In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 21, 2009 / 3 Tishrei 5770

Harwell a True Gentleman in the Booth and in Life

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was late summer, a baseball night, and in downtown Detroit, the Tigers were playing. Miles away, sitting in his chair, Ernie Harwell wanted some ice cream.

"How about you?" he asked me. I said sure, and he turned to his beautiful wife of 68 years and said, "Lulu, let's have some butter pecan ice cream," and Lulu rose from the couch to get it, although I imagine Ernie would have done it first if he weren't sick.

This was a last week, in his modest home, where The Last True Gentleman of the Booth spends every night now, reading quietly, going through letters, enjoying the moments he has left because his moments are dwindling, a game in the late innings. Ernie has inoperable cancer. He accepts it the way a good ballplayers accept a strike call. May not like it. Can't change it.

Anyhow, Ernie Harwell is 91 years old and he has long since learned to make the best of things. He did it as a young broadcaster on away games when he stayed in the studio, read the ticker, then waited for the sound effect of a smacked bat. He did it for decades in the cramped bird's nest booth in old Tiger Stadium, where your spine surrendered to inhuman angles.

He learned it from his father, who suffered an illness in his later years that cost him his eyesight. Radio was how his father followed baseball after that, and for every game in his 55 years of broadcasting, through the Dodgers, Giants, Orioles and Tigers, Ernie never forgot that, never forgot how he might be the his eyes and ears for someone like his father, who was making the best of it.

Now Ernie makes the best of it, with grace, warmth and faith. Above all, faith.

"A church wants you to do the Sunday sermon," his friend and attorney Gary Spicer said, sitting with stacks of mail and requests. I mentioned that would be a sure way to increase church attendance.

"Oh, I dunno," Ernie answered, laughing, "They might throw tomatoes."

It came out "tamay-tahs," the soft Georgia coda to his words, easy on the ears, like cool tea to the lips. Ernie's voice has always been soothing — he sounds like baseball would sound if the game could talk — but we forget it's soothing mostly because Ernie himself is soothing, He is as gentle, open, kind and decent as anyone I have ever met. In two days, he was scheduled to say a farewell at Comerica Park. Spicer told him there would be a long video, and a salute, and then he'd be given the microphone.

"Well, I'll just talk for 30 seconds," Ernie said.

And sure enough, when the night came, last Wednesday, he didn't go much longer. He walked out briskly, offering his most healthy posture, and told the crowd he was lucky and blessed, especially because his journey was "going to end in the great state of Michigan." He finished with a "God bless you" and walked to the tunnel. No surprise Ernie always preferred to tell the story, not become it.

Too late. Harwell's illness and his farewell speech became national news. Endless accounts of his long career were written, hosannas were thrown, all deserved.

But be careful not to eulogize Ernie, because he's not only still with us, he is entering a phase where he may be more precious than ever. "Maybe I can help somebody else," he said, after we'd finished the ice cream.

Harwell has been an example of grace over every game he's called, genteel, respectful, never in the way, accepting that he is there to paint the picture, but he doesn't own the brush. He has that same approach to life and now to death. He says he has long believed that his life is in G-d's hands, and he's lived it that way.

And he will continue to do so. To the end. I have written a new book about faith, part of which chronicles a broken down church in Detroit led by a poor pastor who fights to keep it going. Ernie read an advanced copy of book a few weeks ago. He told me he liked it.

That was special enough. But do you know that on his way down to his big night at Comerica Park, Ernie first drove by that crumbling church, unannounced, in a rundown section of Detroit, and when he saw the pastor, he rolled down his window and said "Hi, I'm Ernie Harwell, I just wanted to meet you."

Nobody looking. Nobody taking notes. Just something he wanted to do.

The Last True Gentleman of the Booth is making the best of it. We are all better for it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

"For One More Day"  

"For One More Day" is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives