I would love to share with you what link Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, John McLendon, Marlin Driscoll, and my dad share. It is a fun story that I think you, would love and I have not been able to share with anybody.
My Dad was born in a very small hut in a very small town in Adamsville, Tennessee. The hut where he was born was located at what is now home plate in their baseball field. His mother died in childbirth, unattended. Not only did he never have a birth certificate, noone, including himself, ever really knew what year he was born. We guessed. (Coming up may be some words that I know are offensive. I hope you will forgive that, as it was part of the era – he was born in either 1917, 1918 or 1919 so the world saw things differently.) Since his father was the town drunk who never quite forgave my dad for “killing his mother,” he was shuffled from aunt to aunt. He worked in the fields with the black kids, hoeing cotton and tobacco. When the hoeing was done, they would together go slip under the fence to watch the Negro leagues baseball games. He fell in love with baseball. He also fell in love with basketball and would practice shooting and dribbling until the sun went down.
When he graduated from high school – he was young to graduate even with the uncertainty of his birth – he tried to get a baseball scholarship. Eventually he got one at Milligin College in Tennessee. He had athletic scholarships, an orphan’s scholarship and cleaned the gym to pay for his education. He played on the varsity tennis team, baseball team and basketball team. He graduated with a degree in English.
Here is where it gets murky for me – Dad didn’t talk about his past much. At one time, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him. He played second base in their farm team in Johnson City in Tennessee. Somehow he wound up in Raleigh-Durham playing baseball and basketball and coaching women’s basketball (yes, they had that in the south then). Recall, John McLendon was coaching in Durham at that time. Hold that thought. (It was also in this time that Sam Snead taught him to play golf.)
When the war came, since he had a college degree, when he enlisted in the Navy, he was made an officer. Eventually he wound up a captain in the Navy, but I am not sure what he went in as. They made him morale officer at Pearl Harbor. His ship just missed being there when Pearl Harbor was bombed – Dad said Sam Snead was late for the ship. Not sure if that was true or tongue in cheek. His job was to recruit entertainment for sailors coming to Pearl to heal. It included sports teams, entertainers, etc. At various times, his baseball teams had names like Stan Musial (who he had met in the St. Louis system), Pee Wee Reese, Johnny Majors, Bob Lemmon (who dad converted from shortstop to pitcher because Bob couldn’t throw straight), Dom and Vince DiMaggio (Joe went with Army), Phil Rizzuto, Leo Durocher, Bob Feller, and many more.
This next part I am not sure of. I sat one day as a kid with Satchell Paige. Satchell had come to Denver (during the minor league days) to do some sort of pregame demonstration and since Dad was doing color in the announcer’s booth, Dad left me with Satch. (A lot of the grown ups sitting around us did NOT approve.) As anybody knows, Satchell could spin a yarn, but I don’t know how he could invent this out of thin air …
At some point while at Pearl Harbor, according to Satchell, Dad decided he wanted to recruit some of the players he had watched from the Negro leagues. Dad (this I know is true) had always believed the black players were at least as good as the white players. So anyway, Satchell and Dad agreed that Dad would start getting his players mentally ready to accept playing with “coloreds” while Dad tried to get the ok from his superiors. Finally, Dad’s superiors threatened his commission and he dropped it. But a thought had been planted …
Several years later, Jackie Robinson was selected to break the color barrier. Branch Rickey was the President and GM who hired Robinson. But on the team were Johnny Majors (I think he was General Manager), Pee Wee Reese (Team Captain) and Leo Durocher (I think he was coach?). Satchell wondered if maybe Dad’s preaching in Pearl had something to do with getting Jackie accepted by the team. We will never know.
The rest of this is not from Satchell.
After the war, Dad moved to Denver. He got a masters in business at Colorado College and became an English professor, baseball and basketball coach at Regis Jesuit College (even though he was a Methodist). He became a celebrity in Denver because his basketball teams were very successful. They used a totally different style of play – and if you studied it you would see shades of John McLendon. Over time, he became active in bringing sports to Denver.
