It’s Starting

The signs of spring are all around us. Even around the Kowalski Heat Treating buildings.

Can you feel it?  And smell it?  Yep, spring is starting here on the beautiful Northcoast.  Like a little kid anxious for summer recess, I just love this time of year.  In so many ways – the air smells fresher, the sun’s rays seem to cast a different shadow on the ground, the sky is bluer, the ice begins to shrink on the Lake, and everyone just seems happier. I know for a fact that my significant other can’t wait to start to tackle the yard! In our KHT tradition, I thought I’d list a bunch of signs of spring’s arrival, sprinkled in with some of my own behaviors and observations. Enjoy. And if you have any ques of your own, shoot me an email or give me a call – would love to hear about them and share with our readers.

Snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses– This year, the first snowdrops were seen well in advance.  The delicate flowers are now making their brief appearance and in some places daffodils and crocuses are already out.  In my neighbor’s yard, a few have popped open.  Brilliant!
Celandines(buttercups)- These flowers are called celandines, and they look a quite similar to buttercups.  Keep an eye out for bundles of lesser celandine flowers in woodlands, hedgerows and in gardens. Their bright petals turn the ground into a sea of yellow; a reminder that the mild weather of spring and summer is yet to come.
Bumblebees– Bumblebees start buzzing around on warm days in spring – the best time to look out for them is in March and April. The first bumblebees during this time are the queens, searching for nectar and a good drink before finding the perfect grounds for her colony.  Meanwhile, the mining bees will begin emerging from their underground cells, leaving small, neat piles of soil around the exit holes.
The Shedding of the Snow blowers– It’s about this time of year when the guys on the street move their snow blowers to the shed and drag out their lawnmowers and leaf blowers.  Nothing like the sound of whining blowers, as the neighbors do a quick cleaning of their decks.
First Grilling– Can you resist that smell? My neighbors get brave again, fighting the chill in the air to get the first steak or ribs or chicken on the grill. In full disclosure, there really is nothing like grilling outside when it is snowing!
Frogs and Tadpoles– One of the first amphibians to emerge in spring is the frog. At this time, ponds come to life with frogs getting busy and laying their eggs, which look like small jelly-like bubbles floating in the water. On one of my runs, I could hear them calling early at sunrise.
Birds Singing– As the days gradually become lighter and temperatures start to lift, the birds begin to sing, rejoicing that the end of winter is close. Birds bring a wonderful soundtrack to spring that can be quite dazzling, the ones to listen out for include the song thrush, robin, bluejays and cardinals.  I love the call of the cardinals early in the morning.
Wild Garlic– It’s a favorite amongst chefs and is one of the most sought-after cooking ingredients. Go for a stroll in the woodlands during springtime and you might come across the smell of ramsons – otherwise known as wild garlic.  Wild garlic can be spotted by its lush green leaves that sprout in March, while its star-like white flowers appear in April.
Migrant Birds– During the transition period of winter into spring, many of us will start noticing winter birds leaving as the summer birds returning north.  Being on the coast, we are a resting area before the trek across the lake – favorite include: woodpeckers, blackbirds, sparrows and of course my favorite, named …the yellow bellied sapsucker.
The First Cut– I resist it as long as possible, because we all know, once you make the “first cut” of the lawn, it’s a weekly chore.  I have a few neighbors who love to be out there at the first sign of spring, lookin’ all perfect, before I’ve even reached for the pull cord.
Mulch Madness– After the first cuts of course, comes Mulch Madness. A favorite in our neighborhood, when landscapers and homeowners pull out the wheelbarrows, shovels and gloves and haul it around the yard.  It has a unique smell – and not always a pleasant one!
Ducklings & Squirrels– One of the most common animals associated with spring is ducklings, as mother ducks start to take care of their new babies. While others that might be seen in the garden, park or in local farmlands include lambs, badgers, rabbits and chicks. And are all the squirrels just happy to be outside – most in my yard sprint back and forth on the patio, and up and down the trees.
Finally Taking Down the Holiday Lights– Yep, I too have a few neighbors who decided it’s warm enough to get out the ladder and finish taking down the lights. Doesn’t work at my house – Jackie keeps me on my toes right after the New Year.
Shootin’ Hoops– Growing up, we thought getting out on the driveway and shootin’ hoops was the best.  With March madness in full swing and NBA playoffs near, the kids are reenacting the moves they see on TV. It keeps them active for hours, laughing and having fun. My favorite was playing PIG or HORSE… yours? . Here’s a link to some crazy crazy shots.  Bet you can’t stop watching.  :-))
The Tribe and Tom Hamilton– Here in NE Ohio, the words Tribe and Tom Hamilton go hand in hand.  I love to turn on games, and just listen to his brilliance, tracking each pitch, introducing us to new line ups and new players, and of course his famous “It’s way back … gone! calls for the big homers.  Like this one!!
First Buds– You can see them on the trees, and forsythia and pussy willows (smaller species of the genus Salix (willows and sallows) and first flowers popping out of the ground here at the main plant headquarters. I remember Mom cutting the pussywillows and bringing them into the house, where they’d stay for months – a reminder Easter in near.




