Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Beach Boys span the generations

I’m watching the Beach Boys at Freedom Hill.
It is Sunday night and I’m on the lawn with my wife, Kim.
We are looking at a complete mix of people; from infants in Pampers to their grandparents in Depends. Sitting close by are teens. Also on blankets near us are folks whose high school graduations were so long ago that Abraham Lincoln gave the commencement address.
Some are eating soft pretzels. Some are drinking beverages that are definitely not soft drinks.
Spanning the generations isn’t an easy thing to do in the music business.
Filling up a place like Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights isn’t either.
It is a testament to the music of the Beach Boys.
Good Vibrations isn’t just a song. It is also a feeling and the Beach Boys make people feel good.
Truthfully, growing up, I was never that big on the Beach Boys. They were a little too straight-laced and I  was into music that had more of an edge. Groups like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and the Stooges.
As I get older, my appreciation for longevity increases. I find it remarkable that songs first performed in the 1960s and 1970s can remain so popular today. Think of everything that’s gone on in society since Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, and Alan Jardine got together in California in 1961. The war in Vietnam.  Richard Nixon and Watergate. Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook. Bill Gates and Microsoft. The riots in Detroit. Detroit and bankruptcy.
The Beach Boys sing about surfing and somehow it works even though most of us have only surfed the web. They sing about a little deuce coupe when most of us are tooling around in minvans, SUVs or trucks. Somehow that works, too.
They unabashedly wear Hawaiian shirts in a Rust Belt state and somehow that works, too.
The Beach Boys sing about a life that most of us want to live. They sing about a lifestyle that most of us want to embrace.
Thanks for stopping by, guys. See you again in 2015.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Drunk teacher didn't follow the dress code

I’m no prude.
I have been known to turn on Jerry Springer when nobody else is in the house.
Sisters Dating Brothers Who Cheat With Their Mother or something like that.
But even I was shocked by this story out of Houston:
According to CBS, a newly-hired teacher was found intoxicated and not wearing any pants inside an Oklahoma high school classroom on her first day of work, said police.
Police arrested Lorie Hill after two Wagoner High School teachers found her intoxicated and without pants in an empty classroom she was claiming to be her own, KOKI-TV reported.
Hill was reporting for her first day on the job as all teachers were also returning for their first day back in school from summer break.
Wagoner police say she admitted to drinking and authorities found an empty cup in her vehicle that contained an odor of vodka.
Hey, I have worked with more than one person who couldn’t face the day without a drink or two. And I have known a teacher or two who probably felt like drinking every morning before facing their own class.
But I have never known anyone to show up to work not wearing pants. Even President Clinton wore his into the Oval Office, at least.
Like I said, I’m no prude. I even watch Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel when nobody is around.
But no pants? That has to be against the school dress code.



South Haven is Shangri-La

Spent a week in South Haven.
We’d never been before to the small town in southwestern Michigan before.
Rented a house, drove three hours westbound, and there it was.
Not just the house, but the town. Not just the town, but the lake.
All of the above was very, very pleasant.
There is something about Lake Michigan that is inspiring.
Not that I was inspired to go kayaking. Not that it inspired me enough to charter a fishing boat and wrestle a salmon out of the water. Not inspirational enough to swim a mile every morning.
Truthfully, we mostly watched. We watched the water. We watched our grown kids watching their own kids as they played on the beach.
After the kids left, it was just my wife, Kim, and I.
We drank coffee on the deck. We ate lunch on the beach. We read and we read some more. We relaxed and if we felt like it, we took a nap. If that sounds boring, well here’s a big hug and a big hooray for boring.
We had a great time.
South Haven is just the right size. There is enough to do without being overwhelmed. There was  some traffic, but nothing like it is here. No road rage. No carjackings.  No gripping the steering wheel so tight you develop both blisters and high blood pressure.
We ate fish. We ate burgers. We ate ice cream.
Did I mention we ate ice cream? Probably five out of seven nights.
The vacation is over. It is great to be back. I think.