Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Elephant Bar is where dreams went to die were they to have known they were dreams in the first place

RIP Elephant Bar. We will miss that dry heave-inducing Kona Kooler and Chicken Lettuce Wraps combo over a post-work drink lament on a Tuesday. By Andrew J. Pridgen I was fortunate enough to call Concord my work home for three years early in my career. As a community reporter for the Contra Costa Times, my beats were Martinez, Walnut Creek...

Listening to Vin Scully call his final innings was truly heaven on Earth

Thank you Vin for blessing us with your 67 years in the booth. By Andrew J. Pridgen Vin Scully makes no bones about his faith in God and man...with baseball somewhere there in the middle. He came to the end of his 67-year career in San Francisco Sunday, calling the final game for his beloved Dodgers against the Giants, the team he...

Arnold Palmer and the Past Perfect

The course will be left alone to rot and deal with the wind off the shoreline and the fiery waves crashing against the rocks. An errant scrap of paper will blow by like a tumbleweed to remind the sky above that we were once here. The King, it can be said, is dead. By Andrew J. Pridgen There is a...

Jose Fernandez is the embodiment of a spirit we seem to have lost

"I think that what makes a player good is not out there on the field, it's who he is as a person. I know where I came from, and I know what I want." — Jose Fernandez, age 20 upon receiving 2013 National League Rookie of the Year honors. By Andrew J. Pridgen Jose Fernandez isn’t just special in memory. He is...

For Tanya

Mother, survivor, teacher, community activist, writer and editor Tanya Canino passed away on Friday, Sept. 9. She was 55. By Andrew J. Pridgen It was no secret that Tanya Canino and I didn’t share the same newsroom philosophy. Also, she took my job. So, yeah, we had kind of a rough start. For most of 2007, I was interim editor of...

Fifteen years on

I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue. Once you've fallen from classical virtue. Won't have a soul to wake up and hold you. — Rufus Wainwright By Andrew J. Pridgen Paul’s sister was a buyer for Bergdorf Goodman. On the morning of September 11, 2001, she was on her way to work and her brother was already at his desk. She...

Gene Wilder wasn’t funny which is what made him hilarious

Gene Wilder died on Sunday night at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83. By Andrew J. Pridgen Funny never dies. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I heard of Gene Wilder’s death on Monday. Some things are eternal and as long as there’s memes and late-night cable, there will always be room in this world for...

Why yes, I can TOTALLY believe your kid is in fourth grade this year

What I can’t believe is why school starts in the effing middle of summer. By Andrew J. Pridgen I know you can’t, but I can totally believe your kid is in fourth grade this year. And I know you JUST GOT OVER the disbelief that they were in third grade this time last year… like maybe only recently accepted it —...

Bronzed and Bloodied: U.S. Tennis Suprises in Rio

Who we put on the podium in Rio wasn't who we thought ...but maybe exactly who we needed. (in other words, we'll take that mixed-doubles gold!) Written by Kyle Magin These weren’t the Americans you expected in Rio. The 2016 Stars and Stripes tennis contingent looked like star(s) and scrubs on paper. We sent our best--maybe the best ever--in World No. 1 Serena...

Kristin Armstrong – An Olympian for the Rest of Us

"For all the moms out there, I hope that this was a very inspiring day.” By Andrew J. Pridgen Today’s Olympics are about busting athletes out of the shrink wrap every four years, admiring them, cheering for them and then, when the studio lights dim and it is convenient to do so, moving on from them. There is Michael Phelps, the ageless,...