What‘s In A Name

(row one)  Two of the great names I grew up with.  (row two)  Because of this great player, Napoleon Lajoie, the Cleveland Spiders were known as the Naps in the late 19th century.  (row three)   If you have this baseball card in your collection it’s probably worth a lot of wampum. Louis Sockalexis was the first native American to play in the big leagues. And it is said he’s the reason sports writers gave the team the nickname “Indians” which obviously stuck.   (row four)  All of the current pro team logos.  (row five)  Some people have suggested we go back to being called the “Spiders” so some local t-shirt makers came up with some cool designs. (row six)  I have a better idea.   (row seven)  Looks cool on jerseys, too.   (row eight)  Jim Thome! What a great player. And that little dude taking in the smells of the ballpark.   (row nine)  All this baseball talk makes me hungry. 


Kowalski Heat Treating – or KHT as we call it sometimes, was the brainchild of Dad.  Back in the day, he spent hours driving around Northeast Ohio, calling on customers and prospects, solving their (PIA) problems, shaking hands, and then bringing things back to the shop to do great work for them. Like any small business owner, it was his “word” and his reputation, every time a delivery went out the front door.  You can imagine the pride of delivering what’s been promised, and the anguish when something goes afoul. Much like having a personal doctor you can count on, or relationship with an attorney, customers came to rely on (Dad).  When I had the opportunity to come into the business, I had huge shoes to fill – Dad’s customers. Knowing his style, fulfilling his earned reputation, and most of all, keeping sacred the family’s “good name”. As we are rapidly approaching almost 50 years in business, I am proud to say the KHT name has certainly withstood the test of time.  I love talking for hours about our evolution, the great team that has been assembled, along with the numerous PIA jobs we have encountered over the years. At the end of the day it’s KHT’s good name– and our love of PIA jobs!

Talking about names, and with baseball spring training season in full swing, I was reading the box scores, and thinking about where all the baseball team names came from.  I found a great article on  Look below and find your favorite teams – you’ll be surprised how some came to be – Enjoy!

