A Life Lived Backwards: One Man's Life

A Life Lived Backwards: One Man's Life

An audio series based on the new memoir entitled, “Larry Ruttman – A Life Lived Backwards: An Existential Triad of Friendship, Inquisitiveness and Maturation.”

Episodes

January 17, 2023 17 min

Imagine getting killed on your honeymoon in beautiful Jamaica. Lois and I started out in Montego Bay, our first tropical island, in November, 1963, the day after we were wed. What a gorgeous island, its beauty startlingly apparent as soon as we stepped off the plane. The beach and bay were alluring, even seductive. It impelled us to stay in the sun much too long, burning my face and head, and perhaps being responsible for the melan...

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Jordan and I turned the tables in this podcast. I asked the questions about his depression, and Jordan answered them. That turned out wonderfully, as you will hear. His experience was different than mine, especially his emphasis on time, both in real time, and in time imagined, his depression happening when he was younger, lasting longer, making him feel time was passing him by, and the concept of time finding its way into his inne...

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The first part of the title above is demonstrated by myself and my terrific interlocutor on these podcasts, Jordan Rich. Both of us have suffered serious depressions, but both of us, having followed careers requiring expressiveness, I as an attorney and Jordan as a broadcaster, we are able to freely talk about our experiences with encountering this bane of mankind. Rather than tell you with specificity what you will hear on this po...

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One of the big ironies in our world is how self-esteem and narcissism are often confounded. One who has self-esteem, self confidence, chutzpah, whatever you want to call it, and backs that up with ability, talent, and accomplishment, is often mistakenly regarded as  narcissistic. Usually such a person has many friends, many of whom help him along the way, despite those many detractors whose animus is often the inability to see the ...

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September 20, 2022 25 min

The title of my upcoming memoir cites in its title the three guideposts of my life: Friendship, Inquisitiveness and Maturation. This podcast centers on friendship, and the other two facets are naturally involved in talking about friendship. You will hear about three remarkable and talented musicians, although each is different than the others. Each of them are now joined to me in a friendship that in an earlier stage of my life cou...

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One dicey thing about traveling is the time it takes to get a doctor if you become ill or get hurt. Not for presidents, though. Not for me either. Here’s how that goes down. It is yet another facet of friendship. Guifu Wu is a Chinese name. Indeed Guifu Wu is Chinese. In fact, he is one of the top cardioligists in China, despite his youth. Around 2007 he came to Boston to further his expertise at the Beth Israel Hospital. Guifu als...

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July 7, 2022 21 min

As I sit here on February 27,  2021 watching the horrific attack unleashed by Putin on Ukraine, I am thinking of an amazingly peaceful man who can hear “the troops coming out” when he plays the piano. That man is Ran Blake, who plays the piano like no other pianist, speaks like no other person, has a memory like no other person, is like no other person, and is a genius among us, winner of a MacArthur genius grant, and the longtime ...

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How do you get from baseball and other kinds of ball to politics when you’re talking about Paul Epstein. Who is Paul Epstein anyway? Well, Paul is the twin brother of Theo Epstein. You know, the smart GM who brought World Championships to the Red Sox and the Cubs after droughts of close to a century or more. Best GM in history probably. There is always a power behind the throne and here it is Paul to whom Theo always looks up to, n...

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June 8, 2022 17 min

I would ask you to read that title two ways, first as to what makes a person a model public servant, and second as to a public servant known to all of us who fits that description. Reading this note and then listening to this podcast about Massachusetts State Treasurer, Deborah Goldberg, will be my attempt to answer that question as an impartial apolitical observer. When I interviewed Deb on TV for my book “Voices of Brookline,” ov...

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May 24, 2022 30 min

Let’s take YAZ, Carl Albert Yastrzemski, to be precise. Without his talent, Yaz would be an ordinary guy. With it he is extraordinary, not just as a player, but as the inspiring person he or any of us “ordinary” folks might be. That is why he inspired us. Did Yaz have the natural ability of Ted Williams, or of dozens of other lesser players, like his teammates Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, and Wade Boggs? Probably not. In his first six seas...

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May 10, 2022 28 min
Everybody knows Massachusetts is a blue state. It’s been a blue state for a long time. Can anyone explain why that is? Is there anything about baseball as played at Fenway Park that throws light on that puzzle. Let’s go back to late June, 1949 when the Yankees came to to town for a crucial … Continue reading WHY MASSACHUSETTS IS A BLUE STATE →
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April 27, 2022 23 min
Well not exactly, but I thought so when I met beautiful dark and enchanting Octavia sitting next to me at Fenway Park. At first I thought she might be Cleopatra, but it turned out her husband’s name was Cecil and not Caesar. Cecil who? Cecil Cooper that’s who, a rookie then, but a player who … Continue reading BASEBALL IN ROMAN TIMES →
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April 12, 2022 22 min
The New York Yankees may have won the most pennants and World Series in baseball history, but no team has taught us more about life and how to live it than the Boston Red Sox. Let’s start with a few facts one needs to know, to know the truth of the above statement. In the … Continue reading BASEBALL AND LIFE →
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March 29, 2022 26 min
“Take me out to the ballgame, buy me some peanuts and crackerjack….” How about a hot dog too? What goes down better at the old ballgame than a hot dog? I have some stories about hot dogs at Fenway Park that tell tales about more than just eating them. Listen and you shall hear. About … Continue reading HOT DOGS, BASEBALL, AND BABE RUTH →
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Who was beautiful Priscilla Howe? What has she got to do with handsome Ted Williams? What do I have to do with either one of these two talented people? You’ll have to wait until the end of this note to get to that part of the story, and listen to the podcast to get the … Continue reading TED WILLIAMS, PRISCILLA HOWE, AND ME →
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March 1, 2022 17 min
An eighty-two year love affair! That is next to impossible, especially considering that a romance that began in the teen years would now be over one hundred years old! Oh, I forgot, this is a love affair with a ballpark, the most iconic one in America, Fenway Park in Boston, where my Dad first took … Continue reading MY EIGHTY-TWO YEAR LOVE AFFAIR →
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February 15, 2022 39 min
Nonagenarians have an advantage over others of lesser years. Starting life in 1932 or earlier they have witnessed a large part of the 20th Century and a significant portion of this one, and all the stupendous changes in society and the world over in that period of time. They are experiencing a change now they … Continue reading NONAGENARIANS AND DEMOCRACY →
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February 1, 2022 31 min
Within a month after the horrific events of 9/11, I wrote a story entitled, “Baseball, Brookline and  Giuliani,” There existed then another Rudy Giuliani who resembled the one seen lately aspiring to become the mayor of Kiev in the Ukraine. That Rudy Giuliani was a terrific DA, and then a terrific mayor of New York … Continue reading The Two Faces of Rudy Giuliani →
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John Gallagher Jewish? Sounds Irish to me. The John Gallagher who was the President of the world famous Longwood Cricket Club where tennis is king and was deplored for its policy of not admitting Jews as members? The very same. The guy who wore a custom made mezuzzah with a Star of David and a … Continue reading “John Gallagher and Dr. David Link, Two Jewish Brookline Guys Who Changed the World” →
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January 18, 2022 25 min
That is what historians do! That is what preservationists do! Many a wise man has said that we can’t see where we’re going if we have no awareness of where we’ve been. Human Nature remains the same. The lessons we need to navigate forward are all there in our history. Two late Brookline people who … Continue reading Looking Backwards to See the Future →
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