Saturday, October 18, 2014

"The Hunt"

 As mentioned in the last post...The Far Hills steeplechase has devolved into a liquored-up  see-and-be-seen-wasted mess. The event organizers nearly had to ban alcohol based on the fights and arrests and general boorish behavior exhibited by the psuedo-horsey set who come to pose and puke.
 I have attended this race several times but gave it up years ago. My buddy Michael Moran's horse, McDynamo won the big stakes there a few years in a row and after that I said enough.
 Now, I like to have a few belts of bourbon and a beer or 5 at a steeplechase tailgate. But our crew is there to watch and wager and enjoy the sport. These posers are there to drool on their tweed and get in the DUI on deck circle.
 This North Jersey bridge and tunnel crowd is there to do one thing...party. The event stacks the rows of tailgates so far back from the course that a huge majority of those in attendance are there only to drink and act out....and have no idea what is happening in the paddock or on the course or in the winner's circle.


There is a now famous Youtube video of a bunch of lovely young ladies engaging in a drunken, muddy cat fight after the race...give it a look and you will see all you need to see and know how low this event has fallen.( The first photo in this post is a still from that video....)

Quaker City Boxing

 First we have a serious card on deck for this evening...Cunningham v. Visinia...I will be ringside.
Then tomorrow the Briscoe awards...Philadelphia boxing version of the Oscars. So this weekend it is all about boxing.
Meanwhile, duck hunting opens in Delaware this coming Friday so our Waterfowl Club is buzzing with anticipation. The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup steeplechase races are right after that on November 2nd. ( The Far Hills Hunt is today up in Jersey. Good luck with that drunken fiasco....a good race marred by the bridge and tunnel crowd getting hammered drunk and having no idea what is happening on the course. I gave up on that race long ago.)

So... boxing, hunting, steeplechasing....a sportsman's life!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Vintage Prize Fighter

"There’s nothing to fighting. Just come out fast from your corner, hit the other fellow as hard as you can and hit him first.” John L. Sullivan

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Don't Shoot What You Don't Know.

This is a photo from a  fashion spread in  Playboy of November 2005(the one that features blistering pix of Kelly Monaco-a Philly native.)
We can all see what they thought they were trying to conjure up in terms of mood and setting for these clothes. However, it is painfully clear that not one person on that photo shoot had a clue in Hell. Can anyone tell me what is completely wrong in this photo...there are 2 major and really inexcusable gaffs presented...and a few minor.


The Creator's Game


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Giving back

 The Lehigh University Lacrosse team has a serious commitment to community service.
 These are photos of the Lehigh Lacrosse Community day.
 The players and coaches gave freely of their time to local kids who play on school and club teams.
 The students on the Lehigh team have rigorous academic schedules in addition to their team requirements.
Nevertheless, they made the time to coach and mentor young players. Well done young men....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fight Night

The big Italian(Sicilian) heavyweight I manage is on deck for another bout. He is fighting tomorrow evening at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. This venue is a few miles north of New London and just above  the New England coast so artfully featured in the Daily Prep. I tend to doubt I will bump into Muffy...beer in hand... screaming at a fighter to "keep your hands up."
In this photo your faithful writer is modeling the custom corner-men's jackets I had  made for my team. It is an all cotton affair...a shawl collar cardigan hearkening back to old school trainers and cut- men like one sees in Scorcese's "Raging Bull." I am not certain whether I have displayed this photo before but what the Hell.
Tomorrow morning I will head North to be at the casino in plenty of time for some time to talk to my fighter and then meet up with the Lehigh boys to have a few drinks before the matches begin. Here's hoping for a KO'd opponent in the early going...another step on the road to Vegas and the big money TV fight for a Championship belt.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Intersection

Now and then my profession as an attorney and my work in the realm of prize fighting intersect. This is one of those times. I am representing former heavyweight Champion of the World, Tim Witherspoon in his contract for this book. The book goes to press and will be available in time for Christmas. It is a great story about a kid from the streets of Philadelphia who fought his way to the Championship. Along the way he was fleeced and lied to by Don King, had his life threatened, lost it all...then fought his way back. Boxers are special breed and I am glad to call this boxer both a client and a friend.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best

 My wife went up to Burlington,VT this week to visit our daughter and then head across Lake Champlain to visit our North Country friends in Saranac Lake. While I was toiling in my law office and trying to get my fighters credentials squared away for his upcoming bout at Mohegan Sun casino on October 3rd, and taking my son for a college visit at my Alma Mater, she was hiking and canoeing and mountian biking and enjoying the Fall in the Adirondacks.
Her penance for leaving me to deal with the day-to-day at home while she was surrounded by the Autumnal splendor of the High Peaks, was to stop at the Noon Mark Diner for pie. She was instructed to purchase and bring home a Blueberry crumb pie. This little joint in Keene Valley, New York bakes the best damn blueberry pie on the planet.During the Summer, the diner does brisk table and counter business...but the bake racks in the back of the store are filled with Apple crumb, Maple Walnut, Raspberry-Rhubarb, Blackberry-Apple....a cornucopia of pie for which one runs out of superlatives.The pie noted above made it back to the Main Line intact and was enjoyed right away!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More Radnor Concourse d'Elegance