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks– In 1995, the expansion franchise’s ownership group asked fans to vote from among a list of nicknames that included Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Phoenix, Rattlers, and Scorpions. Diamondbacks, a type of desert rattlesnake, was the winner, sparing everyone the mindboggling possibility of a team located in Phoenix, Arizona, called the Arizona Phoenix.
  2. Atlanta Braves– The Braves, who played in Boston and Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta in 1966, trace their nickname to the symbol of a corrupt political machine. James Gaffney, who became president of Boston’s National League franchise in 1911, was a member of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party machine that controlled New York City politics throughout the 19th century. The Tammany name was derived from Tammamend, a Delaware Valley Indian chief. The society adopted an Indian headdress as its emblem and its members became known as Braves. Sportswriter Leonard Koppett described Gaffney’s decision to rename his team, “Wouldn’t it be neat to call the team the ‘Braves,’ waving this symbol of the Democrats under the aristocratic Bostonians?” It didn’t bother the fans, especially after the Braves swept the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.
  3. Baltimore Orioles– When the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954, the franchise was rebranded with the same nickname of the Baltimore team that dominated the old National League in the late 1890s. That was named after the state bird of Maryland and the orange and black colors of the male Oriole bird resembled the colors on the coat of arms of Lord Baltimore.
  4. Boston Red Sox– The team that became known as the Red Sox began play ” wearing dark blue socks, no less ” as a charter member of the American League in 1901. With no official nickname, the team was referred to by a variety of monikers, including Bostons and Americans. In 1907, Americans owner John Taylor announced that his team was adopting red as its new color after Boston’s National League outfit switched to all-white uniforms. Taylor’s team became known as the Red Sox, a name popularized by the Cincinnati Red Stockings from 1867-1870 and used by Boston’s National League franchise from 1871-1876.
  5. Chicago Cubs– When the team began to sell off its experienced players in the late 1880s, local newspapers began to refer to the club as Anson’s Colts, a reference to player-manager Cap Anson’s roster of youngsters. By 1890, Colts had caught on and Chicago’s team had a new nickname. When Anson left the team in 1897, the Colts became known as the Orphans, a depressing nickname if there ever was one. When Frank Selee took over managerial duties of Chicago’s youthful roster in 1902, a local newspaper dubbed the team the Cubs and the name stuck.
  6. Chicago White Sox– In 1900, Charles Comiskey moved the St. Paul Saints to the South Side of Chicago. The team adopted the former nickname of its future rivals (the Cubs) and became the White Stockings, which was shortened to White Sox a few years after the club joined the American League in 1901.
  7. Cincinnati Reds– The Cincinnati Red Stockings, so named because they wore red socks, were baseball’s first openly all-professional team. Red Stockings eventually became Redlegs, and Redlegs was shortened to Reds. Before the 1953 season, club officials announced that the team would once again officially be known as the Cincinnati Redlegs. Around the same time, the team temporarily removed “Reds” from its uniforms. As the AP reported in 1953, “The political significance of the word ‘Reds’ these days and its effect on the change was not discussed by management.”
  8. Cleveland Indians– Cleveland’s baseball team was originally nicknamed the Naps after star player-manager Napoleon Lajoie, so when the team cut ties with Lajoie after the 1914 season, it was in the market for a new name. Club officials and sportswriters agreed on Indians in January 1915. The Boston Braves’ miraculous World Series triumph may have been part of the inspiration behind Cleveland’s new moniker.
  9. Colorado Rockies– When team officials announced that Denver’s expansion team would begin play in 1993 as the Colorado Rockies, some fans couldn’t help but question why the team was adopting the same nickname as the city’s former NHL franchise. According to surveys conducted by Denver’s daily newspapers, fans preferred the nickname Bears, which had been used by Denver’s most famous minor league team.
  10. Detroit Tigers – Detroit’s original minor league baseball team was officially known as the Wolverines. The club was also referred to as the Tigers, the nickname for the members of Michigan’s oldest military unit, the 425th National Guard infantry regiment, which fought in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. When Detroit joined the newly formed American League in 1901, the team received formal permission from the regiment, which was known as the Detroit Light Guard, to use its symbol and nickname.
  11. Houston Astros– Houston’s baseball team was originally known as the Colt .45’s, but team president Judge Roy Hofheinz made a change “in keeping with the times” in 1965. Citing Houston’s status as “the space age capital of the world,” Hofheinz settled on Astros. “With our new domed stadium, we think it will also make Houston the sports capital of the world,” Hofheinz said. The change was likely also motivated by pressure from the Colt Firearms Company, which objected to the use of the Colt .45 nickname.
  12. Kansas City Royals– When Kansas City was awarded an expansion franchise in 1969, club officials chose Royals from more than 17,000 entries in a name-the-team contest. Sanford Porte, one of 547 fans who submitted Royals, was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the All-Star Game. Porte submitted the name because of “Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal Livestock and Horse Show.
  13. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Los Angeles gained a second major league team in 1961 when the Los Angeles Angels entered the American League. The nickname had been used by Los Angeles’ Pacific Coast League team from 1903-1957. The team was renamed the California Angels in 1965 and became the Anaheim Angels after the Walt Disney Company took control of the team in 1997. While the team’s lease with the city requires that Anaheim be a part of the team name, owner Arte Moreno changed the team’s name to include Los Angeles in 2005 in hopes of tapping into the L.A. media market. The result is one of the most absurd names in all of professional sports.
  14. Los Angeles Dodgers– The Dodgers trace their roots to Brooklyn, where the team was known as the Bridegrooms, Superbas, and, beginning in 1911, the Trolley Dodgers, referencing the pedestrians who dodged the trolleys that carried passengers through the streets of Brooklyn. While the team was known as the Robins from 1914 to 1931, in honor of legendary manager Wilbert Robinson, the nickname switched back to Dodgers when Robinson retired. When Walter O’Malley moved the franchise to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, he elected to keep the name.
  15. Miami Marlins– The Marlins take their name from the minor league Miami Marlins that called South Florida home from 1956-1988. Owner Wayne Huizenga hoped to give his expansion team, which entered the league in 1993, more regional appeal by including Florida in the name. However, when the Marlins moved into their new baseball-only stadium in 2012, they became the Miami Marlins.
  16. Milwaukee Brewers– The Brewers nickname, a nod to Milwaukee’s beer industry, was used off and on by various Milwaukee baseball teams during the late 19th century. When the expansion Seattle Pilots relocated to Milwaukee after one failed season in 1969, the team adopted the traditional Brewers nickname under the ownership of Bud Selig.
  17. Minnesota Twins– Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are separated by the Mississippi River and collectively known as the Twin Cities, argued for years over where an expansion team in Minnesota, should one arrive, would call home. When the Washington Senators moved to Minneapolis in 1961, club officials settled on Twins as the team nickname and unveiled an emblem showing two baseball players with hands clasped in front of a huge baseball.
  18. New York Mets– Team officials asked fans to choose a nickname from among 10 finalists when New York was awarded an expansion National League franchise in 1961. The finalists were Avengers, Bees, Burros, Continentals, Jets, Mets, NYBS, Rebels, Skyliners, and Skyscrapers. Mets was the resounding winner. One of the reasons that team officials chose Mets was because “it has a brevity that will delight headline writers.”
  19. New York Yankees – In 1903, the original Baltimore Orioles moved to New York, where they became the Highlanders. As was common at the time, the team, which played in the American League, was also known as the New York Americans. New York Press editor Jim Price coined the nickname Yanks, or Yankees, in 1904 because it was easier to fit in headlines.
  20. Oakland Athletics– The Athletics nickname is one of the oldest in baseball, dating to the early 1860s and the Athletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia. In 1902, New York Giants manager John McGraw referred to Philadelphia’s American League team as a “white elephant.” The slight was picked up by a Philadelphia reporter and the white elephant was adopted as the team’s primary logo. The nickname and the elephant logo were retained when the team moved to Kansas City in 1955 and to Oakland in 1968.
  21. Philadelphia Phillies– Founded in 1883 as the Quakers, the franchise changed its nickname to the Philadelphias, which soon became Phillies. New owner Robert Carpenter held a contest to rename the team in 1943 and Blue Jays was selected as the winner. While the team wore a Blue Jay patch on its uniforms for a couple of seasons, the nickname failed to catch on.
  22. Pittsburgh Pirates– After the Players’ League collapsed in 1890, the National League’s Pittsburgh club signed two players, including Lou Bierbauer, whom the Philadelphia Athletics had forgotten to place on their reserve list. A Philadelphia sportswriter claimed that Pittsburgh “pirated away Bierbauer” and the Pirates nickname was born.
  23. San Diego Padres– When San Diego was awarded an expansion team in 1969, the club adopted the nickname of the city’s Pacific Coast League team, the Padres. The nickname, which is Spanish for father or priest, was a reference to San Diego’s status as the first Spanish Mission in California.
  24. San Francisco Giants– The New York Giants moved to San Francisco in 1957 and retained their nickname, which dates back to 1885. It was during that season, according to legend, that New York Gothams manager Jim Mutrie referred to his players as his “giants” after a rousing win over Philadelphia.
  25. Seattle Mariners– Mariners was the winning entry among more than 600 suggestions in a name-the-team contest for Seattle’s expansion franchise in 1976. Roger Szmodis of Bellevue provided the best reason. “I’ve selected Mariners because of the natural association between the sea and Seattle and her people, who have been challenged and rewarded by it.” Szmodis  received two season tickets and an all-expenses-paid trip to an American League city on the West Coast.
  26. St. Louis Cardinals– In 1899, the St. Louis Browns became the St. Louis Perfectos. That season, Willie McHale, a columnist for the St. Louis Republic reportedly heard a woman refer to the team’s red stockings as a “lovely shade of Cardinal.” McHale included the nickname in his column, and it was an instant hit among fans. The team officially changed its nickname in 1900.
  27. Tampa Bay Rays – Vince Naimoli, owner of Tampa Bay’s expansion team, chose Devil Rays out of more than 7,000 suggestions submitted by the public in 1995. The reaction was not positive. Naimoli reportedly wanted to nickname his team the Sting Rays, but it was trademarked by a team in the Hawaiian Winter League. The team dropped the “Devil” after the 2007 season and the curse that had plagued the franchise for the previous decade was apparently lifted, as Tampa Bay made a surprising run to the World Series the following season.
  28. Texas Rangers– A second franchise named the Senators left Washington in 1972, this time for Arlington, Texas. Owner Robert Short renamed the team the Rangers after the Texas law enforcement agency that was formed under Stephen F. Austin in the 1820s.
  29. Toronto Blue Jays– More than 30,000 entries were received during a five-week name-the-team contest. “The Blue Jays was felt to be the most appropriate of the final 10 names submitted,” according to a statement issued by the board’s chairman, R. Howard Webster. “The blue jay is a North American bird, bright blue in color, with white undercovering and a black neck ring. It is strong, aggressive and inquisitive. It dares to take on all comers, yet it is down-to-earth, gutsy and good-looking.”
  30. Washington Nationals – Washington’s original baseball team was interchangeably referred to as the Senators and Nationals, or Nats for short, for most of its time in the District before relocating to Minnesota in 1960. Washington’s 1961 expansion franchise was known almost exclusively as the Senators until it moved to Texas after the 1971 season. When the Montreal Expos relocated to the nation’s capital in 2005, the team revived the Nationals nickname.

