"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 1959 (re-post 5.14.10)

Varsity: any first-string team, esp. in sports, that represents a school, college, university, or the like: He is on the varsity in tennis and in debating. 

Below is a piece I wrote last spring after finding a letter my Dad received when he was in high school from his basketball coach. The letter was written 52 years ago today. Enjoy!

Life experienced in all of its simplicity is often the best way to experience life. Last year I had the pleasure to read a letter that my father's high school basketball coach, Dick Snouffer, wrote (typed) to all the young men that made the varsity basketball team that year. 

The letter is simply a treasure.

To read the letter is to go to a time much different than today. It was the middle of the 20th century, in Middle America, and "smack dab" in the middle of the civil rights movement. 

In 1959 the unemployment rate was 5%; the average salary was $5010.00 and the average cost of a home was $12,400. Families around the country were watching "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone" on their TV sets; watching Cary Grant in "North by Northwest" and Charlton Heston in "Ben Hur" on the silver screen. The number one hit on the radio was Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife".

In many ways it was a better time.


Oh yea, a gallon of gas was 25 cents. Usually, I try to say something clever after delivering a fact like that, but I can't...I'm truly speechless.

Jake Bailey #52
Circleville High School

Below is the letter that was written 51 years ago this November:

Circleville High School  
J. Wray Henry, Principal
Circleville, Ohio

November 30, 1959

Greetings James:

       Congratulations! After two weeks of concentrated practice for all of us, you have been selected as a member of the Circleville High School varsity basketball squad for this year. You have been selected on the basis of what we believe you can potentially contribute to our squad. As a varsity squad member, you are expected to be one of the eleven "most hustling" young men in the classroom and on the basketball court.

You are to keep yourself healthy and "ready to go" at all times for all of our interests and not yours alone. In order to do this, the following are training suggestions for your "self discipline" which is the answer to training.

(1) At least 8-9 hours sleep each night. Be honest, you know how you feel after too little sleep.

(2) Regular meals - cokes, potato chips, and other snacks are hard on digestion if they aren't eaten with meals. Fruit between meals is OK at times.

(3) Regular hours for Study and Relaxation. Get your homework done early before you are too tired.

(4) No habits adverse to body growth and normal health. Tobacco, alcohol, too many greasy foods are "out".

(5) Good emotional balance. "First things first" in your life. Know what is important to you NOW! Your only opportunity for a high school education and athletics is here now.

     Basketball season lasts only four months and you will have the rest of your life to remember it if you did your best. Three copies of "Basketball and You at Circleville High School" are on file in the high school library. You should know the material presented therein "backwards and forwards".

    Attitude, the result of your adjustment to life, is a basic ingredient of any organization, team or otherwise. Four basic factors for a good mental attitude are:

(1) CONFIDENCE - in athletics, it comes with ability, physical condition,good attitude, and experience.

(2) DESIRE - to learn (both in the classroom and on the basketball court), to improve, to excel, to win and to train. This should come from within you and from the heart.

(3) LOYALTY & RESPECT - to self, to parents, teammates, school officials, teachers, and coach. Your coach will make mistakes now and then as you will, but he likes the game and wants to win as much as you do.

(4) RELIGION - Last but not least by far - a player with faith in God is a better player. He has a clearer mind, seems to know what he wants from life, and goes after it in a straight forward manner.

With a 100% effort on the part of each of us, we can look forward to an interesting season. How will you answer the question at the end of the season: "What have I contributed to the success of our squad this year?"

        Best wishes for a very good year.

                                               Richard K. Snouffer
Imagine if this letter were written today...the ACLU would have a field day. BTW, I bought gas today; seven gallons...$19.59. 

You do the arithmetic.

sbb 14.5.2010  
(Just My Imagination  .  The Temptations)  

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