Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lasorda in Philly

Lasorda Sleepwalks Through Philadelphia
Sports Hall of Fame Honor Ceremony
The 6th Annual Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony provided a marvelous opportunity for family, friends, and fans to meet and greet their idols. The event took place on November 12, 2009, at Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing Hyatt, a grand setting.
Modern inductees, in part, included: former Phillies infielder, Larry Bowa; Penn State football’s, John Cappelletti; former Philadelphia middleweight boxing champion, Joey Giardello; Eagles’ great, Pete Retzlaff; the LA Dodgers’ Tommy Lasorda; plus Legacy of Excellence inductees, Philly Daily News reporter/columnist, Bill Conlin; and Merrill Reese, Eagles radio broadcaster.
Some fans paid $275 for the privilege of spending an hour and a half before the dinner to talk with, and be pictured with, their heroes. If one desired time with Tommy Lasorda, they were disappointed as unlike the other inductees, Tommy skipped the preliminary event all together. He walked into the main dining hall just minutes before the program began. Each inductee was ask to speak for four minutes as there were a total of fifteen inductees—a long program. Most exceeded the time limit by a few minutes, Lasorda talked for 34 minutes and during the long dissertation he lost his place numerous times when telling what could have been very funny stories.
At the conclusion of the event, Lasorda was whisked away by his entourage before the dinner plates were even cleared. He also abandoned the beautiful plaque commemorating the occasion and his induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
Joey Giardello died on September 4, 2008 or he would have relished being among some of his very own heroes, as he was one of the biggest Philly sports enthusiasts the city had ever seen. He was a baseball fan and loved playing as a kid, and even while a professional boxer, a usually contract no-no clause. Once Joey tore up a knee sliding into second base and had to call off an important fight thereby losing a big payday. He lived in the Philadelphia area most of this life and was a diehard Phillies fan but having been born in Brooklyn, the Dodgers were never far from his heart. Most of the 1950-era Dodgers were personal friends, Pee Wee Reese, Carl Erskine, Duke Snider, Dick Williams and Tommy Lasorda. Many years ago, Joey and Tommy were inducted into the National Italian America Sports Hall of Fame together.
Joey Giardello bled “Dodger Blue” as well as Lasorda, so I’m convinced that he would have been mightily disappointed in Tommy’s apparent indifference to the Philadelphia honor that he so nonchalantly accepted.
Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Class VI: 2009:
Larry Bowa, John Cappelletti, Eddie Collins, Joey Giardello, Charlie Jenkins, Judy Johnson, Neil Johnston, Tommy Lasorda, 1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers, Pete Retzlaff, Betty Shellenberger, Mel Sheppard, Emlen Tunnell, Bill Conlin and Merrill Reese.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ahhhh, say it is so...

Long-A-Coming my first book of poetry is now available -- go to books. Best to write my name, Charles Redner and the book should be on top of the first page.
Some say that a southern New Jersey town where I once worked, was originally named for an old Indian trail. To the English speaking, it sounded something like ‘Lonaconing.’ Others say, it came from the colonial seamen who walked from the Delaware Bay on their way to Philadelphia. When they finally reached the town and were asked about their travels replied, “It was long a coming.”

This work is called “Long-A-Coming,” as like the early sailors remarked; it has been literally long a coming. In high school and college I closed my eyes and ears to anything remotely referred to as “poetry.” Along the way, I was required to read some Shakespeare, Whitman, Frost and Eliot but was not, at the time, captured by their genius as I am today.

My conversion took place in September 2008, while attending a writers’ conference where I heard Taylor Mali perform his work. I have been reading and writing verse almost daily ever since, even at the expense of my other writings. As I tease in “Infidelity,” poetry, if allowed, could overpower one’s life. But like all good things should be taken in measured amounts to remain interesting and enjoyable. So I now take my own advice and return to finishing my nonfiction work, Down But Never Out and continue writing a second novel. With a wink and my fingers crossed behind my back, here’s wishing that I execute my plan.

