April 30, 2011

A picture perfect trip to the Polo Grounds


If you asked the guys in my high school class which girl was the most well endowed, most would give the same answer. Observant boys in the following couple of classes might have agreed. Her name will not be mentioned here. All that I will report is that my buddy Mal Karman labeled her "Miss Boulders." You get the picture.

It was 1957, the last season before the New York Giants moved to San Francisco, that Mal suggested that a few of his buddies make a road trip to see the Giants play at the Polo Grounds, across the Harlem River from Yankee Stadium. We agreed to go and in addition, Mal invited a handful of others, including Miss B, who consented to join our ranks.

While we were riding the Long Island Rail Road to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, Mal pulled an eight-mm movie camera out of the canvas bag he was carrying. Frankly, I thought he had brought his lunch.

In Penn Station, where my dad worked for about 30 years as a ticket seller for the Pennsylvania Railroad, we found the uptown subway line to the Polo Grounds. It was a beautiful day and we soon were in our seats in the historic old ballpark. It had been a fun trip, some of which Mal filmed. The camera whirred as he took shots of his friends and the ballgame.

About a week later, he invited friends to the premier of his Polo Grounds-excursion film. We couldn't wait.

What Mal had filmed was a surprise. There was precious little of his pals. Mostly, it was grainy 8-mm shots of Miss Boulders, primarily closeups of her from the neck down. How he had accomplished this without any of his companions figuring out what he was filming is still a mystery. Obviously, Miss B was not invited to the premier.

April 27, 2011

In honor of the big wedding in England, we present baseball royalty

We may not have been invited to the royal wedding, but we did want to pay tribute to what's her name and what's his name who are getting married. Here is our baseball royalty:

Felix Hernandez -- King Felix
Mel Queen
Prince Fielder
Duke Snider
Earl Battey
Ray Knight
Ray Noble
Chief Bender
Albuquerque Dukes
Kansas City Monarchs
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
New York Knights - Roy Hobbs' team in The Natural
Bob Prince - announcer

"King" Carl Hubbell
Babe Ruth -- "Sultan of Swat"
Harry Lord
Virgil Jester
Rogers Hornsby -- "The Rajah"
John "The Count" Montefusco
Kansas City Royals
Birmingham Black Barons

Rex Barney
Jose Reyes
Mark Koenig
George "The Baron von" Mitterwald

Mike Squires

April 26, 2011

Baseball players whose names are associated with money

Buck Freeman
Norm Cash
Don Money
George Banks
Tommy Bond

Norm Cash
Ernie Banks
Chet Nichols
Travis Buck
Don Money

Ernie Harwell once asked me if, since I was a minister, my favorite player was Bubba Church or Johnny Temple. He laughed when I told him it was Norm Cash!

Dave Cash
Buck Showalter
Dave Nichols
Brad Penny
Don Money

Don Money
Norm Cash
Brad Penny
Ernie Banks
Buck Martinez

Don Money
Norm Cash
Hunter Pence
Brad Penny
Chet Nichols

Chuck Schilling
Mark Lemke
Frank Chance
Wes Stock
Bill Buckner (Bill and Buck)

Buck Martinez
Norm Cash
Brad Penny
Don Money
Bobby Loane

Travis Buck
Brad Penny
David Price
John Buck
Ernie Banks

Don Money
Dave Cash
Milt Stock
Brad Penny
Willie Banks

Ernie Banks
Dave Cash
Don Money
Norm Cash
Dick "Wampum" Allen

April 24, 2011

Baseball players with my first name

Darrell Evans
Darrell Johnson
Darrell Jackson
Daryl Spencer and
Darryl Eugene Strawberry, my first and middle names

Billy Goodman
Billy Bruton
Billy Pierce
Bill Virdon
Bill Mazeroski

Frank Howard, my first and middle names
Frankie Frisch
Herman Franks
Frankie Baumholtz
Frank "Home Run" Baker


