Thursday, April 30, 2015

Harold Yeglin Still Going Strong As He Approaches 90


It was a muggy July night in 1959.

There was still a train that carried passengers from Albert Lea, MN, to downtown Des
Train station in Albert Lea, MN
Moines in those days, and I took it one

Saturday to interview for a job on the sports copy desk at the paper.

At the time, I was sports editor of the Albert Lea Tribune.  

Leighton Housh, then the executive sports editor of the paper here, wanted to interview me for a copy editor/bowling columnist job that soon would be open.

Part of the interview process was to work a night on the desk to see what editing sports stories for a metropolitan paper was all about.

After finishing my interview with Housh, who pretty much ran the day-to-day operations of a department headed by legendary sports editor Sec Taylor, I started my 8-hour shift on the copy desk.

Seasoned veterans like Howard Kluender  [also known sometimes as Elmo, other times as  Big Stoop], Buck Turnbull, Harold Yeglin, Bill Holden and Ed Alsene were among those working that night.
Eyeshade worn by some copy editors

Sports news editor Bob Price was on vacation, so Elmo was filling in for him. 

The job that soon would be open was the one belonging to Alsene, who wrote bowling columns in addition to his sports copy desk responsibilities. 

A day or so after returning to Albert Lea, Housh called me to say I was hired.  He also mailed me a paycheck for the 8 hours I spent on the copy desk that Saturday night.

Class guy, Leighton Housh.

I not only was awarded Alsene's copy editing job, but also his bowling columnist responsibilities, even though I knew virtually nothing about bowling and threw lots of gutter balls whenever I tried my luck at the game.

With that background, I covered the 62-day national American Bowling Congress tournament at Veterans Memorial Auditorium  for the paper a couple of years later, and won several awards for my writing--including a TV and a set of outdoor furniture.

Some of the people who oversaw what I did on the sports copy desk that Saturday night scattered.

Some are no longer living.

Buck Turnbull still lives in Des Moines, and I talk to him and email him frequently.

Harold Yeglin lives in Virginia, and we correspond, too.

Indeed, I heard from him a few days ago. Here's his email:

"Hi, Ron Maly!

"Fresh news about Bruce Jenner  brings memories of those good old days  and big headlines in the  Big Peach. when he won the decathlon. I'm wondering how Miss Jenner will go over at Graceland College where, undoubtedly, he's been an all-time athletic hero.

"Hope you and  family are well.  OK here. I'll be 90 in December....25 years since retiring from The Register and  leaving for Roanoke.  Health: Generally OK. I read  USA Today and Wall Street Journal daily at a nearby library -- after visually editing the so-so Roanoke Times. Then there are daily Cubs game via Internet (things are looking up!)  Basketball season  was terrific --  Cyclones,  Hawks, UNI and Virginia on the tube. 

"I visit daughter Sara & family in Atlanta (one-hour flight) 3-4 times a year. She & husband Mark have been at CNN for 25-plus years. My grandkids are girls 10 and 12. Son Kent is engineer at four San Francisco FM stations.

"Ron, all the best to you and family.

 "-- Harold."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS--It was great hearing from Yeglin, and I'm happy he's still going strong as he approaches his 90th birthday. The fact that he's had a long life indicates he survived the rough-and-tumble newspaper business very well.  I'm glad for him [and for Chicago Cubs fans everywhere] that the longtime losers are in the early stages of what could develop into a successful season. Harold is a longtime Cubs follower. In my email to Yeglin, I told him I saw Buck Turnbull's wife, Jay, at a Valley High School basketball game late in the winter, but Buck had the flu and stayed home. I want Yeglin to know that I had lunch with Bill Holden [another member of the paper's sports copy desk in 1959] a number of years ago in Paris. Holden then had a top job with the International Herald Tribune in Paris, and I told him in advance that we were going to be in the beautiful city for a summer visit while traveling through Europe. Bill and I arranged to have lunch. He had become fluent in the French language, and impressed me by ordering our food in French when the waiter arrived.  Like I said, people on that copy desk nearly 56 years ago have scattered.  A few have died.  I think I recall Mike Gartner being a summer sports department parttimer in 1959. Despite many assorted problems, rumor has it  he is still alive. Gartner might have had early stages of little man's disease in 1959 [I guess it more properly could have then been called little boy's disease], and he now shows signs of having the end-stage version of little man's disease. But I've got more important things to do on a very pleasant Thursday afternoon than write about Gartner and Bruce Jenner [whom Yeglin referred to as Miss Jenner in his email to me].  I  hope Jenner, who obtained a degree in physical education from Graceland College [now called Graceland University] in Lamoni, IA, in 1973, somehow finds peace one of these days. He was a gold medalist in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. We all thought he then was a  man, but he now says he is a woman. Oh, well.  I'll touch base with you  later.]
[Photos courtesy of Google.] 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Cheapest Exercise God Blessed Us With


