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Le Mars, Number 42 and Jackie Robinson

Monday, April 23, 2012

President Obama is not stupid, and Senator Grassley knows that, even though he Tweeted; "Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law." As Grassley clarified, intelligent people do say stupid things, though, and Obama did that when he prematurely whined that a high court ruling striking down the health care law would be an "unprecedented" example of "judicial activism." That smacks of using his office to influence a decision of the Court.

We might not expect lay people like me, or Bob Vander Platts, to fully understand the separation of duties between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, but our president does know better. It is one thing to criticize after a decision, but for a president to interfere before is simply wrong.


In Japanese culture, the number 42 is considered unlucky because the numerals, when pronounced separately, sound like the phrase, "unto death." The Gutenberg Bible is also known as the "42-line Bible," as the book contained 42 lines per page. 'Level 42' is also an English pop music band. And, 42 was the late Jackie Robinson's number. A couple Sundays ago every major league player wore that number on their uniform as a tribute to the first Negro ever to don a MLB uniform. You knew that, but did you remember his opportunity came about only because of a former Le Mars ballplayer?

Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League executive who, as president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, gave Robinson his chance. He also drafted the first Hispanic superstar, Roberto Clemente.

Rickey caught for Le Mars in 1903 in the Class D Iowa-South Dakota League. On his death a UPI obituary said, "As a big-league player, Mr. Rickey did not amount to much. In a game against Washington in 1907, when he was catching for New York, there were 13 stolen bases charged against him. In 11 games he was charged with nine errors." As a member of those New York Highlanders (forerunner of those damn Yankees), Rickey hit less than .200, but he would become a management superstar.


Of British origin, Robinson is the ninth most used surname in that country, 28th in this country.

Probably in deference to Jackie, you rarely hear the old adage, "Quicker than you can say, Jack Robinson." According to Grose's Classical Dictionary, published in 1785, that reference was to an individual whose social visits were so short that he would be departing almost before his arrival was announced. That seems to be replaced by; "Faster than a New York minute."

The NY saying appears to have originated in Texas (maybe a coincidence - but there are more Robinson's in Texas than any other state) around 1967 as a reference to New Yorkers' hectic pace, quite the opposite of a laid back Texan.


In trying to check out a politician (my first mistake?) a while back I inadvertently signed up for Facebook. I soon realized that site is not for me, but I found that leaving Facebook is about as easy as trying to shake snot from a fuzzy yellow chore glove - not that I've done that.

In trying to depart I ran across this; "If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you." Ah-Ha! I sez to myself, I will write what I think of 'em, calling the site every nasty cuss word I know. It would have been fun, and improved my mental health, but by this time Heather was helping and she 'gently' advised against such a drastic measure.

I finally got to a "How do I log out of Facebook" page which turned out to be as useless as mammary glands on a masculine porcine. "The option to log out of your account is located in the account dropdown menu at the top-right corner of Facebook," it said, but there was no such. "Top of Form

Was this answer helpful?" it asked? I refer you to a couple of sentences ago.

I finally opted for just a temporary breakup instead of a 'divorce.' At least the emails from people (I have never heard of) wanting to be my 'friend' have stopped.

Another thing, maybe it is just me but there are times I cannot locate a 'quit' button on YouTube, which site, in my opinion, is like me -- overworked, and only good about half the time.


Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That

© 2015 Le Mars Daily Sentinel