Shoeless Joe Jackson
Joe Girardi
Joe Garagiola
Joe Adcock
Jo-Jo White

Tom House
Tommie Aaron
Tom Bradley
Tom Goodwin
Tom Lawless

Tommy Hunter
Tommy John
Tom Gorzelanny
Tommy Hunter
Tom Seaver

Rick Auerbach
Rick Sutcliffe
Rickey Henderson
Dick Farrell
Richie Allen

James Rodney Richard
Lee "Bee Bee" Richard
Rick Monday
Rick Reichardt
Richard "Dick" Allen

Jerome Mathew Dybzinski, my first and middle names transposed
Matt Kilroy
Matt Batts
Christy Mathewson
David Matthew Murphy

Roberto Alomar
Bobby Doerr
Bob Feller
Bob Gibson
Bob Lemon

Tom Qualters
Tom Seaver
Tommy John
Tommy Harper
Tommy Agee

April 19, 2011


Darrell Berger has written "Then Roy said to Mickey" with former Yankees outfielder Roy White and "Straight Talk from Wild Thing" with former Phillies pitcher and MLB commentator Mitch Williams, both published by Triumph Books.

He is a native of Toledo, Ohio and a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He is a Unitarian Universalist minister in Orange, NJ and a tour guide at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, NJ. He has been a featured speaker at the New York City Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), speaking on "Baseball Players as Human Beings."

He was book reviewer with "Baseball Hobby News" for over 10 years, where he also contributed a monthly column, "The Diamond Mind." He is a Detroit Tigers fan. His three favorite baseball personalities are Ernie Harwell, Bill Veeck and Casey Stengel.

He may be reached at

April 18, 2011


Rich served for 12 years as a regular feature writer for Baseball Hobby News. His stories were primarily interviews with retired players and became the basis of his book Diamond Greats. His catalog of books is inspiring and can be found via a Google search.


RICH WESTCOTT has served on the staffs of various newspapers and magazines in the Philadelphia area during more than 40 years as a writer and editor.

Westcott is the author of 21 books, including two in 2010 entitled Back Again-The Story of the 2009 Phillies and The Philadelphia Phillies-Past and Present.

Two other recent books authored by Westcott were The Mogul - Eddie Gottlieb, A Philadelphia Sports Legend and Pro Basketball Pioneer and The Fightin’ Phils – Oddities, Insights, and Untold Stories.

Among his other books are The Phillies Encyclopedia, a local best-seller now in its third edition, Phillies ’93, An Incredible Season, Philadelphia’s Old Ballparks, A Century of Philadelphia Sports, and Veterans Stadium – Field of Memories. Westcott also wrote the widely acclaimed book on the local baseball legend entitled Mickey Vernon -The Gentleman First Baseman. He has authored three books that are collections of interviews and profiles of some 120 former major league baseball players. Other books include Great Home Runs of the 20th Century, Winningest Pitchers—Baseball’s 300-Game Winners, and No-Hitters –The 225 Games Between 1893 and 1999.

Westcott, was the founding owner and for 14 years the publisher and editor of Phillies Report, a newspaper covering the local major league baseball team. More recently, Rich was a member of a five-person committee assigned to plan and produce the permanent interior historical exhibits displayed at the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park. He was chief writer of the material used around the ballpark.

Considered the leading authority on Phillies history, Westcott, who altogether has written seven books on the Phils, was commissioned by the team to write A Century of Phillies Baseball (2000). He also wrote the team’s history for its web site. Rich wrote the chapter on the Phillies for the Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Team Histories, National League published by Meckler Books.

Rich writes occasional articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written for numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, Baseball America, The Diamond, Baseball Digest, Sports Collectors Digest, Fan magazine, National Pastime, and the Official 1996 Baseball All-Star Game Program. A sports writer with the Delaware County Daily Times early in his career, he also served for 12 years as a regular feature writer for Baseball Hobby News.

He wrote the introduction for the reprinted edition of My 66 Years in the Big Leagues by Connie Mack, originally published in 1950. Westcott was also the editor of two series, Baseball in America and Baseball Encyclopedias of North America, published by Temple University Press.

