My View

  • Mankind is not perfectible, only God.  The pursuit however of that perfection is our noblest obligation.
  • The things and ideas we decide to reject in life are every bit as important, even life-changing, as those things and ideas we choose to accept.
  • Rejecting your chance at learning means accepting your future as a fool.
  • The ability to read is different than the love of reading.  Only by fostering and gaining that love can the entirety of the world be truly opened.
  • Anything worth hearing was first written and writing gives the author immortality.
  • Failure is the finest teacher of what is success.
  • If you aren’t willing to participate in determining how our world works, hold your complaints for others who could also care less.
  • Whether or not your past hurt you or helped you, what you do today determines your future.
  • Authentic friends tell you the truth, hold you accountable and support you based on righteousness, reality and reason, especially in times when those words sting.  Faux friends comfort you when you’re wrong and walk you down the easier path by never making you think.
  • The true demonstration of overcoming adversity is the fact that every decent man had to reject what 1000 fools were telling him.
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It’s the driver not the car..

In the late spring of 1972, high-school buddies Allen Hopkins and Mike Sturdevant picked me up at my house in order to go on a little road-trip to inspect a motor for sale.  “Hop” as we called him was a “gear-head” and a Mopar fanatic and he had knowledge of a hemi-engine for sale somewhere up near Greene, NY. So the three of us piled into his 1966 Plymouth Belvedere and headed up NYS Route 12 to go and see if this motor was anything Hop wanted.

As we neared the village of Greene, a small sign caught Hop’s attention.  “Look at that, a rally, let’s check it out on the way back.”  Now I do not remember anything about that engine we were originally going to see, but I do have a vivid recollection about that rally.

As we headed back, Hop was clearly into the planning mode.  As he discussed this, it became clear to me that Hop had no interest in observing this event; he was going to compete in it!

We pulled into what was ordinarily the Green airfield, but today was the site of the auto rally.  As we approached, a gaggle of BMW coupes, a few Corvette’s and a variety of British sports cars were either parked and waiting or on the track competing.  A small set of bleacher seats oversaw the rally layout, defined by plastic, orange pylons, strategically placed over the tarmac forming a serpentining lane of obtuse turn angles, switch-backs and abrupt angles, all designed to test the handling and dexterity of car and driver.  The track layout made its way around a circuitous route that ended where it started, allowing one car at a time to be timed with a stop watch, start to finish.

The announcer had a public address system and was located behind the bleachers in a small, elevated box-like room, delivering a turn-by-turn analysis and comment about each car and driver as they completed the course.

After parking the car, the three of us were wandering around, looking at the cars and watching the competitors navigate the course.  I saw Hop talking to the men at the start line and all of a sudden, he was gone!  Mike and I watched as he got into the Plymouth and took off for the highway.  We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders, not knowing quite what to think, but decided to watch the festivities and see what would happen next.

As we sat on the bleachers, twenty-minutes later Hop rolled back into the parking lot and made his way over to us.  “What was that all about?”, I asked.  Hop replied, “Had to put extra air in my tires and get a quart of oil.  Now I need to find someone to lend me a helmet.”  I said, “Are you shitting me?  You’re gonna run the Belevedere through this course?  Hop was already searching for a helmet as the words were leaving my lips.

I glanced over at the men who looked like the guys running things and you could see the big story was this helmet-less kid entering the contest in the antithesis of a sports car.  Hop came back, sporting a helmet and heading for the car, we followed along, wondering what in the hell he was going to do.  He opened the truck and got out a tire iron and began taking the hubcaps off the wheels.  “Don’t wanna have to go find them scattered in the weeds”, he said.  When Hop put the helmet on, Mike and I burst into laughter.  His size 8 head was hugged quite tightly by this size 7 helmet and it was just plain funny.  He looked like a cartoon character.

