Tag Archives: Dr. Salmon Haroon

Driving to the World Series of Rodeo while listening to the Eagles

I am preparing to become a grandfather; Joanna’s due date is early April, 2016

“Driving to the World Series of Rodeo in Oklahoma City while listening to the Eagles over the radio” might be considered an eccentric way of saying, “My elder daughter Joanna is pregnant. The due date is April 2016. I am counting down the months ahead when I will be handing out cigars–chewing gum, chocolate and real tobacco cigars while announcing, “I am a Zeyda.”

In my culture Zeyda is all the title required to command respect for my  wisdom, sagacity, and mindfulness. [Yes, there are the parents Joanna and Jade to consider.]

With a grandfatherly purpose (which will be revealed) I write about the 1972 World Series of Rodeo with deliberate intent. The appearance of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is deliberate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb

KeepOnTrucking

 

“Keep on Trucking,” especially in this R. Crumb rendition, is a lifetime motto although as I prepare to become a Zeyda my mind turns to 1972 and the Gusher Club in Oklahoma City

The news that I am about to become a grandfather has been occupying all lobes of my brain.

Donovansbrainposter

Except, like Donovan’s Brain, my brain has expanded to prepare for Amelia and Javier’s wedding August, 2016, Chapel Hill, NC where I will be giving away the bride to Javier Blanco a sergeant in the Spanish Army. Amelia and Javier live in Toledo [not Ohio]. The wedding will be officiated by my friend Adam Phillips.

Chapel Hill Town Flag. I love Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill Town Flag. I love Chapel Hill.

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You Tube Note:

When I came to the emergency room a week ago Thursday, a massive infection swept through my body. On my site, I will provide a list of names of the physicians who saved my life. I will also tell you about my doctors, the staff–wonderful staff–who paraded in and out my room. When I arrived, I was so infectious that I could not kiss you [whoever you are.]

Now you can kiss me. Toward the end of my stay only hospital workers had to wear gowns when entering my room. They also had to shed gowns immediately upon leaving. Visitors did not have to wear gowns. The gown-precaution was to reduce the remote chance that the oncology patients on the forth floor might catch a germ from a hospital worker.

Immediately after this film, my physician in charge walked in without a gown and shook my hand without a glove. Yesterday, Dr. Salmon Haroon told me that it is safe for me to visit my daughter Joanna who is pregnant with my first grandchild.

This video will be the first of future efforts to work with hospital architects and maintenance administrators to make Mt. Nittany hospital rooms more accessible while at the same reducing costs. In February I plan to publish an academic technical report for the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center on this subject.

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scales-of-justice

In 1972, after flying back from the New York courthouse where I obtained an annulment from Vicki, I became a legal resident in the State of California. After living with a good friend, I decided to live alone which also pleased Hadley.

On the flight from the annulment, Mary, a California-raised nurse then living in New York, was on vacation. A brief conversation about the fact that she was wearing yellow glasses may have contributed to our arranging to sit next to each other. Deer hunters wear yellow glasses to better kill their prey trying to hide behind trees. Why Mary was wearing yellow glasses from JFK to San Francisco airport….

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I explained to Mary that I had a lot of business ahead of me:

–Renting an apartment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb

–Traveling to REMOTE Northern California where I had spoken to legendary cartoonist R. Crumb by phone in NYC, but whom I wanted to see in person

"Being hit by the Meatball" has special significance. For details: Consult with an R. Crumb expert
“Being hit by the Meatball” has special significance. For details: Consult with an R. Crumb expert

–Preparing to drive from San Francisco to Lubock, Texas and then take a bus to Oklahoma City where I would be lodged at the World Series of Rodeo headquarters hotel, drink with cowboys and cowgirls and the author of Dallas North 40 in the Hilton’s Gusher Club and cover bull riding and the other events three hours a night for five nights and several blurry early mornings.

OKC_seal

Mary said she would spend her vacation helping me find an apartment. She said helping me generally sounded like fun. However, first we had to go on a helicopter ride.

SFO Helicopters Airlines operated from 1961 to 1965. This photograph from Wikipedia does a good job of showing the helicopter that made it possible for me to see San Francisco Bay from the air, but up close and personal.
SFO Helicopters Airlines operated from 1961 to 1965. This photograph from Wikipedia does a good job of showing the helicopter that made it possible for me to see San Francisco Bay from the air, but up close and personal.

bayarea

 

We flew from the San Francisco Airport to the Oakland Airport where Mary had reserved an automobile. She called her sister whom she had been planning to visit. It was a private call. Then, she drove to the house I shared with Hadley on Bernal Heights. http://www.datapointed.net/2010/02/more-steeps-of-san-francisco/bernal heights

bernal

Mountain Top

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oehry1JC9Rk[/youtube]

“I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” Less than 12 hours after delivered his I Have Been to the Mountaintop speech (excerpted below), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed.

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I have been to the mountaintop

It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.

