While at soccer practice today, one of the coaches commented that the game conflicts with the Chicago Blackhawks playoff game. I joked that my memories of serious Blackhawk teams also include Ray Rayner. He instantly knew what I was talking about and simply said, “wasn’t that great.”
If you grew up in the Chicagoland area throughout the 70’s-80’s, Ray Rayner was a part of your morning ritual. How do I describe him. Ok, picture a grown man, wearing a jumpsuit. On the jumpsuit, he had patches of paper.
On each piece of paper was a reminder of an upcoming moment. For example, it might tell him to play a cartoon, such as “Clutch Cargo.” You do know who Clutch, paddlefoot and the gang are-right? They were cartoon figures who had human lips that moved when they spoke. Of course, he also had “Journey to the Beginning of Time, Diver Dan, and holiday classics like Hardrock, Coco and Joe.
On any given day, he could be lipsynching a song; pretending he was a band leader; making things with popscicle sticks; talking to Cuddly Duddly the dog or Chulveston the duck. It was so spontaneous and free. Something no station would allow today. But what I look forward to the most were the sports scores.
Before ESPN, and the other million sports outlets, there was Ray Raynor. He would simply pick up a piece of chalk and divide and distribute the scores for the Chicago Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks on a blackboard.And then he would follow it up with some sports highlight film. It just didn’t seem right to leave for school without watching the highlights.
It was a perfect way for a kid to start the day-Carnation instant breakfast, poptarts, and Ray Rayner.
As I go through this process, i realize how much I want to force which way the story goes as opposed to just following where the words lead me. For instance, I spent the day with my son at the zoo.
While there I kept thinking of ideas that could make for interesting entry. I considered making the Simon & Garfunkel song which says “its all happening at the zoo.” But it felt like I was trying to force the experience into a song. Perhaps I should simply focus on how much I struggle with what to write about, without often knowing I’m struggling.
Does this really have to be so difficult. And what is so wrong if I force a topic and then write from there? I guess the truth is I want to find a more authentic voice. Maybe that
is what this 90 day journey is about-finding a writing/blogging voice that feels in synch with me. To use a sports metaphor, I want to find and know my voice when its in a “zone.”
I however feel like it requires digging, digging, and digging some more. And since I’ve opted not to edit these 90 posts, it also means waiting, waiting, and waiting some more for maybe a small insight, or topic that clicks with me.
Ok, I want to go back to the zoo. However rather than simply stating the observations I made, I’d like to add something else. But I don’t know what that is.
I do love going to the zoo with my youngest son because we have some nice memories of going to the zoo together. He always wants to start with this amazing multi-layered netted climbing structure. I remember how thrilling it was for both of us as he climbed higher and higher and waved to me from the top. Also I remember how thrilled he was to introduce his older brother to it.
We got to the zoo one hour before it opened, so we had to be creative with our time. We wondered if the lady cleaning rhino poop or the lady cleaning up the space used by the polar bears feared getting attacked. Neither of us wanted the job. Within a short period of time, we knew every door we touched was going to say the hours begin at ten. And then we heard this squealing siren like sound. It was a gibbons monkey.
We found a bench,watched and listened to his howl. People came from all over the zoo to see this monkey squawk. It was as if he knew people came for a show. I was amazed by the cross culture of life that exists at the zoo. There were people of every color, age, and demographic present. But the one that stood out for me were the “strollermoms.”
I don’t know if they are really called “strollermoms,” but we both found their public display of exercise funny. There were about 20 well educated women equipped with high end sports strollers with baby inside. They formed a circle and did stretches and movements using the stroller for support.They reminded of soldiers doing drills. They appeared totally oblivious to anyone around them.
We saw them jogging throughout the zoo. As we were leaving, I noticed a couple of the slower moms zig-zag past the faster moms on the race track. All I could think of was “ladies and gentlemen, they’re at the gate…. And there offfffffffffffffffffff.
First, welcome to all the babies born today! It is a very special day for most of us. And you too!! Hopefully in your future, you will wonder why we made such a big fuss over “your birthday.”
Barack Obama, an African American will become our 44th president. What is remarkable about this is? ….well, simply that. Also he may be the first president to be called the “n” word. What is the “N” word?” Never mind. What’s really important is it means any baby-brown, yellow, black, able or disabled, male or female,gay or straight(not sure how many of you know yet about the gay-straight thing) can reallistically strive to be whatever they want to be.
You hopefully won’t understand this, but for most of us, we bought into the idea that only certain people could be President, or part of “his” inner circle. And so we kept nominating and electing the same types of people over and over.
And as you will learn, some have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well this time, we considered different choices and we had different results. And we have a cabinet that reflects options for all of you new borns.
Baby, you really can be whatever you want. So learn from President Obama, and aim for the moon, and shoot for the stars.
From those of us,
who gave up on dreams and settled for status quo.
It is official, Mrs. Robison, Michelle Obama’s mother will move into the
White House. I didn’t know what to think of this until I read the
N. Y. Times story about it.
It appears she is a strong woman with her own opinions on how things
should be. She disagrees with the Obama’s decision to put their kids to
bed at 8:30 p.m. and to limit the amount of television they watch. When
it comes to eating, she likes her fried foood with salt. “If you’re going to
have fried chicken,” she said, “have fried chicken.”
I like her. And I like the way the Obama’s are truly living out the idea of
“family values.” To me, this decision conveys the message that it is
Ok to value our elderly relatives. Too often, our culture is about sending
the elderly away, rather than inviting them into our lives and working
Moreover they are communicating that simply not agreeing with a mother
in law or elderly family member is not reason enough to avoid them. As
the population in this country ages, we need more creative ways to deal
with the elderly, And this intergenerational model may offer us one alternative
to nursing homes.
So cheers, “here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.”