Category Archives: people

“Well the good ol’ days may not return…

And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn.”

RIP Traveling Poet


The Bronx Bull


Jake LaMotta in 1949 after beating Marcel Cerdan for the World Middleweight title

Giacobbe “Jake” LaMotta, the former middleweight boxing champion, died on Tuesday at the age of 95. LaMotta, was a brawler in the ring (and out), stalking opponents close up, taking blow after blow, in order to deliver an explosion of his own punches.

My father would often mention that he listened to all six of LaMotta’s fights against Sugar Ray Robinson on the radio. One day, my Dad came to my bedroom door, and asked if I’d go see a movie with him. It was slightly out of character, so I was a little surprised. When I asked, “What movie?” He replied, “The one about LaMotta”. The movie, of course, was “Raging Bull” with Robert DeNiro.

The LaMotta/Robinson fights were epic battles. LaMotta only won one of the six meetings, their second fight. In the eighth round of that fight, LaMotta sent Robinson through the ropes and out of the ring. It was Robinson’s first loss of his boxing career. Their fight in Chicago Stadium on 14 February 1951 became known as the Second Valentine’s Day Massacre. The fight was stopped in the 13th Round, with LaMotta a bloody mess.

LaMotta later said about Robinson: “The three toughest fighters I ever fought were Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson. I fought Sugar so many times, I’m surprised I’m not diabetic.”


LaMotta vs Robinson 1943

LaMotta had a professional record of 83 wins (30 by KO), 19 losses, and 4 draws.


RIP Sam

The actor, and Pulitzer winning playwright, Sam Shepard died on Thursday. Shepard wrote over 55 plays, winning the Pulitzer for “Buried Child”; and acted in over 50 films, getting an Oscar nomination for his role as Chuck Yeager in “The Right Stuff”.

Shepard died of complications from ALS. He was 73.


Holy Hole in a Donut, Batman


Adam West in the 1962 film “Geronimo”

Adam West, best known for his role as TV’s “Batman” died on Friday. West received his start in film in the movie “Geronimo” with Chuck Connors in 1962.
TV’s “Batman” came out in 1966, and only lasted 3 seasons, but it became an immediate hit, and was cancelled mainly due to it’s production cost.

West was 88.


Come and Go Blues


Gregg Allman at the keyboard and his brother Duane on guitar in 1971

The world has lost another musician and an incredibly unique voice. Gregg Allman, co founder of the Allman Brothers Band has passed away. A band that was constantly tied to tragedy, starting with Duane’s death in 1971 from a motorcycle crash, the Allman Brothers pioneered “southern rock”. It should be noted that the band members themselves tried to distance themselves from that term. “I’d rather be known as a progressive band from the South,” said guitarist Dickie Betts. Their live performances were the best in the business.

Gregg Allman was 69. RIP.


Zen and Life


Robert Pirsig and his son Chris in 1968

Robert Pirsig, the author of the mid-1970’s cultural phenom “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, has passed away at his home in Maine.

Part road trip novel, the book is based on a motorcycle trip Pirsig took with his son, Christopher in 1968. The two Pirsigs rode from their home in Minnesota to the Pacific Coast over the course of 17 days.

Pirsig often said that 121 publishing houses passed on “Zen” until William Morrow agreed to publish it. “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” would sell over 50,000 copies in the first month of publication, and over 1 million the first year.

Robert Pirsig was 88.


RIP Mr Berry