DANNY MILLS

I came across this tribute to the late Danny Mills who passed away four years ago.

Click here to read what the Mighty Quinn of the NY Daily News had to say about the former Farrell’s bartender.

“Danny was always there to listen to what was going on in your life. The last time we stopped in to see him over the summer, I had cut my finger. On my father’s advice I asked Danny if he had a Band-aid. He just happened to have one in his wallet and he handed it to me.”

-Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

TO BE THANKFUL

It’s just like back in the old days on 12th street where Denis Hamill would grab a stickball bat, step up to the plate and smash a home run!

Denis hits this one three sewers!

Do yourself a favor and read this article by Denis from today’s New York Daily News; one part has to do with Mickey Breen’s daughter Kelly, who lives in Staten Island and the other about a Staten Island native who was saving people left and right during Sandy.

Thanks to Willy and Gladys for passing this clip along from ‘Help Me Howard‘  courtesy of PIX 11 News – a solid report on Kelly’s ordeal with a real estate agent.

video.html?freewheel=91044&sitesection=wpix_help&VID=23892871

-Steve

HOOPS135@HOTMAIL.COM

TAKE ‘EM BACK PETE

One of my favorite writers of all-time, and a huge inspiration, seventh avenue’s own Pete Hamill has a new book coming out.

Simone Weichselbaum of The New York Daily News takes us on a trip back to Pete’s old stomping grounds where they checked out Pete’s old apartment.

“The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories,” on sale Tuesday, is composed of 36 short tales depicting a bygone era when bloody street fights, heartless murders and torrid love affairs were all part of everyday life on and around the Seventh Avenue strip.

This new book sounds awesome!

Good luck Mr. Hamill

-Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

HAMANA-HAMANA-HAMANA…

We loved TV as kids, right?

Today they talk about ‘too much TV being no good’ for our kids.

Give me a break with that B.S.

I learned a lot from watching my favorite shows.

One of my favorites was ‘The Honeymooners’ with Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph and Art Carney. (Wow, I remembered all those names from the opening of the show).

Gleason played Ralph Kramden, a bus driver from Brooklyn.

By far Ralph was the most famous bus driver in all of Brooklyn at the time. But that has changed.

Let me introduce you to a hero; Reuben Cornick.

Thanks to Maureen Rice, a frequent contributor to the blog for this story – click here for the link from the Daily News on the bus driver returning a whole lot of money he found on his bus.

Here’s Maureen in her own words:

In defense of city workers we only hear about them when a small minority screws up, or as in recent news a police officer loses his life or a firefighter is horribly burned. The truth is, the overwhelming majority of the people who serve our city are decent, hard working, regular people like you and me albeit with better pensions. People who get up and go to work each day serving a city that I love it is a little sad that someone gets press for doing the right thing, but, that being said, I am glad I wrote in to Voice of the People and I am happy to see Reuben Cornick getting some recognition!

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

COME TOGETHER

The New York Daily News on the HNS-IHM merger. A good read with some interesting comments.

Parents at the Immaculate Heart of Mary school said they were optimistic yet concerned about the move because the building on Prospect Park has classrooms that have not been updated in years.

“The kids should be placed in a building that’s much safer and more modern,” said parent Nancy Markovinovic, mother of four children at the school.

“The building is over 100 years old and we have some concerns,” said Monica Diaz-Tafa, whose daughter, Giana is in the third grade.

The parents from IHM has some concerns?

Have they been inside Holy Name? Because a building is over 100 years old, that makes it unsafe?

This goes back to my theory about everyone complaining.

Why not be part of the solution instead of the problem.

Their quotes seem to be a bit on the negative side, no?

Why can’t everyone come together and make it one outstanding school?

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

MOVIN’ ON UP

Our guy Denis Hamill at the NY Daily News, will not be on his usual assignment any longer.

Seems like the boss wants him to cover bigger news stories.

No one covered the streets like the D-Man!

Good luck D.H.

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Once again, I was informed of another person from the neighborhood that has left us.

Along with posting positive memories of the neighborhood on the blog, I often get an e-mail, a phone call or even a text message letting me know someone from the neighborhood has passed away.

It saddens me to hear the news but I don’t mind – please keep sending me the messages. Our loyal readers, some as far away as Texas, need to know this information.

My favorite writer, Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News writes about his friend Mickey Breen who recently passed away.

As the years tumble forward from the tie-dyed days of Hippie Hill in Prospect Park when hundreds of us hung out on the grassy knoll just up from the Corinthian columns designed by Stanford White at Bartell Pritchard Square, you just keep on grabbing the black suit from the closet to go see another one of your flower power pals from Woodstock take his turn in the coffin in the front of a flowery room.

Guys like Dennis (Tiny) Reid, John Rice, Red Riley, Tommy Lenahan, Joey Corrar, Bruce Campbell, and my sweet brother, Joe Hamill.

This time, it was Mickey Breen, and he was a kind, funny guy who attended Power Memorial High where he befriended Lew Alcindor, before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mickey loved his daughter Kelly, his five grandkids, his lady Gladys, his sister Colleen, his cat Cheech, the music of Jeff Beck, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels, and cold beer and big laughter and this place called Brooklyn that he called home until last week when he was waked in Hanley’s Funeral Home on Staten Island, where a slide show of old photos played on a loop as the Rolling Stones sang his favorite song ever, “Sympathy for the Devil.”