A Couple of  Cool Videos:

Pick the winner of the 2019 World Series and I’ll send you a cool KHT mug and an original KHT t-shirt with no sweat stains. Promise. I must have your entry by midnight, Tuesday April 30, 2019. Enter HERE. One entry per person. If more than one entry is received by the same person, only the first submission will be counted. (Unless you come up with a really interesting bribe.)




Not Blue

(row by row from top left) Is it Irish Green or Irish Blue? Here’s an illuminated letter from the 13th century showing Saint Patrick (napping on the left) in a blue robe. Live shamrocks are always green. The rolling Tuscany countryside is as green as the Irish countryside. Some green foods: Limes, apples & peas. I don’t know what that plant is but is sure is cool! And green. Golf greens are green and Famous Green Jackets that the best golfer gets at the Masters are green, too. What’s-his-name plays for the Green Bay Packers. And there’s the Green Lantern. Kermit the frog and a real cute frog. The color of money. I had to ask but those guys are called Green Day and there’s Tom Green (who?). Finally, I changed my logo colors for St. Patrick’s Day and will make only two collector edition t-shirts for only $14,000.00 each (+ tax and shipping). Just send me your size and a certified check. 

Stephen O’Shannessy O’Brien McMurphy Patrick Michael O’Kowalski back again with a friendly reminder to celebrate this Sunday, one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day. Now, the Irish will tell you, there’s only two types of people in the world – “the Irish, and those that wish they were.” FUN! I love to jump right in and celebrate my deeply rooted heritage, that is correct the extreme love of food – especially the corned beef, carrots, potatoes and cabbage part!  Many traditions surrounding this day also include parades, leprechauns, shamrocks, rainbows, singing and dancing, and the wearing of green.  As I was laying out my wardrobe for Sunday (green socks!) I got to thinking – just why is St. Patty’s Day connected to green?  Here’s some green trivia – and special thanks to, and Print Magazine for the info – Enjoy!

