Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Strange Letter And A Tale Of A Stray Left Arm

This tale starts out with a strange letter from San Francisco that I received the other day at work. I didn't know who sent it. I wasn't expecting anything from out that way. Hmm............

When I got a few spare minutes, I opened the heavy yellow envelope and looked inside................. find this newspaper clipping with this sticky note attached which reads, " Lefty Rides Ragbrai!"

I was totally baffled.

So doing what any self respecting "Curious George" would do, I read the clipping. Actually, it is a pretty funny story.

 "Lefty" refers to a fellow that went by the name, "Lefty O'Doul", who apparently was a baseball player of some import back in the early part of the 20th Century and played for several Major League teams. After his playing days came to a close, "Lefty" landed the job of managing the San Francisco Seals, a minor league team. He stayed on there for 17 seasons, opened a saloon, and died in 1969.

Well, his saloon survives to this day and is a shrine to "Lefty's" career, replete with photos and memorabilia from his days as a manager and player. There is a mannequin of "Lefty" in the saloon, and one day some merry pranksters decided to make off with "Lefty's" left arm. Some chase was made to capture the miscreants, but they disappeared into San Francisco's streets never to be seen in O'Doul's again. However; "Lefty's" arm did make a reappearance after a lengthy tour.

Apparently, the ner-do-wells took the detached arm and made many photographs which depicted "Lefty's Arm" in several locals and ah.......delicate situations. It even made an appearance on RAGBRAI, which the the writer of the article in the San Francisco Chronicle called "a race".   

The upshot of the whole story was that the arm was shipped back in a cardboard box to O'Doul's, (post marked Des Moines, Iowa, by the way), where a very shocked and surprised cocktail waitress recoiled in horror as she opened said box. With the arm were 12 photographs depicting where the arm had been in its three year absence. The arm is now back in its rightful socket, and everyone has returned to the daily grind at O'Doul's, safe in the knowledge that "Lefty" is whole once more, and not imbalanced by "the right", which in San Francisco is a terrible thing to be imbalanced by!

p.s. And I still have no clue as to whom may have submitted this clipping to me! But it was a fun story, so "Thanks to Whoever You Are!"

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