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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Category: Just Ramblin'

The House by the Side of the Road

Andrew Norton

One last post about the late Ernie Harwell. As a youth, Ernie had a speech impediment and one of his exercises was to recite this poem by Sam Walter Foss. As a baseball announcer, Ernie kept a piece of this poem as a catch-phrase for when someone struck out looking, "He stood there like the house by the side of the road and watched it go by." Here is the complete text of "The House by the Side of the Road."

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the place of their self-content; There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament; There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths Where highways never ran- But let me live by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road Where the race of men go by- The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner's seat Nor hurl the cynic's ban- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road By the side of the highway of life, The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife, But I turn not away from their smiles and tears, Both parts of an infinite plan- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead, And mountains of wearisome height; That the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night. And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice And weep with the strangers that moan, Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go by- They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish - so am I. Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

So long, Ernie, you were indeed a friend to man.

God Bless You, Ernie Harwell

Andrew Norton

William Ernest Harwell - 1918 - 2010 For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

One of my strongest memories of listening to Ernie Harwell call a Tigers game was as a kid. I was supposed to be sleeping, but I turned on my transistor radio and caught the end of a Tigers game. I don't know who they were playing, but the Tigers were down going into their last bat in the bottom of the 9th and Sweet Lou Whitaker hit a walk-off home run to win it and Ernie Harwell belted out, "It's Loonng Gone, Tigers Win!"

Two things that I think need to be done to honor such a Tigers and Major League Baseball legend:

  1. The Tigers need to have one game each year designated as Ernie Harwell Day.
  2. Buy out the Comerica corporate sponsorship and rename it Harwell Field or Harwell Park.

The Comerica Park sponsorship is a $66 million deal over 30 years which began with the stadium's opening in 2000. Small price in order to pay tribute to a broadcasting and Tigers legend. That is, if there isn't a clause in the contract that prohibits a buyout.

Information and other links about Ernie Harwell

A public viewing will be held at Comerica Park beginning at 7am Thursday, May 6th. Free parking is available at lots 1, 2, and 3.

The Detroit Tigers will wear patches on their uniforms as tribute to Ernie Harwell for the remainder of this season.

I strongly urge you to get a copy of the Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook. You will be able to listen to the Voice of the Tigers any time you wish. Here is a non-affiliate link to purchase a copy - Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook.

MLB video tribute to broadcasting legend, Ernie Harwell

Mitch Albom's tribute to Ernie

Ernie Harwell tribute page I created a few years ago

As long as we have our memories, Ernie Harwell will never truly be gone. We'll remember Lonnng Gone!, Called out for excessive window shopping, Foul ball caught by a man from Kalamazoo, Two for the price of one, and many others he delivered in that smooth cadence with a hint of the south where he was born and raised.

Once again, the video of Ernie Harwell thanking the fans on September 16, 2009 -

I think Ernie said it best in his September 30, 2002 final sign-off as a Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster -

"And rather than good-bye, please allow me to say thank you.

"Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for taking me with you to that cottage up north, to the beach, the picnic, your work place and your backyard.

"Thank you for sneaking your transistor under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers.

"Now I might have been a small part of your life. But you have been a very large part of mine. And it's my privilege and honor to share with you the greatest game of all.

"Now God has a new adventure for me. And I'm ready to move on. So I leave you with a deep sense of appreciation for your longtime loyalty and support.

"I thank you very much, and God bless all of you."

Celebrating the top posts over the years with this 1,000th post

Andrew Norton

Ever since the post counter showed 999 Total Posts I have been struggling to come up with something worthy of Post Number 1,000. Consequently, I haven't posted anything in a long time due to Post Number 1,000 staring me in the face and demanding a worthy tribute. I decided to run a list of the Top Ten Posts here at the All Things Michigan blog. This humble little blog started back on November 10, 2005 with a post about The Leetsville Shoe Tree. I started this blog as an attempt to help do what I could to promote the state of Michigan.

Mind you, this was before the bottom fell out of the Michigan (and subsequently national) economy. This was back before it was trendy to outwardly support Michigan and before a slew of pro-Michigan websites (which I think are great!) sprang up. You could say that I was promoting Michigan when promoting Michigan wasn't cool (to borrow a phrase from a country song).

Without further ado, here are the Top Ten Posts at All Things Michigan:

  1. John Rich performs Shutting Detroit Down
  2. Time lapse video of 2009 Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race
  3. Is the Michigan State Fair the nation’s oldest?
  4. The music behind the Pure Michigan ads
  5. The German POW camps of Michigan during WWII
  6. Top Ten Things to do in Michigan in the Fall
  7. I give a standing ovation to Mitch Albom’s Sports Illustrated article
  8. Stop in at Tony’s I-75 Restaurant
  9. 1st Annual Mackinac Bridge Antique Tractor Crossing
  10. Bear Cave in Buchanan

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The Voice of the Turtle - Ernie Harwell

Andrew Norton

When Ernie Harwell was still announcing games for the Detroit Tigers, the first radio broadcast of spring training would be cause for him to recite Song of Solomon 2:11-12 - The Voice of the Turtle. As a tribute to Ernie Harwell and the first radio broadcast of spring training today at 1pm I give you, The Voice of the Turtle.

For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

This wouldn't be complete without hearing the great Mr. Harwell recite it so give a quick listen to him -

I have found another reason to like Red Wings goalie, Chris Osgood

Andrew Norton

To raise money for the Detroit Red Wings foundation, goalie Chris Osgood, auctioned off the chance to skate with him on his homemade rink at his Plymouth home. David Dagenais placed the winning bid and gave it to his son, Drew, as a once in a lifetime Christmas present. Here's a quote from Chris Osgood when asked what he thought the kids would take away from the day at his rink -

“Maybe that I’m normal? Which I am,” Osgood joked. “Just fun. That’s what it was here. They wanted me to give them instruction and stuff, and I said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to play.’

Read the article on the fun day that Drew Dagenais and his friends had at Chris Osgood's backyard rink.

Other than the fact that he is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, here is one of the top reasons I like Chris Osgood:

To those who think being neighborly is dead

Andrew Norton

We have a wonderful older gentleman in our neighborhood who happily uses his tractor and attached snowblower to plow out all of the surrounding homes. It's a trick after each significant snowfall to finish using my Yooper Scooper on my driveway before he helps. It's not that I don't want his help, I just like to challenge myself to see how quick I can clear my driveway :). Anyway, he helps everyone young and old get their drives cleared. You don't even have to ask him, although he has said if he doesn't make it down to yours and you need his help to just stop on by or give him a call. There must be about a dozen driveways of varying lengths that he spends the entire morning plowing out after each snowstorm.

I know what you might be thinking. How much does he charge? Well, he won't take money, but he has yet to turn down a handful of fresh-baked cookies. I've helped neighbors get their cars unstuck or shovel a driveway during the years that we have lived here and it hasn't cost me much except a little time.

Before you complain about how unfriendly your neighbors are, think about this. What have I done to extend friendship and to be neighborly? Just think how much better our communities would be if we all asked ourselves this question and then acted upon it.

Have faith, dear readers, for this world isn't as selfish and cold as the news reports would make it out to be.