 According to my extremely knowledgeable friend who is an expert in such matters, this item is probably the most rare and valuable American made vehicle on the planet. One cannot see from the photos, but the roof of this smokin' hot Ford-powered pavement pounder is signed by Mr. Carol Shelby himself.
 This is not a pretty elegant cruiser like the Rolls featured here in the previous post...but it is a speed record setting and race-winning one-of-a-kind.
By the way....do some research on Dr. Simeone...this is one of his collection. He is a local neurosurgeon and one of the most amazing collectors of unique and important  cars in the world. His museum/foundation is here in Philadelphia and is worth a visit if you can get access.

Low Numbers And Dying Traditions

A sad forecast from the NYT. Similar news was reported this week in Mid-West publications as small game season approaches. Above is a picture of this writer and his faithful upland game dog Archie. Archie is retired now as he is 14...but damn was he a pheasant hunting machine in his prime...and a 1/2 lab-1/2 English Setter mutt that I saved at a rescue shelter



The pheasant, once king of Iowa’s nearly half-a-billion-dollar hunting industry, is vanishing from the state. Surveys show that the population in 2012 was the second lowest on record, 81 percent below the average over the past four decades.
The loss, pheasant hunters say, is both economic and cultural. It stems from several years of excessively damp weather and animal predators. But the factor inciting the most emotion is the loss of wildlife habitat as landowners increasingly chop down their brushy fields to plant crops to take advantage of rising commodity prices and farmland values.
Over the last two decades, Iowa has lost more than 1.6 million acres of habitat suitable for pheasants and other small game, the equivalent of a nine-mile-wide strip of land stretching practically the width of the state. And these declines have been occurring nationwide. 

Each of the top seven pheasant hunting states have seen sizable reductions in the number of pheasants shot and the number of pheasant hunters over the last five years, according to data provided by Pheasants Forever, a group advocating for the expansion of wildlife habitat and land for public hunting. Last year, there were more than 1.4 million pheasant hunters nationally, a drop of about 800,000 in two decades.
“We’re at a tipping point, and we have to decide how important it is to keep traditions for upland bird hunting alive and into the future,” said David E. Nomsen, the vice president of government affairs for Pheasants Forever.
Federal wildlife officials say the money that sportsmen and -women pump into the local communities is vital. More than $33.7 billion was spent on hunting in 2011, including $2.5 billion on small game, which includes pheasants.
“In these times of fiscal restraint, when budgets are being slashed, we need to do all we can to make sure hunting and fishing remain viable pastimes,” Daniel M. Ashe, the director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, said in an e-mail.
In Iowa, the issue essentially has pitted the interests of the state’s recreational industry against its biggest economic driver, farming.
Among farmers, “it’s being passed down, from generation to generation, ‘How much can you get out of this land?’ ” said Mr. Wilson, the pheasant hunter, a 49-year-old former naval officer who hunts about three times a week. “ ‘Yes, you’ve got to take care of it — blah, blah, blah — but how much can you make for your family out of this piece of land?’ It’s not about ‘Is little Billy going to grow up to be a hunter?’ anymore.”
Bruce Rohwer, the president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, said he believed that farmers were as concerned as ever about being good stewards of the land and allowing natural habitats to bloom where they would prevent soil erosion and water contamination. But farmers also have to contend with economic realities, he said.
“As much as some people have romantic ideas that farming is just something that happens,” he said, “it is the way in which we make a living, so you have to consider all factors.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance

 Metal and wood combine to form one of my favorite pieces of functional art in the form of fine shotguns
 But in the realm of automobiles, form and function and wood and metal also provide a confluence pleasing to the eye and our practical nature
 This 1950 Rolls Royce was featured at the 18th Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d'elegance. I was rendered speechless by the beauty of this fine auto. I was equally impressed with the content of the trunk which included a custom picnic rig.
 What was really unique,indeed something I have never seen in one of these vehicles...was the mobile custom bar designed into the space where the rumble seat would otherwise be found.
My wife and I had a great afternoon wandering the grounds of Radnor Hunt Club and marveling at the restored vehicles of all eras and classes. More to follow.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11

         The lawn at my Alma Mater....2,977 flags in remembrance of the souls lost this day 13 years ago.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Harvest

