On the verge of vacation

Just one more night of work and I’ll be on vacation for nine glorious days.

We’re not going anywhere, but I am looking forward to a decent week of workouts. Each September, I skate in the NorthShore Inline Marathon, 26.2 miles from Two Harbors, Minnesota, to Duluth, Minnesota, along the shore of Lake Superior. A nasty bout with gout has set back my training, so I have to get after it.

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On Sunday night, we’re heading out to the ballpark. Frank Howard, a slugger for the Washington Senators in the ’60s and one of my favorite baseball players, will be in town to sign autographs. He played here in the minors and lived here in the winter, even after he retired as a player.

Big Frank owned a bar here in the early ’80s. It was a little place, tucked away in the basement of a restaurant in a neighborhood shopping center that also had a grocery store, liquor store and drug store.

Only the restaurant is left now, but I vividly remember a few nights at Frank Howard’s Lounge. Once in a while, the big man — 6-foot-7, 250 pounds — would be there. Sportswriters of the time called him the Gentle Giant, and he was, a genuinely nice man.

I don’t associate any particular tunes with those nights at Frank Howard’s Lounge. If there was a jukebox, it probably had more Sinatra than singles. Just that kind of vibe to the place.

Here, however, is a tune from that time. Yeah, it was a hit, and you may have heard it enough, but I’ve always liked it.

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“While You See A Chance,” Steve Winwood, from “Arc Of A Diver,” 1981.

Five years later, Winwood came out with this tune. I like it, too, especially this cover.

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“Back In The High Life Again,” Warren Zevon, from “Life’ll Kill Ya,” 2000.

2 Comments

Filed under June 2007, Sounds

2 responses to “On the verge of vacation

  1. I met Frank Howard in 1979 when he was a coach on George Bamberger’s staff with the Milwaukee Brewers. He is a nice guy and a mountain of a man.

  2. Jeff,

    The best home remedy for gout is to simpy add a lime to your Tangeray and tonic. It’s all in the lime.
    A music buff like yourself should remember Harry Nielson. Hope your feeling better!

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