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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry

Finance Officer

Fleet Financing Resources, LLC. is seeking candidates
to join our team. 3 yrs. sales exp. in the equipment leasing
& finance with pref. of titled transportation equipment

Click here for more information
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Archives: June 24, 2005
Gary Souverein New President at Pawnee Leasing
Park Western Leasing
Joins the Leasing News Funders “A” List
ELFA MFLI-25 Shows Downward Trend:
  May Falls from April Which Fell from March
   But Leasing Executives State Otherwise
Leasing News App
Download to your Mobile Device
Defective Copier Lease Modification
 Leaves Lessor without Recourse
  by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Online Equipment Auction List
Senior Vice President Sentenced to Federal Prison
  Loss to Bank was $991,680
The Fed is running out of time to build up the funds rate
 in time for the next recession likely in 2018
Golden Retriever/Saint Bernard Mix
Fort Collins, Colorado  Adopt-a-Dog
Asset Management
  Classified Ads

News Briefs---
Fifth Third to Close, Sell 100 Branches and Other Properties
   Company cites online, mobile banking uptick
Fifth Street Finance Corp. Sells Healthcare Finance Group
   to MidCap Financial
1st Mariner Bank recovering and hoping to grow,
  one year after purchase
U.S. New Home Sales Rise to 7-Year High
  Trends suggest the market is gaining momentum
Top Job For Boeing's Hyper-Competitive New CEO:
   Shoring Up Defense Business
Judge voids hundreds of solar leases in Arizona
 Hundreds of Customers released from their Leases
Vikings stadium naming deal cements U.S. Bank's logo
 U.S. Bank logo is strong and iconic

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
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    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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Archives: June 24, 2005
Gary Souverein New President at Pawnee Leasing

Pawnee Leasing Corporation (est. 1982), a small-ticket funding source specializing in start-up business and less traditional credits up to $30,000, is pleased to announce the promotion of Gary H. Souverein to President and COO of Pawnee Leasing Corporation.

Souverein previously served as Executive Vice President of the company and has served in various roles for the company since 1993.

After six years as acting President, Samuel L. Leeper will serve as CEO.

“I'm looking forward to building upon the successful business model Sam has so greatly enhanced during his operational leadership of the company. I'm confident about Pawnee's future as we have a great management group, employee team and independent broker network that will continue our strong history of results.” Souverein stated.


Pawnee Leasing Corporation
Windset Capital Corporation


Bookmark Leasing News



Joins the Leasing News Funders “A” List

Park Western Leasing
Tempe, Arizona
John Leber
click here for more info
Western US
$10,000 -$1 Million
Avg: $30,000 -$250,000

A -Accepts Broker Business | B -Requires Broker be Licensed
| C -Sub-Broker Program| D -"Private label Program" | E - Also "in house" salesmen

PWL is a direct lessor for new and used construction and transportation equipment along with most hard commercial assets. We do not have an application only program, but we are happy to preview any deal with an application, invoice, and CBR to assess probability of funding. Please contact John Leber, if you would like to know more about our program at 480-831-6561

Full List: 


Receivables Management LLC
John Kenny

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Third-Party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)


ELFA MFLI-25 Shows Downward Trend:
May Falls from April Which Fell from March
But Leasing Executives State Otherwise to Leasing News

by Christopher Menkin

MLFI-25 New Business Volume (Year Over Year Comparison)
click to make larger
(ELFA MFLI-25 Chart)


(Leasing News Chart)

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) fell from the May index of 67.5 to June at 63.0. According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association latest MFLI-25 report: New Business in May fell to $7.2 billion from $8.2 billion in April, $8.9 billion in March.

May, 2014 was lower. Here are
 Month of May Numbers (in billions)

2015  $7.2
2014  $6.9
2013  $7.5
2012  $6.2
2011  $5.6
2010  $4.4
2009  $4.2
2008  $7.2
2007  $6.9
2006  $6.8

A major difference, which should be pointed out: in 2006, the economic activity was for the “$650 billion equipment finance sector,” according to ELFA.  In 2015, the industry had grown to “$903 billion equipment finance sector,” according to ELFA.  These prior years then, on a percentage basis per month activity, were much stronger in 2006, than today.

According to the two sets of charts below, the second quarter has always been better than the first.  And only in the third quarter of 2013 was it lower than the second, but not by much.

(Leasing News Chart)

(Leasing News Chart)

Leasing News asked several experienced leasing and finance executives for an opinion regarding their experience and forecasts. They were from all over the country, mostly in the small ticket marketplace, and several also in the middle marketplace, including working capital loans and vehicles.

All were positive, optimistic, and also concerned:

Charles Anderson
CEO, Enverto Investment Group
CEO, IMCA Capital, LLC

"We are seeing an increase in volume for June versus May and Q2 versus Q1. I would attribute our growth to our newly integrated deal flow partners. We are seeing credit markets continue to open up with more financing alternatives for our customers."

Richard A. Baccaro
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Ascentium Capital LLC

"June is looking like it will be an all-time record month for Ascentium Capital --- and Q2 2015 should be up 45%-50% over Q2 2014

"With respect to interest rates; I’m not smart enough to know what the Fed will do or when they will do it. 

"What I do know is this: much like the US Open golf course conditions, we all have to execute to win regardless of interest rate conditions as they are the same for everyone."

John Boettigheimer
Centra Leasing, Inc
/4 Hour Funding LLC

"Volume was strong through the end of May, but volume did the traditional post-Labor Day slowdown.  We are starting to see the volume returning in the 3rd and 4th week of June and the app count is improving each day but is still below May’s strong level.  I am expecting just average volume until September.  We are expecting a much busier 4th quarter once summer concludes."

Chris Enbom
CEO and Chairman,
Allegiant Partners Inc. dba
First Star Capital dba Clearview Financial

"I think we continue to bump along with overall slow growth in the economy.  I think we will continue to see more growth overall, but it will not be very strong growth, and the Fed is still more concerned about the downside risk (slow glow/deflation) than inflation at this point so we may not see a rate increase until September at the earliest…possibly later if growth remains slow.

