Well another month has left us, as my Machiavelli quote-o-the-day daily calendar is becoming increasingly thinner. March as we once knew it is now gone. But as a door is closed, a window is opened. And call it a coincidence but the name of our next month comes from the Latin word Aprilis, which means to open. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about April. As many people know, the first day of April is known as April Fool's Day, and on this day men, women, and children play absurd but harmless jokes on each other. Kinda like my brother who used to convince me every year that Richard Nixon died. He won't get that one by me this year though. Well anyway, April is also the start of the major league baseball season. Although I live in northern New Jersey, I have always been a big California Angels fan. The reason for this is because when I was just a little Feff, the greatest baseball player of all time, Reggie Jackson, was on the California Angels. I always had a bond with Reggie because he hit three home-runs in one world series game two days after I was born. Anyway, for this week's Whack I have a little Reggie-related essay I wrote. It's very deep. Deep in what, I can't say. Enjoy:
Well that's it, so I think I'll wrap this up for this week. So to conclude, don't believe anyone who tells you Richard Nixon is dead; this is the year for the singing cowboy; and LeRoy Nieman is the greatest artist since that guy with one ear.
Now for this week's special feature, Feff's top ten least favorite people that were born in the month of April:
In order to know Doug Palermo one only has to look at the single work of art that has affected my understanding of the world: the riveting LeRoy Neiman portrait of Reggie Jackson, which was painted to honor Jackson's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.
I was first introduced to this work in the poster format, when I received it free, compliments of Chemical Bank, during Reggie Jackson Hall of Fame Day at Yankee Stadium on August Fourteenth, 1993. Now I have received many promotional items throughout my lifetime, such as my one-size-fits-all Foot Locker Yankee socks, my day-glo green Met-Life Yankee sunglasses, and my bright yellow Chiquita Banana Yankee watch. However it was not until that perfect summer's day of August Fourteenth, 1993, when something that was giving to me out of a cardboard box by a 58 year old overweight Spanish guy named Luis, greatly affected my understanding of the world.
When I took my seat in the massive green cathedral, two rows from the vastness of the heavens, and I unrolled my poster, my eyes were just hypnotized by the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. At that one moment of time, I felt I was one with the world, one with myself, and one with my God.
What is special about the painting is its wonderful contrast between the violent reds, yellow, and oranges around Reggie's head, and the smooth violets, greens, and blues around the rest of his body; which is at the end of his perfect left-handed swing. The significance of this contrast is that for the world to improve, and for people to get along better with each other, we must realize that at times, our heads will be hot with anger and with hatred, but we must keep the rest of our bodies calm and relaxed in order to stop the violence that is destroying this world. Reggie Jackson lived his life this way, and in essence is an example for all the world to follow.
Finally, the most striking feature of the portrait is the eyes, oh yes the eyes. Eyes that show fear, eyes that show hope, eyes that show dedication, eyes that show uncertainty, eyes that show hate, eyes that show love, and eyes that show life. The eyes, oh yes the eyes, these were the eyes of a champion, the eyes of the world, the eyes of God, the eyes of Reggie. When I saw life through those eyes, I became a changed person, a new person with a firm understanding of myself and the world that surrounds me.
10. Sonja Henie
9. William Randolph Hearst
8. Charlotte Bronte
7. Immanuel Kant
6. Napoleon Bonaparte
5. Nikita Khrushev
4. Vladimir Lenin
3. My eldest brother Mikey
2. Adolf Hitler
1. William Shakespeare