Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Port Richmond Pub

Where heroes hang out ~ Philadelphia Inquirer

Medal of Honor recipients find their way to Mick’s Inn.
By Kia Gregory

Inquirer Staff Writer

In the back room of Mick's Inn are framed, autographed portraits of Medal of Honor recipients. And whenever the heroes are in town, they take to the stools of the dimly lit Port Richmond bar and sometimes buy a round.

Bellied up there last week was Jon Cavaiani. He received his medal after getting his platoon out of enemy fire and enduring two years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

He keeps a bottle of Jack Daniel's, his name taped to the label, in a special spot behind the bar, near the bust of JFK and the leprechaun doll.

"That's tradition," he said of the whiskey, which he takes on the rocks. "You have to have Jack Daniel's in your life. He's been my friend."

Cavaiani, his hair a regal silver, came east from his California home for a national drag-racing tournament. He stopped by Mick's to "have a couple of horns, and renew old friendships."

As longtime bartender Gregg Flaherty tells it, for more than a decade, the esteemed veterans have been coming to what some would describe as a dive bar in this blue-collar, heavily Irish neighborhood, where residents decorate their front porches with American flags and home-team colors.

The lure began when the bar sponsored a hole in a charity golf tournament to support James "Daddy Wags" Wagner. A former Marine and owner of South Philly's Cookies Tavern, Daddy Wags was raising money for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

As a thank-you, he sent over a portrait of his friend "The Colonel": Harvey C. Barnum Jr., a Marine from Virginia who received the medal for valor in Vietnam.

Being an Army guy, Flaherty wanted an Army guy, so Daddy Wags sent him a picture of Cavaiani, followed by other Medal of Honor recipients from around the country: Ronald Ray, Robert O'Malley, and James Allen Taylor.

They are among the 3,400 service members who have received the nation's highest military honor since 1861.

Above the portraits is a sky-blue flag signed by dozens of them that Cavaiani donated a while back. "Even the president doesn't have one of these," Flaherty bragged.

"Now they all come here," he said of the visiting veterans. "They like it because people treat them like people. Usually they go to affairs where they can't let their hair down and be themselves. Here they can drop an F-word sometimes."

Aside from the national heroes who pop in a few times a year, the regulars are all veterans of something: folded Catholic schools, long-gone businesses, and a neighborhood that now includes hipsters and artists.

They're all from here and know everybody who counts, through family and fading traditions.

One quiet afternoon, a handful stared up at the TV as Flaherty popped open cans of beer. The Phils were tied 1-1 in the first.

The bar at Clearfield and Belgrade Streets, across from a Police Athletic League office and a Celtic shirt shop, has been a neighborhood fixture since 1962, Flaherty said.

It's a place that respects God (a no-parking sign from the 1979 papal visit sits by the TV), sports (Flyers and Phillies championship banners by the door), and its connection to the past.

"People grew up with North Catholic," said Flaherty, wearing a gray '66 NC Falcons polo shirt. "Now that's closing."

After Flaherty graduated, he was drafted and spent 15 months crawling through the thick grass and swamps of Vietnam.
Click title for the entire article.

Like kick the can, or watching paint dry...

Reason #5,647 Not To Like Soccer Blogs

I understand that soccer is all the rage these days and I have been following the world cup just like many others. But…

One often hears the question, “Why isn’t soccer more popular in the US?” Of course there are many reasons. Ninety minutes of running around only to end up nil nil is not very satisfying. I mean real sports shouldn’t end in a tie and they certainly shouldn’t end 0-0.

When my boys were little and started out playing little league, the rules said not to keep score. Of course, even though they weren’t supposed to, the kids knew who really won the game. Even these little ones understand that sports are supposed to have winners.

While I certainly don’t endorse hooliganism, I sort of understand it. Thousands of men continually bored to tears have to find something to do, no?

Of course, even if match after 0-0 match is not enough to to drive you from the sport perhaps this will.

The star of the England National Team soccer and powerhouse Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, sat down to a press conference yesterday to discuss this week’s tie with the US team (another tie, what a surprise) and their forthcoming match. Probably because even soccer reporters are bored with the sport they are paid to cover, the questioning strayed from soccer to religion.
A reporter asked Mr. Rooney why he wears a prominent cross and rosary beads around his neck when he’s not playing.

Mr. Rooney responded “I’ve been wearing them for about four years now and you don’t usually watch training (to see them.) I obviously can’t wear them in games. It’s my religion.” At which point a media officer for the Football Association jumped in and put an abrupt end to the discussion saying curtly “We don’t do religion.”