"The exact growth with the ELFA month-to-month is hard to predict, and often has to do with where holidays fall compared with the prior year and other factors that skew the numbers.  I think overall growth this year is going to be slower than the growth we saw the previous couple of years because we were in such a severe trough and we are now in a more 'normal' economy than the last few years in terms of coming off the bottom of the recession."

Allan Levine
President and COO

"Make no mistake, the US at 2.5% +/- year over year economy growth is great compared to European deflation, Russian issues, and China question marks.

"Think about this: Bank tellers are on the way out, robots march around warehouses, and fast food places will be like automatic check in at airports. Growing online purchasing will dictate fewer employees and machines do not need health benefits or take vacations. Therefore, bye bye to HR departments.

"And, for every good news the economy has, there is bad news behind it. Energy prices down and food costs up. We are on that roller coaster. Ask yourself, 'am I confident in US economic growth and am I ready to increase my spending?.

"The answer is probably 'no' for most. The only thing I am certain about is the lack of US economic uncertainty.

"Janet Yellen recently made no explicit wording on a short term rate hike, but did say the economy is not yet strong enough to handle a hike. 

"Balance of year prediction: Ok year. Take the 2.5% growth and run with it. I'm an optimist!"

Paul J. Menzel, CLFP
President & CEO
Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc.,
a subsidiary of Umpqua Bank

"FinPac is seeing a steady but slow rise in demand for equipment financing.  We believe this trend will continue but influenced by our traditionally slower summer season.  If rates are increased slowly by the Fed later this year, the sense of urgency that a rising rate environment creates should give a boost to capital expenditure commitments.  We continue to be cautiously bullish for our industry."

Gary Shivers
President & CEO
Navitas Lease Corp.

"Our business is up substantially from a year ago."

Rosanne Wilson, CLFP, BPB
1st Independent Leasing, Inc.

"I believe June & July will continue to drop in volume as well. The comments I hear from small businesses is that they are very worried we are sliding into recession again. There are too many indicators that are creating this feeling we are sliding backwards. The GDP growth rate continues to show decline.  Economists say when there are two reports in a row of stagnant growth it is a definite indication of recession. The last 2 reports were dismal therefore the economists are all saying we are sliding backwards.

"Historically even August is typically a slow month because it is the biggest vacation month of the year and most decision makers are on vacation and not making any equipment purchases that month."

“That's my prediction Kit.  I hope I am wrong.”


The ELFA MFLI-25 May report found, “Receivables over 30 days were 1.1 percent, up from 0.9 percent the previous month and from 1.0 percent the same period in 2014.  Charge-offs remained at an all-time low of 0.2 percent for the 15th consecutive month. 

“Credit approvals totaled 79.2 percent in May, up from 78.7 percent in April.  Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 4.7 percent year over year. “


Aging of Receivables:

click to make larger

Average Losses (Charge-offs) as a % of net receivables
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Credit Approval Ratios As % of all Decisions Submitted
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

(ELFA MFLI-25 Chart)


Full Listing of MLFI Participants

BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
Direct Capital Corporation
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
Frost Bank
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
SunTrust Equipment Finance Group
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
TCF Equipment Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Senior Credit Analyst

Choose Location
Anaheim, CA, Tigard, OR, Federal Way, WA

Middle Market Credits $500,000 to $5MM
including Equipment Leases and Financings
and Recourse and Non-recourse Lines of Credit
-Five or More Years Credit Underwriting Exp.
Some Relocation Provided
click here for more information

Financial Pacific Leasing - Commercial
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank

Anaheim, CA

Financial Pacific Leasing’s Commercial team in Anaheim, CA is growing their Documentation/Funding group and looking for someone with an keen attention to detail and ready for the opportunity to work hard, learn and grow.

Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Ban


Finance Officer

Fleet Financing Resources, LLC. is seeking candidates
to join our team. 3 yrs. sales exp. in the equipment leasing
& finance with pref. of titled transportation equipment

Click here for more information
Nationwide Leasing & Financing of Commercial Fleets

For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here


Leasing News Web App
Download to your Mobile Device

Readers can access the latest edition of Leasing News on their mobile device by going to their browser and typing in A web app is available for Android smartphones that opens the news edition in Portrait style, versus a landscape (but can be read either way; however, designed for Portrait viewing).

To add the Android Web App, open www.leasingnews in your mobile device, go to this article, and click on the link below:

Your mobile device has a download section, just as your computer has a download section. Find the .apk file and open it. It will automatically be placed with your other Web Aps. Adjust the size to fit your screen.

You can also ask us to email you the .apk to your mobile device and then follow the directions in the paragraph above.



Defective Copier Lease Modification
Leaves Lessor without Recourse

by Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Sloppy Copier Lease Documentation Leave Equipment Lessor High and Dry

Empire Office Machines, Inc. v. Aspen Trails Associates LLC 374 Mont. 421, 322 P.3d 424 (Mont. 2014).

I forget the source of the idiom, “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered,” but it applies in today’s case. The facts follow.

Equipment lessor Empire Office Machines leased two copiers to lessee Aspen Trails. There were no personal guaranties. About half way through the leases, the Lessee wanted to renegotiate the leases and Lessor Empire agreed.  However, the modification agreement was signed on behalf of Aspen by one Kevin Demaray, who simply signed the document which had no indication of his representation capacity. However, Empire knew that Demaray was the sole shareholder of Aspen and its principal. 

When the leases went into default, Empire sued Demaray claiming that it was the intent of the parties that Demaray was individually bound, notwithstanding the fact that he was never obligated on the lease. A bit of a stretch? Ya think?

Demaray established that over the course of dealing, Demaray had always acted as an agent for the lessee, the lessor had been receiving payments from the lessee not Demaray, and there is no indication that Demaray's signature evidenced an intent to substitute a new debtor. If the lease modification was ambiguous, then the court noted that it was prepared by the lessor and should be construed against the lessor.

The case was so strong that Demaray filed a motion for summary judgment and won, which the court affirmed on appeal.

I think the case shows a lack of good judgment on the part of the lessor trying to make Demaray a de facto guarantor. I can only hope that Demaray sought his attorney fees, which might have been as much as the $24,000 deficiency in the two leases.

The bottom line to this short little case is that details matter, and if the lessor screws up the documentation, it is going to be construed against it. In such a case, take your lumps, and don’t get greedy. 

Empire Leasing Case

Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting
in Los Angeles, California.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Visit our web site at

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:




Online Equipment Auction List

This is not a list of companies who hold auctions primarily, but those who conduct on line auctions. Online Auctions – Monthly Sales, Weekly Heavy Equipment Auction Every Tuesday. And Bi-Weekly Auctions From The Tennessee Department Of General Services Every Other Tuesday. Now part of Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne Tractor, Mower, Dump Truck, Mower, Cutter, 13 Tire Roller All types of Equipment Trucks and vehicles Both live and virtual online auction format, light and heavy equipment for the construction and transportation industry Mostly trucks and related equipment Heavy Equipment, Truck and Machinery Industry
Online Gov't Surplus Auctions - Over 1,000 Government Clients Caters to lessors, lenders, and bankruptcy trustees, conducting both virtual and live auctions of all types of assets including:  Agricultural, Medical, Industrial, Transportation, Trucks, Construction, Real Estate, etc.  Appraisals - on site and desktop. Cranes, Trailers, Equipment Trucks Construction Equipment & Trucks Municibid is an online government auctions website designed specifically for the sale of surplus and forfeited/seized goods directly by the government

Specializes in government surplus auctions. Browse by equipment or by specific government auctions. Salvaged equipment for both re-seller and end user. Mostly farm equipment Government Online Auctions - Servicing Government Agencies for over a Decade

List of many auction sites for consumer and vehicle:

Online auction Top Ten Most Popular Sites
(Primarily for consumers or consumer merchandise)

Auction Zip
--primarily consumer
(find auctions anywhere)


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)


Senior Vice President Sentenced to Federal Prison
Loss to Bank was $991,680

David Weimert, 64, of Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for wire fraud, as well as a $25,000 fine and three-year supervised release. He was a former senior vice president at Anchor Bank. At the five-day trial where he was found guilty, it was learned he had devised a sophisticated scheme to defraud the bank by personally pocketing more than $300,000. He hid his true motive from other Anchor Bank senior officials and he wrote himself into the bank's important real estate deal because he felt he deserved a reward for arranging it.  Instead, as trial evidence proved, Weimert's lies were convincing. One after another, Weimert's supervisors and Anchor Bank officers testified at his criminal trial that they relied on his misrepresentations and trust him based on his position as senior officer.  Even after hearing his former colleagues testify, Weimert took the stand and lied under oath, a fact noted by the judge deciding Weimert's prison sentence.
The evidence at trial established that Weimert devised a scheme to defraud IDI by lying and omitting material facts in an effort to obtain an ownership interest in Chandler Creek, a joint venture partnership
formed to develop an industrial park in Round Rock, Texas, and in an effort to obtain a four percent fee. Weimert induced the IDI board of directors to accept an offer to purchase Chandler Creek, with Weimert receiving a 4.875 percent ownership interest as part of the deal and a four percent commission fee to Weimert, which totaled $311,680.

At the sentencing, Judge Peterson found the loss amount for sentencing purposes totaled $991,680; that Weimert used sophisticated means to conduct the offense; and that Weimert abused a position of trust as president of IDI to engage in self-dealing with IDI's assets. Finally, Judge Peterson found that Weimert willfully obstructed justice by presenting false testimony when he testified at trial.




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

The Fed is running out of time to build up the funds rate
in time for the next recession likely in 2018

by Dan Geller, Ph.D.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - The Fed is under time pressure to replenish its interest rate arsenal to a desired level of 4 percent in time for the next recession likely to occur in 2018. The longest time period between U.S. recessions during the last half century has been 10.7 years. Currently, we are at the 7.5-year mark since the beginning of the last recession, which is the average time period among the last 6 recessions.

The next recession is likely to be triggered by a stock market bubble. Trillions of dollars in Fed QE pumped into the economy in the aftermath of the recession created overly inflated stock valuation based mostly on merger, acquisitions and stock buyback rather than real increase in productivity or organic growth in revenues. By 2018, the overly inflated stock market will blow up pushing the economy into a recession.

Recessions can be ignited by various factors, such as the housing bauble in the last recession, but the real cause of a recession is the decline in consumer consumption brought by economic and financial uncertainty. When consumers feel or perceive economic danger, such as inflated housing market, or inflated stock market, they intuitively reduce spending and increase savings to protect their finances.

"We will be able to observe early signs about a year before the recession hits" says Dr. Dan Geller, the developer of the Money Anxiety Index and the author of the book Money Anxiety, "prior to the last recession, we started observing an increase in consumer financial anxiety about 14 months prior to the start of the recession in December of 2007."

The Money Anxiety Index measures the level of consumers' financial worry and stress based on their spending and savings pattern. Historically, the Money Anxiety Index fluctuated from a high of 135.3 during the recession of the early 1980s, to a low of 38.7 in the mid-1960s.

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



Golden Retriever/Saint Bernard Mix
Fort Collins, Colorado  Adopt a Dog

1 Year Old
House Trained
Current on Vaccinations

“Gypsy is a 1 year old mixed breed rescued from a high kill shelter. She is current on vaccinations and heartworm testing, and will be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. She does well with other dogs and people and is currently untested with cats. She is also kenneled trained and housebroken. If you would like more information on this dog please go to and complete the adoption application and email it to During the week appointments can be arranged with a pre-approved application. This dog will be at our adoption event this Saturday (postings are current for the upcoming weekend; all dogs adopted will be removed from the site promptly.

“If this ad is still listed the puppy will be at our upcoming Saturday event.) The event is located at the Fort Collins Pet Club at 2226 E Harmony Road. Hours run approx. 9-12."

Please call/text/email Ashley at 970.286.9902 or for more information!

Please check out our FaceBook page and give us a thumbs up!

All Aboard Animal Rescue
PO BOX 271245
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Adopt a Pet


Asset Management

Asset Management: Atlanta, GA
premier provide accounts receivable management functions from 3rd Party contingency collections to Portfolio Purchasing. Contact George Elliott, National Account Manager. 678-694-9063, 

Asset Management: Boston, MA
Nationwide appraisals, remarketing, audits, inspections and more! Over 15-years industry experience and dedicated to deliver personal, prompt, professional services. 
Call Chris @ 508-785-1277 

Asset Management: Minneapolis, MN
NetSentric provides services to leasing companies: Inspection, Appraisals, Auditing, Warehousing, Repossession, Asset Management, Repairs, Remarketing and Field Service for Electronics and Computing Technology.

Asset Management: Monroe, NC
Recover a greater return on your investment.  We specialize in the woodworking, pallet, sawmill and forestry industries. 

Melinda Meier (704)288-1904 x103
Asset Management: Nationwide 
BUYER/LENDER BEWARE. Don't sign anything until Collateral Verifications Inc. goes onsite, knocks on the door and gets the facts.

Seasoned and fair priced workforce is at your service for all lease collections, repossessions, and asset liquidations, appraisals.  Call Nassau Asset Management 800-462-7728   

Asset Storage/Re-Marketing: Ohio & surrounding states. Providing no cost warehousing, condition reports, digital photos and remarketing of off-lease forklifts & industrial equipment. NAFTA wide dealer network. Email to
Asset Management
Melville, New York
Auctions, Appraisals, National Repossessions.  ALL asset classes. 20+ year team works for you. Spend less, Net More… Fast!
Ed Castagna
  Asset Management: Global
Specializing in Semiconductor and Electronic Test Equipment collateral. Lender services include Consignment Sales, Remarketing, Portfolio Purchases, Inspections, De-installation, Repairs and Warehousing.
Bulldog Asset Management provides recovery and remarketing services with a difference. Contingent repos, free storage and industry experts to remarket.



(Please click on ad to learn more)
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)


News Briefs----

Fifth Third to Close, Sell 100 Branches and Other Properties
   Company cites online, mobile banking uptick

Fifth Street Finance Corp. Sells Healthcare Finance Group
   to MidCap Financial

1st Mariner Bank recovering and hoping to grow, one year after purchase

U.S. New Home Sales Rise to 7-Year High
Trends suggest the market is gaining momentum

Top Job For Boeing's Hyper-Competitive New CEO:
   Shoring Up Defense Business

Judge voids hundreds of solar leases in Arizona
Hundreds of Customers released from their Leases

Vikings stadium naming deal cements U.S. Bank's logo

Senior Credit Analyst

Choose Location
Anaheim, CA, Tigard, OR, Federal Way, WA

Middle Market Credits $500,000 to $5MM
including Equipment Leases and Financings
and Recourse and Non-recourse Lines of Credit
-Five or More Years Credit Underwriting Exp.
Some Relocation Provided
click here for more information

Financial Pacific Leasing - Commercial
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank




--You May Have Missed It

This Map Shows Where the World's Water Is Drying Up


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Healthy Beverage Guidelines
Drink Up, But Drink the Right Stuff


Baseball Poem

Beisbol's Arrival

by Michael J. Bielawa ©

Published: Baseball Almanac (2000)

how did baseball first
in these southern worlds
and then return North
reinvented rich aromatic coffee dark fresh as rain

before visas & passports
an Americano wading through jungle
under a panama hat
during gold rush daze or
aboard ship
unloaded at hazy evening dockside
flambeaux illuminated
clipper's crew on
drunken leave
swinging beer and denuded
banana stalk in jest
jostling warped dock boards
below bare feet running
to an imaginary first base

the game actually stops with each hit
(experienced fielders reminding a batter
who'd never played before

imagine the thoughts
in the eyes of this first
Latino youth
stepping from damp shadows of a
curtained doorway
somewhere a baby crying at his back
striding toward
an unfamiliar sailor or would-be forty-niner
taking the makeshift bat (maybe a pick-ax handle)
in calloused hands
squinting at the blonde pitcher

summoning future spirits
Adolfo Luque
Minnie Minoso
Cepada, Cookie, Clemente
Carew, Valenzuela
rubbing the bat with such small hands
unknowingly molding the future




Sports Briefs----

Offseason chatter surrounding LeBron James has been wild
  -- and the fun is just getting started

Brady appeal ends after 11 hours


California Nuts Briefs---

Bay Bridge tower bolts could be replaced, engineer says

Get a glimpse of Jack London’s Beauty Ranch


“Gimme that Wine”

Touring Wine Country in a Pinzgauer

Huge Agricultural Land Transaction in Oregon's Willamette Valley

Napa Winery Buys Prime Anderson Valley Vineyard Land

Spain's wine exports to Canada surge 44 pct.

