And a Happy Friday to you all, and to my fellow Members of the Tribe, a Happy New Year beginning on Sunday night (that’s Rosh Hashanah to the rest of you).
We start Good News Friday with two of my favorite entertainers: James Corden, and Usain Bolt. The fastest man alive was “challenged” to a 100-meter dash by Corden, who enlisted Owen Wilson and the rest of Corden’s TV show staff to run against Bolt in a parking lot.
I thought this was really funny, and good on Bolt for being a good sport and doing stuff like this.
**Next up, a farewell to two legends. First, I’ve written many times on this blog over the past seven years about my fondness for “CBS Sunday Morning,” and the man at the center of it all for the past 22 years, host Charles Osgood. With his outrageous bowties and courtly manner, Osgood always makes you feel warm and safe (at least he makes me feel that way), and his retirement at age 84 is certainly deserved.
I love the humanity and heart of “CBS Sunday Morning,” and it all starts with Osgood, shepherding us through a wide array of stories. His final broadcast aired last Sunday, and the video above was the final few minutes. Such a class act. Here’s one of the better tributes from his co-workers, comedian/author Faith Salie.
The other big retirement this week was Vin Scully, who of course finished his legendary 67-year career as a Dodgers broadcaster. I’ve written about Vin a bunch of different ways during this past season, but I thought this was one of the best things I’ve read about his impact. Sportswriter Julie DiCaro writes movingly about how, when her infant sons were giving her a hard time and keeping her up all hours, it was Vin’s beautiful voice that gave her some peace. Check out this really beautiful piece here.
Here’s an excerpt:
But at night, I would sit in front of the open window, feeding my baby, and let Vin’s voice, his stories, his memories of baseball from a time gone by, wash over me. It got to be a ritual every night in which I could lose myself, float up out of my body and hover somewhere in the warm wind over Chavez Ravine, just listening to Vin and thinking about baseball. It was better than meditation. It was (almost) as good as sleep. I could begin to relax, feeling some of the frustration with my never-quiet, never-sleeping, never-happy baby start to dissolve. As Vin would talk, I would unwind. Those few hours of relaxation every night recharged my soul, kept me going, and allowed me to be the mother I wanted to be the other twenty-one hours of the day.
**Finally today, the great Roger Angell, the best baseball writer who ever lived, is still going strong at age 96. I am blown away at how sharp and lyrical his writing still is, and anytime he publishes something new, it’s worth celebrating.
Here in The New Yorker, he writes about getting ready to vote in his 19th Presidential election (19!), and the one thing above all that he hates about Donald Trump.
“But I stick at a different moment—the lighthearted comment he made when, in early August, an admiring veteran presented him with a replica of his Purple Heart and Mr. Trump said, “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” What? Mr. Trump is saying he wishes that he had joined the armed forces somehow (he had a chance but skimmed out, like so many others of his time) and then had died or been scarred or maimed in combat? This is the dream of a nine-year-old boy, and it impugns the five hundred thousand young Americans who have died in combat in my lifetime, and the many hundreds of thousands more whose lives were altered or shattered by their wounds of war.”
Angell’s fabulous prose can be read here. Amazing how well he writes four years shy of a century.