Sunday Morning Coffee — June 30, 2024 — Sunday Morning Scramble

June 29, 2024 Observations 11 Comments

We’re going to take a July break and travel overseas for a few weeks. Of course our Medjet membership will be in tow. So until SMC returns in August, let’s Scramble one more time:

I may be right, but I may be wrong. After Thursday night’s debacle, I mean debate, I circled back to something we wrote in a SMC Scramble on February 18: If the worst happens and we are faced with Biden vs. Trump in November, but I still don’t think it will come to that….. I may be right, but I may be wrong.

Debating in June was President Biden’s idea to shake-up a stagnant race and polling. He succeeded.

In 1962 Ray Charles’ I Can’t Stop Loving You rose to the top of the charts. Since then the song has been covered by 171 other artists.

It’s been so damn hot in the Southwest that the state of Arizona has created a government position titled Chief Heat Officer. Dr. Eugene Livar has been appointed to the post by Governor Katie Hobbs with the charge of addressing ways to lessen the effects of the desert’s extreme heat. I would probably start by checking the state’s freon levels.

Rory McIlroy has had a great professional golf career. However, much like baseball’s Bill Buckner whose career has a permanent asterisk next to it for letting a ground ball go under his glove in the 1986 World Series paving the way from a sure Red Sox win to a Mets championship, Rory will always have a career footnote for missing two four-foot putts that cost him the 2024 U.S. Open.

My wife is a Spherehead. If there is a show at the new Las Vegas venue, Andi has to be there. Three times to see U2 and once for Phish. Twice to see the Postcard From Earth video. When the Dead & Company announced its residency she wanted me to get two tickets. I said, “Okay but I’m not going.” She snapped back, “You won’t have to, I’ll find someone.” Well, you know who that someone was. We went the week before last and I had absolutely no business being there. When the Grateful Dead were in vogue I was into the 1910 Fruitgum Company. Original Dead members Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann are part of the Company joined by the talented John Mayer. As much as the show might not have been up my musical alley I’ll admit the Sphere was at its graphic best. Phenomenal. Next up for my Spherehead wife are the Eagles in late September.

Sphere was at its graphic finest for the Dead; Richie was a one and done.

Music I can appreciate was the Commodores back in the late 70s and early 80s. We went to see Lionel Richie at the Wynn on Wednesday night. I was really looking forward to it. The show was posted for an 8 pm start. Almost all casino shows start promptly to get the crowd back out on the casino floor. Eight o’clock comes and goes. Then 8:10; 8:15 still nothing but an empty stage and canned music. At 8:20 many in the sold-out theater are getting restless. The crowd is older, and going later into the night just isn’t our thing anymore. Five more minutes pass and rhythmic impatient clapping begins. At 8:30 the booing starts. A theater manager told me Richie was still in his villa at eight o’clock and not even on site. Andi says how disrespectful this is to everyone who paid two, three bills for a ticket. At 8:40 his honor rises, literally, on to the stage from below. No casino wants 1,500 people sitting on their hands for 40 minutes, doing nothing, not spending any money. By then I could have cared less about the show. The 75-year-old Richie turns out to be a prima donna, totally self-centered and can give Diana Ross a run for her diva dollar. Zero humility. I waited for Say You, Say Me. It was 10 pm by the time he got to it. Three minutes later it was Say Goodbye. Never again.

First Jerry West, then Willie Mays and now Orlando ‘Cha-Cha’ Cepada. Sports icons of our youth, gone. I need to stop looking at the news crawls.

Hoping for better luck at the polls on November 5, the Democrats took one on the chin for the fourth straight year compliments of the GOP in the annual Congressional baseball game between lawmakers of the two parties. The Republicans won 31-11 before over 30,000 at Nationals Park, home of the MLB Washington Nationals. Over $2.2 million was raised for charity on June 12 with the true winners being the Washington Literary Center; Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and Washington Nationals Philanthropies. A true bi-partisan grand slam.

With the Mirage Hotel closing on July 17 to make way for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in a couple of years, we will pay our last visit to the property on Wednesday night. Over the course of its Strip-changing 35-year history, the Mirage has been the home of so many great memories for me both in business and personally. We’ll see the Beatles LOVE, scheduled for its last show next weekend. We saw it 20-25 years ago and figured we’re overdue one last time. If it only starts on time.

Two years later it’s time to put back on the golf shirt and re-resume retirement.

Time for dress shirts and ties go back into the retirement storage box. Mercifully, my two-year term as synagogue president ends at midnight tonight. It was intensive and grueling, far beyond what I thought I was getting into. The number one lesson learned is a 45-year pro-business approach doesn’t easily convert into a not-for-profit philosophy. Not that it’s a bad thing. Most religious institutions are coddled. I’m not a coddler. Change has to happen to succeed.  The good news is somehow after our two years the building is still standing and will be better over the longterm. The one thing I will miss is the interaction with the great team of leadership that succeeds me.

