Begins and Ends with 24

Greetings, my fellow solstice-seeking compadres!

We’ve arrived at countdown day #24, and incredibly, we’re nearly one quarter of the way home!!

So, let’s put one more day in the books first. (And let’ s understand that we’ve still plenty to go.)

How about, though, we celebrate/tolerate the time we have left until we are returned to the promise of more daylight on 21 December? And for that, let’s talk “24.”

  1. PLAY IT AGAIN, GROVER. With one more shoutout to our POTUSs of the past, let’s recognize Grover Cleveland, the 24th President of the United States.  (And for all you history hounds out there, you probably remember that G. Cleveland also served as the 22nd U.S. President, making him the only one among our 46 who served two terms of office, non-consecutively.)
  2. MAKE ME A BELIEVER. This U.S. State can be known by, shall we say, something of a “skeptical” nickname. Yep, the 24th U.S. State is Missouri, often called the “Show-me” State, joining the Union in 1821.
  3. IN THE RUNNING. Turning to the world of sports, this “24” is surely important, but in the same breath, it’s bittersweet, too. That’s in large part because of Steve Prefontaine, perhaps the U.S.’s greatest middle-distance runner ever, who deprived us of his company at age 24. Sadly, “Pre” (the name by which he was known since childhood) was killed in an auto accident in May 1975; he never got the opportunity to compete in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, CA, where he would have been the hands-down favorite to take the Gold in the 5,000 Meters. To amend an earlier assertion, Pre was not only the most celebrated middle-distance runner ever, today, he is arguably America’s most-celebrated track athlete, altogether.  Ironically, though, he never *medaled in an Olympic Games.

Wishing all of you a great 2nd half of the holiday weekend.

Stay strong. Stay happy. And please join me again tomorrow.

*(NOTE: If you’re into such things, consider checking out the 5000-meter race from the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.  Though Prefontaine finished a disappointing 4th, that doesn’t tell the whole story; even nearly 50 years later, the race is regarded as one of the greatest “gutsy chess games” in the history of track and field.)

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