Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bill Dana's Story in Sports and Faith Book 2

Bill Dana and Danny Thomas
Bill Dana had his own program, “The Bill Dana Show,”from 1963 to 1965 and it was rerun on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in glorious black and white in the 1980s. Dana’s real name is William Szathmary; he was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on October 5, 1924. Dana’s father, who came from Hungary at the age of 14, did real estate work until the stock market crash in 1929. Dana never knew luxury; in fact, when he went into the service during World War II, he couldn’t believe he was receiving free food.

Dana was the youngest of six (he had four brothers and one sister). While a student at Daniel Webster Grammar School, his teacher said to him one day, “Szathmary, you’re a buffoon.” He replied, “Let’s keep religion out of this.”

The Szathmary family was fairly ecumenical. They were Jewish, but were raised with Catholics. Dana knew the Stations of the Cross, and he used his knowledge of Catholicism in his humor:
“During the ceremony where novitiates become Brides of Christ (Religious Sisters), the bishop noticed an Orthodox Jewish man praying loudly. Not being able to conquer his curiosity, the bishop had to stop the ceremony long enough to ask the man, ‘Sir, I realize you are not a Catholic. I must ask you why you are here at this marriage of our Lord to these novitiates?’“
The old man answered with a lovely, Jewish accent, ‘I’m on the groom’s side.’”
— Bill Dana

Dana had a long career in comedy, as both a writer and comedian.  He is one of the McCaskey's favorite stars. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sports and Faith Book 2: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout Takes a Look at Bob Cousy

 Sports and Faith Book 2: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout takes a Look at Bob Cousy and many other stars.
The Boston Celtics were not a very good basketball team before  Bob Cousy arrived from Holy Cross in 1950.  Cousy became the most beloved athlete in Boston. The “Houdini of the Hardwood” was a great ball-handler, passer, and shooter. He was only 6-foot-1, but he had speed and quickness, great peripheral vision, big hands, and long arms. He played for the Celtics from 1950-1963 and during that time he led the league in assists for eight years in a row and played in six championship seasons. His record breaking 28 assists in a single game that he set in 1959 held until 1978 when Kevin Porter got 29. He scored 16,960 points in his career—an average of 18.4 per game. He had 6,959 assists—an average of 7.5 per game.  He averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and he held an .803 foul shooting percentage.   
Cousy was an NBA All-Star every season he played and was named the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1954 and 1957. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1957. His play excited the Boston fans and the city developed a taste for the game. His 50 point performance in a playoff win against Syracuse in 1953 made an impression on fans that they simply never forgot. He went 30–32 at the free throw line and scored 12 points in the game’s fourth overtime period.
His behind the- back dribbling and passing punctuated his approach that was part showman, part street ball, but all explosive.

Thought from St. Benedict

Sports and Faith Book 2: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout will be available in mid-to-late May.  In the book, Patrick McCaskey includes religious quotes that go along with the content.  This is one quote that I though especially helpful:
Not to desire to be called holy before one is; but to be
holy first, that one may be truly so called.
To fulfill daily the commandments of God by works.
To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous; not
to entertain envy. Not to love strife.
Not to love pride. To honor the aged. To love the younger.
To pray for one’s enemies in the love of Christ. To make peace with an adversary before the setting of the sun. And never to despair of God’s mercy.
— Rule of St. Benedict

Friday, April 24, 2015

What was the Hupmobile?

Some football fans know that the original organizing meeting that started what would become the NFL was at Ralph Hay's Jordan Hupmobile Showroom.  But what was the Jordan and the Hupmobile?

On September 17, 1920, George Halas and a group of men met at Ralph Hay’s Jordon Hupmobile car showroom in Canton, Ohio.  Ralph Hay owned the Canton Bulldogs and he knew several other team owners.  While sitting on the bumpers and running boards of the Jordan and Hupmobile cars, they organized the league that we call the NFL today.  Chances are you have not heard of the Hupmobile and the Jordan car makers that long ago went out of business. 

Hupmobile was manufactured by the Hupp Motor Car Company, from 1908-1941. The company was started by Robert Hupp in Detroit.  His first car was a little two passenger Runabout.  The car company was fairly successful and many Hupmobiles followed and their offerings grew from two passenger vehicles, to three, and four.  A tour took a four passenger touring model around the world in 1910-1912.  In 1916, another Hupmobile, made a trip though all 48 states.  The company continued through much of the Depression and had a labor dispute that led to no new models being manufactured in 1937.  A promising new Skylark debuted in 1939, but the company ended it car manufacturing 1940.  The company continued to manufacture parts for the war effort in the 1940s and made parts for other companies as well.  It morphed into a manufacturer of parts for appliances, heating and cooling equipment and other industrial parts until it disappeared in the 1990s.

The Jordan had a shorter life than the Hupmobile and lasted from 1916-1931. The company was found by an advertising executive in Cleveland, Ned Jordan.  Jordan made his vehicles from parts assembled by other companies and his advertising was a driving force behind his company.  He offered cars in an attractive variety of colors with models like the Playboy and Tomboy.   His advertising was whimsical and took car buyers to beautiful locations in ads that ran in the Saturday Review Magazine.