Rich has appeared frequently on radio and television shows, and has made numerous speaking appearances, including one at the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is featured in eight film documentaries, including four productions by Major League Baseball--Unhittable on no-hitters, Cathedrals of the Game on the baseball stadiums of Philadelphia, Phillies Memories, on Phillies history, and Baseball’s Great Rivalries, which includes a portion on the Phillies and New York Mets.. Westcott also appeared in a documentary, Richie Ashburn: A Baseball Lifer, produced by the Phillies, and in three others, one on Veterans Stadium produced by NFL Films, one on the Philadelphia Athletics by Autumn Road Productions, and one called Baseball’s Golden Era by Fox Sports Network.

Westcott is the president of the Philadelphia Sports Writers' Association. He is also an advisor to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, serves on the selection committee for the Phillies Baseball Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Rich was previously one of the official scorers at Phillies games. He has been a journalism instructor at La Salle and Temple Universities. Westcott has been inducted into three halls of fame, including the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame, the 21st Ward (Roxborough) Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Rich is a graduate of the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. He has a bachelor's degree from Drexel University and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. Westcott and his wife, Lois, have four children and live in Springfield, Pa.



April 16, 2011


Yesterday, to honor Jackie Robinson, every Major League Baseball player, manager, coach and umpire wore No. 42 on his uniform. Jackie broke into the major leagues on April 15, 1947.

Our blog post was my favorite piece of Jackie Robinson art by my favorite baseball artist, the incomparable Dick Perez. Two more Robinsons by Perez, from his "The Immortals" book are posted here.

Dick is an old friend from the baseball card collecting hobby. His late partner in the Perez-Steele Galleries, Frank Steele, was very special to the Barnings. Vivian and I own one of Dick's original paintings, of her favorite player, Roy Campanella from the Great Moments issue. I let him know that I had posted his Jackie painting and he replied:

Hope you are well. The image looks nice on your blog. I enjoyed reading some of the memories you share on it. That painting has always been one of my favorites. I included it in my new book. There are other examples on the site for the book,

My regards to Vivian.


Dick Perez' mailing address is:
P.O. Box 503
Wayne, PA 19087

April 15, 2011


Art by
Dick Perez
P.O. Box 503
Wayne, PA 19087

Baseball Hobby News Wikipedia review

The following can be found in Wikipedia and tells the story, more or less, of Baseball Hobby News. I have no idea who wrote this, but overall it is solid. I just wish that more of our writers had been mentioned. They were the pulse of BHN.


Baseball Hobby News
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baseball Hobby News was a United States based news-oriented magazine about the field of baseball memorabilia collecting. Founded in 1979 by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Vivian Barning, who served as editor and publisher, respectively, the magazine was published on a monthly basis until 1993. For most of its run, it appeared in a newspaper-style format, although it later converted to a tabloid size with a color cover.

The magazine primarily focused on baseball cards, but also included coverage of many other baseball-related collectibles, including autographs, press pins, postcards, stamps, uniforms and other pieces of game-used equipment, and books and other publications. As its name implies, the paper placed an emphasis on news, offering extensive coverage of newly released cards and memorabilia, as well as reporting on developments within the hobby itself. It also featured more nostalgic pieces, including articles on older memorabilia as well as interviews with baseball players of the past. There were also frequent articles aimed at new collectors, offering advice on how to get started in the hobby.

The publication originally was based in Glen Cove, New York. It moved to San Diego, California in 1982. The Barnings wrote many articles themselves, but also used contributions from a growing staff of writers and columnists.

Some of the regular features in Baseball Hobby News for at least parts of its run include:
• Who's Who In The Hobby, a collection of profiles of collectors from around the country, based on information provided by the collectors themselves. It was initially written by Dave Houser and for several years was produced by Brad Pueschel.
• Checklists of all known cards featuring a particular star player.
• Lists of addresses of professional players, for collectors to use in seeking autographs, often compiled by John L. Raybin.
• The BHN Price Poll, offering current average prices being offered on popular cards and sets by card dealers. Wade Baker produced this in BHN's later years.
• Dealer's Choice, an oft-humorous column by card dealer Richard West.
• According To Korda, musings by Ron Korda, a card collector who also worked for NBC.
• Reviews, usually written by Darrell Berger, of current books about baseball.
• Do You Remember, profiles of baseball players of the past. They were written by Rich Westcott, author of many baseball books including the Philadelphia Phillies' Encyclopedia.
• Coverage of errors and variations on cards (including new findings and responses to reader questions) by Ralph Nozaki, author of the book The Mistake Manual on the same subject.
• Listings of upcoming hobby shows around the country.

