and majestic bridge amid all the urban-ness, with people running, biking, walking dogs, plus the noise, aircraft overhead, traffic rushing by on the West Side Highway, and the light—began in 1990. I moved to the upper west side that year and had a Senior Editor job with Prentice Hall Press, then a division of Simon & Schuster. PHP staff were located—not in Rockefeller Center as S&S was, and is still—but in the office tower just north of Columbus Circle known then as the Gulf & Western Building. I had a small office with a window that invited me to peer westward across the Hudson, out toward America. We were on a pretty high floor, above the thirtieth, and it used to really sway in heavy weather. They do that, one hears, but it felt a bit like being on a ship. The building overlooked Central Park on the side away from my office, a great nabe to work in from July 1990-July 1991.

Quick as I could, I scrambled down there on foot and found the light this evening was extraordinary, and still evolving as a long drawn out event. These picture were taken near the Oscar Hijuelos Tennis Courts, the handsome clay ones, located along Manhattan’s west side river at around 96th St. It was one of the finest sunsets in all the years I’ve been photographing the Great Gray Bridge, the shore, upper Manhattan, the New Jersey side, always reveling in the light and atmosphere, and it lasted longer than most. You may click here to see more from tonight. And, if you want to see more photos like these, you can visit my flickr album labeled “GGB/sunsets/Hudson.”

Excited about Kyle Gallup’s New Line of Greeting Cards, IT’S A GIFT!

Happy to share word of IT’S A GIFT!, a line of new handmade greeting cards made by my wife, artist Kyle Gallup, including a batch of pretty valentines for the holiday next month. Here’s a link to the new Etsy page for her line—the name was inspired by the title of one our favorite movies, W.C. Fields’ 1934 comedy classic, “It’s a Gift.” its-a-gift-title-still

On the Etsy page, Kyle wrote this about herself and her work:

I’m a painter and I love making cards. For many years I have collected paper ephemera from Victorian scrap, bookend papers, maps, paper lace, and gold and silver embellishments, to name a few pieces in my collection. I’ve also collected cards from other artists and vintage ones, too. I find inspiration in what other artists make, present & past. Making cards is a way for me to share my enthusiasm with other people who enjoy giving and receiving cards as a way to show one’s affection in a personal and intimate way. My cards are made with love and are a gift from the sender to the receiver. Most of my handmade cards are 5″ x 6 1/2″ and all are collaged, painted, drawn and assembled by me. Each blank card is individual and one-of-a-kind. Tiny imperfections are the cards’ distinguishing mark, indicating they are handcrafted, and show the recipient that they are receiving a very special gift, something to be treasured. I’ve been a freelance decorative painter in the visual art department for the NYC home design company ABC Carpet & Home since 1988, and studied decorative finishes with Leonard Pardon in NYC.

Kyle also works in collage, so these are one-of-a-kind ‘artist’s cards,’ made using papers from her vintage collection of ephemera, plus paint, colored pencil, and ink. Each card is signed on the back and stamped with a logo she designed. Here are three of Kyle’s cards; each is $10 plus shipping, for sale at the Etsy page.
Heart card with tags

Reflections in an Art Nouveau Mirror—a #TBT Selfie from Scotland, 1986

On my first trip to Scotland, in 1986, I visited the sublime Hill House near Glasgow, in Helensburgh, Scotland, designed by the visionary architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Glad I was able to snap this picture of myself enjoying the furnishings and surroundings. In a second picture here, you can see what Hill House looks like from the outside. 

Storify Post on “Money, Wheels, and Random Legs” at Firecat Projects, w/Highlights from a Week in Chicago