Easter, 1995 was when I decided to move from upstate NY to Charlotte, NC. My folks came up from Tampa for their 40th anniversary, youngest bro David and nephew Curtiss and I drove down. It was Chamber of Commerce weather, we golfed on the 9-hole course where The Cypress senior community is now. On Memorial Day I made the jump, never had any regrets.
‘Lifestyle’ is much different since landing at #gshorkonsharonroadseam in late-2021. A lot of Americans were on the move, pandemic constraints changed renting. My retail efforts are in a micro-economy where selling suits is my specific window-POV to report on. 2023 was my best earning year in the last five. I was under-withheld, so paying Fed taxes at about 8%.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be of service to my 89-year old mother, whom I brought two Lindor chocolate eggs and purple flowers to after church. Sending pictures to my bros is very affirming.Starting my 29th year in Charlotte, New Normal for lifestyle is steady, and creatively, #BoomerwithAttitude is still legitimate.
Saturday and Monday were both above average, a target-rich environment with another three-Bugachi shirt buyer ($160-180), a product I personally pump. Very few people are blinking about $650-$850 sports coats.
— Me, on Monday, after I dressed down to jeans, black sweater, sneakers vs. usual suit-tie, and did $3,400 sales in 6.5 hrs. Three guys bought the first jacket they tried on.
Need something for the Queens Cup Steeplechases?
There’s a mauve, hyper-light Peter Millar displayed in the department, and my current favorite intro for anyone around it is asking about the QCS in two weeks (April 29th). Several people have commented they’ve heard about the event, but never been. I give a quick social rundown, including my own wearing of a blue-on-blue Bugachi shirt, yellow Garcia tie, and antique Ferrari hat last year, skipping the seersucker jacket because it was extra hot.
One of the axioms of sales is people buy from those they like and trust. I’m certainly interested in helping others, *everybody* likes getting needs taken care of, and in my methodology, customer service starts with good information. Take a couple through how the slim cuts (Boss, Baker, Victor) fit differently under arms, presenting that good-looking, pebbly feel blue blazer in 38-short (sleeve length), while suggesting they consider a terrific social event costs ZERO. I think of it as ‘best practices.’
What Woman isn’t ready to help her guy find something gooood to wear beside her for a day of horse watching, drinks, big hats and short skirts, and this person says he’s been five times and NEVER had a bad day? Socially, I always look forward to it, and I’m sincerely willing to tell others about the ambiance and the Hotwalkers Ball while he’s trying on the small, black/blue window pane Ted Baker ($695) or Jack Victor. Win-win. Tickets https://www.queenscup.org/tickets/ .
Putting a jacket on the guy – versus letting them wrestle into it overhead –
is always a positive.
Yes, sport coat prices are catching up to cost of suits, and when a guy starts mentioning how else a jacket fits with his wardrobe, that’s for sure a positive. *Every*single*female* likes it when I say, “Guys often buy a suit and immediately want a white shirt, time out on that.”
Even if people are jogging through, a lookee-see, pointing out we have plenty of Peter Millar sports-shirts is a no-brainer. Everybody likes Millar, and digging a little for what someone might want is the Q&A that makes me a good consultant.
Panthers, still on our minds
The #Carolina Panthers will have the #1 pick in upcoming draft, and gaining the franchise level quarterback they’ve desperately needed is a soon to be fact. All the expected candidates will check 98% of the boxes, some pundits will note that (except for Jaylan Hurts), neither Ohio St. or Alabama has produced a great pro QB recently.
The lowdown on #Carolina Panther fandom:
That Super Bowl year so many remember whenever discussion of Cam’s current situation comes up, until the Panthers thumped Dallas 31-14 on Thanksgiving Day to stand at 10-0, many residents of the Buckle on the Bible Belt weren’t believing their team could make the Super Bowl.
That said, getting a #1 pick again, with a semi-clear path out of football purgatory, people have expectations. Belief will take a lot longer.
–Glenn S. ,4/14/23.
Few expected Rhule’s rudderless teams to be better than average, but that’s Past now, right? Panthers front office has earned nothing but league-wide respect, ending the dumpster fire of last couple years. Panther Pride? You betcha. All Tepper flaws forgiven? Hey, its Easter, lets go with the spirit of the season.
Having a successful Haunted House was great for group morale throughout the run. Documenting the process (Chairman’s Planning Guides) proved early on how necessary the paperwork is in successful companies – the ability to repeat Success is in the details.
I recently took advantage of a community group’s Oyster Roast (Two tickets – $75, beverages free) return to annual lineup of events on Saturday, and a small sigh still escapes when I see particularly well-done Halloween decorated porches in my #gshorkonsharonroadseam neighborhood.
During Junior Chamber of Commerce days of long ago, our chapter (Albany, NY) produced six memorable Houses, all at different malls, with unique setups.
Improving the skills of our members, making them better workers for their companies, capable of handling different situations, was always my organizational goal as Community Development VP. Doing -thons of various kinds are common for many groups, Haunted House was our biggest fundraiser, an All Hands on Deck! collaboration for most of six weeks, involving engineering-hard core construction, planning, food supply, characters, and community-scholastic support.
Many people don’t know that the PGA tour stop long known as The Greater Greensboro Open, was originally a Jaycee project.
This was one of 23 documented projects our chapter worked on, earning three State-level awards, in my Community Development VP year. Having a successful Haunted House was great for group morale throughout the annual run, and documenting the process (Chairman’s Planning Guides) proved early on how necessary the paperwork is in successful companies – the ability to repeat Success is in the details.
Greatest Scare #1- Jason with Chainsaw
‘The kid hit every wall on the way out.‘ Even wiseguys are willing to pay a couple bucks to see how great a Haunted House is, and sometimes they try messing up a good time along the way. The walkie-talkie message “Get this kid” was unnecessary – one-on-one, I never missed a Diss-er.
Looking through the blinds into a blood-splattered shower Psycho scene, the disser was right in guessing there was someone, me, in the area behind the shower, but I knew he wouldn’t DARE open the door to find out. We had a strobe light linked to that door opening, and after waiting an extra couple seconds, kicking it open and charging out with that chainsaw going, it really didn’t matter what I said behind the hockey mask (“Not so cool NOW, are you punk?!”). He was crabbing backward until I backed up a step, then he hit every wall in second half of the House running out.
It was the topic of much discussion at pizza break, who had gotten that kid, and its always been a point of pride, keeping my Never Missed rep.
Okay, Year Two, when a saucy young girl got similar treatment, she’d just had something to say to three witches, the end of House was in sight, then I boosted myself on a railing, and was about nine feet tall, waving that chainsaw. The girl did a full 3-second movie scream and was GONE.
