Was This Written 50 Years Too Early or 50 Years Too Late?

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I‘ve always been puzzled by this thought: Was I born 50 years too early or 50 years too late? This thought resurfaced this week as I rode the train back and forth to Chicago while the rest of the world dazzled itself with remembering the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

It reminds me of a skit I once did as Cubmaster for Peter’s pack. We had our meetings in the cavernous Mendon Firehall. It was always filled to capacity. Filled with boys, their parents, and their siblings.

That night I donned a pair of Buzz Lightyear “wings” (actually they were my young nephew’s and I don’t know how I fit them over my shoulders without overstretching them). After strutting a few steps with those wings, I added a Woody hat on top of my head.

Maybe one of the Toy Story movies was out that year.

In either case, I asked the pack to guess who I was. Some of the boys says “Buzz” and some said “Woody.” I said “Nope” to each guess. Then I looked up to the parents in Pack 105 and said – in a distinct John Wayne kind of voice – “Well, pilgrim, some people call me a ‘The Space Cowboy.’”

And so it has been in my life. Teetering on the precipice of “born too early” while simultaneously straddling the ledge of “born too late.” Some might view this as a Continue Reading “Was This Written 50 Years Too Early or 50 Years Too Late?”

Heah Come Da (Hamburger) Judge!

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Sentinel Publisher Chris Carosa presents a signed copy of his book Hamburger Dreams to Best NY Burger winners, son Matt Beach and father Randy Beach, of the Ale ’n Angus Pub in Syracuse. To the left is Jean O’Toole, Executive Director of the New York Beef Industry Council, sponsor of the event.

It was a driving rain, which is actually OK if you’re driving in it. Which I was. But soon wouldn’t be.

I snaked through the meandering roads of the expansive Onondaga Community College campus, peering through the rain-fogged windows desperately searching for “Visitors Parking” between Lot 6 and Lot 7. The place was packed with cars.

Suddenly, the brake lights of a small foreign car parked ahead blinked on. I had my chance. The vehicle backed out and sailed away. I quickly maneuvered to seize the empty space. But, before I could pull in I slammed on my own brakes.

At the end of the spot stood an ominous sign. It warned “30 minute parking only.”

I was already late. It was 2:45pm and I was told the event wouldn’t end until 7:00pm at the earliest. Should I risk getting a ticket or find another space somewhere in the Continue Reading “Heah Come Da (Hamburger) Judge!”

Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Man Enough to Admit the Truth

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Here’s the good news: My daughter and her college girlfriends went to the New York red carpet premiere for one purpose: to leave with a picture of themselves with Star Trek Premire Red CarpetChris Pine. They succeeded. As for the movie, with the exception of my daughter, none of them had ever seen any of the many versions of Star Trek available in this universe and, in fact, openly declared their dislike for science fiction in general. After seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, they emerged as fans. They couldn’t believe how great the movie was. They were bubbling with excitement, eager for the next sequel.

That’s what they call “expanding the constituency.” It’s a marketers dream come true, and no doubt one of the reasons Paramount partnered with J. J. Abrams for the Star Trek reboot.

But I’m part of the original constituency – the one dating back to Star Trek: The Original Series (a.k.a. “TOS”). For my part, I fulfilled my dream merely by Continue Reading “Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Man Enough to Admit the Truth”

How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?

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Last week, a good friend of mine wrote a piece called “Don’t Be a Social Media Debbie Downer” (see MarkFrisk.com). In it, he says “overdoing it on the negative 400129_8598_Christopher_Columbus_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300is maybe not the way you want to go.” While ostensibly written for the social media space, he quickly adds the lesson applies to any space.

Today is Columbus Day. No one has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Debbie Downer Syndrome more than the man who discovered America. Almost every event, person, place or thing in the human record stands as a glass either half empty or half full. Throughout history, we’ve taken the “half full” approach when defining our heroes. Why?

The best answer I’ve seen lies within a 60+ year old movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda called Fort Apache. In this classic western, Ford both unmasks and makes the Continue Reading “How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?”