First, there were the Denver Broncos. Dad secured the financing so the team could be brought to Denver (Dad was a banker with Central Bank). He led the drive to build Mile High Stadium that would keep the Broncos in Denver. And he pushed Denver to bring in Marlin Briscoe as quarterback. Marlin Briscoe was the first black quarterback in professional football.
Then there were the Denver Rockets (now the Denver Nuggets). Dad was part of the original ownership group. While he was still an owner, he convinced them to hire John McLendon as their coach. John was the first black coach in professional basketball. However, he lost almost all of his investment when the partnership sold.
Many years later, he co-chaired the Colorado Baseball commission. He started working on getting baseball to Denver in the early 70s, and I can remember him talking about some choice meetings he had with Peter Ueberroth as they argued over whether Colorado could support a professional baseball team. Anyway, they finally got baseball in 1993. And, of course, the first home run hit at home for the National Baseball League team was hit by Eric Young, again, a black man. So, Denver had our first black quarterback, our first black professional basketball coach and nominated our first black president. That just tickled the heck out of me and I really wanted to tell KO that. (When my dad died three years ago, only the family was at the funeral. The rest of Denver had forgotten him.)
I don’t know how to verify parts of this story, but I do know the rest. This battle for equality has not been waged by black people alone, but by people who knew that skin color has no more relevance to a person’s character, capability or intelligence than hair color.
Remember Major League? Remember the scene where the woman who bought the team came in and told the team that they had been chosen because they were all losers? Remember how the coach then made a poster of the owner, where she was dressed all in black and had a dialog balloon that said, “You guys suck?” Remember how the coach had calculated how many wins it would take to win the pennant (amazing how he was 100% correct) and how after each win a piece of her suit would come off until she was standing there in her altogether? I decided it was time to expose John Boehner in a similar way, but instead of wins, we remove a part of his attire based on the groups he hates. Follow me after the fold to expose Boehner. Warning: If you are under 18 you need parents permission to continue, and if you are squeamish you have been apprised.
I don’t have the graphics skills to actually do the exposure here, and I am not sure I could stand to actually see it. Therefore you will have to use your imagination.
Behold John Boehner. His orangeness stands before you (fresh off a visit to the spray tan store) in a navy blue pin striped suit with his hand raised in Heil position. A dialogue bubble above his head says, “Not only NO but HELL NO!”
John Boehner hates the Gays. We start by removing his left pant leg, revealing that he is afraid that if the gay couple up the street who have been living together for 17 years suddenly got a license, his marriage would collapse, his wife would leave him and his children would be sucked back up through the womb into the great ethers beyond. They would be able to share the insurance one partner’s workplace offers to families of the employees and there would be none left for John. They might actually be able to make life and death related decisions should one partner become unable to do that for him or her self. They might be able to inherit the house they have both been paying on. Worst, John is afraid he would be forced to marry a man – and it would probably wind up being Mitch McConnell. What a scary thought! So, John, off with the left pant leg. OMG! That looks peculiarly like Big Bird’s leg! No wonder you keep your pants on!
John Boehner hates Messicans. Never mind that many have roots in this country that date back further than Johns. They don’t look like you or me and they speak with an accent (not Mitch’s accent, theirs is from further south). They keep having Democrat babies. This has to stop. Before you know it, they will demand equal representation and give our country back to Messico. They must be stopped. It is not enough to seal the border, they have to be exported en masse. Except for the one who mows his lawn, the one who watches his children and those who repair his roof. They have to go home. Before you know it, they will have more Democrats than his white kids have Republicans and he will lose power. So John, off with the right pant leg. Just as I was afraid – it IS big bird’s legs. Orange and all. Guess you will have to make adjustments to that spray tan machine.
