Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Gala Wedding Of Cole and Danielle Maly On July 30, 2016

The Happy Bride and Groom
Ron and Maxine With Their Six Wonderful Grandchildren On Wedding Day In Norfolk, NE. Left to Right: Cole, Claire, Shelby, Jerika, Maxine, Ron, Megan, Nate
Bridesmaids Plus One
Danielle, the Beautiful Bride

The Bride and Groom On Their Limousine Ride Following the Wedding
Claire, Shelby, Jerika and Megan With Grandpa On the Big Day
Cole, Claire, Shelby, Jerika, Ron, Megan, Nathan
Gifts Galore
Grandma Maxine Maly

A Great Time Was Had By All
Pride and Happiness: At the Right Is Polly Maly, Mother Of the Groom. At the Left Is Rhonda Piske, Mother Of the Bride.
Megan, Grandpa Maly, Shelby

Megan, Grandpa Maly, Jerika, Shelby
Claire, Shelby, Jerika, Grandpa Maly, Megan, Nate

Wendy. a Good Friend Of Mark, Polly and Their Family, Made It To the Wedding All the Way From Her Home In Italy
Grandma Maly's Lavender Rose Wrist Corsage
Danielle, Cole and the Pastor
It's Dance Time, With Or Without Shoes, Following the Wedding
More Dancing
Gift Opening the Morning After the Wedding
There Was Evem Meet The Malys Popcorn
Danielle Maly

Claire and Her Good Friend Savannah Enjoy Tex-Mex Food At the Rehearsal Dinner

Jerika and Shelby With Grandma Maly

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Corn Crap


Corn has been growing in Iowa for hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of years.

I'm wondering why people are suddenly finding out that something called "corn sweat" is a factor in causing high summertime humidity in this and other states. 

All of a sudden, every newspaper in the country [and, I assume, every TV station and radio station , too] is putting out cutesy stories about corn causing high humidity. 

How come nobody knew about that 10 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago or 500 years ago?  

Did it take some agronomist from Iowa State to finally tell reporters about corn sweat? 

What were those agronomists doing a century ago?

Oh, well, I guess it's a lot better than having to read about mass killings in Germany  and France.

By the way, I've put in a few phone calls on my cell phone to Indians I know so I can ask 'em if their ancestors knew about this corn sweat crap, and if they think it's true.

Friday, July 8, 2016

In the event Drake starts looking for a new men's basketball coach, Larry Brown is now available. The 75-year-old coach just resigned at SMU because decision-makers at the university wouldn't give him a long-term contract.

Larry Brown



Well, it was fun while it lasted. 

The Chicago Cubs rolled to a 25-6 record early in this agonizingly-long baseball season, but now have come back to earth and have gone 27-27.

They have lost 13 of their last 18 games.  

For a while, they didn't lose to anybody. 

They whipped the bad teams, they whipped the good teams. 

Then they couldn't beat the good teams, but beat the bad teams. 

Now they can't beat the good teams and they can't beat the bad teams. 

Cincinnati and Atlanta, which probably should be playing in the Class A Midwest League have taken turns defeating the Cubs.

Forget those World Series dreams.

It's not going to happen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Happier Times


I received lots of email comments and Facebook responses to my column the other day about Bob Brooks, the sportscasting legend from Cedar Rapids who died at 89 years of age.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write. 

Some readers wanted to know about other sportscasters from Iowa such as Ron Gonder and Frosty Mitchell. 

Indeed, a few wondered if Gonder and Mitchell are still alive. 

Both did play-by-play announcing of Hawkeye football and basketball games for many years. 

Gonder worked for WMT-radio and TV in Cedar Rapids [plus KRNT-radio and TV in Des Moines before that], and is mostly retired these days. 

I say mostly because he still entertains WMT listeners with frequent freelance programs dealing with sports topics. 

Gonder and Mitchell are among a shrinking list of still-living play-by-play announcers from the good old days when as many as 7, 8 or maybe 9 stations from this state originated broadcasts of Hawkeye football games. 

Jim Zabel of WHO-radio and TV in Des Moines  died several years ago, and now Brooks [who did Iowa games for a number of Cedar Rapids stations] has gone to the big studio in the sky.

Iowa went to a revised sports broadcasting plan a number of years ago, eliminating such play-by-play veterans as Brooks, Gonder, Zabel and Mitchell and replacing  them with the equally knowledgeable and talented Gary Dolphin  as the sole play-by-play announcer for large football and men's basketball networks.

Mitchell did Hawkeye football and basketball for KGRN-radio in Grinnell and later WMT-radio in Cedar Rapids. 

He also did TV play-by-play of Hawkeye basketball games for the Iowa Network. 

In retirement, I'm fairly certain Mitchell spends half the year in Grinnell and half the year in Florida. 

He hasn't totally quit talking on radio and TV. 

I hear Frosty on commercials for Adventureland every once in a while. 

I was honored to join Brooks, Gonder, Mitchell and 16 others  as charter members of the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium  media Wall of Fame in 2006.

Pictured above are four members of the Wall of Fame. 

Left to right are Ron Gonder, Bob Brooks, George Wine and Ron Maly. 

Wine was Iowa's sports information director for a quarter-century, and is now deceased.  

The photo was taken in 2011 or so after we had lunch at the Iowa Athletic Club in Iowa City.

