Friday, August 29, 2008

Tom Seaver again denied a spot on the ticket

Well, both presidential candidates have picked their running mates, and once again, Tom Seaver was not selected. I didn’t even see him on anyone’s short list.

Gross oversights aside, I’m glad to see the tickets assembled because I can start adding to my campaign pin collection, which kicks off the special Labor Day edition of the Deezo Friday Five.

1) I’ve been rounding up campaign pins and other political items since I was a kid and the parties had trailers or storefronts set up on Park Boulevard in Massapequa Park during election season.

Now I have them going back to 1896 with a goal of getting at least one from each ticket for each election since then. John W. Davis, the Democrat who got squished by Calvin Coolidge, remains elusive.

It took years to finally land a pin from James Cox's 1920 campaign. Legend goes that the party knew it would get pounded by Warren Harding, so didn't produce all that many items. And now too many folks held on to them once those perceptions proved to be correct.

His running mate seemed to make an impact -- it was Franklin Roosevelt.

I try to avoid such potential shortages by pouncing at the earliest opportunities. The best, or at least the most fun, places to buy pins are at rallies. There are always people working the fringes with boards covered with assorted pins. But few, if any, of these are official.

That means you have to go right to the campaigns. Both sides will have campaign headquarters where such things will be for sale -- and sometimes they're even free! Of course, they'll try to give you yard signs, too. A skilled collector will be able to exit the headquarters both without a yard sign or explaining that he doesn't actually support the candidate, but wanted a pin.

The campaign Web sites all have stores now. John Kerry's 2004 site had a special with about 25 different pins for one low price.

Alas, a trend in recent years as made pins more elusive. That is the dreaded sticker. I suspect they're way cheaper to produce. But 30 years from now a sticker just isn't going to look as cool as my pins.
I'm proudest of my glorious Theodore Roosevelt pins, but my favorite is from one of Dwight Eisenhower's campaigns. Democratic challenger Adali Stevenson was photographed in Flint with a hole in his show -- the shot earned the paper it's Pulitzer Prize. Eisnhower's people made this a campaign theme, with pins reading "Don't let this happen to you!" and showing the shoe.
But Stevenson used the image to portray himself as a common man, and made hole-in-sole tie pins. Very cool.

I search out the pins that list both the president and vice president because it seems more complete. And now that Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are on board, the search begins.

2) You’d think otters were the most dangerous critters running free in our woodlands these days, but a crazed woodchuck took over our neighborhood.

No, really. It was outside in the daytime, which you know right there is a sign that not all is well.

And when my wife sprayed him with a hose, just stood there looked all pissed off instead of scooting. We knew for sure something was wrong when he started walking around in circles on the neighbor’s lawn.

Then again, I was doing that, too, after Scott Schoenweis gave up that leadoff triple in the first game against the Phillies. At least I knew when to scoot when the neighbors got out the hose.

In the end, it took representatives from three households — and onlookers from at least two others — to catch the beast and drive him deep into the woods where he can contemplate the shortcomings of the Mets bullpen without so many people around.

3) Speaking of the spurned running mate, I’ve pretty much decided this Upper Deck Goudey card of Tom Seaver is the best thing to happen on cardboard this year.

4) The only things I know about tennis is that the U.S. Open usually has a T-shirt with a sweet Statue of Liberty design and that there used to be decent parking for Mets games by the tennis stadium.

But apparently James Blake is one of us, and openly supports his favorite team during matches. Maybe he can throw some innings in relief.

5) I know some pretty famous people, as you can tell from this photo taken Wednesday at Michigan’s Adventure, a sweet theme park that is both a water park and traditional amusement park.

You can tell this was taken early in the day because I’m not yet suffering from extreme sunburn, which seems to happen each year regardless of how much sunblock I apply.

The water park is always fun, but I'm starting to fear the rougher coasters. I swear I could feel my inner organs rearranging on the Wolferine Wildcat.

I do have to question the use of Peanuts characters as the park’s mascots. Does anyone under 30 remember Snoopy’s golden era.

“I hate Peanuts,” my son said as we walked past the pile of Charlie Brown plush in the gift shop. “It’s not even funny.”

Good grief.


G-Fafif said...

In my younger more directly political days, I worked as a volunteer in a local campaign HQ. It was just around the time TV was definitively overtaking the need for such storefronts. Anyway, an older man comes in looking for buttons and stickers and cigars (yes, cigars). I handed him a button for our congressional candidate. "But does it talk?" he asked. "No," I said, "but the man does."

He laughed.

Living as I do in a generally noncompetitive state, my opportunities to take in rallies and such are rare. I'm sorry they don't give out the talking cigars anymore.

Anonymous said...

My girls are huge fans of the Peanuts. I won't tell them what their favorite cousin said, for fear of them calling him a block head. We got the box set of Peanuts DVDs from your favorite store, Costco. Sadly, the girls like to pick the DVDs with no regard to seasons (maybe because its always summer here?) so we have seen "Be My Valentine Charlie Brown" at least six times in the last week.
James Blake is an interesting guy. He had an article in this months Guideposts magazine.
~Sunshine Sis