We had been looking at the clock, which was located just over the top of the announcer shack, and we were noting the various times; 2:45, 2:42, even a 2:39.  As it became clear to the crowd of spectators that Hop had entered his big 4-door-Plymouth, a din of excitement mixed with laughter began to build in the group.  Hop got into the car and pulled into line behind a black BMW which was behind an MG, as they nervously waited their turn.  We found out later that the entry fee included for each competitor three trips around the course, culminating with each driver’s fastest time.  Because we had arrived late, Hop had only one lap in which to compete and he was to be the last driver of the day.

Bright orange plastic cones outlined the road-course that meandered over the cracked, tarmac surface of the aged and little-used airport.  As the circuit ended where it began, just before the finish-line, a series of cones about one-hundred yards long indicated the end of the line by being spaced ever and ever closer together as the finish line appeared.

The BMW crossed the line, 2:41, not too bad, but it appeared that the 2:39 was the time to beat.  Hop and the MG nudged up one car-length and then the MG shot off and down the runway as Hop waited.  The MG had a mechanical failure of some type about half-way around the track and the flaggers were busy getting him off the roadway as Hop began to nervously rev the engine of the Plymouth.  Once the all-clear was indicated, Hop was given the count-down, three-two-one, GO!

You could hear the big 4-barrel carburetor gulp gas as he lumbered down and out of the start-gate.  Spectators were laughing and carrying-on as Hop burned around the little track, tires screaming, motor racing, but he was making amazing time.  Out through the worst of the switch-backs, through the off-camber turns, it was obvious that Hop’s driving skills were making up for whatever he didn’t have in terms of the ideal car.  As the land-yacht headed towards the finish-line, Hop mistakenly began to serpentine the Plymouth in and out of the finishing line pylons, thinking this was a part of the course!  He did so successfully, never touching a single piece and when he crossed the finish line, he had beaten the best time by full 6-seconds!  2:33 and with it the trophy, even after showing off his skills needlessly doing a slalom run at the end.

All of the hoity-toytee’s stopped laughing and no one would even talk to us.  It was great.      

As we piled into the car and rocketed out of the airport, I held the trophy out of the back window as we waved good-bye to the brave men and women who made up the membership of the local sports car club in Greene, NY., now 50-years a memory of the day when a very confident 20-year-old gear head named Hop taught “the grown-ups” a valuable lesson about the importance of the driver’s confidence and ability over the quality and price of the car.

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How MSM Shapes, Not Reports, the News.

Traditional, old-school Main-Stream-Media, (MSM) has a decidedly liberal bent.  If this were not so, Fox News and the vast majority of talk-radio outlets would not be surviving and competitive, let alone dominating ratings in key categories and time slots across a wide array of demographic types.  Clearly, there was a pent-up demand for news and information sought from a dramatically different perspective.  The modern iterations of media, outside of this fossilized formula from the past, identified that demand and now successfully fulfills it.

What follows are three local examples of the MSM shaping and manipulating the narrative as opposed to simply and honestly reporting.

The recent shooting in Buffalo was allegedly carried out by a local young man here in the Broome County area of New York.  In reporting this incident on local television, the exact location, including photos and video of the suspect’s parent’s home address were broadcast to the public.  Additionally, the local gun store where the suspect purchased the firearm was photographed and videotaped showing the name of the business and identifying the street address.

There is absolutely no news-value in identifying the address of the suspect’s family or the location and name of the firearms dealer.  In doing so, this forced the family to go into hiding and actually relocate, putting those people’s lives in danger.  The gun dealer was forced to shut down his shop for more than a week as threatening and menacing acts disrupted his life and business.

Any family enduring the horror of living with the realization that one of their own children or siblings did such a heinous thing are not the appropriate targets for the media to put at risk of their safety and even their lives.  By doing so, the media was leveling on them a kind of misplaced punishment they have no right to wield.

Reportedly the gun dealer acted lawfully in making the transaction with the suspect.  Upon what theory of decent journalism did putting him and his business at risk rest upon?

