Thursday, September 12, 2019

Lots of American Football This Week

Wednesday, September 4, - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hard to believe as I write this that 95% of the kids in high school today were born after the 911 attacks in 2001.

We start this blogpost with a trip to downtown Los Angeles to  visit some landmarks that we have, amazingly, never visited.

Los Angeles Grand Central Market

How could a foodie like me have missed it all these years?

This was a possibility

Greetings Food Lovers!

 Lots of choices for lunch

What do you think Laurie?

Mexican food it IS!

It was quite good.

After lunch we headed across the
street to the famed Bradbury Building

Well known for its interior architecture, I first heard of it years ago when Laurie's Mother mentioned that when she was a Senior in high school she went there to have her Senior portraits taken by a professional photographer.

The Bradbury's interior
was really impressive

Different by California standards

GREAT Anthony Quinn Mural!

The iconic Million Dollar Theater

Located on the same block as the Grand Central Market and across the street from the Bradbury Building, I can remember going there as a child with my parents on several occasions.

On to South Pasadena . . .

Interesting art on the South Pasadena
Public Library

We had stopped for a beverage at one of our favorite coffee bars before stopping by to visit with my Mother.

This 1982 plaque on the South Pasadena
Public Library caught my eye

South Pasadena's Mayor at the time was one Ted R. Shaw. He was a member of the St. Francis H.S. Class of 1962, a Senior there when I was a Freshman.

Ted was the starting Guard on our 11-1-0 team that won the 1961 Santa Fe League championship. Only the second in our school's history.

An otherwise perfect campaign was disrupted when, in the C.I.F. AA playoff championship game we were upset by Bishop Amat H.S. 28-13.

We had beaten Bishop Amat 26-7 in a Santa Fe League game  in the fifth game of that year.

Now the reason that Ted's name stood out was that back in 1961 he gave me, deservedly, the only swat that I ever received in high school.

I was a rebel back in the day apparently.

We didn't want to fight the rush hour
traffic so we stopped at
South Pasadena H.S.

Home of the Tigers

Teddy not Franklin

Coach Solari was the legendary football
coach of the Tigers from 1953-1972

The Tigers Freshman team was
playing the Eastside Lions

The Tigers (3-0) won a close one, 24-22.

Lots of C.I.F. Championships over
South Pasadena's 113 year history

Four titles in American football led by Coach Ray Solari (1956, 1962, 1966 and 1969) and one by my old, much respected line coach at St. Francis, Coach Jim Yang in 1975.

Friday night Mike and I went to the Cabrillo at Rio Mesa Varsity game.

The small but pesky
Cabrillo Conquistadors

It was a BEAUTIFUL night
for American Football!

At the LOS

Good defensive play by Cabrillo

As the Sun slowly sinks
into the Pacific Ocean

The home stands were packed

Rio Mesa Field Goal attempt

Rio Mesa (3-0) defeated Cabrillo (0-3) 48-6.

On Saturday, Jacob's Blue Sharks
did extremely well!

International American Football
Game in California

Mexico's CETYS Zorros were in Los Angeles to play the Occidental Tigers.

CETYS is located in Mexicali. CETYS is an acronym for Centro de Enseñanza Tecníca y Superior.

The Zorros are trying to become the NCAA's first DII college south of the border.

The game was at Occidental's
Jack Kemp Stadium

Kemp was an Oxy alum who played QB for the Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Calgary Stampeders, Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills from 1957 to 1969.

After his playing days were over, he entered politics and served in the House of Representatives from 1971-1989. He was the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993.

Kemp was the Bob Dole's Republican Party Vice-Presidential nominee in their unsuccessful run for our nation's highest offices in 1986. 

Oxy in white, Zorros in black

A wise jersey choice on a scorching afternoon.

Zorros on Offense

The Three Amigos at Oxy

Final Score: Occidental (1-0) 38 - CETYS (0-2) 7

 Sunday we were at Cronies
for the Rams season opener

Rams 1-0!

On Monday I met with a large
group of retired Rio Mesa H.S.
for our monthly Senior Breakfast

Another good week!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Few Weeks of Literary Laziness

Tuesday, August 13 - Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Yes, I know that I have been neglecting this time honored blog for most of the month of August, time to catch up.

Let's start with my Mother's 95th birthday/swim party at her home in San Marino, California.

Laurie and Mary poolside

Mary and her Great-Grandmother Chuny
with our Niece Lauren photo-bombing

Michael at the Kids Table with
his two kids, Jacob and Mary and
Lauren's two boys, Leo and Max

Chuny with four of her
five Great-Grandchildren

Kevin was missing as he was in Las Vegas with school looming the next day.

Blowing out the candles

Mary keeping Chuny entertained

Later in the week, we were in Moorpark for some authentic Italian desserts at the Carrara Pasticceria.

Unfortunately, the prices were definitely not authentic 
Italian ones.

A Vespa with a gelato side car

How much more Italian can you get?

