Friday, December 11, 2009

Same Old Steelers

From Left: Chuck Noll, Joe Tucker, Art Rooney (1975)

As he passed my father after suffering another humiliating defeat, Art Rooney, founder and then President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, would utter a phrase I heard all too often, but seems applicable today. Dad would say something like, "Well Prez, we had a chance." To which Art would respond, "SOS." Art never seemed to be upset with the team he founded and nurtured through years of deficits with no thought of moving the franchise as so many other owners had done: Cardinals from Chicago to St. Louis, to finally repose in Arizona; Rams from Cleveland to LA to St Louis, Redskins from Boston to Washington, Colts from Dallas to Baltimore to Indianapolis.

I'm sorry, but on Thursday December 10th, I completely forgot about a game with the Browns because I knew the outcome. Instead, I chose to watch the Penguins, a team with which I had no history having moved from Pittsburgh in 1966. I saw the poor passing of "star" forward Malkin who has started more than one scoring rush for the opposition and thought of Recklessburger's game losing interceptions into the end zone. I swore. I don't know how Dad kept his cool when Pete Backer would wind up for a slap shot on the power play only to have it blocked and the opponent on his way to a break away on Gil Mayer.

Steelers History month is on at the Heinz-Pittsburgh History Museum on Smallman Street. I wish I could attend, but, alas, I like the Sun in Santa Fe, and the comforts of home and a 50 inch flat screen, HD TV as I sink into my couch.

You can get my book, Screamer:The Forgotten Voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Museum Bookstore, or order it through my web site:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hoop Dreams

One of the advantages of Santa Fe is that large snowfalls are rare. At one of the large garden centers here we saw a demonstration of a 4'x8' garden in which various vegetables can survive even though the temperature goes to zero or below.

The base of the "box" is constructed of cedar. The steel hoops have a summer cover and a winter cover that keeps in heat. A soaking hose is run along the ground and one 100 watt light is mounted in an inverted pot to maintain temperature when the outside temperature drops below 38F.

We wanted to see it work for two reasons, curiosity and to have certain vegetables virtually year round.

The system has worked except for the soaker hose. We had to hand soak the ground and may have to do this again in a week.

As part of the "Green Movement" we expect to see many of our neighbors with such a convenience in the next couple of years.

Planted now: spinach. Kale. broccoli, chard, onions, lettuce (various)