What's Tony Thinking

Thank you Readers


Thanks for being a reader of this blog! I know you have a lot to choose from on-line these days and that certainly some days you feel overwhelmed by it all. So I just want to say thanks for being a reader of “What’s Tony Thinking?” (a.k.a. in the family as, “Is Tony Thinking?”)

Sometime last week we passed the 4,000 subscribers mark. Generally readership has been up throughout the COVID crisis, but that’s partly because I’ve posted more frequently. In addition to our U.S. readers, we have regulars in Canada, Hong Kong, Spain, Britain, France and Australia.

For me writing is a way of thinking, sorting out my thoughts, and of course self-expression. From an early age, the written word has been compelling to me. Something I felt was magical.

And thank you too for some recent poems you have sent my way. Here’s a lovely Langston Hughes poem sent by Caroline Becker, just right for these days.


Wave of sorrow,
Do not drown me now:

I see the island
Still ahead somehow.

I see the island
And its sands are fair:

Wave of sorrow, Take me there.

And this also timely one from Karen Jones, “Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limon. We will add a photo of a blooming cherry tree to go with this one.

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

And a final fun note, at least fun to me. I received word last week that the Willamette University founding men’s soccer team (1967 – 68), of which I was a member, will be inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame this fall (assuming things aren’t still as at present). Truth to tell I wasn’t a very good soccer player. But what I lacked in skill I made up in intensity. I played left wing, not a political designation. The job of a wing is to center the ball into the really skilled players in front of the net.

These days the Willamette men’s and women’s soccer teams are some of the best in the country. So it’s a good thing I got in on the ground floor. Here’s a photo of that original rag-tag bunch. I am on front row, second from right.

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