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The First Tip-Off: The Incredible Story of the Birth of the NBA
"Charley Rosen has undertaken the challenge of documenting the latest and greatest history of the game professionally--and has done so to great success. . . . . When I finished the book it seemed as if I had gone through another season, injuries and all. . . . Rosen skillfully leads readers through the NBA's first steps along its journey toward what it has become today.”
--Phil Jackson, from the Foreword
"Rosen, a wonderful sportswriter . . . had forgotten more basketball history than the best fans will ever know."
Booklist, on No Blood, No Foul
Go back to a time when basketball players wore knee pads and itchy cotton . When even the team's leaders were grateful for dry towels, hot showers, and $60 paychecks. When winning was all that mattered.
In this vividly rendered and meticulously researched book, endorsed with a Foreword by Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, sportswriter Charley Rosen takes you on a rollicking tour of the NBA's first season. Filled with rare archival photographs and exclusive interviews, The First Tip-Off brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters--including Chuck Connors, clown prince of the BAA, and Jumping Joe Fulks, ex-Marine turned basketball's first superstar--as Rosen deftly unfolds the dramatic events of that formative season.
It's enough to make you believe once again in the spirit of the sport.
Moleskine Doodle. Boston to Philadelphia
Was in Atlanta on a business trip Tuesday-Friday of this week. Was to fly back from Atlanta on an 8pm flight, Friday night. (Through Philly, as I couldn't get a direct flight from my local airport.) So around dinner time on Thursday, we hear of the impending snow/ice storm that's due to hit the Northeast. I jump on the phone to US Air and manage to book us an earlier flight (2:40pm) in which they have miraculously waived the $100 change fee (because of the weather) and $240 difference in price. (Strange, the flight time & price difference was the same...)
Leaving work at about 11:15am, we head to ATL. Having checked the web numerous times before we left, we see that planes to the Northeast are running about 5 hours behind, but amazingly, our 2:40 flight is still on time. 3 miles from the airport, I get a text message that our flight has been canceled. We take the rental car back and head in to the US Air ticket counter and sit in a line with about 20 people in it that does not move for what seems like an hour. An hour and a half later, we make it to the ticket counter and are told that everything is booked, no flights, flights canceled, other carriers full....
The agent (ED) finally finds a way to get us home. He books us from ATL to Boston, then to Philly, and then to ABE. Ha. I surrender (check) my bag and never expect to see it again.
We push, bully & beg our way through the millions of people going through security because we have less than 45 minutes to make it to our gate, and it takes about 30 minutes to get through security, (on a good day) then another 10 to take the train (inside the airport) to the D terminal, which of course, is the last stop. We run to our gate and make it with about 5 minutes to spare.
But everyone is still just sitting there. For 5 minutes, 10, 15..... I finally go up to the counter and ask what the delay is, because nothing was posted at the agent's desk. I'm told that they are waiting for the Captain to come up to let them know if we are going to fly. (??????) And so I say to the agent, "You mean this flight might get canceled?" to which she responds, "Yes. It's probably going to get canceled." I try deep breathing, I imagine my happy place, but I can't help getting a bit snarky & frustrated. I go back to my co-worker and tell her that I'm furious with the guy back at the ticket counter (Our buddy Ed) that booked this flight, since he probably knew that this flight was also going to get canceled and he just needed to do something for us to get us out of line and on to the next person.
I sit down, sulk, trying to surrender to the fact that weather is not something I have control over.
Unbelievably, we are eventually called up with a quick "Flight 9011 (yes, that was really the flight number - and trust me, I got the heebie-jeebies when I saw it) is now boarding and the gate will close in 1 minute. There are only 13 (OMG - not thirteen.... I'm afraid of the number 13.....) of you, come on up."
As I clap with joy and run to the jet way, I hear a man say, "But they said there weren't any more flights going to Boston...." and that cooled my heals and made me sad. I didn't even want to go to Boston, but it's the only way I could get home.
Once on the plane, the captain comes out to talk to us about the flight. He too mentions that with there being so few of us, that we are welcome to spread out and sit where we like. I tell the captain about the man that said he couldn't get to Boston and how there might be people out there that would like to get on this flight. They call back out to the agent, who I assume makes as announcement because they found about 20 more people who were able to switch their tickets and get on this flight. (Ironically, the man that made the original comment did not get on the flight) This holds up take off for about 45 minutes. But it doesn't matter, because we are still going - yay! It doesn't even occur to me that we might get stuck in Boston, because nothing is really flying anywhere. We are also told that this particular flight will eventually be flying back to Philadelphia and we ask if we can just stay on board. :o)
And so, we take off for Boston. A 100 mile an hour tail wind gets us up there in no time, but.....the airport is closed due to snow removal. Sigh. We sit in a holding pattern, (read nauseating circles) over Providence, Rhode Island for about an hour.