Occasionally when My Neighbor Al, the Health Nut comes over for a cup of Italian Dark Roast,  we zero in on the subject of walking. 

Walking Shoes
Al keeps a close watch on his vascular system, so he's become a bigtime walker. 

I try to do plenty of walking, too. 

Consequently, our discussions about the cheapest exercise God blessed us with are very easy to get into.  

That said, I ran into some information recently on my computer put together by my friends at the Cleveland Clinic that had to do with walking. 

The story said that people who walk regularly swear by the health and psychological benefits of the activity. 

Five major benefits of walking are:


1. Walking reduces stress, cheers you up and increases self-esteem.

2. You can lose weight by walking just 30 minutes a day.


3. Regular walking lowers blood pressure, improves sleep and energizes you.

4. Walks can be easier and more fun with a pedometer and a pal.

5. People experience a major dip in snack cravings during and after a 15-minute walk.

After reading the list of walking's benefits, Al said that maybe I should forward them to Daniel P. Finney, the mean-spirited and  miserable 562-pounder in the newsroom at the paper.

"That poor guy is flirting with an early death,  and he sure as hell needs to improve his self-esteem ," Al said.  "He hates everyone, including himself.

"I agree, but I'll let you forward the list to Finney," I told Al.  "I already donate to plenty of charities."

Friday, April 24, 2015

How To Thrill Drake Relays Officials

I can imagine how thrilled [I'm being facetious] Drake Relays officials were to see a story buried at the bottom of page 14A [below and next to the obituaries] in today's paper that was  headlined Drake-area grocery store robbed twice on Thursday

A number of people would like to know why the paper's editors had to make sure the store was identified as 'Drake-area grocery store' in the headline on the first big day of the Drake Relays  

This, of course, was done in the same week that the paper published a ridiculous 1 1/2-page text-and-photo layout of four bars in the Drake area  where Drake Relays fans can raise their blood-alcohol levels sky-high between competition on and around the blue oval this weekend.  

Absolutely fantastic news judgement. 

[Again, being facetious.]

Somebody Wake Up This Guy Already

Chad Leistikow, who supposedly is being paid to cover the Iowa football team for newspapers in Des Moines and Iowa City, must be either hopelessly asleep or at least half-asleep. 

quoted a Hawkeye assistant coach this week as saying the team "didn't show up" for its Jan. 2 loss to Tennessee in something called the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. 

Hell, people who watched the game in person or on TV knew 10 minutes after the kickoff that the Hawkeyes were no-shows. 

Strange that it took a reporter who likely turned in an expense account for transportation, food and lodging after making the trip to Florida nearly 4 months to realize Iowa wasn't emotionally prepared for its 45-28 loss to Tennessee.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

38 Years Ago At the Drake Relays


It was 38 years ago that award-winning photographer Bob Modersohn and I had a tremendously interesting weekend at the Drake Relays.
Bob Modersohn

Both of us were working at the paper then, and we cooked up an idea that turned out to be a winner for everyone.

