SEASONS TO REMEMBER

THE WAY IT WAS IN AMERICAN SPORTS 1945-1960

An unabashedly nostalgic, silky-smooth memoir spanning a 15- year period that fiftysomething or older people tend to regard as a golden age in American sports. With assistance from Pulitzer-winning journalist Powers (coauthor, One Goal, 1984, etc.), Gowdy makes unobtrusive use of his long career in broadcasting to recall notable post-WW II teams and events. He was at the local mike, for instance, when Bud Wilkinson began making Oklahoma a college-football power and Hank Iba's Oklahoma A&M basketball squads were beating almost all comers. Moving east in 1949 to become Mel Allen's junior partner in broadcasting New York Yankees games, the author was an eyewitness to the dynastic renaissance of the Yankees, who, under the quirky aegis of Casey Stengel, dominated pro baseball for much of the 1950's. Offered a chance to be number one, Gowdy decamped for Boston in 1951 to air Red Sox games, a job that let him become the first voice of the Celtics as well. While he focuses on his era's storied contests and notables (e.g., Red Auerbach, Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Russell, Tom Yawkey), the author doesn't shrink from recounting its low points—in particular the point-shaving scandals that cost college basketball a full measure of innocence. Gowdy nonetheless manages to end his anecdotal, episodic narrative with an upbeat, I-was-there account of the home run that Ted Williams belted out of Fenway Park during his final time at bat in the major leagues, in 1960. Manna for older fans who may have forgotten how sweet it was, and a fine reminder for younger generations that artificial turf, integrated squads, TV coverage, drug-testing, seven-figure contracts, platooning, and seemingly endless playoffs weren't always in the game. (Illustrations—not seen)

Pub Date: June 16, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-018228-8

Page Count: 220

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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