Insights into the Jackie Robinson story and beyond

Bob White new

The barbershop was crowded, Spring vibes permeating the place. Everybody was in unison about “Miller time.”
The Ways and Means Committee said, “Everything that Marc Miller said during the election campaign, before he got elected, and his political attaché Lisa Montgomery said they were going to do, they are in the process of delivering. This new government is our bridge over troubled water.”
Downtown Don said he ran into one of the regulars of [the] Committee and he shouted to him: “Blacks are unstructured and disorganized. I wonder where we got that from?”
Just Chillin’ said he was looking at the March 31st issue of CommunityCONTACT. “It was about the Jackie Robinson story on PBS on Monday and Tuesday nights. Some regulars at the Ways and Means Committee had the privilege of meeting and working with Jackie Robinson. His signature was, “A life is not important unless it has impact on other peoples’ lives.”
“If documentary filmmaker Ken Burns had come to the barbershop we would’ve told him all about Jackie Robinson’s sojourn in Montreal in 1946, things he [Ken] didn’t know. It was easy to meet Jackie Robinson, but difficult to understand him…”
“What about 1946 you ask? Well that year, the great Jackie Robinson came to Montreal to play baseball. He ‘broke the colour barrier’ the saying goes. But something he said in his autobiography is embedded in my mind: “A life is not important unless it has an impact on other peoples’ lives.” Think about it!
As you enjoy the young baseball season, read Jackie Robinson’s autobiography, I Never Had It Made.
On the back cover his words are printed: “I guess if I could choose one of the most important moments in my life, I would go back to 1947 in Yankee Stadium in New York City. It was the opening day of the World Series, and I was for the first time playing in the series as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers team. It was a history-making day. It would be the first time that a Black man would be allowed to participate in a world series. I had become the first Black player in the major leagues.”
“I was proud of that, and yet I was uneasy. I was proud to be in the hurricane eye of a significant breakthrough, and to be used to prove that a sport can’t be called national if Blacks are barred from it. Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had rudely awakened America. He had chosen me as the person to lead the way.”
“It hadn’t been easy to fight the resentment expressed by players on the other teams, and by their owners and the bigoted fans screaming ‘nigger’. The hate mail piled up. There were threats against me and my family and even out-and-out attempts at physical harm to me. In one game a Black cat was thrown at me from the stands.”
“But on that historic day in 1947, the air was sparkling and the sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. It should’ve been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words poured from the stands. However, as I write these words twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the national anthem. I have learned that I remain a Black man in a white world. I never had it made.”
Schoolboy said, “Amen! Jackie was the real deal.”
Did you know there are only three Orders of Black nuns in the U.S.? So what’s the difference?
The great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There were five drunks standing on a corner, one happened to be Black, and society says: Look at the Black drunk…” They don’t talk about the four White ones. It’s the same as when White people go into downtown department stores and two Black guys enter the same store to shop… and the police put a gun to one of the guy’s head; he happened to be Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. And most of those baseball players would tell you when they played baseball in Montreal for the Expos if they drove a SUV around the city they would be stopped by the police. That’s one of the reasons why they didn’t want to play in Montreal.
Ken Burns should’ve come down to the barbershop and talk to the people who knew Jackie Robinson… well. We would’ve told him all about Jackie Robinson. The people in the shop had all the connections for him… but were the wrong complexion.
Wendell Smith who was on the beat covering Jackie’s career couldn’t sit in the box; he had to sit in the stands because he was Black.
The regulars at the Ways and Means would’ve told Ken Burns that “After the games at Delorimier Downs we used to wait for Jackie get on the streetcar and go downtown (St. Catherine Street and Drummond) to the Chicken Coop (where Mister Steer is located now). Jackie revolutionized the game of baseball. His baseball card was worth $1,800, Mickey Mantle’s $5,000. Only in America!
Did you know if you have arthritis, and you could ask Joe or Yvonne at St. Mary’s Hospital What’s the best citrus fruit to eat? Here’s what some doctors say: “Oranges and lemons, grapefruits, and limes: they’re all rich in vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen and helps build and repair tendons, ligaments, and bones. As a result, these bright fruits are especially helpful for people with osteoarthritis. They’re also high in antioxidants, which help fight inflammation…”
Here’s some more useful information.
“Cherries decrease the risk of gout attacks, or flares,” according to a 2012 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism. Researchers from Boston University found three servings a day to be effective, while intake above that amount didn’t provide any additional benefit. The researchers defined one serving as half a cup, or 10 to 12 cherries.
“Cherries are really important for gout, because they decrease uric acid in the in the blood,” according to Dr. Kam Shojania, head of rheumatology at the university of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital… While certain foods can help to reduce inflammation and ease symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, there are others to avoid altogether. “Stay away from processed foods and fast foods. They’re all bad. Nothing good can from those.” She explains that, “…cherry juice or extract works as well.”
This information useful comes from an article ‘The best foods to eat if you have’ arthritis’ in the Globe and Mail (Monday, September 14, 2015).
Professor put up his hand and said, “I want everybody to be quiet cos’ I got something important to say: The YMCA in partnership with the Westend Sports Association is hosting one of the biggest basketball tournaments ever in Quebec, maybe Canada. 35 teams, including two girl teams from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and the U.S. will be participating. The divisions will include mini to juvenile. The venues will be Dawson College, Concordia University, James Lyng High School, and three YMCAs.”
“Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau will be there to present a trophy. M.P. Marc Miller will also be there to present a trophy. The mother of Olympian and Pan American Games superstar Nira Fields will also be there to present a trophy. And here’s how you go big and professional, official sponsors of this major basketball event are Dominos Pizza and Anatolia Pizza. Brossard Bagel wilI also be there to carve up the bagels. This year’s MC will be Albert Batten, President of the Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union. This weekend: April 15, 16, and 17.”
Oh, by the way, “What do Oliver Jones, Montreal’s king of Jazz, and Marc Garneau, the first Canadian in space, have in common?” Everybody looked confused. I know that’s a tough one for you guys because you don’t stay informed. Both are on a Canadian postage stamp…”
So, remember when you’re looking at your kids what Jackie Robinson said…
Aubrey Merriman knows this.
Oh, may Larry Wexler rest in peace!