NEW YORK, NY – Yippee! It’s the glorious first day of the absolute sh!ttiest month of the year! Let us all rejoice and sing sad songs like “Horse with No Name” and “Wildfire” towards the cold gray heavens. If you like February, you’re either living in a tropical paradise or an absolute sociopath. What ratchets up the breezy fun times even more is that this is the “dead week” between the NFL Conference Championships and the Superb Owl. In short, if you’re currently in a coma somewhere, well done! Speaking of which, quite a few famous folks have left us recently. Let’s give them some props and see if I can manage to sneak some sports stuff in.
Lisa Loring. If you thought I wasn’t going to discuss the passing of the actress who played Wednesday Addams on Angry Ward Wednesday well, Judas Priest, you got another thing comin’. It’s crazy to think that Gomez Addams (John Astin) is the last living cast member of The Addams Family, but he is. Rumors that Lurch has been playing right field for the New York Yankees have been disproven… we think.
David Crosby. A couple of weeks back we lost harmony master David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash and CSNY. I read a great Bob Dylan quote about him that said, among other things, that he wore a Mandrake the Magician cape and that “he could freak out a whole city block all by himself.” That’s some great stuff right there. And, no, he was NOT related to Sidney Crosby, who apparently is still playing pretty decent hockey in Pittsburgh. Who knew?
Lance Kerwin. I’m guessing there aren’t many of you out there who remember Lance Kerwin, as there aren’t many of you out there as it is. LOL. Anyway, he had a decent TV career back in the 1970s with a show James at 15 and the surprisingly good and creepy miniseries version of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. He also co-starred next to latter-day idiot Scott Baio in the TV movie, The Boy Who Drank Too Much (someone must have come up with this title during a writer’s strike). Speaking of drinking, it won’t be long now before our own Short Matt starts talking incessantly about his annual alcohol-free Lent. Yet another reason to run away from February.
Barrett Strong. Motown’s first breakout recording star, Barrett Strong later co-wrote some that famed label’s most memorable songs including, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and “War.” But the hit that launched both Strong and Motown was “Money (That’s What I Want).” Great tune, and the money that the Mets just signed Jeff McNeil for is a great deal… for the Mets. Four years and $50 million for an all-star and reigning NL batting champ is a friggin’ bargain by today’s standards. It just goes to show you how little regard this league has for guys who hit for average. Anyway, great to have The Squirrel back in the fold.
Cindy Williams. This past week we lost Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney on Laverne & Shirley. She was also in a couple of great movies, back-to-back, in American Graffiti and The Conversation. But she’ll always be remembered as Laverne DeFazio’s (Penny Marshall) roommate and co-worker at Shotz Brewery. Michael McKean (Lenny), is now the only surviving original cast member from that show. David Lander, who played his best friend Squiggy, was once a scout for my Seattle Mariners. Go Mariners!
All right, I’m done. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, whose Eagles hope not to die in the desert a week from Sunday.