John Boehner hates Moslems. He will vehemently deny that Moslems came up with scientific method as well as their contributions to geometry and astronomy. He will deny that the numbers we use are arabic numerals. He probably doesn’t know that without Moslems we would not have algebra, or perhaps he hates them because of algebra. He knows only that most of them live far away and they all are out to get him. They call their god by a different name. That should not be allowed. They need to be arrested and deported. They cannot build a community center, because community centers always result in votes for Democrats and he will lose power. For the Moslems, we remove his shoes, remembering what being hit with shoes means to Moslems.
John Boehner hates black people. He always has. Doesn’t know why, but he does. He has “heard things” about black people and they make him squeamish. They are all on welfare except the rich ones who aren’t. Actually he would like the rich ones except they don’t give him money. So they all have to go. So, John, off with your right sleeve, the one uplifted in your grand NO gesture. Oh, my! That arm looks strangely like it came from Grover and was painted orange. John, you look strangely like an orange Statue of Liberty.
John Boehner hates children. Some people think we should take perfectly good money away from bankers and financiers and use it to pay for frivolous things like SCHIP and teachers. Children don’t vote, why should we give them money? Besides, if we give them money they will all learn to be lazy. Let them pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and if they have no boots let them find some. So we remove the left sleeve. No comment merited.
John Boehner hates veterans. He sends them to war, and when they come home broken he thinks they should fend for themselves. He especially hates homeless veterans. They should have stayed at war and died like heros. How dare them come home and sleep in streets us taxpayers pay (too little) for! Money to upgrade VA facilities? Waste, waste, waste. That money could be used to balance the Bush-inflated budget. Never mind that his friend Bush sent them out to war in the first place. When they come home they should get rich and give him money. He even hates them in spite of the fact that many vote republican and keep him in power! They embarrass him, so he hates them. In honor of veterans we remove his tie. Oh, my, what a neck there! John, John, John, where did you find an orange turkey to take that off of?
John Boehner hates the poor. They also drain our coffers. He especially hates the new poor because they lost their jobs and expect Congress to do something about it. Why should he do something about it? He didn’t lose his job. As long as his job is secure, he can’t be bothered worrying about people who are losing their cars and their homes because they lost their jobs. Besides … another job will come along soon enough … maybe. When in doubt, flip burgers. But don’t expect money from our treasury. That is reserved for bankers, financiers and insurance executives. They give him money. Lots of money. The poor don’t give him money. They just vote. If you don’t have money you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Too many don’t vote for him and he will lose power. So we remove the right side of his suitcoat. This is getting ugly folks.
John Boehner hates women. They should keep in their place. They should get pregnant and stay pregnant and if they get pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant they should stay pregnant anyway. That is what god made them for – to be pregnant. And to cook his dinner. Equality for women? Never! Not on his watch! Except the ones in the tea party who make him feel manly. Soccer moms should vote like their husbands tell them to. Except when their husbands are Democrats. Too many of these darned women don’t vote for him and he will lose power. So there goes the left side of his suitcoat! Geez, John! With all that tanning you do at least you could have a six pack. That looks more like a keg. That belly button looks oddly like a bung. No wonder you get so upset when you see a picture of a shirtless Barack.
Well that about covers everybody John hates and uncovers almost all of John. What is left is akin to a loin cloth. Luckily he still loves the teabaggers, so we can leave him with that loincloth. I am thankful … I don’t think I could even stand the mental visual if the loincloth had to go. It looks strangely like an oversized teabag, covering a small and barely effective Boehner.
There you have it, my friends. John Boehner exposed.
Before I begin, I must stress in the strongest possible terms that I am no more an accomplished meditator than I am a doctor. If I could do as well as I can talk, I could do much more with my life than I am doing. I am not a “human complete,” rather, I am a “human becoming.”
