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Old 03-26-2002, 05:54 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite:
I just figure I'd post here to echo what I'm sure are all of ya'lls reactions to the absolutely Disgusting and Racistically filled Speech of Halle Berry last night.. I was appalled by this.. Apparently there is more racism in Hollywood than in the 'conventional deep south' or in 'Chicago', And due to the recent condemnings of racism by many others, including myself, I just wanted to throw this out.. Fizzing, I'm sure you were disgusted as well.. that someone could say such things 'on National TV' as opposed to things you've accused me of 'in a public in the corner internet forum'.

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Well I don't really understand how you've interpreted her remarks as racist. I don't recall her making any comparison to racism in Hollywood and racism in any other region of the US either.

I think we can all agree that black people do face greater barriers to success than white people. Her speech was just celebrating that in one arena at least, one of those barriers has been broken. She spoke of other black actresses who had been overlooked for the award, and for contemporary black actresses who might now have a chance to gain the recognition they deserve. I think she had every right to celebrate that.

And, if you don't believe those barriers exist in Hollywood, then just look around the audience at the Oscars and tell me how many black men and women you saw.

Lemonite, I do condemn racism, I condemn it in all its forms. But I don't consider a speech by a black woman, celebrating her success in being the first black woman to win that award to be racist, rather I'd see that speech in itself to be a condemnation of racism and I applaud that.

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Old 03-26-2002, 09:00 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees:
Well I don't really understand how you've interpreted her remarks as racist. I don't recall her making any comparison to racism in Hollywood and racism in any other region of the US either.

I think we can all agree that black people do face greater barriers to success than white people. Her speech was just celebrating that in one arena at least, one of those barriers has been broken. She spoke of other black actresses who had been overlooked for the award, and for contemporary black actresses who might now have a chance to gain the recognition they deserve. I think she had every right to celebrate that.

And, if you don't believe those barriers exist in Hollywood, then just look around the audience at the Oscars and tell me how many black men and women you saw.

Lemonite, I do condemn racism, I condemn it in all its forms. But I don't consider a speech by a black woman, celebrating her success in being the first black woman to win that award to be racist, rather I'd see that speech in itself to be a condemnation of racism and I applaud that.


I should have figured that would be how you would take it.. Ah, Well, we are all entitled to our differences of opinions.. It just seemed to me and (Yes I will include everyone else I have talked to, or heard on the radio), that it was an 'in your face' to the rest of the cultural world.

I's just curious what you thought,
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Old 03-26-2002, 09:06 AM   #48
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I think she's starting to get the idea that no one wants her around anywhere anymore...

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Fans Boo Britney at her Premiere

UK:

Britney Spears left fans disappointed at the UK première of her debut film on Monday when she declined to meet dedicated followers who had waited for hours to get autographs and chat to the star.
Some of the 3,000 fans - who had come from as far away as South Africa - booed and hissed the star when she was whisked into the screening of Crossroads just moments after arriving at the Odeon Leicester Square in London's West End.

Despite a re-appearance on the cinema's balcony, some fans were left in tears after hopes of meeting their idol were dashed.

One banner made by fans proclaimed that its owner had "come all the way from South Africa to see you", while others carried messages like: "Britney I want to be you - you're the best."

But Spears was almost an hour late for the première and did not have time to go on a walkabout, as many stars do.

Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz famously spent an hour talking to fans before a recent première - even agreeing to talk to friends and family on fans' mobile phones.

But the booing is a blow for Spears' acting hopes as she tries to promote her first cinema appearance to fans.

One fan, 11-year-old Gemma Willis, had queued with mother Jane since 1530 GMT to see the star.

"Gemma's crying her eyes out because she couldn't see a thing," Mrs Willis said.

"How does Britney expect people to go and see her film if she can't be bothered to say hello to her fans?"

Fran Handley, 16, of Uckfield, East Sussex, had waited for nearly six hours in the hope of getting an autograph, but said: "It wasn't worth my time."

"All I saw was a flash of sequin and that was it."

Singer Charlotte Church, S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens and TV presenter Dani Behr were among the other stars who turned up.

Earlier in the day, Spears gave a hint that rumours of her split from Justin Timberlake may be true.

She told reporters that she was not in "an intense relationship" - but refused to discuss her private life further.

She also said she wanted to concentrate on acting rather than singing in the immediate future.

"Music is my heart and soul and that's what I'm going to do, but I think right now acting is so much fun, it's a whole new ballgame and a new territory and I want to focus on that right now," she said.

Asked if an Oscar was one of her ambitions, she said: "That would be very nice, that would be something I can dream about."

She has two new films in the pipeline, it was revealed.

"One of them is an intense relationship movie, and the other is an ensemble dramatic piece which is multi-generational," according to the Crossroads producer, Ann Carli.

Resolve problems

Spears, 20, has been on a European promotional tour that has also taken in Holland, Spain and Europe's most popular TV game show, Wetten Dass...?! (Bet It...?!), in Germany.

Crossroads sees Spears play Lucy, a young woman who goes on a trip across the US with two friends to resolve problems in their life.

Her acting has been praised by many critics, and the film has taken more than $36m (£25m) at US box offices - three times the amount it cost to make.

It also stars Sex And The City actress Kim Cattrall as Lucy's mother and Dan Ackroyd as her father.

The film opens in the UK on Friday.
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Old 03-28-2002, 05:52 PM   #49
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Another Reason why Current Day NewsReporters are some of the most ignorant people on this planet...

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU MARCH 28, 2002 14:26:09 ET XXXXX

WHITE HOUSE ANGER AT CNN 'MILITARY NOT READY' REPORT

Senior White House officials are furious over a CNN report which claimed the U.S. military is 'unprepared' to launch a new offensive in the war on terrorism -- possibly against Iraq -- because American troops need a rest!

White House officials watched in disbelief Thursday morning as CNN beamed a report worldwide that stated: "The U.S. military needs more time to retool its ships, aircraft and weapons, restock munitions and to rest its troops."