Group Scare, Nine Pancaked People
7 Girls, 2 high school guys were on floor, 5 characters kept them screaming. Again, Jason with Chainsaw was big factor, plenty of fog machine, mirrored back wall, and strobe were great – I was actually running in place and yelling. While that was usually enough, a bunch of Key Club-ers were also there, and every one (person in grave, Dracula, Frankenstein lurching from a wall, a zombie popping up next to the group) were joyful about having a piece of getting their friends flat on the floor. The two guys who climbed over the girls to escape, LOL.
Best practices learned, #1, 2
While a terrific success financially and creatively, Year One, everybody coming down with wicked sore throats (and still showing up) was an obvious challenge. Wiping down-disinfecting each sweaty mask at every break was the solution forever after. That we’d had *loose leaves and electrical cord* throughout our first House was stunning in retrospect. The setup-walking space was tight, if there had been an emergency, it probably would have been a disaster.
Early in Year 2, the Town of Colonie showed us zoning laws-fire ordinances still needed to be obeyed, when they tore down a nights work of covering the windows in an old Burger King location with dark paper. We wound up having to paint a lot of glass black, weekend days were still a lot lighter, though props held up well.
Amazing how younger kids wanted to come in, but were definitely scared of the monsters. We gave the little ones lollipops or small plastic spider rings to show to monsters “and they’ll be nice.” Parents loved the creativity and energy.
FLYING WITCHES!! Having a couple engineers-architect types in the group is helpful in making things work. For the Witches, it was filling three-50 gal. drums with water (counter-balance) and having a supply of smaller HS girls willing to be hooked up and go about 30x a shift. The cable they were hitched to didn’t need to be a steep incline, just keep them moving, and a light flashed on them going past, with the accompanying cackle and witchlike behavior in a 10′ view.
One drawback: A couple times the required ‘catchers’ didn’t do their job, and the witches came through the black cloth at end and crashed into a barrier only 6 feet later. Trying to protect themselves, the girls often came through with knees up, a little something extra to watch out for in the relative dark.
Safety is always paramount, touching isn’t allowed. While residents of Insane Asylum could reach from behind rebar to within inches of passing viewers, nobody grabbed even a school buddy, and no-touch works both ways. Workers ‘inside’ featured rooms have to know escape routes for any emergencies.
Considering the amount of time and personnel necessary for construction, free food is an economic necessity. Because most Jaycees were coming from work, being able to grab some chow on breaks was necessary. McDonalds was willing to have someone pick up a bunch of burgers at specific times, pizza-donuts-cookies-soda were always around. Thankfully, mall food court merchants were always generous, Haunted House was always a traffic builder – kids bring parents with $$$.
Having people on the phones willing to ask strangers for food was a big job, like a constant three person job determining the when and how much we were able to get ahold of for a month of thirty-plus people daily.
COLLABORATION TO THE MAX
Stating that the collaboration of efforts and leadership skills – sharpened in the reality of projects and available for years thereafter – is always going to be my #1 “You should try” advice about Junior Chamber activity, thats REAL effective networking. Having that link, being part of a specific cadre of talents that brought events together for a greater good, that counted in all my professional accounts going forwards.
Often quoted in complaint, ‘Getting volunteers to move the right way is like herding cats,’ isn’t wrong.
The Haunted House construction was always a terrific challenge, with a whole trailer-load of props to utilize, and the screaming and scaring was the payoff. Knowing how great the gig was (again) versus thinking it would be economically beneficial to our chapter was #1 Attitude.
The chapter had lots of bankers (Key Bank), and was a ‘rebuild’ of what had been a 300 member (Metro size) Albany Chapter that divided into three smaller groups. Albany had some history, so being in that initial dozen or so, previous Jaycees now ‘Roosters’ (past age 39) provided direction, and we carried forward. Continuing good handoffs help the community and the helpers.
Yay! for seasonal Halloween scaring, for the houses that decorate, and may there be a Haunted House for the kids and you to enjoy in 2022.
Seven out of last nine days I’ve had a suit or tuxedo sale at Nordstrom’s, and coming out 40% over goal last pay period means there’s no need to change positive projections into March-May.
Kicking effort to the max – no break, only two people in department, no suit sale competitors that Sunday pre-Valentines Day – and working a terrific split while helping a newbie salesperson with a tuxedo ordering-Hugo Boss suit-sport coat triple play, made a gooood difference in my micro-economy.
SERVICE continues to be my point of excellence, but having some luck always works. Manager pulled off a tuxedo transfer that Monday, which arrived for alterations on Tuesday! and customer picked up WEDNESDAY (a day earlier than promised). He and wife were thrilled, but until I watched Marquelle for 25 minutes on phone Monday, I only knew he’d accomplished it for me before.
Telling my client of his effort, and introducing him as part of the package-difference maker, is good team stuff. Derrick (the new guy) got congrats on first suit ($2600 total) from the customer’s wife, she said he could handle any situation now, her hubby being juuuust a little tough-demanding.
Luck is… The wife-to-be, who handed her guy an off the rack amazing fitof a 44L sport coat, is smile-worthy. Super-affirming to cut the tags off so he could wear it out of the store. (With shirt, $800)
Kyle, an exactly my size 42 Regular, who came in two minutes later, as they announced 15 minutes to store closing. He’d left his clothes for an event at home, wanted a black Ted Baker, which became a first shot ($895) perfect fit – he only needed the pants hemmed. Ready the next day, $0 to expedite it.
The Peter Millar Guy
Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter. #gshorkonsharonroadseam
The pastries and warm coffee for the 8:00 ‘Make you a suit’ session with long-time (45 years) suit guru Rich Biegel were okay, and he’s going to get some immediate business, because recently I’ve been seeing strange shaped guys who need such help.
Biegel gave Nordstrom’s suit people across the organization props for selling a high percentage of suits at full price, which he linked to the perception of service provided, both affirming. Although I wasn’t aware of how popular the line was early on, after months of exposure to sizing guys, differentiating the Millar line as what those who definitely don’t fit in ‘younger cuts’ suits like Baker and Boss feel comfortable in, is obvious now.
Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter with those buying a suit. It demystifies the more or less question up front. Millar has that touch more size, beyond leanness taken out of Baker, and its a comfortable price point ($650 sport coats, now $895 suits). Canali’s are a clear price point difference ($2,095).
The obvious questions about the cost of such a garment and production delivery time seem reasonably good for special fits. If 25-30% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, there’s someone whose shoulders fit in a 48 and the rest of him – that extra tire at belt level, and shorter than average arms – becomes a challenge I’m better prepared to discuss in future. If that someone wanted *several* suits made for him (not custom though), that could be a new layer of business for me.
