What If…?

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the August 24, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259A Collection of Potent Ponderables:

What if the Cubs and the Orioles both reach the World Series? Who will America’s hearts cheer for? Will they align themselves with the Chicago Cubs, the world’s favorite underdog, who haven’t won a World Series in over 40 years? Or will our nation take hold of the Horatio Alger Story embedded in this rags-to-riches season of the Baltimore Orioles? Or is this all a moot point because the stronger Western Division teams will prevail in the playoffs?

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What if Pete Rose was making news as a habitual coin collector (picture him showing off his 1909 S VDB) instead of behaving like a cornered animal who has diligent lawyers? Wouldn’t that make people more interested in the above paragraph?

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What if gravity stopped working? Would we have to spend our lives floating around like fish? Imagine what this would do to the bedding industry. Sheet and blankets would have to be tied down. Who knows, the government would probably require us to wear seat belts in bed. (Would they then be called “Sleep Belts?”)

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What if they had completed the Hyatt? What would the local newspapers be writing about instead? Who would be staying in the rooms? And what about Naomi?

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What if Max Yasgur turned out to be real snotty and refused to permit 300,000 peace-loving rock and roll fans to occupy his fields twenty years ago? That would mean there would be no such thing as Woodstock. The August media doldrums would have had to be filled with something else. (Like what? More Pete Rose stories?)

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What if the Statue of Liberty were modeled after Gypsy Rose Lee? What would the immigrants have thought of America then? Would they have all fled to Nova Scotia? Would more of them have come? Come to think of it, I don’t think Gypsy Rose was even around when Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi designed the Statue of Liberty.

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What if President Kennedy had said we should establish an orbiting space station by the end of the decade (instead of landing on the moon)? Would Space Condos be a thriving business by now? Would Star Wars have been a documentary instead of just a movie? Would Gene Roddenberry have been selected America’s Ambassador to Space by Ronald Reagan? Would we now have the capacity to deflect any errant asteroids that travel too closely to Earth? On the downside – can you imagine what Donald Trump would be up to?

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What if Ralph Wilson and Lou Saban could have gotten along for just a few more games in 1966? Would the Bills have won the first Superbowl? Would Jack Kemp have been selected the MVP? Would he have then ended up in coaching instead of politics? Would he now be commissioner of the NFL as opposed to finding himself cleaning up somebody else’s mess at HUD?

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What if CBS scores some ratings winners this fall? Wouldn’t that really irk Channel 10? Wouldn’t that give Channel 8 a long needed break? Or does everybody else watch Channel 13, too?

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What if there was more interesting news in the summer? Would I have thought of a more fascinating topic? Would it have been Pulitzer Prize material? Would it still be on the kitchen counter? And just who was Naomi, anyway? She can’t be related to Pete Rose, ‘cuz that’s Wade Boggs’ territory.

Last Week #22: Adiós Opus (originally published August 17, 1989)

Next Week #24: From a Bachelor’s Cupboard (originally August 31, 1989)

[What is this and why is here? See Interested in Discovering My Time Machine? for more details.]


  1. Chris Carosa says

    Author’s Comment: This post represents a smorgasbord of then-current events. Today, they represent barely remembered bits of nostalgia. Do you recall any of them?

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