Barbara Burton Stewart’s Kittatinny Memories and Pictures

July 28, 2007 at 9:46 pm (Kittatinny Camp)

“My long-term memory far exceeds the short-term – so I have many, many memories of KLC. One of the more poignant was spending the day in Newton with Andy Goodman, who was such a truly nice, nice guy, who didn’t treat me as a “kid” (as most people did because of my extremely small size) – and then, a few months later, seeing his picture on the front page of the NY paper – I actually drew in a mustache and beard to make sure it was he – what a terrible loss.

“Then there was the summer I worked in the office with Anne Tannenbaum, and Lee Herman told me I did such a great job screening calls for him – those of you who remember Lee will also remember compliments didn’t come easily from him. Lee always pushed the limit – like speeding over the matzoh bridge with no lights at night – maybe to avoid paying the quarter toll as much as to see how far he could go – just like his ultimate “prank.”

“I also remember doing “flying angels” with Rudy Bogad behind Pioneer Row (CIT bunks). Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, either.

“And the (now) funniest memory I have is swimming in the crib at the age of, I think, 12. Remember, I was very, VERY small – in all respects – and while Dick Trout was watching us swim, my falsies popped out of my bathing suit. Mortified would put it mildly. I couldn’t face him for AGES.”


1963 CITs

Top row: Gary Stanley (dance instructor), Esther _______, Dorrie Berg, Sue Hurwitz, Gail __________, Janie Lerner, Ronnie Cohen, Barbara Polakoff(?), ______________, Linda Weiner, ______________, _________________

Bottom row:Hope Weisfeld, Linda Plotnick, Me (with a headache?), Gail _________, Jennie Blatt, Bobbie Diamond, Ellen Kress, Diane Brown, Debbie ____________.


Bunk 14, 1962


Middle photo: Bobbie Diamond, Linda Plotnick, Ronnie Cohen

Bottom photo: Linda Plotnick, Jane Roemer

Top photo: Clockwise from Top – Ellen Kress, Ronnie Cohen, Hope Weisfeld, Linda Plotnick, Barbara Burton

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Watching Ball, Like Never Before.

July 28, 2007 at 1:01 am (Baseball, Unzipped Thoughts)

For me [the man I love], technology has met opportunity. This season, with still 1/3 of it to be played, I’ve seen more games on television/computer than I watched in my first 55 years of fandom, *combined*. Here are a few thoughts:

Omar Visquel does things with the leather to amaze on a nightly basis. Only one other in history compares. I’d have loved to have seen more of Ozzie Smith… Were it not for the record he set, often to the determent of his team, Cal Ripkin’s Junior [sic] would not be a first round Hall O’ Famer. Alan Tramell deserves to be standing in the surly man’s place this weekend… Barry Zito’s signing will hurt the Giants in more ways than his horrible stats. The way he’s handling his failures can’t help but influence the likes of Tim Lincecum [who’s 96 mile an hour fastball and “elbows and asshole” delivery promises an early burnout], Matt Cain, and Noah Lowry. When the fire-sale comes [and it’sa comin’], the classy Matt Morris will be gonzo and the three prodigies will have only Barry Z to look “up” to. That Zito came to camp, after the questionable signing, with a *new delivery*, says it all… Met pitchers, on the other hand, have the classy Tom Glavine as a mentor… Brewer Ryan Braun’s rookie-year numbers are awesome. If he played in NY, you might have heard of him… Does Ray Durham or the home plate umpiring, in general, suck more? Not an inning seems to go by when a call or three doesn’t seem kosher. Gamblers tout the men in blue to set the over/under spread. If the inconsistencies are obvious to them, why can’t MLB see the forrest for the trees?.. Andruw Jones is Willie-like in center… Mark Ellis, Kotsay and Eric Chavez’s combined defensive heroics takes a point and 1/2 off the A’s pitching staff’s ERA … Kenny Lofton’s teams all wind up in the playoffs. Joe Morgan was that way. Why does the, now, three time Indian not get more credit?.. Nick Swisher and Travis Buck are fun to watch. A’s will be back on top of the A L West next year… Mike Piazza, healthy enough to DH, but not catch, will hit 15 more homers this season. He has as pretty a right-hand hitting swing as there is in the game…. Russell Martin is the best young catcher in the game… John Lester’s comeback outing, with his parents being interviewed during the game, brought goose- bumps… The A’s need to fire their entire medical/training/conditioning staff… The Joe Blanton [cheesecake for breakfast, cheesecake for lunch, and in between- cheesecake to munch] for Lastings Milledge trade may very well go down, after all… Yes, Manny is being Manny. Check out his numbers… Lou Piniella and Bobby Cox are far and away the best managers around… We are all *very* lucky to have announcer Jon Miller in our midst…The Braves have the best farm system since the post- war Yankees…

…Whether he used [uses?] or not, Barry has us *all* mesmerized, like no other since the Babe.

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Is Your Osenburg Soft? Mine Is.