Tailoring is what Mr. Biegel was essentially promoting, and appreciation for the six people at Nordstrom’s who are aces in the hole for a suit seller, is very real. Working with (or ignoring) certain physical elements makes a difference – while everyone has a small difference in shoulders, Rich recognized my right side was a whole inch lower (bike accident two years ago, I was ‘tore up’), and that would be incorporated in making a suit.
Answers to the obvious question about cost and delivery timefor such a garment seemed reasonable. If 25% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, I’m better prepared to discuss ‘making a suit’ with someone whose shoulders fit in a 48, but the rest is a challenge.
When your suit seller knows their business
Holding-helping clients put it on allows ‘seating’ a jacket to best advantage, instead of letting guys swing it overhead, shrugging into it, and doing The Hulk move. Smoothing shoulders can reveal forward lean of shoulder or arm positioning considerations for sleeve most never consider.
Checking the sleeve length (hint of shirt or onto hand), lapels (comfortable or tight in chest), at the button (absolutely), and ‘it covers your butt’ fills essential boxes – the rest is what mirrors, girlfriends, wives, Moms, and fiancees are for.
Lifestyle and safety
Saturday was a day without a suit sale, and losing several hours of possible production – after a gunshot in the mall caused a surge of fast-moving people through our store and closed the mall for an hour – was legitimate. We’ve been trained on getting people in department out the back way, and we cleared customers as expected.
The guard at Gucci not having a holster for his gun was the alleged problem, but not enough employees came back into store to run the registers, so we closed down.
I’m somewhat more concerned about a very real rise in the number of customers and co-workers who immediately stopped wearing masks when the North Carolina mandate expired. Its been a small comfort that it was store policy, given how numbers have risen every time that hasn’t been enforced for last two years. I won’t be wearing anything while cycling the greenway today either – never did.
Tonight will be a meeting of my Men’s Club, and next week’s annual Fish Fry (March 11, St. Gabriel School cafeteria) will be the focus. Our Lenten Fish Fry and our Christmas tree sale have been a legendary thing over 30 years, and this will be our third community event since Thanksgiving. Protocols and numbers sure, but this seems just a little more like what life used to be like.
With fingers crossed for some similar degree of ‘Normal,’ I’m also thankful for the opportunity to bring flowers to Mom for her 88th birthday on 3/1/22. This was first time we (brother Steve and wife, Mere) have been allowed to visit since Christmas.
It’s been two weeks since moving out of a (thankfully) no-lease situation, after a hasty must-do decision on deadline in June became a gut-tightening strain through September.
‘Tin pot tyrant’ is the term I’ve used for last landlord, who dropped two – undocumented, so I say unvaccinated – NY/NJ kids in the house’s living room without talking to three residents, not the first reason it was time to move on. (They paid $500 for an air-mattress ‘room’.)
When Jeff taped tinfoil across top of the stove, I contacted an online legal company ($60, renews 30 days unless cancelled, not a good idea), and that night I made meatloaf IN the stove.
Me, 4 days before moving out.
Forgetting to cancel the lawyer would be worse, but I included ‘their advice’ in contacting landlord – texts leave solid trail of evidence, probably good to think like that, especially in pursuing landlords about DEPOSIT MONEY.
Delineate anything agreed on (ie. $30 for new door lock) out of $300 deposit = $270, and my response to “When I collect it, I’ll get it to you,” as a resolution of situation was a clear NO!
Moving as ‘Mission Accomplished’
Started Monday morning about 9:15, good buddy My Do came with a coffee and croissant for me. He saw the taped stovetop, and Jeff was shouting with the kids about them having to go soon, too.
It was painless, in and out without any problems. Stuff out of fridge and cabinet, outdoor storage closet, no dings, vacuumed up. Even went out through keyless entry front door, the one he told NY/NJ kids I somehow broke.
I reserved a 15-footer (U-Haul) because I didn’t want to have to come back. Overall mileage was exceptional – 43 driven included delivering a dresser to another part of town. Total expense – $61, plus $18 gas.
$139.95 for a10x10x7.5 area at U-Haul was almost a bargain. Space is at a premium with that eviction process now a significant factor. I kept the queen-size frame, box, mattress, gave multi-drawer dresser and bedside table to a community group My and I do monthly collections for. Got a note by 3:00 it’d been given for a Vietnamese family of eight, definitely needed drawers.
Currently residing at Carolyn R’s, with a General Delivery mailing address at the Post Office. Carolyn is a very nice lady, her offering a smaller room in her house, all kitchen access and high speed ‘Net/cable because I knew her from retail days, was another bit of interim moves good luck. Stallings is a short extra drive from the parts of Charlotte I’ve enjoyed most of my 29 years here, but $200 every two weeks is also another ‘soft’ landing in my run along the edge of homeless.
There are a lot of ways to blow cash, but failing to follow up on your deposit is only hurting yourself. Document everything!
Tiptoeing includes Utilities, WiFi
Even with some family assistance about guarantor – because I don’t have any verifiable previous rental history, or 3x monthly rental in income – prices have risen dramatically here in Charlotte, NC. I had a good agent with Alcove helping find places I could get into, but last half-dozen have all gone up $200 compared to what it was originally listed for online. With utilities, that turned a $645 place into $950.
The property I’m hoping/expecting some good news about is significantly higher than that, because its a 2 BR, and located across the street from the Myers Park tennis courts.
First floor, hardwood floors, smaller second BR will become my working office, 680 total sq.ft. Small four burner stove, good shower pressure, plenty of cabinets, closet space is fine by me – agent felt one could hold her shoes. Off-street parking spot, screened room for back porch.
The agent indicated utilities might be $150, and while the building (from 1950s) can have wifi, hooking up to even basic service I require as an online-WFH person at present, is going to push me to more like $1400/month.
Based on the $2800 month income used in Intuit article above, that’s 50% and a 12 month lease is the only option. This piece on Axios Charlotte presents a current situation in Mecklenburg that many won’t be able to deal with. The pandemic hassort of put gas on the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte, as shown in the county’s 2021 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report.
Being settled again, even over budget, would be a load off my mind. I’m definitely back in a very central part of the city, SouthPark, and just maybe I’ll get a chance to play golf with Steve, a Myers Park member, or my nephew Ian. Continued best of thoughts for those grinding through the process.
Having sent congrats! to several military people I know (especially you Malitzia) about the Kabul airlift, RESPECT should be the byword for all Americans. By all reasonable standards, a massive – over 120,000 person success versus any ‘debacle’ or stain on our military’s record – should be lauded. Hats off for all who served, in the air, on the ground, or logistically.
As Marine Corp General Kenneth McKenzie said at the time of an ISIS suicide bombing, when you’re in such a defensive posture, you KNOW you are going to be attacked – it’s only a question of when, and how well prepared for it you are. Noting that searching for body bombs like what killed some 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. service people is “a breath on breath,” intimate operation that was a threat every moment of the 17 days it lasted, one ‘successful’ attack was exceptional.