April 14, 2011

Part 2 -- Favorite baseball player nicknames

Some of our baseball loving friends, primarily from the card collecting hobby, were asked to provide five of their favorite player nicknames. Here are their lists:

Rich Klein, Texas
Piano Legs Hickman
Robert "Death to Flying Things" Ferguson
Sudden Sam McDowell
Willie "Puddin Head" Jones
Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell

Mike Dyer, New York
Virgil "Fire" Trucks
Hank "Bow Bow" Arft
Don "Mandrake the Magician" Mueller
Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones
Sal "The Barber" Maglie

Vivian Barning, Nevada
Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson
Hank "Bow Wow" Arft
Harold "Pee Wee" Reese
Walter "Big Train" Johnson
Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown

Matt Adamic, Texas
Bob Ferguson - Death To Flying Things
Ted Williams - The Splendid Splinter
Babe Ruth - The Sultan of Swat
James "Cool Papa" Bell
"Joltin'" Joe DiMaggio

Bill Zimpleman, Pennsylvania
Roberto Clemente - Ariba
Dave Parker - The Cobra
The Waners - Big Poison & Little Poison
Ron Kline - The Callery Hummer
Dick Stuart - Dr. Strange Glove

Joe Zinn, North Carolina
Jim "Catfish" Hunter
Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd
Sal "The Barber" Maglie
Lawrence "Yogi" Berra
Charlie "Paw Paw" Maxwell

Frank Barning, Nevada
Lynwood "Schoolboy" Rowe
Tommy "Old Reliable" Henrich
Elwin "Preacher" Roe
George "Specs" Topocer
George "Snuffy" Stirnweiss

Don Davidson, California
Don Mattingly -- "Donnie Baseball"
Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto
Ron "Louisiana Lightning" Guidry
Connie Mack -- "The Tall Tactician"
Mike Garcia -- "The Big Bear"

Mel Solomon, New Jersey

"Indian Bob" Johnson
Joe "Ducky" Medwick
Ted "The Splendid Splinter" Williams
"Joltin Joe" DiMaggio
Jim "Mudcat" Grant

April 13, 2011

Part 1 -- Favorite baseball player nicknames

Some of our baseball loving friends, primarily from the card collecting hobby, were asked to provide five of their favorite player nicknames. Here are their lists:

Darrell Berger, New Jersey
Bob "Death to Flying Things" Ferguson
Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mucahy
Walter "Boom Boom" Beck
Charlie "Paw Paw" Maxwell
Art "The Great" Shires

Richard West, Texas
Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky
Stan "The Man" Musial
Leo "The Lip" Durocher
Jim "Mudcat" Grant
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

Tom Henningsen, Illinois
Bob "Death To Flying Things" Ferguson
Dom "The Little Professor" DiMaggio
Harry "Gunboat" Gumbert
Jimmy "Toy Cannon" Wynn
Joe "The Gay Reliever" Page

Henry Hof 3rd, New Jersey
Jack "Lucky" Lohrke
Sheldon "Available" Jones
Willie "Say-Hey" Mays
Eddie "The Brat" Stanky
Carroll "Whitey" Lockman

Tom Mortenson, Wisconsin
Frank "Creepy" Crespi
Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell
Anthony "Bunny" Brief
Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones
Don "Popeye" Zimmer

Jim Ayres, New York
Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown
Clint "Scrap Iron" Courtney
Clarence "Choo Choo" Coleman
Jim "Mudcat" Grant
Ernie "Let's Play Two" Banks

Frank Barning, Nevada
Forrest "Spook" Jacobs
Luke "Hot Potato" Hamlin
Elijah "Pumsie" Green
George "Specs" Topocer
Frank "Pig" House

Part 2 will be posted in a day or two with more delicious old baseball cards as illustrations.