I truly hope that reading this eclectic collection brings you as much pleasure as I had creating it.

—Charles Redner
October 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ahhh! Say it ain't so, Joe.

Publisher wants finished manuscript of Down But Never Out in 14 days. Much to do!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't look now!

Don’t look now!
Okay, go look. We’re live @
The magazine was also long-a-coming but I think you’ll find it worth the wait. Didn’t submit for the Cabin 20 Home Fires section, don’t miss the next opportunity, bet the call will go out soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Giardello charity booklet now on sale!

TADA! Four advance chapters of my Giardello bio are now on sale at (click on STORE). The booklet is a charity fund raiser for Giardello’s statue, so help the charity and get an advanced look at Down But Never Out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress Report II

Sent "Long-A-Coming" poetry book off for typesetting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Progress Report

Down But Never Out, received printed copies of four chapters of my Giardello book and shipped them to Philly Boxing History, group that is planning to erect statue to Joey in south Philly next year. They will sell it as premium item to raise funds. Also working on a final edit of my poetry chapbook, and reviewing final changes on The Hummingbird Review. Wife not worried about having to dust around me for a while.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Joined Facebook yeatersay, have 12 friends already. Didn't need another social network but writer friends tell me it is a must for building a base. I'm on Twitter too, but don't tweet much.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Travel Day

Heading over to Tucson to supervise web design of the Hummingbird Review, production is already in full swing! It will be 107 there this week. How I suffer for the cause. Truly love Tucson thought and am always happy for an excuse to go back any time of the year, but January would have been a nicer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Run away (part III)

Dillon and I started up the steps
between two condo units.
A head stuck out the door quick, a body followed.
“Don’t take that dog up there!”
Stopped on the landing, “It’s a common area,” I offered.
“I’ll kill you!” A really grumpy guy replied.
Before we ran, I shouted,
“I’m a writer and I’ll be back.”
Expected that’d put a good scare into him.
“I’ll kill you,” he repeated.
We ran away, fast.

Now I go by his place real slow
but I carry a hidden weapon.
Measuring only four inches long
but big enough to do-in the Devil,
an Olympus VN Digital voice-recorder.
He threatened my dog.
I’ll grant no mercy.
“Go on big guy, say it again, Sam.
Double dare ya.
I’m a writer.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Big hugs to all in Cabin 20 from Luis and Cindy.

Beautiful day in beautiful San Diego to discuss Into The Beautiful North. We were sitting just a bit north of Missionary Matt’s place. Full house, lots of laughs, lots of love, and lots of hugs.

Pix of Cindy, Luis and Michael Lennie (S.D. native, my literary attorney).
Cindy will write us all when she is able.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'd Rather Live In Cabin 20

I’d Rather Live In Cabin 20
By Charlie Redner

I’d rather live in Cabin 20.

It’s cold outside the cabin then gets hot.
It rains sometimes and snow comes. Yuck!
There’s a war, make that two wars over there.
Khamenei and Korea both want nukes
like Saddam had in his closet.
Where will that lead?

As GM goes, so goes the Nation,
pay attention to where it landed – bankruptcy.
The economy is in the tank because
of the falling housing market,
caused by bad lending practices by good banks.

After bad bank loans, the “B’s” really took over:
With the promise of double digit profits,
one Bernie made off wilh Billions,
like in real, other people’s money,
even Bacon got himself fried in that dirty pan.
At the time, not even the magical,
mystical Berkshire’s Buffet
could even break-even.

Seems every other day a child goes missing
and never returns,
a loco, local shoots a dozen citizens,
and then kills himself.
Why, just once,
doesn’t the monster shoot himself first?

The stock market dropped as big-oil profits popped.
Has anyone launched a correlation study?

Global warming melts the ice caps
as al-Qaeda turns up the heat in Pakistan.

The Passion film maker builds his own church,
drives into a DUI, and cheats on his wife
while seeking salvation.