General McKenzie was also willing to credit the Taliban, which constituted the initial defensive perimeter, as being helpful and abiding by what had been agreed regarding the US departure.
That ISIS took advantage of the situation – very possibly using a female bomber that Sharia law prevented Taliban people from touching in the way necessary to detect a personal bomb – was probably a factor. It was detonated when faced with US personnel not restricted in that way is a simple fact, not the overwhelming fault that some Congressional (GOP) naysayers want to paint President Biden with.
The last American out was Major General Chris Donahue, 82nd Airborne, XVIII Corp. (hope that’s correctly delineated). It was NOT the frantic desperation of the last helicopter out of Vietnam when I was a HS senior, more the always messy end of a 20 year mission.
Mask-vax negatives are not a gov’t flaw
Nine months into the deployment of several 95-97% effective vaccines AFTER trump left office – most know the why of that – the United States has yet to reach group immunity (generally pegged at 70%), and the delta variation is overwhelming our health care system.
CHILDREN have not proven in any way immune to COVID-19, especially the delta variant, and mandates from GOP governors that school districts cannot protect them by masking is criminal. Many school districts will fight such mandate restrictions with civil disobedience, but at the individual level, there seems to a YUGE lack of respect for extra caution (see Martin Luther, above).
When I walked into a Novant clinic on March 18th, while still a Category 5 person in North Carolina, I felt I’d been given as close a guarantee to *living* as was possible. After hunkering down for a year, two weeks after a 2nd shot (Pfizer) I was allowed into Carmel Hills Senior Center, where I got to hug my 87 year old mother.
As a bottom line philosophy, I’d considered “thinning out the gene pool” a matter of choice – until it was very probable that ‘those people’ who wanted to deny or spit in the eye of the death-dealing ferocity of COVID could easily take me with them.
That my landlord decided THIS WEEK – his house, apparently he felt no need to consult three bill-paying tenants – to allow two homeless people to ‘temporarily’ camp in the living room, is a direct affront to the idea of respecting others. I wear a cloth mask when I leave my room now – it makes no sense to let my previous caution allow delta a gotcha! moment.
Having shown the two NYC-Jersey refugees my vax card, I have NO REASON to believe “Oh, I threw that piece of paper away,” is anything but a lie. The female denied the clog of hair left in shower was her’s (kee-RIST!), why believe something considerably more important to my health is okay, just because the guy would ditch such a document during a pandemic? Moron, right?
RESPECT has always been earned
RESPECT has always been earned, and both landlord – for many reasons – and these people have given me plenty of reason to doubt they’re working with societal norms. Millions of others have their own reasons for lying, but in situations this up close and personal, protecting myself is Job One.
For that, and many other reasons, I’m looking to get out of this living arrangement a.s.a.p. Landlord has a heart condition, another resident isn’t vaxxed either, not a problem to be a pisser about this IMHO.
Telling me to put my car on the street instead of in driveway so newbies can park there, that’s a minor disrespect, more an inconvenience. I talked to ‘the kids’ (22 y/olds) straight up about it, because good communication should always be top of the list. They seemed to understand, but like many aspects of life right now, about half the people in the house aren’t hearing it. Even if he’s “being a good Christian” re: homeless, I’ve been there. (Update 9/20/21 – He’s not that good, charging pair of 22 year olds $550 a month) https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/06/22/america-truly-on-move-sheltered-homeless-challenge-millions/
Three sturdy HS football players who helped with a recent furniture drive said they wouldn’t get vaccinated, and I guess we’ll see how badly this continues to go on, based on lack of RESPECT for COVID.
“We know the difference with good umpires”
Brother David gave me this nugget, and yes, the scheduler for the organization I work for has it as a mantra – “You have to be consistent, especially high-low.” Last week I umped five games of 9 year olds on Saturday, then three games of 15 year olds Sunday.
After a first game that took 2:30 hours (scheduled for 1:45), I was told to loosen up my strike zone, from probably two ball widths off the plate to three. Realistically, this was the first time the 9 yr. olds weren’t getting ‘coach pitch,’ and you can’t hit anything that far off the plate, but with a heat index of 105 degrees, getting done sooner was a matter of survival.
I thanked the spectators that offered water and Gatorade, especially the frozen bottle I drizzled on my neck between innings. That several every game understood how physically brutal that heat was kind of counted, 15 minutes between games in the air-conditioned clubhouse counted even more.
The games with 15 year olds was quite different
Even 10 year olds have curve balls now, despite evidence that its not good for them to be throwing curves, and I’m aware of that ‘hook’ at the end when calling the games. At the beginning of 15s I made it clear, 3 balls wide yesterday wouldn’t be the deal – the 17″ of plate is all anyone was going to get.
I should add the fact that 10-11 year old catchers learn to frame pitches early, and 15s are willing to pull a pitch from *anywhere* into a spot that’s close to strike zone.
After one particular pitcher kept signaling he didn’t know why he wasn’t getting calls, I went to the manager between innings and told him the catcher was set up on outer third of the plate, and if pitcher missed at all, it was going to be a ball. Turned out that catcher had that habit previously, and manager couldn’t see difference from dugout I could at plate. He had catcher reposition himself directly behind the plate and offered thanks for the input.
As someone interested in athletics beyond the win-loss aspect, I feel its my professional duty to offer a comment when I see an obvious situation deserving of one.
I’ve done it multiple times, and when a center-fielder crashed into the chain link fence Sunday (GREAT catch!), I went to both dugouts and reminded them such things happened in sports. That kid had a helluva egg on his forehead, and didn’t look all there at the end of game, even after they’d taken him for x-rays to check for a concussion.
Coach said “Thanks for the input, Blue” even though I was sure he’d probably told his players the same thing. RESPECT comes in a lot of different packages, and there’s noooo doubt we could use a lot more of it in the current climate of ‘Us-them’ on something as basic as health safety during a pandemic.
RESPECT a virus? You betcha. If you want to hug your Mom, living in a community that’s tougher on who gets in than you want, do something smart about it – get the shot. If you don’t want your kids to come back from school loaded with a virus they can unknowingly pass to you, and you to unsuspecting others – get the shot.
If you’d like to offer a positive response about how you’re handling safety or issues of RESPECT, comments are open. I label this in ‘Leadership Thought’ category, one of my favorite word-smithing abilities, available for hire.
