Monthly Archives: January 2010

Things you didn’t know about Jackie Coogan

He allegedly held the rope at a lynching.

He was married for a time to Betty Grable.

As a child star he earned upwards of $4 million but saw virtually none of it.

He was 12 when his trademark pageboy was shorn in the 1927 movie Johnny Get Your Hair Cut.

During World War II he allegedly was busted in rank for being caught in an off-limits cathouse in Burma.

His daughter once said Uncle Fester was the only character part he really loved.

When Charlie Chaplin at 83 returned to the United States in 1972 after years of exile to receive an honorary Academy Award, he was met at the airport by Coogan. The two men reportedly broke down crying, and Chaplin said, “There is no one else in the world I would rather see than you.”

Sources: * Wikipedia

Carry on, men

A classic from the late, lamented

It was during the 1944 Stanley Cup final playoff series that Johnny Gottselig, the old stickhandling wizard and one-time coach of the Chicago Black Hawks, regaled us by relating some of the early bizarre history of the team.

“The goofiest year I ever spent with the Hawks was 1932,” he said. “We had a new coach, a guy named Godfrey Matheson from Winnipeg, who got the job by writing Maj. Frederic McLaughlin, the owner of the Hawks, a letter.

“The first thing he said to us was: ‘You are all adults. I will call you Mr. Gottselig, Mr. March and so on, and I want you to call me Mr. Matheson. I have appointed Mr. (Cy) Wentworth captain of the team and I want you to address him as Captain Wentworth.

“At our first practice, Matheson came out on the ice in street clothes, but he’s wearing a pair of elbow pads and a pair of knee pads. Not under his clothes, over them. He looked weird.

“He puts a pail full of pucks on the ice and then gets down on his hands and knees. We were lined up behind him on both sides. He’d grab a puck and throw it out to one side and one of the players was supposed to pick it up at full speed and go down and take a shot on goal.

“Our goaltender was Charlie Gardiner, but he wouldn’t let Charlie take part in the workouts. He said, ‘Mr. Gardiner, you’re too valuable to the team and I can’t run the risk of injury.’ So he buys one of those store dummies, puts a uniform on it and props it up in the net. That’s what we were shooting at.

“Frock Lowrey thought he’d have a little fun with Mr. Matheson and when the coach was down on his knees tossing out those pucks, Frock pretended he missed the puck and tapped him on the back of the neck with his stick. He must have tapped him harder than he intended because the guy was knocked out and had to be carried off on a stretcher.

“‘Carry on, men,’ he says from the stretcher. ‘Capt. Wentworth will be in charge until I’m able to resume.'”

Image: Blackhawks Marty Burke and Johnny Gottselig, 1936 * Via Hockey Memorabilia

Of Note

Curious Expeditions: Incredible Moon Hoax of the 1830s * Compendium of beautiful libraries

Dr: Boli: “The Pallbearers’ Cakewalk” and other musical “Gems from the Garfield Assassination”

The Art of Manliness: Make your own Bay Rum

Times Archive Blog: Did Napoleon murder Toussaint L’Ouverture?

Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society: The Jesuit who pitched for the Tigers

Georgian London: On castrati * On the importance of foundation garments

The Port Stands at your Elbow: A tribute to Priscilla Lane, who is right up there with Joan Leslie on the Jury Box’s list.

Sports Illustrated Vault: At 101, Hamilton Fish a golden oldie in every way (11/5/90)

Image: Hamilton Fish catches up on the news, 1942 * From the Life Photo Archive

Trailer: “The Roaring Twenties” (1939)

“The shock-crammed days the G-men took ten whole years to lick!”

‘Big Ed Delahanty’

The Swat King was solidly sauced again
so the conductor kicked him off the train
near Niagara Falls. The last words he said:
“Don’t care if I’m in Canada or dead”
and headed across the bridge, staggering.

He could knock a ball in two with his swing
but on the road Big Ed’s Mom came with him.
(He liked to cry “suicide” on a whim
and one time he even turned on the gas.)

Delahanty was a pain in the ass
but he didn’t deserve to be found drowned
at the bottom of the Falls. His renown.

One of the big mysteries in baseball.
Was he pushed from the bridge or did he fall?

~ “Big Ed Delahanty,” from “Fair Territory,” by Jilly Dybka

Image: Library of Congress

The Hot Stove

“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” —Rogers Hornsby

Listen to a recorded broadcast of a Senators vs. Indians game with play-by-play by Walter Johnson, circa 1939. (Via

Image of the old Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C., via the Library of Congress.

Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 19.

For Robbie Burns Day

“Address to a Haggis,” by Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit!” ‘hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

The Translation

Fair is your honest happy face
Great chieftain of the pudding race
Above them all you take your place
Stomach, tripe or guts
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm

The groaning platter there you fill
Your buttocks like a distant hill
Your skewer would help to repair a mill
In time of need
While through your pores the juices emerge
Like amber beads

His knife having seen hard labour wipes
And cuts you up with great skill
Digging into your gushing insides bright
Like any ditch
And then oh what a glorious sight
Warm steaming, rich

Then spoon for spoon
They stretch and strive
Devil take the last man, on they drive
Until all their well swollen bellies
Are bent like drums
Then, the old gent most likely to rift (burp)
Be thanked, mumbles

Is there that over his French Ragout
Or olio that would sicken a pig
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust
Looks down with a sneering scornful opinion
On such a dinner

Poor devil, see him over his trash
As week as a withered rush (reed)
His spindle-shank a good whiplash
His clenched fist.the size of a nut.
Through a bloody flood and battle field to dash
Oh how unfit

But take note of the strong haggis fed Scot
The trembling earth resounds his tread
Clasped in his large fist a blade
He’ll make it whistle
And legs and arms and heads he will cut off
Like the tops of thistles

You powers who make mankind your care
And dish them out their meals
Old Scotland wants no watery food
That splashes in dishes
But if you wish her grateful prayer
Give her a haggis!

Geaux Saints!

‘The Happy-go-lucky Goalie’

From the Sports Illustrated Vault, a 1962 feature by Gilbert Rogin on a portly journeyman Bruins goalie named Bobby Perreault who once was a prizefighter in his native Quebec under the name of Kid Flamingo:

The long-retired Kid Flamingo made a brief comeback on NHL ice when the Bruins played Toronto in their second game of this season. Perreault’s teammate Ted Green caught him a swipe with a hockey stick and almost knocked him out. “Greenie swing at [Eddie] Shack—two hands!—miss and hit me. I thought I had a broken jaw,” said Bobby. Boston took a 10-minute timeout; Perreault had only cut his tongue. “Bobby, we going to win this game with you in the nets tonight?” Watson asked him. “Sure,” said Perreault, bloody but unbowed. Watson told the rest of the Bruins: “He wants to play.” “The Kid Flamingo took it on the button,” Perreault announced, “but the Kid Flamingo didn’t go down.”

Another of Perreault’s escapades involved a monkey called Chief, a straw hat and a pipe. As Bobby tells it: “We got the monkey in Florida. We were four guy, went for a little ride and decide to get a monkey. That was in 1953. We bring it into boarding house and hide it under blanket so no one know we got it in there. That monkey, he stoned all the time. He drink a whole bottle of beer, then look in the bottle like this.” Perreault squinted disconsolately into an imaginary beer bottle. “But no one want to keep him—smell.

“One day when I was playing for Shawinigan Falls against Three Rivers I bring Chief out on the ice with me. I wear straw hat, too, smoke pipe. I tie him to the top of the net and get ready to play. I thought that would be good for the people. Not bad, eh? Oh, yeah, the people really enjoyed it. But the referee say to me, ‘Take that monkey out of there, we want no monkey business.’ I don’t know. I say there no rule against it. They spanked me for a while, but there was nothing in the rule book about that. There was a new rule next year: a goalie can wear nothing but his equipment. In juniors I was worse. I smoke pipe all the game, keep the straw hat on all the game. That monkey he in the Grand Mère zoo now.

Helping in Haiti

Fr Rick Frechette, CP, is a Passionist priest and medical doctor who runs the only free children’s hospital in Haiti. Christine at Laudem Gloriae passes along a letter from Fr Frechette describing the dire situation in the wake of the recent earthquake:

We…had 18 funerals today. One for John who works at our St. Luke program. We miss John very much. He often stopped at my door to tell me the milestone of his developing baby, which delighted him no end…. Another was for Johanne’s mother…. All the others were of unknown people who were sadly rotting by the wayside.

Other sadnesses… the death of Immacula, or only physician assistant, who worked at our huge outpatient side of our hospital. The death of ALL but one of Joseph Ferdinand’s brothers and sisters, the death of the husband of Jacqueline Gautier as he was visiting a school which fell and all the students (all died), the death of our ex-pequeño Wilfrid Altisme who was in his 5th year of seminary for priesthood. Other stories of deaths of people who are dear to us keep coming in.

You can help. One-hundred percent of your donation made at the Passionists giving page will go to Fr Frechette.