It has been surprising to receive emails from so many people inquiring as to why I have not written a post since December since it seemed obvious, at least to me, the last post needed no explanation as it was self evident it would be The End. I have appreciated the concern expressed from readers while continuing to be amazed at the number of people who continue reading previous posts long after I stopped writing. For example, on Saturday, January 19, 2019, a month after the last post, there were seventy views. The following day, Sunday, there were fifty four views. The number of readers has usually gone up on the weekend, but how to account for the fifty seven views on Thursday, the seventh of February? It boggles my mind…The fact is that I have grown old, and have myriad health problems to confirm that fact, one of them being a bad back which precludes me from sitting for hours while punchin’ and pokin’ at a computer.
I particularly liked the response from one reader who asked, facetiously, I suppose, if I had “left anything out?” Granted, it was a long post. One wag complained she had to read it in “three installments.” At least she read it…In fact, there was much “left out.”
I have greatly admired the acting of Kevin Bacon.
I recall reading years ago about how he would ride the New York subway watching and listening to the riders in order to better learn how to act. He obviously worked hard to learn his craft, but must also be extremely talented, as he is also a musician. Over the years I have lost count of the times I have been asked if I were related to Kevin. I actually debated about putting Kevin down as my favorite actor, but finally decided to go with Bogart, thinking maybe readers would think me prejudiced because of the name.
Kevin Bacon is extremely talented in a variety of ways. For example:
Another actor admired was James Garner.
One of the reasons is that he acted in two of my most favorite TV programs, Maverick
and The Rockford Files.
I debated before choosing Duke Ellington as my favorite composer. One reader thought a composer should be someone who composed classical music. For him I will say that my favorite, and the greatest classical composer of all time, was Ludwig van Beethoven.
When told my favorite symphony was the seventh,
Louisville Lefty agreed. Decades later he said he considered the ninth to be the best and his favorite. “But Lefty,” I said, “In the ’80’s you said you preferred the seventh.” In reply he said simply, “You are mistaken, sir.”
Most people will be surprised but Frank Zappa
was a fabulous composer, maybe the greatest of all time. I thought long and hard before choosing Mr. Ellington, but in his own way, Zappa was just as towering figure as was Duke.
One of the albums left out was Kind of Blue,
by Miles Davis.
Yes, I like the title as the color blue has always been my favorite color. There is a reason so many consider Kind of Blue to be the best jazz record of all time.
New In Chess has never asked “Who is your favorite philosopher?” I once asked a young Stuart Rachels,
who became the 1989 US Chess Co Champion along with Roman Dzindzichashvili and Yasser Seirawan, and, following in his father’s footsteps, a philosopher, “Who is your favorite philosopher.” Grinning, he answered, “My dad.” Then he asked, “Who’s yours?” Without hesitation I answered, “Baruch Spinoza.”
“Hummm,” said Stuart, who was still in school at the time, “We haven’t gotten to him yet.”
As for Chess games there are two games in particular that made a tremendous impression on me and both are from the 1972 Fischer v Spassky match. I write about the sixth game because some people call it the “…greatest” of the match, and with good reason. Consider this:
“Game 6 between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky from the 1972 World Chess Championship (Match of the Century) was the greatest one of the entire battle. It includes a rare beginning of the game by Fischer with 1.c4. This masterful chess game is best described by International Master Anthony Saidy as “It was like a symphony of placid beauty.”, and this exceptional moment in chess history has attributed to it a wonderful act of sportsmanship by Boris Spassky who, after the game, stood up and applauded Fischer for the masterpiece he just played. Game 6 is one of the greatest chess games ever played, and it propelled Fischer into the match lead, one that Spassky would not overcome. The match was held in Reykjavik, Iceland.”
But the game that I consider to be the best was the penultimate game won by Bobby, game thirteen. After Boris had taken a 2-0 Bobby had completely dominated, winning the next five decisive games, bringing the score to 5-2 in favor of Bobby. In the next game Boris stunned Bobby, who had taken the proverbial poisoned pawn, by winning, bringing the score to 5-3. Boris held the draw in game twelve, setting the stage for game thirteen. Bobby no doubt shocked Boris, and the entire world of Chess, by playing Alekhine’s defense in what turned out to be a glorious battle between two titans. After Bobby won there followed seven hard fought battles which ended in a draw, until Boris resigned game twenty one. After winning game eleven Boris might have had ideas about mounting a comeback, but Bobby disabused Boris of any such notion when winning game thirteen, a masterpiece.
I could go on, and on, and…you get the idea, but everything comes to an end. I have been fortunate enough to have loved, and been loved. The road may go on forever,
but the party will eventually end.
This is dedicated to a wonderful woman who, all too briefly, was my PAL.