And finally, the MSM has been incorrectly using the term, “assault weapon” for years in describing what is a civilian version of a military rifle.  Although the two firearms share similar cosmetics, the military version is more lethal while the civilian version is no different, in performance, than any other traditional hunting and sports rifle.  A purposeful misrepresentation repeated millions of times by searing the word “assault” into the consciousness of people who are less than adequately informed creates a mind-set of conclusion based on lies.

This illustrates that the MSM has an undeniable bias against guns and that pathology drives their justification for doing whatever they can to vilify and mis-represent the facts as they truly are.  This, amongst a host of other shortcomings explains why the reach, value and credibility of the MSM is so incredibly strained by the exposure they have finally had to face in the sunshine and the fresh air that is the truth offered by the new media.

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Preventing Shortages..

The recent baby-formula crisis has exposed a seriously uncomfortable fact about modern American maternity.  According to Dr. Ruth Petersen of the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), “Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition…” yet nearly 20% of new-borns are never breastfed.

CDC guidelines recommend that mothers breastfeed their infants for the first year yet only 1-in-4 are exclusively breastfed even in the first 6-months.  Breastfed children enjoy lower rates of obesity, asthma, diabetes, ear, respiratory,  gastrointestinal infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, (SIDS).  Mothers benefit by lowered risks of ovarian and breast cancers, diabetes and high-blood-pressure.  Low rates of breastfeeding add more than 3-billion dollars to health care costs annually.

Not every mom is able to breastfeed, but the majority can.  Given the overwhelming and uncontroversial benefits to babies, moms, and to societal costs and benefits in general, it is a mystery why a greater emphasis and importance isn’t attached to these facts.  Perhaps the shortage of baby formula will serve as a wake-up call to parents that breastfeeding is not only the best choice but the surest assurance of nutritional outcomes you control.

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Solo Cup Salvation

In response to a former student killing 10 people in Buffalo, Susquehanna Valley students formed the phrase “SV loves Buffalo” using colored plastic cup wedged into the chain-link fence in front of the high school.  Salvation-by-solo-cup can’t assuage guilt-by-association.  This trite symbolism mocks and trivializes a tragedy and the educators advising these kids should have known better, but hey, this might take the focus off of their own shortcomings.  Better efforts might include asking school officials when they first knew this former student was unstable?  And how many others noticed problems but said nothing?

The problem isn’t firearms or background checks or magazine size or more laws that criminals ignore.  The solution is learning why so many are so mentally ill.

Plastic cup platitudes and feel-good laws that would have done nothing to address this tragedy are wasted efforts that ignore the real issues of a Godless society poisoned by drugs and a counter-culture that celebrates violence and evil.  Our kids are drowning in the filth of cyber-space and because the cure is too difficult, we ignore it until people are dead and then we feign outrage and go back into our anesthetized state of being, Godless, soul-less and clueless.

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Taxpayers Thrown Under The Bus

When Covid first hit and normal life shut down, I found myself with more time to take daily walks.  When life slows you notice things, like the full-sized empty county buses running their complete, normal schedules with only a masked driver and rarely any passengers.  At first I thought this was an anomaly, soon to bounce back post Covid-panic-mode but over time, nothing much has changed.  I began to more carefully observe daily bus traffic.

Video taken over several months monitoring the 40 Route which traverses the length of Chenango Street in Binghamton saw an average of less than 3 passengers in each bus, hour after hour, day after day, month after month no matter what time of day.  Many times the buses were completely empty.  Ninety percent of the time, you could service the 40 Route with a motorcycle and a side-car.

Thinking this might be anomalistic to this route, I expanded my observations to the various other.  Same thing; buses routinely empty everywhere.  You can see this for yourself, just look inside these diesel-guzzling, forty-foot hulks of machinery, capable of seating 60 people, half the time empty, the other half with passengers that would easily fit into a Prius In a privately run business, it would take less than 24-hours for management to make the changes needed in order to shrink-to-fit.  That rapid reaction would be compelled by the reality of severely declining revenue and operational costs far exceeding income.

