Okay, this should be the last of the pre-scheduled articles that I wrote before leaving on my train trip from Los Angeles to Chicago. That's because we're scheduled to arrive at Union Station around 3 PM this afternoon. And I thought it would be most-especially appropriate to post the famous, final sequence from the aforementioned movie, Silver Streak.
As I noted, this is the same train that the movie is based on. In reality it's called the Southwest Chief. (At the time of the movie, the route was for the Super Chief.) What's happening here in the movie is that the brakes have been cut on the train, and Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor and Pullman porter Scatman Crothers are still on board as it hurtles towards the station.
Here's hoping that my arrival is smoother. And that it doesn't give any ideas to the elves taking care of the homestead how they should treat the place.
While it's pretty clear that most of that's not actually Union Station in Chicago, since destroying the elegant, classic architecture wouldn't have been considered good form, the demolished stand-in is intercut with some moments of the real thing. (Though we do see more of it in earlier sequences of the film, setting up this finale.) However, it's been used in countless movies, perhaps best known for the "Potemkin Odessa Steps" homage in The Untouchables, when they have the shoot-out to pick-up Al Capone's bookkeeper. And also in The Sting. (Oddly, if memory serves, it's the scene when Redford and Newman's characters watch Doyle Lonnegan getting on board in New York, before they themselves get on to start their scam of him.)
But here's what the real Union Station looks like from a couple of photos I've taken in the past.
And here are those steps, which should probably look familiar.
Oh, what the heck. Here's that scene from The Untouchables.
I didn't plan to post anything else about the Cubs today. I almost didn't even read this article -- I've read plenty enough about last night's game, so did I need one more? But my recently-mentioned friend Eric Boardman sent me the link to a piece in the Washington Post, and I'm glad I clicked. That's because I immediately saw it was by Thomas Boswell, who's my favorite baseball writer. (As I told Eric, I almost added, "probably my favorite," but then realized that's wrong.)
Boswell (and what an appropriate name is that for a writer) has written numerous books (that are collections of his Washington Post columns) on a variety of sports, but he shines with baseball. Two of his books leap out -- How Life Imitates the World Series and Why Time Begins on Opening Day. If you do love baseball, I can't recommend these enough. (And since they're both a few decades old, the available price for each can be found for as low as a penny -- plus shipping -- depending on the quality of the copy.)
He's a gem of a writer. Conversant, matter-off-fact, full of stories, and eloquent. One of my favorite of his columns is the masterful, "99 Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football." One reason is -- "The poet Marianne Moore loved pitcher Christy Mathewson. No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball." Another reason is -- "Listening to a car radio on a summer night."
One of my favorite of his lines in another article is when he writes that people always wonder what a manager says to a pitcher when going out to the mound when the player has gotten into a jam, and figure it has to be something like, "Babe Ruth is dead. Throw strikes."
This article about yesterday's game is pure Boswell. Conversant, matter-of-fact, full of stories and eloquent. I even suspect people who don't follow baseball might like it, because it's about more than the game, but about the perspective of things.
You can read it here.
And as long as I'm posting at the moment, I figure I might as well add a couple of photos which I just came across today.
This first was sent to me by my cousin Peter Leviton (who I believe was instrumental in the Cubs success as he was on the field during the team's recent reconstruction of Wrigley, as the Cubs' fortunes began to turn, of which I posted a photo here). His son Eric -- also my cousin, of course... -- went down to Wrigley Field last night and took some photos of the festivities after the game. Somehow, he's a White Sox fan, but he at least had the good sense to be part of history and appreciate it. (By the way, I'm really impressed that there was no car-turning or rampaging after the pennant-clinching win last night, just pure joy throughout the city.)
And also, here's evidence that one change which won't be a carryover from the Obama Administration if Hillary Clinton wins. He's a White Sox fan - she however is a lifelong Cubs fan! (And even threw out first pitch at Wrigley Field when she was First Lady.)
Here she is last night when one of her Cubs-fan aides, Connolly Keigher, was live-streaming the game, and gave Clinton an instant replay of final out.
For reasons best-attributed to nothing but whimsy or perhaps kismet, I recently have come across a couple of graphics that I thought were extremely clever, and both had connections to slogans from the 1960s. I'll get around to posting each, and here's the first.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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