And I don’t mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

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Bacchiacca_-_Moses_Striking_the_Rock

“If, when you have entered the land that the Lord your God has given you, and occupied it and settled in it, you shall be free to set a king over yourself… Moreover, [the King] shall shall not keep many horses or send many people backed to Egypt to add to the horses. ‘You must never go back that way again. ‘”

–Deuteronomy, 17:14, Jewish Publication Society translation (2)

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I am musing over the idea of being a grand father. Grand father.

My prospective grandchild; first trimester; 2015
My prospective grandchild; first trimester; 2015

 

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Joanna Marie Solkoff right with her husband Jade Phillips
Joanna Marie Solkoff right with her husband Jade Phillips

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Zeyda is the Yiddish word for Grandfather. I will be called Zeda. Here is a photograph of my paternal grandfather and grandmother
Zeyda is the Yiddish word for Grandfather. I will be called Zeda. Here is a photograph of my paternal grandfather and grandmother

Amelia Altalena Solkoff (r) with Javier Blanco. The couple will be married August 2016, Chapel Hill, NC

Amelia Altalena Solkoff (r) with Javier Blanco. The couple will be married August 2016, Chapel Hill, NC

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Observations on my maternal grandfather

 

My paternal grandfather Salvatore Pellicia. He died in a Veteran's Hospital in Staten Island three years before I was born.
My maternal grandfather Salvatore Pellicia. He died in a Veteran’s Hospital in Staten Island three years before I was born.

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My San Francisco Noe Valley apartment was like living in San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House

 

My San Francidsco Noe Valley apartment was like living in San Jose's Winchester Mystery House

Cowboy’s Prayer

Cowboy_s_Prayer

 

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Winslow, Arizona. Yes, the radio was playing “Well, I’m a standing on a corner/in Winslow, Arizona/ and such a fine sight to see…” just as I picked up a hitchhiker

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“Take It Easy” by the Eagles, lead singer Don Henley

Well, I’m running down the road
tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on
my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that want to stone me; one that says she is a friend of mine.
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy
Well I’m running down the road trying to loosen
my load, got a world of trouble on my mind
lookin’ for a lover who won’t blow my
cover, she’s so hard to find
Take it easy, take it easy
don’t let the sound of your own
wheels make you crazy
come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy,
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy
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Flashback Three Weeks Earlier: Mary and I drive to R. Cromb’s remote hermit-like retreat

R. Crumb cover; Scanlan’s Monthly 6, August 1970, from my personal collection
R. Crumb cover; Scanlan’s Monthly 6, August 1970, from my personal collection

The “side trip” to Crumb’s kitchen in the woods took place before Mary returned to NYC. Also, the visit took place before I obtained a car stopping at Winslow, Arizona en route to Lubbock, Texas where I dropped off the car and took a bus to Oklahoma City.

My experience with R. Crumb took place in 1970 where I worked for Scanlan’s Magazine where Crumb published two covers–illustrations that so dominated the front cover critics in New York City (for personal reasons unwilling  to provide coverage to Scanlan’s) could not help but provide us with coverage because Crumb’s work is so startlingly good and mind bending.

In addition to being research director at Scanlan’s and co-author of a cover story on Russian pornography, my job was to get in touch with Crumb when we needed him. Wikipedia’s account of Crumb’s whereabouts is incorrect. He was not in the South of France, as reported. Rather, Crumb and his wife lived in a community so remote that it made calling  him by telephone extremely difficult and time consuming. I figured I might get enough to pay the rent if I interviewed Crumb. I also greatly admire Crumb and Ralph Steadman. Here is Ralph Steadman.

Screen shot from Ralph Steadman's online autobiography in which he shows the Kentucky Derby drawing for Scanlan's Monthly where I watched him draw. Wow.
Screen shot from Ralph Steadman’s online autobiography in which he shows the Kentucky Derby drawing for Scanlan’s Monthly where I watched him draw. Wow.

[Note from this site’s lamentably non-existent Protocol Editor who regrets the confusing manner in which this posting is being put together and who wonders about  the relevance of my becoming a grandfather to a story involving R. Crumb, the World Series of Rodeo, Martin Luther King, Jr. and virtual reality in the construction industry. This is an elaborate way of saying that I may come back to this side-trip to R. Crumb or I may focus my attention on the fashion show put on by the wives of rodeo cowboys. This posting is coming together. However, I have not reached a conclusion–in my mind Yes; in practice Not yet. Please be patient. Festina lente.]

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Shocking bull riding footage

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2f2vxqIJtA[/youtube]

“Sometimes it is prudent to know when to give up.” In February, 2011 I published these words plus the following two paragraphs on rodeo. I was writing a column on a subject totally unrelated to rodeo. Rather than get to the point immediately, I wrote about the rodeo. No relevant reason explains why I decided to write about the courage (perhaps misguided courage) of a cowboy who was waiting to ride a very angry bull. The hold of my now 43-year-old experience with rodeo still emerges when I least expect it. The relevance of rodeo to my prospective grandfather hood indicates….