No such concern rests on the management team of a governmental agency.  In the case of Broome Transit, two-thirds of their income is subsidized via the taxpayers.  Those who ride the buses pay less than 6% of the actual costs.  Last years fare budget was off by more than 50% so what did they do this year?  Double that number.

In the real world of private enterprise, buses would be replaced with passenger vans to address the dwindling demand and to save fuel and maintenance costs.  In government, strong unions prohibit drivers from switching to the vans and routes are determined and unalterable without bargaining agreements.  No fewer than 16 of those vans sit quietly in the lot of Broome Transit.

When there is no competition and no profit incentive, there is no motivation to be efficient because the inefficiency has no direct bearing on the workers or the management.  What this situation models is little more than a make-work-program for the 100 plus employees that soldier on, even when the work is pointless with no passengers.

With alternatives like Uber, Lyft, and work-from-home situations becoming the norm, none of these realities seem to influence the we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mindset of an organization that faces no reason to be better.  Instead, we celebrate when Senator Schumer announces a $1.9M infusion of electric buses into the fleet so we can continue to move empty 40-foot buses silently down the road.

Not only are the taxpayers thrown under the bus, ironically they also pay for the privilege.

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Now..

Various versions of a letter about growing old are making the rounds of FB, prefacing the topic as, “the 4th quarter”, or, “Then it is winter.” Or some other such poetic nonsense.

This 69 year-old has a slightly different take.

Time does seem to accelerate as we progress in our life’s journey.  And it is true, as a younger man, my thoughts were not on aging or changing, but in living in the moment.  If you truly concentrate on the here-and-now, you will mercifully be spared the contemplation of a completed lifetime.  Only in retrospect can one understand the concept of the quickening of human maturity.  Other “mature” sages try and share that wisdom with the young.  I say, leave them in their current bliss.  Their day will come, not by our suggestions, but because of their own singular paths and experiences.  I choose to leave it unsaid as a surprise for them to be enjoyed later, at the right time.  Another Birthday present.

While some wonder where their years went, I know where mine went; into my collective self today.  I am the sum of my experience.  Nothing has left me.  While my memory may fail the recall, my spirit collected all of it and stored it in me.  My eyes still look outward and my vision is the same today as in my youth, not as measured by acuity, but as in really “seeing.”  I see the world the same way, then and now, outward looking, avoiding the gaze into the mirror that reminds me of the changes in me, not because I’m ashamed, but because I need to overcome the physical by strengthening the certainty of my psyche.

Others bemoan tasks like showers, mandatory naps, aches, pains, loss of strength and the ability to “do things.”  I reject all such talk.  I may not shower every day, not because it’s a hassle, but because I don’t want or need to.  I nap if I want, but don’t need it.  Aches, pains, strength, I deal with it as I’ve always done.  Maybe the pains last longer, maybe the strength is not as it once was, but I make allowances and I power on.

As for regrets, the contemplation is a fool’s errand.  Any single change would have rippled across the consequences of all other choices and outcomes all would be forever altered, beyond who I am today.  I would not only take no such risk, but the thought of doing so is impossible.  I live in the here-and-now, not in the fantasy world of wish-I-did-something-different.

Last summer I rode my motorcycle out to Sturgis, South Dakota for the annual rally in the Black Mountains.  Afterwards I rode to Denver to see my kids.  I play squash, I ride my bicycle, I play tennis, (usually spotting my opponents 20 years) and still prevailing.  I kayak, fly-fish, deer-hunt and work full-time, enjoying a full social life and writing about life.

So please, don’t tell me about “old” cars “old” movies, “old” age, “old” friends I don’t want to hear it.  Today is now, right now for all of us.  Yesterday has expired and tomorrow can only be prepared for not lived in or experienced until hatched.  That leaves us with the here and now; the only time we actually control is this very this moment, nothing before and no guarantees for the next second.

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How to Tell a Conservative from a Liberal

 Credit where credit is due.  Liberals give no such sway.  To liberals, conservatives are evil and wrong all the time every time.  It is a take-it-or-leave-it philosophy seemingly incapable of the parsing of ideas or the nuances of opinion.  The baby goes out with the bathwater in the black-and-white thinking of the modern liberal mind.

Conservatives, (for the most part) may intently dislike liberal ideas, but separate those ideas from the persona of the person espousing them.  In other words, you can hate the idea and love the person if you’re a conservative, but no such allowance is made when liberals assess the musings of conservatives.

The best example I can give today is the war raging in the Ukraine.  At the time of this writing, the invasion from Russia to their neighbor is into the 4th week and so far President Biden has handled the situation pretty well.  While we haven’t done nothing, we have given military munitions, (short of aircraft), needing to assist a democratic ally, yet appropriately temper our involvement and navigate a very treacherous landscape that I believe has been handled appropriately, given the gravity of the situation and the very real possibility of starting a World War.  For this, I will give the Biden administration kudos for a job, so far, well done in a very tricky and dangerous situation.

No one ever in the liberal wing of the political spectrum has ever, ever, ever given any acknowledgment to anything former President Trump has ever done, even when the doing was good, appropriate and clearly in the best interest of the country.

Clear thinking and level-headed conservative thinkers can see through the dense cloud of smoke that billows from the brains of liberals suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, that same smoke that boggles their minds and poisons the well of logic and common-sense in those liberals so affected.

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At What Cost?

If Donald Trump was president today, Ukraine would not have been invaded, gas would be $2.50 a gallon, inflation would be negligible and no American’s would have been left behind in Afghanistan.  On Biden’s watch, the Taliban had a parade of terrorists wearing US fatigues armed with US rifles, loaded with US ammo and sporting US night-vision goggles.

Considering the trends when Trump was president, it is likely the stock market would be up, (like it was) unemployment would be at record lows, (like it was), and we would be a net exporter of fossil fuels not beholding to our enemies, (like we were.)

God bless President Biden, but he is barely functional.  Any rational observer can see his infirmities.  Trump Derangement Syndrome blinds the Biden sycophants to his obvious-to-everyone-else decline.  Comparing the unscripted Trump to the unscripted Biden is an embarrassing debacle.  Biden’s frailty and stumbling has emboldened our enemies while weakening our nation.

The blood of the 12 American soldiers killed during the haphazard desertion of Afghanistan as well as the hundreds and counting of dead Ukrainian civilians is rightfully a stain on the hands of America’s weakest and worst president in my lifetime, Joe Biden.

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Getting Things Done

(In a previous article about squash and the Olympics, Bob Kingsley outlined the inner workings of relationship building and importance of making back-channel alliances in order to curry favor with the powers-that-be.  In this article, he explains in detail, one example of how it goes sometimes in the nuts-and-bolts of deal-making.)

After an abundance of political and relationship work done in the late 1980’s involving amongst many things the USSRA, (now US Squash) gaining membership in the USOC, (United State Olympic Committee), US Squash was providing leadership to the Pan American region and the squash communities that made up that large family of nations by creating and then organizing the Federacion Pan America de Squash.  This amalgam of the 28 countries throughout the region that had squash federations lent legitimacy to our efforts to push for the inclusion of squash further into the Olympic family of sports.

What resulted was the success of squash being deemed as a sport eligible to be contested in the Pan American games!  The key word here is “eligible” as distinguished from “on the roster” of permanently included sports.  It is up to the various sports organizations themselves to lobby the host country in order to gain access to that stage.  In most instances, about half a dozen sports are in that “eligible” bubble, competing with each other for their shot at participating as “demonstration sports.”  For the 1995 Pan American Games, squash was one of six sports looking for that chance.

