A Drunken Idiot, Taxes, Evel, Sevey

Don Chapman
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December 12, 2007
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Why some people should not be allowed to drink (because you cannot handle, brah, you cannot handle): At the big UH-Boise State football game, a young professional guy I know was leaning on the lower-level railing of one of the bridges connecting stadium sections, watching the halftime show with half a dozen buddies, when moisture began to fall. No, not rain. They suddenly realized that someone on the upper bridge had vomited, and it hit all seven of them - and each of them had to buy a new shirt. True story, sorry to say ...

* I hope you saw Robert Novak’s columns in the past two issues of MidWeek as well as this week, reporting how a stupid squabble in Congress could mean that Americans won’t get their IRS tax refunds until weeks or months later than usual. I also hope you’ll call our Congressional delegates and tell ‘em to get their act straight - and that if your returns are late you’ll remember the next time up they’re up for re-election ...


* By the way, here are the local phone numbers for Hawaii’s D.C. Fab Four:

Sen. Dan Inouye - 541-2542

Sen. Dan Akaka - 522-8970 Rep. Neil Abercrombie - 541-2570

Rep. Mazie Hirono - 541-1986 ...

* Hearing news of the death of daredevil motorcyclist Evel Knievel, I recalled covering his ill-fated attempt to jump the Snake River canyon in a rocket-powered bike, in 1974. I was there as the sports editor of the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald, the campus paper. The day before the launch, I was at the site just outside Twin Falls, Idaho, when Evel landed in a helicopter, and I joined a throng of people following him. We passed through a couple of gates, and at each one people dropped out, until I was one of 10 or so folks entering his quarters in the back of a big Mack truck. As folks were being seated, somebody asked if I wanted a beer. You bet. That’s when another person asked who I was. I produced my media credential, and suddenly a big bodyguard was pulling out a big pistol and pointing it at me - I think it was a Smith & Wesson .45. Whereupon I excused myself and departed, without the beer. It was the first, and I hope it remains the only, time I’ve had a gun pulled on me ...

Next day, I was stationed just to the side of the launch ramp, and recall being shocked at how slowly the rocket propelled the bike, thinking no way it’s making it to the other side. Then the parachute deployed almost immediately, and Evel crashed on the rocks below, not even making it to the river. I’ll always believe it was a cheap stunt, and that Evel never intended to make it across the huge canyon - and that all of us there, as well as a national TV audience, got suckered that day ...


* Last week’s big storm and ensuing blackout was a reminder of just how tenuous our modern life is. As a friend who stayed home with his two young sons while power was out for almost 24 hours said, “Without electricity, whew, it’s straight back to the 1800s.” ...

* It was good to see my old Columbia Inn Roundtable All-Star teammate Bob Sevey talking with Leslie Wilcox on Public TV recently. Here’s my favorite Sevey story: Back in the days when he was the most respected TV news anchor in Hawaii, Bob was playing golf at Hawaii Kai when he hooked a shot and hit a house. Upon closer inspection, Bob saw that he’d broken a glass jalousie, and that nobody was home. Returning later, he apologized to the homeowners and gave them two glass jalousies.

“Why two?” they said. “You only broke one.”

Replied Bob, “I play here every week.” ...

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