Other Hobbies

Besides his interest in music, Dr. Palmer has had a number of different hobbies throughout his lifetime.  As he has gotten older, past hobbies have faded to be replaced by new activities.


Growing up, Dr. Palmer was always interested in the game of baseball.

“When I was a kid, I did collect baseball cards.”

“I was given a ball that was the World Series winning ball – I think ’52 or ’56 – for the Philadelphia Phillies because [Dot's husband] my brother-in-law’s father was the sports editor… I guess it was for the Philadelphia Enquirer.”

“That’s a pretty fascinating thing to have because it has all the signatures on it, all the signatures of the players on the team.  I’m proud of that.”

He not only enjoyed the collectors’ items – he played the game himself and played it well!

“Baseball was definitely my sport.  That’s something that my dad shared with me, and that my brother-in-law [the same as above] shared with me too.  They would help me to go out and pitch, and catch, and bat grounders, and that kind of thing on a Sunday morning early down at City Park, which would have been about two blocks away.”

When prompted, he admitted: “I was pretty good.”

Dr. Palmer's Child Baseball Team in the Hagerstown Little League; courtesy of Ed Palmer

Here is Dr. Palmer with two of his baseball stories, the first from little league and the second from high school:


As an adult, Dr. Palmer was characteristically humble about his achievements, especially with his family.

“I think that I hid all my trophies that I had for baseball, so that they would not be something that would hang over the head of my son.  I’m glad I did that.  I did not want that to be something that he would feel compelled to be under the shadow of.”

Though little Ed would eventually choose pole vaulting over baseball, father and son still spent  good times playing catch in the yard.

Playing Baseball with Son, Ed, 1972; courtesy of Ed Palmer


Old Cars:

Dr. Palmer is known for his interest in old cars.  He even thought he might make a job out of them.

“I loved cars, and I thought I might like to go into automotive engineering.”

But, since he went to college for music, cars became a hobby not a career.  As he reveals, it turned out to be a more difficult hobby than he anticipated.

“My desire to rebuild cars was totally, totally… uninformed, because they take a lot of money; they take a lot of equipment; they take a lot of time.  When I was getting into it, I was very naive.  I didn’t have those elements.”

Dr. Palmer's 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood; courtesy of Ed Palmer

Here is Dr. Palmer sharing a (longer) story about the woes of his car hobby:

“That’s a hobby that didn’t pan out.”

A Hobby Put on the Shelf; courtesy of Allen Page

“I admired the style of those things, but my values have changed.  I was insisting until recently that unless a car had… window handles and white-wall tires, I wasn’t interested in having it.  And now I’m driving a Prius that doesn’t have either one of ‘em.  Because my values are there for that.  I just care about the environment more than I care about those two.”

Though he no longer does any restoring work, Dr. Palmer still has one of his classic cars, which he drives occasionally.  And yes, it has white-wall tires.

“I just enjoy driving old cars.  So that’s what I’ll do – I’ll keep oil in it, drive it; I’m not gonna restore it.”

One of Dr. Palmer's current cars, a 1976 Plymouth Valiant; courtesy of Allen Page


Hobbies Now:

Dr. Palmer’s hobbies have changed over the years, and now, they have become simpler in their nature.

“I love to walk.  I love to hike.  I enjoy going to musical concerts.”

“I guess most of the things I enjoy doing are fairly simple things.  I like writing, and I like noticing little things when I do walk… so that I can muse about them, sort of look at them a different way… that’s kind of fun for me.”

In fact, writing is one of his big activities in his free time.  He points out that there are a few projects, mostly books, that he is working on, two of which are collections of choir prayers which he is in the process of gathering.

“I had a dear older friend who was in choir at church.  I called him the co-chaplain, and he and I would sort of share the prayer duties for the choir and they would ask for two of them every night, one at the beginning of choir and one at the end of choir.  So that kept us both going pretty much.  But he was no longer able to be in choir because of his health.  So, I went by and asked him for all of his prayers… at this point they are on a CD, but I want to make them into a booklet.  That’s something I want to do.”

“The next thing would be prayers that I’ve done…. people have been asking me when I’m going to get my book out.”

“I always start my prayers, ‘Our Lord and Our Friend,’ and I  end them, ‘We sing, we pray in your name,’ and I think I will use the latter… as the title of the book.”

The third endeavor relates to his research, but this one is still in the stage of being an idea.

“My colleague… he said, ‘you’ve been 41 years in doing research on children and television.’  He thought I should do a book relating to reflections on that and get that out there for parents and people of that nature.”

He is working too on projects for his children.

“On the personal side, I’ve been doing this legacy: “A Father’s Legacy” for my son, and I’ve started the “Father’s Legacy” for my daughter.”

Summing up, he says:

“As far as things I’d like to do, I really ‘ain’t got that time to die,’ because I have more on my list then I think I’ll get done…  There’s enough out there.  It’s a matter of me getting organized and getting with it.”


Continue to Beliefs and Values

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