Sonoma County taps into LGBT tourism market with annual Gay Wine Weekend

Banks Flies into New Zealand

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

      1497 - The first European to set foot on the North American continent after the Vikings was John Cabot (also spelled Cabot, Cabotto, Caboote, Gabote, Calbot, or Talbot), a mariner who was probably born in Genoa, Italy.  In 1496, King Henry VII of England granted Cabot a charter to sail west to Asia and set up a spice-trade monopoly. Cabot's ship, a 70-foot caravel called the Matthew, embarked from Briston, England, on May 27, 1497, and arrived on the coast of Newfoundland---or possibly Maine---on June 24. After planting the English and Venetian flags, Cabot and his men spent a few hours exploring the landing site, then returned to their ship.
According to historians, Christopher Columbus was attempting to follow
Cabots route; however, he never landed in North America, but in the
what is now called the Caribbean.
    1579 - The first Christian religious service in English on the Pacific Coast was the Holy Communion service conducted at San Francisco Bay, CA, by the Reverend Francis Fletcher, who read from the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England.  Fletcher was chaplain on Sir Francis Drake's ship, the Golden Hind, during its voyage of cirumnagation from 1577 to 1580.  Drake named the place Nova Albion, Latin for New England.  A 57 foot marble cross commemorates the event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Ca.  There is a controversy this day to where he actually anchored, many think it is Bolinas Bay in Marin County, as his log so indicates, and a plaque so describes (but that is another story).  He navigated the North Coast of California.
    1647 - The first woman in America to appeal for the right to vote was Margaret Brent, a niece of Lord Baltimore, the founder of the colony of Maryland. She came to America from England in January, 1638, and was the first woman in Maryland to own property in her own name. She became one of the colony's principal landowners and a person of influence, raising troop of soldiers in 1644.  On June 24, 1647, she appealed for the right to vote in the colonial assembly by virtue of her position as secretary to Governor Leonard Calvert, asking for a “place and voyce,” but was ejected from the meetings. At the death of Calvert, she became his executor and acting governor, president over the General Assembly, but was refused a voice in the affairs of the government as “it would set a bad example to the wives of the colony.”  She moved to Virginia in 1650.
    1675 – In colonial New England, King Philip’s War begins when a band of Wampanoag warriors raid the border settlement of Swansee, Massachusetts, and massacre the English colonists there. In the early 1670s, 50 years of peace between the Plymouth colony and the local Wampanoag Indians began to deteriorate when the rapidly expanding settlement forced land sales on the tribe. Reacting to increasing Native American hostility, the English met with King Philip, chief of the Wampanoag, and demanded that his forces surrender their arms. The Wampanoag did so, but in 1675 a Christian Native American who had been acting as an informer to the English was murdered, and three Wampanoag were tried and executed for the crime. King Philip responded by ordering the attack on Swansee on June 24, which set off a series of Wampanoag raids in which several settlements were destroyed and scores of colonists massacred. The colonists retaliated by destroying a number of Indian villages. The destruction of a Narragansett village by the English brought the Narragansett into the conflict on the side of King Philip, and within a few months several other tribes and all the New England colonies were involved. In early 1676, the Narragansett were defeated and their chief killed, while the Wampanoag and their other allies were gradually subdued. King Philip’s wife and son were captured, and on August 12, 1676, after his secret headquarters in Mount Hope, Rhode Island, was discovered, Philip was assassinated by a Native American in the service of the English. The English drew and quartered Philip’s body and publicly displayed his head on a stake in Plymouth. King Philip’s War, which was extremely costly to the colonists of southern New England, ended the Native American presence in the region and inaugurated a period of unimpeded colonial expansion.
    1714 - Considered the birthday of Matthew Thornton (1714-1803), signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Ireland.
    1813 - Birthday of Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87), famous American clergyman and orator, at Litchfield, CT.  His dying words were, “Now comes the mystery”.
    1816 - The cold weather of early June finally gave way to several days of 90 degree heat in Massachusetts, including a reading of 99 degrees at Salem. 
    1842 - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was born in Meigs County, Ohio. American newspaper columnist, satirist, essayist, short-story writer and novelist, disappeared in the Mexican Revolution. Presumably died in the siege of Ojinega in January, 1914. Strongly influenced by Edgar Allan Poe, his experiences in the Civil War marked him for life.
    1846 - Col. Castro's forces from Monterey, under the command of Joaquín de la Torre, fought the "Battle of Olompali" north of San Rafael with Frémont's troops from Sonoma. Two Americans and five or six Californios were killed. (one time home of the Grateful Dead) 
    1850 - The San Francisco Town Council passed an ordinance for the proper organization of the Fire Department. Rules and regulations were adopted for the first time. Destruction by fire was common in the West, as it was earlier in the East, and having a fire department was paramount for survival in a city due to all the buildings being made of wood and lighted by gas or oil wick. 
    1864 – Colorado Governor John Evans warns that all peaceful Indians in the region must report to the Sand Creek reservation or risk being attacked, creating the conditions that will lead to the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.
    1869 - Abolitionist Mary Ellen "Mammy" Pleasant is named Voodoo Queen of San Francisco. 
    1880 - Agnes Nestor birthday - U.S. labor leader. AN emerged as the leader of the 1898 women glove-maker's strike in Chicago when she was only 18. The strike victory ended the pay deduction women had to pay for the rental of the machines the women used to sew gloves. A short time later she led the women into their own union because men did not always support women's needs. She held posts with the International Glove Workers Union for the rest of her life and served as president of the Chicago Women's Trade Union League 1913-1948.   She was a longtime advocate of the eight-hour day that became a reality in 1937. Child labor, minimum wage, maternity-health, and women's suffrage were also part of her life's work. k/USAWnestor.htm
    1880 - "O Canada," with music by Calixa Lavallee and French lyrics by Judge A.B. Routhier, was performed for the first time at the Skaters' Pavilion in Quebec City. Three bands, playing together, performed "O Canada" during a banquet at a national convention of French Canadians. Canada's future national anthem was reported to have been received enthusiastically. 
    1885 - The first African-American Episcopal bishop was the Reverend Samuel David Ferguson, who was elected to the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church.   He was consecrated in 1885, at Grace Church, New York City as the successor of the Missionary Bishop of Liberia.
