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World Leasing Yearbook 2005

ISBN:184374 142 3
Pages: 524
Edition: 26th
Directory Contacts: 4,354 Companies

Price: $243.00 (NORMAL PRICE $270.00)
Yearbooks 10% pre-publication discount.
(After January 1, $270.00)

The only annually-updated international reference book for the asset financing and leasing industry available. The new 26th edition includes the latest market trends, over 100 authoritative articles and reports on the leasing software and IT market, an exclusive ranking of the top 50 leasing markets by size worldwide with feature profiles from Africa to Venezuela PLUS a directory of over 4,354 companies.

To order call +44 (0) 20 7779 8999 or toll free in the US +1 800 437 9997 to receive your 10% discount. You can also order on line at
to order online.


Monday, December 13, 2004


Correction: Pennsylvania AG Sues NorVergence/Salzano Brothers
    Classified Ads--- Senior Credit Officer/Senior Management
        Economic Events this Week
The Odd Couple at Main Street National Bank
    Capital Stream/ELA Web Special Tomorrow
        Florida AG Charlie Crist Settlement with Patriot Leasing
News Briefs---
    Sports Briefs---
        California Nuts Brief---
            "Gimme that Wine"
                This Day in American History
                    American Football Poem

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”



Correction: Pennsylvania AG Sues NorVergence/Salzano Brothers

Kit, that's the Pennsylvania AG's office that filed this complaint, not the New Jersey AG.

Karlen J. Reed, Assistant Attorney General
Utilities Division, Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-2200 ext. 2414
Fax: 617-727-1047
e-mail: karlen.reed@ago.state.ma.us

(We thank Karlen Reed. The “on line” headline is now corrected. It was my error. The copy of the report in pdf format on the web site was titled from the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Don't know why I put “NJ AG” in the headline---only excuse, making the headlines is the last part of writing Leasing News and it was late at night. editor)


Sr. Underwriter - Don't Pass This One Up. Key position. Unique opportunity. Requires
5-7 yrs+ small ticket lease underwriting w/both credit assessment & equip valuation expertise. Portsmouth, NH office.
Please send resume to: RHenderson@DirectCapital.com

Direct Capital is a leading provider of financing solutions for businesses, nationwide. Recognized five times as one of NH's top 100 employers and named to the Inc 500, Direct Capital has become known in the industry as an employer of choice…and one of its fastest growing companies.


Classified Ads--- Senior Credit Officer/Senior Management

Here are excellent people with great skills. Many of them want to remain active and will take lesser roles. Some employers are afraid if a better opportunity comes along, they will leave for the higher position. While that may or may not true, almost all employees will leave for a better position with higher pay. Here is an opportunity to obtain the knowledge and experience from people who want to remain active in the equipment leasing field. Make someone happy this Christmas, hire an “executive” who is willing to work “hands on” in your company.

Senior Credit Officer
experienced in middle-market leasing; structured, vendor and 3rd party to the fortune 1000. Proactive team builder, originations capable with strong work ethic.
Email: kyletrust@hotmail.com

Senior Management: Baltimore, MD
25 year veteran of commercial and equipment leasing seeking a senior management position with leasing or asset based financing company in the southeast (Florida preferred)
Email: kellogg_md@yahoo.com

Senior Management: Denver, CO .
Fortune 500 GM/SVP wants to team up with aggressive lender looking for Western expansion mid-market equip. finance/leasing. 20+ years experience within Rocky Mountain/Southwest and Ca markets.
Email: legal@csotn.com

Senior management: Hope, NJ.
25 years in optimizing call center operations, collections, billing, and back end revenue generation. Experienced in $7 + billion dollar portfolios. Verifiable achievements.
E-mail: cmate@nac.net

Senior Management: Jacksonville, FL
15+yrs Collections/Customer Service Expert. InfoLease, CARMS, managed staffs excess 100 VERY successfully - will relocate WITHIN Florida for right position ~ SIMPLY THE BEST
Email: rafftink@aol.com

