Tag Archives: David Somers

Micro Quest 10- Not All There

Eyeball Bender

Take a photo that’s “Not All There”
1) Choose a photo subject, whether that be an object or a person.

2) Take a photo of your subject, but make sure NOT to include the entire subject in your photo. You want to photograph just a piece (no more than 1/4) of your subject.

3) Share your photo on Instagram or Twitter with the tag #QuestScouts. Alternatively, you can also share your experience in our Facebook group!

IMPORTANT: DO NOT label who/what your subject is. Instead, leave it to the imagination.

My friend David is a really smart guy. When we were about 12, Games Magazine came out. His family got it for him. He brought it over one day. I was hooked. So was my mother. Childhood wasn’t filled with an excess of things, particularly those suggested by Mom, but she insisted on a subscription to this. I had it for many years. Early in my teaching career, I found a haul on a very early ebay site of every issue. I used those for years in my classroom and even taught a puzzle course during the summer that incorporated those into it. My favorite puzzle? The eyeball benders. Loved them!

Top Spectrum Moments

The Philadelphia Spectrum came down today. ESPN has put together a segment of the top 10 moments at the Spectrum in sports. Unfortunately, the top two are not Philadelphia highlights. 🙁 The NCAA game was huge though.

For me, I would think the Flyers beating the Soviets was the biggest sporting event at the arena.

The first time I went to the Spectrum was for a Celtics-76ers game in 1972-73, I think. David and I waited in the runway after the game and got everyone’s autograph. I had a photograph of Toby Kimball that everyone signed. Of course, this was the hapless 76ers season. I saw another game there where Fred Carter scored 32 points. It seems to me I saw Billy Cunningham blow out his knee too, but perhaps it was a different player.

I saw a few other 76ers games and some Flyers games during the 1970s. But to me, the Spectrum was a concert hall. I saw many concerts in this hall. The first was Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks. The last was The Wiggles. In-between were oodles of Grateful Dead, Roger Waters, and Jerry Garcia shows.

The Spectrum was homey. I loved dancing in the concourse during the Dead’s space. I suppose it is outdated by today’s standards, but I found it to be a wonderful joint to see events.

I thought Spectacor had a wonderful thing when it opened the FU Center/Wacovia Center/whatever it is called next door and still kept the Spectrum. It allowed for multiple events at the same time. It also kept the circus (I have fond memories of seeing Ringling Bros. there with my ‘rents), tractor pulls, and monster trucks in the older building. I gather the cost of keeping two buildings was too much, but it was a novelty while it lasted.

Nursery School

The first school I attended was Mrs. Kearn’s preschool in Cape May, NJ. It was in her house. From what my mother has told me, Mrs. Kearn was set to close her “school”, but Mom wanting some time off from her little boy volunteered to help out so the school remained open. I began there when I was three. The first Halloween costume I recall was my policeman’s. This is where I met my childhood friend David Somers.

I learned how to pass scissors there. I recall practicing with Stacy Sheehan.

We liked to play in Mrs. Kearn’s basement. One of my classmates had Granimals (or some similar brand). I thought that was really neat.

The thing I really recall liking here were the building bricks. Mrs. Kearn had cardboard blocks to build castles and other structures. I really liked them. They were gray with white swirls. A couple years later, after I entered elementary school, Mrs. Kearn closed her school. Somehow I ended up with all these bricks. I was very happy about that.

Great Adventure

Great Adventure is a Six Flags amusement park in Jackson, NJ.  I recall the first time I went there.  I was about 10 and my friend David and I went up.  Yum Yum Palace (an ice cream joint) captured my attention much like the chocolate river in Willy Wonka and the artificial turf at Veterans Stadium the first time I walked in it.

Over the years I have visited this park many times.  A few of my buddies and I were so good at pitching dimes, we would win the giant stuffed animals.  I have vivid memories of when the Free Fall ride was brand-spanking new sitting on a bench babysitting four or five of these massive creatures while the others took their turn on the ride.  Folks stopped and took photographs of me with all these stuffed animals.  Getting them home was difficult as they did not fit well in the Cream Machine. 🙂

It had been some time since I visited, but Gert and I went about seven years ago.  It was dreadful.  While Yum Yum Palace was still there, it is just an overpriced ripoff.  I suspect it had always been.  On our way in there was a sign listing a few rides that were inoperable that day.  During the day, several others went down.  The Batman coaster went down with us in line . . . twice!  Free Fall went down when we were two away.

The park was packed and it looked like instead of the families I recall from my youth, it was a bunch of gangbangers.  It was not an enjoyable experience.

Tonight as I reviewed the news from the day, I stumbled across this little article.  It seems that Great Adventure has decreased admission this year 16%.  Wow!  I am impressed.  In a day and age when everything is skyrocketing (it seems), it is refreshing to see a business scale back.  The reason given is that with gasoline prices escalating, this is their way of making the trip more affordable.  I am sure it is.  Whatever the reason, a 16% decrease is significant and one that I applaud.

