From The Archives: Ben Hogan, Golf Legend

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Ben Hogan, considered the greatest golfer in the history of sports, is dead after suffering a massive pulmonary embolism, or the kind of stroke from which no golfer could ever recover.

Hogan first discovered golf during puberty when he hit two good balls after stepping on a rake.

Even after enduring countless jokes like that, Hogan remained dedicated to the sport. And during the succeeding years he often spent the days “noodling” with his “little putter” in order to cut a “hard wood.” For extra hilarity, please re-read that last sentence aloud while emphasizing the words in quotes.

He finally won his first tournament in 1938. But the winnings were slim back in the depression and all he received for his effort was a bowl of soup and a tumbleweed.

Hogan’s life was not without hardship. During his later years, he suffered from elephantiasis and had to carry his bag around in a wheelbarrow.

During his illustrious career, Hogan won 63 tournaments, including nine major championships. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was making golf the second most tedious sport to watch on TV after bowling.

For those of you not familiar with golf, the object of the game is to propel a small ball around a lawn using as little physical exertion as possible while making foreign policy decisions prolonging the Vietnam War.

Hogan requested his mashie niblet be preserved in a jar of formaldehyde right next to his father’s mummified cleek..

From The Archives: Lew Anderson Who Played Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

It’s Howdy Deady time.

Lew Anderson, whose mischievous antics as the loveable Clarabell made an indelible impression on future clowns like Courtney Love, is now jammin’ up in Heaven with John Wayne Gacy.

Anderson’s popular character, Clarabell, became famous for communicating with others using horn toots and water squirts -two things Anderson started doing again when he turned 80.

Many believe Anderson’s portrayal of Clarabell as a mute was a stroke of comedic genius. Or just the producer’s little way of never having to pay scale.

A distinctive feature of the hit show were the on-stage bleachers of 40 kids called the “Peanut Gallery,” so-named because “Fear-Poop Arcade” just didn’t seem appropriate.

Anderson requested he also be remembered for a lifetime spent working as a respected and accomplished jazz musician. Buuut I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

Don Fisher, Founder of The Gap

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Don Fisher, whose company’s slogan, “Fall into the Gap,” became synonymous with the dread most people feel when they realize there’s no other place in town to buy jeans, fell into another gap recently -this one 4 feet wide and 6 feet deep.

Doctors say Fisher died at his home in San Francisco after a long battle with taste.

Fisher opened the first Gap in 1969 with little more than a pocket full of gumption and an insatiable desire to measure the unspeakably scandalous distance between the bottom of a man’s cuff and the tip of his penis.

His stores soon caught on and became as commonplace as McDonald’s. Even so, you still couldn’t get cancer by eating one of Fisher’s pants.

An avid art collector, Mr. Fisher was known for his vast collection of paintings -now housed at the Museum of Modern Art in the “Sickening Pastels Wing.”

Fisher asked that his body be washed in cold water, cremated on low, and immediately removed from the oven to avoid wrinkling.

Murray Handwerker, Owner of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Murray Handwerker, who transformed his dad’s local hot dog business into something even worse, a national hot dog business, is now completely out of business.

The 89 year-old reportedly died of heart failure after a particularly arduous night spent deboning his meat.

It was way back in 1916 that Murray’s father, Nathan, started the little Coney Island hot dog stand with nothing more than a pocket full of gumption and an acceptable level of rat hair and insect parts.

The stand soon became an American legend, and like Coney Island’s amusement parks, its name became virtually synonymous with hot dogs and the sound of people screaming in stomach pain.

Nathan’s Famous hot dogs became so popular that President Franklin D. Roosevelt served them to the King and Queen of England on their 1939 visit to America. The story goes that when lunchtime came around the Queen decided she wanted to play a round of Twenty Questions in order to guess what her entrée was going to be, which of course was a delicious Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog.

“Off you go then, Elizabeth,” said His Majesty starting the game.

“Err… Is it hot and delicious?” the Queen asked.

“Yes, Lizzy,” replied the King.

“Oh good,” said the Queen, “Is it bigger than a breadbox?”

“No,” answered the King.

“Oh.” she said, “So it’s NOT a horse’s dick?”

Later in 1945, President Roosevelt had Nathan’s hot dogs sent to the Yalta Conference. Within minutes Roosevelt started a fight over “Who got the Czecho-Coleslaw-Kia,” which ended when Stalin reportedly “slipped Churchill the wiener.”

After World War II ended, Handwerker returned home worn, battle weary, and tired of the relentless dick jokes. Still the ambitious young man knew the time was ripe to expand the business and give every American the chance to taste his hot, juicy durger.

In a recent interview Nathan’s son said that throughout his life the hot dog magnate always ate his frankfurters the same way: “Au naturel.” Which probably explains why he was arrested so many times at Yankee Stadium.

Over the decades Handwerker helped create such iconic ad slogans as, “The World’s Best Frankfurter,” “Nathan’s The Original Famous,” and the memorable, “A Stuck Hot Dog Is Almost Impossible To Dislodge From A Child’s Windpipe.”

Handwerker requested his remains be run through a grinder, mixed with binders and fillers in a vat, forced through tubes into the small intestine of a sheep, and then placed strategically inside Anthony Weiner’s briefs.