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Another Atoz from the Mists of History

Six years ago and change, YHB did an atoz of people born in 1924, and suggested that others could do other years. And eventually, I did another year, 1917.

A: Red Auerbach. Surprisingly few big names to choose from, here; I was tempted by June Allyson, but then, who wouldn’t be?

B: Robert Byrd, recipient of this Tohu Bohu’s Constitution Day Public Mocking of the Stupid Legislator award for 2005.

C: Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. Tempting to pick Matt Christopher, who wrote umpty-’leven kids books about sports, including Catcher with a Glass Arm. Third place: Hans Conried.

D: I guess Phyllis Diller. Not much of a selection.

E: Will Eisner, although had it been Ahmet Ertegun and not his brother Nesuhi that was born in 1917, it would have been a tough choice.

F: Ella Fitzgerald. If it weren’t for Ella, the great June Foray would be a good choice.

G: Zsa Zsa Gabor? No, John Birks “Dizzie” Gillespie. Sid Gordon is third place.

H: Fannie Lou Hamer, clearly, Although it’s a very strong group. Lena Horne, Frankie Howerd, Celeste Holm, and great Arizonan Zenna Henderson.

I: Dahlov Ipcar, although I had to click through to be reminded who she was. But at least I’ve seen some of her books, which puts her ahead of the rest of the I list for 1917.

J: Edward Jewesbury. Again, I had to not only click through but do an image search to be reminded of just who he was. Still, the name sounded familiar, and the face is more than familiar, and there just aren’t that many J names. I blame the Germans.

K: Murray Kempton is a strong contender here, or Jack Kirby, or Jim Konstanty. Just kidding—it’s JFK, of course.

L: Jacob Lawrence. Arthur Laurents is in second, and Vera Lynn in third.

M: There’s Dino and Thelonius and Texas Playboy Leon McAuliffe, and Swatalum Lee McPhail, and Senator Metzenbaum, and Jessica Mitford, and but there’s no question this is Sal “The Barber” Maglie.

N: I have a soft spot for Nigel Nicolson, but you knew that.

O: George “Father” Osmond, I guess.

P: I.M. Pei is clearly first. Irving Penn second, maybe Joe Page third. What happened to Joe Page?

Q: Er… There’s Hal Quick, who played in 12 games for the Washington Senators as a shortstop with a career OPS+ of 45. If he hadn’t died in 1974, I’d be willing to trade for him this week. But I think I have to pick Yosef Qafih, who I had never heard of either, but who translated Maimonides into Hebrew, so that’s all right.

R: John Raitt. Although Irv Robbins (Bert Baskin’s partner) ain’t bad. And there’s Oscar Romero, on his way to sainthood. But could they sing?

S: Johnny Sain. But Terry Sanford is a good choice, too. Or Alan Schneider.

T: Oliver Tambo. I have to mention Virgil “Fire” Trucks, just because the name is so good.

U: I am going to choose Ernest Unterkoefler, Bishop of Charleston. I suppose.

V: Cyrus Vance. Though I gave consideration to Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson

W: Whizzer White, but for second and third, you can pick Trudy Warner or Jane Wyman in either order.

X: Ko├ži Xoxe is the only X on the list, so there isn’t much of a choice.

Y: Isuzu Yamada, because I have at least seen Throne of Blood.

Z: Tempting to pick Paul Zoungrana, Archbiship of Ougadougou, just because I like saying Ougadougo, but I think I’ll go with Yitzchok Zilber, who embodied, in some sense, the whole Soviet Jewry image that I grew up with.

The interesting(ish) observation is that (a) there are a lot of names on that Wikipedia list that I have never heard of, who are notable for WWII heroism; and (2) there are a lot more obscure names on Wikipedia than there were five years ago. Obscure to me, anyway; it seems as if there are a lot more names from overseas. At any rate people who I feel perfectly comfortable never having heard of.

This presumably means that the game, such as it ever was, admits of a very low fun quotient at this time. Ah, well. Perhaps in five more years, it will be interesting again, tho’ I can’t imagine how.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I remember disliking Matt Christopher as a kid, because when I was looking for John Christopher books at the library, they were hard to find among all the sports books. :^p

I don't know if I could name any Matt Christopher books -- except for Catcher With A Glass Arm, which I couldn't have come up with on my own, but instantly sounded very familiar. I wonder if I actually read it, or if it was just an evocative title.

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