 The handler applies the fully charged cattle prod to the rear of a bull bred for ferocity. The cowboy—Slim really is his name—holds onto his hat with his left hand. In his right hand are the reigns, two strips of leather held on tightly at first, but capable of falling apart to help the rider jump away from the bucking bull to safety after the regulation eight second ride is complete.

The maximum score is 100 points; 50 for the rider and 50 for the bull. A mean angry bull is the most desirable because he gives the rider the opportunity to make the most money. This bull is mean. When the bull jumps higher after the cattle prod, Slim smiles with optimism. The gate leading to the ring fails to open. Historically, when the gate sticks, a confined maddened bull has been known to break both legs of a rider. Slim, who attended rodeo schools, is aware of the danger.As a reporter at the World Series of Rodeo at Oklahoma City (before it moved to Los Vegas), I am sitting next to the handlers on the inside wooden planks of the chute. It took considerable effort to get permission to be this close to Slim—close enough to watch his pupils dilate into huge ovals displaying a fear he cannot disguise. The lead handler asks Slim if he would like to wait 20 minutes before beginning the ride. Slim nods him off. The gate opens.

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Six-time World Rodeo Champion Larry Mahan guided me through the inside world of professional rodeo

Larry Mahan rides a bull. 1972 was not a good year for the winner of Rodeo Cowboy of the Year title. However, in 1972, Larry came to the World Series with only $22,327. His winnings were so far behind Bobby Steinar, who had taken the rodeo through a quiet series of championships. It was Larry who produced vivid quotes picked up by a grateful media to describe 1972's World Champion. Larry decided to befriend me, which he did telling vivid rodeo stories and observations. On one occasion, Larry nearly slugged me at the Gusher Club after returning from three hours of rodeo to several hours of non-stop drinking. Larry was sitting with a stunningly beautiful blonde Playboy model when I arrived. His hat was on a chair. I picked up the hat. Suddenly, amiability was replaced by rage. A quickened set of danger threatened until Peter Gent, author of Dallas Noth 40, grabbed Larry around his arms so he could not slug me.
Larry Mahan rides a bull. 1972 was not a good year for the winner of Rodeo Cowboy of the Year title. However, in 1972, Larry came to the World Series with only $22,327. His winnings were so far behind Bobby Steinar, who had taken the rodeo through a quiet series of championships. It was Larry who produced vivid quotes picked up by a grateful media to describe 1972’s World Champion. Larry decided to befriend me, which he did telling vivid rodeo stories and observations. On one occasion, Larry nearly slugged me at the Gusher Club after returning from three hours of rodeo to several hours of non-stop drinking. Larry was sitting with a stunningly beautiful blonde Playboy model when I arrived. His hat was on a chair. I picked up the hat. Suddenly, amiability was replaced by rage. A quickened set of danger threatened until Peter Gent, author of Dallas Noth 40, grabbed Larry around his arms so he could not slug me.

LarryMahan[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watchv=F9ahKJas3zI[/youtube]

330px-Bull-Riding2-Szmurlo

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Peter Gent,  former receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, provided me with detailed comparisons between professional football and professional rodeo

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I convinced Peter to report on the fashion show in which cowboy wives exhibited the latest style–the layered look. The two of us were the only males in a large room filled with women drunk on cold duck, describing their lives, disclosing names of the women cheating on their husbands, providing up-to-the minute cancer reports on a friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Nothing bonds two journalists together like sharing exclusively a mind-altering view of life on a seemingly different planet.

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[Note: This video from Gent’s movie version of North Dallas Forty contains language not suitable for minors and others who like English expressed without non-stop obscenities. Note required on what is fit to publish and why,]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6mpHW3SMcc[/youtube]

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“Peter Gent, a receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the 1960s whose best-selling novel “North Dallas Forty” portrayed professional football as a dehumanizing business that drove pain-racked players to drug and alcohol abuse, died Friday in Bangor, Mich. He was 69.

Gent (pronounced Jent) never played college football — he was a basketball star at Michigan State — and he caught only four touchdown passes in five seasons with the Cowboys.

But he achieved an enduring niche as a writer, most notably with “North Dallas Forty,” his first novel, published in 1973. He contributed to the screenplay for the 1979 movie of the same title in which Nick Nolte played a role drawing partly on Gent’s career.

—The New York Times, Obituary by 

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[youtube]http://youtu.be/wtVeDaZxAXo[/youtube]

Lyrics: GeorgeStrait’s Amarillo by Morning
Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone.
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on.
When that sun is high in that Texas sky
I’ll be bucking it to county fair.
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo I’ll be there.
They took my saddle in Houston, broke my leg in Santa Fe.
Lost my wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way.
Well I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate,
And I’m hoping that judge ain’t blind.
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s on my mind.
Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone.
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on.
I ain’t got a dime, but what I got is mine.
I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free.
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be.
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be.

“A long long time ago/when we were young and pretty,/we ruled the world, we stopped the time, we knew it all, we owned this city/Running with the crowd, carefree and proud I heard somebody say/….”

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHTZwvgcGZQ[/youtube]