Remembering

I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have served in the US armed forces. Of course today is Veteran’s Day in the US. I believe it’s still called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in parts of Europe. On this day in 1918, 100 years ago exactly, the Great War—later known as World War I, of course—ended.

******************

If he had lived today would have been Kevin Towers’ 57th birthday. I worked with Kevin as a member of the San Diego Padres’ Baseball Operations staff. As I wrote in one of my first posts onĀ Disaffected Musings the day after he died in late January of this year, although I was “foisted” upon him at first he always treated me as a friend and with respect. In that earlier post I showed this picture:

That picture was taken in the visitors clubhouse in Los Angeles after the Padres clinched the 1996 NL Western Division title. Kevin is the one kneeling in front and I am one of the other three people. So long ago and yet still fresh in memory.

When baseball’s “golden boy” was named to his first General Manager position he gave an interview to that city’s famous newspaper. In that interview he named Kevin as one of the two people who had most influenced the way he thought about baseball. The other person was yours truly.

******************

Many thanks to regular readers Charley Walters and Steve Dallas for sending emails to me with words of praise for this blog. As the late, great Saul Bellow once wrote, “We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.” Despite the inadequacy of words (kind of an odd thing for a blogger to write, I guess) I want to express my gratitude for their emails and for all regular readers of this blog. Disaffected Musings is very important to me and I am very proud of this blog. Even with the recent surge in readers I still wish many more people were reading.

******************

Days like today make many of us of “middle age” wax nostalgic about the past. I have written about and posted pictures of this car before, but one more time won’t hurt.

See the source image

From classiccars.com a picture of a 1956 Buick Century with a great view of the front of the car. The first car I ever drove was a 1956 Buick Century that my father purchased in 1961, I believe. About 21,000 of this model were produced in 1956. The weight was about 4,200 pounds. The car seemed heavier; so much so, in fact, that our nickname for the car was “The Tank.” The MSRP of the car when new was about $3,300.

The Century was powered by Buick’s Fireball V-8 of 322 cubic inch displacement that produced 255 HP/341 LB-FT of torque. The transmission was Buick’s famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Dynaflow automatic. It was called the Dyna-Slush by detractors, but was praised for its smoothness by its supporters.

As I have written before, from time to time I scratch my itch to look for a ’56 Century for sale online. I look through the ads, of which there are usually not many, and have to take a deep breath before the urge to buy one passes. One day, though, the breath might no longer work.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

Goodbye, KT

Kevin Towers, former General Manager of the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks, died yesterday at the age of 56 after a year-long battle with cancer. (Cancer sucks.) I worked with Kevin for four-plus years and, even though I was “foisted” upon him at first, he always treated me as a friend and valued colleague. Although I had known since last March that he was ill, the news of his passing is still quite sad.

The person kneeling front and center is Kevin Towers. One of the other three people in the photo is me. This picture was taken in the visitors clubhouse at Dodger Stadium after the Padres had clinched the 1996 NL West title.

This is a picture of my 1998 National League Championship ring. Kevin was the General Manager of that team.

Thanks and farewell, KT.