George Shirk, who died Thursday of a heart attack at 64, was a giant in the sportswriting business and one of my best friends (his obituary is on page B10). He wrote and reported with distinction, but it was his presence — his worldly nature, incisive sense of humor and ribald hints of the contrarian — that set him apart. He moved to the Bay Area to cover the Giants for the San Jose Mercury News in 1985, but he was an NBA lifer at heart, dating to his days covering the Philadephia 76ers of Julius Erving and Moses Malone, and The Chronicle hired him to cover the Warriors in ’87. Some memories: Long before most people knew anything about the Internet, Shirk was talking about “the World Wide Web” and how it would change the world. During the 1989-90 season, he traveled with a Groucho Marx disguise and asked notable NBA figures if they’d pose in it. I picked up one of my old photo albums to discover Don Nelson, Garry St. Jean,Chris Mullin and Earl Strom, perhaps the greatest referee of them all, going Groucho (if Commissioner David Stern had been around, he would have obliged; everyone knew and admired Shirk). When longtime NBA coach Jack McMahon died at 60, Shirk appeared at the memorial service and delivered a passionate, 12-minute tribute to the man who “taught me about basketball, about traveling, about loyalty and, more than anything, how to live.” I see George now, clad in a black leather jacket, boarding his full-scale motorcycle and hitting the highway. May his delightfully iconoclastic ways continue, into eternity.


#FreeStix RPOTD

stixwiz said, on April 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm (Edit)

Looks like some Drrrrty Dealin goin on tonight. Yeahh! Just tuned in. Got company earlier in the evening and was getting mighty hungry. Made a fire in the cookstove ~ stix got plenty good wood on hand. Peeled down some of my garden potatoes from last year. Got one of my yellow onions sauteing down.Plopped a smoked porkchop into the pan. A lot of folks raise and butcher their own critters. Sometimes i swap and stuff. Added some Paisano from Cali at $10 the gallon, a soupcon of V-8 juice and a hint of sweetened Hmong soy sauce. Replaced the lid on the #10 self-basting Griswold and cleaned up a few things.

Added a bunch of water later along ~potato water ~ and some cumin over the top of the chop. Let er rip for awhile. Threw in some oat flour for a five-minute thickening quickie. Got out the plate and utensils and something to drink. Loaded it up and hied to the table. I ain’t Duncan Hines, but this one comes recommended out in the sticks.