It’s now been three years since I started this retirement blog. It’s helped me transition from a disciplined sales career into establishing a steady morning routine of running and writing that I’ve religiously stuck to these initial years. My goal was to run and write everyday and I now have 1,164 posts to show for it. I’ve written poems, eulogies, and random thoughts to express my emotions – it’s now my water cooler, as I share my day with others on the internet as I used to at the office or with my clients. I hope to continue it for many years to come. 

On the entertainment front, we just finished with The Crown and have one final episode of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to watch. I continue to follow Curse of Oak Island and Vikings, while my wife is into HGTV. I’m reading Criss-Cross by James Patterson, but my interaction with books has been limited to bed time. It’s difficult to get into a story when it’s consumed in bits and pieces, so I often lose track of who’s who or who done it. It will be good to sit on an airplane, “forced” to read for hours at a time.  While at home, I tend to be too easily distracted by other things because of my limited attention span. I’ll suddenly shift from T.V. to genealogy to blogging to collecting with too little focus on each interest. It’s definitely time to hit the road. 

With regard to sports, I did hear back from I.U. basketball legend Kent Benson in response to the jersey that I sent him. (See Post #1149). It had it in my sports memorabilia collection for years, but with his recent family medical issues, I thought it might serve a higher purpose. Fed Ex had trouble with the delivery address but went out of their way to find him – all part of the “Christmas Spirit.” It’s been 43 years since he wore it during the historic undefeated 1975-76 seasons and National Championship run. In his e-mail he expressed gratitude to receive it and was touched by the letter that I enclosed. I’m just glad it’s safely in his hands. 

Moving to other memorabilia, I lost out on a 1949 St. Louis Browns signed baseball that was up for auction on E-Bay.  My interest was the Sherman Lollar autograph (See Post #5). He caught for them and owner Bill Veeck between his Yankees and White Sox years behind the plate. I’ve added a couple of unique “Sherm” pieces to my collection recently, including a post card from his bowling lanes and a Trivial Pursuit card where he was the answer to a question. He was my player idol as a child, but obviously not the most recognizable name in sports. I’m always surprised when other collectors are interested in merchandise related to him. In the case of this particular baseball, there were two other signatures, and someone outbid me at the very last second. There are tricks that I’ll need to learn more about if I intend to effectively compete in this process. I now feel even luckier that I recently won the 1956 White Sox baseball on the Heritage Auction site. It sold for much less and not only featured the Lollar autograph but also White Sox Hall-of-Famer’s Larry Doby, Nellie Fox, and Luis Aparicio. 

Looking ahead, we’ve arranged several holiday get-togethers with friends before we head to Florida next week. While we’re enjoying the warmth, we’ll also coordinate with former co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors. My wife has arranged dinner with a friend she hasn’t seen in a good forty-years. It’s not as long apart as some of my recent fifty-year reunions, but she is more than four years younger. We’ll also look as some potential retirement properties along the way. That’s it from the water cooler today!