Gatsby’s Story
By – Dani Hart

“‘Men,’ said Mr. Kyle, ‘people have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love–the deepest kind of love.'”

-Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

It seemed like we’d been looking forever for a dog. Walking past the pet stores in the West Village we’d stare into the saliva smudged display windows and make faces at the French Bulldogs. They mugged back, cuter than we were. They knew it too.

But the initial surge of warmth always faded after watching the puppies at play. Because if you went inside, if you walked in the back, there were the big dogs. The ones who hadn’t found a home and were now overgrown, no longer worthy of the window. You could trace your finger along the cage while they watched with listless desperation. Their price, much lower than the rest, was scrawled in white grease pencil next to a sticker marked “Clearance.”

We began looking at animal shelters and rescue groups. Petfinder.org was a great resource we kept coming back to. But no matter how cute the animal was or engaging the description, we’d look at each other and shake our heads. “Not the right time,” we’d say. “Who has time for all those walks?”

Until we saw Gatsby.

His name wasn’t Gatsby then. It was Stephon. We found him on a dreary rainy day, the kind of day where you praise the Lord for Milton Bradley and the invention of board games. However, the game we decided to play that day was let’s find ourselves a dog.

We searched “small.” We searched “young.” We searched “Brooklyn.” And there was Gatsby, wearing the brightest, snazziest smile I have ever seen.

“That’s our dog,” I told my husband. And he agreed.

We called before we left the house to ask if he was still available. We were certain he’d been adopted already. But it was a rainy day, and the people who said they’d come for him didn’t. And then we were in the car, driving like mad to get to the shelter before it closed.

Sean Casey Animal Rescue immediately felt different from the pet store. It was equally as busy. There were dogs, and cats, and lizards, and birds. But the listless desperation was replaced with spirited hope. Volunteers tended to the animals with care. The animals showed their appreciation in those subtle to humans yet obvious to animals way they have. An elderly tabby cat nuzzled someone’s outstretched hand. The pitbull with the home cropped ears wagging his stumpy tail in delight while being walked. For some of the animals, this was likely their first kindness in a long time.

They knew they had been given a second chance.

The staff generously allowed us to walk Gatsby around the block. Afterward, he plopped down and immediately looked up at us as if to say, “so when are we going home?”

And home we went.

It’s been six months since Gatsby moved in. He’s gained a few pounds, lost a few toys, befriended one of our cats, and signed a peace treaty with the other. He twirls, he woofs, he races around our apartment like he’s training for the New York City marathon. In his spare time he even models for our clothing line. It’s nice to have a model you can pay in biscuits.

People tell us how handsome and proud Gatsby looks when they see this picture. His handsomeness is inherited, but I’d like to think his pride comes from knowing he is always, and forever, home.

*Special thanks to petfinder.org and Sean Casey Animal Rescue for playing a vital role in Gatsby’s happy ending. We are eternally grateful. Rescued dogs rule!

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Dodger Stadium is one of my favorite parks in baseball. Completed in 1962, it’s architecture features everything great about the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Below are images of the stadium along with design concepts and historical images that I found on Walter O’Malley’s Official site.

Los Angeles Dodger's Vice President of stadium operations Dick Walsh show's off an early concept model for the new Dodger Stadium

The concept for a new stadium began with industrial designer Buckminster Fuller (pictured above with Dodger president Walter O'Malley) Fuller proposed a geodesic dome to cover the stadium which would allow for 365 days of great weather for baseball.

The decision was made to move the Dodgers to Los Angeles and the new stadium would be built in Chavez Ravine. Below are early artist concept sketches for the stadium. Some ideas made it into the final stadium, some did not.

Early concept for a viewing board

An early sketch of a proposed scoreboard on the fence. This idea was not integrated into the final design.

The scoreboard today

The viewing board as realized today. You can sit in "MANNYWOOD"

Concepts for checkerboard seat colors

Early installation of chairs.

The original seating configuration. Note the aqua, red and yellow seats.

The renovation and tossing of the original seats

The original gold seats.

The new seating configuration.

The new seats

New Seats - These were the new seats that were added a few years ago.

A precursor to today’s stadium suites, an artist’s rendering of enclosing the dugout boxes was considered for Dodger Stadium. The dugout level would have been enclosed by glass and air conditioned for the ultimate in fan comfort and proximity to the players.

An artist’s rendering of potential stadium boxes for the use of Dodger Stadium. Hanging boxes would have provided another method of fan comfort and improving the enjoyment of viewing a game.

Field level seating today with a great color-blocked barricade.

Visitors dugout and field level seating as realized today. Note the color-blocked barricade separating the field level and infield level seating areas.

Colored walls were proposed for the parking lot

Multi-colored bumpers were also considered

A special food section for Dodger fans that would incorporate casual dining and an ice cream parlor.

Great Dodger Dog sign in the stadium

A more modern Dodger Dog ad.

Signature Dodger garlic fries.

An early stadium model

A proposed sculpture for behind the stadium

Think Blue sculpture that stands behind the stadium today.

A fountain with multi-colored lights was proposed for center field, it would have been a stadium first.

The current center field.

More great details at Dodger Stadium:

Great fonts.

More great fonts.  I'm not sure if these are original to the stadium, but still very cool.

Atomic rafters out in the bleachers

Atomic rafters in the bleachers

Stacked cinderblocks to create a textured effect.

More great ideas that never made it into the final stadium:

A monorail to take fans to and from the parking lot

Glass overpasses for fans in the parking lot

Moving sidewalks

Being from New York City, I couldn’t bring myself to wear an LA hat, so I brought out the classic Brooklyn Dodgers hat:

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