A Stones Throw 9-1-16


Ziva. The Beach Boys. The Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sometimes the mind does strange things when different thoughts are linked together. Those who know me are seldom surprised with the direction my mind goes at times. For instance, today I started thinking about Ziva (Yes, Ziva is the name given to our new rescued German Shepherd.), the Beach Boys, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The result – this week’s ‘A Stones Throw’.

Let’s begin with the Beach Boys.

One of their more famous songs has the words: “there’s a place called Kokomo. That’s where you want to go to get away from it all.” Then, later in the song, “Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo. Now if you want to go and get away from it all, go down to Kokomo.”

While the Kokomo in the song is an exotic island, it made me think about Kokomo, Indiana and the terrible destruction brought on by last week’s storms and tornadoes. While Kokomo, Indiana might not be “where you want to go to get away from it all,” it is a town that has provided the livelihood for thousands of Hoosiers over the years. It is a town that many love and believe in.

Today it is a town with its surrounding area that is still trying to dig out from the devastation brought on by last week’s storms. There is picture after picture of rubble that once was a building, a house, a barn.

Kokomo, Indiana has never been exotic. It hasn’t been a destination point for many, but today, it needs attention. It needs help.

It needs a new face.

Which brings me to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As most know, I am a die-hard Cubs fan. As such, I have to admit I always try to watch games with the Cubs announcers. I have had the opportunity over the years to listen to many announcers of opposing teams, including Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.

To most baseball fans, Scully is recognized as a broadcasting icon – a legend.

What few times I heard him, I found him dry and immediately changed to the Cubs announcers.

Until this year.

This is Vin Scully’s 67th year as a Dodgers announcer. Sixty-seven years talking everything Dodgers. Talking everything baseball.

It just happened that I had to watch a Dodgers-Cubs game that was not available with Cubs announcers. So, I watched and listened to Vin Scully.

What a treat!

Vin Scully works alone. He has worked alone for 67 years. He doesn’t need a partner to do “color.” He doesn’t need a partner to help with “play by play.”

He does it all – and he has stories and anecdotes about every player and every situation.

For instance, Sunday, he talked about current Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. Scully told the story of the time Lester was told he was being sent down to the minor leagues to regain his strength after recovering from cancer. Lester fought the move. He considered it a demotion. Finally after being told he would be back to the majors after his strength was back, Lester agreed to go to the minors.

Where he met his wife.

Scully is non-stop play-by-play, insight, anecdote, and just plain stories.

I now listen to Scully every chance I get. I now realize he is an iconic legend.

I think last Sunday says it all. Vin Scully not only manned the television announcing booth by himself, he also did radio for the game – what usually takes two or three announcers for television plus at least two announcers for radio took one man – Vin Scully.

Add to this, even the Chicago Cubs replaced their announcers for one inning in favor of Vin Scully.

I started thinking that every sports fan in America needs the opportunity to listen to Vin Scully one time.

There will never be another Vin Scully.

There will be a replacement. There will be a new face.

But never another Vin Scully.

Then I started thinking of Kokomo again. I thought of the pictures of wrecked, ruined, and destroyed buildings. I wondered if any of those buildings were one of a kind. If any of those buildings were iconic in their own right.

Which brought my thoughts to Switzerland County.

I have always been enamored by old barns. I enjoy the majesty of some – the simplicity of others.

I enjoy photographing them, wondering about their history, wondering about their future.

Unfortunately, there is no future for too many of our old barns.

Already, many of my favorite photographs are of barns that no longer exist.

I really enjoyed taking pictures of the majestic round barn that once stood between Patriot and Vevay – it was destroyed by fire several years ago.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the barn at the start of the curve between Hilltop and the Patriot Land Development – it was destroyed by a storm several years ago.

More than likely, anyone who has taken barn pictures has memories of barns long gone – or soon to be gone.

The majesty of even the simplest barns of the past will probably never be matched by the sterile barns of today and of the future.

With this in mind, I have a project for anyone with a camera or a smart phone.

I would like every old barn in Switzerland County documented with current photographs. I would like to see the majestic and the simple. The working and the abandoned. The strong and the weak. I would like to see barns that are alone in the field or that are part of the family. Those ready to give up and those that have already given up.

In other words, I would like to see every barn in Switzerland County, no matter its condition, be documented.

Let’s have fun:

• First, The Project – take your photograph(s) – then send it (them) to me – no later than October 1st – in care of the Vevay Newspapers.

You can send your photographs via email to vevaynews@gmail.com, or deliver them to the Vevay Newspaper office at 111 West Market Street in Vevay. In either event, make sure you include your name and a contact phone number along with the location of each barn.

I will use the submitted photographs to write about the barns of Switzerland County for a later edition of the Vevay Newspapers. In addition, all barn images and location descriptions will be given to the Switzerland County Historical Society for its records.

In addition, I will some of the barn photos included in future editions of the Vevay Newspapers. Of course, the photographer will get credit for any pictures that appear in print.

One more thing. I would like to add an unofficial fundraiser for the Switzerland County Animal Shelter.

I would request everyone – both photographers and non-photographers – to donate $10 or more to the shelter. (Make your checks payable to the Switzerland County Animal Shelter and designate Ziva with your donation.

On October 1st, Jade and I, on behalf of our rescued Ziva, will match your Ziva donations to the shelter up to a total of $500.

Ziva – the Beach Boys – the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You didn’t think I could link them together – did you?

– Mike Cooney