I suspect Great Adventure will reap benefits from this move.  The eCache household will not participate.  The little ones are too small to appreciate that park right now.  Perhaps by the time they are old enough, management will address the clientele.

When Did You First Get Online?

With David Somers

My friend David‘s family owned the marinas in town when I was a boy. While I never understood why, his father had a mainframe of some sort in the offices. This sucker had a room to itself. The adjoining room where the terminal was was kept so cold we had to wear jackets when there. I vaguely recall playing an Astroids-like game on this system. Very crude. Very rudimentary. This was circa 1975.

One time, we were at his father’s place in Wildwood Crest, I believe. I distinctly recall hooking up a modem (I guess from a system he had there) to call California. I thought that was the neatest thing in the world. Thus endth, my first online experience.

What Was Your First Baseball Game Attended?

With David Somers

Thirty-plus years ago I had the pleasure of seeing my first professional baseball game. Walking into the newly-opened Veterans Stadium is as vivid today as it was then. The bright green turf made an impression that something wonderful was about to unfold. That it did!

They played two that Sunday . . . a twi-night doubleheader. The Phillies took the opener and the Pirates rebounded in the second.

My parents took me to this outing with my friend David. Those are us above. I recall trying to get Roberto Clemente’s autograph. He rebuffed me . . . in Spanish.

The good folks at Retrosheet provided game data for our introduction to baseball. The actual game is lost from my memory, but should anyone at MLB, the Phillies, or the Pirates search their vaults and provide a videotape of this night, I would not complain. Four Hall-of-Famers played that day: Clemente, Stargell, Mazeroski, and Bunning.

Lest anyone think because of the photograph above I am a Pirates fan, I am not. It is true that Roberto Clemente is my favorite player of all time, but I have rooted for the Phillies since I can remember.

Roger Waters w/ Eric Clapton

84-07-24 Roger Waters with Eric Clapton Concert

Roger Waters
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
24 July 1984

set 1: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Money, If, Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here, In the Flesh, Nobody Home, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, South Hampton Docks, The Gunner’s Dream, Another Brick In The Wall Part I, The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall Part II

set 2: The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

encore: Brain Damage, Eclipse

My childhood friend, David, and I had drifted a little bit over the last few years. We now lived in different towns. I had gone away to high school. And when we went to college, David went to California. We hadn’t kept in touch much.

So it was a surprise when I received a call one summer day from David. More surprising was that he asked me if I wanted to go see Roger Waters. I had never envisioned David being into Roger.

Waters had planned on playing two nights in Philly. This was to be the first show. We arrived early to scalp two tickets. It was remarkable as when we got to the arena, there were no scalpers to be found. That surprised us. We decided to try the box office, expecting to be turned away. There were about a dozen people ahead of us. The window opened and we began hearing the excitement. Everyone was clamoring about how good their seats were. We were excited too, but being pessimistic, expected all those seats to be gone before we got to the window. Fortunately, we were wrong. Fifteenth row! Dead center!

Apparently, ticket sales had been so sluggish, the second show was cancelled and several rows of prime seats which had been held were now open. All of us in line together sat next to each other.

This was the first leg of the Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour and Eric Clapton was on lead guitar. How special was that?! It was a perfect show. I knew when Set the Controls opened that this was going to be good. This is not one of the popular Floyd tunes and if Roger was going to pull that one out, I was certain the rest of the show going to be just as special. Indeed it was.

The first set was a run through Roger’s Pink Floyd tenure. Rog did become a bit testy during South Hampton Docks as the crowd was whistling. David and I sat through the set motionless. The rhythm just moved through us. It was an ethereal experience.

During the break, someone went over the rails from the second level to the floor. Surreal.

As everyone was shuffling back to the floor from the bathroom break, the screen on the stage showed a desert. As time moved on I could see the sun/ball of fire coming closer. All of a sudden there was a massive explosion on stage. Thus began the start of The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. Unlike most of the crowd, I was extremely familiar with Roger’s new material. The audience wanted more Floyd; I was mesmerized by the solo work. Clapton’s guitar plucked along perfectly to the dream Waters provided us. Every Stranger’s Eyes was played in a way that made me appreciate this song so much more than what is on the record (yes folks, we had record albums back then).

The encore was a blast with Doreen Chanter and Katie Kissoon just rounding out the the trip through the insane asylum.

When it was all over, I recall stating that I never needed to see another concert for I had just seen perfection and this could not be topped. In many ways, that was a true statement.

I have acquired a poor recording of this show.

8th Grade Graduation

78-06-xx 8th Grade Graduation

Have few memories of this event. Love the brown three-piece suit. 🙂

Had graduation dinner at the Merion Inn in Cape May. David Somers was with me. Looks like Grandfather was there too.

I think it was graduation (although it may have been another event at Teitelman) that the band played the theme song from the Rockford Files. I always liked that. And there were timpani drums too!