Here's how Modersohn, who has been using his Facebook page to re-live some of his newspaper career, explained it on his social media outlet:

RESTROOM CHANGING ROOM - From Drake Relays, 1977, Al Feuerbach from Preston in NE Iowa, and Mac Wilkins a native Oregonian, change clothes in the men's room at then Des Moines Municipal Airport after competing in a special shot put event. Of course these photos were NOT published. Then-Des Moines Register reporter Ron Maly and I followed the two world-class weight event athletes through their time at the Relays for a special newsside feature for the Sunday paper. When they were done competing, we followed them in a special police-escorted shuttle to the airport. They were flying to San Jose, CA, to compete in another track meet that afternoon. The guy in the business suit drying his hands, talking to Wilkins asked, "What team do you play for?" Like, which football team. Wilkins, humble as can be, responded, "Oh, no, we're track and field athletes." The truth was, Wilkins was the defending Olympic Gold Medal winner in the discus. The year before he'd broken the World Record in that event four times, three times in one day! — on consecutive throws! Feuerbach, whom they say was 6 feet tall, and 265 pounds, didn't look nearly that big. He threw with his legs as much as his arms — and with speed. He broke a 7-year-old shot put world record in 1973 with a distance of 71' 7". Only weeks later, competing in Olympic-style weight lifting, he finished second in the heavyweight division at the U.S. weightlifting championships. On this Relays Saturday, though, it was Wilkins who won the special shot put event.

Here are the photos to which Modersohn was referring:
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  • After seeing the pictures and reading what Modersohn wrote, I posted  this Facebook comment to him:

    Ronald Wesley Maly 1977? Has it been that long ago, Bob? I remember the day well. Outstanding work by you.

    Modersohn's response:

    Bob Modersohn Yep, that's the year, Ron. Since the track meet was in town, we couldn't have breakfast on the Register. You know, "primo hashbrowns" from Boswell's at MLK (then Harding Road) and Forest Ave., like we did before driving to AK-SAR-BEN in Omaha for a Picture Magazine story. 

    Ah, yes, those trips to the Ak-Sar-Ben horse track for stories. And, like Modersohn mentioned, the breakfasts at the old Boswell's restaurant in Des Moines before the trips. My next comment to him was:

    Ronald Wesley Maly If your basketball still has any air in it, there are a couple of outdoor courts at schools along highway 6 where we can shoot a game of h-o-r-s-e. I think the nets might be gone on the baskets, though. Things have been tough economically along highway 6. By the way, if your basketball is out of air, we can always get a cheap tire pump at a Walmart on the way west. Now you've got me thinking about those [tremendous primo] hashbrowns at Boswell's. The buckwheat pancakes, too.

    Bob Modersohn I remember those games of horse, Ron. Fun times.

    Indeed, they were fun. How time flies when you're having fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shameful, Indeed


People who plan what goes into the paper are pretty much turning this week's pages over to the Drake Relays, and that's a good thing.

Old Main at Drake. Courtesy of

Everyone knows, or should know by now, that the paper long ago ceased being what it was originally supposed to be--a vehicle to deliver news.

The paper now is basically the sponsor of and headquarters for a week-long summer bicycle ride, and has become the house organ for various Iowa endeavors. 

As far as I'm concerned, the Drake Relays might as well take its turn on that goofy merry-go-round. 

It could be the alternative, of course. 

Like in the fall and winter, when news of Drake's football and basketball teams is largely ignored by the paper.

Stories about Bulldog football and basketball teams [written by Drake's sports information staff, not by anyone from the paper] can only be found buried near the agate type on page 4 or 5 of the sports section.

The only people who can find or read those stories are folks who carry magnifying glasses in their pockets and purses.

Stories about Drake cross country, soccer, volleyball, softball, rowing,  tennis and golf are nowhere to be found. 

Rarely is there even a score in the paper when those athletes compete.

Shameful, indeed.

But leave it to the jackasses at the paper to make sure they turned today's flimsy Section E over to the bar scene in the Drake area--thinking it adds to the pre-Relays coverage.

I mean, what would Relays Week be without  two pages of garbage in the paper about where to get shit-faced on beer and other alcoholic beverages before, during and after supposedly well-conditioned athletes compete on and around the nearby blue track in Drake Stadium?  

The paper continues to be at least three centuries behind times in promoting the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is one of the most devastating illnesses known to mankind, but idiots managing and writing for the paper here and elsewhere are clueless about it.

I wrote about it a few days ago, and I'm writing about it now after seeing a ridiculous layout in the paper that features a few run-down dumps that call themselves bars. 

