A Conversation with Caen
By B. C. Stangl
At the Cliff House, absorbed in a March sunset, suddenly
the Conscience of the City emerged from a billowy cloud, stepped onto a
Farralon, tip-toed upon another, then appeared at my open window, Fedora
"Mind if I sit down?"
"So how many more rings does Eddie have nowdaze?" A
Stoli magically materialized.
"None. Doesn’t even have his team now, dressed down
worse than Wilkes Bashford."
"Finally done in by the Louisiana Purchase?"
"Like the French two centuries earlier."
"One of a kind that guy... Giants pounding the Dodgers
"Should’ve won two pennants."
He studied his hat. "Dusty deserves better. What about
Pete Rose? Does he have any chance?"
"Same chance O. J. Simpson has of reaching Cooperstown…
Rose should’ve married Bud Selig’s daughter."
"Right. Selig became baseball commissioner by pioneering
something that Dick Cheney would copy three years later. Each searched
the world over for the most qualified candidate, only to discover that
HE was the most qualified."
"Well… how’d the Chron send me off."
"Remember Tiger Woods, the phenom Nike gave Jed Clampett
money to fresh out of Stanford? I can still see that ‘swoosh’ on Tiger’s
hat above the fold. Your tearful, legendary eulogy edition also featured
the birth of a smiling, legend-in-the making. He’d just won Pebble
"Hah, I departed the day Bing’s old Clambake wrapped…
"You know, back when I was at KSJO in the late
seventies, you ran my only ‘mention.’ I felt higher than Timothy Leary."
"That was you who painted the logo upside down,
captioned; ‘For Our Listeners Down Under?’ Down under, hah! I remain so
"Well… What’s heaven like?"
"Oh, I feel the same way everyone else from the City
does whenever I look around… ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San