Senior Management: Irvine, CA.
Credit executive, portfolio manager and syndication facilitator. Extensive business building experience in small and mid-ticket operations. Highly innovative. Fortune 100 audit and technology skills. Bottom-line manager.
Email: lenhubbard@bigfoot.com

Senior Management: Long Island, NY
Degree Banking/Finance. 13 years leasing exp. Now prez young leasing company where promises were not met. Interested in joining established firm with future.
Email: bob33483@yahoo.com

Senior Management: New York, NY, NJ, Ct Tri-State
Top Exec. middle and big ticket, top skills treasury, funding, ops, transaction detail, syndication, ready to max profit, help build quality operation.
right now!
E-Mail: leasefinance@optonline.net

Senior Management :
Portfolio Management Consultant; 25+years experience in Collections, Customer Satisfaction, Asset Management, Recoveries, Continuous Process Improvement, Back end Revenue Generation, Cost per Collection Analysis. $5+Billion Portfolio expertise.
Email: efgefg@rogers.com

Senior Management: San Francisco, CA .,
25 years experience w/global leasing company, sales, marketing, business dev., P&L responsibility, asset mgmt, brokering and re-marketing. Interested in joining an est. firm with a future.
Email: rcsteyer@yahoo.com

View all 90 “job wanted” ads at:

Post your ad for free, by going here:



Economic Events this Week

December 13
Inventory-Sales Ratio: October
Retail Sales: November
December 14
Balance of Trade: October
Industrial Production: November
December 16
Housing Construction: November
Weekly Jobless Claims
December 17
Consumer Price Index: November



The Odd Couple at Main Street National Bank

by Christopher Menkin

Thomas J. Depping Office at Sierra Cities

The press release was received last Tuesday, on December 2, 2004:

” Main Street National Bank, Kingwood, Texas announced that Robert “Bob” Fisher has joined the Bank as Senior Vice President – Broker, Lessor and Program Development.

“Fisher served as the 2002 President of the United Association of Equipment Leasing and has served as a UAEL board member for a number of years....”

Since that date the public relation person who sent the press release has not returned telephone calls nor e-mails, Bob Fisher spoke briefly and said it would return the call, but has not, and while I did reach the much loved leasing leader, Chairman of the Bank Thomas J. Depping (the press release had his direct telephone number,) it was a very quick response.

Surprising it was his direct number, and after I identified myself, requesting a time when it was convenient for a short interview to elaborate on the press release, he responded,“ You have a bone to pick with me and I am not going to talk to you.”

I thought an e-mail with the agenda spelled out might bring a response. The following was sent to his e-mail address:

“I would like to correct some of the minor information in the press release. As American Leasing, I have done business with Bob Fisher since 1987---maybe 1986. I would not have done business with him if I did not respect him. I have no bone to pick with him. If you think I have one with you, it may be only in hearing from your detractors, rather than directly from you.

“I am interested in your "broker protection" policy, whether you will be doing business with only licensed brokers (such as in California,) whether you plan a direct sales staff in addition to attracting brokers, and will you be eventually changing the name of the "department" such as other have done at Netbank and Santa Barbara Savings and Loan, do you see the times as competitive as they were five to seven years ago? This should be viewed as an opportunity to plug what makes your operation different than your competitors.

“Leasing News's mission is to continue to be independent, accurate, and fair to the best of our ability in reporting the news about the equipment leasing industry.

“I have served on a regional bank board, the executive board, and have been in the leasing industry for 34 years now with seven leasing partnerships (mostly in Silicon Valley, where our recourse and non-recourse lines came from at one time local banks—they grew, too) I bring this experience in reporting to the equipment leasing industry.”

December 8, it brought a telephone call from Mike Hoffman, who appears to be his executive assistant, or if this were “West Wing,” he might be more of a “front man.” He left a voice mail that he was having trouble with his telephone line, and he certainly was. We never connected.

