We Shall Not See Their Likes Again

A collection of reminiscences, obituaries, pictures and other souvenirs of BLOHARDs departed but not forgotten.

BLOHARD Co-Founder Henry Berry - 1926-1996

BLOHARD Co-Founder Jim Powers - 1928-2005

  • Jim's obituary

    Jim Powers

    James Beston Powers, 77, of Weston, husband of Patricia Byrne Powers, died Thursday at Bridgeport Hospital.

    Born in Cambridge, Mass., son of the late Frank and Grace Beston Powers, Mr. Powers grew up in Uxbridge, Mass. He was a 1952 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and pursued a career in advertising sales; having been associated with Parade and USA Weekend Magazines. Mr. Powers was President/Owner of the BLOHARDS { Benevolent Loyal Order of the Honorable Ancient Red Sox Diehard Suffers }, a Red Sox Fan Club, in New York.

    In addition to his wife, survivors include his children; Susan O'Leary, and her husband Richard, of Campinas, Brazil; Julia Killian, and husband Gary, of Rye, New York; Byrne Patrick Powers, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado; LuLu Powers and Stevie Danelian, of Los Angeles, California, and New York, N Y; Sarah Powers, also of New York City; Molly Powers Kellogg and husband Tucker, of Ridgefield; and grandchildren Ryan, Caleigh and Brittany O'Leary; Alexandra , Connor, Tucker, Macguire, and Shane Killian; and Quinn and Birch Kellogg.

    A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Weston, Monday at 11:00 am. Burial will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms, Westport.

    Friends may call Sunday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. In keeping with Jim's style, mourners are encouraged to wear bright clothing to both the wake and the funeral.

    In lieu of flowers contributions are requested to the Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place, W., Sixth Floor, Brookline, MA 02445, or to jimmyfund.org.

  • BLOHARDs Announcement

    It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the BLOHARDS announce the passing of our club's President/Owner/CEO, Jim Powers. Jim passed away on Thursday in Connecticut at the age of 77 (give or take).

    As the legend goes, Jim christened the BLOHARDS over an extended luncheon at the old J.J.'s Cellar on East 55th Street, surrounded by about fifteen disenfranchised Sox fans/transplanted New Englanders who were residing in the NYC-area.

    As the luncheon crowds grew it became necessary for Jim to work with a podium and a microphone - and the rest is history. Powers's classic delivery, obscure New England references, fearless wit and intense love of the Red Sox made him the only luncheon host in the history of the BLOHARDS. Henry Berry's memorable slide shows from the 1970s through the mid-1990s (who could forget the Steinbrenner awards?) only added to the festivities. And through thick and thin, it was always Dick Bresciani of the Red Sox loyally supporting Jim and the BLOHARDS with his sage analysis and impressive lineup of guest speakers. Even during the darkest days, disgruntled members would often depart the luncheons with smiles on their faces, actually believing Jim's and Dick's cockeyed optimism that the Sox were "a player or two away," only to realize an hour or two later that the two players were Yaz and Ted Williams.

    Long-time BLOHARDS and new members alike are invited to share their remembrances of Jim Powers, sending them to peterc@blohards.com. We will post as many as we can on the website (www.blohards.com) over the next few weeks. Looking back on the good times will help us deal with this tremendous loss.

  • Reminiscenses - A scrapbook of our memories of James B. Powers

    Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Red Sox' Executive Vice President/Public Affairs and a staltwart friend of the BLOHARDs writes:

    I only had the pleasure of knowing Jim in recent years, but what an American Original he was. I was so fond of him - and his wonderful, unique style. I switched from looking forward to our series in NY because of Yankees games to looking forward to our series in NY because of BLOHARDS luncheons. Really.

    I will start to think of ways we might immortalize him.

    I really, really enjoyed him, and will miss him with a heart mixed with sadness at his passing and smiles as I picture him and think of him saying, "That Dr. Charles loves that open mike!"

    May he rest in peace after a rich, full, and impactful life.

    Our sympathies from the Red Sox to the Powers and the entire BLOHARDS family.

    I loved my Grandpa so much and was devastated when I found had he had passed away. I remember my Grandpa with wonderful memories we shared. One of my favorites is when he and I sat on the back porch when I was about 3 and we would just talk for a long time and then we would go inside and sit on his chair and watch a Red Sox game on television. I loved how he dressed up in bright colors and sang in church. I loved when he would always make me smile and I would always laugh at his jokes. He is a great man and a great Grandpa but most of all he was a die hard Red Sox fan. I use to be a Yankee fan, sad to say, but I converted to a Red Sox fan just because of my love for my Grandpa. I miss him dearly and I will always have him in my heart. He was a great man.

    ~Alex Killian~

    His granddaughter

    Ed Randall, media personality and longtime BLOHARD favorite writes:

    One of the painfully few facts I remember through 16 years of Catholic school education was this: there were seven colors in the rainbow (even though there never seems to be much call for indigo).

