A way to survive the empty nest and a "cracked "relationship with a fun daily challenge of new experiences, reflections, sources, and some biblical guidance. I hope this blog which offers a fun journey to survive by trying something new, either vicariously or by doing, will result in a survival tool kit to replace the past familiar doing, giving, and/or incorporating the interest of your child or your long gone love interest, with some new self interest(s).
Day 182 Rocky Bleier in The Play-His story, the life of Chances
Rocky Telling his journey
Pittsburgh is a sports town so most Pittsburghers would jump at the chance to hear a story from a former Steeler running back, who was part of the “Golden Days” in the 1970’s, the days of the “Steel Curtain,” and 4
Super Bowl victories. This show is not really about Steelers team history or I would have been lost and bored
because I must timidly admit that I am a
temperate fan, unlike most supersonic ones in this town. What I do love however is a good story (see Day 146). I got a good story from Rocky Bleier. I
heard his story of chance or of “what if’s” in his life. I think many of us have those kinds of memories.
During the holidays when we are together with family and friends, it is our
stories that bring the joy of telling and remembering to life so that we don’t forget. This is what
Rocky Bleier accomplished in this one man intimate play.
Rocky walked out telling the beginnings of his Italian Catholic childhood in the
family bar in Appleton, Wisconsin. You experience his life in the bar, his strong
mom, his family ties, and ethnic roots.
This mimics many Pittsburgh families or even my family growing up. I loved that in his
family you knew that, 1) if you stepped out of line, you were banned from the bar for life, (like the “soup Nazi'' in
Seinfeld) and 2) you had to play an instrument. I
chuckled when he recalled that he played the trumpet because it was handed down
from his uncle. My son played the saxophone
because I had one from my childhood. Funny
how people can have the same stories!
He took us back to his Notre Dame days, the days of civil
rights and protest. He was the Steelers' 416th draft pick to a losing team in 1968. Then he was drafted to Vietnam. I did not know about the chance grenade explosion which left
most people thinking that he would use a cane for life. I did know about the
chance saving of his life by a man of color during the war. I did not know
about his ability to overcome his
adversity and play back on the Steelers team from 1971 to 1980. Now that is a story!
Although I must admit that his delivery seemed a bit scripted at
first, it later felt “real” and heartfelt. He also narrated with punches of
humor. I was surprised that it was
almost 70 minutes into the show before
there was a focus on his life with the Steelers. Not to worry football fans, Steelers references were infused though out the play.
He seemed grateful
to share his life story with us. A life of chance and of “what if’s”. A life of
survival and of perseverance for a guy of 5 feet 9.5 inches. A life
of being part of a team, something great-
The Pittsburgh Steelers!
(This Pittsbugh Public Theater show by Gene Collier (c/o writer of the Chief) runs until January 7th at the O’Reilly
Latter that same day, Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into the boat, where he sat and taught as the people listened on the shore. He told many stories...(Matthew 13:1-3)