Sierra Cities Thomas J. Depping Looking Out Upon Houston, Texas

First, the “broker protection policy.” Every Sierra Cities “founder” who we spoke to who had sold their company ( merged with Sierra Cities ) became very unhappy about the broken promises. Several of the directors sued the company, and then the company who bought them, American Express, had to pursue or settle. To my knowledge, all prevailed in their cases with the proviso they could not divulge the “settlement.” (Among them, Fred Van Etten, Mark McQuitty, to name a few.)

Among the complaints was calling on “their” broker customers, lessee's and vendors, as they had given their word to their brokers this would not happen. It was hard fact from everyone from Don Zaretsky to Mark McQuitty and others. They not only had verbal promises, but written contracts.

Perhaps Main Street National Bank is not offering “broker protection,” and if they are, do they mean it? What assurances will they give to young brokers. Manifest US Bancorp has it in writing, in public, an insurance policy. What will Tom Depping offer? He put the $21 million into this existing bank to go into the leasing business and obviously utilize the banking community for this “product.”

He appears very serious. How serious? What kind of guarantee is Main Street National Bank going to make with those that discount or “sell” leases to them?

Sierra Cities was not a federal regulated bank and did not have to follow the stringent rules, such as working only with “licensed brokers.” Will Main Street National Bank require people who they deal with to be licensed under the various states laws?
One of the things Sierra Cities did was build up a direct sales force.

Nothing wrong with this as Balboa, Marlin, US Bancorp, among others do. The main thrust was from direct and private label leasing programs, rather than direct broker business. Will this be the case again?

Is there a plan to keep the name of the leasing “division,” the same as the bank, or a new name in the near future? Not a serious question, but one of curiosity, unless the overall plan is to spin off the leasing division in the distant future.

What changes do you see today from seven years ago? At one time you were moving to become a “dot com” operation, actually changing the name to FirstSierra.com. Is the broker approach going to be the main thrust. What will make you different from the competition? Will you be “laying off” leasing portfolio's to other banks or institutions? Will you be offering leasing programs to smaller banks or other institutions? Let's move form this multi-millionaire (he invested $21 million in cash in the small bank formed by others in 1984,) promoter to the ex-Marine with war experience in Viet Nam, a marathon runner, physically fit, tough credit man, no nonsense, take no ground street fighter Robert J. Fisher, who at the UAEL conference was proud to show on the screen his family and he on many vacations together, who's company ran into the perfect storm.


Personally I started doing business with Bob Fisher non-recourse discounting as American Leasing when he was a credit manager at CIT back in the 1980's. As I remember, the operation moved, and the announcement of September 26,1990 had him as “National Credit Manager” for Datronic Rental Corporation, Schaumburg, Il. Later the company became New Era Funding, moving to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, perhaps in 1993.

As I remember the story, the president or principal of Datronic Rental Corporation co-mingled funds with real estate transactions. He evidently was running the company as he wanted, considered it “his money,” and was shut down. It put several leasing companies out of business who were dealing with New Era, most notably the Perry Morris Company, run by brother and sister Jeff and Kris Morris (they are the ones who explained the situation at New Era to me, their viewpoint.)

Bob Fisher started Fisher-Anderson, LC, moving to Des Moines, IA, where his brother-in-law lived, as I remember. He brought Sandy Thrasher as vice-president of Credit him. Scott Anderson knew very little about equipment leasing. He spent three full days at American Leasing, Santa Clara, California, all day, and dinner with staff at night, seeing the entire operation. American Leasing did business with Fisher-Anderson.

The company grew, and according to a Marcap (their reported main line of credit) Press Release: “Fisher-Anderson is based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a small ticket leasing company with 40 employees. ( Marcap would not confirm by telephone the company had completed $350,000 in sales, as the Main Street National Press release stated, and perhaps this number is correct or the culmination of a specific time period.)

A Capital Stream press release about Fisher-Anderson using their software the company had “...41 brokers, representing 25 and 30 small-to-$75,000) lease deals a day. In the five year history of the company, perhaps the number was an average of $50 million a year.