July 23, 2007 at 1:57 am (Baseball, Family & Friends, Fantasy Baseball, New York Giants)


Get your mind out of the gutter. The only obscene references you’re likely to find on this blog are categorized News & Politics.

Osenburg is the mesh lining found on the front inside panel of baseball caps. Chances are, yours is stiff and coarse. Not mine. The 1951 New York Giants cap, gifted to me by the Lovely and Provocative One, arrived this week from Cooperstown Ball Cap Company. It’s made of the finest wool [no synthetic, acrylic plastic blend crapola for me] and a soft leather sweat band. Best of all the logo is the same one that graced the caps of my first baseball heroes. Contrary to popular opinion, the Mets’ interlocked NY is not identical to that of the National League franchise they replaced, but didn’t. The difference is subtle but clear.

Wearing the cap evokes some of the happiest memories I have. My grandfather [my Pop], Phil Niss, took me to every opening day at the Polo Grounds from 1951 ’til they left [carpetbagged] to San Francisco after the ’57 season. He taught me the game by using the words of players and managers. “Hit ’em where they ain’t” [“Wee Willie” Keeler]. “Stick it in his ear” [Leo “The Lip” Durocher]. “Oh those base-on-balls” [“The Fordahm Flash,” Frankie Frisch].

He taught me that good things happen when your team puts the ball in play, gets the runner into scoring position, hits the cutoff man, keeps the double play in order and keeps the runner at first from getting a lead.

Conversely, bad things happen when your pitcher falls behind in the count, your team gives the opposition more than three outs, you’re not strong “up the middle,” and [most importantly] you eat more than two hot dogs.

I learned that a bloop knock looked like a line drive in the boxscore, the double play is the pitcher’s best friend, a walk was oft times as good as a hit, erasers on pencils were invented because some official scorers were full of crap, many umpires were blind, and that the nuns outside of the ballpark with collection plates weren’t penguins.

Thanks for the cap, Nancela… Thanks for the passion, Pop.

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Earthtel Inc. Revisited

July 17, 2007 at 3:09 pm (Family & Friends, Unzipped Thoughts)

Back in January I took you to a wake. Earthtel Inc., a “boiler room” style call-center, that raised money for “liberal causes,” failed.

It died for a number of reasons. They are [in no particular order]:

  • Intrinsically, combining socialism and capitalism doesn’t work.
  • Companies that take advantage of “minority loans” and tax advantages [federal, state, or city] based on whom they employ, [for the most part] become tax write-offs [tax-payer pays] for the “bank.” Why, you ask? For the same reasons that Affirmative Action doesn’t work. The proverbial bar is set a rung or two lower. [A buddy of mine was all for Affirmative Action ’til he found out how his Kaiser Docah got into med school.]
  • Ownership parting ways with fund-raising genius Paul Abramov. Downhill they went from there. A rudderless ship with no managers capable of managing and no one left with authority who was capable of thinking.
  • CEO who prided himself on providing kush, do-nothing [non-caller] jobs for “fine sisters,” and keeping his kids in private schools, rather than meeting weekly payroll.
  • The IRS [with a plethora of folk out there to come down on] chose this nebbish-run company, who raises money for liberal causes and employs minorities in the inner city of Oakland, to pressure into submission. Hmmmmm.

The result: 35 folk, many of whom are members of minority groups, lost their jobs. Another call center [located across the bay in San Francisco] recently opened. They’ve taken over most, if not all, of Earthtel’s clients, including Emily’s List, NARAL [the pro-choice folks], and the DNC [the incredibly incompetent folks]. Same inept management that helped run Earthtel into the ground. Nine callers who formerly toiled for Earthtel Inc. are in their employ. Not one black. Sad because some of the best callers… :-)

This is clearly a lose-lose, for *all.*

But, I digress. Yesterday I met my old buddy, and fellow Earthtel alum, for lunch. We reminisced about those days of yesteryear. A few laughs, some tears. My pal works for the fund raiser in SF, doing the same work for $5 an hour less than what was earned at Earthtel Inc. We wondered aloud if the charities know, or for that matter care, about the caller’s plight. Today I left a voice mail imploring my friend to join a union [or form one].

I miss seeing some of these folks on a regular basis. Not all of them, but some. I also miss [and in some cases don’t miss] some people whose images, although not included here, are indelibly etched in my mind.

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earthtel 3

Me “Chucks” are pictured above, gracing an Earthtel desk.

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Film At 11

July 14, 2007 at 10:18 pm (News & Politics, Unzipped Thoughts)

Tonight’s news got me thinking. Can’t we get Bin Laden to go on a water ride at Great America Amusement Park?

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Lady Boid Johnson Dies at Age 94

July 12, 2007 at 6:38 pm (News & Politics)

First thought: I had no idea she was sick…

Aside, I remember the counterculture play, MacBird, that portrayed her husband, a Kennedy laughingstock, as the JFK assassin. The Warren Commission [LBJ appointed] was clearly bogus, he had the most to gain, and said target bought it in Texas.