I arrived in Charlotte (from upstate NY) the same year the Panthers started playing, 1995, and went to a game at Clemson that year against the 49ers. I took two pictures that I won’t forget – Sam Mills going up to stop Steve Young on a QB sneak, and Tyrone Poole trying to stop a high pass to Jerry Rice. I never liked the Giants or Jets, mostly because I had to watch regional doubleheaders of them during college, when they both stunk.I also got tickets to their playoff win against Dallas, and saw the full-moon win against New England when a last second Brady pass was incomplete. (Yes, Kuechly was holding Gronkowski.)
It’s a stone-cold given that the Panthers offense will put numbers on the board in 2021 season – the team record is 500, in the 2015 Super Bowl season – although the Carolina faithful may not be Believers yet. They haven’t seen any Darnold 70-yard bombs to those terrific receivers, ZERO from face-of-the-franchise Christian McCaffrey, and the second team defense hasn’t looked like they could step in and stop anyone better than in 2019.
Hang in there Charlotte, ‘The Quarterback Whisperer’ (Joe Brady), those fine receivers – Anderson and Moore were #3 producers in NFL in 2020 – and CMC is still the terrific over-achiever you remember from that 1000-1000 year.
Yes, Sam Darnold will pull the trigger
Rhule commented that Darnold throws a real nice deep ball, and fannies at BOA Stadium haven’t seen that factor in a long time. Steve Smith is still worshipped as the best we’ve had (836 catches/12,197 yds./67 TDs), he’ll probably become a Hall of Famer this year. Mushin Muhammed (860/11,438/62) gave the Panthers great service, and Greg Olsen will always be considered a ninja legend, a tight end who couldn’t be seen until he’d gotten the catch and first down yardage.
Defenses – and anyone in the stands – knew Newton almost exclusively kept throws to 20 yards or less, and his awkwardness in getting to the ground versus destroying DBs like before a 2016 injury, was painful to watch. Newton wasn’t close to a fearsome runner his last few years here, and in his MVP year (2015), only his 35 passing TDs (plus 10 rushing) was statistically much different from his career stats. While he enjoyed a 67.9% completion rate in 2018, a lot of that was dropoffs to McCaffrey, who obviously lugged the ball a lot in the Norv Turner offense.
Kyle Allen turned DJ Moore into a star by being able to hit him in stride the next year, Teddy Bridgewater didn’t scare anyone about going long, and Newton never threw a touch pass or jump ball to receivers in the red zone in nine years. Sam Darnold will change all that, including teams stacking the box to stop McCaffrey.
The Quarterback Whisperer
Ask Joe Burrow (Cincinatti Bengals) if Joe Brady made him the #1 draft pick last year, and he’ll admit that, talent aside, the juice Brady put into a somewhat stodgy LSU offense was the deal. Burrows top receivers his senior year are all in the NFL now, including Terrance Marshall, Jr. with the Panthers.
With Burrow the proof of Brady’s offensive influence – (NCAA record 76.3% completions), 60 TDs, 5,671 yards (378 avg. per game) – more so than Bridgewater’s 15 TD/11 INT mark – NFL coaches are aware the Panthers offensive coordinator hasn’t shown much from what should be a substantial bag of tricks.
Last year the Panthers had four players accumulate over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, and while Mike Davis and Curtis Samuel have taken their games elsewhere, McCaffrey will replace – or once again become – that offensive production.
If you saw his shoulder injury, the defender pinned McCaffrey’s arms before he landed and he couldn’t protect his fall. Sure it could happen again, but its also impossible for linebackers to drop into deep zones to help with coverage when he, or possibly stud rookie Chuba Hubbard are carving out first downs running. CMC can just as easily go in motion and pick up eight yards on a short out, more if someone (few want to attempt open field tackles with him) isn’t coming to get him.
Robby Anderson is just the first of several Panthers who have received contract extensions (2 yr./ $29.5MM, $20.5MM guaranteed), meaning you’ll be hearing what this band is playing for a while. DJ Moore won’t totally break the bank with any new contract, but given Tepper and GM Scott Fitterer’s willingness to match production and paychecks (CMC got $21.3MM up front for his extension), he’ll get his piece too. Raiding well-paid Panthers personnel becomes a very secondary consideration.
If defenses had trouble with the speedy Samuel, they will not be happier with the size (6’2″, 200 lbs) of a third receiver like Marshall, who ran a 4.38 40 yd. dash and jumped 39″ in his pro day – and did 16 -225 lb. bench presses. DBs especially had better have it strapped on tight when he needs tackling.
Will the Panthers surprise Pittsburgh tomorrow and the NFL when games count for real? I’d say invoke Mr. Tepper’s financial stack and history of knowing what to do about what he wants results-wise. The smart money is on the steep though not prohibitive – cost of taking any of the current coaches away for head coaching positions elsewhere. Coaching WILL make a difference in Rhule 2.0.
Will Rhule rate a statue?
When Panthers owner David Tepper gave a big contract to Matt Rhule, he was betting against the history of terrific college coaches who fail in the NFL. Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer did real well with the Cowboys of course, but few others have made successful transitions to the pros.
After Coach Rhule’s 5-11 first year at the helm, not everyone was super-charged at prospects for 2021, especially lacking an A-1 QB to work with those quality receivers – of which there are now more. Rhule’s track record supports idea of significant second year progress – and he has a seven year, $60 million contract.
Right now, the statues outside the stadium are of Sam Mills, the linebacker who died of cancer in 2005 and is the inspiration for the teams ‘Keep Pounding’ theme. That he only played three seasons for the Panthers indicates the regard he was accorded. Mike McCormick was the team’s president and general manager from the time of Mr. Richardson’s bid, to formation in the NFL until 1997.
What might it take for Coach Rhule to get a stadium statue, generally a rare honor? Winning a Super Bowl would be a start. Winning as many games as Lombardi? Legitimate. Winning a title before Tepper’s new soccer team does? Ahhhhh… (The panthers at all entrances remain, original owner Jerry Richardson’s has been taken away.)
Let’s let him get through Year Two before the idea of statues comes up Charlotte.
What’s in your cards, these still legally UNITED States we’ve always loved? Pandemic safeguards will become forced mobility for housing soon? Friday I nailed down a 12’x10′, 4th bedroom in a good ranch-style home – rose bushes, new furniture, repaints happening, and the ability to store a small load of things for $100 deposit.
STORE – As in I can’t move in until July 1, and my brother hasn’t definitely said ‘yes’ to sleeping in the RV for, uhhh, several days after leaving the house tomorrow.
Just sayin’, there are various levels of success on the mass movement this country is going to experience in the near future. Many fear change and the unfamiliar – at least this time for me, its an easy lateral situation, very comparable to living with my brother.
Got the truck for tonight-plus
Mike wanted to move some 20′ sections of fencing pipe from his back yard (FYI, many turned out to be 28-30 feet!) so he’s splitting the cost of what I probably would have tried doing in two trips Monday night with a ten-foot truck and half the daily $39.95 + miles/gas for the twenty.