  1. We all know of course, the early St. Patrick’s color was blue (learn more HERE).  According to some accounts, blue was the first color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but that started to change in the 17th century. Green is one of the colors in Ireland’s tri-color flag, and Ireland is the “Emerald Isle,” so named for its lush green landscape. Green is also the color of spring and the shamrock.
  2. Forgot to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
  3. Green with envy. Love is evergreen.  “It’s not easy being green.”  Green is everywhere – it’s the most common color in the natural world, and it’s second only to blue as the most common favorite color.   It’s the color we associate with money, the environment, and aliens, and it’s the color of revitalization and rebirth.
  4. The ancient Egyptian god Ptah was depicted with a green face. In Egyptian painting, green was a beneficial color that protected against evil.
  5. The Roman emperor Nero was known for eating a large amount of leeks he consumed, which was unusual for a high-ranking person at that time. Leeks were strongly associated with the color green, and even lent their name to one of the Greek words for the color, prasinos.
  6. The Roman Empire’s chariot races featured two opposing stables: the Blues and the Greens. The Blues represented the Senate and the patrician class, while the Greens represented the people. Each stable was backed by a large, influential organization with a network of clientele and a lobby that extended far outside the racecourse.
  7. The prophet Muhammad favored the color green. After becoming the dynastic color of the Fatimids, green came to be the sacred color of Islam as a whole.
  8. During the Middle Ages, green was the color of hope for pregnant women in particular. Pregnant women in paintings were often shown wearing green dresses.
  9. Possessing a green shield, tunic, or horse’s quarter sheet often meant that a knight was young and hotheaded. One well-known example of a “green knight” is found in the late fourteenth-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  10. In Gothic stained-glass windows, green was the color of demons, sorcerers, dragons, and the Devil himself.
  11. Dyeing in green was difficult during the Middle Ages. Green dyes from plants produced faint and unstable color that grew even more faded when mordant, or fixative, was applied. Because of this instability, green came to represent inconstancy, duplicity, and betrayal. Judas, for example, is often shown dressed in green.
  12. Physically, in the presence of green, your pituitary gland is stimulated. Your muscles are more relaxed, and your blood histamine levels increase, which leads to a decrease in allergy symptoms and dilated blood vessels, aiding in smoother muscle contractions. In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and – a bit paradoxically – invigorating. It’s been shown to improve reading ability and creativity.  Don’t forget can cause excitability in small children and dogs!
  13. Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life, and it is the sacred color of Islam, representing respect and the prophet Muhammad.
  14. We associate green with vitality, fresh growth, and wealth.   We generally think of it as a balanced, healthy, and youthful. We use green in design for spaces intended to foster creativity and productivity, and we associate green with progress – think about giving a project the “green light.”
  15. Someone who feels sick might look “green around the gills,” and certain yellow-gray greens have a distinctly unpleasant, institutional feel to them. We link green with envy and with greed, and even the Mr. Yuck sticker intended to warn children away from potentially hazardous chemicals is a bright, eye-catching green.
  16. In Aztec culture, green was considered to be royal because it was the colour of the quetzal plumes used by the Aztec chieftains.
  17. In Portugal, green is the color of hope because of its associations with spring.
  18. In the highlands of Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor.
  19. There is a superstition that sewing with green thread on the eve of a fashion show brings bad luck to the design house.
  20. Green is the color of love associated with both Venus, the Roman goddess and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess.
  21. Green was the favorite color of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  22. The color green signifies mystical or magical properties in the stories of King Arthur.
  23. Green is the color used for night-vision goggles because the human eye is most sensitive to and able to discern the most shades of that color.
  24. Bright green is the color of the astrological sign “Cancer.”
  25. Green thumb (US) or Green fingers (UK): an unusual ability to make plants grow.
  26. Green room: a room (in a theater or studio) where performers can relax before or after appearances.
  27. Greener pastures: something newer or better (or perceived to be better), such as a new job.
  28. Greenhorn: novice, trainee, beginner
  29. Going green: when someone or something makes changes to help protect the environment or reduces waste or pollution.
  30. The message you send by driving a vehicle that is Dark Green: Traditional, trustworthy, well-balanced. However, if your vehicle is a Bright Yellow-Green, you give a different impression: Trendy, whimsical, lively.
  31. “Lime” was the original scent of the bright green colored Magic Scents Crayons from Binney & Smith Inc., introduced in 1994 with mostly food scents. However, there were numerous reports that children were eating the food-scented crayons, so the food scents were retired and replaced with non-food scents. The scent for the color bright green became “eucalyptus.”
  32. AromaPod, a scented lifestyle tool, uses the color green with the scent that provides calm.


  1. Blue in Green by Miles Davis
  2. Early Morning Blues and Greens by The Monkees
  3. Evergreen by Barbra Streisand
  4. Green River by Credence Clearwater Revival
  5. Kermit’s song




The Fight

(top half – b&w photos)  Cacius Clay changes his name to Muhammed Ali and goes down at the hands of Joe Frazier.  (lower half from the color photo down)  Ali gets his revenge. Twice! Magazine covers of Cacius Clay, Muhammed Ali vs Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali’s come-back.  Laila Ali is kissed by her father before one of her matches.

As a sports guy I have certain memories locked in my memory banks (this is a big deal just ask Jackie!) Great diving catches, final at bat home runs, crazy dunks, ridiculous golf shots, Olympic moments of greatness and more.  As a kid, I used to join my Dad and older brother  to catch Muhammed Ali fights.  I can’t say I saw all of them, but the ones I did see, I can remember the way he moved, jabbed, slid punches, and trash talked his opponents. Ask any boxing fan, and you’ll hear stories about the Ali fights – the “Thrilla in Manilla”and the “Rumble in the Jungle”.  Today is the nearly 50-year anniversary of the first Ali/Frazier fight, simple called – “The Fight”, when two unbeatens, Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier met in Madison Square Garden.  It was quite a show and set the stage for a number of rematches with the fighters trading the title of “champion”.  That was truly the “Golden Age” of boxing.  Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia for this walk down memory lane and You Tube for the history.