RZT has an airtight alibi. :-)

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Mountain to Mohammad…Hall o’ Fame comes to San Francisco

July 11, 2007 at 10:37 pm (Comfortably Zoned)

The Baseball Gawds shined down on your humble scribe Monday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. They sent an exhibit from the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to the All-Star Game Fan-Fest. I paid homage.

Here’s a uniform shirt Christy Mathewson wore.


Ernie Banks was *so* solid for the Cubs- on and off the field.

A George [Tom, if you will] Seaver Reds uniform.


Mr. Mac reminds me that the Giants were a proud franchise at one time. Now they’re the “Barry Bighead Side Show,” so heavily mortgaged that they can’t afford to cut bait with the freak and take a year or two to rebuild.


Al Kaline was 18 years old when he was signed by the Tigres to a major league contract. He never played a day in the minors. Because he and not Roger Maris was the best rightfielder in the American League, he and not Roger Maris is in the Hall.


When the aforementioned Ernie Bank’s manager, “Whitey” [really] Carroll Lockman, was thrown out of a game, the first black to manage a Major League game [his one and only game at the helm] was Mr. Cub.

Technicalities aside, F. Robby [who pinch hit a homerun to win his first game as a skipper] has that distinction. Frank who won MVP awards in both leagues, hit 500+ homers before juicedom. Hard to believe that race wasn’t an issue when Reds management, claiming he had an “old body,” traded him to the O’s for Milt Pappashof51

Rod Carew was the best pure hitting Jewboy in baseball history.


Al Downing pitched it to the guy wearing the uniform pictured below. Tom House caught the ball in the Brave’s bully. He was a hitter who hit homeruns, not a homerun hitter who hit. The irony is, Hank Aaron was a lot like the pre-steroidal Bonds- simply great.


Nellie Fox, whose uni below is pictured next to Roberto Clemente’s, helped form the best DP combo in the American League. The absolutely best combo of all time [Visquel/Alomar, notwithstanding] played for the Yankees a few years before. Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Coleman were unreal.

I’m reminded of how Branch Rickey stole Clemente from the Dodger farm system. Quite a coup.


John McGraw’s gear. Thanks in part to him, the Giants have more Hall Of Famers than any other franchise.


Ty Cobb’s glove. First Wilson 2000?


Joe D was Willie’s hero when he was a kid.


Carl Hubbell was known as “The Meal Ticket” for the New York Giants. Says it all.


Babe made more money than President Hoover. “I had a better year,” he declared.


Rogers Hornsby coached the ’62 Mets for manager Casey Stengel. Gornisht helphen.


A case can be made [putouts per game] that Richie Ashburn covered more ground than Willie Mays. I’ll remember “Whitey” as an Original Met, who hated losing and hit .300 for the most inept team in history.

He would come into Brooklyn and absolutely destroy the Dodgers. Fans would say, “Oh no, here comes that man.” And forevermore he was known as Stan “The Man” Musial. Nothing all that complicated for Stash. “Just pick one out and knock the shit out of it,” he’d advise teammates.


Was baseball Jackie Robinson’s fourth best sport?

Defrost Teddy Ballgame tomorrow and he’d hit .320 and knock in 120.


Willie’s last New York Giant uni [1957] is displayed next to that of Harmon Killebrew

The Giants were set to move to Minneapolis [current home of the Twins] when Walter O’Malley talked Horace Stoneham into going to California.


This was one great day.

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Cindy Sheehan Back in Fray

July 8, 2007 at 9:08 pm (News & Politics)

I’ve made no secret about my disappointment. Nancy Pelosi has refused to play hardball with W’s puppeteers, and the funding of the horrific war in Iraq continues.

In a week where Republicans [including Newt Gingrich] are jumping off the shit-wagon that is Bushville like rats off a sinking ship, Cindy is back.

Aside that she excepts no responsibility [either for herself or her late son] for putting him in a position to catch croakitis [long before her son reenlisted, it was determined that there were no WMDs and that the war was bogus], she remains the face of the [so far] ineffective “revolution” and I’m delighted she’s back in action. She and her son made the mistake of believing not only the fascist pigs in office, but also the lying bastards who assured us that once they were elected last November…

Like her or not, Cindy does more than sit around, simmer, rant, and type sarcastic remarks. That’s more than I can say for my dear old self.

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Kittatinny Camp Pictures From Bob Berk

July 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm (Kittatinny Camp)

Not only did Bob Berk send me these great pictures, but he enclosed a terrific DVD from the KLC reunion I missed, held in 1999. I’m thrilled, Bob. Thank you so much.


L-R: Debbe and Myron Lubin, cousins of Bob and Dick Berk (Bunk 33 in background)


The Berks, Visiting Day, 1959 or 60. Bob (left), Dick (right), Dad (middle)

I would be delighted to post any and all pictures sent by KLC alums. Please note my email:

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AP headline: “Doctors involved in terrorism”

July 3, 2007 at 11:50 am (News & Politics, Unzipped Thoughts)

First thing I thought of was HMOs. :-)

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