Rule #1 in moving: Whatever help you can round up, even one makes a difference.
My new place, after five years at my brother’s, is seven miles away, and there’s a good chance I’ll get a chance to use my golf clubs soon. Can’t honestly recall when I last even hit an $8 bucket…
Bonus point: Biking gets easier living even a little further out, I’m a little spoiled about getting on the Greenway behind the Hindu temple four blocks away, and rolling for 12 miles. That’s another point about moving, finding your good places to go for whatever gives you joy.
There won’t be any way to avoid the pains of dislocation that are coming for many, but with a sigh of gratitude, I’ll echo the sentiment from here in the Carolinas and elsewhere, “I ain’t got a dog in that (need to find a place) fight,” at least not now.
I met the owner, a chattering good guy, and a second roommate, after brother and I quickly unloaded a decent amount of stuff into the garage last night. Now I’m working to find something more legitimate than crashing on a couch in a different living room for a bunch of nights if Mike and club pals don’t respond. I mean, it’s not 1978…
A very valid situation in 2021
This National Moving event that’s 2021 is a perfectly valid situation. Two days before I’ve got to be out, I still need to stash some stuff elsewhere, but things are actually breaking about 60% on my terms, especially economic. Because I’m working a plan, I’m not going to sweat being a relative statistic as – homeless.
The last time I had to exit an apartment on a deadline, I had five other post-poker playing guys, well after eleven, try to manuever my WATER BED out. At one point, wedged in the front door, it was obvious it wasn’t coming with me. Using the biggest knife from my butcher block set, we slashed it open and just kept pushing that bladder forward as it gushed.
After numerous previous moves, the base was crumbling, but man, those cold February mornings and nights in upstate NY, when I lived in the attic, that warm bed was GOLD, truly a difference maker as furniture.
Then or now, no place for it to go means, c’ya!
My MOST DRAMATIC move involved going to a rugby banquet until after nine, then clearing out everything possible into my Alliance – actually a terrific car for me – and driving to Troy, NY. Dramatic part was next morning, when fire engines gathering out in front of the building was because place next door was kind of smoking the area up.
I’d had a good time, then literally jumped from an economic fire into a literal one. Yeah, happy freaking Tuesday on that piece of history!
Got one better than that? Let’s hear it, but 2021, that’s moving along just fine, thanks.
Glenn S., 6/21/21
Right now I’m mildly worried about where a few items, like a three-tree potted palm might go, along with a last trunk and two boxes. And a half dozen picture frames. And these two cool portable wicker seats … I’m far less worried than last week though, when facts about a legitimate place to land lacked getting *somebody* to cooperate by calling back.
What comes, what doesn’t
At sixty-four, I’ve accumulated as much crap as anyone, but down-sizing to a room, not all the memories get to make any further trips. Know that I feel you at this time, America – I’ve been there, am again. My best advice is to channel your inner Matt Damon from ‘The Martian,’ an A-1 example of working through what has to happen next.
In ‘The Martian,’ Matt Damon quickly decides he’s got to “engineer the sh*t out of the situation” to survive. Moving isn’t nearly that tough.
It’s not brain surgery, it’s choices
Will it help my life the next 7 months? Yes-No, stay or go. Emotional weight though, that’s in the process. I’m donating a bunch of books to the library two blocks away, I hope I’m doing something worth while instead of just lightening my load.
The 200-year old upright secretary desk of pure, shiny brown, with slots and small drawers, and three drawers of storage that I cherished, went north with Mom’s cherry bedroom set (and a bunch of stuff Dave’s wife didn’t know was coming) back in early May. Nobody wanted that to wind up curbside.
Right now, I’m working from a 4-legged wooden card table that Uncle Leo made waaay back in the day, moved the half-filled cedar chest Mom refinished for my 25th birthday, and nightstand Dad won a blue ribbon for at the Florida State Fair. Things make the cut for personal reasons.
The folks bedroom set going to my niece Maria’s place in New York – she finally gets to attend her art institute for real – is a part of that life circle, passing things along. Stuff like yearbooks – or most of 20 years worth of hard cover journals I’ve written in – have to be jettisoned based on space and need. Here’s betting which brother winds up with Dad’s excellent smaller, hanging grandfather clock in the future.
I have ten of the bells I bought Mom for several years, its good to know nephew Ian even has a few of those from Mike’s china cabinet. If he’s got the good Waterford one, nice to know he has taste – make it an heirloom.
We’re going to have that terrific 4th of July people, hopefully near some water – its mid-summer hot here, and with essential moving done, some time for more baseball and maybe a date at the Whitewater Center.
May the times before and after that work out as well for my ‘on the move’ fellow Americans.
I honestly hope my rugby mentor with the Schenectady Reds RFC, Dr.Julius R. ‘Skip’ Aycox III, is alive to read this, because his grabbing me by the throat for using the N-word made a difference the last thirty-five years.
Now, “that word” was used in a sing-song style lots of close friends did in late 1970’s college, and I did it right after one of our team’s best players used it while talking to him, so getting clutched by the throat surprised me hugely.
“What? You didn’t do anything when Ted just said it!”
“He does it to try and upset me, and he can’t be changed. You I can help.”
When I moved to Charlotte in 1995, Carolina Panthers rookie QB Kerry Collins getting a black eye from his center sticks in my mind, smaller examples of “correcting behavior” compared to the massive upheaval this country experienced last year. Across the USA and beyond, George Floyd’s murder, at the knee of now-convicted white police officer, Derek Chauvin, had finally brought a specific reckoning.
The call to STOP! police brutality that continues to result – especially with young Black men – in violent death, literally echoed around the world. Not as significantly in certain parts of our Congressional representatives, but there have been large numbers of white faces available every step of the way.
Without meaning to claim any special ‘wokeness,’ of course it’s time to consider walking in someone else’s shoes. It’s been part of the journalistic process since my HS days, and with all due credit for watching Ken Burns’ “Hemingway,” I appreciate it when people share the experience I’m putting on the page, too.
A guiding thought in my life process was a NYT Sunday Book section title, “Hemingway made his own hours.” Case closed, but now a few positive points on Attitude to set out.
Ideas recognized, ‘salt & pepper’ counts
Should I have to consider my willingness to walk into a Novant site around the corner from my house, on the way back from grocery shopping, ‘white privilege?’
While still only 64 and a Category-5 profile in North Carolina, I did exactly that, getting the Pfizer vaccine March 18th, a full two months earlier than I’d expected.
My May estimate was based on the trump administration having no actual stockpile of vaccine revelation, the number of distribution points at the time Joe Biden became President Biden, my birthday two days later being no real factor.