Those were the days, my friend. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brooksie, It Was a Pleasure Knowing You and Working With You


Bob Brooks and I went way back.

Way back to the middle of the previous
Bob Brooks
century, that is.

It was in the 1940s and 1950s that I recall the man a lot of us referred to as Brooksie broadcasting football, basketball and baseball games on the radio in Cedar Rapids.

Brooksie was quite the sportscaster.

And quite the man.

I mean, Brooksie was doing games on the radio even before he was awarded his degree from the journalism school at the University of Iowa in 1948.

And he never quit.

Retirement was not in the man's vocabulary.

The only thing that took Brooksie away from the microphone was death.

He died Saturday at 89, and I'll miss him a lot.

Bob Brooks and I sat in press boxes at Iowa City and many other places around the nation for a lot of years.

He'd carry a big tape recorder and talked into a microphone.

I carried a portable typewriter, then later a small computer and wrote abut the games.

Those were fun times.

I mean, really fun.

A guy called me today and said he thought it was a mistake that Brooks never retired.

"I disagree," I said. "Sports were Brooksie's life, and he wanted to attend every Hawkeye game and every Hawkeye press conference right up to the minute he died. He went out  happy."

Brooks and I were among the 20 charter members of the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium media Wall of Fame.

I talked to Brooksie a lot, both inside and outside of stadiums and arenas.

We'd have lunches in Iowa City, lunches in Cedar Rapids.

Brooks was everyone's friend.

I referred to Brooksie a number of times in my three [a first edition and two updated versions]  "Tales from the Iowa Sidelines"  books that chronicled the long, rich tradition of Hawkeye football. 

One was in a segment titled The Young Bob Brooks:

In 1939, Bob Brooks was a 13-year-old student at Franklin Junior High School in Cedar Rapids.

His father Ira was an Iowa sports fan who bacame a season ticket holder in 1939. Young Bob loved tagging along with his parents to Iowa City for Hawkeye games.

This is the same Bob Brooks who would later make his mark in the University of Iowa athletic scene. He became a play-by-play radio broadcaster, did Hawkeye football games for 55 years for Iowa stations and, in 2002,  was presented with the Chris Schenkel Award as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

"I saw my first Iowa game in 1938," Brooks said. "Iowa played Colgate and lost, 14-0."

But then came 1939.. It was coach Eddie Anderson's first season and Nile Kinnicak's last season.

Asked when he could see the magic developing that year, Brooks said, "Well, Iowa beat South Dakota, 41-0, in the opener and nobody knew who Nile Kinnick was, to speak of. Then the game that kiind of got things rolling was the next one against Indiana, which Iowa won, 32-29.

Erwin Prasse, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Kinnick against the Hoosiers said it was so hot "that it seemed like 100 degrees in the shade.I lost 18 pounds that day, and Kinnick lost 12."

Iowa football was still not a big hit. Only 20,000 fans were in the stadium, but the Hawkeyes were fashioning a personality. They passed up what likely would have been a tying field goal to go for the critical touchdown against Indiana. People liked that. 

"I had one foot in the end zone and one foot out of the end zone," Prasse said of the winning play. "But the pass counted."

Brooks said he saw most of Iowa's home games in 1939 as a member of the Knothole Club.

"Kids got in for 25 cents for the season, and that enabled us to stand or sit in the end zone," said Brooks, who added that those in the end zone would jump the fence and go into the grandstand.

Brooks talked of the two big national headline-makers on Iowa's schedule--the successive home games against Notre Dame and Minnesota.

"What I remember about the Notre Dame game is that I thought I probably wouldn't see it," he commented. 

"All of a sudden, it was evident that the Iowa athletic department was going to sell out the game.

"So the kids' Knothole Club was canceled. My parents had two tickets to the game, but I didn't have one. I believe tickets then cost $5, and I remember sitting around the evening dinner table at home when the subject came up as to how I was going to get a ticket to the game. I didn't have $5.

"So I finally contracted with a neighbor to mow his lawn for the next year to get my five bucks."

Brooks said the Knothole Club was restored for the Nov. 18 game against Minnesota, a team that had beaten Iowa eight consecutive times. But the stadium was so jammed that it could out without selling discount tickets to kids.

"I stood under a sumac tree in the north end zone," Brooks recalled. 

"Bill Green caught the winning touchdown pass from Kinnick, and Iowa won, 13-9.

"Minnesota was a national power, and Bernie Bierman, its coach, was the Bear Bryant of his time. After the game, the field was flooded with fans, and I was down there, too. 

"I watched Bierman come off the field. I thought, by the look on his face, that the bricks in the stadium were going to crack. He was boiling mad."

I also have done a lot of writing about Brooks  on the Internet over the years.

Here's one segment, when Brooksie was a mere 80 years of age:

It's not true that Bob Brooks broadcast the first Iowa football game that was played in 1889.

But he might have been the student manager on that team.

Just kidding.

Brooksie did see the 1939 Ironmen play when he was a kid, and he says he attended his first Iowa press day in 1943.

"Slip Madigan was the coach then, followed by Clem Crowe," Brooksie said. "For press day, we met under a tree on the practice field. It was a beautiful tree and we had a lot of shade.

"We solved the world's problems and we talked a lot of football."

Rest in peace, Brooksie. 

Like I wrote earlier in this column,  I'll miss you a lot.