Thursday, September 30, 2010

Billi Pod Says-->See A Life In The Theatre

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers.


It is a dark and gloomy day in The Greatest City In The World and rain is forecast for the remainder of the day, into the evening and for tomorrow too.


Let me start with a report card on A LIFE IN THE THEATRE-->A+<--Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight combine to bring Mamet’s play to life. There is definitely positive chemistry between Stewart and Knight and you can feel it sitting in the audience. If you are in the NYC area, or plan to be, and love theater-->you gotta see this show!! It only runs until January 2, 2011, unfortunately.


Billi Pod’s entertainment schedule to today --


8:00-->LOMBARDI-“Dan Lauria (Wonder Years) plays Vince Lombardi, the Hall of Fame football coach, one of the most inspirational and oft-quoted personalities of all time, but who was the person behind the icon, the man behind the legend?” Broadway.


There is mixed buzz about this show, in previews.




Man, I can’t wait for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zukerberg, the founder and CEO of FaceBook, to open on Friday. Up here all of the advance buzz and pre-opening reviews have been very very positive. I will catch it tomorrow during the day without a doubt-->will get my ticket today.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-29

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

THE YANKEES WIN!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. It is a beautiful early fall day in The Greatest City in The World.


Last night, behind a stellar performance from ace CC Sabathia the Yankees beat The Blue Jays 6-1 and finally clinched a post season berth. The win also eliminated the Boston FuckSox and good riddance.


Luckily Billi Pod was back in PHC, following the New York Philharmonic concert, in time to catch the final inning and the post-game celebrations.


This headline in The Post pretty much says it all-->“THEY’RE IN: Yanks Clinch Another Trip to the Playoffs.” Whew!!


Speaking of the New York Philharmonic concert-->A+<--as in mega-awesome due to the unbelievable performance by Itzhak Perlman.


Perlman was afflicted with polio at age 4. He came on stage to a roaring ovation. He is on crutches and it is obviously difficult for him to move around, but he does it totally without assistance, including getting up on a riser, where he sat in a chair during the 37 minute performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, done without break between movements.


When it was over the audience gave him a roaring standing ovation, hoping for an encore performance, but, alas, it wasn’t to be.


Today’s scheduled entertainment event is--


2:00-->A LIFE IN THE THEATER-“a behind-the-scenes peek at the challenge of actors battling to share both a dressing room and the spotlight. The story follows two actors in a repertory company: Robert (Patrick Stewart), an older, experienced performer, and John (T.R. Knight), a newcomer to the stage.” On Broadway.


I will probably catch the Michael Douglas movie in the evening.


I am also happy to report that for the upcoming 10 days Billi Pod has already booked a very eclectic entertainment schedule: 4 Broadway shows; 1 Off Broadway show; 1 New York Philharmonic concert; and, 1 Rock concert. It may also include 2 post season home games, depending on who wins the AL East, the Yankees or The Rays. Not bad, not bad at all.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-30


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Billi Pod Says -->AJ BURNETT SUCKS!!

Good morning everyone.


The day-long rain yesterday delayed the completion of my chores, errands and stuff, so I scratched seeing the Michael Douglas movie. Will no doubt see it sometime this week because it is on Billi Pod’s “Must See” list.


Billi Pod stayed in PHC to watch the Yankees clinch a playoff spot by defeating the Blue Jays in Toronto.


It didn’t happen. Why? Because once again AJ Burnett aka Loser Boi BOMBED-->giving up 7 runs in 2 1/3 innings--> AJ YOU F**KING SUCK!!


Man, today’s newspapers have been all over him, as well they should. I think you could legitimately make the argument that AJ has sold his soul to the Devil because there is no other way to explain his implosion.


How can Girardi trust him during the postseason? Answer-->he can’t. Not sure who would replace him in the rotation, but virtually anyone would be an improvement.