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, billed as Fight of the Century (also known as just “The Fight”), was the boxing match between undefeated WBC/WBA heavyweight champion Joe Frazier (26–0, 23 KOs) and undefeated The Ring/lineal heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali (31–0, 25 KOs), held on March 8, 1971.  Held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, it was the first time that two undefeated boxers fought each other for the heavyweight title

In 1971, both Ali and Frazier had legitimate claims to the title of World Heavyweight Champion. An undefeated Ali had won the title from Sonny Liston in 1964, and successfully defended his belt up until he had it stripped by boxing authorities for refusing induction into the armed forces in 1967.

In Ali’s absence, the undefeated Frazier garnered two championship belts through knockouts of Buster Mathis and Jimmy Ellis and was recognized by boxing authorities as the World Champion. Unlike Mathis and Ellis, Frazier was plausibly Ali’s superior, which created a tremendous amount of hype and anticipation for a match pitting the two undefeated fighters against one another to decide who was the true heavyweight champ.

Ringside seats were an unheard-of price at $150 (equivalent to $1,000 today) and each man was guaranteed $2.5 million dollars – a hefty sum in those days. In addition to the millions who watched on closed-circuit broadcast screens around the world, the Garden was packed with a sellout crowd of 20,455 that provided a gate of $1.5 million.

Prior to his enforced layoff, Ali had displayed uncommon speed and dexterity for a man of his size. He had dominated most of his opponents to the point that he had often predicted the round in which he would knock them out (“don’t lock the doors – he’ll be done in 4”). However, in the fight preceding the Frazier fight, Ali struggled at times during his 15th-round TKO of Oscar Bonavena, an unorthodox Argentinian fighter, prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gil Clancy.

Frazier was known for his outstanding left hook and a tenacious competitor who attacked the body of his opponent ferociously. Despite suffering from a serious bout of hypertension in the lead-up to the fight, he appeared to be in top form as the face-off between the two undefeated champions approached.

The fight held broader meaning for many Americans, as Ali had become a symbol of the anti-establishment war movement during his government-imposed exile from the ring, while Frazier had been adopted by the more conservative, pro-war movement. The match had been dubbed “The Fight” and gripped the nation. “Just listen to the roar of this crowd!” thundered Burt Lancaster, the color man. “The tension, and the excitement here, is monumental!”

The bout was noted for its general appeal with non-boxing and non-sport fans holding an impassioned rooting interest in one of the fighters. Mark Kram from Sports Illustrated at the time wrote:

The thrust of this fight on the public consciousness is incalculable. It has been a ceaseless whir that seems to have grown in decibel with each new soliloquy by Ali, with each dead calm promise by Frazier. It has magnetized the imagination of ring theorists and flushed out polemicists of every persuasion. It has cut deep into the thicket of our national attitudes, and it is a conversational imperative everywhere—from the gabble of big-city salons and factory lunch breaks rife with unreasoning labels, to ghetto saloons with their own false labels.

On the evening of the match, Madison Square Garden had a circus-like atmosphere, with scores of policemen to control the crowd, outrageously dressed fans, and countless celebrities, from Norman Mailer and Woody Allen to Frank Sinatra, who, after being unable to procure a ringside seat, took photographs for Life magazine instead. Artist LeRoy Neiman painted Ali and Frazier as they fought. Movie star Burt Lancaster served as a color commentator for the closed-circuit broadcast.

The fight was sold out, and broadcast by closed circuit, to 50 countries in 12 languages via ringside reporters to an audience estimated at 300 million, a record viewership for a television event at that time. Riots broke out at several venues as unresolvable technical issues interrupted the broadcast in several cities in the third round. The veteran referee for the fight was Arthur Mercante, Sr. saying after the fight, “They both threw some of the best punches I’ve ever seen.”

On both closed-circuit and free television, the fight was watched by a record 300 million viewers worldwide – a record 27.5 million viewers on BBC1 in the United Kingdom, about half of the British population. It was also watched by an estimated 54 million viewers in Italy, and 2 million viewers in South Korea – all WAY before cable, the internet and cell phones.

The fight itself exceeded even its promotional hype and went the full 15-round championship distance. Ali dominated the first three rounds, peppering the shorter Frazier with rapier-like jabs that raised welts on the champion’s face. In the closing seconds of round three, Frazier connected with a tremendous hook to Ali’s jaw, snapping his head back. Frazier began to dominate in the fourth round, catching Ali with several of his famed left hooks and pinning him against the ropes to deliver tremendous body blows.

Ali was visibly tired after the sixth round, and though he put together some flurries of punches after that round, he was unable to keep the pace he had set in the first third of the fight. At 1 minute and 59 seconds into round eight, following his clean left hook to Ali’s right jaw, Frazier grabbed Ali’s wrists and swung Ali into the center of the ring; however, Ali immediately grabbed Frazier again until they were once again separated by Mercante.

