Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Sweet Talk

November 26, 2012

Stan Musial was truly a hit with my father

By GUINN SWEET

“But he ‘his musical finesse was such, so good his{eye} ear, so delicate his {swing}touch made poetry a mere mechanic art; and every warbler has his tune by heart.” – William Cowper.

I have taken a few liberties with punctuation and wording in the above quotation, but as you read further you will understand the necessity of transliteration, if you will. This is the story of my father and his hero, Stan Musial, baseball player supreme in the 1940s, ‘50s, and early ‘60s. You will soon see why the word musical is involved in the leading

quotation. The story is told at this time because Mr. Musial’s birthday fell on Nov. 21, making him 92 years old this week, so the time is right to celebrate the athletic prowess of his baseball career of the past.

There are two “stories” involved in this. The first, I think I should mention, is the mis-naming of Mr. Musial, and involves a certain amount of either ignorance or ADD on my part.

Before I started to school, I learned to read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram columns of two main writers. They were my favorite readings and had unusual names. The first was Dorothea Dix and the other was Fontaigne Fox. No one bothered to tell me their correct pronunciation, so I called Ms. Dix, “Dougherty” Dix, because it looked like the name of my daddy’s hometown, Dougherty, Okla. I likewise misspoke Mr. Fox’s given name, making him “Fountain” Fox. You can easily see where a 4- to 5-year-old reader might make these mistakes.

That sort of error stayed with me even after I learned to read in school to the point that, 10 years or so later, I was introduced to Stan Musial (via sports pages of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram again), first pitcher and then outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Yes, you are right, I read his name as Stan Musical. This was something that I was aware of, but for some reason I just kept repeating those names in error, although I had learned better. By this time I was enamored of sports figures more than newspaper journalists.

Now, the story introduces my daddy, a World War I veteran and temporary resident of the Veterans’ Hospital and Home in Sulphur, Okla. Daddy had injured his leg in a powered lawn mower accident and, not having anyone at his home in Dougherty to care for him, took advantage of the free treatment and lodging of the Sulphur facility. His “room” was an approximately 20-bed ward, filled with other aging and grumpy old veterans. Daddy had long since become an ardent, and even violent, fan of Stan Musial as he made sports headlines as star player, super hitter and all-round record holder for the St. Louis baseball team. He was probably the all-timer of all-timers as far as holding records for base hits, home runs, runs batted in and all-round good guy of the Cardinals for almost three decades. The story of Daddy’s behavior one special day in the Veterans’ Hospital returned to my memory because of the announcement of his 92nd birthday on Wednesday of this week.

We found out that we needed to pick daddy up with all his belongings by a telephone call from Sulphur. We were shocked, because we had visited a few days before and he was still unable to walk without assistance. We were advised to readmit him to the VA Hospital in Dallas, ASAP.

We took off to Sulphur right away and found the entire ward of his residence in disorder. The story we were told was a game between the Cardinals and an arch enemy (I don’t remember which one) had reached critical when Daddy, not willing to miss a word, turned up the volume of his bedside radio to “High” and his next-bed roommate presumed to turn it completely off – at a critical point in the outcome of the game.

Daddy, it was told to us, fetched his urinal from the bedside table, walked over to his next-bed neighbor and began to beat him over the head, neck and shoulders with it, turned the radio back up to its loudest and tried to drown out the screams coming from the adjacent bed. They were not musical at all, as related to us by the administrator.

As we gathered up Daddy’s belongings, including his radio, we were told that they would not send a report of his behavior to the Dallas VA facility, but that we should know that he would never again be admitted to the hospital in Oklahoma.

I don’t remember the final outcome of the game. This day on Mr. Musical’s birthday, I am sure that he remembers it well, or maybe not. Happy birthday, Stan Musical!

1
Text Only
Sweet Talk
  • Word from the Sweet Talker

    I understand that my most avid followers have been contacting the Index regarding my present whereabouts, my reason for dropping out of literary presence, temporarily, and when I might reappear.

    May 20, 2013

  • Reminiscing on columns

    The older I get, the more reminiscent I become … and I think that is the normal process of memory when we pile it up behind us. This is the nineteenth year of my writing a series of weekly columns, articles and travelogues for the Mineral Wells Index. I have observed the changing complex of reporting, beginning with my old original typewriter and continuing through the electric typewriter, the word processor and, now, I have worn out three or four computers. Since the latest one is nearly eight years old, I can see ahead to being forced to advance to a new one, an iPod or even becoming a “texter” on a little bitty hand-held thingy.

    February 2, 2013

  • Longing to Quench a Spiritual Thirst

    “Blessed is the (wo)man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are thy ways, who going through the vale of misery use it for a well … they will go from strength to strength”

    January 28, 2013

  • Sweet Talk: Guinn’s Guns

    “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,” states the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that this right is not limited to a connection with an organized state militia.

    January 19, 2013

  • Between ‘prissy clean’ and ‘post-tornado’

    “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house,” Proverbs:21:9, KJV

    January 14, 2013

  • Sweet Talk

    When I was a great deal younger, the only things that talked back to you were your children. Nowadays, every toy, stranger, automobile and kitchen utensil has something to convey to anyone who listens and others who would rather have quiet. The world is seething with idle conversation, insults and instructions, be it desired or not. Some of these things I invite into my life; some are intrusive and unwanted. Some are complete surprises, yet are talking to me as if I were an idiot cousin, come for an extended visit.

    January 6, 2013

  • SWEET TALK: What would you title this?

    A long time ago, English poet, Thomas Moore wrote, “Oft in the stilly night, ere slumber’s chain has bound me, fond memory brings the light of other days around me.”

    December 23, 2012

  • Of Payback and Coast Fishin’

    “Break forth into joy, sing together…for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem”  (Isaiah 52:8, kjv)
    Colon fell this morning.

    December 17, 2012

  • The Lord provides words, strength when needed most

    “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9, Holy Bible, KJV.

    December 10, 2012

  • Stan Musial was truly a hit with my father

    “But he ‘his musical finesse was such, so good his{eye} ear, so delicate his {swing}touch made poetry a mere mechanic art; and every warbler has his tune by heart.” – William Cowper.

    November 26, 2012

Featured Ads
Poll

Should vaping in public, such as in stores and restaurants, be treated the same as smoking, whether regulated privately by the business or by local governments?

Yes, vaping in public should be restricted like tobacco smoking.
No, vaping shaping should be allowed anywhere.
Not sure/undecided.
Don't care.
     View Results
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Must Read
Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide