Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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...

Merle knew what it’s like to walk the Streets of Bakersfield. As it turns out, you might too

Oildale's favorite son Merle Haggard, country's only true believer and a man who made something out of dirt, died on his birthday April 6. He was 79. By Andrew J. Pridgen I recall with relative clarity one languid spring Friday afternoon scene at Robert’s Western World in Nashville listening to third-tier honky-tonk acts reverb off of our half-empty cans of Coors...

Serena Williams is the Sting of tennis…and that’s a good thing

How many more decades do Serena and Sting have to toil and dominate before we stop treating them like the belt loop for which society hangs its mobile device and start giving them their due as today's GOATs? By Andrew Pridgen It’s like there should be three 30 for 30 documentaries about Serena Williams. One for each generation of tennis she’s...

Go get that ring Vernon

That crosswind you feel tickling your neck isn’t the shrill first breath of winter, it’s an exhale of exaltation from a man who was taken from his career depths up to a mile-high-and-beyond season of possibility. That man’s name is Vernon Davis.   By Andrew Pridgen As a former 49er faithful, I can’t wait for Vernon Davis to maul the Lombardi...

Barry Bonds: Real-life misanthrope and social media genius

How did the most hated man in all of sport become the happiest guy on the internet? By Andrew Pridgen Barry Bonds has always been known for a kind of calculated obtuseness. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, when he came to prominence as the greatest hitter of his generation and arguably, all time, the media both in the Bay Area—and...

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...

The things we learn from the people who are gone

On May 29, 2011 in the Wardak province of Afghanistan, CPT Joseph W. Schultz’s humvee led a convoy in the central eastern part of the country. A roadside bomb detonated when his vehicle was in range and Joe, along with Staff Sergeant Martin Apolinar and Sergeant Aaron Blasjo, died instantly. By Andrew J. Pridgen Joe Schultz left this earth not by...

To Paul on your 40th

Every year for his birthday, I write a note to my buddy Paul K. Sloan. Paul died on the 89th floor of the South Tower, World Trade Center on 9/11/01. Usually it’s a pair of letters. The first (uncensored) is hand-written and put in the box. And the second has the good parts taken out and made suitable for...

Ziggy Snider’s no. 1 fan

As Indy 500 prepares for its 100th start Sunday morning, a story about my father and how much he longed to be a part of just one of them. By Andrew J. Pridgen For almost a decade starting in the late-'70s my family lived in Bakersfield. My attorney father was doing oil litigation, and my mother had grown up in...

Scott Weiland was the rock star you thought you could have been

Those who consider themselves knowers of music never paid much attention to Scott Weiland in his prime. His voice, not great. His lyrics, predictable. His moves, borrowed. His career, too long. But now that we’ve lived in the future long enough, we know there was no one better. By Andrew Pridgen Kurt Cobain was too beautiful and broken to be...

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