The nurse said they did 3,000 a day where I got mine. Reality at Novant was immediate – I’d barely started talking to a young lady with a laptop when a supervisor said, “Sure, let’s get you stuck.”
She also said, “You don’t ask, you don’t get” about Life. Pulling into that parking lot was taking the shot. Bazinga! But that was actually Novant #3 attempt. I’d also called Lancaster, SC about possible appointments when they were giving shots to 55+ there, long before things went into overdrive on options.
In early March, going to shoot baskets, I saw cars pulling in at McClintock (school), barely a mile from my brother’s house. Those “they had to use the extra shots” stories had been on TV, so I got in line and called my 65 yr/old brother about the possibility. Once a representative spoke to me directly about having accounted for any extra shots, I simply left to shoot baskets as planned.
Turns out, my bro apparently did some extra ‘yapping’/discussing about people in line, they couldn’t ALL be teachers, although when I’d checked earlier, all actually had after 4:00 appointments. When the (black) Novant rep delivered her message and I left, she came back out shortly thereafter, with a cop and two co-workers, apparently because she’d felt a little threatened.
Counting these as white privilege? I don’t rate it that way, just because I dropped in to a local unit and my brother didn’t get shot or manhandled for extra commentary. It was handled appropriately, and when he admitted why he was already back when I returned, I said yeah, I can imagine her feeling ‘something,’ based on what I’d heard.
Fact: Upset about his “65 and waiting until an April appointment!” status vs. those in line, he called Novant and wound up with a first shot (Moderna) the next Tuesday.
Freedom Park hoops with Rahim
Basketball ability is a legitimate baseline for judging another person, because its understood I’m talking about us, not LeBron, right? Black/white/whatever, female/older-cagey vet or wannabe, when we’re keeping score, how you perform reflects on whether we get to keep running the court, right? Save the yackety-yak, unless you got the chops to back it. High school doesn’t count here. Make it, take it.
Do not call stupid little fouls, especially if you’re the only ‘salt.’ I was playing tennis the morning I saw a wiry kind of rec-speced white dude take an old-school boat hook forearm right across the chops after some of that. Started right below the nose, the glasses kind of proving their worth. To be honest, I’d heard the yapping…
Oh, and it’s not racist to say everyone wants a piece of the white guy in a gorilla-ball game, where its all against all. Best thing to do is make up to three free throws after scoring a basket, reduces time banging heads with dudes for rebounds. Sticking a knee into a thigh, jacking a butt, or getting my money’s worth on a hack in the lane before a guy finishes his move, kind of a specialty. Being soft, waiting for a rebound instead of guarding someone closer, its not a label I ever had. Only brother of four under six-foot, I’ll let you know I’m back there.
We’ve got 7-8 guys in a gorilla game, one of them finally holds onto the ball, looks at me and says, “What are you doin’ here?” and I said, “I’m with Rahim.” Everybody there knew Rahim, a central figure way beyond the current game at the other end for sure. As others looked over, Rahim came out from the lane and *volleyballed* a guy’s 3-pt. shot out of bounds.
Couple minutes later, he calls me over, tells another player, “You’re out.” You have to be confident in your skills AND manhood at that point. Having a scorer’s touch always counts, like tucking putbacks in and making sure the big dogs get their touches, because you truly are repping white guards right then.
“No blood, no foul” is a legit guideline, and sh*t yeah, its better to give than (just) receive contact. Don’t embarrass yourself or your host is a Man Thing that crosses color-cultural.
Real Rahim, such a monster figure, I actually use him in my books, and yes, it’s good to be easy and right with people across a spectrum. Last night it was Karina, waiting in line together for a beer at Camp North End celebration https://www.camp.nc/events, it felt soooo rightly social with jazzy Spanish-centric music.
She appreciated my being able to say “I have two courses of Spanish at CPCC, but 10 years ago…” It was many people’s first time there, plenty of family and music, but out of beer and everything else before 9:00 – guy in front of me literally got the last cup of wine. That sort of goodness – plus more beer – is EXACTLY what builds communities.
‘What abouts?’ Four quick thoughts
At one of the Communities in Schools programs I think so highly of, https://www.cischarlotte.org/ helping HS seniors write better letters for scholarship money, I had an opportunity to listen to and speak with two young Black men. My straight up message was to let them know how different-better it was to talk with young people who weren’t using ummm, errrr, and you know every other word, was a legitimate asset.
“I noticed it and told you so, and every other adult you’ll meet will notice, too.” A positive affirmation is easy. What individual meetings with fertile minds can accomplish 1:1 *always* counts.
I got the same degree of change in attitude at a lunch meeting with perhaps eighty military people. They weren’t just trigger pullers like my Uncle Howard had been in the Pacific – this luncheon was about job search, and they KNEW what their ratings said they were qualified to do. When I admitted about being way off on that attitude to the gentleman next to me, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nicolas ‘Chris’ Short told me about being Rumsfeld’s top kick at the Dept. of Defense. Definitely not just a trigger-puller.
Two last facts
Our Linton High Class of ’75 didn’t get to have its 45th reunion in 2020. At the 40th I’d decided to go into real estate, but waiting for a 50th, there’s no telling how many of us Forever Young Boomers might still be around for that. We might get it done this year, I dunno.
Paging through the yearbook, which our Journalism program put together – Take a bow, Liz Nealon, as Editor, your handwriting is all over it – I counted 20 Black seniors in a class of 540. If anyone wants to check me on that, fine. We also – can you believe it – let freshman (brother David) in that year.
Nobody’s brought it up that I know of, but at the time of 25th (2000) I know I wasn’t the only person who wondered if we’d be FORCED to have future reunions with the people from cross-town Mont Pleasant HS. Declining enrollment in Schenectady had forced a merger, at the Linton campus, but “we” didn’t particularly want to have an evening together with them.
I’ve mostly mellowed on the melding…it just took 46 years.
In 2021, I’m hoping to catch up to Scotty Grayman, Bobby Mazz – anybody know about Lussier? – and a couple dozen (probably not you, Malitz…) others. Here’s hoping we have it at Saratoga Racetrack instead of indoors – wasn’t that the plan? Let’s see if old people can agree on August fun instead of traditional Thanksgiving, just for starters.
Without burying the lead, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer made an impression with his first major move, delivering pretty much the arch-typical Hollywood story of a QB unloved getting moved to a new place, where he flourishes as The Guy We Needed.
That would be Signal Caller and Arm version, CMC will be back on Ground Attack. It could be a video game-type stats year when a highly motivatd McCaffrey gets paired with a quarterback that can make all the throws.
Newton threw nothing but fastballs, Kyle Allen and Teddy B. knew how to lead receivers, putting DJ Moore in elite company and making Curtis Samuel kind of rich.