    Back in the time when I went to school as the Earth's crust was still cooling, those Irish Christian Brothers, may have been right. But, ultimately, they were off by one.

    There was an eighth color I discovered far too late in my life: Jim Powers.

    He was preppy on Prozac.

    Those pants! Surely, he and Lindsay Nelson must have shared a closet.

    However, I must admit, having spent some of my Wonder Years around people WHO DRESSED LIKE THAT (and, admittedly, having enthusiastically owned a pair of madras pants purchased in a storefront in Westerly, Rhode Island in the summer of '74, which, incidentally, I STILL own and keep in storage, but regrettably, can't fit into, because, had I, surely would have worn them to the last place on the planet you could: to a meeting of the BLOHARDS), I hardly noticed.

    Among a million of them, here was one of his countless gifts: a Rizzuto-like ability to stand behind a live mike and be completely unpredictable. Cora Rizzuto once mentioned that there was a little trap door inside everyone's brain that things you shouldn't say would escape from and that her husband's frequently was shut tight when he was on the air.

    This was Jim, comic relief. Like a pitcher with no control, and the Red Sox, in the life of the BLOHARDS, have had 785 of them by my official count, you never knew where the next salvo would land.

    This was Jim, comic relief. Like a pitcher with no control, and the Red Sox, in the life of the BLOHARDS, have had 785 of them by my official count, you never knew where the next salvo would land.

    That made him delightful, unforgettable, and, Runyonesque, larger than life.

    He and co-conspirator Henry Berry walked into HBO Studios on East 23rd Street on August 18, 1988 and became show #22 of 530 shows for a newly-minted television series entitled "Ed Randall's Talking Baseball."

    They were, of course, hysterical, feeding off each other, and needed the host only to get them to the commercial breaks roughly on time.

    For years thereafter, through on my Sunday morning show on WFAN, Jim was more consistent than Ted, any player who ever played the game, or his beloved Foxx. He was always available, consistently entertaining, a certain 5-for-5.

    I made it a point to have him on my MLB-Radio show as the Sox reached each mile post of the 2004 post-season still standing, after the Angels, after the Yankees.

    Jim was the first person I thought of when Renteria grounded back to Foulke. Had to have him on the air. And, when I did, very late at night and, I suspect, with his trusty companion, Jim Beam, sitting silently somewhere in the room, the answer to each question was the same: "Unbelievable."

    Blohards? Now THERE'S a name that certainly seemed to get people's attention! Excuse me, WHAT'S the name of this 'organization'?

    Here are the final totals and highlights: Jim Powers treated me far, far nicer than I ever deserved. Actually speak at the luncheon? Follow that act?

    I loved him and love his family.

    As sad as we all are, the thought of him makes me smile and that, I think, that is the greatest enduring tribute of all.

    P.S. THANK GOD they won in his lifetime.

    Sean Daley writes:

    Having grown up with the Powers Family in Weston there are many stories to tell but the one thing that always stands out to me was during the eulogy at Sunday mass he always ended his speech with "God Bless the Red Sox".

    To this day I cannot go to mass without thinking the lector will utter those words no matter where I am.

    God Bless, glad you could live to see the comeback, championship and subsequent celebrations throughout the past year.

    Sympathies to the Powers Family

    Bloomberg Radio's Ray McNally interviews Jim at our November 2004 trophy viewing.

    Jim died at Bridgeport Hospital shortly before scheduled open heart surgery. His daughter Julie recalls the days prior to his death:

    We feel lucky that our family got to spent two fabulous days with him prior to surgery laughing, having cocktails and red wine, lots of stories and a few more cocktails, more stories and lots more laughing...He was such a great man--most definitely larger than life--all your calls, stories and words confirm that!

    Only hours before going to the hospital, Jim sent an email to BLOHARD brass entitled "Season's End". It read, in part:

    Will be away for awhile. Having open heart again in the morning. Not looking forward to it, but what will be, will be. Hope the doc did not drink as much as I did tonite.

    It was a fun year and the pitchers and catchers will be off and running in 100 days.

    Thanks for all your help this year.

    Good luck. God Bless. Go Sox in 0-Six.

    Jim Powers

    Prolific author and long-time BLOHARD Bill Nowlin writes:

    From an interview I did with Jim back in 2001, an indication of just how far back Jim's fandom stretched.. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, raised in Uxbridge, but a transplant to New York since 1954, he was still present when Ted Williams had his first at-bat ever in New England, at Fitton Field in Worcester, shortly before he made his debut in Boston.

    Jim told me: "I first saw Ted Williams at Fitton Field, back in 1939. The Sox used to play Holy Cross the day before Opening Day because of Jack Barry and Eddie Collins. Jimmie Foxx was my hero at the time, and he played, and Williams played. There was a big hill in right field. He must have put it on top of the hill. That's where I first saw him. Of course, I was there to see Jimmie Foxx. I didn't know what the hell Ted Williams was going to turn out to be. But I can still see him, with that head bobbing up and down, coming around the bases."