Ultimately, after all the preparation and the placement of decoys and the time in the field, it becomes about the eating.
On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning I positioned myself back in the field of sunflowers at the hunting club. This is "the dove field."
I had more success than on opening day and shot a few fat healthy birds.
Said birds were cleaned and put on ice Saturday afternoon.
Last night I made dove breast empanadas from my harvest. I winged the recipe (no pun intended) and sauteed some shallots and then added the chopped breast meat. Then I added 2 large tablespoons of peach-pecan jam I had purchased in Vermont at Dakin farms on the last trip to UVM to pick up my daughter.
I reduced liquid and then cooled the mixture. After folding the cooled meat into circles of Pillsbury crescent roll dough and baking...these delicious appetizers were a huge hit during cocktails before dinner.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Opening Day

 The opening day of dove season dawned hot as Hades's boxer shorts. 'Africa Hot" as Gene says in Biloxi Blues (See last post)
 The sweat poured and the birds did not fly often or in great numbers.
My girl Genna sought refuge from the sun throughout the day in the soybeans. Usually at our club we limit out on doves in a few hours....this day one was lucky to bag 3 or 4 and miss a few. It was a fun day in the field with the guys nonetheless.... and the beers after the hunt were icy cold and welcome beyond measure. But there was not much to put on the grill.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Papa

                                                       Hemingway's writing room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fight Films

If you have not seen this movie.....please do so. This classic Bogart vehicle also features Rod Steiger and boxers  Jersey Joe Walcott and Max Baer. It is a film which peels back the layers of the business of boxing. Much of the exposed dirt is no longer extant....and the game is better off.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday's Results

Heavyweight prospect Joey Cusumano (8-1, 6 KOs) opened the show in dramatic fashion, by dropping Randy Easton (2-4-1, 2 KOs) twice, en-route to a one sided second round knockout. Cusumano took control early in the second with a big right hand which forced Easton to cover. With Easton fighting tentatively, Cusumano landed a right hand up top, but Easton tripped and fell into the ropes. Referee Henry Grant ruled it a knockdown. Easton was not hurt, but it wouldn’t matter as Cusumano sent him the canvas for the ten count at 2:36 from a devastating left hook underneath to finish the show.


Courtesy of Fightnews.com

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Weigh -In

The weigh in for my heavyweight's bout tomorrow evening is concluded. Now he will eat and rest before stepping through the ropes in the Grand Ballroom of Bally's casino.
This sportsman will be in the locker room before the fight and at ringside when the bell rings. If you happen to be there...say "Yo." I'll buy ya a beer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fight Night Returns

 This Saturday the heavyweight prize fighter I manage will enter the ring once again to continue on the long and  arduous road toward a world title shot. Cusumano was out of the ring from October 2012 until June 2014 due to a hand injury suffered in his 3rd round KO of an opponent here in Philadelphia. When a hand specialist treated the fracture, he diagnosed a degenerative condition in the wrist which needed surgery.
After rehab and training Cusumano returned to the ring may 31st and scored a 2nd round TKO against a game,albeit over-matched opponent. Saturday he will climb between the ropes to face Randy Eastman at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City.
In the meantime, I have designed and had made a custom cornerman's jacket for Cusmano's second in the ring. This photo show this writer modeling same. The front would show that it is a cotton shawl collar cardigan affair that channels old school looks from Jake Lamotta's crew in "Raging Bull." I have always despised the satiny smocks most cornermen wear. Most of them are all shiny and flash and make the wearer look like he is about to play trumpet for Earth,Wind and Fire in the mid-70's. I much prefer this classic 40'-50's look and think it will be well received by the crowd....I may even start a new retro trend in the boxing world. So, if you see Canelo Alvarez's corner wearing this type of rig....you know I started it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Simpler Is Better

 What can be more simple and amusing( actually addictive) than a game requiring a steel ring attached to a string,which is anchored to an overhead log beam, to be swung onto a hook. The whole set up costs about $2.75 and a trip to the hardware store. In this case, the setting likely enhances the experience.
 This particular ring game has been played on the screened porch of my friends boathouse on Lake Colby for quite a few years.One afternoon last week I was playing solo while my buddy,his son and my son were getting the boats ready for some sailing. On other occasions we play competitively and drinks or dollars are wagered on best out of ten tries or other variations of how many hooks per toss.
 The success rate depends on a steady hand and a consistent form to swing the metal hoop on a perfect trajectory to land on the hook. 4 out of five is my personal best....and each year in the Adirondacks I seek to go clean 5 for 5.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Tennis Anyone?

I am not much of a tennis player...squash is my racquet game. But sometimes I love watching a tennis match at the Cricket Club.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Like Peas and Carrots

Well, maybe not for the participants...but surely for the spectators.The Heavyweight I manage is fighting August 23rd at Bally's casino in Atlantic City. I just got back from the Adirondacks Sunday evening and I am trying to scramble out from under the pile that accumulated whilst I was away.