One Bush official erupted over the story [filed by the network's Jamie McIntyre and slugged 'U.S. Military Not Ready']: "Could they help our enemies any more if they tried! Gee, CNN tells the world: 'Now's the time to attack America! That's what they've just done! We're resting??"

MORE

Introducing the report, CNN anchor Carol Costello announced: "The U.S. military is not quite ready for another major war."

McIntyre reported: "While the U.S. has plenty of the latest satellite-guided bombs, it is short of other high-tech assets, such as unmanned spy planes, which commanders now see as indispensable in providing real-time reports from the battlefield."

A Bush official spoke to the DRUDGE REPORT on condition their identity not be revealed.

"This is one of the most unconscionable stories I've ever seen in my years in public life... How could CNN just tell the world how our troops now need a rest... The impression that has been left is: 'We are in retreat!'"

The all-news channel has not yet received any official complaints from the White House, a CNN spokesman said Thursday afternoon.

Developing...

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Old 03-28-2002, 07:46 PM   #50
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more to think about while reading the above article...

Drudge Report is not only a column, but a show, one of Fox News' most succesful shows. Fox News is in direct competition with CNN. So why report on this? To help promote a place where a paycheck comes from!

By any means, I am not saying CNN was right to print this - but the Drudge Report article truly is an example why current-day reporters are just as ignorant as the viewers or readers!

There are som many business ties and relationships out there that you have to know when you read or view....
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Old 03-29-2002, 08:17 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by zonelistener:
more to think about while reading the above article...

Drudge Report is not only a column, but a show, one of Fox News' most succesful shows. Fox News is in direct competition with CNN. So why report on this? To help promote a place where a paycheck comes from!

By any means, I am not saying CNN was right to print this - but the Drudge Report article truly is an example why current-day reporters are just as ignorant as the viewers or readers!

There are som many business ties and relationships out there that you have to know when you read or view....
That's a good point, one I know of, however, There are many more examples I have just been too lazy to post.. of how our media spills shit all over the place.. gives ideas out et al..

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Old 03-29-2002, 11:09 AM   #52
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This is offensive. Just as if it was titled Vasectomy.
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Old 03-30-2002, 07:16 PM   #53
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Zonelistener...

I have taken to mind all your rips and shots at me, and how your various concerns and feelings about me and my status in the real world, however long it may take me to reach that point, And I will completely agree with you that people of my generation tend to live in this 'Bubble' and have no idea of what life is really like out there.. It's a rampant cloth over at my College..

And a while back when I posted the new 'alcohol' policy at my school, my intention was to follow it up with what I knew would be the reaction of the Students to this 'Executive Order'.. However I got lazy in my vigilance, and never got around to it..

Anyways, But I will disagree with you in that I don't feel that all college students or others of my generation are as naive as you may say (Myself included)... And the reason is due to the fact that those of us who are more adapted.. more in tune with what is really out there are the ones who have had to work for our success, to Scrape in order to climb another rung in the Ladder, who have been told NO, and have had to find alternate means of resourcefulness in our pursuit of our goals.

Many of my contemporaries live in this 'NBC Friends-Sorority' World where their vision of real life is what is Shown in Seinfeld and Friends.. And usually these people are the ones who have had everything handed to them.. And not just in money, but grades, or even placements (In expensive Boarding Schools, or Connections into a University)... These are the people who get that 'Humble Pie' that you continually refer to.. The ones who just 'Want to Get Out of School' rather than spend an extra year getting a Masters or what not.. (I'm not saying that these type of people are all incapable of living in the real world.. It is just the personality attitude or depth of character who run into this 'Humble Pie')

On the other hand are those who have to work their way through College, by spending their afternoons bagging Groceries at the Local Shopping Market to pay for their tuition.. The ones who have to spend Hours upon Hours in the library just trying to figure out all the permutations in a varies Organic Chemistry Reaction, Those of us who realize that things do not come to you if you don't work for them.. I can't believe I'm going to write this next sentence but that "There Truly is No Free Lunch". It is this type of person who is more ready for this real world, to Expect what may be a 'Humble Pie' being throw at them and holding the agility to step aside from it, or at least Catch It (To use your analogy).

And now back to the Alcohol Policy at ND.. The Responses by the students that I referenced above, What were sent in were various Enraged Arguments of 'How Could the University Do This Without Any Student Involvement in the Decision'.. Yes.. a valid complaint, but the tone of the students was that they didn't understand that they Were Not Going to have any input in this policy in the first place.. The Focus Groups that were apparently held 'To Help Shape This Decision' was just a ruse to cover their ass.. These are the people who will be smacked in the face with this Humble Pie. I try with my posts in this forum to enlighten people to reality, to give some stark (What some may call Insensitive) sense of how shit really is.. And even I will say that I am not an authority on Quote unQuote Reality, but I feel I am able to wade through a lot of Shit that People feed each other day in and day out.. I could go into examples but I'll get into that when I respond to Fizzing in the question he asked me.. when I get more time.

Zone, I do know where you are coming from, and I hope that people do read your criticisms of my internet writings and are given a 'fair warning' themselves of what they have coming... And I go about in my own way trying to help people understand things in the UnCouched Way they often occur, While they are 'Couched' to they blind observing eye.

Feel free to comment or what not Zone, I just figured this would be a way to give a little specific realm to discuss what you so adamantly term as 'Hunting Me down' in various posts.. I haven't gone back and 'proofread' this, cuz I wanna get back to the game, but I figured It'd be a base to springboard into a little bit of a conversation.

God Bless America,
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Old 03-30-2002, 09:24 PM   #54
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True Pro Basketball Fans.. Enjoy..

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Seeing Red after all these years
By Bill Simmons
Page 2 columnist


"Are you waiting for me?"


It's Red Auerbach. All 84 years of him. Emerging from an elevator. Moving slowly. Using a green cane. Wearing a green Celtics jacket and green Celtics hat. Looking like a cross between the Celtics leprechaun, Yoda and God.

"Yes, I'm waiting for you," I tell him.

