Holy Grail # 6–Poker Games & Particle Board

We played a lot poker in college. The games were penny ante because none of us had much money. Dealers choice. Usually 5-card draw or 7-card stud. Occasionally someone would throw in a game of 5-card stud or bankroll a round of blackjack. We usually started right after dinner, consumed lots of beer and continued until well past midnight. Typically everybody won or lost $5-$10. Many poker games took place at the Sigma Nu house.

Normal Street Poker

I lived at 600 E. Normal during my first senior year. I shared this 3 bedroom, 1 bath place house with three roommates. It had all the essentials: dart board, round dining room table perfect for poker games and of course a stereo. One of my roommates was Rick Simpson. He had an awesome stereo. Between us we had two receivers, two turntables, two cassette decks, and four speakers. He had a top-of-the-line Pioneer SX-1250 receiver with JBL speakers.

Because we had no money we constructed a stereo cabinet of cinderblocks and particleboard. The bottom layer consisted of six cinderblocks, two on each end and two in the middle. Two 8″ x 8′ particle boards formed the top. We stored our albums in melon crates.  These fit perfectly in the 36″w x 16″h x 16″d spaces between the cinderblocks.

Layer two held the receiver in a 30″w x 8″h x 16″d slot. Once again, this was constructed with cinderblocks and topped with particleboard. Two cassette decks between three cinderblocks made level three. Finally,  we put my turntable (a direct drive Hitachi model) on top.

Poker Down on the Farm

One of my fraternity brothers, Mike Haldeman lived in a small farmhouse on the outskirts of Springfield. Situated on a few acres, this humble abode was located off Battlefield rd. a few miles east of Glenstone. In sharp contrast to my particleboard and cinderblock furniture, his house was full of antiques.

In addition to being a savvy antiques buyer Haldeman was a skilled poker player. Occasionally we would hunt rabbits during the day and play poker at night.

Mike was a huge Neil Young fan. Every time I hear Neil Young songs I am transformed back to those days.

Decade is a compilation album by Canadian musician Neil Young, originally released in 1977 as a triple album, now available on two compact discs. It contains 35 of Young’s songs recorded between 1966 and 1976, among them five tracks that had been unreleased up to that point. It peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in 1986.

Coming Soon – Reading The Good Book

More details coming next weekend. You can purchase The Good Book through Amazon by clicking here

Long Road Out of Eden: Eagles Final Chapter

I watched the excellent documentary “History of the Eagles” for the second time this week. Originally released in 2013 it is now available on Netflix. The documentary is an official account of the history of the band.

The documentary is divided into two parts. The first part is around two hours long and covers the early period to their breakup. The second part is about one hour long and covers the subsequent periods. The documentary combined archive footage of the band with interviews with all the band members. Additionally other people involved in the band’s history or who knew them were interviewed. Included were  Kenny Rogers, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, J. D. Souther, David Geffen, and Stevie Nicks. In the DVD release, a further third disc with songs from the band’s concert at the Capital Centre in March 1977 is included.

Part One : Eagles Beginning Through Breakup

Part one of the documentary traces the beginning of the band to the breakup in 1980. It chronicles the early life of band members and the founding of the band. Next it discusses the making of their albums and their rise to success. Finally we hear about the subsequent conflicts between band members, concluding with the break up of the band.

Part Two: After Break Up

Part two of the documentary begins with the period following the breakup. It begins with brief accounts of the careers of individual members of the band and the reunion of the band in 1994. Finally the documentary follows the 1990s and 21st century phases of the Eagles. It shows that Frey was resistant to the idea of a reunion until they joined Travis Tritt for the making of the video of his cover of “Take It Easy“. Continuing with their successful tours, the dispute with Don Felder and the period after his dismissal. It concludes with the band members looking back assessing their actions and career, with contributions from other people who knew them.

Long Road Out of Eden

Long Road Out of Eden is the seventh studio album by American rock band the Eagles, released in 2007 on Lost Highway Records. Nearly six years in production, it is the band’s first studio album since 1979’s The Long Run. In between that time the band recorded four original studio tracks for the live album Hell Freezes Over (1994), “Hole in the World” for The Very Best Of(2003) and the Joe Walsh-penned “One Day at a Time” for the Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne DVD (2005), which Walsh later re-recorded for his 2012 album Analog Man.

It is the band’s first album released following the dismissal of Don Felder in 2001 as well as their final album with Glenn Frey before his death in 2016.


Royal Wedding Musical Moments

I watched the Royal Wedding a few days later. I wasn’t going to get up at 3:30 to watch it. However, I am fascinated by British history and this was history in the making. I had seen Megan Markle before. She plays Rachel Zane on the USA network TV series Suits. Suits is a binge–worthy series available on Amazon prime

One of the most memorable moments of the ceremony was the address delivered by Rev. Michael Bruce Curry from Chicago. Curry, the head of the Episcopal Church, spoke passionately about the power of love.  At one point he quoted
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world,” he said. “Love is the only way. There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.”

Royal Wedding Music

The music chosen by the Royal couple was a mix of classical as well as modern music. Megan walked down the aisle to “Eternal source of light divine” by George Frideric Handel.

If Ye Love Me” is a four-part motet or anthem by the English composer Thomas Tallis, a setting of a passage from the Gospel of John. First published in 1565, it is an example of Tudor music and is part of the repertoire of Anglican church music.

The Lord bless you and keep you is a blessing and benediction. A new setting for choir and organ was published in 1981 by John Rutter, setting the blessing with an extended “Amen”

Stand by Me” is a song, originally performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King, and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. According to King, the title is derived from, and was inspired by, a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and J. W. Alexander called “Stand by Me Father,” recorded by the Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor singing lead. The third line of the second verse of the former work derives from Psalm 46:2c/3c.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason (born 1999) is a British cellist who won the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year award. He was the first black musician to win the award since its launch 38 years earlier.

Music with a dash of trivia