Soccer doesn’t do religion.

Reason #5,467 why we don’t do soccer.

For those who love soccer and wholeheartedly disagree with me , let’s just agree to disagree. You know, kind of like a tie. You should be used to that.

To get more Matt & Pat...
Matthew & Pat Archbold Blogs National Catholic Register

So funny -- don't buy Hyundai

The ad begins with singing in Latin, and depicts an Argentine "church" – complete with a stained-glass window of a soccer ball -- in which the wildly popular sport is clearly what’s being worshipped.

Critics complained that Hyundai mocks the Eucharist, which Catholics believe to be the body of Christ, by showing "worshippers" on their knees receiving slices of pizza rather than the communion host.

"This ad is an outrageous affront to Catholics and a mockery of our most sacred beliefs and practices," said Fr Marcel Taillon, a parish priest in Narrangansett, Rhode Island.

At one point the commercial shows a soccer ball covered with a crown of thorns, part of Jesus Christ’s passion.

Hyundai television commercial red-carded after getting Catholics offside Herald Sun

Hyundai Pulls 'Insensitive' World Cup Ad After Catholic Outcry - DailyFinance

Korean carmaker Hyundai has pulled a World Cup-themed TV ad after an outcry from Catholic advocates who called the spot sacrilegious and offensive. The 30-second ad, which aired during the the England-USA soccer match on Saturday, features a church in Argentina that apparently worships soccer -- and more specifically soccer legend Diego Maradona.

The ad spot depicts a church service with religiously charged imagery, including a soccer ball with a crown of thorns and worshipers kneeling as they receive pizza for communion.

"All over the world, soccer is almost a religion," intones the spot's narrarator, actor Jeff Bridges, "but for the members of one church in Argentina, it actually is."

Fake Church, Real Offense

Clearly designed to be humorous, the spot, called "Wedding," missed the mark -- widely -- outraging Catholic advocates and bloggers. "Believe it or not, in honor of the World Cup, Hyundai has managed to produce a commercial that many of the world's 1 billion Catholics will find offensive," wrote Tim Drake, a senior writer with the National Catholic Register. "It's one thing to gently poke fun at extreme devotion to sports," Deacon Greg Kandra wrote on "It's another to satirize Holy Mass by ridiculing its symbols, sacramentals and gestures."

Hyundai said the ad was based on an actual church in Rosario, Argentina, called Iglesia Maradoniana, which is dedicated to retired soccer star Diego Maradona. A 2002 BBC article said the house of "worship" was called the "Hand of God" Temple, after Maradona's infamous 1986 goal against England.

Hyundai said it meant no offense but rather intended to humorously connect the "passion of soccer fans with owner loyalty."

Viral Marketing a "Calculated Risk"

But John Barker, President of Barker/DZP, a New York-based ad agency, says he doesn't buy Hyundai's claim. "I think it's a stretch if the marketer says no offense was intended," Barker tells DailyFinance. "That's probably not intellectually honest."

"There's no way Hyundai couldn't predict a scandal of sorts," Barker says. "It's a calculated risk based on the value of viral media. Controversy is one of the elements that drives video-sharing in social media, and humor is another. So it stands to reason that controversial humor is a good way to ensure viral value."

On Monday, Hyundai apologized for the ad and said it had been taken off the air. "We got enough of an outcry that we think we missed the mark," a Hyundai spokesman tells DailyFinance. "So we're going to do the right thing and pull it down."

In a statement, the company said: "The unexpected response created by the ad, which combined both soccer and religious motifs to speak to the passion of international soccer fans, prompted us to take a more critical and informed look at the spot. Though unintentional, we now see it was insensitive. We appreciate this feedback and sincerely apologize to those we've offended."

"Deeply Anti-Christian and Anti-Catholic"?

Drake, of the National Catholic Register, called the Hyundai ad part of a larger anti-Catholic trend in the advertising world.

"Make no mistake," he wrote. "There is a deeply anti-Christian and anti-Catholic philosophy that has infiltrated Madison Avenue. It's apparent in much of the atheistic programming and the commercials being produced. Some will be provoked to say, 'Lighten up -- it's just a commercial.' Yet, if the Jewish Star of David or the Koran were being so belittled, the outrage would be tremendous."

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Mother Theresa, No US Marines, but...

