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25 December 2011


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Damon Runyon. What a great writer. Here he is as sports reporter:

>“This is the way old “Casey” Stengel ran yesterday afternoon, running his home run home.
This is the way old “Casey” Stengel ran running his home run home to a Giants victory by a score of 5-4 in the first game of the World Series of 1923.
This is the way old “Casey” Stengel ran, running his home run home, when two were out in the ninth inning and the score was tied and the ball still bouncing inside the Yankee yard.
This is the way -
His mouth wide open
His warped old legs bending beneath him at every stride
His arms flying back and forth like those of a man swi mming with a crawl stroke.
His flanks heaving, his breath whistling, his head far back.
Yankee infielders, passed by old Casey Stengel as he was running his home run home, say Casey was muttering to himself, adjuring himself to greater speed as a jockey mutters to his horse in a race, that he was saying: “Go on, Casey! Go on!”

And here as crime reporter:

>A chilly looking blonde with frosty eyes and one of those marble, you-bet-you-will chins, and an inert, scare-drunk fellow that you couldn’t miss among any hundred men as a dead set-up for a bl onde, or the shell game, or maybe a gold brick.

Mrs Ruth Snyder and Henry Judd Gray are on trial in the huge weatherbeaten old court house of Queens County in Long Island City, just across the river from the roar of New York, for what might be called for want of a better name, The Dumbbell Murder. It was so dumb.

This remains the best show in town, if I may say so, as I shouldn’t. Business couldn’t be better. In fact, there is some talk of sending out a Number 2 company and 8 million different blondes are being considered for the leading female role. No one has yet picked for Henry Judd Gray’s part but that will be easy. Almost any citizen will do, with a little rehearsal."

I really wish I'd been able to go to Billy LaHiff's Tavern. That's where the real 20's writers hung out. Not among all those self-regarding twats at the Alonquin!

Mark Gaughan

I enjoyed that, thanks. My mom was ten years old then, she's doing great at eighty-eight. Leon Redbone, huh. Have a Merry Christmas!

Maureen Lang

Thanks for linking to "Dancing Dan's Christmas" over at TA. Getting a lot of hits on this particular holiday post- glad so many are enjoying it.

Leon Redbone is a favorite musician of mine. My 1st posting here was his version of the Bessie Smith tune "At The Christmas Ball." I notice it's no longer available on youtube, but here's a link to Redbone doing the Andrews Sisters' "Christmas Island." Enjoy:


Thank you Maureen,

A great American writer and a timely christmas gift:)

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