Growing up in Boston in the '70s and '80s, we possessed three treasures that nobody else had: Fenway, the Garden and Red. He was our trump card. He had mystical powers. He made things happen. He fleeced other teams. He found diamonds in the rough. He intimidated officials. He stamped his winning imprint on everyone and everything. He was the Celtics. Sixteen championships in 30 years ... and they all happened because of him.

And we loved him for it. Back in the late-'70s, Red wasn't getting along with new owner John Y. Brown -- an abrasive know-it-all from Kentucky who nearly submarined the franchise -- and thought about leaving for the Knicks. And people here panicked. I'm not kidding you ... people panicked. We had a collective heart attack. Red was leaving? He's leaving??? Everyone where he went, people urged him to stay: cab drivers, waiters, gas station attendants, people on the street. Everyone. He stayed.
That was 24 years ago. Red eventually pushed Brown out of town, jump-started another mini-dynasty (the Bird Era) and finally scaled back his involvement with the team in the late-'80s, retaining more of an aging Vito Corleone-type, patriarch role. The next decade was rough for him, and not just because the team freefell into Lottery Land. Red endured quintuple-bypass surgery back in '93. Four years later, he was stripped of his presidency by Rick Pitino, the NBA equivalent of shoving someone into a nursing home. His beloved wife, Dorothy, passed away just 17 months ago, leaving him all alone in their Washington, D.C. condo.

Over the past few years, rumors persisted that Red's health was failing, that one of the people involved with the NBA since Day One (56 years, but who's counting?) was approaching death's door. And watching him struggle up the steps at the Fleet Center during Celtics games ... well, it almost made me believe the worst.

Standing in front of his office door in Washington, shaking hands with me, he looks fine. Old, but fine. As the old saying goes, rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"Sorry I'm late," he growls. "I was at the dentist. Took longer than I thought. And I have to go back next week!!!"

That's the way Red speaks ... starts out slowly, builds steam, finishes with a final flurry. He's a movie character. Everything about him makes you feel like you're in a movie scene with him, like he's being played by Robert Loggia or something.

His office looks like a hidden section of the Basketball Hall of Fame -- framed photos, newspaper clippings and tons of Celtics memorabilia crammed along all four walls (supposedly, his Boston office puts it to shame). Red saves everything. These aren't just run-of-the-mill photos, either; on one wall, a photo of Red with Ted Kennedy hangs above an autographed lithograph poster of Kevin McHale (the caption reads, "To Red, Thanks for everything! Kevin McHale"). You could spend three hours in here, just looking around. Red spends most of his weekday mornings here, making phone calls, reading letters, meeting visitors, doing favors, sticking to a routine. Keeps him sane.

I watch him gingerly move behind his desk, finally dropping into a chair. Red has trouble walking -- hip problems, foot problems, back problems, just problems. Elevators and escalators are two of his favorite things; he lives his life accordingly. He avoids Washington's MCI Center, mainly because the nitwits running that place don't make it easy for him to get around. The green cane was an enormous concession for him; just 10 years ago, Red was still playing racquetball and tennis three times a week. Now he uses a cane to get around. Took him awhile to get used to it. Him, using a cane.

"I can't fight the stairs anymore," he says. "I don't like to walk stairs. Things change. I used to smoke 10 of these" ... he holds up a Cuban cigar ... "every day. Now I'm down to two. You don't get to be 84 years old and not have problems. But I don't want to talk about my problems."

Now he's behind the desk, sitting down ... and he's lighting that same cigar. First one of the day. Before his bypass surgery in '93, Red plowed through cigars like they were Life Savers. Read anything about him, and that's the first thing anyone mentions -- the suffocating cigar smoke. Hell, he invented the concept of the victory cigar. There's a famous story about Red lighting one up at Legal Seafoods in Boston during the mid-'80s, when a female customer upbraided him, "You can't smoke in here! It says so on the menu!" Red told her to look at the menu again. The menu actually said, "No cigar smoking in here ... except for Red Auerbach." Another "W" for Red. True story.

Now he smokes one in the morning and one at night. Sometimes he cheats and sneaks another one in during the afternoons. But the morning cigar ... that's the best one. First one of the day.

We start talking hoops. I tell him how my family owned Celtics season tickets since I was 4, how my father carried me into games in the mid-'70s, how I attended the Triple-OT Game against Phoenix in the '76 Finals (sleeping through the second half and the first two overtimes, because the game started so late, stretched out across three people). I have no idea why I'm telling him this. I'm just babbling.

"Greatest game I ever saw," he says, rescuing me. "You were at that game? How old were you?"

"I was 6."

Red nods. He's impressed. "Who did you say you wrote for again?"

"ESPN.com."

"ESPN-what?"

"Dot.com. It's ESPN's internet site."

Red makes a face. "I never bought into that whole Internet thing. I don't even own a fax machine."

It's true. Red doesn't own a fax machine, computer or cell phone, and he rarely uses his VCR ("I hate that technical s---," he says). The only modern invention he embraced was DirecTV; Red catches every Celtics game on his satellite dish, calling CFO Rich Pond after every victory, but never after a loss ("I don't feel like talking to anyone after we lose," he explains). He watches as many college/NBA games as possible, sometimes staying up until 1 a.m. for certain West Coast games, just in case GM Chris Wallace needs to consult him for a deal. When Boston traded Joe Johnson and a No. 1 pick for Phoenix's Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers last month -- a time-sensitive deal, since it was happening one day before the deadline -- Wallace still found time to consult Red.

"I was for the deal," Red says now, hesitating a bit. "But I wasn't totally for it. I hated to give up a first pick. The deal itself made a lot of sense. But the first-round picks ... back in my day, we used to fight to keep those!"

Red shakes his head, leans back and puffs on his cigar. He can't figure out luxury taxes, salary caps, escalating trade kickers ... it's like trying to understand Chinese for him. It was the main reason he scaled back his involvement with the franchise in the early-'90s. "It's so hard to make a deal because of the cap," he laments. "Years ago, let's say I want to trade Mike for Ike -- you call someone and say you want to make a trade, you say 'Give me a big guy, I got a big guy, you got a guard that I can use, let's make a deal,' and then see ya, it's over."

