The Old Man and the Mule

Here is a good story from Second Wind: Memoirs of an Opinonated Man by Bill Russell with the historian Taylor Branch (1979, Random House; currently out-of-print). It’s about Russell’s grandfather and his mule, Kate. Russell’s family was from Monroe, La., and he lived...

Remember the Rhythm

Dig this—from Whitney Balliett’s book American Musicians: Fifty-Six Portraits in Jazz: The Cape Cod pianist Marie Marcus came to New York from Boston to do a radio show in 1932, when she was eighteen. Her experience had been limited to Boston radio shows and to...

Top of the Heap

By William Nack From Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories, 2000 On a balmy afternoon in February, 1999, as old Yankee Stadium was getting her face lifted and nails polished for the spring opener, I visited the grand old yard to peer into the nooks and corners of her...

How Pryor Put Cosby Behind Him

By Scott Saul From Becoming Richard Pryor, 2014 When Richard Pryor first came on the national scene in the mid ’60s, he was a comic who consciously followed the blueprint established by Bill Cosby. Never mind that Pryor, even when he was doing a clean act, lacked...

The Wonderful One-Pitch Mo

By Kevin Baker, Bronx Banter, May 5, 2012 With apologies to “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Have you heard of the Mar-i-ano, Who such a wonderful pitch did throw He ran up six hundred saves and then some, And then of a sudden it — ah,...