The United States constructs a wall
in order to maintain border security
but the Swine Flu pays the obstacle no attention
as do the drug cartels.

The loud sucking sound is jobs disappearing
into the black hole which we now all will view clearer
through the newly refurbished Hubble.

If you hear fear, depression and angst here – wrong!
I’m quite optimistic.
I believe the world will right itself.
The economic tsunami will subside.
Islamic radicalism will be here for
a long time to come but will lose its punch.

Jobs will return, just not the same jobs
that have already left our shores.
The auto industry will complete its crash and burn
and we will be better off for it.

Greed will always produce more crooks,
but not as many and they will not be able
to take as large a bite out of us.

Bad guys/some bad gals, on occasion,
will commit horrible crimes,
but that has gone on since time immemorial,
cable news brings more
to our conscience and keeps it there longer.

No, it’s just that it is so peaceful in Cabin 20,
one can’t blame one, can you,
for wanting to enter and not return
until times do get better in the real world?
Luis, where ever you are out there tonight
thank you, so very much
for this beautiful sanctuary.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Philly Hero -- not me -- guy on right

Spent Wednesday morning with an old Philly buddy at a local NBC station. He recently hit the grand slam: hardback, movie, soft cover; and he was able to see himself 20 ft. high on the big screen as the movie was his football biopic -- Invincible! Vince Papale is a local Philly hero – talk of a statue for him next to Rocky’s. Crashed into Jack Welch, ex GE chairman while in the green room.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Giardello Statue VBA Fund Raiser

Attended Giardello statue fund raiser today. Big turnout at the Veteran Boxers Association in northeast Philly. Met the organizer, John DiSanto; the artist, Carl LeVotch; and many old time friends, admirers of Joey. Traveled there with Rosalie and her son, Paul. Son Joseph came too. My aunt Frances and my cousins, Jamie and Christine attended. My aunt’s father was one of the original organizers of the VBA known as Ring One. Had a great time meeting that “olde gang of mine.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Name: Redner Ranch

Just renamed Blog to "Redner Ranch." Has a nice ring, eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tucson Festival of Books

March 14, 2009, Tucson Festival of Books, University of Arizona Campus.
I asked local Tucson, TV news anchor, Tom McNamara how he’d gotten so lucky as to draw the Urrea moderator gig – he admitted that he didn’t know but delighted in the job. Following a brief introduction, all he had do, was to sit back and laugh his ass off like the rest of the 300 guests who packed the UofA Gallagher Theater for the presentation. Midway through the Urrea performance, McNamara interrupted once to ask if Luis had ever considered doing “standup.” Yes, it was that funny!

Subsequent to the hour plus talk, Luis challenged the notorious, beloved Elmore Leonard to a signing duel. Their tents erected side by side. The sun broke free from the clouds and warmed the desert air. The tense horde assembled, formed two orderly lines and it commenced. Sign, smile, sign, chat, smile, sign, sign, sign, and sign here, “to Alicia.” It was exhausting yet exhilarating to watch the 84 year-old hang-in there with the younger Turk. Tucson showed its love and respect to both authors. After what seemed an eternity, tired and arm weary, this admittedly biased, but honest observer, declared the contest a draw.

The 3:10 tooted as it passed through Tucson and the nearby Devil’s Highway headed for Yuma -- without incident.

As night descended, Urrea was last seen his signing arm packed in ice, wagon loaded to proceed north. He’d heard that there was a New Mexico town that knew about the “Devil’s Highway’ and the “Daughter.” It too was probably loaded with books requiring an Urrea scribble and/or a Hummingbird doodle.

A whip cracked and I heard Luis shout, “Giddy-up!”

