by John Walters
It’s a slow newsday, and we’re feeling even slower, so here’s an incredible photo of a climber in Tasmania taken by Krystle Wright for National Geographic.
How’d she do it? Easy, as this paragraph from the story explains:
(Wright) drove to the [Tasman] peninsula, hiked two hours on a trail, rappelled a 330-foot cliff, tied a rope around her waist, jumped into the ocean, swam across the channel, and climbed up the other side. Clipping herself into a harness, she hung from a tightrope as Smith-Gobat scrambled up the Totem Pole. At the “blue hour”—around 5:30 p.m.—Wright radioed the drone operator. When a flash from the drone overhead illuminated the rock, she pressed the shutter.
Wasn’t It Really 11 Angry Men?
Last night for the first time we watched the 1957 classic, 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda (left) and Lee J. Cobb (knife). Outstanding jury room drama even if the title is somewhat of a misnomer. Fonda’s character never loses his sh*t, though Cobb’s does and often.
If you’ve never seen, the film also stars a pair of young Jacks, Klugman and Warden, as well as the actor whom I’m convinced was the template for Don Draper, Robert Webber.
A couple other thoughts: 1) Watching this film in the age of Trump, it’s pretty transparent as to which jurors would be wearing MAGA hats outside court. It’s crazy to consider this film was made more than 60 years ago and that the stereotypes translate so readily to 2019. 2) By the characters he portrayed, Fonda was Hollywood’s indomitable original Social Justice Warrior: here, as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and then, if you’re not convinced, as our future 16th president in The Young Mr. Lincoln. 3) Cobb was something of a one-note character actor, but only because he was so convincing as the corrupted bully: here, as the labor boss in On The Waterfront and as the gangster produce distributor in Thieves’ Highway.
One more note on Cobb: He was the first actor to play Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Death Of A Salesman that your English teacher assigned in high school but you only maybe read.
Manitoba Manhunt (Trail Grows Cold)
So now there’s a report of a possible sighting of the (allegedly) murderous duo in eastern Ontario, which is a long, long way from northwest British Columbia or northern Manitoba. Are they doing a Thelma & Louise in reverse and is the RCMP completely back at square one?
No credit card usage. No mobile phone use. Two weeks on the run for a pair of ex-Walmart employees. Beavis and Butthead are pummeling the Canadian Mounties. How?
*The judges will also accept, “Here’s Mud In Your Eye!”
In Djenne, Mali, in the Sahara Desert, you will find the largest mud brick structure on the planet. Each year the local residents work together to rebuild and refortify the Grand Mosque, which stands about 60 feet high.
I found this story on bbc.com, which is so much better for your brain than cnn.com.
Job Opening In South Bend
Earlier today our good friend Pete Sampson tweeted out that Notre Dame’s football sports information director, Michael Bertsch, was exiting South Bend for a similar gig with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s difficult to fault Bertschy, a good-natured and highly competent individual, for going pro. Bertschy’s predecessor at Notre Dame, Brian Hardin, is now the athletic director at Drake University in Iowa.
We mention all of this because 40 years ago—yes, 40!—Tim Bourret was a senior at Notre Dame working in the sports information office under the school’s legendary man who staffed that job for decades, Roger Valdiserri. A job was opening up in the office but Roger told Tim that he was going to hire a young man named John Heisler who was a year or two ahead of him in experience. Roger helped Tim get an interview at Clemson.
It all worked out well for everyone involved. Heisler—”Heiss”—had a four-decade career at Notre Dame that only ended last winter. He was the consummate professional who only allowed you to see his wry sense of humor if you got to know him well. Bourret thrived at Clemson, bought a nice home on a golf course, also was their hoops broadcaster, and only retired a year ago. In our business both men are universally respected and very well-liked.
So that’s the thing. Maybe you hire someone younger, but it wouldn’t be the worst idea if Notre Dame offered Bourret or Heisler a senior consultant gig now that Bertsch is making his exodus. Then again, they both now live in warmer climes (Heisler is at UCF) and I doubt they’d give up the lives they’ve worked long and hard to earn.