    1895 - Birthday of William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey (1895-1983), boxing heavyweight champion and sports icon of the 1920s, at Manassa, CO. Dempsey boxed under several pseudonyms in western mining camps, came east and picked up Jack “Doc” Kearns as his manager. After defeating all available heavyweights, Dempsey took on champion Jesse Willard in Toledo, OH, on July 4, 1919.  Dempsey won when Willard failed to answer the bell for the fourth round.  He reigned as champ for seven years but defended his title only six times, losing to Gene Tunney in 1926.  Following his boxing career, he became a successful New York restaurateur. 
    1900 - Blues singer-guitarist Memphis Minnie born Algiers, LA.
    1916 - Birthday of John Ciardi (1916-86) at Boston, MA.  American poet, critic, translator, teacher, etymologist and author of children's books.  John Anthony Ciardi's criticism and other writings were often described as honest.
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    1916 - The most lucrative movie contract to the time was signed by actress, Mary Pickford. She inked the first seven-figure Hollywood deal. Pickford would get $250,000 per film with a guaranteed minimum of $10,000 a week against half of the profits, including bonuses and the right of approval of all creative aspects of her films. Not a bad deal for the former vaudeville and stage actress, who once appeared on Broadway with Cecil B. DeMille in "The Warrens of Virginia" for a measly $25 a week.
    1917 - Portia White’s (1917-68) birthday.  African-Canadian concert and operatic contralto.
    1922 - The American Professional Football Association took on a new name. They decided to name themselves the National Football League.
    1924 - Six men at a rock quarry south of Winston-Salem, NC, sought shelter from a thunderstorm. The structure chosen contained a quantity of dynamite. Lightning struck a near-by tree causing the dynamite to explode. The men were killed instantly.
    1929 - Bessie Smith records sound-track for her only movie, “St. Louis Blues.”
    1930 - Dr. Albert Hoyt Taylor and Leo C. Young of the Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory, Anacostia, DC (now part of Washington DC), discovered radar by noting that airplanes reflect radio waves even though they fly above the transmitter and receiver, rather than between them.
    1931 - Lili de Alvarez shocks social propriety by playing at Wimbledon in shorts instead of the longish, hampering dresses that were de rigueur.
    1936 - Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), born in Mayesville, SC the daughter of slaves, became the first Federal administrator who was an African-American woman.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt named her director of the Negro Division of the National Youth Administration, thus becoming the first African-American woman to receive a major federal appointment.  In 1904, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, later known as Bethune-Cookman College, located in Daytona Beach, FL.  She was also the founder and first president of the National Council of Negro Women. In 1991, her home and offices in Washington, DC, were designated a national historic landmark.
    1942 - Mick Fleetwood, drummer with Fleetwood Mac, was born in London. Originally a blues band when it was formed in 1965, Fleetwood Mac developed into a pop group that put out one of the world's best-selling albums, "Rumours," in 1977. It sold 15-million copies. In 1980, Mick Fleetwood recorded a solo album in Ghana with African musicians. Fleetwood Mac made a comeback in 1987 with the album "Tango in the Night." He lives in Hawaii, where he has a restaurant in Lahaina.
    1944 - Jeff Beck, one of the great rock guitarists, was born in Surrey, England. Beck's first important band was the Yardbirds, where he was the replacement for Eric Clapton in 1964. In 1967, he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. The beginnings of heavy metal could be heard in the group's blues-based songs. The Jeff Beck Group broke up after only two albums, and Beck was then sidelined for 18 months with a fractured skull suffered in a car accident. A new Jeff Beck Group put out two more LPs before Beck formed a band with two former members of Vanilla Fudge, Tim Bogert and Carmen Appice. But that group dissolved as well, in 1974. Beck then began playing fusion music, often in collaboration with keyboards player Jan Hammer. Jeff Beck has made only rare appearances since 1980, but his aggressive style has heavily influenced rock guitarists who followed him.
    1944 - Pianist Bruce Johnston was born in Chicago. He joined the touring version of the group in 1965 when Brian Wilson decided to quit touring after a nervous breakdown. Johnston has continued to be associated with the Beach Boys over the past quarter century, both as performer and producer.|PM&p=amg&sql=B18553
  (My high school friend, who also played piano in my band, and he would reciprocate when someone was sick in his band and he needed a replacement. I ran into him in Monterey and he did not remember me, but of course, I not only wear glasses now, weigh fifty pounds more—in high school I weighed 144, plus am bald, and go by the name of “Kit,” as I forgot in high school and college I was known by Larry, named after my father.  I called myself Kit to him. )
    1948 - In the early days of the Cold War, the Soviet Union challenged the West's right of access to Berlin. The Soviets created a blockade, and an airlift to supply some 2,250,000 people resulted. The airlift lasted a total of 321 days and brought into Berlin 1,592,787 tons of supplies. Joseph Stalin finally backed down and the blockade ended on May 12, 1949. 
    1948 - Thomas Dewey of New York became the first presidential candidate to be re-nominated after a defeat.  He lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944 and won re-nomination this day in 1948.  He was defeated in the 1948 election by Harry S. Truman, Roosevelt's Vice-President who assumed office after the death of the president in office.  The newspapers of the Election Day had printed up early morning editions that said “Dewey Won,” but it was Truman who stomped for election all over the United States, pulling one of the biggest American political upsets. He won 24,104,836 popular votes to Dewey's 21,969,500; the electoral vote was 304 to 189.  Dewey actually received 22,006,285 votes in 1944 but only 99 electoral votes.  In the 1948 election, Strom Thurmond, States Rights Democrat, 1,169,312; Henry A. Wallace, Progressive, 1,157,172, which pollsters said would draw votes from Truman in the South.  The key was Truman went out and worked for the votes, train stop-to-train stop, where the mustached Dewey and his advisors thought he had the election in the bag.
    1949 - “Hopalong Cassidy” premiered on television, the first TV western.  It starred William Boyd in the title role as a hero who wore black and rode a white horse, Topper.   The original episodes were segments edited from 66 movie features of Hopalong Cassidy and his sidekick, Red Connors (Edgar Buchanan).  The films were so popular that Boyd produced episodes especially for TV with Gabby Hayes as his sidekick. During his reign, Hoppy had many sidekicks.  It was popular for us boys to wear his two six guns and black hat.  Television was about to introduce many Western heroes, as all the Saturday Western movies were brought back to the tube.