I didn’t know Mickey, but after reading D-Hamill’s story, I feel like I hung out with him on the parkside.

Mickey Breen, R.I.P.

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

THE CRACKBERRY

Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News with a great story about his addiction for his Blackberry.

I’m addicted to my Verizon Blackberry. It’s the one thing, besides my keys, I always make sure I have when I leave the house.

How did we ever grow up without cell phones? Here’s a small segment from Hamill’s piece.

I hip-holstered the little rectangular machine like an alky concealing his flask and made oatmeal, cursed the empty teabag canister, trotted up two flights to raid my office stash, and rushed down to microwave “a wee cuppa” – as the Irish call it. Then trotted downstairs to the basement to take my kid’s school shirt out of the dryer with my own laundry, which I huffed up to my second-floor bedroom, hanging up my shirts, folding pants, balling socks.

Then trundled back down to the kitchen, where the microwave beeped like a flattening machine, signaling the tea was made. I splashed in milk, added Stevia in the Raw sweetener, sat at the dining room table where I scarfed my oatmeal, gulped tea, thumbed the Daily News, and talked baseball with my son. As he dressed I plopped on my living-room chair, watching the TV weather channel, amazed that there was such a thing as Aches and Pains Index under the Allergy Report.

I popped a Claritin and reached for my phone to send a pal a text.

Gone …

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

NEVER FORGET

10 years ago today, 19 fanatics in four hijacked airliners did the unthinkable; they created the worst tragedy in American history.  Today marks that terrible morning when 9/11 became the saddest day in every American’s life.

In the past I have written about Vincent Brunton here on the blog. Vinny passed away while saving lives at the World Trade Center; he worked for the FDNY and was one of the best from the neighborhood.

When I play word association and the name ‘Vinny Brunton’ comes up, I think, GREAT GUY!

One of my favorite writers, Pete Hamill (special to the Daily News) on his thoughts about the sad day.

Each of us remembers Sept. 11, 2001, in separate ways. Where we were. Who we called. What we did. The morning in New York was mild and lovely, with clear skies and a light breeze from the west. A fine day for walking. I had a 9 a.m. meeting at the Tweed Courthouse on Chambers St. and left home early to walk 10 blocks downtown in the splendid morning air. Bagels and coffee surely awaited me.

It was Primary Day. Democrats Mark Green and Freddie Ferrer were a point apart in the final polls. A Republican newcomer named Michael Bloomberg was far ahead of Herman Badillo. All were running to succeed Rudy Giuliani, barred from running again because of term limits.

There were a few campaign workers on the streets, some candidates’ stickers on lampposts, but no sense of political excitement. I bumped into a few friends. Politics? Hell, they didn’t even mention baseball. The Yankees were 11 games ahead of the Red Sox. The Mets were seven games behind Atlanta. One friend said: Jeez, it’s a lovely day, ain’t it?

I got to the meeting early, and was standing with the eloquent New York writer Louis Auchincloss, chatting about the architectural ugliness of the Municipal Building, scowling at us beyond the windows. Then we heard a fairly loud thump. If I’d looked at my watch it would have told me it was 8:46.

“What was that?” I said.

“Just part of the New York soundtrack, Peter, old boy,” Auchincloss said with a chuckle. Of course. Probably a controlled blast at some construction site. Something like that. I sipped my coffee. We sat down. The meeting was called to order.

At the time of this disaster I was driving in my car, on my way to my next class while I attended Central Michigan University. My wife had called me and told me what had happened. I didn’t believe her. I quickly turned on the radio and pulled over to listen to the special report.

Where were you on this awful morning? What were your thoughts? Would love to hear them…

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

BANDITS of SEPT. 11

My guy Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News on people profiting from Sept. 11; Jimmy Riches comes strong for a cause that seems to be making people a lot of money off off one of the most tragic days in American history.

A few years ago while visiting the World Trade Center I noticed street vendors hawking pictures of this devastating tragedy; all I could do was shake my head. How could anyone profit from so many innocent victims that lost their lives?

“It’s disgusting,” says Jim Riches, a retired FDNY Deputy Chief who lost a firefighter son, Jimmy Jr., 29, of Engine 4, on 9/11 and serves as Chairman of the Parents and Families of 9/11 Firefighters.

“The National 9/11 Memorial Foundation approached this Lieb Family Winery in Long Island to hawk this ’9/11 Wine’ for a kickback of 10% of the sales of each bottle that sells for $19.11. Can we get any sleazier?”

Sure, how about a nice sweet Holocaust Riesling?

“But it doesn’t stop there,” says Riches. “There will be a gift shop at the memorial. Anyone who wants to go seven stories underground where the unclaimed body parts will be stored will have to pass this souvenir stand selling books, pictures, coffee mugs, T-shirts, like the skells hawking this stuff out on the street. People making money off the worst day in American history. I find it shameful that they’re making this sacred ground into a revenue-producing tourist attraction.”

Respectfully,

Steve

hoops135@hotmail.com