I didn’t know her last name but in McLean, VA it seemed that virtually everyone knew of Thelma’s General Store. It was in the heavily traveled and traffic congested Northern Virginia at the intersection of Lewinville and Spring Hill Road. Thelma’s went up of course when McLean was a distant suburb 12 miles south of Washington, DC.
Going into Thelma’s was a real treat because it brought us into another world in the distant past. Outside was a gasoline pump that had not been used for years. Travelers could fill up but had to pay cash at times without even coming into the store. Service here depended on how busy the place was inside.
To your left as you entered the store were postcards and cheap tacky souvenirs of the Washington area. Want a Coke? Go operate the antique vending machine and press the lever down. Out rolled the thick curved bottles that I have not seen elsewhere for many years. There was a limited selection of groceries. Thelma packed Ice Cream in those white cardboard containers as customers ordered from the six or seven varieties. There was nothing Thelma prepacked or as seen in grocery or convenience stores.
At the cashier’s counter was a small selection of over the counter medications and bathroom items. Finally, there was Suzie, an senior Basset Hound, who roamed around the store at intervals throughout the day. No doubt building codes prohibited dogs in stores. Nevertheless, Thelma was there before the city government passed the codes.
I am no suggesting you readers should go out of your way to visit Thelma’s; but if you’re in the area it might be interesting.
Many offices in McLean VA have pictures showing what the city looked like 50 years ago. It was completely rural leaving the impression that it had not changed much since colonial days. That is the story all across America and further details would only be redundant.
Washington, DC has one big advantage. Few cities have the Light Rail system found in the Washington Metropolitan Area; or, if seen elsewhere, the rail map is far less extended. Washington gradually moved into the suburban areas of Maryland and Virginia.
Having looked at this movement of cities to the suburbs, it’s to look upon the next stage somewhat better defined-the movement of the suburbs to the suburban suburbs. This is of course is just part of urbanization of our country which has ongoing since 1776. This is shown from the television coverage of news, weather, sports, and traffic. To illustrate:
Back in the 70s, Washington television stations covered the news from the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis triangle to all immediate areas. By the 80s television stations carried news and weather from as far as west as Roanoke VA, northwest to Somerset, PA, north to Harrisburg, PA, northeast to Philadelphia, PA, and south to Norfolk, VA.
The Washington area was growing. But one small shop remained until 2002.
A wealthy old cattle baron is facing blindness. He and his foreman are climbing a small hill on horseback and getting close to where rifles are hidden. The foreman is real scum and has been selling his items on a piecemeal basis to the Red Men. He knows he cannot sell them all at once. The foreman is trying to dissuade his boss from going up there. He pushes his boss over the small cliff and rides away quick and fast.
An itinerant cowboy finds the unconscious old man and brings him back to the ranch. The doctor said the old man will be okay but he has gone blind. It is no surprise. His eyesight had been failing for years. The fall merely hastened the inevitable. In the living room, the cowboy says “I would like to know who pushed the old man”. Doctor: The baron with his failing sight has no business riding on a horse over that terrain. Cowboy: “There is nothing wrong with the horses’ eyes.
There is still some hope that the Eagles can keep Carson Wentz and Nick Foles on their roster. Teams need two tried and tested quarterbacks. The coaches can switch players if the starter either is not having a good game or gets injured. Experience is the key here; quarterbacks should not enter the game cold from no previous playing time. This is the only area where fans can fault Doug Pederson in 2017.
There were at least five lopsided wins during the Super Bowl season and, if memory serves, two this past year. To keep things basic, let’s look at the NFC Championship Game in 2017. The 38 to 7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings was a genuine masterpiece. Fans no doubt have watched this game in the condensed format many times. The one regret- Philadelphia missed an opportunity to give reserves some much needed experience.
Notice I said reserves. Neither Eagles nor any other team should run up the score with starters intact. Why risk injury? The losing team might use this unnecessary scoring as a rallying point when the two teams meet again. Put simply, a team making an opponent look foolish for no good reason is bad sportsmanship.
Having said this what Philadelphia did in the late stages of the 2017 NFC Championship Game was not good either. Moving like molasses, our guys ran the clock down to the two minute warning. Enter Nate Sudfeld who performed the degrading task of taking snaps from center and kneeling to end the game. Pederson should have called a few pass and run plays to see how the team might move the ball with Sudfeld at Quarterback.
At any moment, a first stringer might go down for a few plays or maybe the entire season. A team suddenly has to depend on second or third string players. Experience will play a big part on how well he performs.
Of the 14 Inter conference games in 1965, the East won just one game. In mid-season, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the San Francisco Forty-Niners 39 to 31. San Francisco gained 411 yards to just 242 yards for the Cowboys. It was a combination of big defensive plays and special teams. Dallas had only nine first downs.
For San Francisco-George Mira completed 14 of 30 passes for 274 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Ken Willard carried 25 times for 91 yards. Dave Parks caught six passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
For Dallas-Don Meredith completed 11 of 20 passes for 216 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. Bob Hayes caught four passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns. There were the following:
—Defensive Tackle Bob Lilley intercepted one pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
—Mel Renfro returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
—George Andre recovered a fumble in the End Zone for a touchdown.
Cowboys 39 49ers 31.
Losing the subject player after the 2017 season really hurt this past year. Blount was a good power runner who had a nose for the End Zone. He also was good in short yardage situations where two or three yards could get a first down and establish ball control. If I had to pick the player the Eagles missed the most LGB would be that guy. Blount playing against Tennessee, Minnesota, and Carolina might have turned these games into victory. The line between winning and losing is often so close that it takes a scientific instrument to tell the difference. LaGarette Blount might have supplied the difference for a 12-4 record all the way to the Super Bowl.
Now we are faced with a similar situation with Nick Foles. The fans love Foles for his play in 2017. A good back up quarterback is essential for a team to win.
Despite this past weekend at New Orleans, I feel optimistic about 2019. The team has talent and depth at both the wide receivers and running backs. With a stable offensive line, Philadelphia should be able to score much earlier in the game. This in turn will result in greatly improved defensive play.
If the Eagles had won those three close games-Minnesota, Carolina, and Tennessee-they obviously would have been in a much better position in the playoffs. I feel a that 12-4 record would have meant the BYE week and the home field advantage for the first round.
We hear about all the injuries the Eagles had in 2018. The same thing happened in 2017 but the Eagles were able to overcome them. Any idea why. All of us know that football is a business. Nevertheless winning brings in money as well. I just hope the Philadelphia front office will make an effort to keep quality players like Jay Agayi, Brandon Graham, and Nick Foles.