It was my job to see to it that squash was that sport. 

Once a sport is actually contested in a big regional games venue like the Pan American Games, then the decision makers at the highest levels can observe, assess and better understand whether or not that sport has the necessary ingredients to become a part of the events on the larger stage of the Olympic Games themselves.

In order to make that case to the organizers of the upcoming 1995 Pan American Games that were announced as being hosted by the Argentinean city of Mar del Plata, it was determined that a visit to the host city and meeting face-to-face with the games organizers in Mar del Plata made the most sense.  In the spring of 1990, I flew into the Buenos Aires international airport with the goal of meeting the host organizers and making a deal for the inclusion of squash in the upcoming Pan American Games.

Before leaving the states, I had to have a clear understanding from US Squash leadership as to what the parameters were regarding my deal-making abilities.  As we hashed out ideas and suggestions, it was determined that we would offer to bring a state-of-the-art glass squash court to the venue, at our expense, and if need be, make a financial contribution to the organizational committee of up to $10,000.00.

  At the time, the portable, glass-paneled squash courts were scarce and expensive.  If it was absolutely necessary in order to make the deal, I was authorized to gift the court itself to the squash federation of Argentina, but only as a last ditch measure.   Obviously, if I could somehow accomplish what we needed to do with less cash and less commitment, then all the better.

I landed in Buenos Aires on the 2nd of April and was due to return home on Easter Sunday, April 15, 1990.  In planning this trip, I had been stymied in securing a connecting flight to Mar del Plata due to the flights being sold out.  I had not considered that in South America, the seasons are more-or-less reversed from ours, and this was the end-of-the-summer holiday season where everyone was returning from vacations and the domestic air traffic was impossibly busy.  Being the adventurous, world-traveler that I was, I decided to rent a car in Buenos Aires and drive to Mar del Plata, a route along the eastern shore of the country, some 250 plus miles to the South.

At the time in Argentina, many police sub-stations were located adjacent to roadway round-abouts throughout the cities and even throughout the countryside.  In those days, the police would often times simply send uniformed men outside and into the near-by streets to conduct random traffic stops.  The 2nd day of April, 1990 was my lucky day in experiencing the inner-workings of the Argentinean police apparatus, in this case specifically the Buenos Aires sub-station.  As I waited in the line of cars, I thought this would be a routine examination of paperwork and I would quickly be on my way.  When the officer questioned the legality of my drivers license, he instructed me to pull into the police parking lot and go inside to deal with his Sergeant.

My Spanish is really limited, but I tried to explain to the Sergeant that my license was indeed sufficient and that my car was legally rented.  Unfortunately, the Sergeant’s English was no better than my Spanish, and as we struggled to communicate, he took my English-Spanish language translation booklet from my hands and looked directly at me and said, in English:  “Pay cash.”

I told the Sergeant that he was making a big mistake.  As I explained to him the nature of my visit, and how I was representing the United States of America in dealings with his own country, I offered to him a letter I had that was from the President of the US Olympic Committee addressed to the President of the Argentinean Olympic Committee.  He handed it back dismissively and repeated his only well-spoken English phrase, “Pay cash.”  I knew if I protested much more, I would end up in jail and all of my money would be gone, so I relented and after some additional back-and-forth negotiations, left the clutches of the Buenos Aires police sub-station $300.00 poorer and much the wiser.

Six or so hours later, driving on one of the most dangerous roads I have ever been on, (and that is saying something), I reached my hotel in Mar del Plata and got good nights sleep.

 Then next morning, I arrived at the local mayor’s office in the municipal building where I was to conference with the games organizers.  I was provided an interpreter and as her and I chatted, I told her what had happened back in Buenos Aires.  As she translated my comments to the assembled group of various officials assembled for the meeting, I could see the blood run out of the faces of those listening.  All hell broke loose as the local police chief was hastily summoned to take my statement.  He arrived carrying an old-school typewriter and he painstakingly took my statement.  Quick to follow the chief came the Chief Justice of the Argentinean Supreme Court.  This man spoke English and we had a very nice conversation about what had happened.  He asked me if I would recognize those men again if I saw them and I assured him that I would.