During this time, many broker representatives left (or were let go, we had several representatives let go, one a lady, who eventually retired from the business) and as Leasing News reported about the troubles with a vehicle division leaving or the changes going on, and troubles reported by brokers, the cordial relationship built over the years seemed to erode, particularly during his tenure as the United Association of Equipment Leasing was going through quite a turmoil. We were popular when we promoted conferences, events, but bums when we reported anything else or asked question they evidently didn't think we should ask.

The same year he was president of UAEL, Bob resigned from Fisher-Anderson. February 28, 2002, he announced Scott Anderson would be winding down the company, that they had sold 100% interest to Marcap in December, 2001. He would be starting FireRock Capital.

The truth Marcap was getting out of certain aspects of the business.

There is more to the story, but let's leave it at that. Marcap took over the operation and Scott eventually moved to FireRock Capital.

April, 2003, Bob resigned as president of FireRock Capital to become sales manage for Douglas-Guardian, Houston, Texas (the company “... has been providing collateral control, inspection, and valuation services to secured lenders since 1932. http://www.douglasguardian.com/) Scott Anderson became president of the company (a call to a Jim Wright listed on a FireRock Capital website connects to Liberty Bank Leasing. Whether Firerock Capital is still in business is one of the items an interview would have brought up-to-date and also clarified any of the information in this report.

Readers e-mail addresses from this company ceased earlier this year.)

The original press release concluded: “Tom Depping, Chairman of National Bank stated: ‘Bob Fisher will not only bring in a great deal of experience and knowledge to the Bank but he will bring a commitment to serve the leasing industry.” Depping went on to say, ‘Bob is going to be a big part of making Main Street Bank a national presence in the equipment leasing industry and truly ‘America's Small Business Bank'.”

If Leasing News receives a response from Mr. Depping or Mr. Fisher,
we certainly will print them in a timely fashion.


For new readers, you may be interested in the story about Sierra Cities/First Sierra and Thomas J. Depping:
or the experience of Mark McQuitty, which is a more detailed view of Sierra Cities/First Sierra:

Sierra Cities/First Sierra is also part of the RW Professional story as when American Express bought the company they found several portfolio “problems,” among them RW Professional, who they sued for $20,000,000. The suit was put off pending the criminal case against RW Professional and its officers for fraud, among other items
( Bank of New York just settled for $24 million, admitting to their responsibilities in the operation of RW Professional.)

More Current stories can be found here:


Bank of NY Buys Out of RW Professional Mess

In all of the above stories, Leasing News has attempted numerous times for a statement, comment, or interview with Thomas J. Depping.

We look forward to any comment or statement he may want to make for readers of Leasing News.



***** announcement**************************

Reminder - CapitalStream and the Equipment Leasing Association
(ELA) Web Special

Moderator, John Hurt, vice president of information service for LaSalle National Leasing Corporation will query panelists Mike Pennell, vice president of product marketing for CapitalStream, and Steve LeBarron, vice president of leasing & finance for Blackwell Consulting Services, on recent industry research results, performance and best practices in operations, systems used to improve performance and implement best practices, current operational trends, and applying these results to your business.

Designed for executive management, department managers for credit and collections, chief operating and administration officers, IT professionals, directors of risk management, vice presidents of operations, and consultants, we will use results from the following industry and IT research projects to uncover the status and trends in technology and operations: ELA's 2003 & 2002 Survey of Industry Activity; 2003 Commercial and Equipment Finance Survey & 2004 Equipment Finance Survey, both conducted by CapitalStream and Blackwell Consulting Services.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004 1:30pm - 2:30pm EST/10:30am - 11:30am PST

Register here:


***** announcement *************************

#### Press Release ###################

(Sent out Friday by text e-mail to all on mailing list. Due to technical difficulties we could not issue a Friday edition. Those on the mailing list will receive text editions, breaking news, and notification when the regular edition is posted on our web site. Subscription is free. Editor.)

Florida AG Charlie Crist Initiates Settlement with Leasing Company

Collections will cease, consumers to receive refunds

TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced a settlement agreement with Patriot Leasing Company, Inc., one of 12 leasing companies recently under investigation for violations of Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Under the settlement consumers will receive refunds, in some cases for more than $1,000. The settlement concludes litigation regarding the collection practices of Patriot and involves contracts for services from the bankrupt NorVergence Corporation. Litigation continues with the remaining 11 defendants in the case.