Frazier caught Ali with a left hook at nine seconds into round 11. A fraction of a second later, Ali fell with both gloves and his right knee on the canvas. Mercante stepped between Ali and Frazier, separating them as Ali rose from the canvas. As round 11 wound down with Frazier staggering Ali with a left hook, Ali stumbled and grabbed at Frazier to keep his balance before bouncing forward again until the fighters were separated by Mercante at 2:55 into the round. Ali spent the remaining 5 seconds of round 11 making his way back to his corner.

At the end of round 14 Frazier held a lead on all three scorecards (by scores of 8–6–0, 10–4–0, and 8–6–0). Early in round 15, Frazier landed a left hook that put Ali on his back. Ali, his jaw swollen grotesquely, got up from the blow quickly, and managed to stay on his feet for the rest of the round despite several terrific blows from Frazier.

A few minutes later the judges made it official: Frazier had retained the title with a unanimous decision, dealing Ali his first professional loss.

Frazier would surrender his title 22 months later, when on January 22, 1973, he was knocked out by George Foreman in the second round of their brief but devastating title bout in Kingston, Jamaica.

Ali biographer Wilfrid Sheed wrote of the fight:
Both men left the ring changed men that night. For Frazier, his greatness was gone, that unquantifiable combination of youth, ability and desire. For Ali, the public hatred he had so carefully nursed to his advantage came to a head and burst that night and has never been the same. To his supporters he became a cultural hero. His detractors finally gave him grudging respect. At least they had seen him beaten and seen that smug look wiped off his face.

Unknown Fact:  The fight provided cover for an activist group, the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, to successfully pull off a burglary at an FBI office in Pennsylvania, which exposed the COINTELPRO operations that included illegal spying on activists involved with the civil rights and anti-war movements. One of the COINTELPRO targets was Muhammad Ali, which included the FBI gaining access to his records as far back as elementary school.

Click here to learn how Smokin’ Joe got his nickname.


  1. Watch this five minute video of Newsday’s remembrance of Muhammed Ali.
  2. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier I: Round 15 (Knockdown.)
  3. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier II
  4. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier III – Oct. 1, 1975 – Entire fight – Rounds 1 – 14 + Interview
  5. The Fight of the Century Explained



A Grand Birthday

(left col) Pictures cannot do this majestic scenery justice. Ever. See that picture jest below middle? Those are people on a glass bottom skywalk, a must do. Book it HERE. (right col) Things to do at the Grand Canyon: 1) Propose to your girlfriend. 2) Take some great pictures. 3) See some amazing caves. 4) Watch a fabulous sunset. 5) Take plenty of selfies (just don’t lean back too far). 6) Stay well hydrated in the dry air. 7) See eagles soar below you. 8) What-the-heck, BE an eagle and book a helicopter tour. 9) Shown your pride. What a wonderful country this is!

I love history. And our country. And birthdays. (ok, mostly the cake and the frosting and ice cream and the candles and the party and all the presents, and family and friends…).  This week marks a big milestone in our nation’s birthday history – the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Now, I’m not sure about you, but whenever I see images of the Park, I’m just amazed at its grandeur, scope and influence on the west.  I also love the details about how the temperatures change from the basin to the ridge (yea, I’m a temperature heat/cooling geek), and marvel at the way it changes throughout the day and night based on sunlight and moonlight.  I went out west a few years ago with Jackie and the girls,  we were blessed to be able to experience the immensity up close!  Absolutely AMAZING! We also realized that getting to close to the edge could ruin your whole day! While visiting, the National Park Ranger regaled us with stories of the Canyon, also explaining to the younger park visitors the theory of Darwin as it relates to going too close to the edge of the Canyon! The stories we heard of folks taking their “last” selfies were shocking. I dug into the archives and found some interesting history on the canyon, and some fun facts too.  It’s a bit long below, but hard to leave stuff out – enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia and Smithsonian for the info.