In this Sept. 30, 2009 file photo, the moon rises above New York as the Empire State Building is lit in red and yellow in honor of communist China's 60th anniversary. Catholics are criticizing the owners of the landmark skyscraper for declining to illuminate it in honor of the late Mother Teresa, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

“[T]he death of ten to twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of.”
—Mao Tse-tung

"Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend ... on the pleasure of anyone else.”
—Mother Teresa

Empire State Building disses U.S. Marine Corps, refuses to honor soldiers with scarlet, gold lights

The few. The Proud. The Dissed.

The U.S. Marine Corps, like Mother Teresa, is being barred by the Empire State Building from starring in lights.

"We were rejected," said Gunnery Sgt. Alex Kitsakos of the Marines' public affairs office in midtown, who asked for the building to be lit scarlet and gold in 2008 on the Marines' Nov. 10 birthday.

"Of all the silly things they would consider lighting the building for, they wouldn't light it for the Marine Corps?" he asked. "Whoever it is that's running the building, they certainly could be making better decisions about who it is that they choose to honor."

Anthony Malkin, the developer whose family owns Manhattan's tallest skyscraper, has refused all calls to light the tower blue and white on Aug. 26, Mother Teresa's 100th birthday. A statement from the building Thursday said it does not honor religious figures or organizations.

"We are privately owned and our policies and practices are subject to change in accord with ownership's preferences," the building said.

"We are saddened by the hateful words and messages being generated both for and against lighting for Mother Teresa," it said. "We surely wish that the emotions of those in favor be directed towards good actions of community service in the spirit of their views, and that those who are against be dignified and respectful in their dialogue."

The Albanian nun tended to the sick and ailing in Calcutta's slums, and her Sisters of Charity order opened a convent in the Bronx to care for the poor here.

News of the Marine refusal came as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called on all New Yorkers to volunteer in Mother Teresa's spirit on her 100th birthday on Aug. 26 - and to light their own windows blue and white, the colors of the Sisters of Charity.

"We're not going to wait for the Empire State Building to make sure that her light is alive and strong in New York City," Quinn said, shortly after getting off the phone with Malkin in another attempt to convince him.

"He has a building with a lot of lights, but he's just one man," Quinn said. "If thousands of New Yorkers put these lights in their windows on Aug. 26, we'll send a message that Mother Teresa's work is alive and well."

Friends have tried to work out a compromise with Malkin, a third-generation real estate scion who has earned acclaim for renovating the aging tower. One reported Thursday: "There is no deal."

Commemorating Mao but Not Mother

Where's Anita Dunn when you need her?

Recall Anita Dunn, who resigned as President Obama's communications director not long after Glenn Beck had the temerity to broadcast her jaw-dropping affirmation, made in a church no less-at a high-school baccalaureate ceremony-that her two favorite philosophers were an extraordinarily unlikely pair: Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa. (Click here.)

I'm not sure of Dunn's current whereabouts, but I'm certain the management department at the Empire State Building in New York City could benefit from her input. Readers might recall the last time I wrote about the Empire State Building: I grappled with the astounding image of the building's top aglow in red and yellow to commemorate the birth of Red China. Yes, unbelievably (click here), the Empire State last October paused to recognize Mao's communist China, which was responsible for 60-70 million deaths, the single greatest slaughter of humanity in history, dwarfing Hitler's terror by six-fold.

New Yorkers apparently were oblivious to such vital facts-or were aware and simply didn't care-as they strolled along Madison Avenue slurping Smoothies and reading their New York Times under a blood red (and yellow) sky.

But why do I revisit such sordid recent history? Wasn't it embarrassing enough to suffer this once?

Well, it turns out the brain-trust in charge of deciding which symbols (and revolutions) to elevate in New York-the same brain-trust that offered up this crowning touch for Chairman Mao-are refusing to light up for ... brace yourself, Mother Teresa.

The Empire State Building Lighting Partners rejected a request made by official application, backed up by a nationwide petition, to recognize this paragon of virtue. That's right, Mao's dystopia was honored for its 60th birthday, but Mother Teresa will not be acknowledged for the centennial of her birth this August 26.

I wish I were joking, but, sorry, you can't make this up. (Click here.)

Indeed, who, or what, would be so perverse as to even think it up? It sounds like a plot right out of the Screwtape Letters, though the Prince of Darkness had a tendency to be more subtle than this.

So, the saintly nun who comforted the sick as they died in her arms in destitute Calcutta, soothing souls in their final earthly moments, an act of sheer selflessness she did as "something beautiful for God," was refused. To the contrary, Red China, byproduct of a murderous Marxist despot, where collectivization starved to death more people in three years than Mother Teresa could meet in a lifetime, was recognized.
Chairman Mao is howling from his grave.