The Attorney General's Office filed a complaint in October 2004 against 12 leasing companies, including Patriot, after receiving more than 253 complaints from Floridians asserting that Patriot and the other leasing companies were demanding unfair payments for their contracts with NorVergence.

"Hundreds of Floridians have been outraged by the conduct of NorVergence and some leasing companies," said Crist. "We will not stand by while small businesses are sold a bill of worthless goods and then are harassed for not paying for them. We are pleased that this company has taken a positive step to do the right thing. Under this agreement, Florida citizens will not be required to make further payments and instead will receive refunds."

The settlement agreement requires Patriot to cease collection efforts on contracts with Florida customers and to provide restitution to those customers for payments already made under the contracts. The company has also agreed to reimburse the Attorney General's Office for costs and fees in connection with the investigation.

Leasing companies purchased contracts from NorVergence beginning in 2003, after NorVergence had entered into agreements with approximately 700 small Florida businesses to provide local telephone, mobile phone and high-speed Internet services at reduced rates. The small business owners agreed to sign contracts with NorVergence with an understanding of the following terms:

- They were obtaining telephone services directly from NorVergence.
- NorVergence would provide the customers with unlimited long distance, cell phone and high-speed Internet at greatly reduced rates.
- In order to use the NorVergence services, customers would have to rent a "Matrix" box.

NorVergence terminated service when it went into bankruptcy, and thus did not honor the business terms. The company either did not install the Matrix box for customers or the box did not function properly.

Additionally, it was discovered that the Matrix was nothing more than a commercial router that sells for $500 to $1,200, creating an unconscionably large disparity between the value of the box and the $1,000-per-month lease payments due under the rental agreement.

In further violation of the agreement, the leasing companies then began demanding payments for services that were never provided. When customers missed their monthly bills, the leasing companies accelerated payments and demanded payment in full, in sums ranging from $10,000 to more than $90,000.

The Attorney General continues to pursue the remaining leasing companies named in the October lawsuit and is seeking an injunction to bar further collection efforts by these companies against Florida customers. A hearing on the injunction has been set for the trial docket commencing at the end of January in Leon County.


##### Press Release ##################


News Briefs----

Will Fed discuss dollar's decline?

Wall Street Looks Ahead to Fed Meeting

Tokyo Stocks Finish Higher, Dollar Down

General Electric raises dividend, to buy back stock



Sports Briefs---

Lakers Defeat Magic 105 – 98

NBA Wrap - O'Neal and Wade Help Heat Beat Raptor

Parcells 'disgusted' after 27-13 loss to Saints

For Bolts, seventh heaven

Falcons win NFC South, aim even higher

Patriots defeat Bengals, 35-28

Carolina intercepts Rams' playoff bid

Redskins Pass Out in the End

Manning Adds 2 Touchdown Passes as Colts Clinch Division

A winning 49ers formula

S.F. 2-for-2 against the Cardinals in overtime

Jets Miss Step on the Up Escalator

NFL Scoreboard



California Nuts Brief-----

Taking on nurses, Schwarzenegger may be kicking the wrong group



“Gimme that Wine”


Merry Edwards

Pinot Noir master, 'others to watch' have a common theme of renewal

Napa Valley Vintners donates $4.6 million to Napa County charities at holiday celebrations



This Day in American History

On the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, in presidential elections years, the Electors formally cast their ballots for president and vice president of the US, meeting in their respective state capitals The Electors' ballots will be transmitted “to the Seat of Government of the United Sates, directed to the President of the Senate” who “ in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives” at 1pm on January 6 following the election, officially counts the electoral votes and announces the result, legally completing the election process if any candidate has received a majority of the electoral votes.
    1621- the first shipment of furs were shipped to England on the S.S. Fortune under the charge of Robert Cushman, one of the Plymouth colonists. The cargo, valued at $2,450, consisted of furs, sassafras, clapboards, and wainscot. The boat was captured by the French and the cargo seized. Things were not merry in the old colony.
    1642- Captain Abel Tasman of the Dutch East India Company first sighted New Zealand but was kept from landing by Maori warriors. In 1769, Captain James Cook landed and claimed formal possession for Great Britain. He had earlier found New Holland ( later to be known as Australia. On February 14,1779 he was stabbed by natives of Hawaii over the theft of a boat and allegedly put in a pot to be eaten the next day. His crew rescued his body. A marker on the island is in a desolate place, with many felt tip pen works and figures. The Kuaii islanders in Wampei evidently still hold a grudge about the way they were treated.
    1666- Frederick Phillips in New Amsterdam ( the future New York City) cornered the market in wampum by creating a shortage, considered by historians as the first “ financial corner” of the marketplace in the New World. He buried several hogsheads ( a large barrel or cask holding anywhere from 63 to 110 gallons of it in order to force those who had to use this medium of exchange to purchase wampum from him at a higher price. ( wampum were tubular beads made from specific oyster shells and used as an exchange of value by various Indian tribes, often sewn into belts or garments.
    1769-Dartmouth College is chartered.
    1774- Contrary to popular belief, the first battle of the Revolutionary War was not the Battle of Lexington on April 17.1775, but happened on this date in 1774 when Major John Sullivan of the Granite State Volunteers, later a major general in the Continental Army, captured by the British, helped Washington against General Howe led 400 patriots that attacked Fort William and Mary at New Castle, New Hampshire, in Portsmouth Harbor. They bound the commander of the fort and frightened the soldiers away, capturing 100 casks of power and small arms. The news of this victory spread over New England the next few months, leading up to the Battle of Lexington.
    1818- Birthday of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United Sates, born at Lexington, Kentucky. Died at Springfield, Illinois, July 16, 1882.
    1835- Birthday of Phillips Brooks, American clergyman and composer born at Boston, Massachusetts. Perhaps best remembered for his lyrics for the Christmas carol “ O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Brooks died at Boston, Jan. 23,1893.
    1843-- "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens published, 6,000 copies sold
    1861- Battle of Alleghany Summit WV, a bitter winter killed most wounded and other soldiers, too.

    1862-General Robert E. Lee with 80,000 Confederates repulsed General Burnside with his 150,000 Federals at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. After hard fighting along the Massaponax River, Burnside lost almost 14,000 troops. The victory spurred Lee to take his army and invade the North, who's march was discovered by accident in Gettysburg, PA.

    1864- Battle of Fort McAllister GA as General Sherman gets ready to attack Savannah.
    1878 -Los Angeles, CA fell to 30, the lowest at that time for December.
    1903 –Birthday of drummer Sonny Greer

    1911 -- American poet Kenneth Patchen born. Pioneered jazz poetry ("Kenneth Patchen Reads with the Chamber Jazz Sextet"). For more than thirty years, Patchen lived with a severe spinal ailment that caused him almost constant physical pain. The weight of this personal battle was compounded by his sensitivity to greater issues of humanity, and his poetry paid special attention to the horrors of war. With his work he tried to create a kind of sanctuary for the reader, apart from reality, where larger-than-life characters were motivated by their loving and benevolent natures. Kenneth Patchen died in 1972.