Shameful, indeed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Headed for a Quick Death


That wasn't exactly a dynamite debut of the 16-page tabloid-style
Meet the Doctors Edition in Sunday's paper. There were seven stories in it--none written by a staff writer from the paper, or even a local freelancer. All were written by writers from the Associated Press. The clueless paper is obviously hoping to capitalize on advertising from the medical field for the tabloid, but my guess is that the Meet the Doctors Edition will die a quick death--like so many other things there. I guess I couldn't have expected anything more. Hell, the paper's health section--the worst I've ever seen in a metropolitan paper--is written by freelancers who have their applications on file for weekend jobs at Kum & Go.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Joe Maddon, Kris Bryant, Now Addison Russell


What a Monday for the Cubs. Kris Bryant's 3 hits and 3 runs-batted-in spur a 5-2 victory over the Pirates, and Addison Russell gets a one-way ticket out of Des Moines to the Big Show. Russell is supposed to be
Addison Russell
the best shortstop in the Chicago system, but he'll have to be patient at second base until Theo Epstein finds some sucker of a team to take Starlin Castro, who doesn't hustle and has a habit of swinging at bad pitches,  off his hands. Russell will join the Cubs for tonight's game at Pittsburgh. Joe Maddon and his boys are two games over .500.  Life can't get much better in April for Chicago fans. Even though he's been 6 feet under for a long time, Harry Caray must be enjoying this.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Far Too Much Writing About Alcohol In the Paper


My Neighbor Al, the Health Nut, came over for a cup of Italian Dark Roast this morning. 

One of the things he was wondering about was why there are so many stories in the paper about Iowa breweries, beer-drinking and general alcohol consumption in homes and  restaurants.
Illustration courtesy of Andrei Lacatusu of Bucharest

"You'd think people at the paper would want to promote healthy living in our state, not alcoholism," Al said.  

"I'm with you, Al," I commented. "I know for a fact that a large number of people who work at newspapers are heavy drinkers. 

'They've been that way since they went to journalism school, and never came to their senses. 

'Foolishly, they think newspaper readers are interested in drinking, too. 

'Those people who write about drinking drive away readers, not attract them.  

"Most papers have more than its share of alcoholics.  

"And, don't forget, lots of reporters and editors drink heavily these days because they're afraid of losing their jobs in a business that's become a dead-end street  on the way to the graveyard."

Then Al--always interested in promoting good health--said he also wanted to talk about the horrible eating habits of people at the paper. 

"Specifically, I mean Daniel P. Finney, that ridiculous 562-pound reporter who is an embarrassment to journalism and the entire state of Iowa," he said.

"He's the jackoff who needs to be loaded into a Mayflower moving van instead of the company car whenever he has to go out on assignment.  

"I'm sure you know him well because you once wrote that he's famous for elbowing his way into the front of the line at every all-you-can-eat buffet in town."  

"Al, I know who you're talking about, but this is Saturday, and I've got things to do," I said. 

"That circus clown you're referring to is a half-dozen or so massive coronaries and/or congestive heart failure attacks waiting to happen. 

"That miserable guy is in such rotten health that, even if he wanted to donate his body to science,  it would be rejected. 

"If you don't mind, Al, he's a column and a discussion for another day."

What would a rainy Saturday in Des Moines be without another Kris Bryant update? The rookie third baseman, who struck out three times Friday in his Chicago Cubs debut, singled twice and walked three times today in his second game. Bryant also made one error, but he didn't come to the bigs to show off his fielding ability. Bryant's Cubs won, 7-6, in 11 innings--after which the rookie declined to speak with reporters. No doubt on the advice of his agent. So it goes these days with professional athletes who already have, or soon will have, multi-million dollar contracts.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hoiberg Will Undergo Heart Surgery At Mayo Clinic

Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg said today he will undergo  heart surgery to replace his aortic valve April 17 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  “After my initial surgery
to replace my aortic root 10 years ago, I knew that this was something that would need to be done at some point,” Hoiberg said in an announcement from the school. “My valve has severe regurgitation and the time has come to get it replaced. I am hopeful that this will be my last surgery and I’m looking forward to getting this behind me.” Hoiberg, who has coached the Cyclones for five seasons, has led the team to a school-record four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and  a 115-56 record.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Face It, the Best Team [Tonight Anyway] Won


Sad to say, despite what Wisconsin and Big Ten Conference basketball fans want to admit, the best team won the NCAA championship tonight. 

