Monthly Archives: October 2006

Si Simmons, Baseball’s Oldest Old-Timer, Dies at 111 – New York Times

Si Simmons, the oldest professional baseball player, died Oct. 29. He was 111 years old.

To say he “saw it all” might sound a little cliched, but just think for a moment.

Born in 1895, he witnessed some amazing things over the course of 100+ years, in no particular order:

  • Electric power as a staple of home life
  • The automobile as an everyday “utensil”
  • Radio and television as “essentials”
  • Internet
  • Two World Wars, plus Korea, Vietnam, and everything that followed
  • Flight
  • Space flight
  • Twenty presidential administrations

Not to mention the fads and fashions during that span.

Of course, as an African-America he probably saw much of this at a distance.

Si Simmons, Baseball’s Oldest Old-Timer, Dies at 111

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Petra Cabot, inventor of the Skotch Kooler: This is progress?


Petra Cabot, an artist “best known for inventing the Skotch Cooler,” died at the age of 99 last week.

Imagine going through life, a talented painter and designer, and this is what you’re remembered for. When I went to day camp in the mid 1960s, I recall those little plaid carriers with the strap. They always ripped and never kept the stuff cold very long.

I wonder which 25 years or half-century has seen the most technological progress. Was it 1850-1900? 1910-60? For all the change since I was born, I can’t really say anything spectacularly different has occurred. We had TV then, and we have it now. We now have phones that don’t tether us to a specific location, but they’re still, utlimately, phones. We have portable music that wasn’t available in our grandparents’ day, but is that really progress?

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