    1913-Birthday of Archibald Lee Wright, better known as Archie Moore, at Benoit,MS. One of the most colorful fighters ever. Moore boxed from the mid-1930s to 1963, holding the light-heavyweight title for a record nine years. For much of his career, he fought an average of once a month. Moore let an aura of celebrity surround him; he lied about his age, at an unusual diet, married five times and spoke out on a variety of political and social issues. Died at San Diego, CA., Dec 9,1998,
    1918-Birthday of the “Mad Russian, “ William Vukovich, Sr. born William Vucerovich at Frsno, CA. Vukovich began racing midget cars in 19387 and picked up his career after World War II. Known as the “Mad Russian” for his hell-bent style, he won the 1953 Indianapolis 500 from the pole and the 954 race as well. Ahead again in the 1955 race, he crashed on the 57 th lap. Died at Indianapolis, IN, May 30, 1955.
    1925- Actor/Comedian/Singer Dick Van Dyke born West Plains, Mo.
    1928 - The George Gershwin composition, "American in Paris", had its debut performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch.
    1928 -- Clip-on tie designed.
    1936 - Green Bay won the National Football League championship after they beat the Boston Redskins, 21-6. It was Boston's last game, as they became the Washington Redskins in 1937.
    1937 - Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). Over the following six weeks, in one of the worst atrocities of World War II, they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."
    1929 - Hoagy Carmichael and Louis Armstrong recorded "Rockin' Chair" on Columbia records and cylinders.
    1932- the great Bennie Moten's Kansas City Band cuts last date for
Victor, 1932.
    1938- birthday of Gus Johnson, Jr., basketball player born at Akron, OH. Johnson played at the University of Akron, Boise Junior College and the University of Idaho. He was drafted by the Washington Bullets and helped make them a perennial contender for playoff honors. Johnson was the prototype of the power forward. He could score from the corner and was one of the first players to use the slam dunk. He finished his career with the Phoenix Suns. Died at Akron, OH, April 29,1987.
    1939 - In World War II, the battle of the River Plate took place off the coast of South America between the British cruisers Exeter, Ajax and Achilles and the German battleship Graf Spee.
    1940- Lester Young splits from the Count Basie Band.
    1940 - Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded the two-sided jump tune, "The Anvil Chorus", for Bluebird Records in New York. The 10-inch, 78 rpm record was six minutes long.
    1941- the first Ace in World War II was First Lieutenant Boyd David Wagner of Johnstown, PA. While serving in the Army Air Corps in the Philippines, Wagner was attacked by five Japanese pursuit planes. He shot two plans out of the air and machine-gunned 12 on the ground, leaving five burning. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
    1944-- Japanese kamikaze crashes into US cruiser Nashville, kills 138.

    1945- singer June Christy signs contract with Capitol Records ( records 18 post-Stan Kenton albums).
    1948 - After an 11 1/2 month strike, the American Federation of Musicians went back to work. During the strike there was also an 11½-month ban on phonograph records.
    1949 - The American League said no to a proposal to revive the spitball, outlawed since 1920. Many pitchers still tossed the spitter anyway.
    1950----Top Hits
A Bushel and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
I'm Moving On - Hank Snow
    1958----Top Hits
To Know Him, is to Love Him - The Teddy Bears
Problems - The Everly Brothers
Queen of the Hop - Bobby Darin
City Lights - Ray Price
    1961-- Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John album is country music's 1st million
$ seller