It was the obvious need and Fitterer put up a mission accomplished sign.
Fuggidaboudit, Charlotte & Darnold Works
Good young QBs traditionally get torn up, because they often went to the worst teams to start careers. The Jets continue as an NFL franchise.
Vinny Testeverde, Heisman winner, to Tampa Bay Bucs. He said he threw so many picks because he was color blind – Tampa had orange jerseys, the same as his collegiate team, UMiami.
You can get more local – Chris Weinke, 2000 Heisman winner, Carolina Panthers. https://www.heisman.com/heisman-winners/chris-weinke/ The only thing he couldn’t do was lift the Panther from a shipwreck win-loss season. He wound up with stats that triggered incentives for yards, TDs, total snaps, and they hadn’t invented the $5MM Backup then.
The bigger problem was, he’d played six years of minor league baseball before going back to college at 26! Those were glory years at FSU, but on the calendar, Weineke was almost thirty quickly. Terrific passer, but Panthers gave the keys to a caretaker, Rodney Peete, instead.
I didn’t care about Sam Darnold with the Jets. “Everybody” knows he was #3 overall pick three years ago out of USC, and sorry to say, high pick QBs often go to ungood teams. Major points, has to be said: His former Jets coach, Adam Gase, has been kind of a talent killer with quarterbacks, and Robbie Anderson coming to Panthers last year meant Darnold couldn’t throw to him in New York.
Darnold wasn’t wanted where he was, the Panthers definitely wanted more from the role than 15 TD/11 INT production Teddy Bridgewater put out as a $21MM caretaker. The price in draft picks was nominal, Panthers problem (theoretically) solved.
Just so happens the Panthers have a resident genius with quarterbacks – Sam, Joe Brady; Joe, Sam.
Mr. Tepper took care of business
Having seen something by sportswriter Ian Rapaport about New York taking the new guy in Carolina to the shed on his first deal – Sam Darnold ain’t a busted down mule. The asking price – a #6 in upcoming draft, a #2 and #4 next year – isn’t anywhere near the mother lode Minnesota gave Dallas for Herschel Walker in October, 1989.
Fact about Mr. Tepper, he’s already analyzed factors relative to what he expects the Panthers to be as a product, and there’s no reason to change his tactics. He invested in facilities, and absolutely, bought some REALLY good football minds in Head Coach Rhule, Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady, and Defensive Coordinator, Phil Snow. He gave Christian McCaffrey a contract like his production rated.
A season after having iconic players like Newton, Kuechly, and Olsen depart, the Panthers had three-1,000 yard gainers – none of them named McCaffrey – and the defense moved from bottom three in almost every category to 18th overall, with a secondary that was right on the league average in yardage. Without Watson’s contract, the offensive line will get paid – four were part of 25 Panther free agents.
In 2021, Darnold is set to get $4.775MM, and team will have to decide about picking up a 5th year option in May for another $18MM, making him marginally more expensive than Bridgewater. It’s a two-for (years) that’s not tough math for Tepper or Fitterer.
Give the Panthers very high marks for respecting Teddy Bridgewater, who they’ll allow to possibly make his own deal elsewhere.
Resurrection on the Cheap
In a season-year that will be more memorable for playing before empty seats, the Panthers were an entertaining 5-11 bunch that let at least two games slip away late (Minnesota was the worst). On a team where playoffs would have been on the line, the injuries McCaffrey suffered, and mostly recovered from, might have pushed them to use their $21.3MM man late, but there was no reason to test ‘the franchise.’
Most Panther fans have moved on from Cam Newton thoughts, and I thought Bridgewater did a decent job distributing most of the year, but 15/11 are numbers that don’t lie. Kyle Allen had 17/15 the year before (yeah, and those fumbles) and didn’t get invited back. We’ll see if Mr. Samuel finds someplace to use his special skills, he was fun to watch.
So the business of the Carolina Panthers is moving forward. Mr. Fitterer appears to have put a satisfactory conclusion to the question of who’s going to run this team, on and off the field. As for that New York thing, heck, LOT of us will probably say, “Gawd bless ‘im, he must feel like he’s made it to the promised land,” and leave it at that.
My community group has historically done large eating-oriented events that brought out 600-800 paying customers, often (over) filling the school cafeteria. Our fish fries have been legendary forever, Oyster Roasts an October tour de force our members and others loved.
The original pierogi event came from one member (Stephen Fogg), who suggested it as a substitute for a not well-attended spaghetti night in late January. Noting that, “Every Catholic church in Cleveland has pierogi dinners every Friday in Lent,” was math many former Yankees in our club could imagine. He served about 50 of us those buttery, cheese and potato filled Polish delicacies, what most describe as like ravioles. For many, it was comfort food from childhood.
It’s truly a Collaborative Process
We decided to do a test run the week before the dinner, and besides cooking the kielbasa and slivered onions that would make workers familiar with production tasks and timing, we made 1200 kolacky cookies. It took about 2 1/2 hrs. dedicated effort, turning balls of dough into, smaller, thin squares, dab a blob of jelly in the middle and fold cookies.
Those cookies were THE inspired hit. Only two at a time rationing, unforgettable. We were short of *everything,* bought out the nearby Harris Teeter on supplies, including turkey kielbasa, more onions, and sour cream.
When our marketing, essentially just church bulletins as far as Rock Hill, produced wild response, people coming down the stairs at 5:01, we started ringing the register at all levels. Customer satisfaction? Highest rating every time.
Like the Oyster Roast (October) and what had been a 34-year tradition of selling Christmas trees starting after Thanksgiving, we’re not doing pierogies this year, and didn’t last year, because really good crowds are not how we break COVID-19’s grip on being together.
Job Two Counts Big
That means, at the most basic level of collaboration, masking up as an act together for a common goal. Call it best practices overall, IMHO, Pandemic is Job One.
Job Two is putting some economic levers back into full play, and WFH (work from home), the ability of not-in-the-same-place talents to be immediately and easily incorporated into a creative flow, has proven that connectivity and productivity can maintain high standards.
Naysayers might point to ‘job encroachment syndrome’ or something similar, because widely diffused sources don’t always slot easily with time on task vs. ‘dark hours.’ For every ‘The Intern,’ where a go-go executive learns the human cost of constantly being ON regarding business, you’ll find dozens who have found a rhythm they can live with.
Perhaps not including those who swapped drive time with at home schooling concerns, or might have to consider paycheck alterations – If we’re ALL tele-commuting, sending contributions to a central point, able to SEE the results in real time, should there be a location differential?
There isn’t a room full of Mad Men-style creatives down the hall any more. Whole operations are dedicated to the proposition of lots of people doing pieces, with a use ’em and lose ’em financial philosophy.