EIGHINGER: Sitting on a bench, talking with people at Clat Adam - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

EIGHINGER: Sitting on a bench, talking with people at Clat Adams Park

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The other day I saw an interesting post on a friend's Facebook page.

The post included a picture of an empty park bench and an accompanying question that asked what people -- living or deceased -- would you like to sit with and have a conversation?

Wow. What a great conversation topic.

Here is a sampling of the immediate names I came up with to sit and chat with in Clat Adams Park.

º Ernest R. Hazard: The late Mr. Hazard, of Wilmington, Ohio, is credited with inventing the banana split, way back in 1907. I would love to know what the first banana split looked like and talk to him about how he perfected this heavenly treat.

º Bud Selig: The commissioner of Major League Baseball has always seemed like a decent person in his interviews and sound bytes. I would just like to ask him why drug users and the like continue to get second chances in the sport he governs -- unlike Pete Rose. I'm all for second chances, and Rose has paid his penalty and should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Sure, Charlie Hustle is, in many respects, a terrible human being, but what he did on the baseball field should finally be acknowledged in Cooperstown.

º Quentin Tarantino: Very few moviemakers have the bent sense of humor and realism that Tarantino possesses. I would like to ask him where some of his ideas have come from, starting with "Pulp Fiction." For the record, my top-three Tarantino films are "Reservoir Dogs," "Inglorious Basterds" and "Django Unchained."

º Norman Reedus: He's the actor who plays Daryl on "The Walking Dead." I read where he says season five will be "unbelievable" this fall. If necessary, I would bribe him for details.

º Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss: They teamed up to invent blue jeans back in 1873. I'd like to give both a belated high five. Have you ever thought what our wardrobes would be like without jeans?

º Rick Hoffman: He might be my favorite character actor on TV today, playing lawyer Louis Litt on "Suits." Other than "The Walking Dead," I look forward each week to no other show on the small screen than "Suits," and Hoffman is a principal reason.

º Peter Gammons: One of the true pioneers of the modern age of sports journalism. Gammons perfected the "baseball notes column" while at the Boston Globe and was later one of the first journalists to become a TV fixture when ESPN enticed him to come to work full-time as an analyst. This is one person I would love to sit and talk with for an entire day. Baseball has always been my favorite sport, and this is the man who knows more about that sport's characters than any other living human being. Gammons also is an accomplished musician with an affection toward classic rock, another of my passions.

º Jerry Seinfeld: Well before his TV breakthrough with Elaine, George and Kramer, I considered him a brilliant comedian. Very few observers of the human species have been able to pick out "nothing" and make a big deal of it like Jerry. I would look forward to a day-long monologue from him.

º Rod Stewart: Anyone who even remotely knows me probably was waiting for this guy's name to pop up on this list. Along with his music, Rod the Mod's sense of humor and overall biting wit have made his personality doubly compelling over the years. I might need more than a day for this "conversation," because I'll be requesting songs, too, beginning with "Reason to Believe" and "Downtown Train."

If I'm meeting all of these people in Clat Adams Park, I should place a call to Rome Frericks, the director of parks for the Quincy Park District. He needs to speed up the cleanup from that recent flood.

If Rod Stewart's coming to town, he's not going to want to get his feet wet.

-- seighinger@whig.com/221-3377

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