    1962 - A severe Florida freeze occurred. Morning lows reached 35 degrees at Miami, 18 degrees at Tampa, and 12 degrees at Jacksonville. It was the coldest December weather of the 20th century and caused millions of dollars damage to crops and foliage. In Georgia, the morning low of 9 degrees below zero at Blairsville established a state record for the month of December.
    1966----Top Hits
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Mellow Yellow - Donovan
Lady Godiva - Peter & Gordon
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold
    1968 - A severe coastal storm produced high winds and record early snows from Georgia to Maine. Winds reached 90 mph in Massachusetts, and ten inches of snow blanketed interior Maine.
    1974 - Former Beatle George Harrison was invited to lunch by President Gerald R. Ford. At the White House, the two exchanged buttons, Ford giving George a WIN (Whip Inflation Now) pin and Harrison giving the President an OM (Hindu mantra word expressing creation) button.
    1974----Top Hits
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees
Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
She Called Me Baby - Charlie Rich
    1975 - The late-night television variety show, Saturday Night Live, did not broadcast live for the first time on this date. NBC was concerned that the host for that evening's show, popular comedian Richard Pryor, would utter some obscene words or phrases. Pryor had promised that he would not use foul language, but as most of his stand-up routine consisted of four-letter words, the possibility existed that he would accidentally, or purposefully, "let loose." The show's executive heads decided that the show would be placed on a 5-second electronic delay. Two expletives spoken by Pryor were determined unsuitable for television and were deleted before they hit the airwaves.
    1978 - The Philadelphia Mint struck the first Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, with 1979 dates and the first “P” mintmark since the silver nickels of World War II. Denver production began on January 9, 1979, and San Francisco minting began on February 2, 1979. The Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first coin to honor a woman, was not a hit with the public for several reasons, most importantly because it was often mistaken for a quarter, which was about and eighth of an inch smaller in diameter.
    1982----Top Hits
Mickey - Toni Basil
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
Redneck Girl - The Bellamy Brothers
    1983 - In professional basketball, Detroit and Denver played for 3 hours, 11 minutes. The Pistons won, 186-184, during triple overtime. NBA records for single-game were set for most points by two teams; by one team; assists; and field goals. Kiki Vandeweghe of the Denver Nuggets scored a career-high with 51 points.
    1985 - In a first for movies, the murder mystery, "Clue", opened featuring three different endings. Newspaper ads said which ending was playing at which theatre.
    1986 - In the school's 62-year history, Duke University won its first NCAA team championship when the Blue Devils' soccer team beat Akron, 1-0.
    1986 - Madonna's recording of Open Your Heart entered Bilboard's Top 40 pop charts on this date, and later peaked at Number 1 for a week. The song stayed on the charts for 14 weeks.
    1986 - "The Way it Is", by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, hit #1 for a week in the U.S.: “That's just the way it is; Some things will never change. That's just the way it is; Aw, but don't you believe them.”
    1987 - A major winter storm produced high winds and heavy snow in the Southern Rockies and the Southern High Plains. Snowfall totals in New Mexico ranged up to 25 inches at Cedar Crest, with up to three feet of snow reported in the higher elevations. Winds of 75 mph, with gusts to 124 mph, were reported northeast of Albuquerque NM. El Paso TX was buried under 22.4 inches of snow, including a single storm record of 16.8 inches in 24 hours. The snowfall total surpassed their previous record for an entire winter season of 18.4 inches. Record cold was experienced the next three nights as readings dipped into the single numbers. High winds ushering unseasonably cold air into the southwestern U.S. gusted to 100 mph at Grapevine CA
    1989 - Strong northwesterly winds, ushering bitterly cold arctic air into the central U.S., produced squalls with heavy snow in the Great Lakes Region. Snowfall totals in Upper Michigan ranged up to 24 inches at Manistique. Nine cities in Arkansas and Texas reported record low temperatures for the date, including Calico Rock AR with a reading of 4 degrees above zero.
    1990----Top Hits
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
From a Distance - Bette Midler
Something to Believe In - Poison
I've Come to Expect It from You - George Strait
    1991- North and South Korea signed a treat of reconciliation and nonaggression, formally ending the Korean War---38 years after fighting ceased in 1953. This agreement was not hailed as a peace treaty, and the armistice that was signed July 27,1953, between the UN and North Korea, was to remain in effect until it could be transformed into a formal peace.
    1995-- US Federal Court votes that Cable companies must carry local stations
    1997-- 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)


    1998 - Voters in Puerto Rico rejected United States statehood.
    1998 -- Baltimore and Minnesota combine to set an NFL record with three kickoff return touchdowns in the same game, all in the first quarter of the Vikings' 38-28 victory. Corey Harris and Patrick Johnson score for the Ravens while David Palmer turns the trick for Minnesota. Vikings kicker Gary Anderson sets an NFL record when he converts his 34th consecutive field goal.


American Football Poem

Ode to the Rams

by Nancy

'Twas two weeks before Christmas
When all through the dome
Not one Rams point was spotted
Not even at home

The Vikings were lined up
All smiling with glee
For they knew that the Rams
Would soon be "History"

Just when Kurt say's to Faulk
What more can they do?
Moss spread out his wings
And like "Santa" he flew!!

With home field advantage
The Vikes catch their plane
With dreams of a ring
And a Super Bowl Reign

But I heard them exclaim
As they left the Rams home
Come see us sometime
At our own METRODOME!!


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