    My husband, Gilbert Wintering, long time - dare I say?- Yankee fan, knew Jim Powers in the heyday of New York City advertising. Jim invited my Yankee-loving husband to several BLOHARDS luncheons. Jim must have brought Gil in via the back door, because who would want any Yankee fan attending those great good times? Gil married a Red Sox fan, and I wish Jim knew that happened. The revenge would be so sweet. Jim: know this - there is nothing like The Joy of Sox and you had the greatest joy when we won the 2004 World Series. Gilbert Wintering sends you an Irish bouquet and knows you will meet some other Sox up there. Red ones of course!

    With affection,
    Diane Wintering
    Gilbert J. Wintering

    This from BLOHARD SVP Joe Cosgriff:

    In later years I thought that Jim's performances were becoming more entertaining than ever. To his barreling, Uxbridgian announcer's voice he had added Popeye-under-his-breath observations that knocked me over.

    After Jerry Trupiano completed a gushing interview with Bruce Chen in 2003 Jim returned to the podium and muttered, "C'mon, Jerry. Seventh team in two years, and suddenly he's Mel Parnell?"

    With Jim's passing, no living person has contributed more to the vitality of the BLOHARDS than Red Sox Vice President/Publications and Archives Dick Bresciani. Jim used to refer to him as "our hero". Dick writes: Early in the 1972 season, my first with the Red Sox, I brought Bob Montgomery, John Kennedy and pitching coach Lee Stange to my first Blohards Luncheon in the Lexington Hotel. There I learned from the Big 3, Jimmy, Walter Teitz and Henry Berry, about this irreverent, but fiercely loyal group. Over the years Jimmy used to remind me: "The BoSox Club is good but never forget we came first (Blohards came into existence in 1963 during Johnny Pesky's first yr. as mgr., BoSox Club began in 1967)."

    We met in many places and had all sorts of guests and it was usually a raucous event. A young Roger Clemens told me he would come in June 1986 if he could bring his family (I called Jimmy and he said bring them all!). He was pitching the night before and I prayed he would do well. He won a complete game vs. the Yanks and brought 10 family members. In 1991 Mike Greenwell and Jeff Reardon said they would come the day after Memorial Day. On Memorial Day at the Stadium, Reardon gave up a 3-R HR to Mel Hall in the last of the 9th for a crushing 6-5 loss. In the clubhouse they told me they wouldn't go to the luncheon since they would probably get a rough welcome. I called Jimmy and he said he would make sure everyone behaved - and they did with great respect for Greenwell and Reardon.

    Jimmy stories are legendary and should be preserved: his Uxbridge boyhood, his disdain for the NY Times sports section, his friendly battles with Henry B., his mispronunciations of names like Castiglione and Trupiano, his advice to mgrs. (in 1981 he gave suicide squeeze bunting info to mgr. Ralph Houk!). When Ralph got up to speak he began, "I'm glad I came, I've already learned a lot of baseball, such as how and when to use the suicide squeeze." The day when Jimmy's "camp followers" marched through the cocktail reception into the luncheon room with placards reading "Let women on the bus to opening day" was a classic and really took him by complete surprise!

    I know so many of the members have better stories than I do. We need to preserve them to give us remembrances of a remarkable man, husband, father and Red Sox fan. It was always, "this will be the year, Let's Beat the Bastids!" They will give us a needed chuckle during the moments of distress that we all experience.

    Additional information about the "camp followers" is provided by Donald Harris:

    This photo, taken at the Yale Club on May 27, 2005, is of the original camp followers, Mary Chamberlin and Marilyn Harris. Jim invited them to join the Blohards. In so doing they broke the gender barrier and became the first two women members. They are shown here with Jim and their husbands, Jack Chamberlin and Donald Harris, both of whom were invited to join at a much later date. The four of them and Jim shared many memorable Blohard meetings, much Red Sox nostalgia, and more than a few tall ones. Jim will be sorely missed. No one can replace him.

    Our sincerest condolences to Patty and the family.

    Joey Reynolds did a great interview with Jim(and later) Bill Lee. You can hear it here.

    Jim and I were members of St. Francis of Assisi parish and one of my fondest memories of him is when as the lector one Sunday he read the following:

    ..." Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Ephesians)

    Jim then paused and said, "that deserves repeating" and then he read it again.

    Marty McMahon

    Communique from the Palm to one of the minions. Jim is immortalized on the Palm's walls.

    Although my Dad (Leon Martel) and I (Christopher Martel) have been Red Sox fans all our lives, we are relatively new to the BLOHARDS having only first heard about the organization about 6 or 7 years ago. However, at our first visit, my Dad, who is a Boston native having grown up in nearby Newton, MA, quickly identified with the true authentic Boston charm of Jim Powers. So, for the past few years, we have been regular attendees at the luncheons and have always enjoyed Jim's introductions, remarks, witty comments, and most of all passion and optimism for the Red Sox at these infrequent meetings. We will miss Jim Powers very much. I've attached a picture that I was very fortunate enough to have had taken at last year's Trophy celebration (almost exactly a year ago) of me, my Dad, and our fearless leader.

