Saturday, 2 October 2010

Yogi Berra

When the great Peter 'Yogi' Berra, master of the paradoxical contradiction and, along with Joe Demaggio, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, one of baseball's legends, was asked why he no longer went to a St Louis restaurant called Ruggeri's, he said:

'Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.'

When I wrote The Blue Cabin, about island life on Strangford Lough, a few people asked - some of them with a straight face - whether there might be a downside in giving away a hitherto well-kept secret; and when Still On The Sound came out the same people said, 'Now you've really done it'.

It's a NIMBY attitude with which I don't have all that much sympathy, being happy to share a discovery. I had an email on Tuesday from someone whose sailing club chose the little island of Long Sheelagh, with great success, as a picnic site after my recommendation; and people often tell me they discovered the wonderful Picnic Delicatessen and Café, in Killyleagh, from reading The Blue Cabin.

Long Sheelagh
Yogi Berra was born in 1925 (the same year as my mother) and lives with his wife of sixty-one years in Montclair, New Jersey - home of the New Jersey Jackals, who play, wouldn't you know it, in Yogi Berra Stadium.
It's always been assumed that the cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after Yogi Berra. It certainly wasn't the other way round - Berra was given his nickname by his friend Bobby Hoffman, who thought that when he sat waiting to bat, arms and legs crossed, he resembled a Hindu holy man, or 'yogi'.
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