A woman sat up straight and alert next to the driver, shotgun across her lap. It looked like -- it was, yes, Cinderella.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giardello statue announced

(Joey Giardello, center in suit, surrounded by boxing champion friends after a 1972 Charity Exhibition. Son, Carman sits between his dad and great,Willie Pep)

Philadelphia's greatest middleweight boxer will be immortalized with a life-sized statue in his old South Philadelphia stomping grounds and the very heart of South Philly Boxing. The original bronze artwork by world renowned artist Carl LeVotch will be installed on the triangle of East Passyunk Avenue, South 13th Street and Mifflin Street - just one block from where the legendary Passyunk Gym stood and two blocks from the former site of the Alhambra fight club, both of which were Giardello haunts during his legendary Hall of Fame career.

The statue project is a non-profit effort (501.c.3) being conducted by a partnership between the Veteran Boxers Association-Ring One, the Harrowgate Boxing Club and Philly Boxing History. On web site, you can find up to date information about the project, including the development of the statue, the status of our fund-raising efforts, and ways you can contribute through donations, sponsorships, and the purchase of exclusive Joey Giardello merchandise items.

The finished statue will not only honor Joey Giardello, it will be a tribute to boxing itself and a fine public art piece in the middle of the bustling East Passyunk district. Please get involved and help us make this happen. We can not do this without your interest and support.

To make a contribution, make your check or money order payable to:
"Harrowgate Boxing Club / Giardello Statue" and mail it to: Boxing Statue, P.O. Box 428, Sewell, NJ 08080

Friday, February 6, 2009

Urrea Perpetual Book Tour Packs House

Garrison Keillor doesn’t know it as yet, but the bar has been raised to a near unobtainable height for his appearance later this year at the 14th Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. That’s because he follows in the wake of Urrea, who Tuesday evening packed the auditorium of Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The spirit of Teresita descended upon the audience as host and moderator Dr. Dean Nelson posed some unusual and, I think, unexpected questions. Luis answered with candor, thoughtfulness, and many times with a humorous story. The event was recorded for telecast on UCSD-TV. I made friends there and will find a way to obtain a copy. Dr. Nelson gushed after the presentation that the “room was throbbing with love.” He noted also that the lobby crowd after the presentation was the biggest that they’ve ever had. Book sales were brisk and many a copy went home with a wildly flapping hummingbird on the title page, after a considerable wait. Sorry you all couldn’t be there. You would have been proud of our Sensei.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Black man in the White House, Halleljah

Dedicated to Wm Thompson Ong, committed Obama campaign worker
Santa Monica, CA, January 20, 2009

Open verse to President Obama:

A Black man in the White House, Hallelujah
By Charlie Redner
(a northern, Caucasian who regretfully missed the “‘64 buses” headed south)

A Black man in the White House, Hallelujah
Hallelujah not because he’s Black but because he was elected by a white majority.

A Black man in the White House shows the world that this Nation may now claim
our ballot box colorblind.

A Black man at the helm of the most powerful Vessel in the world exclaims: Slave ships, out of our way -- we’ve been there, done that, and finally, finally we’re sailing on.

Here’s proof positive that Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner did not die in vain. A victory won over great pain, borne by all the Freedom Riders, and those for whom they fought.

Here’s proof positive that Doctor Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream has at last, long last, come true. His vision of a better land where little children can be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin has arrived.

Here’s proof positive that, not as the founding fathers scribed, but as attested this day: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men (and women) are created equal.”

President Obama, the hopes of this Nation rest upon your shoulders as they did Washington and Lincoln -- a prayer that you prove your supporters right, and that your detractors discover they were wrong.

Please be a good President. Great, would be better!

God, Bless America.
Land of the Free and home of the Brave where we celebrate our first,
Black man to live and govern in the White House.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy 2009

Yeah! Two thousand and eight is going, going, gone! Good riddance -- now, on to make 2009 one of the best. Didn’t do a resolution list, but know what I’m after: Continued good health for me and mine; watch my portfolio grow back into positive territory; finish my Giardello bio project including the marketing, publishing and promotion of it. Research First Encounter and write same. Wishing you and yours, the best for the New Year.