Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger Evokes Nostalgia for a Bygone Era in Professional Sports

Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger Evokes Nostalgia for a Bygone Era in Professional Sports

When my brother Mark announced his plan to take us to see Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger, I had no idea what to expect. Although a lifelong Eagles fan, my earliest memories of the team begin in the 1970’s with players like Tom Dempsey, Harold Carmichael, and Roman Gabriel…when the Dallas Cowboys ruled and loyal fans suffered through consecutive losing seasons until Dick Vermeil came along and turned the Eagles into winners, beginning with the 1978-79 season. The one characterized by the Miracle at the Meadowlands, culminating in a 9-7 record. Winners!

I had heard about older players and the 1960 championship from my parents and brothers, but it didn’t mean much to me until I attended Didinger’s one-act play, featuring just four excellent actors. Performed at Theatre Exile, it tells the uplifting and heart-warming story of a Philly boy (Didinger) who loved his Philadelphia Eagles, and in particular, his idol Tommy McDonald. Their personal relationship begins one summer day in Hershey, during the Didinger family’s annual Eagles training camp vacation, when after patiently waiting outside the locker room for an autograph, young Ray meets his favorite Eagle. Tommy McDonald graciously engages the boy in conversation and asks him to hold his helmet as they walk together toward the field. It’s the start of a lifelong connection, though McDonald won’t realize it until decades later.

We follow Ray through his career as a Philly sportswriter and commentator, which reunites him with McDonald in the 1980’s and culminates in McDonald at last being inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1998. At the end of the performance, I learned something new about my own family when my dad raised his hand during the Q & A to tell the story of how he took care of McDonald when he was a resident doctor at Misericordia Hospital in West Philly.

More than anything, Tommy and Me made me nostalgic for the days when professional athletes were connected to their fans and played mostly for the love of the game. What a refreshing tribute to a bygone era in professional sports. Many thanks to the cast, writers, and crew for the fun, interactive conversation with the audience at the end of the performance. I’m so thankful I was still “up north” to see it.

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Writestream: Shatter the Narrative on February 10 – UPDATED with Archive

As promised a few months ago, Shatter the Narrative will be a regular monthly feature on Writestream Tuesday in 2015. As culture warriors, one of the best ways we can create positive change is to take on the pervasive, destructive myths deliberately foisted upon our society by the left, with the intention of dismantling and destroying everything good, decent, and unique about American life. If you missed the inaugural broadcast, click here.

On Tuesday, February 10, CLFA members Jack July, James L. Young, Declan Finn, Marina Fontaine and Ms. Always Right will participate in a panel discussion eviscerating the following narratives:

  • Islam is a “Religion of Peace”
  • Gun Control Laws Stop Gun Violence
  • Republican = Conservative
  • “Southerners are Stupid”
  • The only way to achieve “racial equality” is through the State

During the live show, we welcome your calls at (347) 945-7246 and your presence in the chat room. Please be advised that during this particular episode, we’re focused exclusively on the topics above, so if you do call in, keep it relevant to the conversation. Unfortunately, there’s an endless supply of narratives in need of shattering, which is why “Shatter the Narrative” is now a regular, monthly feature. If you have a suggestion for a topic for an upcoming panel, please contact me here.

To listen online, click on this link to Blog Talk Radio Writestream Tuesday: “Shatter the Narrative”. Or to listen by phone, dial (347) 945-7246. We look forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE: Please note that the first narrative has been slightly amended per the suggestion of the mysterious and alluring Ms. Always Right, with the consent of the rest of the panel.

UPDATE 2: Missed the live episode? Click to listen. Many thanks to the panel and my producer, Snappperhead!

Check Out Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio
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Happy Anniversary CLFA!

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Just over a year ago, my friend and fabulous writer/author Jamie Wilson added me to a new Facebook group –  Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. And I am so thankful she did because I’ve not only developed wonderful friendships but also discovered a wealth of creative talent to interview on Writestream Tuesday. Eventually, my involvement in the CLFA led to a great new segment in the show’s second hour – Right Wing Riot – Public Service Satire featuring Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right, and The Prince of Whitebread.

And on Tuesday, December 16, I’ll welcome one of CLFA’s founders, Marina Fontaine, to the program to share her thoughts about the CLFA’s  purpose, growth, and goals for 2015. We’ll also delve into universal challenges facing independent authors like choosing the right platform for you book, managing expectations, and using social media for success. Other topics to be discussed include how to write an honest but constructively critical review for fellow indy authors, and how CLFA members manage to remain friends even when passionate thread topics become….well, passionate.

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During the live show, we may even add to some of the gift-giving suggestions from the December 2 episode and welcome calls from CLFA members and Writestream listeners at (347) 945-7246.  After the first hour, stay tuned for the Right Wing Riot with Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right, and The Prince of Whitebread!

To listen via computer, click on this link to Blog Talk Radio, Writestream Tuesday: Happy Anniversary CLFA! Or to listen by phone, dial (347) 945-7246.

 

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Writestream Tuesday: Shatter the Narrative

WritestreamLogo-800x533Are you a creative person/writer/reader who loves liberty? Are you tired of the false, pervasive narratives used in pop culture and the media to constantly deride, mock, and repudiate the United States and patriotic Americans?

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If you’ve had it with this nonsense, we invite you to listen to our special “Shatter the Narrative” show on Tuesday, November 18 with talented, patriotic authors Sarah Hoyt, Marina Fontaine, Tom Knighton, Declan Finn, and Daniella Bova. Moderated by Writestream founder Dariaanne, the panel will gleefully shatter the following narratives:

  1. The myth of the American suburbs as soulless, horrible places to live;
  2. The myth of European intellectual and cultural superiority over Americans;
  3. The myth of constitutional conservatives as dour, humorless people;
  4. The glamorization of mass murdering revolutionaries like Che Guevara and the romanticizing of brutal political ideologies like communism.

During the live show, we invite you to call in with your comments at (347) 945-7246. After the panel, be sure to stay tuned for the Right Wing Riot with the Luminaries of Liberty: Ms. Always Right, Scary Smart, and The Prince of Whitebread!

RWR_logo_350x300To listen online, click on this link to Writestream Tuesday: Shatter the Narrative. Or you can call (347) 945-7246 to listen by phone (press 1 if you would like to ask a question or make a comment on the air).

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See you on Tuesday, November 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern for Writestream Tuesday: Shatter the Narrative!

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