April 10, 2011

Tom Henningsen visits his first In-N-Out Burger

Long-time friends from the baseball card hobby, Alice and Tom Henningsen, were our house guests for four days in early April. Life-long Chicagoans, Tom was born the last year that his Cubbies were in the World Series, 1945. "The Cubs are going to win it this year," he said. Of course, he says that every year.

When he first met Alice, there was a spark between them, but there was also a problem. Her knowledge of baseball was, to say the least, limited. He knew that upon asking his future bride, "Where does the shortstop stand?" and she was clueless. That has been ironed out during their long marriage.

Tom, who was a columnist when we published Baseball Hobby News, had one request concerning his stay with us. He wanted to experience the cult fast-food restaurant, In-N-Out Burger. None of its nearly 260 outlets is anywhere near Illinois. " I've wanted to go to In-N-Out for a long time," he said.

"For us in Chicago, In-N-Out has a sort of iconic status. It's mentioned in so many books and seen in so many movies and TV shows that it's almost become a destination within a destination." And so we took the Henningsens to the In-N-Out just a mile from our home.

Of that experience Tom said, "The thought of a successful fast-food franchise doing well with such a limited menu is pretty amazing. When we walked in, I was surprised at how crowded the place was at what wasn't, really, a typical fast-food-busy time. Having to wait for a table just added to the anticipation. The staff was very efficient.

"I'd love to return, but, next time, I'd have a milkshake. Chicago would probably embrace the franchise even after the novelty wore off. The hamburger was better than most fast food burgers I've tasted. Plus, to quote many hosts of Food Network shows, there was a 'lovely presentation.' I'm a fan."


Locations: California 203, Arizona 28, Nevada 16, Utah 8 and Texas 3

From Wikipedia
In-N-Out Burger is a regional chain of fast food restaurants with locations in the western United States. Founded in 1948 by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther, establishing the first In-N-Out burger in Baldwin Park and headquartered in Irvine, California, In-N-Out Burger has since expanded outside Southern California to the rest of the state, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, with Texas locations coming soon.

The current owner is Lynsi Martinez, the only grandchild of founders Harry and Esther Snyder. There are currently 258 locations (as of March 2011) with no location more than one day's drive from the Baldwin Park distribution center. The company's business practices have been noted for employee-centered personnel policies. For example, In-N-Out is one of the few fast food chains in the United States to pay its employees significantly more than state and federally-mandated minimum wage guidelines – starting at $10 per hour in California, as of January 2008.

The In-N-Out restaurant chain has developed a loyal customer base, and has been rated as one of the top fast food restaurants in several customer satisfaction surveys.

April 9, 2011

Where I would rather be today: London

Taken during our March 2004 trip to England. Photos include Covent Garden (see Apple Market sign), Big Ben along side Parliament, Vivian in front of the London Bridge, St. Paul's and Frank at the London Bridge underground station.

April 8, 2011

They took our Kodachrome film away, thank you

Digital cameras are one of the greatest inventions in recent memory. Remember all those times you had to PAY for film? To give you an idea of the impact of digital's influence, Kodachrome film is no longer being produced.

Posted above are two of the favorite photos that I have snapped. Both are from a National Parks bus tours Vivian and I took in August, 2007. The grazing elk were captured during a stop in Yellowstone National Park. They were kind of hanging out, doing what elk do. The other picture was taken from the bus while rolling through farm country somewhere in Wyoming.

Maybe someday digital photography will be immortalized in song, but it will never top the following:

Lyrics by Paul Simon

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
(Leave your boy so far from home)
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

April 7, 2011


Call me crazy, but I take photos of license plates that I find interesting. Here are some Nevada plates that relate to the favorite sport of locals......GAMBLING.

April 5, 2011

Where I would rather be today: Petco Park in San Diego

The San Diego Padres, my favorite team, have their home opener today. I'd like to be there with Vivian and Randy. We went to hundreds of baseball games together as a family, including playoffs and World Series.

