All is quiet on the Peninsula’s eastern shore, the “Big Unit” throws a no-no, Mariners pick “Junior”

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The glassy water of Drayton’s Passage seen from the foot of the 72nd Street boat launch.
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I surprised a blue heron feeding at the boat launch. It took flight, skimming the glassy surface of the water.

Good morning Longbranch.

It is a beautiful start to what promises to be a nice hot day on the Key Peninsula. The current temperature is hovering at 52 degrees, but the weather geeks assure us that we will see the mercury north of 70 later today. You know something? I believe them.

By the time the sun crosses the meridian today, we will be scrambling to get our bathing suits on. What is more encouraging is that this is just the beginning of a long week of sunshine. I am looking at the forecast and it is telling me “sunny” through next Sunday.

With that bit of good news, I took a short spin down to the 72nd Street boat launch this morning. I surprised a blue heron — who was not expecting a human being that early in the day — feeding at the foot of the launch. It gracefully took flight as soon as it saw me, skimming the glassy surface of Drayton’s Passage.

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A handful of boats were on the hook by the quiet bank of Drayton’s Passage.

It was calm and cool. The clouds were dramatically low, with streaks of light bursting out of its seams. A handful of boats were on the hook along the bank and a gaggle of geese could be heard streaking by. There was not another soul on the rocky beach but me.

On that reflective note, I give you the day in history:

— The “Big Unit” (remember him?), a.k.a. Randy Johnson, throws a no-hit, no-run game against the Detroit Tigers in 1990. Johnson, who had barely arrived in Seattle a year before, led the Mariners to a 2-0 win. The Seattle Times reported then an interesting omen: “Whether it will start a trend or not, Johnson’s historic effort came for the first time the Mariners did not play ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ during the seventh-inning stretch. Instead, the Kingsmen sang ‘Louie, Louie.'”

— In 1987 “Junior”, a.k.a. Ken Griffey Jr., was picked by the Seattle Mariners as the No. 1 selection in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. Two years later, at age 19, Griffey was in center field on Opening Night. For the next 11 seasons, baseball fans in the northwest enjoyed watching one of baseball’s best all-around players.

— Finally, today in 1928, Kraft foods introduced the world to the creamy, cheesy goodness of Velveeta cheese. Have you ever wondered why the best grilled cheese sandwiches taste the way they taste? Well, the secret is in the processed cheese.

Here is an account from delish.com: “When Kraft first brought Velveeta to market, they declared it to ‘always melt perfectly.’ Velveeta’s ads instructed housewives to melt a 1/2 lb. of the ‘famous cheese food’ and gradually stir in 1/4 cup of milk. We know what you’re thinking, they were suggesting to use it to make macaroni and cheese, right? Not quite. That ‘sauce’ was recommended it be served, ‘over toasted sandwiches of peanut butter and sweet pickle relish.’ Hmm… Prior to the launch of Velveeta, Kraft spent several years researching the nutritional benefits of whey, the bi-product that is part of the cheese-making process. In 1931, the American Medical Association gave Velveeta its official seal of approval.”

How about this bit of food history trivia from etsy.com: “By the Depression era, Kraft Cheese Products became a staple of Home Relief boxes, an early form of government aid that distributed food and clothing. Velveeta was introduced to the masses through social welfare, which was excellent advertising, and Americans developed a taste for it.”

How’s that for a cheesy encore. Stay safe all.

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