Oh well, on to other things --


Tonight-7:30-->New York Philharmonic @ Avery Fisher Hall. This is the first of the 20 concerts I have scheduled for the 2010-11 season. 17 of these are part of my 3 series subscriptions and 3 are complimentary tickets for being a subscriber.


Highlight of tonight’s program-->Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-31

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Was An Awesome Doubleheader

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. It is a rainy dreary errands day in The Big Apple.


Let me start with a report card on Billi Pod’s awesome Sunday doubleheader--


BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON-->A<--loved it again. It is raw and profane with an excellent cast--not sure, however, if it can find a Broadway audience.


YANKEES/FUCKSOX-->W<--as in Whew!! Yanks win 4-3 in the bottom of 10th when the FuckSox closer walked in the winning run, virtually guaranteeing The Yankees a place in the play-offs.


It was a nail-biter from the very beginning. The Yankees lost a chance to win in regulation when Mo blew yet another save, sending the game into extra innings. This is really scary-->Come on Mo, we can't make it The World Series without the Mo of old. To make things even worse, it began to lightly rain. F@@K!!


Me and my buds stayed in our seats, in the rain, until the end. It was 12:45am when I got back to PHC-->tired, still damp but very happy and very relieved.


This was my 7th consecutive game, 7 in 7 days, (not sure I will ever do that again) and the 50th game for the regular season. Happy to report the record for those games-->32 wins and 18 losses.


Now, bring on the post season. Billi Pod will be there for every home game.


Today-after errands-->WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS-the return of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).


Oh, in closing-->a shout-out to Justin Allen Pifer who this weekend went from being a Chelsea Boi to being a Bridge & Tunnel Boyyyy. Errrrrr... oh well ...


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-32


PS: Thanks to all of the faithful and loyal readers who texted and emailed me regarding errors in yesterday’s posting. Seriously-->THANKS!!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Billi Pod's Saturday - High/Low

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. Well, Saturday was a high/low day, without a doubt.


The low-->Yankees/Fucksox game. The Yankees sucked and lost their 4th consecutive home game and in the process incurred the wrath of the sold-out crowd who showed our collective disgust with rounds of boos. Once again the Yankee front office, abetted by the fawning media, spewed forth the mantra ... home field advantage is not that important ... yeah, right, it isn’t important unless you are a fan and someone who expects 100% effort from your team 100% of the time. Do you really think that George would have stood for “being second best in your league is OK?” Of course, not!!


Billi Pod left the game at 6:00 so he could catch the kickoff for what would be the high of the day-->the Gator/Kentucky game. The Gators kicked butt, winning 48-14.

The game also produced one of those OMG events-->true freshman Trey Burton (who??) scored 6 touchdowns setting a school record and breaking the record previously held by Tim Tebow. OMG!! This suddenly brought back memories of the 2006 season when the QB combo of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow lead the Gators to the National Championship. We will see if this develops.


Next Saturday it will be #1 ‘Bama at Tuscaloosa, AL. It should be an awesome game.


Today is a doubleheader for Billi Pod--


2:00-->BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON-“a rock musical about America's first political maverick who kicked British butt, shafted the Indians and smacked down the Spaniards--who cares if he didn't have permission?” On Broadway after a very successful Off Broadway run. I saw it Off Broadway and liked it a lot and wanted to see it again.


8:00-->Yankees/FuckSox-the final home game of the season and Billi Pod will be there, of course. Please guys, don’t embarrass your fans again. PLEASE!!


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-33

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Congratulations Scott Reed!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers.


Let me start with a big shout-out to student/General Manager Scott Reed-->his restaurant, the trendy Lower East Side Los Feliz, was chosen to cater part of Thursday’s Clinton Global Initiative Conference at the midtown Sheraton Hotel, which included: The Clintons; The President and First Lady; and, dozens of other worldwide dignitaries. It is my “understanding” that the Obama’s wanted a second serving from the menu created by Scott and Chef Julieta Ballesteros.


Way to go Fabson-->this is Awesome!!


Whoa-->last nite Andy Pettitte sucked and he lasted only 3 1/3 innings. The Yankees were losing 1-10 going into the bottom of the 6th and I have to admit, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting, I was seriously considering leaving, something I very rarely do. Then in the next 3 innings the Yankees staged a rally closing the game to 8-10. Oh Man!!


But, as has happened far too often this season-->bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, tying run at the plate-->Cano strikes out. F@@K!! We are now in 2nd place in the AL East and The FuckSox are still alive. Double F@@k!!


Today-4:10-->Yankees/FuckSox-->Billi Pod will be there, of course. This will be my 6th consecutive game, the most ever, and I have tomorrow’s final home game, too. Almost in baseball overload, to be honest.


7:00-->Gators/Kentucky @ The Swamp. The game will be carried locally on ESPNU, so I may have to leave the Yankee game early.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-34


Friday, September 24, 2010

OMFG-->YANKEE STADIUM=CHOKEVILLE USA

OMFG!!-->last nite’s 3-10 loss to The Rays was very very painful-->CC took a 3-1 lead into the 6th and then gave up 6 runs-->Yankees failed yet again to get key hits. The stadium was Chokeville USA!!


Now, the Yankees still lead the AL East by 1/2 game, but last night’s game was absolutely crucial regarding when, what, and who goes where during the AL post season.


Here are Billi Pod’s predictions-->The Rays will win the AL East-->Yankees in post season via the wild card and will play The Minnesota Twins in their new park on October 6


2nite the Boston FuckSox (who are still technically in the wild card race) come to the stadium-->Pettitte will be on the mound and Billi Pod will be there, of course.


Since so much of this week has involved baseball I need a break, kinda, so this afternoon will catch-->THE VIRGINITY HIT-“a smirky-naughty horndog youthsploitation mockumentary comedy about a dweeb trying to lose his virginity. The movie has full-frontal nudity, lots of R-rated body-part talk, and the kind of outrageous-but-not-too-outrageous everydude spirit that made The Hangover a hit.”


I know, I know ... but this is the kind of humor that Billi Pod likes/needs, so don’t judge me, OK?


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-35

A Very Funny Cartoon

Man, did this cartoon hit home with me. It was in Thursday’s Daily News. I have shared it via FaceBook with my cardiologist Dr. Fred Feuerbach. No response from him yet.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Billi Pod Is Pissed!!!

OK my loyal and faithful readers, this posting is going to be basically a baseball rant-->Billi Pod just wanted to warn you, sooooooooooooooo....


Last night, after a 2 hr. 10 min. rain delay, the Yankees were down by only 1 run in the 3rd inning and-->Mgr. Joe Girardi makes the “decision” to parade in his 2nd tier relievers, who then give up 6 runs and Yankees lost 2-7, against a Rays relief pitcher whose last outing was against Hillsborough High School.


Those of us who braved the elements to the bitter end weren’t happy, to say the least. Why you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, simply put, it is part of the “we’d rather have a healthy staff than home field advantage” (quote taken from one of the local papers, I didn’t make it up) mentality that troubles a lot of us die hard fans and parts of the media, too.


Now folks, this is the equivalent of the so-called “prevent defense” in football that 9 times out of 10 only prevents your team from winning, or in baseball the so-called “no-doubles” defense that prevents the outfielders from catching routine fly balls, resulting in base runners, resulting in losing the “f**king game.


And, I hate the p.r. crap that is coming out of the Yankee front office that basically says that home field advantage is highly overrated. That is bullshit and they know it.


I don’t believe “The Boss” would have approved. No, he would require the team to go 100% at winning the AL East and in the process compiling the best record in the AL, insuring home field advantage up to the World Series. Incidentally, the AL lost the home field advantage when it lost the All Star game as a result of several dicey decisions by ... tada ... Joe Girardi.


Tonight is game 4 of the series and it is a stellar pitching matchup--->Sabathia (20-6) vs. Price (17-6), and, of course, Billi Pod will be there.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-36

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday - Brunch With Fabson

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers. It is an absolutely beautiful day in The Big Apple--->The Greatest City in The World.


Just back from brunch with student/General Manager/etc./etc./etc. John Scott Reed at the trendy Grey Dog in Chelsea. We had a lot of catching up to do about things and stuff. He has a lot going on in his professional life right now and I am so proud of what he is accomplishing. Wish I could give you more details but I can’t, not right now, however, expect more to come in the very near future. I promise that you will be amazed.


Thanks for working me into your “fabulous” schedule Fabson.


Last nite’s 8-3 win over The Rays was again a lot closer game than the final score indicates. The Yankees built an early 5 run lead but The Rays kept nipping back until the Yankees tacked on 3 insurance runs late in the game. Hughes was OK-not great-just OK. We now lead the AL East by 2 1/2 games.


2nite is game 3 of the 4 game series with AJ Burnett aka Loser Boi on the mound. Of course, Billi Pod will be there with his usual buds.


And-->have booked my Paris trip-->Nov 8-16<--to be with former college roomie David West. Palm Springs will have to wait until the spring.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-37

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ceremony For "The Boss" - And Breaking News!!

The memorial ceremony for “The Boss” last night was very moving. It wasn’t too long and it wasn’t “gushy” and that was good.


Really great to see Joe Torre and Don Mattingly at the stadium and it was really classy of them to come back for the ceremony considering how unfairly the Yankee ownership treated both of them 3 years ago.


The Yankees won 8-6 but the game was much more of a nail-biter than the final score indicates and Mo had another shaky save.


Tonight’s game will have Hughes on the mound. He has not done well in his last several outings. Billi Pod will be there, of course.


Breaking news-->Billi Pod will be heading across the pond to Paris to spend time with my former law school roomie David West, formerly of Gainesville, FL. Will be there November 8-16.


Am also debating flying to California for a few days over Thanksgiving to be with my sister Ann Parker, who now lives in Palm Springs.


The Paris trip is a done deal - still pondering the Palm Springs trip--> whether it would be better to schedule a longer visit later. Stay tuned...


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-38

Monday, September 20, 2010

Honoring "The Boss" Tonight

Dammit - I can’t believe I omitted mentioning tonight’s ceremony honoring “The Boss.”


The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with a special introduction behind home plate, followed by the unveiling of his monument, to be located just beyond the center-field wall.


Frank Sinatra Jr. will sing the national anthem prior to the game and the colors will be presented by the West Point Color Guard.


George’s granddaughter, Haley Swindal, will sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch in tribute to her grandfather.


George’s wife, Joan and all four of the couple's children -- Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica -- are scheduled to be in attendance. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre and Don Mattingly will also be in attendance, marking their first return to the Bronx since leaving the Yankees in 2007.


The Yankees' principal owner since 1973 died on July 13 at the age of 80. Under the stewardship of "The Boss," the Yankees won seven World Series championships.


GO YANKEES!!

A Thumbs Up For Sunday

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. It is was an absolutely awesome day yesterday for Billi Pod, weather-wise and entertainment-wise in The Greatest City in the World, The Big Apple-->THUMBS UP!!


I will start with my report cards on my entertainment double header --


KEEP YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU (At All Times)-->B+<--outstanding acting and believable (not necessarily likable) characters.


ANOTHER AMERICAN: ASKING AND TELLING-->A<--amazing acting and gut-wrenching stories. The writer and performer, Marc Wolf, lets us hear from a wide range of voices--over 20 in all--gay and lesbian service members (current as well as veterans all the way back to the Second World War, those kicked out and those still in), parents, those opposed to gays in the military, professors, lawyers and others. See this show, it is so ordered!!