The next day, the headline in the national newspaper of Argentina was:  American Olympic official extorted by Buenos Aires Police.  My hotel phone began to ring.  First a request for a radio show interview locally, (which I did.)  Second, a call from a radio show producer in Havana wanting my comments, which I gave, and finally, as I left my hotel, the throng of reporters and news people haranguing me with questions.  This went on for a few days and as some began to doubt my rendition of what happened, a local citizen that had happened to be in the same line of cars in back of me at the police station corroborated my story because he too was extorted by the same Sergeant and he had overheard our conversation.

Later that week as things settled a bit, I had a dinner meeting with the organization President and Vice President.  They were profoundly embarrassed by what had happened.  They told me that they were going to secure my rental car, make arrangements to have it returned to Buenos Aires, and take charge of my return transportation.  I believe they were afraid it might happen again.  I told them flat out, no, I drove here and I would drive back.  I wouldn’t be cowed into submission by some thug cop or a corrupt system.  I could see the panic in my host’s eyes.  As the meal progressed, I told them that it would be a shame if news of my extortion became widely known outside of Argentina.  That could have a devastating effect on attendance.  The bargaining negotiations had begun in earnest.

Squash was indeed contested in the 1995 Pan American Games, beating out at least four other sports for that opportunity.  US Squash ended up supplying the glass court because it made the venue so much better for spectators and it also allowed for choosing almost anyplace to stage it.  We did not however leave it for the host country, nor did we make any financial contributions.  My $300.00 payment to the Buenos Aires police benevolent association proved to be payment enough.

My flight back to the states was scheduled for the evening of April 15th, 1990, Easter Sunday.  After determining to drive myself back to Buenos Aires, my hosts were so worried about my well-being, that they fashioned a rolling caravan of vehicles around me as we formed a cong-line north to the capitol.

 As we approached center-city Buenos Aires, our caravan pulled into that police sub-station at the round-about and stopped.  I looked outside the station and saw scores of uniformed policemen standing in formation at attention.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court that had interviewed me earlier escorted me along the lines of the assembled policemen and asked me to point out the two men.  I first spotted the officer I encountered in the street and as I indicated to the judge his identity, I asked him to please consider that he was only doing his basic job and that he did nothing to me other than to follow his orders.  I really didn’t want anything to happen to him.

The sergeant however was another story.  I had warned him.  As I proceeded along the lines, I spotted my Sergeant.  I walked up to him and I got out my English-Spanish translation booklet and I said, in my bad Spanish, Te dije que estabas cometiendo un error, or in English:  I told you you were making a mistake.”

With that done, I told my hosts I was perilously close to missing my flight and the judge said to me, “No worries, I’ll have you taken from here to the airport, we’ll take care of the rental car and you’ll make your flight, I promise.”  As I said my goodbyes and grabbed my bags, I got into the back seat of a Buenos Aires police car and as we pulled out into traffic, siren wailing and lights flashing, I had the terrifying thought that this all could have been a set-up and I could be taking my last ride.  As we raced up a main street in Buenos Aires, we were easily going 60 plus miles per hour and as I looked out to see how in God’s name we could be accomplishing this in the middle of a metro area with some 13 million people, I saw that every cross street we were passing had policemen stopping traffic so we could make our run to the airport without any interference.

Once at the airport, the driver of the police car handed me off to another cop that took me, without stopping and without any questions or examination, directly onto the jet way to the aircraft that was already loaded and waiting on me.  As I made my way down the planes main isle, every eye was on me as responsible for the 20-minute delay.  I was never so happy to leave a place as I was on that Easter Sunday in 1990 and that $300.00 was undoubtedly the best investment US Squash ever made.

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