    1951 - *BENNETT, EMORY L., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sobangsan, Korea, 24 June 1951. Entered service at: Cocoa, Fla. Born: 20 December 1929, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. G.O. No.: 11, 1 February 1952. Citation: Pfc. Bennett a member of Company B, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. At approximately 0200 hours, 2 enemy battalions swarmed up the ridge line in a ferocious banzai charge in an attempt to dislodge Pfc. Bennett's company from its defensive positions. Meeting the challenge, the gallant defenders delivered destructive retaliation, but the enemy pressed the assault with fanatical determination and the integrity of the perimeter was imperiled. Fully aware of the odds against him, Pfc. Bennett unhesitatingly left his foxhole, moved through withering fire, stood within full view of the enemy, and, employing his automatic rifle, poured crippling fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants, inflicting numerous casualties. Although wounded, Pfc. Bennett gallantly maintained his l-man defense and the attack was momentarily halted. During this lull in battle, the company regrouped for counterattack, but the numerically superior foe soon infiltrated into the position. Upon orders to move back, Pfc. Bennett voluntarily remained to provide covering fire for the withdrawing elements, and, defying the enemy, continued to sweep the charging foe with devastating fire until mortally wounded. His willing self-sacrifice and intrepid actions saved the position from being overrun and enabled the company to effect an orderly withdrawal. Pfc. Bennett's unflinching courage and consummate devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and the military service. 
    1951 - Twelve inches of hail broke windows and roofs, and dented automobiles, causing more than fourteen million dollars damage. The storm plowed 200 miles from Kingmand County KS into Missouri, with the Wichita area hardest hit. It was the most disastrous hailstorm of record for the state of Kansas. 
    1951—Top Hits
“Too Young” - Nat King Cole
“On Top of Old Smokey” - The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
“How High the Moon” - Les Paul & Mary Ford
“I Want to Be with You Always” - Lefty Frizzell
    1952- President Harry Truman signs the bill that directs women be commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force as various medical specialists such as dentists, doctors, osteopaths, and veterinarians.
    1952 - Thunderstorms produced a swath of hail 60 miles long and 3.5 miles wide through parts of Hand, Beadle, Kingsbury, Miner and Jerauld counties in South Dakota. Poultry and livestock were killed, and many persons were injured. Hail ten inches in circumference was reported at Huron SD
    1952 - Eddie Arcaro set a thoroughbred racing record for American jockeys by winning his 3,000th horse race.
    1953 - Al Kaline signed with the Detroit Tigers on this day (following his graduation from high school). The future all-star of the Tigers was 18 years old.
    1955- In an effort to speed up the game, primarily for television viewers, major league baseball announces a new rule which requires a pitcher to deliver the ball within 20 seconds after taking a pitching position.
    1957-Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald session on Verve “Take the A Train.”
    1959—Top Hits
“Personality” - Lloyd Price
“Lonely Boy” - Paul Anka
“Along Came Jones” - The Coasters
“The Battle of New Orleans” - Johnny Horton
    1961-President John F. Kennedy assigned Vice-President Lyndon Johnson with unifying the US satellite program, who played a significant role in bringing the communication and space age to a leader in the world.
    1962- The longest game ever played in Yankee history ends thanks to a home run hit by Jack Reed in the 22nd inning. The Mississippi native's lone big league career homer helps the Bronx Bombers beat Detroit in Tiger Stadium, 9-7.
    1964--Sam Cooke starts a two week stay at New York's Copacabana Club. A 70-foot billboard announcing the engagement is erected in Times Square
    1966--Lenny Bruce Mothers of Invention @ S.F. Fillmore Auditorium
Artist: Wes Wilson & Edmund Shea 
    1966--Show: Zig-Zag Man Big Brother and the Holding Company Quicksilver Messenger Service
Bill Ham @ SF Avalon Ballroom
Artist: Stanley Mouse 
    1966--- John Lennon's second whimsical book of original prose, poetry, and drawings, entitled A Spaniard In The Works, is published in his native England
    1966--- In an watershed moment for the brother/sister duo later known as the Carpenters, the jazz combo known as the Richard Carpenter Trio wins the Hollywood Bowl's "Battle of the Bands" contest.
    1966--- With the McCoys and the Standells opening, the Rolling Stones' 1966 tour begins at the Manning Bowl in Lynn, Massachusetts, inciting yet another crowd riot that the police counteract with tear gas. Rock concerts are banned from the venue for nearly two decades.
    1967-- 5th Dimension make their TV debut performing their hit single "Up, Up and Away" on ABC's American Bandstand.
    1967 -- Guitarist Zal Yanovsky quits the Lovin' Spoonful after their gig at the Forest Hills Music Festival in New York.
    1967-Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" enters the Billboard chart, where it will peak at #5. The song was written by the band around a melody composed by the group's organist, Matthew Fisher, who was inspired by the chord progression of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Orchestral Suite in D", composed between 1725 and 1739. 
    1967—Top Hits
“Groovin'” - The Young Rascals
“She'd Rather Be with Me” - The Turtles
“Windy” - The Association
“All the Time” - Jack Greene
    1968 - Jim Northrup becomes the sixth big leaguer to hit two grand slams in the same game. The “Slammer’s” power surge in the fifth (off Eddie Fisher) and sixth (off Billy Rohr) frames enables the Tigers to rout the Indians at Cleveland Stadium, 14-3.
    1970-On an amendment offered by Senator Robert Dole (R-Kansas) to the Foreign Military Sales Act, the Senate votes 81 to 10 to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. In August 1964, after North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked U.S. destroyers (in what became known as the Tonkin Gulf incident), President Johnson asked Congress for a resolution authorizing the president "to take all necessary measures" to defend Southeast Asia. Subsequently, Congress passed Public Law 88-408, which became known as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, giving the president the power to take whatever actions he deemed necessary, including "the use of armed force." The resolution passed 82 to 2 in the Senate, where Wayne K. Morse (D- Oregon) and Ernest Gruening (D-Alaska) were the only dissenting votes; the bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives. President Johnson signed it into law on August 10. It became the legal basis for every presidential action taken by the Johnson administration during its conduct of the war.
