Friday, September 09, 2011
Friday Five: Stan Musial and other heroes
I didn't expect to be so moved by the West Michigan Healing Field. Volunteers filled the Cannonsburg ski area with 3,000 American flags, each with a brief biography of a Sept. 11, 2001 victim. People working in the Pentagon; people at their desk in a World Trade Center office. People heading home or on a vacation. A woman remembered by colleagues for keeping a candy jar on her desk filled. Firefighters and police officers. The heroes of Flight 93. Children. I wanted to read them all.
Caroline and I were supposed to see Katy Perry on Sunday night, but the singer has a respiratory infection and the concert has been postponed until December. This gives me more time to rewrite some of Katy's lyrics so they are more “Daddy friendly.” For example, Katy, in “Teenage Dream,” sings: “Let's go all the way tonight; no regrets, just love.” I don't think that's an appropriate sentiment. So, when Caroline commands the iPod in the car, I sing the new, Daddy-approved lyrics: “Let's go on a date tonight, no regrets, just lunch.” Much more wholesome. For Katy's biggest hit, I imagine her getting in touch with the outdoors. Instead of “I kissed a girl and I liked it, I hope my boyfriend don't mind it.” No wonder Elmo blushed. I envision Ms. Perry in a park, feeding the other furry forest friends: “I kissed a squirrel and I liked it, I hope Ranger Rick don't mind it.” I think Caroline is hoping there is a special seating section where fathers of 14-year-olds can be herded in together and not publicly embarrass their daughters.
Chatty Famous Chicken
We enjoyed seeing The Famous Chicken at the West Michigan Whitecaps game during Labor Day weekend. Big parts of his act haven't changed in the 20 years since I first watched him, but he's always funny. Caroline, who has worked as Katie L, the Kent District Library mascot, was a little bit concerned that the Chicken violated the first rule of mascoting – he talks!
Flat Stan the Man
Give the St. Louis Cardinals credit for doing cool things. You must have heard of “Flat Stanley,” Dale Hubert's book character who gets flattened and goes on adventures. Teachers across the country have used the book for lessons, assigning children to send their Stanley to friends and family and take photos of him is locales near and far. Caroline's Flat Stanley got to visit off-limits sections of the Kennedy Space Center and military headquarters in Afghanistan, where he posed with – and was signed by – then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. The Cardinals created a Flat Stan Musial, complete with his Presidential Medal of Freedom! People are encouraged to post their photos on the team's web site. Tony is sending me one, and we're going on a tour of Grand Rapids!
Cap of the Week
This week's Cap of the Week is a gift from my nephew Zachary. He pitches for the Deer Park-Mackinaw traveling team in Illinois, and tossed a no-hitter this season. The local minor league team, the Cornbelters, were so impressed that the team signed a ball for him and he was allowed to sit in the dugout. So, my nephew has pitched more no-hitters than the Mets have. The cap also has Uncle Dave's initials, which is cool!