Saturday, April 16, 2016



My beloved Kansas City Royals won their fourth straight road game last night, beating the Oakland Athletics 4-2 at Coliseum. As they have been prone to do recently, the Royals struck early, scoring twice in the 1st inning and adding another run in the 3rd. They never trailed.

2-0, 2.04 ERA so far this season

RHP Edinson Volquez turned in a strong performance, giving up just two earned runs on four hits in his six innings of work.

From there, relievers Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, and Wade Davis stifled A's hitters over the final three innings to secure the win.


1B Eric Hosmer gave closer Davis a bit of breathing room by hitting his first home run of the season in the top of the 9th, a solo shot to dead center field.

The series continues with afternoon games today and tomorrow before the team heads back to Kansas City.

"No wonder you were in such a pleasant mood this morning!"

It definitely helps when the Royals do well...

Feast Day

Prayer card
Today is the feast day of St. Bernadette, who died on April 16, 1879 in Nevers, France. She is
a patron saint of the poor and the ill, and of those who are ridiculed for their faith.

The life of Bernadette Soubirous was immortalized in Franz Werfel's 1941 novel  
The Song of Bernadette, which spent more than a year on the New York Times Best Seller list, including 13 weeks at the top.

The novel was made into a film with the same name in 1943. Jennifer Jones won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Bernadette, and the film won three other Oscars. It was a nominee for Best Picture.

In the fall of 1999 I directed a stage adaptation of Werfel's novel at Bishop LeBlond High School in St. Joseph. It remains one of my all-time favorite productions.

Happy Birthday, Holiness!

Today is the birthday of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005 (just three days after his 78th birthday). He turns 89 today.

Benedict resigned the papacy in 2013 due to his failing health, the first pontiff to do so voluntarily in more than 700 years.

The good wishes of the faithful around the world are with Benedict today, and of course he is remembered in our prayers every day.

Music Man

Posing with a famous buddy in 1989
Speaking of birthdays, on April 16, 1924 composer Henry Mancini was born in the "Little Italy" area of Cleveland, Ohio.

He would go on to become one of the most celebrated composers and arrangers in Hollywood, winning 20 Grammy Awards (and a record-setting 72 nominations) and four Oscars.

I used Mancini's music in some of my theatrical productions, including Days of Wine and Roses in the fall of 2000 (Mancini composed the score of the movie version) and the instrumental finale from Victor/Victoria on a couple of occasions as curtain call music.

Saturday Mornings

One of Mancini's most famous film compositions was The Pink Panther Theme, which debuted the equally famous cartoon character in the 1963 film's opening credits:

I spent many a pleasant Saturday morning watching Pink Panther cartoons with my mom, who was a huge fan of the show. I can still remember her laughing hysterically
at some of the episodes. One of my favorites:

"I thought the 'Ant and Aardvark' cartoons were funnier."
Of course you did...

Until Next Time...

Henry Mancini produced so much memorable music for both movies and TV shows that it was difficult to pick just one song for this section of the blog. In the end, memories of my dad led me to select Mancini's most famous TV theme.

Peter Gunn was a hit private eye series created by Blake Edwards. It was one of my dad's favorite shows, which meant I saw it often. Not the least of its attractions for dad was the saxophone-heavy theme song by Mancini, which won an Emmy Award and two Grammy Awards.

One of the Grammy Awards was for Album of the Year, for the soundtrack album from the show.

The Music from Peter Gunn spent 10 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart, and was the best selling album of 1959. My dad owned the record, of course, which meant I heard Mancini's music on plenty of occasions. Dad spent hours trying to master the saxophone part...

In 2010 the album was added to the National Recording Registry curated by the Library of Congress, attesting to its historical significance.

Today's send-off is a recording of the famous theme by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which often records soundtrack music for television and movie studios. Enjoy...

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