    1972 - "I Am Woman", by Helen Reddy, was released by Capitol Records. The number one tune (December 9, 1972) became an anthem for the feminist movement. Reddy, from Australia, made her stage debut when she was only four years old. She had her own TV program in the early 1960s. Reddy came to New York in 1966 and has appeared in the films "Airport 1975", "Pete's Dragon" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Reddy also had four million-sellers: "I Am Woman", "Delta Dawn", "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" and "Angie Baby". She had a total of 14 hits on the pop music charts.  
    1972 --- At tonight's show in Fort Worth, TX, the Rolling Stones film the performance that would become the quadrophonic concert documentary Ladies And Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones..
    1973-- After an extensive two-year investigation, 19 major music label heads, including Clive Davis of Arista and the Gamble-Huff team behind Philadelphia International, are indicted by the state of New Jersey for "payola" practices and income tax evasion
    1973 -- Legendary rock organist Al Kooper rejoins his first band, Blues Project, onstage during a concert in Central Park.
    1983-Pitcher Don Sutton of the Milwaukee Brewers struck out Alan Bannister of the Cleveland Indians, the 3,000th strikeout in his career.  The Brewers won, 6-2.  Sutton wound up his career with 3,574 strikeouts.
    1973- In his first year of eligibility, Warren Spahn receives 316 of the 380 votes cast to become a member of the Hall of Fame. The southpaw, who recorded thirteen 20-win seasons, retired as the winningest left- handed pitcher in big league history with 363 victories.
    1975—Top Hits
“Love Will Keep Us Together” - The Captain & Tennille
“When Will I Be Loved” - Linda Ronstadt
“Wildfire” - Michael Murphey
“You're My Best Friend” - Don Williams
    1975--The U.S. Attorney in Newark, New Jersey hands down indictments to 19 music industry executives in a two year investigation. Counts of income tax evasion and payola are leveled. Among those named include: Clive Davis, former president of Columbia Records and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the Philadelphia sound of the 70's.
    1977-Madison Wisconsin Police Detective Bruce Frey witnessed one of the strangest events of his career when he saw Elvis Presley jump out of his limo and stop two teenagers who were beating up a younger lad at a local gas station. Elvis said, "I'll take you on." Frey remembers; "They looked up at him, froze in mid-punch and the victim ran into the gas station." The pair quickly apologized and Elvis got back into the limo and headed for his hotel room at the Sheraton. 
    1980-- Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon purchase the Mets for an estimated $21.1 million. The price tag is the highest amount ever paid for a baseball franchise.
    1983—Top Hits
“Flashdance...What a Feeling” - Irene Cara
“Time (Clock of the Heart)” - Culture Club
“Electric Avenue” - Eddy Grant
“You Can't Run from Love” - Eddie Rabbitt
    1984-Joe Morgan of the Oakland A's hit the 256th home run of his career to break the record held by Rogers Hornsby for most home runs by a second baseman.
    1985 - The 1983 Heisman Trophy winner, Mike Rozier, jumped from the United States Football League to the Houston Oilers of the NFL. Rosier signed for more than two million dollars over a four-year period. 
    1987 - Thunderstorms spawned six tornadoes in eastern Colorado. Baseball size hail was reported near Yoder, CO, and thunderstorm winds gusting to 92 mph derailed a train near Pratt, KS. The town of Gould, OK, was soaked with nearly an inch and a half of rain in just ten minutes.
    1988 - Forty-three cities reported record high temperatures for the date. Valentine NE reported an all-time record high of 110 degrees, and highs of 102 degrees at Casper, WY, 103 degrees at Reno, NV, and 106 degrees at Winnemucca, NV, were records for the month of June. Highs of 98 degrees at Logan, UT, and 109 degrees at Rapid City, SD, equaled June records. Lightning killed twenty-one cows near Conway, SC
    1989- Paul Simon brought his "Graceland" tour to Moscow, playing the first of two concerts before 5,000 people in Gorky Park. It was Simon's first appearance in the Soviet Union.
    1989-- The Beatles finally get a US #1 Country hit when Rosanne Cash's cover of "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" reaches the top spot.
    1991—Top Hits
“Rush, Rush” - Paula Abdul
“Losing My Religion” - R.E.M.
“Unbelievable” - EMF
“The Thunder Rolls” - Garth Brooks
    1992 - Portland, Oregon became the first city outside of New York to host the NBA (National Basketball Association draft). At the Portland Memorial Coliseum, the first overall pick went to the Orlando Magic who picked 7'1" center Shaquille O'Neal of LSU. 
    1992-- Billy Joel's old alma mater, Hicksville High in Long Island, NY, awards the singer-songwriter an honorary diploma in place of the one he never stayed in school to receive.
    1993-- Hank Williams' illegitimate daughter Jett, is awarded a piece of the country legend's estate from his son, Hank Jr.
    1998 -- Johnny Cash makes his first public appearance since announcing his battle with Shy-Drager Syndrome, walking onstage at Kris Kristofferson's latest Nashville concert to sing Cash's hit "Sunday Morning Coming Down," written by Kris.
    1998 - AT&T announced that it was buying cable TV giant TCI for $31.7 billion. The deal let AT&T move closer to its goal of providing local phone and high speed Internet service to millions of U.S. homes
    1999-Eric Clapton puts 100 of his guitars up for auction in New York at Christie's to raise money for his drug rehab clinic, the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. His 1956 Fender Stratocaster, named Brownie, was sold for a record $497,500. The guitar was used to record "Layla." The auction helped raise nearly $5 million for the clinic.
    2001-- Believed to be an historical first, sixty-eight major league umpires participate in a pre-season session to practice calling strikes as defined by the rule book. With the help of minor leaguers wearing tapes nine inches above their belts, the men in blue get a good look at pitches, normally called balls, which now will considered a strike as the correct interpret ion of the zone will be enforced this upcoming season.
    2004 -- US President George W. Bush awards the Medal of Freedom to Doris Day. named Olivia Newton-John's 1982 hit, "Physical" as The Sexiest Song of All Time. Other classic Rock songs that made the top ten were Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night", Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On", Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" and another Rod Stewart contribution, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy".

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