I began my study of meditation decades ago when I read Dion Fortune’s book Training and Work of an Initiate. In that book she explains that there are two types of meditation, which she ascribes as the difference between Eastern and Western cultures. She says that Eastern cultures try to reach the soul up to the heavens, whereas Western cultures try to bring the heavens to Earth. As I look at the behaviors of these cultures (in a less blended form than perhaps we have now), I see her point. Anyway, to accomplish the cultural goals, which are expressed person by person, the Eastern approach is passive, uniting ones self with the “oversoul,” the Western approach is active, pulling the beauty of the ‘oversoul” to enrich the individual. Subtle difference, but it manifests strongly in the meditative approach. You can see the stark differences when you look at the Deepak Chopra approach (Eastern) vs Franz Bardon’s approach as discussed in Initiation into Hermetics.
Today I discuss the passive approach, as I find it is easier to get started in that one. Over time, migrating to the active approach may be useful, especially to activists who want to see change on Earth.
There are several books out about Eastern meditation practices, and although I tend to lean toward Chopra’s books (and his methods are discussed in several of his publications, so I don’t call one out here) because he communicates his information in words and phrases that the Western mind grasps easily. I summarize his words here with my own thoughts intermingled.
All meditation literature I have found talks about how our minds have a chatterbox constantly yammering in our heads. The first goal of meditation is to not necessarily silence that chatterbox, but to make it shut up unless it has something worthwhile to say. Once the chatterbox is controlled, it can be used for great effect in your life.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone. While the literature suggests that you can do this sitting or lying down, most suggest sitting if only to avoid falling asleep. I also find that sitting gives a better circuit for the energies to pass through. I find that this is best done in the morning, with a different exercise (to be discussed later) as I go to sleep. Wear comfortable clothing, loose fitting, that will not be a distraction or an irritant. I recommend a notebook where you will write your impressions and observations when your session ends – it is a great learning tool and way to monitor your progress.
To begin, set a timer for 5 minutes. It is not reasonable to expect your mind to start training at 30 minutes just as it is not reasonable to expect your body to begin workouts by running a marathon. Sit quietly and watch your thoughts go by. Do not engage them, just release them like bubbles in a lake. To aid your mind, you can keep it busy with a meaningless phrase, such as “so-hum,” with so on the intake and hum on the outtake. You can also watch your breath.
Your chatterbox will start telling you all these things you have to do, all the offenses you experienced the day before, how your mother is coming for Christmas and doggone it the cat is in your potted plants again. Don’t engage these thoughts, just let them float away. Over time, you will notice these thoughts coming slower and slower. Then you find a way to keep yourself in what Chopra calls “the gap.” This is the space between thoughts. This is where you have what he calls “pure potentiality,” that is nothing is already created there so it is open to creation. The goal is to eventually go the entire session in “the gap,” that is, no thoughts bubbling up for the entire session.
Increase the time as you are successful, until you can do 30 minutes. Once you are able to do that, you can take a specific goal or thought into your session and it will begin to penetrate who you are. Some use a mantra, such as “Be still and know that I am god,” or “Peace and calm.” You pick the mantra based on your goals, beliefs and personality.
At night, your thoughts as you drift into sleep are giving instructions to your subconscious. Therefore you must be careful what those thoughts are. Your subconscious does not differentiate between what you want and like and what you don’t want and like. So if you are going to sleep worrying about debt, your subconscious takes that as instruction to increase debt. If you go to sleep worrying about how you are going to get everything done that you need to do, your subconscious will make your schedule more harried and you less efficient to meet that instruction. If you go to sleep thinking about how blessed you are, your subconscious will go out and find more ways to add to your blessings (and you will begin to be able to recognize more of the blessings you have – a good practice for peace of mind.) If you have a goal, visualize that you have attained that goal. Do not tell your subconscious how to get there, just where you want to be. Visualize it until it becomes plastic. Be advised, that as you get more accomplished in this, things begin to change in your life. I am always amazed at how fast those changes occur, and more than once it was almost too fast for me to grasp.
There is much, much more to passive meditation that meditators more experienced than I am can share. But this is a good starting point, and just following these steps should result in more peace and control.