Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 29

Special Day

Today is a special day here in
St. Peter's Parish. In a culmination of a year-long process of preparation, a number of children
in the parish will be making their First Communion today.

In this parish, the necessary instruction takes place during the child's second-grade year, with the First Communion Mass happening near the end of the academic year.

Forgiveness and Redemption

I don't mind a little drama as part of my NFL draft experience, but my beloved Kansas City Chiefs outdid themselves in that department this year.

In spite of getting glowing reviews
of their performance over the draft's three days, the Chiefs stirred up controversy with their selection in the 5th round of Tyreek Hill, a talented wide receiver who was dismissed from Oklahoma State University's team in 2014 after pleading guilty to a domestic abuse charge involving his pregnant girlfriend. Hill finished his college playing career at tiny West Alabama.

There was an intensely negative reaction to the selection yesterday in Kansas City, both on sports talk radio and on social media. I don't know whether that is entirely justified, but in any event I am inclined to offer the young man Christian forgiveness, and I pray that he has straightened his life out. The Chiefs front office obviously believes that he has already done so.

"Hasn't the General Manager boasted about acquiring 'high character' players?"

Yes, and that is one of the sources of the criticism the pick is getting...many fans see it as hypocritical...

Happy Birthday, I Guess...

Amtrak EMD E8, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1971

On May 1, 1971 the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, popularly known as Amtrak, began operations, just as my senior year of high school was drawing to
a close.

Railfans like me had mixed feelings about this at the time. On the one hand, we were glad to see passenger service survive, but on the other hand we knew having it run by the Federal government was a bad idea.

Overdue for a Pit Stop

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On May 1, 1930 Marion Walter Jacobs was born in Marksville, Louisiana. Performing under the name Little Walter, he would become one of the most influential blues musicians of his generation. A harmonica specialist, he introduced a number of groundbreaking techniques that significantly enhanced the instrument's standing in both blues and rock and roll. Little Walter is the only member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to be selected specifically as a harmonica player.

Original 1955 45 rpm single
Like most blues artists in those days, Little Walter released singles, not albums. The only album released during his lifetime was just a compilation of his singles on the Checker label.

Little Walter had 15 singles in his career that hit the Billboard R&B charts. All but two of them made the Top 10, and two reached the
No. 1 position.

His most successful single was
"My Babe," written for him by fellow Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon. It was the only song Dixon ever wrote that topped the R&B charts.

Today's send-off is the original 1955 single, which nicely showcases Little Walter's signature playing style. Enjoy...

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