Cat Conti and her son Cooper


Our longtime friend Cat Conti, who is one of the few women certified to referee American football at the NCAA DI level, was enjoying a cannolo at Carrara's when we arrived.

It was good to catch up with her as always.

On to high school football . . .

Bakersfield's Garces Memorial was at
Rio Mesa, in white, for a scrimmage

Simi Valley's Royal HS
at Ventura's Buena HS,
on offense here, a bit later the same day
during their scrimmage

Royal vs. Buena in action

Fun time as Summer ends and school begins . . .

With Jacob at the Annual Camarillo Air
and Classic Car Show at the
Camarillo Airport

Jacob thought this roadster
was more his style . . .

. . . until he saw this WWII jeep

Trying to close the deal on
taking this baby home with him

He settled for a toy airplane instead

"Hey Poppo, let's go into that huge cargo plane."

It was indeed HUGE inside!

It was a GREAT DAY!

Jacob in a Marine attack helicopter

Jacob's new haircut, ready
for the first day of Second Grade
the next day

Mary, in T-K, and Jacob
on their first day of the
2019-20 school year

Back to more high school football . . .

Newbury Park HS Offensive Line
drills with Coach Ryan Hurley

Finishing the blocks

Practice at Ventura HS

I was there to gather information for Friday night's Royal at Ventura season opening game as I was scheduled to once again be the color commentator for the Ventura County Star's Game of the Week podcasts.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for
American Football at Venutra HS!

It was a great day for a Tommy's
chili cheese burger as well

The Royal-Ventura JV game before
our podcast at Ventura HS's. . .

Larrabee Stadium in a game
played on . . .

. . . Turner Field

Larrabee Stadium is
79 years old this season

The Varsity game about to kickoff

The Ventura Cougars (1-0) looked sharp in beating the Royal Highlanders (0-1) 51-14 tonight.

Next up, AYSO Soccer . . .

Jacob in action with his Blue Sharks

Mixing it up cautiously

After his game, we all raced home to watch some college football.

Mary just wasn't feeling the
Week Zero contests on TV

Sunday at a Ventura Winery
with Rio Mesa teachers both active
and retired to hear Karen Pecht sing

That's Karen on the left across from me. She did a splendid job as usual.

It was fun seeing some people for the first time in years on this day.

Back, once again, to high school football . . .

Ou Game of the Week podcast was
the Thousand Oaks Lancers (0-1) at
the Newbury Park Panthers (0-0)

It was the 50th year that these two schools would meet for the Conejo Valley Championship Trophy in a series that started in 1970 with a 48-48 tie.

I was at that incredible 1970 game as it was my first year of coaching serving as an JV assistant at Thousand Oaks HS.

Each team scored six TDs and six 2-Point conversions that day and with 1 minute and 5 seconds left in the game the score was 40-40!

The series stands at 27-22-1 (they played each other twice in 2012) in favor of TOHS going into tonight's contest, but NPHS has won the last three games between these friendly rivals.

With Jacob in the NPHS Press Box
before the game

Mike and Jacob on the sidelines

Nice t-shirt Mike!

 Jacob engrossed in the
NPHS JV Goal Line Offense

The Varsity game's First Quarter action

The NPHS stands were

Mike and Jacob urging on a Panther
on one of many long TD plays
for NPHS this evening

Newbury Park, which was my last California HS coaching stop a few years ago, won the game comfortably 44-21.

The series is still in favor of the Lancers 27-23-1 but it's now four in a row for the Panthers.

 At Cronies after the TO-NP game
young Jacob just could not hang
with the big dogs

Saturday it was back to Rio Mesa HS
for some Pop Warner football

Our family friend Debi Murphy's grandson
Dylan Moore plays for the Cougars

Dylan made a nice interception from his CB position to help seal the victory for the Cougars over the vaunted Simi Valley Bulldogs.

Let's see what's happening on the Continent with our happy-go-lucky Skorpions . . .

DJ is now a Europe Warriors WR!

As is Brovo at an RB spot!

With these two additions to the Warriors' final 55-man roster for the mid-November game in Vienna against the Austrian U18 National team, it makes a total of six Varese Skorpions. to be named to the latest/fourth Europe Warriors incarnation.

The other Skorpions on the roster are WR Filippo Petrillo, OL Gabriele Distefano, LB Stefano Lusuriello and DB Federico Zanetta.

Skorpion Marta Mengo was part
of the Italian Women's National
Flag team that played in the
European Championships
played in Jerusalem

The team in St. Peter's Square
before heading to Jerusalem

The Annual 7 Lakes Flag Football
Tournament will be held at Skorpion Field
this coming weekend

It will be a busy weekend with . . .

. . . ten teams from Italy and beyond

Go Skorpions GO!!!

Reading Is FUNdamental!

A fun read

A disappointing read

An interesting read

The best read for me in a long time,
Zafón's Barcelona based
books have yet to fail me