Complicated. Everything's complicated. When Red ran the Celtics in the '50s and '60s, he was head coach, director of basketball operations, general manager, team president, head scout ... he did everything. That's why his influence was so sweeping; he was always a step ahead of everyone else. You relied on one guy back then. No assistant coaches, no scouting departments, no front-office assistants. Just one guy running the show.

"I was doing everything myself, coaching without assistants, trying to see as many college players as I could," Red recalls. "I would call (friend and de-facto scout) Bones McKinney and say, 'Any players down South that I can use?' One year he says, 'There's a kid here from North Carolina ATT, Sam Jones, he could help your ballclub.' I never saw Sam Jones play before we drafted him. Hey, I made my share of mistakes. One time I drafted a kid named Bill Green, helluva player ... but he wouldn't fly! There was no way he could play in the league!"

He's being diplomatic. Red didn't make many mistakes. He traded for Russell, Parish, Archibald and Walton. Drafted Havlicek, McHale, Cowens, Maxwell, Sanders, Ainge, Heinsohn, White, Sharman, Lewis and the Jones boys. Drafted Bird in '79 with the sixth pick in the entire draft, even though Bird wasn't eligible to play for another season. Coached nine championship teams and built the foundations for seven others. You could argue, successfully, that Arnold "Red" Auerbach is the greatest winner in the history of sports.

***** ***** *****


Maybe that's what made it so tough to swallow when Rick Pitino stormed into town back in the summer of '97. At this point, Red (nearing 80) had already yielded day-to-day control of the team -- first to Dave Gavitt (in the early-'90s), then to M.L. Carr (a comical three-year run in the mid-'90s) -- but still served as Team President and Legend Emeritus. When Pitino agreed to his extravagant, record-setting contract ($50 million for 10 years), he demanded complete control of the basketball operations, as well as Red's title of Team President. Anxious to close the deal, owner Paul Gaston agreed to Pitino's demands. Amazingly, unbelievably, Red Auerbach was demoted to Executive Vice-President.

Wait ... it gets worse. Visit the Celtics offices, and you'll see framed team pictures from every season. In every picture since 1950, Red Auerbach is sitting in the center of the first row, holding a basketball. Coaches change, players change, but there's Red, always in the middle, always holding that damned basketball. Enter Pitino. In the '97-'98 team picture, he and Red are sitting in the middle, awkwardly holding the basketball together. The following year, only Pitino is holding the basketball. The year after that, Red isn't even sitting dead-center. Seeing these pictures now, it's jolting. How could this happen? It was John Y. Brown all over again.

I mention these things to Red, getting more animated as I'm telling the story, finally asking him: "Did that stuff hurt your feelings?"

"Not really," he says. "The tough part is, when you get past 80, you let things slide that 20 years ago I'd never let slide. You know what I mean? So I didn't make a big thing out of it. In all fairness, he might not have realized (what I meant to the franchise)."

Pitino's inability to judge talent ... now that's what bothered Red. On a local radio show last November, Auerbach blurted, "I knew right from the beginning that he was headed for the pile." Classic Red. Now he adds, "I respect him, he's a helluva coach, he really is ... but he didn't like Rick Fox! He didn't like (David) Wesley. He didn't like (Danny) Fortson. You know what I mean ... we differed on a lot of things. But that was his opinion as the CEO, so he made the moves. Hey, he's where he belongs. He's a great college coach."

When Pitino bolted last winter, the Celtics quickly restored Red's presidency and graciously sought his input on trades and draft picks. During last year's draft, the Celtics held three first-rounders, including the No. 21 selection. Red was enamored with Joe Forte, North Carolina's All-American and a Washington product, while the rest of the Celtics hierarchy leaned toward French point guard Tony Parker (now starting for the Spurs). In the end, they passed on the talented Parker and drafted Forte -- another shooting guard on a team filled with them -- simply to throw Red a bone.

According to Red, everything worked out for the best -- without Pitino, Jim O'Brien (a favorite of Red's) never would have never ended up in charge. He also likes this year's group, the best Celtics team since Reggie Lewis' final season ('92-'93). Things are better now. For the first time in seven years, the C's will make the playoffs. For the first time in nine years, they'll have home-court advantage in a playoff series. For the first time in 11 years, they have two All-Stars (Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce). And since the Eastern Conference lacks a truly dominant team, the Celtics have as good a chance to make the Finals as anybody.

"We're competitive," Red explains. "When you're competitive, anything can happen. Some of the Western teams kill us. San Antonio kills us. Kills us. We play the Lakers OK. But there's nobody in the East that good. And any time you have Pierce and Walker going for you, you're off to a good start. They're acting like captains ... they decided that there's no substitute for winning."

It's just nice to have the Celtics playing well again. Since Bird and the gang brought him a 16th championship in '86, the wheels came off quickly: Lenny Bias overdosed on cocaine; Walton's career ended prematurely; Bird's back gave out; McHale's feet betrayed him; Lewis tragically died; Gavitt failed to resuscitate the franchise; the laughable Carr drove them into the ground; the Boston Garden was demolished; they failed to win the Tim Duncan Sweepstakes; Pitino floundered; Paul Pierce was nearly stabbed to death; and Pitino threw up his hands and skipped town. Fifteen years of basketball hell.

"The bad break of it all was that the league never gave us a chance to recover from Reggie Lewis," Red says now. "Forget about Bias -- they never gave us a pick or anything to recover from that -- but they could have given us (cap) money to use for Reggie. They made us carry his salary on our cap for three years. Three! Today, they changed (that rule). They realized how shabbily they treated us." He sighs. "When you lose two All-Star players and get nothing back ... just think about that. Go to New Jersey and take away Kidd and Van Horn. Where the hell would they be?"

Bitter? Hell, yeah. He's still bitter. Red isn't buying any of this "What goes around, comes around" bad luck crap.

"The league couldn't wait to shove it to us," he complains. "People don't realize that we did a lot of things for the league over those years. (Former Boston owner) Walter Brown was the guy who pushed giving the two last-place finishers extra draft picks so they would be competitive (back in the mid-'60s) ... I told him, whenever the time comes when we need help from the league, they'll bury us."

The subject shifts to Lenny Bias. I mention writing a column about Bias last summer, how I still think about him from time to time, how much he would have helped those Celtics teams. "People don't realize how good he was, unless they saw him play," says Red, nodding. "One of the early guys that was 6-foot-8 and could really run. I used to know him before it happened. Lefty (Driessel) was a good friend, still is."

Some believe that a little piece of Red died on the day Bias died. He followed Bias at Maryland for three years. Bias' coach -- Driessel -- doubled as one of Red's closest friends. Bias worked as a counselor at Red's camp in the summer of '85. Auerbach traded a starting guard (Gerald Henderson) to Seattle in '85, netting an eventual lottery pick in return. When the Celtics finished second in that lottery -- in May of '86, one spot behind the Philadelphia 76ers -- Red whispered into the ear of Sixers GM Pat Williams, "If you don't take (Brad) Daugherty, we do," a little reverse psychology to keep Williams guessing.

And then the Sixers tabbed Daugherty ... and Red landed his guy. His last great coup. Right up until the point when Bias decided to celebrate with some buddies, and the cocaine came out ...

"He was not a drug user," Red claims, more animated than ever. "That's why he died -- he didn't know how to use them! We tested him out a week before ... so did a lot of other teams. He passed three physicals from three teams."

Didn't matter. Maybe Bias was a cocaine virgin, maybe the team misjudged his character ... the fact remains, he threw it all away, taking the Celtics dynasty with him. Within a few years, Red scaled back his involvement with the team, spending more and more time in Washington with his family (where they lived even when he was coaching the Celtics in the '50s). And the most successful franchise in the history of the sport suddenly turned into your average "Behind the Music" special on VH1.

"What did you think of that Bobby Knight thing?" Red asks me. He's changing the subject. I tell him that Brian Dennehy looked too old to play Knight.

"He may be a good actor, but he wasn't good for the role," Red agrees. "Not only was he too old, but he's too short! He was looking up to Alford, they told me! I haven't seen it yet."

Apparently I've asked my last question about Lenny Bias.

***** ***** *****


We spend the next 30 minutes talking about anything and everything. Red still ventures up to Boston six or seven times a year for home games, sitting in the same seat as always (Section 12, Row 7), adding, "I don't sit in the (luxury) boxes with all that food and all that stuff in there ... I like to hear what the people say, even at my age. I like to see if there's any bitching and moaning during the games."

For the past nine years, there was enough bitching and moaning to last an entire lifetime. With the franchise finally back on track, with the team in good hands, Red can concentrate on the other things about the NBA that drive him crazy. Like all the crap that happens during timeouts. Kids running around and shooting T-shirts into the crowd. Guys jumping on trampolines. Jumbotrons showing annoying movie clips. Worst of all, scoreboards imploring the fans to make noise.

"I think it's horses---," he grumbles. "Nobody's gonna tell me when to holler! If I had my own mind, just because some idiot on a punchboard puts up a thing that says, 'YELL!' like I'm not gonna yell. It's stupid. And another thing ... they do it in a lot of cities ... they introduce the visiting team, then they put the lights out, and they go thru all that bulls--- and introduce the Celtics ... I don't believe in that stuff. Show a little class."

He's just getting worked up. Red attended a game three weeks ago when Delk, the newest Celtic, knocked into an opposing player, then leaned over to help the guy up. After the game, Auerbach headed over to Delk in the locker room and busted his chops, right in front of reporters and teammates. Poor Delk was practically speechless.

"You don't kiss your enemy!" Red yelps, getting agitated all over again. "You see, theoretically, if I'm playing against you, if you make me look bad and I get fired, you're my enemy. That means you're taking the food out of my mouth, out of my family's mouth. So as long as you're my enemy, let's be enemies! I saw a game the other night, after it was over, guys from both teams were hugging each other ... We never did that! Until the game was over, we were (mimics fighting), we were fighting for our life! We zoomed right into the dressing room afterward."

So much has changed. Things happened during Red's era that would be replayed endlessly on "SportsCenter" now. For instance, before a playoff game at St. Louis, Red dropped Hawks owner Ben Kerner with one punch ... and the game hadn't even started yet. I'll let him tell the story:

"Cousy and Sharman come over to me and say the basket was too low. They're saying, 'We can touch the rim on this basket -- we can never touch the rim!' So we're having a rhubarb with the refs. Finally, they bring out the (measuring) stick. So Kerner comes out of the stands, and he starts cussing me, and he takes a step toward me ... so I hit him. (Dramatic pause.) In front of 8,000 people. They pick him off the floor. Then they measure the basket and they put it this way (slanting the stick) to make believe that the rim wasn't short. And they never fixed it! Ask Cousy to this day, and he'll tell you that stick was slanted."

Now he's going. Red's like an NBA jukebox. Pop in a request, and he has the story ready to go. I ask him about the famous Game 7 with the Lakers, when Frank Selvy missed a potential championship-winning shot at the buzzer, then the Lakers blew the game in overtime. Even as I'm getting the words "Selvy" out of my mouth, Red jumps in:

"No-no-no-no-no ... that was no buzzer-beater. We were cheated. By our own timekeeper. Lemme tell you exactly what happened. I can envision it like it was yesterday. There were three seconds left. They got the ball at midcourt. They throw it in to Jerry West, he takes a fake, tries to take a shot, we're all over him. Can't take a shot. So he throws it all the way across the court to Selvy. That's three seconds right there. Selvy gets the ball. Fakes, takes the shot. Hits the rim -- misses it. They get the rebound, Baylor takes another shot and misses it. All in three seconds! Our timekeeper was in his 70s, he froze on the clock. That was his last year anyway."