Between shows I had about 2 1/2 hours to kill. I spent it just wandering around in the Union Square area. The weather was great. Spent time sitting in the park people-watching.


Today is my usual errands and stuff day. I will also do some planning about possible upcoming trips across the Pond and maybe to the other coast-->details later.


Tonight begins the Yankees final home stand-->4 games vs. The Rays-->3 games vs. The FuckSox. Billi Pod will be at all 7 games.


Yesterday Andy Pettitte was back on the mound after 2 months on the DL due to a groin injury. He was very effective over the 6 innings he pitched, leaving the game with a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately the bull pen (including Mo) blew it and the Yankees lost 4-3 in 11 innings. Once again the Yankees failed to get crucial hits with runners in scoring position-even just putting the ball in play would have scored runs. This has been a very very serious problem for the entire season and could be a fatal flaw in the post season.


OK, got things and stuff to do, so will post this and ...


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-39

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday Was An Awesome Day!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. I am sooooooo happy to report that Saturday was another awesome day for Billi Pod in The Greatest City in The World. Here’s my report card:


GATORS/TENNESSEE-->B+<--we kicked ass on the road and the offense is developing. But, dammit, there is a lot of very negative press up here over the number of arrests etc. - Gators and SEC. It is embarrassing to see our program compared to the University of Miami, it really is.


YANKEES/ORIOLES-->A<--CC wins #20 for the first time in his career and the Yankee bats came alive. This afternoon Andy Pettitte returns to the mound, after months of the DL, and the Yankees go for the sweep.


ALPHABETICAL ORDER-->VF<--for very funny British humor with an excellent cast. It is worth seeing for sure.


Today is a double header for Billi Pod--


2:00-->KEEP YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU (At All Times)-“What happens when your best friend decides he likes boys and your girlfriend decides she likes girls? The stresses of career, family, relationships, and 21st century sexual mores in a complex digital age in which we ask too many questions, but don't have enough answers.”


7:00-->ANOTHER AMERICAN: ASKING AND TELLING-“Written and performed by Marc Wolf who portrays a variety of characters struggling with the ban on gays and lesbians in the armed forces - based on one hundred and fifty interviews with straight, gay and lesbian military personnel” It has received excellent reviews and is now on an extended run.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-40


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Billi Pod Says WOW!!

Good morning everyone and-->WOW!! It’s official-->two tornados touched down in The City on Thursday, resulting in major damage in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. Manhattan and The Bronx were spared. What the f**k is going on?


WOW #2-->The Yankees are back in lst place as a result of A-Rod’s 3 run HR in the top of the 9th for a 4-3 win over the Orioles.


WOW #3-->Report card on A HOME ACROSS THE OCEAN-->A as in an awesome comedy/drama with an outstanding cast. Catch this before its limited run ends.


This is what Billi Pod has scheduled for today, which incidentally is a WOW of a nice early fall day --


3:30-->GATORS/TENNESSEE in Knoxville. This should be a nail-biter, walk-around, scream/cuss/yell game from beginning to end. The Gators are 14 point favorites - not sure I agree. GO GATORS!!!





8:00-->ALPHABETICAL ORDER-“a British newspaper, and the lonely souls who work there, are on the brink of disaster. The new assistant might bring order to the chaos but she also might ruin everyone's life.” At a theater on my block.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-41

Friday, September 17, 2010

Was It A Tornado??

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers.


WOW!!-->a major storm, perhaps a tornado (the National Weather Service is checking), with 100 mph winds caused extensive damage to the outer boroughs around 5:30 yesterday. It all happened in minutes-->the sky turned black, rain came pounding down and the wind howled-->it was scary as hell - and then it was over. Man, what is it with the crazy weather world-wide over the past 2 years??


On to other things and stuff --


Report card on THE PITMAN PAINTERS-->excellent. I did, however, have some trouble with the accents, just like in BILLY ELLIOTT. That said, I found it to be a riveting evening - good story and terrific acting. I recommend it.


