Saturday, January 19, 2008

Crazy Train

I recall the early-'70s mini-trend in American interest in chess, as at that time I was at the age where kids either become good at chess or have no interest in it. (I enjoyed the game, but never cultivated the patience necessary to become truly good at it. I haven't played in probably twenty years but, this past Christmas, my in-laws gave my daughter one of those multi-game sets, and by far, the game that has captured her interest is chess. It's been fun showing her the basics of strategy.)

Also, being originally from Pasadena, I was acutely aware of Bobby Fischer, and acutely embarrassed for his increasingly infantile tirades over the years. The cliché is that genius can drive men to madness, but I think the truth is that sometimes crazy people happen to be able to channel their singular obsessions into greatness. A sad, slow demise for someone who had unlimited potential.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say as Pasadenian living in Australia you are a lifeline for me. It's beautiful but boring here and you keep me laughing and thinking. I wish I could write like you. I grew up on South Madison, went to LaSalle and Art Center, worked at the Espresso Bar for most of the early eighties and at the Pas Weekly when it was cool. Go Crown of the Valley! Thanks again.

Heywood J. said...

Wow, thanks for that, that's very cool. I wish I could have spent more time in Pasadena, but we bounced around LA before finally moving north. I'd go back during the summer and visit relatives there, but I haven't been in years. It's a great city, and I have a lot of good memories of it. Although living in Australia for a while would be pretty excellent too.