There are 158,000 prisoners in the US federal prison system. Not sure why you need to know that but now you do.

Jeff Daniels in A Man In Full, a six-part series on Netflix, is terrific. So is the show.

Happy 98th birthday to Mel Brooks. And a double-bark birthday wish to June Lockhart, Lassie’s mom, who turned 99 on Tuesday. The real stumper is what was her TV name on the show?

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Unified School District which voted to ban cell phones during the entire school day. Some kids now may actually have to pay attention.

Ms. Lockhart played Ruth Martin. Mom of Timmy and Lassie, husband of Paul.

For years California and Arizona used to be the hotbed for collegiate baseball talent. No longer. That now belongs to the Southeastern Conference. For a fifth straight year an SEC team won the College World Series last week. Tennessee beat Texas A&M in the all-SEC championship round.

From the ‘I’m only lying if my lips are moving’ department: right after Texas A&M’s loss in the College World Series on Monday a reporter asked A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle about his future plans. Schlossnagle was curt in his reply. “I think it’s pretty selfish of you to ask me that question. I took the job at Texas A&M to never take another job again.” The next day Schlossnagle announced he was leaving to become the head coach at arch-rival Texas.

Well, this didn’t last long. Salvador Villalva Flores was elected mayor of the southern Mexican town of Copala on June 2. On June 17 he was assassinated near Acapulco. Flores was the 34th politico killed in Mexico during the run-up and aftermath of the June elections.

So, what do you think was the average speed of vehicular travel in midtown Manhattan in May? How about 4.5 mph?

And assuming you got that right, move to the bonus round — by percentage what is the deadliest occupation in the United States? Answer coming later but a hint— it’s not a coal miner nor goalie for the NHL San Jose Sharks.

Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1960 World Series in seven games over the Yankees, New York second baseman Bobby Richardson was awarded the Most Valuable Player award; it’s the only time in World Series history the MVP came from the losing side. Richardson had a good Series, but the real MVP was Pirates pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Vern Law who started three games, all Pirates’ wins. So, 44 years later, where am I going with this? The Stanley Cup playoffs were once again phenomenal, season in and season out the best playoffs in any sport. Florida beat Edmonton in seven games, a thriller right to the final buzzer. The NHL awards its MVP to the player judged best not just for the Final but the entire playoff rounds. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid received the Conn Smythe Trophy this year, but like the Yankees’ Richardson what he did wasn’t good enough for his team to win. It takes 16 team wins to skate with the Cup. The only goalie to get credited with 16 wins was Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky. Because of him, Florida won the Cup. He was the MVP.

The deadliest US occupation? By far it’s serving as President of the United States. Forty-five men have served our country with eight dying in office. That’s 18%. Four died of natural causes: William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren Harding and FDR. Four by assassination: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and JFK.

Have a great and safe July. Thanks for making Sunday Morning Coffee a regular part of your weekend. See you in a month.




  • Ken Rich says:

    Roy, Enjoy your well-deserved vacation. We will miss your candid assessments. Stay safe and well.

  • Mat says:

    Safe travels! Thanks for the Scramble this morning!
    Thanks for SMC period! Always entertaining and fun to read!

  • Safe travels Roy. Thanks for all of the interesting information. See you when you return.

  • Linda says:

    Here I go:
    1). Congrats on fulfilling your two year stint at Temple Sinai. What an impact it’s had on your life
    2). Cell phones should be banned from all schools so the children get back to focusing on learning!
    3). With the closing of the Mirage, I will miss the Beatles Love. I enjoy the show that I’ve seen so many times. The Mirage is iconic to me
    4). Safe travels on your well earned vacation. You definitely need a break
    And now that I’m running out of space I truly enjoy SMC and will be hard to do without for a month

  • Roy Abrams says:

    T-0. You did a great job.

    Fly away my friend. And Andi too.

  • Fran says:

    Have a great trip. Will mess my Coffee updates. Love to Andi

  • Carole Jablon-Bernardi says:

    Safe travels to you and Andi. Look back at your accomplishments, look ahead to the unknown and definitely look up to the celestial wonder of our universe. If that doesn’t keep you grounded I don’t know what will.

  • Dennis says:

    Agree with you on Stanley Cup MVP. It was all about McDavid all year!! Shame!!!
    Have a great trip.

  • Jodi says:

    You may be right…
    Have a great, well deserved, vacation and safe travels.

  • Eric Wilson says:

    As usual, great SMC, you and Andi have a great vacation,\. See you in a month.

  • Herb Shainker says:

    I’ll be 70 in September. I’ve voted in every Presidential election. (You do the math). I can’t recall one that comes under the category of ‘”HOLD YOUR NOSE AND VOTE.”
    as great as this one. Who am I voting for? Go ahead and guess.

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