Goodbye to the big ballpark in the Bronx

Well, old friend, I guess this is goodbye.  Throughout my life, there have been few I have looked forward to seeing more than you.  Each year when winter would finally break, nothing brought a smile to my face like the site of you on opening day.  What will the world be like now without you?

No matter how hard things got, there was always you.  When we sat in the bleachers watching a last place team, it was worth it because of you.  When we had to live with disappointments like Andy Hawkins losing a no-hitter, we always had you.  And in these last few years of prosperity, you shined all the brighter, proving to the country that there truly is only one “stadium”.  You can keep your parks and fields.  I got a stadium.  And not just a stadium, THE stadium.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

Even though money and space has kept us apart more than together these last few years, my affection for you has never diminished.  Sure there is nothing quite like a trip to seeing my old friend, but you always seemed to love the television cameras as well.  And the cameras loved you right back.  Even those never lucky enough to visit the greatest baseball field in history knew what you were all about.

I’ll admit that I did not come to see you this season and say goodbye.  It was just too hard for me.  Seeing that gorgeous field and touching the monuments to our past heroes was something I didn’t want to forever remember as a sad event.  Instead I have nothing but fond memories.  Do you remember that day when I was only maybe 8 years old, when Dad, my brother, and I came to see the Yanks play the Royals in the blistering July heat?  I know our boys lost by a bunch, but this kid was thrilled just to see Reggie hit a couple into the right field bleachers.  Or how about that time I came to see you for game 6 of the 2000 ALCS?  We all knew the Mets were waiting for us, but we needed to win and close out the Mariners.  When David Justice launched a ball into the upper deck to take the lead, I could feel the floor shaking under my seat.  I could just tell you were lovin’ it!

I’ve never been one for tearful goodbyes, but as these current Yankees departed your company last night with the high class defined by that uniform for last time, I could feel a tear fall down my cheek.  Fare thee well, my old friend.  And thank you for all you have given me.  You will never be forgotten.

by David McBride

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Railroad Enthusiasts Find a Gem in Portland, Maine

The city of Portland, Maine is a fascinating place to visit.  It is an eclectic city that has everything from a thriving art and music community to a gorgeous New England seaport.  It also offers the train enthusiast a must-see attraction called the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum.

So what exactly is a “narrow gauge railroad” and why does it belong in Portland, Maine?  Here is how the museum’s website describes it…

Have you discovered this unique part of Maine’s rich history? These 2-foot gauge steam trains connected rural Maine with the rest of the world from 1879 until just before World War II. Shipping everything from passengers, farming goods, and lumber, these diminutive steam-powered trains served to strengthen Maine’s infrastructure and communication as a great improvement from the days of the rather impractical and weather-reliant horse-drawn buggy. The reign of the 2-footers thundering through Maine’s countryside lasted until the dawning of the modern era of paved roads, trucks, and private automobiles.

So after you taste the beer at the Shipyard Brewing Company, head down towards the water and find the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum.  You can actually ride one of these trains and the track takes you right along the shoreline of this amazing city.

For more on our great railroad heritage check out Tracks and Taverns on the American Public House Review.

posted by: David McBride, Marketing Director

Published in: Uncategorized on September 15, 2008 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Setting Sail With John McCain

We left Newport under threatening skies on a northerly heading up Narragansett Bay. Our charter on that  morning in May of 2000 was the restored 58 foot Elco motor-yacht Rum Runner. In the waters just beyond the Navy War College were anchored the Iowa and Forrestal. Our captain skillfully maneuvered our craft in between these two historic grey ladies of naval warfare. 

As I looked up at the flight deck I recalled scenes of the inferno that engulfed John McCain’s A-4 Skyhawk after a missile accidentally fired from another aircraft struck his plane’s fuel tanks, as he was awaiting clearance to take off for a bombing sortie over North Vietnam. 134 sailors and airmen lost their lives and hundreds more were injured as a result of the Forrestal disaster on July 29, 1967. This event as well as the five years of captivity in Hanoi did much to prepare Captain John McCain for his dedicated, resolute and occasionally brash career on the floor of the United States Senate. 