The Yankees begin a 3 game series against the Orioles in Baltimore and, hopefully, will break out of their slump. Only problem-->AJ Burnett aka Loser Boi is on the mound.


Tonight-8:00-->A HOME ACROSS THE OCEAN - “Connor and his boyfriend think they're ready to start a family - Connor's recently widowed Mother thinks she needs to re-start a family herself. How ready are they?” At a theater on my block.



I will close with a big shout-out to my dear friend DAVID HUDDLESTON, the actor, who turns 80 today. His recovery from major heart surgery is going well, Thank God!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-42



Thursday, September 16, 2010

A DISMAL DOWNER

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, no doubt about it-->yesterday was pretty much a downer with J.’s death and the Yankees 4-3 loss to the Rays (now calm down, I am not equating the loss of a friend with the loss of a ball game. It’s just how I felt when I finally crashed at 2:30am).


I know that today is a day to move on, but ... dammit-->today also marks 7 yrs. since my dear friend Ray Coker needlessly died ... dammit to Hell ...


The Yankees have the day off before a 3 game series at Baltimore, in what would have been a cakewalk, except that now the new Manager Buck Showalter has the heretofore pathetic last-place Orioles playing excellent ball. Go figure.


And speaking of dismal - this is the headline from the sport’s section in today’s Daily News-->“WR ARREST ADDS TO URBAN BLIGHT,” about the arrest and suspension of starting wide receiver Chris Rainey. The article goes on to compare the number of Gator arrests to University of Miami arrests and-->tada-->the Gators win. Barf!!


On a postive note I will give Billy Pod’s report card on JUST IN TIME-THE JUDY HOLIDAY SHOW-->excellent. I was very impressed with the acting. Learned a lot of stuff about Holiday’s background.


On that happy note I move on some more-->Billi Pod is finally out of his baseball couch potato mode and returning to his usual activities-8:00-->THE PITMAN PAINTERS-“is based on the true story of a group of British miners who discover a new way to express themselves and unexpectedly become art-world sensations.” On Broadway. This show is written by Lee Hall who wrote the mega-successful BILLY ELLIOT. The show had a sold-out run in London. Looking forward to it.


GO YANKEES AND GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

BMS-43


PS: And, yes, I also acknowledge the mistake in yesterday’s report-->I meant J. was a Brother, not a Bother. Gimme a break, OK?






Wednesday, September 15, 2010

J. LEWIS HALL, JR (1931-2010)

I first met J. “Papa” Hall at the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, in September 1952. He was a Brother, a Senior and a campus icon. I was a skinny blonde pledge who was in complete awe over being in Papa’s presence. Over the ensuing years we became friends and professional colleagues - a friendship that spanned almost 6 decades


J. passed away today, September 15th, at his home in Altamonte Springs, FL, with his loving and devoted longtime companion Vivian Garfein. God Bless you Vivian for everything!!


The following is J.’s obituary (unedited):


****************************

“Retired Circuit Judge J. Lewis Hall, Jr., died at home in Altamonte Springs, Florida, on September 15, 2010. He was born on April 2, 1931, attended Leon High School, the University of Florida for undergraduate and law school, and served in the United States Army before returning to Tallahassee to practice law. He is survived by his son, William Douglas Hall (Lori Elliott), a daughter, Sara Page Hall, one grandchild, Elizabeth Marion Chalakani, and his brother, Thomas M. Hall, as well as his devoted companion, Vivian Fiesta Garfein. He was preceded in death by a son, Bruce Rivers Hall, and by his parents, J. Lewis Hall, Sr., and Martha Buford Hall.

A memorial service will be held on September 20, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bruce Rivers Hall Scholarship Fund, Stubbs' Educational Foundation, 1260 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312, or to Hospice of the Comforter, 595 Montgomery Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.


