Friday, October 5, 2007

A Pete Rose Afternoon!

I'm very busy this morning finishing Pete Rose' memoir, "My Prison Without Bars" in advance of my 3 pm late-lunch and hangout session with the baseball great for some stories and "The Strip" podcast. If you have questions for Pete, leave it on the blog.

Wish me luck! I hear he's very cantankerous. I promise I won't ask him if he's gay, "strapped for cash" or any of the other stuff that's gotten me into trouble on the show!


Walter said...

Oh wow. I wish I would have seen this earlier. I'm from Ohio originally. Looks like you already meet with him but I'd be really interested to know if he tought it was a mistake to release his book in conjunction with admitting he bet on baseball. I thought it was in very poor taste and pretty much doomed his chances of ever being reinstated.

V.S. said...

" I promise I won't ask him if he's gay,"

This reminds me of something from your Sedaka interview. You seemed to think Sedaka was gay, because of the way he spoke.

As a New Yorker, I had a different take on that. I always assumed the married-with-children Sedaka was straight.

In school and later, I occasionally encountered boys or straight men with a peculiar variant of the New York City accent. These guys were usually Jewish and had a Queens accent. No pun intended. Queens, as distinguished from Brooklyn or The Bronx has always produced people with an identifiable accent in which syllables are over-enunciated. One hears this accent much more frequently in women than men. Of course, it's not exclusive to Queens (or Jews); you can hear it out on the Island or Manhattan too, but its most closely associated with Queens. No pun intended.

So these guys that I used to hear were straight, but they sounded like their mothers. I always thought of them as mamma's boys. This is exactly what Sedaka sounds like.

Interestingly, he mentioned in your interview something about his being unusually close to his sister and maybe mother (I forget) while growing up. I think he said he was a nerd in school and clung more to the female members of his family than his peer group. This fits the profile neatly, and when I heard him say that, I thought, "Aha! I knew it!"

One way to make the differential between gay and New York-nerd-mamma's-boy-straight is that some other characteristics of typically gay speech are lacking. The stereotypical gay inflection is missing, for example.

I guess in these touchy times I have to say that I know many or most gay men speak like everybody else, many of my friends are gay, and I'm Jewish.