Calendar, He Lie!

On a very, stormy day in 1976, back in Baltimore, MD, doing shopping for the new school year, my grandmother and I decided to brave the weather, hoping that the stores wouldn’t be as crowded as usual. We were right and when we went into the local shoe store there was only one other person besides the clerks around.


Jim Palmer, star pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970’s.

He had a bulky, squarish backpack, and when he turned to look at us he was holding a microphone. The fellow didn’t interrupt the shoe purchasing, but afterwards came over and told us that Hess shoes was doing some commercials in honor of an anniversary (100?) and would we consent to be interviewed.

At that moment I realized that it was Jim Palmer! He was the star pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and I stuttered with nervousness just talking to him. Not my Babicka, though!

She told him that she had shopped at Hess shoes ever since coming to this country in 1913. He was fascinated and the interview went on for quite some time, with me chiming in every so often.

They used Baba’s words in one of the commercials aired all that year, but the part I remember best was the bit where he asked her how old she was.

“I’m tventy-tree!” she said, “…but calendar, he lie. He say I am 80.”

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Page Created and published 11/24/21 (C)M. Bartlett
Last updated 11/24/21