Duke definitely outplayed the Badgers at crunch time, and deserved its 68-63 victory. 

Wisconsin's Bo Ryan is an outstanding recruiter and coach, and his team was the class of the Big Ten in this 2014-2015 season, but--when it mattered most--Duke had the answers for what Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and the other Badgers did.

Wisconsin surged to a 9-point lead in the last half, but--just as sure as we all knew Mary Kaminsky, Frank's mother--would be shown in the crowd wearing her red Wisconsin basketball jersey by the CBS-TV cameras several times throughout the game--Duke's young team roared back. 

Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski knows what coaching in--and winning--the championship game is all about. 
Mary Kaminsky and her son, Frank

It was his fifth title with the team a lot of America loves to hate. 

I've been on the scene in plenty of arenas throughout America for the Final Four, and I've watched many others via electronic means. 

Tonight's championship game was one of the best I've seen. 

It was a true classic. 

In this age of 24/7 news, here's what Wisconsin's Sam Dekker wrote on Twitter a few minutes ago:

My apologies for a disappointing end to the year, but thank you to all of Badger Nation. Very proud to be a part of this. All love.

That's class stuff.

Sad, but nonetheless classy.

It's too bad Bo Ryan didn't show a little more class.

The Wisconsin coach thought the officials cost his team the championship. 

As far as I'm concerned, Duke and Wisconsin were two superb teams, and the Blue Devils were the best when it mattered most in Indianapolis.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Huge Difference In 2 Of the Best Basketball Coaches In Missouri Valley Conference History: Drake's Maury John Couldn't Get His Bosses To Get Him a 'Loaner' Car for Recruiting Purposes In the 1960s and 1970s, But Wichita State's Gregg Marshall Is Now Being Paid $3.3 Million a Year. And I'll Bet There's a Car--Who Knows, Maybe a Limousine--Included In the Deal, Too


The way I figure it, Maury John is rolling over in his grave on this one. 

Gregg Marshall

I knew a lot about John's frustrations when he was taking Drake to the NCAA basketball Final Four in 1969, and two straight NCAA Elite Eights after that. 

Although he was one of the best collegiate coaches in America, he was also one of the lowest-paid. 

Sad to say, Drake took him for granted.

Drake officials wouldn't even provide him with a "loaner" car for recruiting purposes. 

Finally, after doing his brilliant recruiting and coaching at Drake, Iowa State stole him away to be the first Cyclone coach in then-new Hilton Coliseum.  

Death from cancer at 54 years of age in 1974 ended John's life far too soon.

In his seasons at Drake, Wichita State was one of the Bulldogs' biggest rivals. 

Now Wichita State has its own version of Maury John. 

His name is Gregg Marshall, who has taken the Shockers to four consecutive NCAA tournaments [including one Final Four]. 

Every year after Wichita State is eliminated from the Big Dance, Marshall is rumored to be going to a job at a higher-profile university. 

Lately, he's been the hot ticket to fill vacancies at either Alabama and Texas. 
Maury John

Forget it. 

Marshall is staying put.

He knows how to play the game. 

Interview for other jobs. Receive huge offers. Inform your bosses. Get a massive raise. Stay in your present job.

Multiple sources say the 52-year-old coach has agreed to a seven-year extension at Wichita State, at a whopping $3.3 million per year. 

I'll bet a loaner car is part of the deal, too. 

Who knows, maybe Marshall is getting more than a car. 

A limousine maybe. Possibly the use of an airplane.

Like I said, Maury John is no doubt rolling over in his grave.

Iowa's Jake Rudock Transferring To Michigan

Former Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock is transferring to Michigan for the upcoming football season, according to numerous sources that include Fox Sports.  A key f
Jake Rudock
actor in Rudock's transfer is that Iowa declined to deny him a release to its Big Ten rivals. The Hawkeyes and Wolverines don't play in the upcoming season, although there is remote chance the teams could meet in the Big Ten championship game. Rudock was Iowa's starting quarterback for two seasons, but C. J. Beathard was named to the No. 1 job following the Hawkeyes' 2014 bowl loss. Rudock's competition for the starting job at Michigan will be junior Shane Morris, redshirt freshman Wilton Speight and freshman Alex Malzone.