Please say hello to anyone who knows me

Hi everybody. Da harv here and I’d call this little piece: “Please say hello to anyone who knows me.” And I’d like to give you a little reason behind this thing.

This little note to all of you out there, was stimulated by a man who became a friend of mine. “Ed Asner”. We proved together that differences with regard to politics can exist without dampening mutual love and respect for each other! Ed said to me one day after we had completed a voice over session together: “Boy Harv, they sure know your name all over the place. Don’t they?”. And as he was leaving the booth, Ed gave me a very wry smile, while flipping me the finger, middle finger.

Well, Once upon a time. A noted celebrity, I can’t remember who he or she happened to be, seemed proud of the fact, while on a gig that they had in New York City. They had honored my less than serious request to ask an industry contact if they recognized the name Harvey Kalmenson. “Everybody knows da harv”, was, and has been the consensus reply for close to fifty years.

So, is it any wonder my hat size has become demonstrably larger during the course of these many years?  The fact of the matter was and remains, it’s not a moniker created by yours truly. For those of you out there who have successfully emerged from the baby diaper era of life, be it known to all: The proper screen credit, was unceremoniously crowned for me (as) “da harv”, was bestowed in Chicago, by Cathy’s, now deceased “uncle Chuck; I ceremoniously referred to him as “Uncle Chucky”.

In Chuckie’s Chicago mindset he had placed me into the super great crowd of: da bears, da bulls, da cubs, da sox, da hawks, da sky, da stars, and da fire. I’ll bet you, without equivocation, Chicago sports fans are of equal demonstrative nature, on par with any fans in these great United States of ours. Certainly the term fan was derived from the word “fanatic”, is a perfect fit for them.

You know, the other day I looked up the meaning of the word fan, or fan base. Here’s what I found: fan base it is a noun the fans of a sports team, pop music group, etc., considered as a distinct social grouping. Okay, I’ll buy that.

You see… da harv has had this deep rooted desire in his belly, to know what someone is saying, or trying to convey by their message. For the life of me, try as I may, the more I listen to politicians, oftentimes the less true meaning I come away with. This condition of mine began many years ago. Here’s an example of where my feelings stem from. As a ten year old, back in Brooklyn, New York, all of my close friends…the kids who hung with me at P.S. 233, from early morning and until the sun went down, we were all true sports fans. Usually provided by nature, it was baseball, basketball, and football according to the season we were in. For da harv it was always the Dodger’s all the way. The team, the players, and their opponent teams in the National League were my responsibility to know everything about. That obligation also was religiously accepted by each of my baseball loving friends from the neighborhood. We were all from birth and to the exact moment at hand, complete and unadulterated Dodger fans! And if you’re interested here’s where the word unadulterated came from…

And of course there was some added attraction at Ebbets Field. What you’re looking at is the Dodgers Sym-phony. Phony the accent to the way you pronounce their name. They were originally Shorty and Borther Lou, before they were actually named Sym-phony. At Ebbets Field the fans themselves were the artistes. They included Hilda Chester and her cowbell, Eddie Bettan and his police whistle, and the Dodgers Sym-phony, as I said earlier, and a five, six, or seven-man unit of comically wacky amateur instrumentalists.

Today I remember them all with much affection and nostalgia. It was an absolute understanding. If you lived in Brooklyn, you were and remained a lifetime Dodger fan. As a matter of fact the Sym-phony went all the way back to 1937. And boy did they crowd into that stadium.

And yes, you got that right. That’s Jackie Robinson, Number 42. He became our hero. My Dad described Jackie as a courageous man amongst men. And on that day, that fact wasn’t recognized by me at that exact moment in my young life. But it was a moment the world would find to be without equal! There we were, in Brooklyn, New York. In a place called Ebbets Field, preparing to not only watch a baseball game, but this fourteen year old boy, that’s me, and his Dad were about to experience arguably the most historic day in their lives. There I was alongside a man of genuine stature, my Father, Charles Kalmenson. His schooled academic prowess was what he managed to glean up until completion of his New York fourth grade education. An immigrant child who came here at age two only went to the fourth grade. What follows is a foto of my dad and I.
By the end of his life, Charlie, his IQ was well above average. He believed in the support of the human being. Dads credo was a simple one, live, learn, and share with those equally endowed with similar desires to succeed.

There were thirty four thousand people jam packed in to watch the entrance of the very first black man to play major league baseball. I remember my Father’s words, “Sometime in the future, you’re going think about how much more important than a baseball game this really was.”

And now, just an aside, a short fact of life I got from my Dad, and went on to observe within the commonality of Jackie Robinson, in that order. What I watched them do in their life’s practices, found its way into the family and business world of the USA.

From beginnings, middles, and durations in this life of ours, we must feel the comforts of belonging as human beings, wherever we happen to be. Whether by design, or the road we either take by design, or happen to stumble on. In my case, dealing with a variety of humanity has become my design though not necessarily fostered by the extent of my human exertion.

A little more history about da harv here… After completing high school, then becoming a starting pitcher on the Santa Monica Jr. college baseball team. I was offered an opportunity to play professional baseball after signing a baseball contract, I was injured by a fluke, one of life’s unexpected injuries. Surely that wasn’t a comfort zone! It became a first of what would become one of my life’s sizable stumbles.

I then joined the army, and served until I ended the Korean Conflict. Woah! It had almost ended me. I did my time and was looking forward to my journey back home. Probably the single biggest stumble of my life. I didn’t realize what a good fit for me the army had become. I stumbled unaware of what a gifted leader type I had become. Anyway…hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it.

And so it’s time to complete my little diatribe. Stumbling is what God gives us all a great affinity to accomplish along the way. Personally, I should be in the “Guinness Book Of World Records” for “Stumbles.” Note to all of you people out there: To the best of my knowledge, Guinness doesn’t have such a book. They discovered, there is no book out there big enough to list the entire world population of people who have stumbled along the way, individually by name.

And that concludes my little story of the day for Sunday. Have a great Sunday and the rest of your week. Try not to stumble.

Cordially, As Uncle Chucky would say:


da harv

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