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Unca Chuck, Pawlie, Flav, San Dawg and Blade (me).

Well, it has been awhile since I last posted a thread on this blog. August 4th to be exact and quite frankly, the old brain housing unit really hasn’t had anything worthwhile to say. Not that I haven’t been doing things, but I just haven’t had the motivation to record my activities and thoughts. So why now? Well, I guess in many ways I was inspired by a recent get-together of which I was part. I’ve mentioned in past posts that I am an avid San Francisco Giants fan. So much so, that I am part of another blog, called One Flap Down located at . . .

http://oneflapdown77.com/

This blog has been around for approximately 5-6 years and is quite popular. Craig Vaughan, Flavor (or Flav) as we affectionately call him, is the creator of the blog and our leader (until such time that a coup occurs. HEHEHE). In fact, the blog recently recorded one million page views or hits in the parlance of blog speak. My blog should be so lucky. Sigh.  Flappers are located all over planet Earth. You name it, we are there – South East Asia, England, East Coast of the U.S.A., etc. We are legion! 

However, I am getting ahead of myself and I should start at the beginning. The reason I visited the SF bay area earlier last month (August 16th through September 9th), was to watch my parent’s home and pets, while they traipsed around Europe and Russia on a two week cruise. Consequently, one of the reasons that I decided to stick around a bit longer beyond their two week vacation, was because I wanted to attend our San Francisco Giants Flapalooza 3.0 Fest at AT&T Park, where the Giants were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 7th. Additionally, the Giants were handing out free Sombreros to the first 20,000 fans and I had to have one of those! Many Flappers missed out on these because . . . Ahem, they were busy tipping a few (or more) drinks at the Public House.

Flapper group photo.

Flapper group photo. Back row – Unca Chuck, Zumiee, Flavor, San Dawg, James (not his real name. Grin.). Front row kneeling – Blade, Pawlie, and Snarkk. I believe Ted and ChiPower are missing from this group shot. Ted is an actor and couldn’t attend the game, as he was in a play that evening; and ChiPower was with his girl friend, Gail, in another section of the stadium when this was shot.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “Umm, what the heck is a Flapper; and what does “One Flap Down” mean?” In answer to the first part of the question – a Flapper is any Giant fan who frequents the One Flap Down blog.  Jeffrey Leonard, a former San Francisco Giants left fielder, nicknamed “Hacman” because he usually swung at the first pitch no matter what, was known for his “one flap down” routine: running around the bases after hitting a home run with one arm hanging motionless at his side. Are we clear on what a Flapper is? One flap down? Excellent.

Pawlie (Paul Kocak) being interviewed by Marty Lurie, a San Francisco radio personality (as well as a famous SF attorney) at the Public House bar and grill.  I am cheering him on in the background.

Pawlie (Paul Kocak) being interviewed by Marty Lurie, a San Francisco radio personality (as well as a famous SF attorney) at the Public House bar and grill. I am cheering him on in the background. Pawlie has written three baseball books, Baseball’s Starry Night, World Serious, and Rounding Third (Zen.Baseball. Poems.). Ahem, my Aunt Mary and I are in the first two books, so I endorse all of them. Hehehe.
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Another photo of Paul and Marty Lurie interviewing him at the Public House, adjacent to AT&T Park. The woman to my left, is Heather. San Dawg (Peter) christened her, “Beer Can.” I have no idea why. The person holding Paul’s book, World Serious, is Pat Connor, an assistant of Marty Lurie. Him and Marty exchange repartee and other conversation during the show.

On September 7th, I met Paul Kocak at my aunt Mary’s house, where he stayed last year during the Giants World Series Championship run. After having coffee and tea at her house, Paul took us out to breakfast at Crepevine, which is located on Irving, near the “Avenues” in the Sunset district. Afterwards, Paul and I bid farewell to my aunt and took the trolley car to Willie Mays Plaza, where the Public House is located as well. Paul is an author from Syracuse, New York, and a life long Giants fan. He grew up following them when they were located in New York. When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, he continued to follow them. He was being interviewed by Marty Lurie on KNBR radio, the Giants flagship station. We were quite early, as the interview wasn’t going to be scheduled for another hour or two. We settled in at a table near the interview area and slowly, other Flappers showed up . . .

Giants PR department giving us some publicity on the baseball park's Jumbotron.

Giants PR department giving us some publicity on AT&T Park’s Jumbotron.

As most of you know, I haven’t drank for decades, but that didn’t stop them (or I) from having a raucous time at the Public House. Let’s put it this way, we took over the joint a bit after 1p.m. and we’re there until a few minutes before the game started at 6p.m. Then we “stormed” AT&T Park . . . We all had tickets, but they were located all over the 2nd level Club area and we decided to stake our “Flap flag” so to speak in the 203 Level Club seat area, where a very nice Giants usher was quite tolerant of us and even took some fantastic group photos of us. In short, we stood the entire game, chatting with each other, except for a “nano like” 2-3 minutes in these seats the usher scored for all of us in the 3rd inning.  Unfortunately, that’s when the seat holders showed up for the game and we had to go back to standing at the top of the 203 club area. Ha.

Pawlie wearing Marty Lurie's 2012 Giants World Series ring. You practically need to lift weights to carry this thing around on your finger.  Oh, also a plug for Paul's book, Baseball's Starry Night, which Marty's assistant, Veronica, is holding.

