April 21, 2008


I've mentioned this before, but its worth repeating. If you don't watch the PBS series 'American Experience,' you're missing out on some jewels of television. If you're like me, you don't think to check PBS very often because the schedules aren't consistent, so it doesn't lead to appointment television the way traditional tv programming does. At some point, I added American Experience to my tivo list, and because of it, I manage to catch some really great shows that I otherwise would have missed. They are consistently the kind of shows that are worth stopping what you're doing to watch. And I often wonder why I didn't know more about whatever that week's show was about. The episode my tivo caught tonight was no exception. Sure I knew who Roberto Clemente was, but I didn't realize how little I knew. He was one of the first Latino players in baseball, though to America at that time, he was black - because you were either black or white then. His rocky relationship with the public and the press had come around by the time he led the Pirates to win the World Series. Clemente died on New Years Eve of 1972, when in typical fashion, he had organized a relief supply plane from his home in Puerto Rico to help earthquake victims in nearby Nicaragua. The plane crashed in the ocean shortly after takeoff. He was 37. One of the best lines from a friend in the program: "My mother gave the only explanation that made sense. If he had died as a player, only sports fans would remember him. But by dying while helping others, he would be remembered as a humanitarian. And she was right." You can watch the show here:
  • American Experience: Roberto Clemente
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Absolutely beautiful and wise explanation from your mother. Truly memorable.

    BTW -- if you see the movie "Iron Man" -- doesn't Jeff Bridges look like he's playing your citifarmer buddy?