Congratulations to my main man Gerard Trapp formerly of Howard Place. This past Friday night, Gerard was inducted into the Holy Name Hall of Fame. Well done my man!
Baseball is here.
The Mets swept the Yankees this past week.
While speaking with a friend recently, I was reminded of a current major league baseball player from around the way. (OK, so he’s not from ninth avenue but he grew up on 11th street and 8th avenue. Close enough, right?) Charlie Cummings was probably the one guy from the neighborhood who came close to playing in the major leagues. I do know he was in the New York Mets farm system and made it to Tidewater.
Adam Ottavino, a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies is 27 years old and attended Berkley-Carroll School.
Click here to read a story from the The Daily News from back in 2010.
“I’ve played in Marine Park, the Parade Grounds, over in Bensonhurst – literally every field,” he said. “Now I get tons of text messages from people saying, ‘Way to represent Brooklyn.’”
Adam played in the Parade Grounds like many others in the past. The Parade Grounds have had a lot of good ballplayers through the years. I recall playing down there as a member of Holy Name’s baseball team. What I recall most was that we always walked down to the games.
A couple of years ago while strolling alone on the avenue I picked up an outstanding book in Babbo’s. After a six year run, Babbo’s has closed shop and been replaced with “Terrace Books.”
Thank heavens the joint will still be selling books. The owner of Babbo’s, Leonora was cool. When I visited for the first time she was very cordial and helped me in the sports section.
Here’s the link to the new store. Make sure you get over there and tell them, “Red from Container Diaries sent ya!”
Congratulations to Father Jim Cunningham; he has officially been appointed Pastor of Holy Name.
“I consider it a great honor and look forward to many happy years here,” Father Jim said.
(IMAGE SOURCE: PARK SLOPE FOCUS.COM)
I hear from so many people throughout the neighborhood that Father Jim is doing a great job.
Father Jim will be installed on June 24th at 7:00 P.M. by Bishop Paul Sanchez.
Once again, congratulations Father Jim! Well done my friend…
An outstanding guest piece from Pat Fenton. Pat’s one of the good guys who grew up in the neighborhood. And boy is he a fantastic writer!
I pushed up my draft in 1961, 20 years old, a high school drop out working a rivet machine in a factory in Brooklyn, and the Army seemed like a way out. I went in during the Berlin Crisis buildup, was sent thorough the military police academy in Fort Gordon, Georgia, and shipped out of the Brooklyn Army Base on the ship the U.S Rose to Mannheim Germany to the 537MP Company.
I got to stand a few feet from President John F Kennedy when he was on his way to Frankfurt to give that great Berlin speech. He was reviewing the troops at a first stop, and I was standing as part of the security on a black top when his open limo stopped, and I saluted him. Riding the back top, his Ray Bans on, he saluted me back. I still have the program from that day. It was the same limo he took everywhere, the one he would be assassinated on, I found out later.
I was 23 by then, and just a few feet from history; and the start-up of the Vietnam War. When I came home to Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn I spent my nights drinking in the Irish bars of 9th Avenue in places like Farrell’s on 16th Street, hearing the sad stories of all the young from our neighborhood who were being drafted and dying over there. And I think of them even more on this Memorial Day. God bless all of them, and to hell with the politicians who don’t fly an American flag on the front of their houses on this day.
A special mention goes out to Bobby Cain: ”one of the people I served with in the 537th was Bobby Cain. And so typical of Brooklyn neighborhoods, I didn’t know him before I went in. We both went through the Military Police Academy in Fort Gordon, Georgia. When we both came home in 1963, we spent some time hanging out at the old McFadden Brothers American Legion Post when it was on 9th Ave off of 17th Street. ” Bobby Cain is all the way to the right crouched over. I heard that one of his sons goes into Farrell’s Bar.
This past week, my daughter, who is in the eighth grade carried an ‘A’ into her final exam. She studied hard the night before. I saw index cards all over her bed, her textbook was open and her notes were spread out. On the day of the exam, she didn’t do too well. Her overall grade dropped. When she received her results, she was visibly upset. But she’s a strong kid so she quickly recovered.
I will never understand the obsession with “test results” and examinations for young children in this country. Sorry, it’s how I feel.
The poor kid does well in all her classes and works hard the entire semester but her final grade boils down to one test? Or a chunk of her grade for that matter. Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense to me.
Enough of the rant on the educational system, that’s not what this entry is about.
I don’t know about you, but I used to get “test anxiety” leading up to exams. The worst was during the test, as soon as the other students finished and would get up to hand in their paper, I always felt like the pressure was on and that I had to hurry up before the class was over. Stupid, I know.
Anyway, back in the day when I was a student at Holy Name of Jesus there was a kid that got straight A’s on his report card. It must have been the fifth grade, maybe sixth. One day after they handed out the report cards I looked across the classroom and this straight ‘A’ student was crying. I walked over to him and asked him why he was so upset?
“My mother is going to kill me?”
I looked at him, trying not to laugh and noticed the tears coming down his face and dripping onto the desk in front of him.
“Why, did you get left back or something?”
The kid looked up sobbing.
“No, I got a ‘B’ in Math.”
I shook my head and raised my eyebrows.
“You got a ‘B’ in Math and your mother is going to kill you?”
The frustration on the kids face was showing as he shook his head, got up and walked away.
Can you imagine that? The kid was crying because he got a ‘B’ in Math and his mom was going to kill him!
I used to get C’s, D’s and a few F’s during my eight years at Holy Name. I wasn’t a very good student. I forgot to do homework, missed school often and was tardy at least once a week. If they kept track, I probably spent more time than any other student on the bench outside the principal’s office.
The one time I did get an ‘A’ was in Miss Hertel’s eighth grade English class. I was so happy the entire day. After playing basketball in the yard after school I went home and had dinner. It was a Friday night so Prospect Park was our hangout. I celebrated by getting drunk on a bottle of vodka…straight-up! No orange juice either.