By my recollection, the only juxtaposition possibly more strange was the Obama White House considering banning a crèche at Christmas while, simultaneously, sanctifying the White House Christmas tree with a most curious ornament: a twinkling little comrade Mao. (Again, unbelievable, I know-click here.)

Christ at Christmas? Maybe. Mao at Christmas? Yes.

Mother Teresa honored? No. Mao's Red China honored? Yes.

Of course, this is a travesty, but one hardly surprising, given the state of American culture, the people Americans elect, and America's educational horrors, especially the failure to teach the horrors of communism. Bill Donohue and his Catholic League are protesting the Empire State Building's blacklisting of Mother Teresa, and a petition is circulating.

I, for one, wouldn't be surprised if the city and ACLU got involved and upheld the decision out of respect for "church-state separation." Why not heap absurdity upon absurdity? Besides, such would be yet more delicious irony: Mother Teresa, modern saint, banished because of faith; Mao, militant atheist who booted out the missionaries and declared war on religion, illumined.

There's one positive achievement from this episode: It exposes as nonsense what we were told by defenders of the Empire State's Red China recognition last October: No big deal. They recognize all kinds of things.

Apparently, that's not true. They are exclusive in their inclusiveness; intolerant in their tolerance; discriminating in their diversity. Their moral and verbal gymnastics allow for evil's coronation but a blackening of one who truly served the Light.

And so I ask: Where's Anita Dunn when you need her? At least Anita Dunn, confused as she was, found room in her mental-philosophical universe for both Mao and Mother.

Of course, those of us upset by this will be told we're over-reacting, and that there's surely good reason for these decisions. Sure-always is.

But it's our silence in the face of such blatant acts that creates a culture where people don't know the difference. The other side is quite audacious, why must we always be silent?
Alas, I have a suggestion for New Yorkers unhappy with this: On the day which would have been lit for Mother Teresa, light a candle and place it in your home or office window. Now that would be a symbol.

- Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include "The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand," "God and Ronald Reagan" and "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lord Stanley and Krass Brothers?

Well it seems Lord Stanley won't be living in Philly this year ;-( Great effort by the Flyers who would not have even made the playoffs, let alone the Stanley Cup Finals, if not for beating the Rangers in the last game of the year.

To your left is 44 buddy Jack Dougherty posing with the Cup the last time the Flyers won. Hard to believe they made a French cuff shirt like that back on the 70's! Jacob Reed's Sons? Lit Brothers? Boyd's? Wanamaker's? Gimbels's? Jack Lang? Strawbridge & Clothier? Krass Brothers? But it was better than a leisure suit ;-0

Since Jack was from Mom's old neighborhood, near St. Columba's at 21st Street and Lehigh Avenue, the picture below would be from the 40's. Any old guys from Swampoodle can help me out with the particulars.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fr. and Mrs. Johnson...

Although Johnson is the second married priest in its history (the Rev. George McCormick, a former Episcopal priest, served from 1984 until his death in 2000), the Camden Diocese is still learning how to fit the couple in. "The insurance forms for priests don't have a line for 'wife,' " Janet Johnson said. "I told them I'm his 'preexisting condition.' "
The priest - and his Mrs. Philadelphia Inquirer

A rare ordination in N.J. diocese.
By David O'Reilly

Inquirer Staff Writer

After 19 years as a Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Philip Johnson had grown disenchanted with Protestantism.

"There comes a time, if you're Catholic, to be Catholic," the newest priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden said Wednesday at his home in Sewell.

Dressed in his 11-day-old Roman collar and black clerical garb, Johnson, 59, was explaining the appeal of Catholicism's traditionalist ways when a middle-aged woman emerged from the kitchen.

"Here you go, Hon," said Johnson's wife, Janet, handing him a glass of Coke.

"Thanks," said the priest, smiling as she eased down next to him on their living room sofa.

It was a familiar scene for the Johnsons. Married 38 years, with four grown children and four grandchildren, they spent nearly two decades in a Lutheran parsonage in Jersey City, N.J., before converting to Catholicism four years ago.

Men sporting both Roman collars and wedding rings are a rarity in the Catholic Church; it banned married clergy eight centuries ago. In 1951 it made an exception for married clergy who convert, but on a case-by-case basis.

The church has ordained only a few hundred since. "Mr. Johnson's ordination does not indicate a change of celibacy norms for Latin Rite priests," the Camden Diocese noted when it announced his May 22 ordination.

