GALAGA GIFTING, LUCKY GRADS, UNSPEAKABLE LOSS, TIM CONWAY & BUCKNER

May 31, 2019

I have a strange relationship with video games.

As an adult, I haven’t had the urge to play any—in fact I really haven’t since my middle school days but those days have impacted my whole life.?!

Never was a Madden player and couldn’t tell you anything about Fortnight— but if you put a Ms Pac Man or heaven forbid this in front of me……it’s on

Name me a better video game in the history of man?

C’mon there are really no challengers— which is exactly why my beloved brother recently gave me the gift that will forever keep on giving.

You see my brother and I have a funny relationship, we couldn’t be any more different. He is handy, I am not. He could have been a great athlete and could care less, I wanted to be a great athlete and but fell way short and cared deeply. I’m over it now but at our advanced ages we have come to appreciate our differences and complement each other well.

After the recent death of my father, we have grown closer where this month I had him down at my house where I was planning on grilling out for he and my sister, but for some reason he insisted. I went to pick up my sis at the airport and upon my return, I understood why he insisted.

(Play the Hallelujah Chorus in your head)

Look what my brother had brought down from his home to be perfectly placed in my entertainment “man cave”…….

Are you kidding me??????

At the time, I thought, I’ll never leave the house again?

It’s funny for years I said I would get one of these in my home but never thought I would really act on it—my brother went next level and I’m forever grateful.

The crazy thing when you get a gift like this, you wind up not playing with it nearly as much as you think you would but “ah” the great thing—you always know you can play it whenever you want.

“Galaga Gifting” the first unpredicted stop in this month’s trip around the Naborhood, as always thanks for stopping by!

LUCKY GRADS! There are some gifts admittedly that are better than Galaga in your home (not many) but one is the gift that billionaire investor Robert Smith delivered during his commencement speech for the ages at Morehouse College—how about dropping the bombshell that he would pay off the student loans for the ENTIRE graduating class?

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” he told the lucky Morehouse Class of 2019.

That’s an understatement. It was one thing when Oprah gave aways cars to her studio audience but Billionaire Bobby has certainly upped the ante where the exact figures aren’t known but guessed to be tens of millions of dollars—the gift touched many including graduate Jonathan Epps who had 35,000 remaining on his debt where he couldn’t wait to break the news to his parents in California.

“It’ll sink in as the years go on. I know that for a fact,” Epps said. “I still don’t really have words. … It makes a great day just that much better.”
 
Robert Smith is hardly a one hit wonder, his chartable history is impressive. In 2016, Cornell University, one of his alma maters, renamed its chemical and biomolecular engineering school in honor of the Austin, Texas, investor after he committed to donating $50 million to the school. He’s also donated millions to cancer research and the arts.
 
 
After the commencement craziness died down, Smith had a great sequel he’s planning to help 1,000 students obtain paid internships via his InternXOpens a New Window  created under Smith’s Fund II Foundation, is looking to help students who are “rising sophomores with at least a 2.8 GPA from ethnically underrepresented groups” to score an internship in one of the following fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program will provide participating companies with a database of potential interns to hire for the summer.
 
For the many greed among our nation’s wealthy Smith along with the work of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett shouldn’t go unnoticed. It certainly didn’t at the recent Morehouse graduation where Smith’s announcement was met with a standing ovation and chants of “MVP!”
 
THE UNEXPLAINABLE : While Graduation always gives you hope for the future, the month of May was a reminder of how precious every day is. We lost some American Icons in Tim Conway who was one of those naturally funny old school comedians where I wonder if his talents would be truly appreciated if he was coming on the scene today?
 
 
 
 
Like Don Rickles and Jonathan Winters, Conway had a different style which was unscripted and raw–something you don’t see these days. In the mold of Bob Newhart who is still with us, Conway never set out to be a professional comedian but had a legendary career,
 
We lost one of sport’s greatest scapegoats in Bill Buckner. He never never should have been blamed for the Red Sox losing the 1986 World Series for having a ball go through his legs—-people forget how injured he was, these days with all the lineup shifts he never would be in the game that late but skipper John McNamara (yes to his credit) wanted his veteran to be on the field when Boston seemingly was gonna clinch Buckner’s first World Series win. Many also forget there was another game after that one that the Sox could have won—lots of goats besides Buckner.
 
This is how we should remember Bill Buckner…..
 
 
One of the best hitters in the game for years. If injuries hadn’t taken its toll, Buckner would have easily finished with 3000 hits (he had 2715), he was a career .289 hitter and maybe the most amazing stat, he never struck out more than 39 times in a season—that is simply unheard of these days?
 
Yet the most painful loss for me was that of the car wreck taking the lives of Auburn play by play man Rod Bramblett and wife Paula. I never met or knew Bramblett but working in Tuscaloosa for years have heard many I respect talk endlessly about what a great man he was, a true friend to so many. A great broadcaster yes but his true legacy is his heartfelt appreciation for everyone he connected with, the stories of his interactions were truly inspiring over the past week.
 
 
Some things in life leave you wondering why and the story of Bramblett and his wife dying in a car wreck are certainly in that category. It’s hard seeing anyone leave in this manner, but I can’t stop thinking about the toll it must take on their children, Shelby a sophomore at Auburn and Joshua a sophomore at Auburn High School. It’s hard to lose a parent at any juncture of your life but to lose them at those extremely vulnerable ages under those circumstances is unfathomable and heartbreaking.
 
The good thing for Shelby and Joshua is I know the Auburn community is extremely loyal and will rally for them. I wanted to pass on the Gofundme page where you can give to both children:
 
https://www.gofundme.com/rod-and-paula-brambltt-family-memorial-fund
 
I know this story hit many hard, none harder than these two kids. So far the fund’s goal was to raise 300,000, it’s already exceeded that amount. Keep the donations coming.
 
NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT…. I don’t know about you but it seems many are watching more Netflix than cable these days and many more don’t even have cable, can’t blame them.
 
I find myself watching less and less television anyway but when I do the only thing I watch are programs on Netflix. Ozark is a dark show but just finished up season two which like Breaking Bad is leaving me wanting more.
 
 
In the interim, just started a show many of you I assume completed years ago in Mad Men. I have heard nothing but great things and while it took me a few episodes to get it, I’m hooked.
 
Halfway through season two my only question is with leading man Don Draper . The fellow is trouble and it gets worse every episode, I just wonder how is he gonna survive five more seasons?
 
EXTRA POINT: Troubling to see the little girl hit be a foul ball in Houston at the recent Astros/Cubs game—makes you wonder how with the thousands of baseball games being played over the years, how this hasn’t happened more often—thank god it hasn’t?
 
PHOTO CREDITS: Fox Business, New York Times, WWAY, AP News, AMC.com 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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