This past August I was again cruising the waters off Coddington Cove. It is no longer possible to gain easy access to this or any other military installation in the United states. The events of 9-11 have, for better or worse – literally and figuratively, limited our ability to freely navigate many channels. But our presidential candidates remind us often about the gravity of the situation, and the sacrifices that must be made in order to safeguard the republic. They and their operatives also remind us ad nauseam about those individual life experiences that make them capable and ready to serve as president.

As I review the resumes of our current candidates I am satisfied that both are competent enough to hold court in the Oval Office. Hell, anyone that is able to outlast their opponents in the grueling and unremiting primary process is probably able to give at least a fair accounting of presidential performance.

But then there is the matter of constitutional ascendance. On this front John McCain has so far proven the depth of his political savvy and expedience in his choice of Sarah Palin; but as a matter of providing for the responsible protection of this nation – one might question his powers of reasoning and good judgement. 

If these are truly the most grave and dangerous times since the Second World War, as both candidates would have us believe, they owe it to every American to make sure that their potential successors are well versed in international affairs and immediately qualified to take command of our armed forces. Furthermore, while we must value and respect every person’s relationship with the divine, those who profess that God might have a hand in directing our use of military force may not be suited for the position of commander in chief.

Those who died at Yorktown, Antietam, Meuse-Argonne, Guadalcanal, Normandy, Incheon, Khe Sanh, Basra and on the decks of the Forrestal perhaps deserve better!

Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher

Tracks and Taverns

To help celebrate the roll out of “Tracks and Taverns” at American Public House Review we’ve posted this hauntingly beautiful poem by Lieut. John Pierre Roche from his book Rimes in Olive Drab. The piece was written during the First World War and it perfectly captures the emotions and insights of a soldier as he reflects on the passing of trains that carry young warriors toward their ports of embarkation – and an uncertain destiny on the battlefields of France.    

Trains

 

By: LIEUT. JOHN PIERRE ROCHE

 
Over thousands of miles
Of shining steel rails,
Past green and red semaphores
And unheeding flagmen,
Trains are running,
Trains, trains, trains.

Rattling through tunnels
And clicking by way stations,
Curving through hills, past timber,
Out into the open places,
Flashing past silos and barns
And whole villages,
Until finally they echo
Against the squat factories
That line the approach to the cities.

Trains, trains, trains
With the fire boxes wide open,
Giant Moguls and old-time Baldwins
And oil–burners on the Southern Pacific,
Fire boxes wide open
Flaring against the night,
Like a tremendous watch fire

Where the sentries cluster at their post.
Trains, trains, trains
Serpentine strings of cars
Loaded with boys and men–
The legion of the ten-year span
To whom has been given the task
Of seeking the Great Adventure.

Swaying through the North and South,
And East and West,
Freighted with the Willing
And the Unwilling;
Packed with the Thinking
And the Unthinking,
Pushing on to the Unknown
Away from the shelter and security
Of the accustomed into the Great Adventure.

Trains, trains, trains
With their coach sides scrawled
With chalked bravado and, sometimes,
With their windows black
With yelling boys,
In open-mouthed exultation
That they do not feel,
Rushing farther and farther
From the known into the unseeable.

Trains, trains, trains
With sky–larking boys in khaki,
Munching sandwiches and drinking pop;
Or, tired and without their depot swagger,
Curled up on the red-plush seats;
Or asleep, with a stranger, in the Pullmans.

They rush past our camp,
Which lies against the railroad
With the crossing alarm jangling
And fade into the dust or night.
Leaving us to conjecture where,
As they have left others to wonder–
As they must wonder themselves
When they are done
With the shouting and hand-shaking
And kissing and hat-waving and singing.

Trains, trains, trains
Clicking on into unforecast days–
Away from the shelter and security
Of the accustomed into the Great Adventure.

 

 

Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher

 

 

Published in: Uncategorized on September 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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