Arthur Ashe. Hurricane. The Big Game. Pure Talent.

Friend and Foe. I’m Not Leaving.  Super Bowl LVIII.  An Orchestra’s Take on Club Music. 

Quote of the Week: “We must reach out our hand in friendship and dignity both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy.” – Arthur Ashe

  • With what is going on in today’s world, I am not sure there are many who would agree with that quote from Arthur Ashe.

Arthur Ashe was a true pioneer. Those who remember Arthur Ashe will recall his amazing tennis career, winning three Grand Slam singles titles and two in doubles. Ashe was the first black tennis player to be selected to the United States Davis Cup team, and the only black man ever to win titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. He was once ranked world No. 1 as well as winning the ATP Player of the Year award. Ashe also enlisted in the United States Army after graduating from college, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps. He went on to an assignment at the United States Military Academy and before leaving the Army was promoted as a 1st Lieutenant. 

As a teenager/college student working at Doral Country Club in Miami, Florida, I was assigned to work for Doral’s Guest Services Manager. My job, at seventeen years old, was to help guests with their requests, which spanned from making dinner reservations, scheduling golf and tennis lessons, running bingo, and doing what needed to be done so that the guests were appeased. The Guest Services Manager, breaking every child labor law known to mankind, would often call me to come to Doral early in the morning as guests needed to fill out their golf foursome or tennis match for doubles. It was a great job as I met so many people, some incredibly nice and generous, and unfortunately some guests who were in a word, rude.

At that time, Arthur Ashe was Doral Country Club’s touring pro, and he and his wife were often at Doral when I was working, which was during the summer and between Thanksgiving and Christmas. His wife, Jeanne, frequently stopped me to thank me for always helping her and Arthur with their questions and requests. Of course, I was awestruck by her ‘celebrity’ status but always remembered how nice she was to me. Jeanne’s husband, Arthur Ashe, was no different. He would often stop me to say hello, thank me for everything I did around Doral, and did something I still remember to this day.

As I was breaking all child labor laws due to the Guest Services Manager’s request that I basically work two shifts, six days a week, she would allow me, at Doral’s expense, to have a meal in their casual, diner-type restaurant. I always waited until most guests departed the restaurant and would sit at the counter for my late lunch or very early dinner. One day, no different than the next, I was having my daily meal and of all people, Arthur Ashe, with many open seats at the counter, sat down next to me. He asked me many questions and we went on to have a great conversation talking about tennis, golf, and sports in general. When we were done chatting, he thanked ME for spending time, shook my hand, and told me that if he could help me in anyway, to give him a call. Dumbstruck, I went on to my workday floating on cloud nine. At seventeen years old, it was an hour I will never forget.

Arthur Ashe’s storied life included graduating from college, a stint with the U.S. Army, many tennis titles, a civil and human rights advocate, and a family man. His heart condition ended his tennis career, and a surgery-related blood transfusion resulted in Ashe contracting HIV. He died in 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia at the young age of 49.

After everything Arthur Ashe accomplished and subsequently endured, his quote regarding friend and foe does not seem farfetched. 

         My Fond Memories of Jeanne and Arthur Ashe.

  • Hurricanes suck. I am not referring to the University of Miami Hurricanes, but to the storm systems that for the most part find their way to Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the East Coast of the United States. The storm surge and sustained wind from category 2 hurricanes and higher wreak havoc, cause immense damage, and usually displace a proportion of the population. I have no doubt that the National Hurricane Center, FEMA, and local and state officials try their best to convince people in threatened areas to evacuate. Many evacuate, but there are always some who refuse to leave and stay in or around their homes. Here is one take on the so-called brave people who think they can ‘ride-out’ a hurricane.
It Really is What the Wind is Blowing.

Here is what I am thinking for a mid-February Sunday:

  • Economic forecasters, many of them predicting a recession in Q1 of 2024, must be shaking their heads and tweaking their algorithms. On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 index closed above 5,000 for the first time. Is there a correction on the horizon? 
  • Later today, Super Bowl LVIII (Richie, that Roman numeral is 58) kicks off at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, we should have a good game between the Taylor Swift Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The worldwide television audience is expected to be in the 110 million range, with millions more watching on their laptops and other devices. Not to minimize the expected Super Bowl audience, but to provide perspective, the World Cup Final in 2022 attracted a worldwide television audience of 1.5 billion. 
  • Speaking of the World Cup Final: “People across the globe traveling to New Jersey for biggest sporting event in the world.” ”European fans getting off the plane in Newark and looking around like…?” ”Rio, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires…. and East Rutherford, New Jersey.” These are the many comments from naysayers after FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup final would be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This take from Joe Pesci about sums it up. WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE.

     Joe Pesci’s Take on the 2026 World Cup Final Venue. 

  • This afternoon’s Super Bowl will hopefully include creative, funny, and interesting commercials. Ad spots for today’s game cost $7 million for 30 seconds, and we certainly hope some of those commercials have the creativity displayed by ETRADE’s baby commercials. So funny. 
At $7m for 30 Seconds, the Commercials Better Be Good!

  • Pure talent. This song, by Finnish DJ and record producer Darude, gained worldwide recognition back in the early 2000s. An instrumental that is still played in clubs and at sporting events and has gained popularity with the internet meme culture. Darude created Sandstorm using hardware and software too numerous to list, which makes the rendition in this video even more special. Sandstorm eventually reached sales of two million worldwide, but it has never been performed better than this rendition by this talented orchestra.
Amazing Work by an Amazing Orchestra.

  • Last, but not least, THE countdown is on. Four weeks to daylight savings time!!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Sunday Funday. 

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