TOP OF THE TOWN – Being quarantine in-house because of Covid-19 gets pretty boring, but thank God I took typing class in high school (it was an accident; I did it because there were 30 girls in it and just one male and he was gay, so I thought I should add some testosterone. That didn’t work out as planned because our school star quarterback saw me in the class and after some head scratching figured out what I was doing and he registered for the class and drew all the girls away from me, much to my frustration),which has helped me eliminate some of the boring. Maybe the quarantine is playing with my mind because I had a dream this morning that I had left home the day I graduated from high school and drove to Los Angeles in the new car I purchased and arrived in Westwood, west of Los Angeles. I apparently had been accepted to UCLA, went into admissions and registered for summer quarter and went to my dorm room. The next day I collared the basketball coach (John Wooden was in his 11th season) and asked him if I could walk-on. He agreed after a brief tryout (I looked it up and Rafer Johnson, who would win gold in the 1960 Olympics in the decathlon, was on the roster along with Denny Crum. Both of them were seniors. Crum would go on to coach Louisville for 30 years, win 675 games and two NCAA basketball titles). Once Wooden allowed me to be a walk-on, I went to see the baseball coach and he gave me a scholarship after throwing me three pitches and I hit all of them out of the park, the first over the hitter’s eye in center, the next to right-center and the last over the leftfield fence and over some trees (hey, this is my dream and it can be as good as I want). Although Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t begin playing for the Bruins until 1966, he was playing for them in my dream in 1958 and we were teammates for three NCAA championships. I averaged 20.4 points a game my senior season. In my dream, I hit a ton of home runs for the Bruins, and like the basketball team we won three NCAA titles. I have had some nightmarish nightmares since the virus came calling, but this one was exceptional because not only did I star on two sports teams at a major university I also graduated early (I took summer sessions) and by the time I started my senior year had already collected a masters and a PhD in business management. The only thing missing from the dream was Marilyn Monroe (she died in 1962). But you can’t have everything it seems. Sad to say I woke up before discovering what was next for me. Would I play pro basketball and pro baseball and become a household name? Probably by the way the dream was progressing. It’s also sad that my dream doesn’t come close to reality. Not within a million miles. I was on track to be excellent in the classroom and on athletic arenas when my mother died, my dad remarried and we moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. So started what I call my dark years. I went from the highest of high to the lowest of low. I survived. Barely. Now I’m stuck inside like millions of others waiting out a cruel disease that is sweeping the globe. Will we ever get back to our normal life again? That is a legitimate question. None of us knows what comes after the virus does away. Millions are losing jobs, people may wind up homeless, even me and Mary.  I found this on the Internet and thought I better share it. The Spanish Flue of 1918 killed more people than died in World War I. Here is what it reads:

“World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world’s population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history. The plague emerged in two phases. In late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the “three-day fever,” appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe. Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify this disease which was striking so fast and so viciously, eluding treatment and defying control. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms. Others succumbed after a few days; their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death. The plague did not discriminate. It was rampant in urban and rural areas, from the densely populated East coast to the remotest parts of Alaska. Young adults, usually unaffected by these types of infectious diseases, were among the hardest hit groups along with the elderly and young children. The flu afflicted over 25 percent of the U.S. population. In one year, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years.”

It took until the summer of 1919 before the world started to recover from the Spanish Flu. From what I have read, Covid-19 will simmer down in the summer and a second wave will hit in the fall. So normalcy is not going to come soon. Whatever normal was will probably not be the same normal when this is all over. This is a continuing nightmare we all are experiencing. It was calming to me to have that good dream I had last night because the rest of the day is a nightmare that won’t go away soon. Mary says being cooped up is like living in a Death Ward. People are falling all around and here we are. So if you can have a great dream like I did, that would be good. Take care. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.