In fact, the Johnsons had no clue he would be accepted for ordination when they converted. But priesthood was their fervent hope. "He was just horrible sitting in the pews," Janet Johnson, 60, said Wednesday, and laughed. Her husband, a serious man, shrugged. "I just couldn't imagine not preaching," he said.

It was not until four months after converting, as Johnson was studying at the Catholic University of America in Washington, that Camden Bishop Joseph Galante learned of his situation and invited him to be a candidate for priesthood.

Galante has named Johnson parochial vicar at St. Bridget's parish in Glassboro, where he will also serve the Catholic community of Rowan University. Both Johnsons will conduct marriage-preparation classes around the six-county diocese.

(Please click title for the entire article)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dr. Jack

Basketball Remains a Constant for Jack Ramsay -

BOSTON — In a dream last week, Jack Ramsay said, his wife returned to him.

Jean Ramsay, who died in January, followed her husband to all of his coaching stops during their 60-year marriage, from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia to the Portland Trail Blazers. She read novels during games to occupy her time. But in this dream, the game mattered to her.

“I dreamed I was driving to the basket and Jean was keeping score, which was as far as possible from what she would do,” he said over lunch Monday. “As I was leaving the floor, someone asks, ‘How many did you score, Jack?’ and she said, ‘You had 41.’ ”

A small smile creased Ramsay’s face.

The dream united two loves: the girl he met at a dance at St. Joe’s who died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease and the sport that still fascinates him at 85.

He is old enough to joke that he was the one to suggest cutting out the bottom of James Naismith’s peach basket. Ramsay is ESPN Radio’s lead N.B.A. analyst, working regular-season and playoff games with Jim Durham.

“It enables me to stay close to the players and coaches,” Ramsay said.

Before Game 4 of the Boston-Orlando Eastern Conference finals Monday, he waited outside the Celtics’ locker room at TD Garden to interview guard Ray Allen in the corridor. Allen is an easy subject: candid, descriptive and analytical. That done, Ramsay strode into Coach Doc Rivers’s office.

Ramsay sat on the edge of his seat — an octogenarian version of the way he knelt on the sideline as a coach — and thrust his ESPN Radio microphone at Rivers.

Each question — about team chemistry, motivation and team defense — made a listener wonder if Ramsay, who coached Portland to the N.B.A. title in 1977, already knew the answers.

“I wanted to hear them,” he said. “I was thinking of our listeners, not me.”

As he walked back into the corridor, Ramsay saw Celtics forward Glen Davis.

“Same as Game 3 for you,” he said to Davis, who scored 17 in the Celtics’ rout.

“Yes, sir,” Davis said quietly.

Ramsay is lean and muscular — his biceps bulge from a short-sleeve shirt — the result of swimming a mile a day in the ocean near his home in Naples, Fla., and a regimen of crunches, push-ups, jogging and stretches that he takes from hotel to hotel.

“Usually, 100 crunches and 100 push-ups,” said Ramsay, a triathlete until he was 70 and a jump-roper. His fixation on fitness began in the Navy when he was part of an underwater demolition team that trained for the planned invasion of Japan in 1945.

“It’s like you had training camp but the season was canceled,” he said of the lost wartime opportunity. But, he said, the training “toughened you, made you value fitness.”

The body that Ramsay has preserved so well has endured a lengthy fight against melanoma. The cancer that began in 2004 on his left foot eventually spread to his lungs and brain but is now in remission, his last chemotherapy two and a half months ago.

“I’m very fortunate to have gotten past the cancer problem,” he said over a lobster roll. “Well, I shouldn’t say that. But I was not expected to live.”

Bill Walton, the center on the Portland championship team, said: “Jean’s death was much tougher on him than the cancer. Guys like Jack are so tough they would do anything to take away someone else’s pain. I don’t think I’ve ever made a rougher call than when I called Jack after Jean died. What do you tell an 85-year-old man whose college sweetheart is no more? She was always there, the gentle one, the quiet one.”

Ramsay said he hoped to create a grant program at St. Joseph’s to help women who want to get a degree while raising children. Jean Ramsay raised five children during her husband’s peripatetic career, which included seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Buffalo Braves and the Indiana Pacers.

(click title for the entire article)


Flyers History - Kate Smith

When good luck charms are mentioned in professional sports, the one name that always comes up is "Kate Smith". Never in professional sports has there ever been an unlikely combination that has worked so well. The radio star of yesteryear and the "Broad Street Bullies". But you couldn't argue the results and the love affair that grew between Flyer Fans and that first class lady.