The post season games of 1984 are still vivid in my memory. We sat next to one of my heroes, the late Pee Wee Reese of Brooklyn Dodgers fame, at the two World Series games in San Diego against the Detroit Tigers.

Attached is a photo of us at Petco in May of 2005. Within a month, Randy had moved to Austin, Texas while Vivian and I relocated to Las Vegas. Life goes on.

April 3, 2011

Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers, my childhood hero

Every year when the calendar turns to April 4, I think of Gil Hodges, slugging first baseman of the Dodgers. He died at age 47, two days shy of his 48th birthday. Today he would have turned 87.

In the spring of 1969, I had sat with him while he watched his son, Gil Jr., play a game at C.W. Post College on Long Island. I told him that I was the school's sports information director and he asked me to sit with him. I did not mention that he was my hero, that I played his position (first base) in Little League, Pony League and on the junior varsity baseball team in high school. His uniform number, 14, is still my lucky number.

Later in the year he would manage the miracle New York Mets to a World Series victory over the highly favored Baltimore Orioles. I had a ticket to game 5 at Shea Stadium, the day the World Series ended.

Vivian and I were strolling the Via Veneto on April 3, 1972. We had purchased a copy of the International Herald Tribune and grabbed a table at a cafe to have breakfast and read the newspaper. A story announced that big Gil had died of a heart attack on April 2 while playing golf with his Mets coaches in West Palm Beach, Florida.

It was even worse than the shock I felt upon learning that Buddy Holly had died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959.

These lyrics from American Pie by Don McLean capture my feelings:

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside,
The day, the music, died.

April 2, 2011

Elementary school friends share childhood memories and common interests dating back to 1948 in Forest Hills, New York

I can't think of anyone with whom I am still in touch on a regular basis who has known me as long as John Sterbenz. We met in the first grade at P.S. 101 in Forest Hills, New York in 1948 and were in the same class every year through sixth grade.

Our bond was a mutual passion for playing softball in the cement school yard and our love for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Gil Hodges. We both played in the initial season of the Forest Hills Little League in 1954. He is the only person I have ever known who batted cross handed. Hank Aaron reportedly began his baseball career batting that way but never did so in the major leagues.

John has saved just about everything that has been important in his life. Recently he emailed me a scan of an autograph book page (see above) that I had written on 56-years ago. Amazingly, my handwriting hasn't changed according to my wife.

My family moved to Levittown in late 1954. And over the years, John became a distant memory most easily recalled when I looked at the annual class pictures in the Barning family album.

In 1981, I received a letter postmarked in Michigan from Sterbenz. He was a baseball card collector and I was editor of Baseball Hobby News, a national publication that he had picked up at a sports memorabilia show in the Detroit area.

John asked if I was the same Frank Barning who went to P.S. 101. After a gap of nearly four decades, we were back in touch. At least five times we have seen each other since then, including twice in the past few years here in Las Vegas. We share so many memories of our childhood and our discussions have awakened much of the joy of my pre-Levittown days.

In 1954 I wrote that I hoped he would make the Dodgers. Well, that didn't happen but he graduated from New York Tech, became a successful engineer, worked at the Kennedy Space Center for NASA on the Apollo Program (1966-69) until the United States landed a man on the moon.

Then he moved to Michigan to work for the Ford Motor Company Safety Laboratory as a Test Engineer (1969-1999). Even at age 68, John is still an active participant in sports, including the Senior Olympics.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”. I found this quote online. John Sterbenz has left a big footprint.

The Barning family's 2010 vacation - San Diego, California

San Diego is one of America's best summer-vacation getaways. Vivian and I escaped the Las Vegas heat for a week last summer with their son Randy who lives in steamy Austin, Texas. The Barnings called San Diego home from 1982-2005, 23 glorious years.

We are pictured in front of a statue of Vice Admiral Clifton Farragut, with the USS Midway in the background. The famous aircraft carrier is now used as a museum in San Diego harbor. The other photo is of Vivian and Randy in front of the famous Hotel del Coronado. The hotel was the backdrop for the 1959 motion picture "Some Like it Hot".