More regional fetishization.

Another pic from my travels yesterday — featuring 100 percent less bullets and pie.

I was convinced for a brief time that this photo had the germ of a Big E photo contest award-winner in it, if only it had a better background.

(Cue my dad, a one-man Statler and Waldorf: “And better handwriting!”)


I spent some time slamming microfilm at the Boston Public Library, doing baseball history research for my ever-spewing fount of stories. (There are always more, somehow.)

One of my requests involved an issue of one of Boston’s now-departed evening daily papers, the Traveler  (originally known as the Traveller, so my spelling on the request form is not completely incorrect.)

For the newcomers in town, the Traveler merged with the Herald; the Record merged with the American; and the Herald-Traveler merged with the Record American to create the Herald American, which finally became today’s Herald. The Post, which for a while was bigger than any of them and the Globe besides, just sank beneath the waves without the pretense of merging with anybody.

Anyway, the BPL’s microfilm machines used to be located in Bates Hall, a.k.a., the gorgeous old study room with the green lampshades and studious English ambience. A twenty-year-old jar of gefilte fish would look cool and dignified in the surroundings of Bates Hall.


Above: This is what doing newspaper research at the BPL used to look like in October 2018. That year’s walletcard is visible at right. I had a whole bunch of ideas for a 2023 walletcard, but they’re not worth much without a Twitter or Instagram account – unless I post pix here, which I just might.

Alas, they’ve moved the machines to another, much less picturesque part of the library.

So when the Boston traveler got his reel of the Boston Travel(l)er, the photo with its implied tale — one ticket back into the past; all aboard! — just couldn’t be made to look as good.

(It didn’t really matter, as I only had an iPhone to shoot with.)


All of my tickets to ride, shown above. They told me I had two hours on the machine; I told them I’d be off well before then. I finished with three minutes to spare.

# # # # #

Speaking of baseball, the Internet Archive has hosted, for some years, a collection of more than 500 baseball radio game broadcasts spanning from the 1930s to 1973.

For whatever reason, the guy who uploaded this initial collection has reposted it in a new location — and he’s added 400 more games. There’s a St. Louis Browns game from 1953 (how many of those could possibly be knocking around?), and Boston Braves games from the 1948 World Series, and and and and and.

So much to listen to, so little time.

In Chicago in July 1953, the Browns are ahead of the White Sox 1-0 after half an inning on a homer by Dick Kokos. Just thought you’d like to know.

(Edit: On a hot July day at Comiskey Park, broadcasters Al Helfer and Art Gleeson mention that the wind has turned and they’ve just gotten a whiff of the stockyards. “They must be doin’ business over there,” Gleeson notes. “Chicago’s a great town … the more you’re in it, the more you know about it,” Helfer responds. I am reasonably sure you won’t hear a discussion of stockyards or bad smells on a MLB broadcast in 2023.)

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