Why I loved Jerry Coleman.

Jerry Coleman in Padres broadcast booth.
Jerry Coleman in Padres broadcast booth from http://www.newstimes.com.

I loved the cheerful voice of Jerry Coleman.  The good humor, dignity and optimism it conveyed during Padres broadcasts were an important part of my life.  I listened to that voice for over thirty years.

Jerry Coleman was a remarkable man.  He was both a genuine war hero and genuine baseball superstar.  There was nothing phony or inflated about his life achievements.  And he remained humble.  He didn’t have a trace of conceit.  He simply loved life, his family and country.

In a world where many self-centered people are hungry for fame, and make fools of themselves to achieve it, I think it was the humility of this truly legendary man that made him so loved by ordinary San Diegans.  That and his simple good humor.

I never met him.  But losing Jerry Coleman feels like losing a friend.

A quiet New Year’s Day on San Diego Bay.

Anthony's Fishette is empty, closed on New Year's Day.
Anthony’s Fishette is empty, closed on New Year’s Day.

It didn’t matter that most places were closed.  The Embarcadero was wide open.

On this sunny New Year’s Day people were simply walking or sitting at the edge of San Diego Bay, gazing out at the water and boats.

People gaze at San Diego Bay from benches by The Fish Market.
People simply talk or gaze at San Diego Bay near The Fish Market.
Kids climb in trees near Greatest Generation Walk.
Kids climb in trees near Greatest Generation Walk.
Ice cream vendor near USS Midway scoops New Year's Day treat.
Street vendor near USS Midway scoops a New Year’s Day treat.
Man reads book on Tuna Harbor Pier on New Year's Day.
Man reads book on Tuna Harbor Pier for New Year’s Day.
Gull relaxes atop pile of yellow floats on pier.
Gull enters the new year atop pile of yellow floats.

Scenes of people enjoying life in Balboa Park.

Lady plays harp on El Prado in Balboa Park.
Lady plays harp on El Prado in Balboa Park.

Just some photos taken in Balboa Park of people enjoying life.

Glassblower at work in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
Glassblower at work in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.
Folks walk past fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
Folks walk past fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
Girl tries to grab brass ring on Balboa Park carousel.
Girl tries to grab brass ring on Balboa Park carousel.
Man plays guitar in Spanish Village gazebo.
Man plays guitar in Spanish Village gazebo.
People ride the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
People ride the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
Street performer plays an Australian didgeridoo.
Street performer plays an Australian didgeridoo.
Two artists on El Prado paint colorful canvases.
Two artists on El Prado paint colorful canvases.
Two young men enjoy slacklining in Balboa Park.
Two young men enjoy slacklining in Balboa Park.
Boy plays with ball while man reads Balboa Park plaque.
Boy plays with ball while man reads Balboa Park plaque.
Man sails small boat near Balboa Park fountain.
Man sails small boat near Balboa Park fountain.
Handmade boat near Balboa Park fountain.
Handmade boat near Balboa Park fountain.

Loads of fun Embarcadero photos!

Someone is getting a great tour on a pedicab.
Someone is getting a great tour on a pedicab.

Here comes a fun batch of photos taken Saturday during my walk along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero!

Glowing green urban tree artwork on Embarcadero.
Glowing green urban tree artwork on San Diego’s Embarcadero. Green Fire, Robert Verhees, 2006.

This sculpture was originally part of an Urban Trees bayside art exhibit some years ago.  A few remain on display here and there along the bay and elsewhere in San Diego.  In this photo, the sun is directly behind the translucent green material, making it glow!

Coast Guard cutter docked at San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal.
Coast Guard cutter docked at San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal.
Tourists at the Visitor Information shack.
Tourists at the Visitor Information shack.
Kid kicks a ball on grass by Ruocco Park.
Kid kicks a ball on grass by Ruocco Park.
Stone and steel ants by an artist near Seaport Village.
Stone and steel ants by an artist near Seaport Village.
Balloon Mario, Little Mermaid and Hulk attract kids.
Balloon Mario, Little Mermaid and Hulk attract kids.
Children's Miracle Network volunteers near Tuna Pier.
Children’s Miracle Network volunteers near Tuna Harbor.
Heron stands on rocks beside San Diego Bay.
Heron stands on rocks beside San Diego Bay.
Colorful pedicab drivers wait on Embarcadero for riders.
Colorful pedicab drivers wait on Embarcadero for riders.
Street performer plays sax by the USS Midway.
Street performer plays sax by the USS Midway.
Balloon twister guy sits patiently on the Embarcadero.
Balloon twister guy sits patiently on the Embarcadero.

This guy looks a bit bored!

Guitar player on bridge by reflecting pool.

guitar player on bridge by reflecting pool

This friendly guy was playing the guitar while sitting on the bridge that crosses Balboa Park’s reflecting pool. (If you can call it a bridge–it’s just a walkway, really.)

Same guitar player seen on another beautiful day.
Same guitar player seen on another beautiful day.

Sleeveless magician sets up in Balboa Park.

sleeveless magician sets up in balboa park

One cool feature of Balboa Park is the profusion of street performers. I got a fast pic of this magician setting up on El Prado in front of the reflecting pool. That’s the Botanical Building in the background–one of the largest wood lath structures in the world!

While I didn’t see this sleeveless magician perform last Sunday, I did savor the music of a nearby harp player and listened to a guy playing a funky didgeridoo!

UPDATE!  Here’s a pic from a performance, taken on a later day:

Sleeveless magician performs card trick for rapt audience.
Sleeveless magician performs card trick for rapt audience.

Lawn bowlers enjoy Sunday in Balboa Park.

san diego lawn bowling club in balboa park

Every weekend, folks dressed in white are out on the bowling green near the west end of Balboa Park. The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club must have a pretty good membership, because I’ve seen scores of players all out enjoying the sport at the same time.

I usually linger for a couple minutes to watch a game unfold. Excellent accuracy is required to win.

A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
A game has ended and the scattered balls are collected.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Keeping score on a lazy, sunny weekend day.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.
Sign provides info about free lawn bowl lessons.