Where The Beauty Is

The original title was going to be “The Boys of Summer,” after reading about a number of great baseball players of my youth passing. But, Eddie Van Halen died. He was 65, a year younger than I am now.

He died after a very long battle with cancer. He family was with him. He was a smoker, but he thought holding metal guitar picture in his mouth may have had a lot to contribute to his throat cancer.

I wasn’t the biggest Van Halen fan, but I admired his guitar playing. He befriended Eric Clapton because that’s who he patterned his playing after. Of course, Clapton followed the originals, especially Robert Johnson.

Rest in Peace Eddie Van Halen.

It’s time to talk about baseball players so let’s just “Jump,” to the next topic.

Apparently, I was born and bred to be a New York Yankee fan. Some of that fell away because I grew up in Long Beach which made me a Dodger fan too. If they both happen to make it through the playoffs and play each other in the World Series, I revert to type and root for The Yankees.

I probably started following baseball seriously through baseball cards when I was about 7 or 8. I remember listening to Dodger games on my transistor radio, sometimes late at night under the covers.

I’m still a baseball fan today. When I think back to all the great players I got to see I feel very lucky to be on the planet at the same time they were.

2020 has been rough for a lot of reasons. Obviously. I’ve discussed a lot of them here. But, the boys of my summer are dropping once or twice a week. Many were in their 80s, which should tell you how long I’ve been a fan.

Bob Gibson. Tom Seaver. Lou Brock. Horace Clarke. Lou Johnson. Jay Johnstone. Al Kaline. Don Larson. Ron Perrinoski. Claudell Washington. Jimmy Wynn. Bob Watson.

To be sure, this isn’t all of them. These are the guys I remember seeing play, either in the stadium or on television. On an old black and white television that received six channels via an old fashioned rabbit ears.

We got six channels instead of the usual three because we lived in Long Beach and received three local Los Angeles channels. Two of the three local channels broadcast baseball.

It really hit me today when I read that Ron Perrinoski had passed. He played for a couple of teams but chiefly for the LA Dodgers. He was a lights out reliever who came in for big name starters like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

I thought to myself that a lot of these guys had died recently. So, you get to read a large part of Storyteller dedicated to them.

Under the heading of all the news that fits, there is one more item to discuss.

Hurricane Delta. It’s a very late season storm that could hit us almost dead on as a category 3 or 4 hurricane sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning and hang around until late Saturday night.

This one doesn’t seem to have much cone variance so it doesn’t look great out there. Just when we thought it was safe to come out of the water. I’ll let you know more as the week rolls on.

As usual, the picture has nothing to do with most of Storyteller. What I wrote might be more important than the picture, although I like it a lot.

I made this picture a few years ago when I was on the road to someplace north. It was during the time when I photographed everything that moved.

The truck was moving and so was I, so I thought it was a good idea to make a few pre-dawn pictures.

I think the picture feels like being out on the road. It gives you that sense of travel.

The crop is radical for two reasons. The picture just had too much dead area in the sky. And, I wanted to test this shape in the universally hated block system. It seems to have worked out just fine.

I made the picture on a full frame mirrorless DSLR. Surprisingly, it generated some noise so I corrected for that in post production. But, I did little else.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your masks. Look after each other.



4 responses to “Where The Beauty Is”

  1. djmoose6475 Avatar

    I too grew up in the Long Beach area, Lakewood, of California. My first Dodger game was at the Colesium, before Dodger stadium was finished. Vin Scully was my constant companion on my transistor radio under the covers just like you. I remain a loyal Dodger fan today with the Yankees as an enemy of my Dodgers. I am glad the season was continued and I am following the playoffs. The ” boys of Summer” was a book that changed my life. It followed the Brooklyn Dodgers and their stars. It brought Jackie Robinson to the forefront of my consciousness and he is one of my heroes even now. I hope you read the book and enjoy it as much as I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      I never went to the Coliseum, but I went to very early games at Dodger Stadium during its first season. Ah, Vin Scully. When I worked at The OC Register I got to photograph him a couple of times. He was always gracious and kind to me. The second time, he remembered me and called me by my first name. I didn’t grow up so far from you. I went to St. Maria Goretti and could walk there in about ten minutes or less. The interesting thing was that Ron Fairly lived in the house behind us. We lived in an ordinary tract home. You know what they looked like. He had BBQs a couple of times a year. Many Dodgers came. Somewhere in a box I have an autographed baseball that those who came signed. The Boys of Summer is also a song by Don Henley of eagles fame. It was a summer song. I’ll find the book, likely on Amazon. Oh yeah, about our house. If you walked across the street from Fairly’s house, that’s where Nic Cage grew up. I never knew him. I was 10 when he was born. He was Coppola then, but a distant, distant relative of the director.


  2. sloppy buddhist Avatar

    he was so young…😞


    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Yes, he was. The song that he played on the show came from his last album. The Grammy folks named it album of the year. He passed before it won.

      Now you know why that phrase means something to me.


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