A tribute to Bill Reynolds and ‘The Merry, Merry Month of May’

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Bill Reynolds. Image/ Providence Journal

While growing up in Rhode Island, I would read The Providence Journal’s sports columnist Bill Reynolds, who recently retired. And like all writers, I’ve learned everything I know through reading and emulation, and Reynolds was an instrumental influence.

In his column “For What It’s Worth,” Bill Reynolds wove bulleted points into a mosaic…of sorts.

So here’s my homage to one of my journalistic idols, as well as a celebration of the merry, merry month of May.


  • Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s defeat of the French forces in The Battle of Puebla in 1862, a small victory in the Franco-Mexican War. The people of Mexico don’t really celebrate it, but here it signifies Act III of “The Amateur Hour” for American drinkers, following New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day, another holiday barely recognized in its indigenous turf. Cinco de Mayo is also an excuse for college students to wear sombreros and pillage Taco Bell after last call.
  • What do you call a deer without eyes (Hat-tip to Rob L.)?
  • My prediction is that the Red Sox’s hot start—they currently have the best record in the MLB—is an aberration, and water will find its level by the end of the merry, merry month of May. I hope I’m wrong and there remains a good reason for Chris Sale to hasten his return before the All-Star break. Then again, I’ve never seen the glass as half-full or half-empty, rather on object destined to be smashed into a pile of jagged pieces before its eventual obliteration.
  • God bless the sundress. It’s the sartorial equivalent of a box of puppies.
  • Answer: No idea.
  • May 4-11 was Root Canal Awareness Week. Never had a root canal? I have, and I can say with certainty that it’s preferable to sitting through inane and pointless meetings, in-person or remote.
  • Similarly, May 3-7 was Teacher Appreciation Week (Hat-tip to the late-Mary-Lou Hinman from Plymouth State, who was the best teacher I’ve ever seen in a classroom).
  • And to my teacher colleagues and friends: you guys rock! It’s been the most difficult of my career—and I’m sure many will agree—and I can’t wait for us to share some beverages once our grades are turned in.
  • What do you call a deer without eyes or legs?
  • On May 14, 1969, Neil Young released “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” which he recorded with Crazy Horse. The album includes three songs that I consider to be some of Young’s best tunes in a long and venerable career: “Cinnamon Girl,” “Down by the River” and “Cowgirls in the Sand.” Young has said he wrote all of them in one day while spiking a high-temperature in the midst of a fever-dream. I need that fever dream right now.
  • Coincidentally, May 14 is also “Dance like a Chicken Day.” Plan accordingly.
  • Answer: Still no idea.
  • Howard Stern wrote in his first book “Private Parts” that “Down by the River” is the worst song one could possibly play as mood music when trying to get intimate with a partner.
  • I cannot wait to attend my first Fisher Cats game in almost two years (planning on Sunday’s matinee). I’ll be the nerd scoring the game in the bleachers, wearing a Sox hat and a drinking a draft beer. Stop by and say hello.
  • Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer and a great reason to throw something on the grill and palm a few cold ones. But we remember that it’s also a somber occasion to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our tenuous democracy.
  • What do you call a deer without eyes, legs or testicles?
  • On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson—generally considered one of the worst presidents in American history—issued a proclamation that granted amnesty to Confederates. A little-known addendum to the proclamation stated that Southern states also were not required to wear masks during pandemics.
  • I’m somewhat optimistic about the Bruins’ chances in the playoffs, but not happy about them drawing Washington in the first round. The Celtics? Trainwreck. And, please, stop making the Mac Jones comparisons to Tom Brady. It’s embarrassing for everyone in New England and beyond.
  • Answer: Still no f–king idea.


About this Author

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Born on Good Friday was published by Roadside Press in 2023. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: http://www.nathangraziano.com