Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Item 1: I think it is totally unfair and downright humiliating having to follow Rick’s column especially one like he wrote Thursday. My own private nightmares involve me reading Rick’s column knowing I will have to sit down at my computer to write my own monthly opus but the keys on the keyboard will not move, all the letters have been rearranged and the computer screen is covered with a dark opaque film like substance that smells a bit like beef-a-roni gravy. Yep it just isn’t fair….

Item 2: The entire CBA is praying for JD and we hope to see him singing the National Anthem opening day at AT&T Park in April. God BLESS YOU J.D.
Item 3: Thought for the day: “Sports does not create character, it reveals it….”
In 1966-1968 when I attended Chabot J.C. most of my PE requirements were utilized by playing handball. I developed a love in fact a passion for the sport. Handball is a physical one on one sport played in a small contained room that not only matches skill but psychology and strategy.

When I worked for KFC in Hayward and at Valchris Farms in Turlock, salesmen would call on me to offer their wares or services. After the usual “shop talk” we would discuss sports etc. and if we played any sports. I would bring up handball and sometime the salesman would say, “Hey, I’ve played some ball before. Let’s have a game or two.”

A game would be set up, we would meet and then the salesman would fall all over himself apparently to make me look like I was beating him in hopes of getting my business. I didn’t really care for that ploy. Once you walked into a handball court you played to win.

One day an owner of a truck brokerage company in Modesto invited me to the SOS CLUB in Modesto to have dinner and hear legendary coach Lou Holtz give a speech. I accepted. Ed Heyman, the owner of the trucking brokerage company was a handball player and suggested we play a few games before dinner. I was about 32 at the time and in fairly decent shape. Ed was about 25 years older than me. He was short, squat, overweight and a very droll and likable person. I had done some business with Ed and I liked him a lot. I hoped he wouldn’t pull the normal routine and play like a lame duck.

We got to the club went to the gym, got into our gym clothes and headed for the courts. I scrutinized Ed again and thought to myself that I had better take it easy on this guy. Not only was he older than me but he had soft hands and had a demeanor that could not be described as Marine like. I knew right away that I would be the one “taking a dive” when we played because Ed was so likable the thought of mopping the floor with this middle aged overweight owner just wouldn’t be right. Hell even I had principles. I said, “Hey Ed, I know you are older but I want you to go all out, understand. If you get tired just let me know and I will slow down the pace a bit. Ed smiled at me while his eyes twinkled and danced.

We played three games and I think I scored a total of 7 points. Ed beat me like an old worn out rug. Ed actually had to help me out of the handball court. I was drenched in sweat, gasping for breath, my face was beet red, and my knees were buckling. Ed didn’t have a bead of sweat on his smooth pixie like face. When we made it to the showers Ed winked and said, “Brooks, after you catch your breath would you like to play a couple of more?” Ed had my business from that day on.

Item 4: Abe Lincoln. It’s been about four years now that I have been researching the Civil War and I am slowly filling my tiny library with everything I can read. Abe Lincoln was a great president. Abe was a hands on commander in chief when it came to how the Civil War should be won. Mr. Lincoln also had a wry cutting sense of humor. Following are a few nuggets:

“It was 1862, the Civil War was raging, and President Abraham Lincoln had had enough. Union General George McClellan, wary of engaging the Confederate army full-on, had allowed caution to degenerate into lethargy, and Lincoln’s patience had run out. “My dear McClellan,” the president wired to his sluggish commander. “If you are not using the army, I should like to borrow it for a while.”

Back in Illinois, Lincoln observed an old woman, garishly dressed in finery and a plumed hat, attempt to cross the street only to slip and fall in a puddle.”Reminds me of a duck,” said he to a friend.”Feathers on her head and down on her back.”

Finally this gem: Lincoln suffered fools badly and had a gift for fending them off with grace and humor. In the midst of the Civil War, he received a written request for a personally autographed “sentiment.” He sent off the following reply.”Dear Madam: When you ask of a stranger that which is of interest only to yourself, always enclose a stamp. There’s your sentiment, and here’s your autograph.

The above are taken from “Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents” by Cormac O’Brien.

Until March: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat some chocolate and thank God for grand children. Love you Rhiannon and Jessica. Three great grandsons and a brand new two week old grand daughter.

Posted:  2/1/2013

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