Still, there is no denying how stirring the parade of athletes, country-by-country, always is. And extra points for the Brits marching in to David Bowie's "Heroes," an all-time superhit at Casa Diablo. Although — and the same might be said of the oblivious pols on both sides of the aisle who blare "Born In the USA" without a clue about the meaning of the song — perhaps the organizers should have checked out these lines from "Heroes": "And you, you can be mean/And I, I'll drink all the time/'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact/Yes we're lovers, and that is that." Then again, when you hear that the organizers gave out 150,000 condoms in the Olympic village, maybe they did get it.
Finally, P. admits to a huge crush on the US women's soccer star, Megan Rapinoe (and not that reality show tart, Hope Solo). And it has gone underplayed locally, but one of Megan's teammates, Tobin Heath, who is having an outstanding run in London, has an uncle and cousins living in Jamestown.
The low point of the women's soccer tourney has been the world's best striker, USA's Abby Wambach, being sucker-punched by the quite inappropriately named Lady Andrade of Colombia. Despite the provocation, Wambach got the best revenge by scoring a goal against the Colombian lowlifes and "Lady" got banned from Colombia's next two international matches.
P&J are now stocking up on Pernod and grapefruit juice for Queen Liz's backstroke event. But come hell or slow water, Ms. Beisel will always have a special place in our hearts for making the whole of the Biggest Little happy — for a change.
THE FANTASTIC JOHNNY C.
Bad news travels slowly between Block Island and Casa Diablo.
P&J learned this weekend that Johnny Connell, a great friend who lived on BI, quietly passed away from cancer in February, too soon at age 48. We were gutted. Not only would a pre-marriage Johnny put P&J and friends up at his apartment — a Penn Station for off-island friends — he hosted us for the Millennium celebration, where P. was daft enough to do the January 1, 2000 Penguin Plunge with similarly addled locals.
"Johnny C.," as he was called by one and all, was one of the kindest, most generous, and upbeat people we have ever met. He was known and loved in his tight-knit community of year-round residents, doing everything from working for the DPW to bartending at one of the most popular restaurants in town. If you claim to know Block Island, and you didn't know Johnny C., you don't know nuthin'.
We remember Johnny C. lending us his badass old blue Cadillac one summer while we were on vacation on the island. Everywhere we drove that week, anyone who wasn't a tourist would wave to us or shout out "Johnny!" as we rode by, assuming it was our boy behind the wheel of his distinctive ride.
There is a wonderful tribute video on the Web at block-island.villagesoup.com/featuredVideo/view/john-connell-memorial/ 217827. If you were ever lucky enough to enjoy being with Johnny C., you should watch it. But bring a box of hankies, because it features two all-time great songs, "We'll Meet Again" and "In My Life," with accompanying photos of one of Block Island's greatest ambassadors. It left P&J in tears.