    Go Sox 2006 and beyond and our prayers and best wishes go out to Jim's family.

    Christopher Martel

    On the Death Of Jim Powers

    I'm bereft and painfully sad to hear of the loss of Jim Powers, this charming, generous, and good hearted man, the very Soul of the Blohards.

    Jim, through both his personality and his creation the Blohards made it possible for me and so many others to endure the unendurable: the life of a Red Sox fan in New York City. And this was no minor achievement just for sports fans. This was a special person who developed something deeply spiritual, the nature of which is expressible only in words such as these:

    "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down,
    yea we wept when we remembered Fenway.
    We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
    For how could we sing the Boston song in a strange land?"

    That's what Jim did, he lifted up our spirits in a strange land, through his humor and passion for the Red Sox, and through the virtues of Faith and Loyalty which he exemplified. My deepest sympathy to his lovely family.

    Herb Wyman

    Uncle Jim was my godfather, he will be truly missed. My thoughts are with him ..."Love ya cuz"

    Attached is my favorite picture of him with my father (Henry Smith). They were quit a pair.

    Mary E. Frye

    Your webmaster would like to offer a list of ten things he loved about the recently-departed Mr. Powers.

    • 10. Those pants. Lime green, fire engine red, canary yellow - Did Jim ever wear a color of slacks that didn't require an adjective?
    • 9. The appellations. "President-for-Life, at least"; "Beloved Helmsman"; "Maximal BLOHARD"; "Farseeing Father". None measured up to the man's magnificence.
    • 8. The jokes. Especially the one that ended "Yeah, we're doing great. The O'Reilly brothers are tying one on."
    • 7. Those loopy letters he'd send out before each of our lunches. Packed with humor, insight and bile, they were Joycean in their opacity. A couple of excerpts follow. Describing this year's bus trip: "Depart Westport RR 10:00 AM. Return sometime to Mario's for Victory Bash. Call Ray Duffy-XVP & BUSMEISTER-914 763-5210. Total package includes bus, game ticket, beer -at least one to share with your guest- as many pretzels or Doritos as you can hold in one hand, recounting of past Bus trips which will tear your guts out. Joe Cosgriff and George Bolton will do a Gallagher and Sheen routine. Bring earplugs. But above all there is BLOHARD Bonding. What more could one ask? Lent will be over. Nevertheless, no Grape will be partaken until we pass Southport town line." From a 1989 lunch invitation: Dick Bresciani and Ken Coleman and their ever faithful entourage will endeavor to entertain. And as usual, with A Plomb. Do not know which Plomb. Both Artie and Andy have a lot of Pizzazz. The Pizzazz boys played for Brewster in the Cape League. Unfortunately, Rich Gedman will not be with us. Has a hangnail." And, finally, from a 1991 communique: "We will overcome, even though it is an odd year. Prayer helps. Also, pitching and hitting."
    • 6. Mario's. Anybody that ever ate there with him - and that's probably just about everybody he ever met - has a fondness for the place. Maybe they have especially good spaghetti sauce, but I think it's something else.
    • 5. Uxbridge. How could you not laugh when Jim referred to, for instance, Cambridge as being an outpost of the greater Uxbridge metropolitan area? Exactly where is Uxbridge anyway?
    • 4. "Bronx Bastids". I can hear his inflection as I type the words. The phrase encapsulates the defiant humor that Jim brought to his fellow members of the Red Sox diaspora. It sustained us until we reached the promised land. If you like, you can listen to him say it here.
    • 3. The hats. They'll never get to the bottom of this. Let's say he got his first Red Sox hat when he was six years old, in 1934. If he wore it 16 hours a day - 15 hours on Sunday, to allow for mass - he might in the course of a lifetime have been able to get it as "broken in" as one of his hats actually was. But he had dozens, each seemingly worn for decades to the exclusion of all others. It's a mystery is what it is.
    • 2. HoJo's. It wasn't opening day unless (i) it was meat-locker cold and (ii) Jim led the old-timers in a mid-game evacuation to the Howard Johnson's on Boylston Street for some fortification. Fortunately it always was and he always did. They're talking about tearing the HoJo down. No wonder Jim's heart gave out.
    • 1. The family. Patricia, Susan, Julia, Byrne, LuLu, Sarah and Molly. Their love for him, and his for them, warmed everybody who came into their orbit.

From the Funeral:

  • Joe Cosgriff's Memories

    Good morning. My name is Joseph Cosgriff, and I have been asked by the Powers family to represent the BLOHARDS, the legendary New York-based Red Sox fan club that Jim Powers founded, nurtured, and has ruled by the force of his personality for over forty years. (Already, I can hear the voice of Jim whispering over my shoulder, "Keep it brief, Coach!") Before I get started let me announce on behalf of Jim that Peter Collery is in the building today and will be accepting 2006 dues payments at the end of today's Mass. Jim's passing is no simple loss for any of us to absorb or comprehend. Today marks less an attempt to share every anecdote about him than it is a starting point to ensure that the stories and his spirit continue to live on in all of us who loved him. In almost 78 years of embracing every day, he built a body of work that will stand as his legacy - his never-ending curiosity about life, his passion for all things about his baseball team, his pride in his beloved Notre Dame and, above all, the love he had for his wonderful family. These are tremendous gifts to leave behind.

    A newspaper article from a couple of years ago quotes a BLOHARDS member as saying, "The BLOHARDS without Jim would be like the Vatican without the Pope." Jim always liked that one, although I have always suspected that the quote came from Jim himself. For the BLOHARDS our only president and luncheon host came directly from central casting - Fiorello LaGuardia by-way- of Uxbridge MA, although some would insist that Jim was a one-of-a-kind treasure who should only be compared to himself. Robert Sullivan of Life Magazine has done all of us a tremendous service over the years by chronicling Jim's exploits in writing, available on Time.com, in various print publications, and in his wonderful book, Our Red Sox.

    WFAN's Ed Randall stopped by the Powers home the other night on his way to the Arizona Fall League... until someone pointed out that Scottsdale was on the other side of Greenwich. On the ride up to Weston Ed remarked that it was not only Jim's booming voice and Boston vowels that got our attention but also his choice of words that harkened back to a more romantic and bygone era. When Jim would invoke saloons and gin mills we almost believed we had become characters in a Sinatra ballad from the hat years. One particularly inspired choice of words occurred during a luncheon at which Jim's remarks were interrupted by an over-served and thrice-married BLOHARD, at which point Jim shot back with a pointed reference to the delicate issue of the heckler's "hat trick at the altar."

    Unlike the new wave of BLOHARDS who believe that having seen Mo Vaughn play before he reached 280 pounds makes them old-timers, Jim's reach was the real thing, extending back to 1939 and Fitton Field in Worcester. There he witnessed Ted Williams' first ever at-bats in New England when the Sox played an April exhibition game against Holy Cross. In addition, Jim knew Johnny Pesky since the early days of the BLOHARDS in the '60s, and Pesky always greeted him with a hug. No matter how chummy Pesky became with us, however, Jim always reminded me we should never bring up "that damn holding the ball thing."

    Should you believe the BLOHARDS are no big deal (and believe me, I go back and forth on that one), try GOOGLE-ing "obituary" and "BLOHARDS." It will take some scrolling and perusing, but one soon can amass a collection of obituaries over the years that list BLOHARDS' credentials right alongside unassailable life accomplishments like Ph.Ds, charitable foundations, forty-year employment histories, and, in one case, time spent as a POW. The University of Maine Alumni Magazine just carried a death notice for someone who served honorably in WWII, was the president of a company, recorded books for the blind in his retirement....and was a member of the BLOHARDS. That obituaries so often mention the BLOHARDS tells me either a) that the average person's life falls about ten to twelve words short of filling the space needed for an obituary OR b) that being a BLOHARD means a lot to our members, especially when they are looking back on their lives. I prefer to go with the second theory.

    It is almost fitting that I am in this position today because my first discussion with Jim in 1982 addressed the subject of mortality head on - specifically whether I wanted a $10 one-year membership or the roll-of-the-dice $100 lifetime membership. Given that the club membership demographic at the time trended older and probably didn't include a lot of two-year magazine subscribers, Jim seemed surprised to see the hundred-dollar bill, and it marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    To the extended Powers family - last seen tailgating behind the funeral home last night - to the grandchildren, to Bryne, Molly, Sarah, Lulu, Susan, Julie, and especially to Patty - the BLOHARDS send you our love and support, and most especially our thanks for helping to keep Jim with us for so long. Great lives always seem too brief, however long they last. As a friend emailed me last night about Jim, we can ill afford to lose the great ones, the unmistakable characters, the people who never fail to make us laugh. When I was in close proximity with Jim, particularly when he was within a quarter mile of a microphone, I truly enjoyed the anticipation that ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

    And it often did. Jim wasn't just someone who told stories so much as he WAS the story. On a Sunday afternoon in the late '90s I invited Jim to a Yanks-Sox game in New York. If memory serves, he wore lime green pants, a red sweater under a blue blazer, a brown straw hat, and no socks.

    Our seats turned out to be in the first row behind the Sox third base coach, 5'5" Wendell Kim. Though it was still early in his first season with the team, Kim had already earned the nickname "Wendell the Windmill" for his aggressive approach to his job. As you might have imagined, with nothing but about ten feet of hazy Bronx air between our seats and the coach's box, it wasn't long before Wendell and Jim were on a first-name basis.

    As soon as the first batter of the first inning reached base Jim started right in: "Pick him up, Wendell. Wave 'em in. We're getting ten today, Wendell." Of course, the Sox went on to score 13 runs that day. (I also think they won.) To produce the 13 runs, Jim must have repeated the name "Wendell" five hundred or a thousand times over the three hours. Because it was a day game, presumably with more families in attendance, frustrated Yankee fans limited the projectiles aimed at Jim to the B family - plastic bottles, beer cups, and batteries - with a good 99% of them hitting me instead, which I attributed to the magic powers of the straw hat. But over a good seven innings and until the outcome was safely decided, Jim never came close to backing off his banter with Wendell, who began to make jokes to us about having to ice his money shoulder between innings. In our twenty-three years of attending games together, every experience at the ballpark with Jim was memorable and high entertainment...and we were usually part of the game!

    Controversy dogged the BLOHARDS are various points in our club's history and, to no one's surprise, Jim was often at the center of it. The man Jim often referred to as "our hero," Dick Bresciani of the Red Sox, checked in on the website, mentioning Jim's habit of getting names only partially correct - thus Castiglioni, Trupiana, and Nelson Bryant for Bryant Nelson. He didn't even attempt Mientkiewicz - it was always "that jerk who won't give up the ball." Jim was in hot water with the Sox for a while for what they believed to intentional name garbling, particularly with Italian names. But based on a real- life experience, I wasn't so sure. Jim really struggled with certain names.. He had thrown a luncheon for about fifty Gannett clients in 1989, with his friend, former English professor/Yale president, and then-baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti agreeing to be the guest speaker. Jim had not only invited me to the luncheon but had asked to sit next to Giamatti at the table of honor. With Jim working the tables and schmoozing the clients I began chatting up Giamatti about The Earthly Paradise and a Renaissance Epic, a book of Bart's I had tried to read the night before and which gave new meaning to the words HEAVY SLEDDING. Fortunately, my drivel was derailed when Giamatti happened to pick up one of the USA Weekend commemorative baseballs that Jim had placed at each seat and immediately burst into a deep and convulsive laugh. Jim had printed Bart's name as GIMETTI, the same way he had always pronounced it. I still have my baseball.

    In the spirit of "anything can happen," I was privileged to appear with Jim on a television show about the BLOHARDS hosted by Al Trautwig on MSG in 2002. But I would be less than honest if I didn't confess to a slight case of the butterflies just prior to going on the air that night. Certainly, a half-hour on TV with Jim would be a blast, but it also could go ANYWHERE, particularly were Trautwig to bring up any of about six subjects, including George Steinbrenner, Roger Clemens, watery drinks at the bar next door, or the tiny matter of allowing women on the Opening Day bus trip. Fortunately, BLOHARD and top-shelf Sox fan Howie Singer turned out to be the producer of the show, so Al's questions were batting practice fastballs, and Jim hit them out of the park.... although I think his answer about hating the Yankees continued through the commercial and only stopped filming only when they ran out of tape. We later learned from MSG that they had received more comments about our show than any other in the series.... even if they all were negative.

    What we do know that our leader stood for ANYTHING BUT mindless good taste. So in this spirit and to wrap up, let me borrow heavily from Graham Chapman and John Cleese and say that are sad to say that our fearless leader, Jim Powers IS no more. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, breathed his last, and has gone, as Henry Berry would have said, to host the great BLOHARDS Luncheon In the Sky. Cocktails are at noon.

    No one was more helpful to me when my own sister passed away this summer than Jim, calling for a minute or two just about every day to check in, and making sure to deluge me with emails until my computer was ready to explode. He just have sent the joke about the O'Reilly twins at least five times, either because he lost track or because I knew how much I love that joke, especially his rendition. In closing, I cannot do better than the pilot and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery , who wrote: "And though I cried, I was proud to have loved a man so rare."

    Since I have already committed at least five mortal sins and violated ten laws of this archdiocese in telling stories about Jim's life, I hope that the Monsignors will allow me one more - for the man who was always gathering us and leading the applause - Let's hear it for Jim.

  • Julia Powers Killian's eulogy

    Dad sent an email on Wednesday night to the Blohards brass saying "Goodbye Theo we hardly knew you". Well Jim Powers- we knew you! And we loved you. The number of lives you have touched is extraordinary. Your legacy lives on. The friend who emailed saying your Dad is in good company this week with another owner of a legendary sports franchise was not exaggerating.

    I have really only TOTALLY appreciated my Dad as an adult. The things that embarrassed me as a child, I embrace as an adult. If anyone has ever been to church with Dad, you know he sang really loud. They were always asking him to be in the choir. But when you are in 7th grade, and your Dad is louder than anyone else, it is really uncool. My Dad taught us that you dress for certain occasions, well in Dad's case most occasions. When we went to Red Sox games at Yankees Stadium, us girls always had to wear a dress or skirt and my brother a collared shirt and jacket. People would stare at us walking down to our box seats like we were someone important - and of course we were - Jim Powers' family. I found myself out in my driveway a few years ago, pulling my boys out of the car demanding that they put on a collared shirt to go to a Yankees - Red Sox Game. My husband thought I was crazy. But you'll notice him over there in the pink pants. One day last year, we were going out for a Sunday dinner. Tucker walked down the stairs with a t-shirt on. Because I had 52 things on my mind, the only thing that came out my mouth was "Tucker...". Shane, my 5 year old at the time, finished my sentence with "put on a collared shirt! You know we have to wear a collared shirt to dinner." It was only recently that Dad stopped wearing a jacket and tie for holidays and church. The sons' in-law were so relieved. When we were in Middle School, Sue and I couldn't wear pants to school except on Wednesday when we had skating lessons. By High School, we could wear pants but no painters pants. Dad, I'm sorry to admit I've been a bit lax lately, letting my boys wearing t-shirts to school, although only: Red Sox, Notre Dame and Nantucket t-shirts. One of his other things was having the right kind of glass for a drink. No plastic wine glasses for the Powers family. For those of you who don't him, it is not a question of being a snob. Things just taste better in crystal or china.

    When we were really young, we would go on errands with him on Saturday always riding in the convertible with the top down and we'd stop at Ernie's in Darien. Dad would order a "glass of beer" and we would get Shirley Temples. Not a surprise that we are all so comfortable hanging out in bars! Sorry Mom! There are bartenders across the country who know Jimmy Powers. Back in the 50's and 60's, Louies in the West Village when he hung out with Steve McQueen and Jason Robards, then Bill's Gay 90's, J.J. Cellar, P. J. Clarkes, the Palm, where they put his caricature on the wall and of course the 21 Club. In Nantucket, the Club Car, 21 Federal, and the Boarding House. And of course, in Westport the famous Mario's and The Tavern. I have had lunch with Dad at The Tavern, two times this past week; last Saturday, he told me with a tear in his eye that they had just told him that he was the favorite customer of Joe, the bartender-no surprise there. No matter where dad went, he always found a haven. I have lived in Rye, NY for 15 years, in 2 different houses each within a 1/3 of a mile from a little neighborhood bar, Kelly's. It took me three years to discover that when dad came to visit, he would go down there for a pop. I had always thought he was out taking a walk. One Sunday when dinner was ready to be served and he was no where to be found, we finally figured it out. One call to the bar got him home fast!! I just found out this week that Connor Killian had his first taste of beer there at age 3.

    We each had our special things with Dad. One of mine was Notre Dame. Growing up I would watch all the games with him. One Saturday when I was 10, I pointed to the TV and said "I want to go to school there". Luckily, 7 years later, I experienced one of my happiest moments with Dad- driving up Notre Dame Ave in a taxi, me seeing the Golden Dome for the first time. It brought tears to both our eyes. We graduated exactly 30 years apart so we happily got to go to reunions together for the past 20 years. Dad I'll miss you in 2007! But of course, I'll go have a cocktail with your buddies from the class of 52 and they'll be no shortage of cocktails with that gang!

    How do I even begin about the Red Sox and the Blohards? I was talking to a guy in Rye a few years ago-turned out we are both Red Sox fans, I mentioned the Blohards. He went crazy telling me "if you had told me your Dad was President Bush I wouldn't have been as impressed." But other than health and happiness for my family, the thing I most wanted in life was for the Red Sox to win the World Series before my father died. Last October 27, 2004, at first it was elation and then that total feeling of peace that came over me. That was after I pulled Lulu off the bar at the Boarding House in Nantucket. They did it for you Dad! If you drive down Glenwood Rd today, there are red socks on every telephone pole, thanks to a kind neighbor. In the 60's, I never had pictures on my bedroom wall of Bobby Sherman or the Monkees. With me it was always baseball players: George Scott, Carl Yastrzemski and my all time favorite, Mike Andrews. Thanks to Dad, I was lucky enough to meet him when I went to a baseball function with Dad. Dad said "Julie, this is Mike Andrews." Since he no longer looked like the young guy whose pictures had been on my bedroom wall, my response was "Are you THE Mike Andrews?" I further embarrassed myself by telling him how much I loved him at 7 years old-the year of the Impossible Dream. Since 2003, I have hung a large banner outside my house in NY when the Red Sox are in town; some of you saw it yesterday-Go Red Sox! Luckily, one of the cops in town is a Red Sox fan! Dad loved it. I have not been as involved in the Blohards until the last few years. The BLOHARDS have been larger than life for some time, thanks to Dad and some others-immortalized in the 1986 baseball issue of Sports Illustrated and in columns by Jimmy Breslin and more recently on Fox Sports, MSG, WFAN on Ed Randall's Talking Baseball, the NY Post, The Globe, Time.com, The Red Sox yearbook; the list goes on. Although he was never one to seek adulation or the press. he really enjoyed the attention and it kept him going this past year after the Big win. The job as President/Owner had become full-time. To be involved in this part of his life and get to know the gang: Peter, Joe, Ray, Jim, all the old faithful Gordon, Mike and so many others has been incredible. Check out the reminiscences about Dad on the Blohards website.

    Back to Jim, the father. He had all kinds of funny sayings and nicknames. When I was born, he nicknamed me Pancho Gonzales because I was born with black hair and looked like a Mexican. He shortened it to Panch a while back and still called me that as an adult. It always brought a smile to my face. When you called the house in the early evening for Mom, Dad would say "she's O and A", which means out and about. When you walked into the house or met him in a restaurant, he'd say-"down for the summer!" When we would toast, which we luckily did quite often, he'd say "here's the way we lost the farm" or "slainte" or "here's to table #1". Two of his other favorites were "you owe it to yourself" and "it's noon somewhere". Both excuses of course to have a cocktail.

    I could go on for hours with lessons and funny stories. I won't. It was so hard to write this because there is so much material. But the emails and calls we have had over the past few days have had one overriding theme: the legacy of family that you and Mom have created.

    It would warm the cockles of your heart to see the glow on his face when the sisters would dance to "We are Family" at weddings and family gatherings and just impromtu in a bar. Not because we were dancing wildly but because one of the things he loved the most was how much we love each other. Until I was an adult, I thought everyone was like us, meaning everyone got along with their parents and siblings, got together on holidays and actually enjoyed doing it. How lucky we are! He loved us all, was so proud of us all 6 kids, the 10 grandkids and the 4 son-in-laws. He will live on in each one of us.

    To my Mom, not only did I have a great Dad but I have a great Mom. Huge thanks to you. We're so grateful to you for watching over Dad all these years. Although we always loved him, he was such a curmudgeon at times. To my siblings, how lucky we are to have each other. Despite the circumstances, we've had a great time staying at Mom's these last 4 days. I only hope that my own children will have as good a relationship as we do. To my friends, you have come through in my time of need and I get so much comfort knowing you are there. To my five children, you keep me going every day. If you are ever not sure what path to take in life ask yourself what would grandpa do? To my husband, there's a million things I am thankful for when it comes to you but you stepped up to the plate in a big way last year last year and you are the reason my family got to spend almost 5 weeks together this summer in Nantucket and for that I am eternally grateful. To Dad, I'll be voting for a Democrat tomorrow for Mayor of Rye. There's only 94 days until pitchers and catchers report. Have a sparkie with Dick, Marty, Pop and Uncle Frank. Say goodnight to Gracie for me!

    Love always,
    November 7, 2005

George Bolton, 1938 - 2007

  • An assemblage of pictures and reminiscences

    George Bolton, who died on August 20, 2007 was an ideal member of the BLOHARDS combining, as he did, in equal measures the qualities of benevolence, loyalty, honor and ancientness along with an abiding passion for the Red Sox. We've gathered a few pictures and recollections of the man here. If you've got anything else, why not email it to us and we'll add it?

    On hearing of George's death, Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox' President and CEO wrote: "My sincere condolences to the friends and family of one of the "founding fathers" of your great organization. Rest in Peace, George Bolton.

    I'm grieved to hear of George Bolton's passing. My sympathies to his family. I will miss him at our lunches. I imagine that George has already joined up with Berry and Jim Powers, has already launched into one of his stories, and has already been asked by Jim: "George, is this a long one?"

    Herb Wyman

    At our August lunch, Ray Duffy made sad mention of George's departure in the traditional "Henry Berry Memorial Slide Show". His remarks follow:

    George Bolton 1938-2007

    It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the recent death of one of our own, George Bolton. Like Ted, Yaz, Tony or Pedro this BLOHARD was known to all BLOHARDS by one name: "George". George was not one of the original 8 but he came around shortly after. He was the epitome of a BLOHARD. Like Jim and Henry he loved the Sox but in true BLOHARDS tradition that would never stop him from being irreverent. In fact it was George, not Henry, that Butch Hobson wanted to fight because of his comments about Don Zimmer and Jimy Williams vowed never to return to a BLOHARDS luncheon following George's comments about Dennis Eckersley.

    You will be pleased to know that George was George right to the end. When I received a call from Cathy Bolton on August 6th, I already knew George had not been feeling well for a while. Cathy informed me that George had developed edema in the brain and was very sleepy and unresponsive to stimuli. On August 10th George showed some signs of improvement and was able to communicate a bit. When he came around his nephew Chris asked him if he needed anything, George responded with "how about two broads?"

    I'm sure that right now George is with Jimmy, Henry, Walter and the other BLOHARDS that have preceded us having their own luncheon. In fact, as fellow BLOHARD Herb Wyman suggested, we can hear Jimmy saying: "George will this be long?"

    Other people expressing sympathy include:

    Bob Bartlett: We will really miss this great guy who always spoke what exactly was on his mind.

    Frank McKittrick: I loved talking to him at meetings, at Gallagher's, and other distinguished places that BLOHARDS gathered. I will miss him.

    Linda Opyr: May he rest in peace beneath a 2007 series pennant!

    Mark Mueller: My prayers to his family and to all of you, too.

    and Ed Wachowicz: May God bless him and his family at this time. They say your hell is on earth, but Red Sox fans had a living purgatory between 1919 and 2004. May he rest in peace with the great ones.

Ernie Blastos

  • See our March 2007 Newsletter

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