Kathryn Elizabeth Smith was born in Greenville, Virginia, on May 1, 1909. She started signing before audiences as a child, and would end up on Broadway then with her own radio and television shows on top of her recordings including 19 Gold albums. The one song she is most associated with is Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She first sang that song on Armistice Day, 1938. She did such a good job that Berlin gave her exclusive broadcast rights to sing that song for many years.

On December 11th, 1969 when Flyers vice president Lou Schienfield ordered the playing of Kate Smith's "God Bless America" in place of "The Star Spangled Banner". He tested several Patriotic songs in an empty arena earlier and it was Kate's song that sounded the best. This was a day when American patriotism was at an all time low and to spark fans that had appear to be disinterested earlier during the playing of the national anthem, a different song was played. There were several angry comments during that first playing, but a Flyers 6-3 win over Toronto changed their tune as well. The Flyers lost their next home game without Kate, but the subsequent home game and Kate's song resulted in another win - and the legend started.

It was up to Lou Schienfield to choose which games to play Kate. Generally it was a game by game decision - with Lou deciding on instinct or if the game was important. The first 3 years saw an incredible difference in the home records - 19-1-1 with Kate and a losing 31-38-28 record without Kate (including playoffs)

Kate's first live performance was the home opener of the 1973-74 season. Fortunately for the Flyers, Kate's 88-year-old uncle was sending Kate newspaper clippings detailing her growing relationship for the Flyers. For $ 5,000 she agreed to play live. When the red carpet rolled out , Leaf's goaltender Doug Favell - who had played all of the previous seasons for the Flyers in their franchise history, knew his new team was in trouble. If his teammates didn't fully appreciate her influence, he did. The Flyers ended up winning 2-0. It didn't take too long for other players on other teams to realize what it meant when "God Bless America" was played before a game. When the Flyers eventually made the finals and Kate played live before game 6 of the finals, Boston stars Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito tried to reverse the jinx by shaking Kate's hand and giving her flowers - it didn't work and the Flyers won the cup.

The following season Kate worked her magic yet again. A live performance in game 7 of the semifinals inspired a victory over the New York Islanders as the Flyers continued on their way to a second straight Stanley Cup. On January of 1976, during the height of the cold war "God Bless America" spurred on the crowd and the team to a victory over the Soviet Union's Central Red Army Team - and staked them to a claim as the greatest team on earth.

Kate's song started to be played less frequently after that point, but she will always be remembered. It wasn't long after that Kate's health began to deteriorate. Complications from diabetes caused numerous problems over a 10 year period. In 1982 she was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom. When it became apparent that Ms. Smith's time was drawing to a close, hundreds of Flyer fans gathered together at her hospital and sang the song that she had sung to them. Smith died on June 17, 1986, in Raleigh, North Carolina, but her memory lives on. A statue of her appears today as a tribute to what she brought to the Flyers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More on Greg Boyle, SJ of Homeboy Industries

I just finished reading Tattoos on the Heart - Greg Boyle, SJ. Took all of two days and I would recommend it to everyone. Consolation and desolation in every page... sometimes in the same paragraph. Happy, sad and inspiring from cover to cover.

I hope it becomes a best seller so Homeboy Industries can start hiring again. Do yourself a favor and put it on your summer reading list. Once read you'll also be counting your blessings.

The following From America Magazine's blog:

Greg Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries, and author of Tattoos on the Heart (
which we reviewed here in our piece "Hope for Homies"), was interviewed on May 20 on NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross." (Back in April, he was also a guest on the America podcast.)

As John Coleman, S.J.,
reported in "In All Things" a few weeks back, Homeboy Industries is facing serious financial problems, and has laid off "the bulk of our staff," as its website reported recently. Here Greg talks with Terry Gross about Homeboy, gang ministry, the Jesuits and hope in general. At one point Terry Gross asks him why he became a Jesuit. "What made you feel called in the first place?"

"I liked the Jesuits. They taught me...and they were hilarious and joyful, and nobody funnier on the planet earth than the Jesuits I knew. And they were getting arrested protesting the Vietnam War. I loved both those things. And you put that together and I thought, boy, there's I wanted to with my life. I want to be prophetic and take stands and stand with those on the margins, and I want to laugh as much as I can...."
You can hear the interview here. And you can help Homeboy Industries here. As Greg notes, Angelenos have money to save the Hollywood sign and an alligator named Reggie. How about Homeboy?

James Martin, SJ

PS -- not into reading? Buy a shirt or sweats instead at HOMEBOY Industries!