Podcasting stories from the fairway

By Tim Smith

Where A r [ts] Thou?

# 807

Datelines: England/California – By the time this reaches the shores of your hometown, the 149th playing of the oldest professional competition in golf, The Open Championship, played over Royal St. George’s, will have secured its “Champion Golfer of the Year.”

A highly anticipated event, due to the fact that for the first time since the second world war, the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the virus. It has been a lifelong dream to one day attend the event, and until that time, I am so appreciative of the role that the Podcast has played in developing an audio bridge to history not only with The Open, but major golfing events in the United States.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the R&A, is responsible for conducting the four-day event, and over the years, they have opened it up to audiences around the world in new and creative ways. For example, their phone application for The Open that I happened across this year is highly engaging, and that includes some wonderful podcasts, in particular, with past Open champions.

As a fan since an early age, reliving those memories, through the voices of those who created them, was especially moving.

The Masters has also done a marvelous job with this relatively new technology. For the golfer in your life, I recommend they download both applications to their phone to be ready for next year’s editions.

From the head to the pen of Mr. Twain: “What is a government without energy? And what is a man without energy? Nothing-nothing at all. What is the grandest thing in Paradise Lost-the Arch-Fiend’s terrible energy! What was the greatest feature in Napoleon’s character? His unconquerable energy! Sum all the gifts that man is endowed with, and we give our greatest share of admiration to his energy. And today, if I were a heathen, I would rear a statue to Energy and fall down and worship it!” (-1860 letter).

Book features: Over the past few weeks I have been highlighting the first of two books written by the creator of “The Music Man,” Meredith Willson. With a major revival of his Tony Award winning musical scheduled for this coming February, I thought it would be interesting to see where its composer/lyricist and book writer had his beginnings. In his second book, “And There I Stood with My Piccolo,” he chronicles his life journey that is nearly as much a roller coaster ride as was his bringing the musical the Broadway stage.

Here is a sample of his self-effacing humor: From the book’s introduction, and yes, spell check was working:

“A very important king hired a whole or-chestra to play for him one night during his supper, just because he felt lonesome. “This orchestra played great and the king was so delighted that before going to bed he said, ‘Boys, your playing gave me the whips and juingles, and just for that you can all go to my countinghouse and fill your instruments with gold pieces.’ “I can still that happy clatter as sack after sack of golden tiddlies streamed into the tuba and slithered down the neck of the bassoon and spilled out over the bells of the French horn. “And there I stood with my piccolo.”

I have just left his early years with the John Philip Sousa band at the beginning of the 20th century, so stay tuned, it is only going to get better, or should I say, much more colorful.

That’s My Will, Rogers: “Will Rogers Finds Plenty Of Alibis In San Francisco, Cal, July 22. (1934): Just streaming out of beautiful San Francisco Bay. Putting a bridge across it. They will build a bridge to Honolulu if the government don’t run out of credit. . . Yours, Will Rogers.”

“T’’s tube”: Catching up with the classics: “An Affair To Remember,” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and what is ‘rememberable’ is that tied to their emerging relationship, is their realization, (and coming from singular worlds of privilege and wealth), is that they will be even stronger together than apart when they leave those worlds behind them and have to fend for themselves. That latter struggle always holds up, regardless of the generation that happens to be watching.

Our national theater: I invite you to travel to the Playbill website and read the leading article for July 16 titled: “Struggling California Theatres to Receive $50 Million in Immediate Funding.” I encourage you to familiarize yourself with that states “Gig Law.”

Connections made, locally inspired, from our town, since 1/06.

See you in the local paper.

t A s

[For EFA-62]

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