  • The known human history of the Grand Canyon area stretches back over 10,000 years, when the first evidence of human presence in the area is found. Native Americans have inhabited the Grand Canyon and the area now covered by Grand Canyon National Park for at least the last 4,000 of those years.
  • Ancestral Pueblo peoples, first as the Basketmaker culture and later as the more familiar Pueblo people, developed from the Desert Culture as they became less nomadic and more dependent on agriculture. They started to use stone in addition to mud and poles to erect above-ground houses sometime around 800 AD, initiating the Pueblo period of Ancestral Pueblo culture. In summer, the Puebloans migrated from the hot inner canyon to the cooler high plateaus and reversed the journey for winter.  Large numbers of sites indicate that the Ancestral Pueblo and the Cohonina flourished until about 1200 AD, when something happened to the climate a hundred years later that forced both of these cultures to move away. (See how I am keeping controversy out of my posts!)
  • In September 1540, under direction by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado to find the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, Captain García López de Cárdenas led a party of Spanish soldiers with Hopi guides to the Grand Canyon.  It was a group of about 13 Spanish soldiers on a quest to find the fabulous Seven Cities of Gold. According to Castañeda, he and his company came to a point “from whose brink it looked as if the opposite side must be more than three or four leagues by air line.”
  • Being in dire need of water, and wanting to cross the giant obstacle, the soldiers started searching for a way down to the canyon floor that would be passable for them along with their horses. After three full days, Cárdenas finally commanded the three lightest and most agile men of his group to climb down by themselves. After several hours, the men returned, reporting that they had only made one third of the distance down to the river, and that “what seemed easy from above was not so.”
  • The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ceded the Grand Canyon region to the United States. Jules Marcou of the Pacific Railroad Survey made the first geologic observations of the canyon and surrounding area in 1856.
  • Jacob Hamblin (a Mormon missionary) was sent by Brigham Young in the 1850s to locate easy river crossing sites in the canyon.  Building good relations with local Native Americans and white settlers, he discovered Lee’s Ferry in 1858 and Pierce Ferry (later operated by, and named for, Harrison Pierce)—the only two sites suitable for ferry operation.
  • A U.S. War Department expedition led by Lt. Joseph Ives was launched in 1857 to investigate the area’s potential for natural resources, to find railroad routes to the west coast, and assess the feasibility of an up-river navigation route from the Gulf of California.  The group traveled in a stern wheeler steamboat named Explorer.
  • Ives discounted his own impressions on the beauty of the canyon and declared it and the surrounding area as “altogether valueless”, remarking that his expedition would be “the last party of whites to visit this profitless locality”.  Attached to Ives’ expedition was geologist John Strong Newberry who had a very different impression of the canyon.  After returning, Newberry convinced fellow geologist John Wesley Powell that a boat run through the Grand Canyon to complete the survey would be worth the risk.
  • Years later The Powell Expeditions systematically cataloged rock formations, plants, animals, and archaeological sites. Photographs and illustrations greatly popularized the canyonland region of the southwest United States, especially the Grand Canyon, using these photographs and illustrations in his lecture tours made him a national figure.
  • Geologist Clarence Dutton followed up on Powell’s work in 1880–1881 with the first in-depth geological survey of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey.  Painters Thomas Moran and William Henry Holmes accompanied Dutton, who was busy drafting detailed descriptions of the area’s geology. The report that resulted from the team’s effort was titled A Tertiary History of The Grand Canyon District, with Atlas and was published in 1882.
  • A rail line to the largest city in the area, Flagstaff, was completed in 1882 by the Santa Fe Railroad.  Stage coaches started to bring tourists from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  The first scheduled train with paying passengers of the Grand Canyon Railway arrived from Williams, Arizona, on September 17 that year, the 64-mile (103 km) long trip cost $3.95 ($102.55 as of 2019), and naturalist John Muir later commended the railroad for its limited environmental impact.
  • The first automobile was driven to the Grand Canyon in 1902. Oliver Lippincott from Los Angeles, drove his Toledo Automobile Company-built car to the South Rim from Flagstaff. Lippincott, a guide and two writers set out on the afternoon of January 4, anticipating a seven-hour journey. Two days later, the hungry and dehydrated party arrived at their destination; the countryside was just too rough for the ten-horsepower (7 kW) auto.
  • John D. Lee was the first person who catered to travelers to the canyon. In 1872 he established a ferry service at the confluence of the Colorado and Paria rivers. Lee was in hiding, having been accused of leading the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857. He was tried and executed for this crime in 1877. During his trial he played host to members of the Powell Expedition who were waiting for their photographer, Major James Fennemore, to arrive (Fennemore took the last photo of Lee sitting on his own coffin). Emma, one of Lee’s nineteen wives, continued the ferry business after her husband’s death. In 1876 a man named Harrison Pierce established another ferry service at the western end of the canyon.
  • William Wallace Bass opened a tent house campground in 1890. Bass Camp had a small central building with common facilities such as a kitchen, dining room, and sitting room inside. Rates were $2.50 a day ($69.71 as of 2019), and the complex was 20 miles west of the Grand Canyon Railway’s Bass Station (Ash Fort). Bass also built the stage coach road that he used to carry his patrons from the train station to his hotel.
  • Things changed in 1905 when the luxury El Tovar Hotel opened within steps of the Grand Canyon Railway’s terminus.  El Tovar was named for Don Pedro de Tovar who tradition says is the Spaniard who learned about the canyon from Hopis and told Coronado. Charles Whittlesey designed the arts and crafts-styled rustic hotel complex, which was built with logs from Oregon and local stone at a cost of $250,000 for the hotel ($6,970,000 as of 2019) and another $50,000 for the stables ($1,390,000 as of 2019).[27] El Tovar was owned by Santa Fe Railroad and operated by its chief concessionaire, the Fred Harvey Company.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903.  An avid outdoorsman and staunch conservationist, he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve on November 28, 1906.  Livestock grazing was reduced, but predators such as mountain lions, eagles, and wolves were eradicated. Roosevelt added adjacent national forest lands and re-designated the preserve a U.S. National Monument on January 11, 1908. Opponents, such as holders of land and mining claims, blocked efforts to reclassify the monument as a National Park for 11 years. Grand Canyon National Park was finally established as the 17th U.S. National Park by an Act of Congress signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on February 26, 1919.
  • More history and videos HERE.

Today, Grand Canyon National Park receives about five million visitors each year, a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919.

Want to Go?

Need a place to stay at the Grand Canyon? Start HERE.

Thinking of hiking the Grand Canyon? Start HERE.

And HERE’S a great video hike from Vlogger Stuart Brazell. She’s helping to tick-off one of her mom’s bucket list items.