Judge Hall embodied the best of the legal profession and the judicial system. He received the highest rating as a lawyer, and when he was elected as a circuit judge in 1980, his campaign slogan was simply, "Ask anyone who knows him." He served two terms as Chief Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit. He was chairman of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges and he served on many committees of the Supreme Court of Florida to enhance the quality of justice in our state. He was a teacher and lecturer to lawyers and judges at judicial conferences, law schools, seminars and bar association meetings. He retired on December 31, 1998, because he reached the maximum age the Florida Constitution allows an active judge to remain in office. Judge Hall jokingly said he had reached the age of "constitutional senility." He continued to serve for ten years after that date as a retired judge. He was the first recipient of the Trial Judge of the Year award from the Tallahassee chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and was a charter member, Master of the Bench, and president of the William Stafford American Inn of Court.


His grandfather was Rivers Buford, Sr., a justice of the Florida Supreme Court. His father, Lewis Hall, Sr., was a former president of the Florida Bar, who in 1946 was the first of three generations of the Hall family to serve as president of the Tallahassee Bar Association. Judge Hall (1967) and his son Doug (1998) continued the tradition.


He attended Leon High School in Tallahassee and the University of Florida, where he was a member of Florida Blue Key and was appointed the Cadet Colonel of the Army ROTC program, the highest honor for a student ROTC member. After graduating from Florida, he served from September 1953 until September of 1955 as a First Lieutenant with the U.S. Army First Infantry Division.


Judge Hall was a legendary athlete who acquired the nickname "Papa" as a schoolboy. In 1948 he became the first Leon High School football player to be named as a High School All-American, as well as the first to be named the Florida High School Player of the Year. He was selected to the All-State and All-Southern Teams. Twenty-five years later he served on a committee appointed by the Leon County School Board that eventually named Gene Cox as the head coach of Leon High. He was selected in the inaugural class of the Leon High School Football Hall of Fame in 1977, and has been named to the Leon High School Teams of the Century. He is the only Leon High graduate ever invited to participate on the college all-star team that played against the National Football League champions but he declined the offer to protect his amateur status.


While attending UF, he garnered even greater acclaim for his athletic endeavors. A three-year letterman on the football team, he led the Southeastern Conference in punt returns. He once made a 109 yard touchdown run following a Citadel field goal attempt --a run that was cut to 75 yards by an unnecessary clipping penalty-- in what has been called one of the greatest plays in Gator football history. His team went to Florida's first post-season bowl game, the Gator Bowl, where he led his team to a victory over Tulsa and was named Most Valuable Player of the game. Florida completed the season with a record of 8-2 and finished number 15 in the country, the first time the Gators had finished in the top 20. He was later named to the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame. He is a member of the University of Florida Hall of Fame and the UF Letterman's Association Hall of Fame.


Football may not have been his best sport. The NCAA official records list him as the National High Jump Champion in 1951 and 1953. He also won AAU national championships as a high jumper. His best college high jumps surpassed the height of the gold medal jump at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. The Jacksonville Times Union reported that he once held the indoor high jump record of 6 feet, 11 inches.


Judge Hall received national acclaim for his athletic exploits, but the highest praise may have come from a 1952 New York Times article written by Arthur Daley, the first sportswriter to receive a Pulitzer Prize: "This reporter has been following track for a quarter of a century or so and he can't remember any athlete who came so far and so fast as this 20-year old boy from Florida. A complete unknown, he rocketed from nowhere to achieve the rare Grand Slam of NCAA and AAU championships at tremendous heights in his first year of varsity competition. And his potentialities haven't yet been tapped."


Judge Hall's colleagues, friends and family will attest that his professional and athletic accomplishments pale in comparison to his personal attributes: integrity, congeniality, sincerity, dedication, good humor and resourcefulness. We shall will miss him.”


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With J’s passing I have now lost the 3 fraternity brothers who had the greatest impact on my life: Tom Henderson, Tom MacDonald and J. Hall.


So, rest in peace J - you will be missed.


Bill