An iconic still from Woody Allen's 1979 film, "Manhattan."

So somehow, "Manhattan"--the 1979 Woody Allen movie about self-centered, white wine sipping, white linen wearing, early New York Yuppies--found its way into his DVD player. He poured himself a glass of chilled chardonnay and sat down with the spaniel to watch it.

At first he was struck by two things--how dated the movie seemed, and how the opening montage of New York scenes that ended with the fireworks display against the Manhattan skyline made him think of the September 11 terrorist attacks. And he felt superior to those urbanely provincial people depicted in the movie who fretted their ways through failing marriages and affairs and dealt with agents and publishers and unfulfilling but lucrative jobs.

But then, as always seemed to happen when he watched a Woody Allen movie, he started noticing uncomfortable familiarities and he realized the same thing he'd realized the first time he saw the movie 38 years ago--that he had more than a few things in common with Allen.

And it occurred to him that over the years he'd become, in some ways, a sort of Southern-fried, redneck version of Woody Allen--even to the point of dealing with agents and publishers and his own collection of chronic neuroses. But without the fame and huge income.


The Passing of a Childhood Hero

Baseball great Roy Sievers

I'm deeply saddened to learn that my friend, former Major League Baseball great Roy Sievers, died late Monday night at his home in St. Louis. He was 91 years old.

Roy gave me an unforgettable moment in 1959 when he invited me into the dugout of the Washington Senators during a preseason exhibition game in Charlotte, North Carolina. A few years ago, I wrote about that moment in Drye Goods.

Roy's niece, Terry Cole, saw that essay and showed it to Roy, and thus began a series of phone conversations during which I talked to Roy about his stellar career. I wrote about those conversations in 2015 in an essay for the National Pastime Museum.

Roy was an old-school baseball hero and a generous and thoughtful guy. Thanks for the memory, Roy. You'll always be one of my heroes.