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Archive for the ‘Off Screen Quotes’ Category

Here is one more quote to add to the stack about growing up in a place somewhat disconnected. In a 1966 interview Bob Dylan spoke about growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota* (located in northern Minnesota).

“Well, in the winter, everything was still, nothing moved. Eight months of that. You can put it together. You can have some amazing hallucinogenic experiences doing nothing but looking out your window. There is also the summer, when it gets hot and sticky and the air is very metallic. There is a lot of Indian spirit. The earth there is unusual, filled with ore. So there is something happening that is hard to define. There is a magnetic attraction there. Maybe thousands and thousands of years ago, some planet bumped into the land there. There is a great spiritual quality throughout the Midwest. Very subtle, very strong, and that is where I grew up.”
Bob Dylan
1966 Interview with Ron Rosenbaum

*Though Hibbing is a small town in the range of 20,000 people it also happens to be “where ‘Carl’ Wickman and Andrew ‘Bus Andy’ Anderson, started a bus line between Hibbing and Alice, Minnesota which would eventually become Greyhound Lines, the world’s largest bus company.” It’s where New York Yankee Roger Maris, who once had the Major League Baseball single season home run record, was born. And Hibbing is where the parents of Hall-of-Fame vineyard operator Robert Mondavi’s parents settled when they emigrated from Italy.

Scott W. Smith

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“Everything I do I just assume I’m going to fail. All seems impossible but I’m very scared of failure –you know, everyone is –and that sence of the impossibility gets me to crank up the turbines. Everything mentally and physically at my disposal I pour into a project.”
Sebastian Junger (Author of The Perfect Storm and War)
Outside mag Sept 2010
Article: The path of most resistance
Page 74

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On Friday night, I happened to catch my first game at Target Field where the Minneapolis Twins play. (That’s baseball for the non-sports fans out there.) That happened to be the night that the Twins organization was honoring 50 of its greatest all-time players. One of those players was the great second baseman Rod Carew.

Ever since that game I’ve been thinking about Carew. When I played little league ball and in high school Carew was a hero of mine. He was an all-star second baseman, who hit singles and stole bases quite well. (A pattern I tried my best to repeat.) He is one of only 27 MLB players who has had over 3,000 career hits and he was voted into the baseball hall of fame in 1991.

According to the official Rod Carew website: “Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in Gatun, Panama on October 1, 1945. He moved with his family to New York when he was fourteen years old, and signed with the Minnesota Twins on the day he graduated from high school.”

One vivid memory I have of watching Carew take spring training batting practice at Tinker Field in Orlando was how he would take a small towel and place it down the third base line and practice hitting bunts that would land on or near the towel. Whether bunting or swinging away he had amazing precision at hitting the ball wherever he wanted to. (Something that comes with natural born talent and lots of practice.) And no matter how far he succeeded professionally he never seemed to forget where it all started…far from the spotlight.

“There is a special sensation in getting good wood on the ball and driving a double down the left-field line as the crowd in the ballpark rises to its feet and cheers. But, I also remember how much fun I had as a skinny barefoot kid hitting a tennis ball with a broomstick on a quiet, dusty street in Panama.”
Rod Carew

An interesting lesser known fact is Carew spent six years as a Marine in the reserves. He also wrote the autobiography Carew (along with Ira Berkow).

Scott W. Smith

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It’s been a few months since I posted an off-screen quote and found this one in a new book called A Very Modest Cottage by Tereasa Surratt which documents the history and story of a restoration of an old cottage:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas A. Edison

Years ago I went  to Thomas Edison’s Winter Estate in Ft. Myers, Florida and remember seeing his workshop that contained a sleeping cot. Apparently having 1.093 U.S. patents to your name took a little work.

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A popular quote attributed to composer & musican Scott Joplin is, “When I’m dead twenty-five years, people are going to begin to recognize me.” And here we are almost 100 years after his death still talking about “The King of Ragtime” and playing his music.

I thought of Joplin yesterday when I drove by the Scott Joplin House in St. Louis where he lived for part of his life. It actually took more than 25 years for Joplin to be properly recognized. But it happened.

Part of the rediscovery of Joplin was the recordings by Joshua Rifkin and the movie The Sting in the early 1970s which featured Joplin’s The Entertainer.  In 1976 he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize, 59 years after he died.

So you can make a name for yourself while you’re alive, but sometimes it takes a little while for your talent to be fully recognized. But blaze away on your vision that may put you a little out of step with the times.

Scott W. Smith

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Last night Apolo Ohno won his eighth Olympic medal making him “the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time.” It’s important to note that he’s racked up plenty of other victories and titles as a speed skater, and of course, in 2007 he won the Dancing with the Stars competition. It’s safe to say that the 27-year-old Ohno is talented, driven and focused. And he’s handled the spotlight remarkably well.

“I was going to after-Oscar parties. I was mingling with the Hollywood crowd. It’s really easy to become distracted when you have opportunities to do that kind of stuff. There’s no way I would ever turn that stuff down, but it’s important for me to realize why I’m here, what I’m trying to do and the goals I’m trying to accomplish.”
Apolo Ohno

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“Clear away the insurance commercials, billboards, dolls, apparel, stickers, soap dishes and the rest, and we’re left with the real thing: the Peanuts comic strip itself, Charles Schulz’s brilliant, angst-ridden, truly funny, 50-year-long masterpiece of joy and heartbreak.”
Matt Groening
The Simpson creator

This little off-screen section is for giving quotes that aren’t on screenwriting or filmmaking. Today’s quote is a little encouragement that was written many years ago and more recently has been kicking around Facebook as a testament to its enduring popularity and timelessness. Technically, the quote wasn’t written by Charlie Brown but by the great Minneapolis/St. Paul cartoonist Charles Schulz.

“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you.”
Charlie Brown to Snoopy

I’m not sure where that first appeared or the context, but I know that’s what we all long to hear. That despite all our problems—the sun will come up tomorrow. That’s the theme of many a great movie.

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening wrote an introduction (Oh Boy, Charlie Brown) to The Complete Peanuts 1955 To 1956 and mentioned the influence the Peanuts gang had on his life and work. He closed the piece writing:

“I got to meet Schulz once, in May 1998. I was holed up on the Fox lot in Century City, working on some Simpsons nonsense, when I received word that the great man was eating lunch nearby. I dropped everything and raced across town, stumbling into the restaurant where the affable Schulz held court before a group of fans and friends. I told him of my all-time favourite Peanuts comic strip, which I hadn’t seen in 40 years. The strip shows Lucy methodically making a series of tiny snowmen, then stomping on them, as Charlie Brown looks on. Lucy explains matter-of-factly: “I’m torn between the desire to create and the desire to destroy.”

“Thank you for that strip,” I said. “In one sentence you summed up my life.”

Schulz smiled politely. Do you hear me? He smiled politely! I made Charles Schulz smile politely! I just now realise I’m more like Charlie Brown than I’ve ever admitted to myself.”

Who knows how many writers Schulz influenced?

Scott W. Smith


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