We are eventually cleared to land, and my friend smartly avoids telling me that planes slide off the runway at Logan airport all the time....
We have to get off the plane and re-book our Philly flight because due to all of the delays, we have now missed our connection to Philly. We only have a few minutes and as I run to the bathroom, I try looking for a store where I can buy a Red Sox hat for my Braves loving husband. No dice - not enough time. Ironically, we do end up getting right back on the same empty plane, same captain, etc.
Boston, Massachusetts - State House Golden Dome
From mass.gov :-
For generations, Bostonians have used the dome of the State House to find their way to Beacon Hill, to symbolize their city, and to mark the center of the "Hub of the Solar System." But the shining landmark we love today hasn't always gleamed with gold. In fact, it started out as a leaky wooden roof.
When up-and-coming Boston architect Charles Bulfinch took on the job of planning the State House, it was his first paid commission. He based his design on neoclassical elements: columns, a pediment, and a vast shingled dome intended to make the structure stand out among its squat, square neighbors. When construction was finished in 1798, the State House was the most architecturally important public building in the young country, the first answer to the question of what an American government building should look like. Boston's grandest building, perched atop its highest hill, became an instant monument.
Unfortunately, Bulfinch's grand achievement couldn't quite stand up to New England weather. The impressive 30-foot-high dome began to leak almost immediately. After just 4 years, enough rain and snow had seeped in that the wooden shingles were beginning to rot here and there. A hero of the Revolution was called in to save the day. Paul Revere's foundry was hired to make the dome watertight by sheathing it with a thick layer of copper (thus creating what may be the world's largest piece of Revereware).
The new copper top was painted the dark grey of lead at first. Soon after -- although no one is sure exactly when -- the dome became "golden" for the first time. Boston guidebooks from the 1820s refer to the dome as yellow or bronze; we know those accounts are accurate, because during the most recent State House renovation, contractors who peeled away old paint on the dome discovered multiple coats of pale yellow paint. In 1831, though, the dome returned to its earlier leaden grey, and it remained that color for more than 40 years.
The person most responsible for the State House dome as we know it today is Nathaniel P. Banks, Governor of Massachusetts from 1858 to 1861. Banks dreamed of making the State House a magnificent landmark, something befitting the old description of Boston as "a shining city on a hill." He spoke about it often during his term as governor -- persuasively, as it turned out, although the Civil War intervened. In 1874, the dome was gilded for the first time with 23.5 karat gold leaf.
In the nearly 130 years since then, the State House's golden dome has dimmed only once: during World War II, when it was painted a dull grey to hide the glimmer of gold from any enemy ships in Boston Harbor that might have wanted to use it to aim their weapons. It was regilded in 1947 and has been the jewel of Boston's skyline ever since.
How Do They Do That?
To keep its characteristic brilliance, the State House dome gets a fresh coat of gold leaf every 25 to 30 years. The most recent gilding took place over four months in 1997.
The first and most time-consuming step of the four-month process was the design and construction of the scaffolding surrounding the dome. The structure was carefully engineered to touch the dome as little as possible, both to leave room for the work and to keep as much weight off the dome as possible.
After the scaffold was complete, a team of experienced craftspeople cleaned the surface of the dome. Using a commercial paint stripping agent, they removed the old gilding and primer to reveal the bare copper underneath. A coat of fresh primer went over the copper. Once the primer was dry, the crew began to coat small sections with a layer of "sizing," a liquid that dries to a tacky finish to hold the gold leaf. As each section dried, they then applied sheets of gold leaf in 3-inch squares trimmed off a larger roll.
Gold leaf is just five-millionths of an inch thick -- so thin that direct light almost shines through it. It melts when touched; the slightest movement of air will wrinkle it. Despite a canvas scrim draped over the scaffold to cut the wind, a cloud of golden flakes whirled down Beacon Street almost every day until the project was complete. In fact, so much gold leaf blew away that the contractor had to order more in order to complete the project!
Fun Facts About the State House Dome
When the dome was first gilded in 1874, it cost $2862.50 -- approximately $44,000 in today's dollars. By comparison, the 1997 re-gilding cost $300,000.
Highway signs indicating the distance to Boston aren't measuring the miles to the city limits, but to the State House dome.
The dome is 50 feet in diameter and 30 feet high. The inside of the dome rises 50 feet above the floor.
The original wooden ribs and planks of the dome still exist between the copper sheathing and an inner layer of plaster added later for fireproofing. They still hold up the roof, with help from steel beams added in the 1890s.
The copper sheat
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