A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 19, 2012
“Old frisbee players never die—they just end up on the roof”

“Old soldiers never die—they just fade away” is an old saying that was popularized by General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) in his farewell address to Congress on April 19, 1951. Many parodies of the saying have been made.

“Old frisbee players are like old frisbees—they never die, they just end up on the roof” is a classic joke told by frisbee (also spelled “frisby") throwers and disc golf players. Ed Headrick (1924-2002), often called the “father of disc golf,” told frisbee fans in 2001, “When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there.” A disc of Headrick’s ashes is permanently placed on the roof of the “Steady” Ed Memorial Disc Golf Museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia.

The comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) is credited with the joke, “Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.” However, it’s not certain if he originated the joke. A “Frisbeetarian” said in 1976, “We worship Frisbees. We believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can t get it down.” Another “Frisbytarian” said in 1978, “I believe when you die, your soul goes up on a neighbor’s roof.”


Wikibooks: Disc Golf
“Steady Ed” Headrick and the growth of the modern game
The first standardized target course was put in by “Steady Ed” Headrick, a flying disc innovator known as the “Father of Disc Golf”, in what was then known as Oak Grove Park in La Canada Flintridge, California, California, (Today the park is known as Hahamonga Watershed Park). This park is immediately to the south of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which supplied at least a few of the earliest players. Ed worked for the San Gabriel, California, California-based Wham-O Corporation and is credited for pioneering the modern era of disc sports.

Headrick coined and trademarked the term “Disc Golf” when formalizing the sport and invented the Disc Pole Hole, the first disc golf target to incorporate chains and a basket on a pole.
(...)
Upon his death, Headrick was cremated and his ashes were made into a limited number of discs per his wishes. The discs were given to friends and family, and some were sold with all proceeds going toward funding a nonprofit “Steady” Ed Memorial Disc Golf Museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Columbia County, Georgia. One of the discs that contains Headrick’s ashes will be permanently placed on the roof of the center. When asked why this was to be done, by a member of the local media, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham quoted an old Frisbee addage, “Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbee’s ... They don’t die, they just land up on roof.”

15 August 1976, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Burt Prelutsky: When Less is More,” Calendar, pg. 91:
Reared as a Methodist, down in Eloise, Fla., Stafford now claims to be a Frisbeetarian. “We worship Frisbees. We believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can t get it down.”

Google News Archive
1 March 1978, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, pg. 3B, col. 4:
WITTY FELLOW out in Seminole, Bob Grant, says he is a Frisbyterian. “I believe when you die, your soul goes up on a neighbor’s roof.”

BBC News
Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Frisbee inventor dies
Ed Headrick, the inventor of the modern Frisbee, has died aged 78 at his home in La Selva Beach, California.

Headrick’s passion for the flying discs extended far beyond the toy’s manufacture - he even asked for his ashes to be moulded into commemorative Frisbees, his son Ken told a local newspaper.

In an interview last year, Mr Headrick said of his fellow Frisbee fans: “When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there.”

23 February 2003, Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye, “Quotable,” pg. C1, col. 1:
Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
-- George Carlin

New York (NY) Times
Cancer? Suicide? Politics? That’s Hilarious!
By WARREN ST. JOHN
Published: December 12, 2004
FOR sheer energy, few performers — perhaps few people — can match George Carlin, the prince of outrage, a man for whom the hypocrisy of politicians, the callowness of the masses and of course the absurd details of modern life have served as comedic rocket fuel for more than 40 years.
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(Mocking religion is a staple of Mr. Carlin’s repertory: he once proselytized for “Frisbeetarianism,” which held that when a person dies, “his soul gets flung onto a roof and just stays there.")

Xposed
jazz_lover80302
5/7/2007 5:06 pm
(...)
How about Frisbees? Now we’re talking! I own several, and love to play. In fact, tossing a Frisbee is about the only thing sports-wise that I’m actually good at. As they say: Old Frisbee players never die, they just go up on the roof and lie there.

PDGA Discussion Board
nudediscgolfer
Jan 06 2009, 11:49 AM
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I went and found an old 1414 disc I had and threw it up on my roof to get stuck.
As you know...Old frisbee players never die, they just go up on the roof and get stuck.

Santa Ynez (CA) Valley Journal
May 7, 2009
OUR OWN BACKYARD
By Wendy Thompson, Staff Writer
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There’s an old adage you (probably) never heard: “Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbees. They don’t die — they end up on the roof.”

golfstinks
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Variations on the Game of Golf - Disc Golf
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I’ll close this out with one of my favorite discoveries about this sport. Ed Headrick passed away in 2002. One of his dying wishes was to be cremated and to have his ashes used in the molds in a limited number of discs to be sold to fund a museum at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center in Georgia. His wishes were granted and the discs were created, completed with Ed’s ashes, and sold. However, at the grand opening of the center, one of the discs was thrown on the roof by his wife. The reason? To fulfill the old adage “Old Frisbee players are like old Frisbees....They don’t die. They just end up on the roof.”

Huffington Post
Frisbee Inventor Dead: Walter Fredrick Morrison Dies At 90
DOUG ALDEN 02/11/10 09:15 PM ET
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COMMENTS
cke
10:38 PM on 02/11/2010
Old frisbee players never die. They just get stuck on the roof and lie there.
RIP
(...)
Hirnlego
05:21 AM on 02/12/2010
Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
- George Carlin
(...)
kgay
02:15 PM on 02/12/2010
Frisbee changed my life. As a freestyler I spent endless hours of pure joy playing with the “plastic flatball” and met some of the most interesting people from all over the world. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than throwing and watching this simple disc in flight. Thank-you Fred. It’s probably been said, but old frisbee players never die, they just wind up on the roof! 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, May 19, 2012 • Permalink