How does he remember all this stuff? Don't all these seasons just blend together?

"Obviously, I can't remember everything," Red says. "You gotta be statistically minded to remember everything. People ask me questions sometimes about what happened in '58 or something like that ... hey, that was 44 years ago! They think I'm supposed to remember every little thing. I can tell you a lot of stories about those days and give you the minute-est details, but certain games I can't remember."

So be it. But for a guy who can't remember everything ... well, it sure seems like he remembers everything. We're talking about the famous ending to Game 7 of the '57 Finals -- when Alex Hannum threw the ball the full-length of the court, from out of bounds, and aimed for the backboard so it would bounce to teammate Bob Pettit, and it actually worked, but Pettit missed the shot -- and Red points out how Rick Fox tried the same play in a Celtics game five years ago.

When I mention that Russell seemed undersized for a center, Red harrumphs and rolls off the details from a sweep over San Francisco in '65, when the Warriors couldn't play the Twin Towers at the same time (Nate Thurmond and Wilt Chamberlain), because the Celtics ran them off the floor.

Losing his fastball? Knocking on death's door? Hardly. Red even gets riled up once, when I ask about Pat Riley's claim that Red turned off the hot water in the visiting dressing room every time the Lakers came to town.

"You're disillusioned by what you read by some a--hole writer," Red gripes. "This is the truth -- I had absolutely no control of that Garden over anything. They treated us like s---. If they had cold water, don't you think we had cold water? The Lakers used to complain how hot it was at the Garden, that it wasn't air-conditioned. I said to them, 'Hey, I don't blame you for complaining, because the half-a-court we play on is air-conditioned.' I mean, how f---ing stupid can you be? It was the same for us."

Red also turns serious whenever the 2002 playoff picture gets brought up. He's not messing around. Whenever people say things like, "If Boston gets the third seed, and New Jersey and Philly end up matched up in Round Two, then we play Detroit" and all that speculative stuff, Red waves it off.

"I'll be happy when we make the playoffs," he says. "Anything that happens after that is a bonus. I just want to make it. That's all. I just want to go to a playoff game again."

Suddenly it's 11:15 a.m. Red needs to leave. He offers me a ride downtown, which I eagerly accept. For the past 50 years, there have been three famous stories about Red: He loves cigars, he could exist solely on Chinese food (and sometimes does), and he's the world's worst driver. Now I'm about to find out for myself.

Before we leave his office, he hands me a plant ("Take this downstairs, I need to throw this out") and shows me a framed picture hanging on his wall, taken from a magazine, that depicts a bunch of celebrities eating at a giant dinner table. For some reason, the table includes Doug Flutie, Larry Bird, Fidel Castro, Bill Russell, Jimmy Carter, Red, and six other people we can't recognize. "Isn't that the damnedest thing you ever saw?" Red asks. "What the hell's going on in that picture?"

Red slips on his green Celtics jacket and finds his cane. We proceed to the elevator, gabbing about Red's famous racquetball/tennis feud with Larry Bird ("Used to beat his ass," Red says proudly) and his daily gin games with his buddies at a local Washington club. He tells me about his family -- two daughters (one of whom lives in the area), three grandchildren, even three great-grandchildren.

"You know you're getting old when you have great-granchildren," he says, smiling.

We proceed to his car, which features a license plate that reads "CELTIC." Of course, it does. Once upon a time, Red was the craziest driver on the planet, a full-fledged menace, the guy who once returned a borrowed car to a buddy and said, "You should have this thing checked out, it shimmies when it goes over 100." Now he's just an old guy drifting between lanes, going 25 in a 25, looking at me as much as he's looking at the road. For some reason, I'm not even remotely terrified. I'm with Red Auerbach, the greatest winner in the history of sports. What are the odds that I'm crashing in a car being driven by Red Auerbach?

"I don't drive crazy like I used to," he says, smiling. "Some people are surprised that I still drive myself around. What do they think, I'm not gonna get in a car anymore just because I'm old? Geez, I'm not dead yet."

Not even close.

Bill Simmons writes three columns a week for Page 2.


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Old 03-30-2002, 09:33 PM   #55
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This would have been very interesting to see.. Better than Jordan?.. I think he would have been.

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Still haunted by Len Bias
By Bill Simmons
Page 2 columnist

Yeah, I still think about him.
Sometimes I see red. That's the color of Maryland's uniform when Lenny Bias won me over for good, the February day he tossed the Terrapins on his back and toppled the No. 1-ranked Tar Heels by himself. Given that my team (the Celtics) was holding a potential top-five pick in the '86 draft that summer, I almost broke an ankle hurling myself onto the Bias Bandwagon. There was one play when Bias drained a 15-footer, then came flying back in to steal the inbounds pass and dunk the ball behind his head, fluidly, all in one motion. I can't even really describe it. When somebody makes The Leap right before your eyes in sports ... well, you remember. You always remember.

Sometimes I see brown. That's the color of a Spalding basketball as it falls into the hands of Larry Bird. The Man is still in his prime -- goofy mullet, wispy mustache, almost bored by it all, searching for little challenges during games to maintain his interest -- and he's jogging upcourt and bouncing that brown ball. Suddenly he spots Bias one stride ahead of the pack. Their eyes lock. What the hell? The Man lofts a lazy halfcourt pass in the air ... the ball looks like it might sail over the backboard and into the stands ... but then there's Bias gaining steam, soaring through the air, rising higher and higher ... and Good God, he might actually get to that thing ... and the brown ball hangs up there, forever...

Sometimes I see green. That's Draft Day 1986. A green Celtics hat crammed on Bias' head, millions and millions of green dollars ahead of him, green with experience, holding up the green and white uniform ... nothing but green. That smile on Draft Day, will the image ever completely fade away? Did anyone seem happier, ever? He looked like a little boy, didn't he? Can you still see him? I can. I see that smile and I see miles of green.
Sometimes I see white. That's a pile of cocaine on a coffee table. Maybe it happened this way, maybe it didn't, but I always imagine Lenny Bias turning that Celtics hat around so the bill of his cap wouldn't dip into the pile ... then I imagine him sticking his face into it like Tony Montana. He's happy, he's celebrating, he's kicking butt and taking names, he's feeling like he could bench-press Luther Vandross, he's the life of the party, he's suddenly a millionaire, he's the next James Worthy, he's the heir apparent to Bird in Boston, his prime awaits, and he's utterly and completely invincible. And he crams his face into that white pile. And he takes the Celtic Dynasty with him.

Sometimes I see gray. That's the color of the concrete on Wyndover Lane in Stamford, Conn. -- the street where I lived as a kid -- which is relevant since I wandered up and down that street for an entire afternoon on the heels of Bias' death. It took me six hours to digest everything that had happened, my first real experience with sudden loss. Once ESPN started flashing those "Len Bias is dead" graphics that morning -- the "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" moment for all Boston/Maryland fans -- I spent the first few hours in utter denial. Did it really happen? Is it true? Is it possible they screwed up? Are we absolutely, positively -- positive -- that he's dead? Can they give him CPR one last time? Is this a joke? Is this even possible?

I finally ended up storming outside during the middle of the afternoon -- June 19, 1986 -- and paced up and down Wyndover Lane for three inexplicable hours. I'm not kidding. Three hours. I walked up. I walked down. I walked up. I walked down. Rinse, lather, repeat. Just a 16-year-old kid looking for an answer. All I found was gray. You can drive yourself crazy thinking about it. And you know what? I almost did.

Yeah, I still think about him.

***** ***** *****


I thought about him last February, when ESPN Classic showed that aforementioned Maryland-UNC game from '86. You forget how good Lenny Bias was. For example, back in '86, Mike Tyson was invincible, Eddie Murphy had his fastball, Don Johnson was the coolest man on the planet and Michael Jackson didn't look like an alien. Hoosiers hadn't even been released yet. Wayne Gretzky and Bird were basically the kings of sport. Ronald Reagan controlled the button. Kids were still playing Intellivision and Atari. Fifteen years is a long time; maybe it's easy to forget

As for Bias, he always reminded me of a more physical James Worthy, but with Michael Jordan's leaping ability, if that makes sense (other than MJ and Dominique Wilkins, nobody in the 80's attacked the basket like a young Lenny Bias). But those weren't even the qualities that separated him from his peers.
There was a brashness about him, a swagger, a playground vibe. Remember, these were still the days of tight shorts and awkward high fives; few players were cool, and the ones who were cool -- David Thompson, Gus Williams, Clyde Drexler, Bernard King, Dominique, etc. -- were more subtle and unassuming than anything. Jordan might have embraced that playground demeanor had he attended a school other than North Carolina, where Dean Smith frowned on anything that could be perceived as "showing up the opposition."

When Bias' same playground swagger became fashionable in the '90s -- thanks to the UNLV guys, the Fab Five, the post-dunk woofing, the baggy shorts, the trash-talking and so on -- it seemed much more contrived, almost like the players were saying, "Hey, look at me!" Nothing about Lenny Bias was contrived. He went out of his way to dunk on people. He grabbed rebounds and spat out an occasional "Arrrrrrggggggghhhh!" for show. He barked at his teammates, he barked at referees, he barked at opponents. He exhibited a refreshingly honest amount of passion and heart.

Quite simply, he stood out. And if he had arrived on the scene seven or eight years later, I'm sure he would have been wearing baggy shorts and woofing it up just like everyone else, but that's the beautiful thing about this -- not just that Bias arrived when he did, but that he wasn't contrived. Even if he ended up with a team other than the Celtics in '86, I would have kept rooting for him. Lenny Bias was ahead of his time.

So that UNC game on ESPN Classic reminded me of these things, all of them. Other than Jordan, no basketball player from the '80s resonated with the black community quite like Bias. He reminded them of everything that they valued about the game itself -- the breathtaking athleticism, the competitive fervor, the individuality, those occasional mano-a-mano duels where territories were staked and reputations were made. He belonged to them, a black man excelling in a black man's game. And seeing him in action with Maryland, his whole life ahead of him ... well, I had to turn the channel and watch something else.

I couldn't take it.

***** ***** *****
I thought about him last March, when the Utah Jazz came into Boston to play the Celtics, I glanced at my program before the game and noticed that Karl Malone was playing in his 16th season for the Jazz. That triggered a Bias flashback for me because the Mailman had entered the league in '85, a year before Bias, well ... you know.

Would Bias still be chugging along, much like Malone? Would he have stayed clean? Did he have a drug problem in the first place? Was that awful night at Washington Hall just an aberration? Would he have approached the 32,000 points and 15,000 rebounds that Malone compiled over the course of his career? What would he look like? Would he still be playing in Boston? Would he have a few tattoos? Would he have a shaved head? Would we call him Len or Lenny?

Finally my girlfriend nudged me, snapping me out of my stupor.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked me.

"Nothing," I said.

***** ***** *****


I thought about him later that same month, when I was cleaning out my office and found a yellowed feature that I had written for the Boston Phoenix back in December of '95 called "The Curse of Lenny Bias" -- a piece which described every dreadful moment that happened to the Celtics since Bias' death. You won't find a more vivid example of a single tragedy altering the destiny of a sports franchise. The Celtics has just captured their third championship in six years, they were bringing back the Big Three (Bird, McHale and Parish) in their respective primes, and they were adding the most explosive college player in the country. Within 48 hours, Bias was dead; the franchise would eventually follow suit.

It happened slowly. The champions limped through the regular season in '87, with Bird and McHale logging big minutes from October to June and carrying them to another appearance in the Finals (a painful loss to the Lakers in six, and yes, the Celts were a player short). McHale injured his foot during the last month of the season, returned for the playoffs, fractured that same foot and, incredibly, kept playing on it. He was never the same player again. And Bird's body was never the same after that season; over the next few years, he started to break down like the Bluesmobile.

How many titles would Bias have been worth? How many years would he have added to the careers of Bird and McHale? Is it safe to argue that the addition of Len Bias to the '86 Celtics would have locked up at least two or three more titles in the '80s? We'll never know.
The bad luck continued through the '80s and into the '90s. Bird and McHale broke down for good during a brief resurgence for the team in '91, the last time the Celts ever truly contended for a title. Red Auerbach slowly faded from the scene during that time; many believe that a little piece of Red passed away in '86, given that Red was a staunch Bias supporter during his Maryland days.

Reggie Lewis dropped dead in '93 and sent the franchise into permanent doldrums; not only did the team lose its only All-Star caliber player, but the ensuing "Did he or didn't he use drugs?" soap opera cast a shadow over the next few seasons. Suddenly the team was hampered by salary cap problems and inept management. Once the Boston Garden was pushed aside by the Fleet Center in 1995, the glory days of the Celtics disappeared for good.

My "Curse of Bias" piece from '95 ended with an anecdote from former Celtics general manager Jan Volk, who remembered a moment before Opening Night in November 1986, the same night the Celtics handed out championship rings and raised the '85-'86 championship banner. About two hours before the game, Volk noticed a piece of paper sticking out from a cushion of the sofa in his office. Curious, he pulled out the piece of paper and found that it was an unused plane ticket with Lenny Bias' name on it. The team had given it to him during his post-draft visit to Boston, about 12 hours before his death.

"It must have fallen out of his jacket that day," Volk told me. "To find that ticket on the same night we were raising the '86 banner ... it was eerie. It really was."

Makes you think, doesn't it? Did the Sports Gods decide that too many good things happened for the Celtics over the past few decades? Red, Cousy, Heinsohn, Russell, the Jones Boys, Cowens, Hondo, McHale, Parish, Bird, 16 titles ... when they stumbled into the second pick of the '86 Draft and Lenny Bias in '86, did the Sports Gods throw their hands in the air and say, "Enough is enough!" Does stuff like that actually happen?

These are the things you think about when you're holding a yellowed page with Lenny Bias' picture on it.

***** ***** *****


I thought about him last April. A college buddy of mine and I were discussing Shawn Kemp's battle with cocaine, which landed him in a drug rehab program right before the NBA playoffs were about to commence. Neither of us could understand why a professional athlete would even mess with cocaine after Lenny Bias's death.
"I remember when Bias died," my friend said, "that put the fear of God in me."

"Me, too," I agreed. "Everyone was like that. It was like this giant brainwashing of all the teenagers at that time -- don't do coke. Len Bias was like a human anti-drug ad."

"Maybe that was his legacy."

"Yeah, maybe it was."

And we moved onto another topic ... but I found myself thinking about it later that night. Why did that have to be Lenny Bias's legacy? Why couldn't they have chosen someone else?

More importantly, 15 years later, why did I still care?

***** ***** *****
I thought about him last week. My girlfriend asked me about the topic of my next ESPN.com column, so I told her I would be writing about Lenny Bias. Who was that? she asked. So I told her the whole story. She soaked in everything, finally piping in, "I can't believe that he died two days after they drafted him. That's unbelievable. (pause) I mean, isn't that unbelievable? Has anything like that ever happened before?"

Having just finished recounting the sordid saga, I found myself nodding in agreement. It's the same way I feel whenever I remember the fact that Red Sox pitchers threw 13 different pitches that could have won them the 1986 World Series. That's unbelievable. That's unbelievable. You couldn't make that up. And you couldn't make up the sequence of events that shaped the last 48 hours of Lenny Bias' life.

Imagine having the greatest day of your life. Imagine working towards a goal for years and finally having it come to fruition. Imagine celebrating for two straight days with your family and friends. Then imagine you got a little carried away, and in a flash -- boom! -- paramedics are trying to revive you, but they can't, and things slowly start fading to white ... and then you're gone. Imagine.

Later that same day, I received an e-mail from my friend Tim -- a Maryland native and one of the original Bias fans back in the '80s -- warning me about ESPN Classic's impending show about the 15th anniversary of Bias's death. I wrote him back and explained that I would be skipping the show, but I was toying with the idea of writing a column about Bias.
About 15 minutes later, Tim sent me a return e-mail that ended like this: "I will look for the Bias article. Truly one of the saddest days of my life. We all looked up to him."

And maybe that's what this was really about: in a nutshell, 1) betrayal and 2) sadness. It doesn't happen that often in sports, but when those two emotions collide for the proverbial kick in the stomach, you remember. And when that happens in your formative years, you hold onto the lingering side effects forever -- emptiness, grief, anger, disappointment, dismay, everything. You harbor those feelings, each of them, all of them, a permanent grudge. And it doesn't go away. It just doesn't. And if none of this makes sense . . . well, it never happened to you.

That's why I avoided watching that ESPN Classic show about Lenny Bias on Tuesday night. That's why I still have trouble discussing the whole thing. That's why I feel myself getting angry even as my fingers rattle on my keyboard at this very moment.

Yeah, I still think about him.

And I hate it.

Last week, Bill Simmons folded up his award-winning "Boston Sports Guy" site at bostonsportsguy.com, where he wrote for the past four years. Simmons is a Page 2 columnist.


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Old 03-31-2002, 01:31 AM   #56
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omigor, this thread is still going?
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Old 03-31-2002, 02:47 AM   #57
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omigor, this thread is still going?
There is more in this thread than in all of Interference!! Hahaha... I suggest you read the 'Red and the Celtics' Article.. I feel every Human Being should have this under their belt.

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Old 03-31-2002, 08:32 AM   #58
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I'll get into that when I respond to Fizzing in the question he asked me.. when I get more time.
Lemonite, it's she, not he. Thanks
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Old 03-31-2002, 09:30 AM   #59
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Lemonite, it's she, not he. Thanks
Thanks... Sorry about that.

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Old 03-31-2002, 11:52 AM   #60
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Happy Easter. Pray that it is filled with Peace and Joy.. Yes.. Joy.

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