Pawlie wearing Marty Lurie’s 2012 Giants World Series ring. You practically need to lift weights to carry this thing around on your finger. Oh, also another plug for one of Paul’s books, Baseball’s Starry Night, which Marty’s assistant, Beer Can . . . umm, Heather, is holding.

So, what was the score? Who won? Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks won 2-1. Frankly, we really didn’t care because we were barely paying attention to the game anyway, i.e., the whole idea of the annual Flapalooza 3.0 was for us to get together to chat and see each other.  Besides, the Giants season was a bummer and a big let down after their 2012 World Series Championship. We all had a great time and that’s what mattered!

Flavor isn't always this deranged.

Flavor isn’t always this deranged.

The Flapper get-together was the highlight of my trip, but I also had a wonderful time with my family, as well as visiting other relatives and friends in the area.  My mom and step dad returned from their vacation on the 1st of September and my mom ensured I had at least two tons of food to eat while they were away. Coupled with her gourmet meals after she returned, I gained almost 10 lbs while on this 3 week trip.  Yikes! If not for Flavor (Craig) scoring me 5-6 passes at Gold’s gym, all of that weight would have been flab.

OK, so instead of me blabbering on and on, I am going to let these photos tell the story of my trip to the San Francisco bay area. Enjoy!

This isn't even a smart phone and as you can see, the focus and intensity level is extreme while I try to figure out how to take a photo of Pawlie I believe.

This isn’t even a smart phone and as you can see, my focus and intensity level is extreme while I try to figure out how to take a photo of Pawlie being interviewed.

Snarkk (Tom) coordinated the "Flapper" shirt purchase. All of us went in on purchasing shirts with our blog address, nick and favorite number (e.g., mine was 24, which was Willie Mays old number). Additionally, this was a total surprise to Flavor, who runs the blog. We all pitched in for a shirt for him.

Ted, me, Chi, Flavor, Snarkk, James and Pawlie. Snarkk coordinated the “Flapper” shirt purchase. Frankly, he did a wonderful job, considering that it was similar to herding cats. All of us, including Flappers that couldn’t attend the game, committed to buying the shirts, but a gazillion emails must have went back and forth and poor Snarkk had to coordinate this chaos. Consequently, he still is collecting money and sending off shirts to those who couldn’t attend the game. The shirts have our blog address, motto of “We Score, We Win”, our nickname and each of our favorite numbers (e.g., mine was 24, which was Willie Mays old number). Additionally, we kept this a secret from Flavor, a monumental task in itself. He was blown away when he was given his shirt (which we all kicked in money for). Tom is presenting Flavor’s shirt to him here.

Flavor getting his shirt.

Flavor getting his shirt from Snarkk.

"Big" Flavor showing us his new shirt.

“Big” Flavor showing us his new shirt.

Chi and Flavor showing off their new Flapper shirts.

Chi and Flavor showing off their new Flapper shirts.

Gail and Chi rocking their SF Giants Sombreros! Oh yeah!

Gail and Chi rocking their SF Giants Sombreros! Oh yeah!

Blurry photo of Flavor and I at his gym.

Blurry photo of Flavor and I at his gym.

Dinner with my family.

Dinner with my mom (Dolores), step dad (Dennis), and my aunt (Mary).

My aunt Francis and I at her home in Coarse Gold. I was visiting her and my uncle Paul.

My aunt Francis and I at her home in Coarse Gold. I was visiting her and my uncle Paul.

My cousins Jackie and Johanna (daughters of my aunt Francis).

My cousins Jackie and Johanna (my aunt Francis and uncle Paul’s children). Jackie manages high profile commercial real estate in the SF bay area; and is married to Steve, a wonderful guy; and they have two awesome children, Vincent and Juliana. My other cuz, Johanna, is a public school teacher in San Jose and hopefully, a soon to be school principal. One of the smartest people I know!

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My cousin Greg drove us to his mom’s house in Coarse Gold, and on the return trip back to the bay area, we stopped by the SF Giants minor league Fresno stadium, Chukchansi Park, which I wanted to see. A beautiful minor league stadium!

My other cousin Greg and his daughter Victoria (who is an outstanding softball player). This is a shot of them in Southern California, where Victoria was participating in a softball tournament. By the by, they were able to attend Tim Lincecum's no hitter pitching gem against the San Diego Padres. Awesome!

My cousin Greg and his daughter Victoria (who is an outstanding softball player). This is a shot of them in Southern California, where Victoria was participating in a softball tournament. By the by, they were able to attend Tim Lincecum’s no hitter pitching gem against the San Diego Padres. Awesome!

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My friend Danny Sanchez. We got in so much trouble as kids and then young adults . . . Umm, let’s just say that Hollywood would knock down our door for the film rights if we ever wrote our life story about that period of our lives. Ha.

Another two friends of mine that I saw while I was in Sunnyvale, Craig and Jimmy. We went out to lunch and reminisced about old times in high school. Craig now lives in Elk Grove and Jimmy is in Manteca.

Another two friends of mine that I saw while I was in Sunnyvale, Craig Lofton and Jimmy Quintana. We went out to lunch and reminisced about old times in high school. Craig now lives in Elk Grove and Jimmy is in Manteca.

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