Did you ever have one of those nights where you can’t sleep?  Sure, we all do.

I’m not talking about when you are still out at the bar or working the third shift.

I’m talkin’ straight up insomnia baby!

You know that, ‘I can’t fall asleep’ feeling.  You’re lying in bed staring up at the ceiling.  Remember they use to tell you to count sheep to help you fall asleep?

Most nights  I’ll down some java from seven to ten PM at the local cafe here in town and be up pretty late.  But tonight, I didn’t drink anything.  I’m sitting here wide awake!

Lately, I have only been needing 4-5 hours of sleep.  I really don’t know where or when it started  but I do know that I’m never tired like I use to be.  I use to be able to sleep 12-14 hours.

Maybe it’s the million things I have going on? The three blogs I try to stay active, coaching, parenting, being a productive spouse, working out, reading and of course writing my two books.

Do you ever ask yourself, “where did all the time go?”

Is 24 hours enough?

Or, how about during this holiday, do you ever lose track of what day it is?  I guess maybe it has something to do with getting old?

It feels like yesterday I was in my teens playing ball in the schoolyard.

Does anyone still play Pinball? Do they even have Pinball machines?

How about walking through Prospect Park? Does anyone do that?

What about walking from 9th avenue down to 5th?

Or,  hopping the turnstiles in the subway station?

Do you still take a taxi cab?

Does anyone use pay phones on the corner?  Outside my apartment on 9th and Windsor there was a pay phone and a lot of people used it back in the day.  I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on conversations.  One night this guy was telling the person on the other end how he was going to blow up the universe! Someone once told me that if you called the operator on a pay phone and tell them you lost your dime, they’d send you a check.  One night I did that and three weeks later I received a check in the mail for ten cents!

What about pea coats?  Does anyone wear them any more? What about parka’s?

How about Ross Apollo bikes, do they still make them?

Do kids still play Buck-Buck?

How about Bowling, does anyone go any more? I understand the scores are all kept by a computer now.  No more using the little yellow pencil marking your score down.  Remember Holy Name’s bowling league?  We walked all the way down to Caton avenue.  My daughter walks two blocks now and she’s tired.

Is the Shirley MacLaine story true from Farrell’s back in the day?  Did she really walk up to the bar and order a drink when women were only allowed to sit in the back at a table?

I’m going to bed, good night!

I would love to hear from you if you’d like to be a guest blogger.  It can be as long or as short as you like.  Send me an email and I’ll throw up your entry on anything pertaining to growing up in Windsor Terrace.



This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to 3 O’CLOCK IN THE A.M.

  1. TonyF16St says:

    I’m no doctor but sounds like someone is burning both sides of the candle. You have quite a bit on your plate buddy,it’s time to take a step back and do a little reevaluating. In todays society it is so common for people to be overwhelmed due to all the stress and pressures of our jobs but when we start taking on other responsibilties and start juggling we are sure to hit the wall.
    You should take a much needed Vacation.Maybe a little weekend getaway just you and the wife but you need to do something.
    And beleive me I know of what I speak. I had a Minor”Thank God”Heart Attack at 47

  2. Jack Kelly says:

    Coach, I walk the park at least once a week. Me and my son have a spot that we call ours. It’s down by the lake a little ways off the road. I always loved the park as a kid and still do now. I feel like a Pathfinder for the yuppies who get lost looking for the Ice Rink or the occasional visitor from Maryland looking for the Monument to the Maryland soldiers who saved Washington’s army during the revolutionary war. And one time I got a guy looking for Montgomery Clift’s grave. ( For those who don’t know he is buried in the Quaker Cemetary in prospect park). Now I do get a special bonus when I walk the park. I get to smoke a few cigars while doing ‘the stroll’ and after the walk we come out and head over to Farrell’s for a beer and a coke. As far as sleep goes I don’t get much sleep lately but I found that cat naps work miracles for the circles around the eyes 😉 Happy New Year to all.

  3. Helen Cole Prestia says:


    I went out for a few drinks with my friend the other night at a local bar here in NJ. An older man from Ireland came over to talk to us. He asked where we were from. When I said Brooklyn he said he was there once and went to Farrells. I told him I grew up around the corner from that place. Then he told the Shirley McLaine story. It was the same story I have heard. True story or not, it hasn’t changed much over the years. As I was leaving he said we should take a road trip back to Farrells so he can get a styrofoam contianer.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.


  4. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Every time I hear that Shirley MacLaine story, I laugh. It may be true that she got served at the bar, but it was a few years after Hoolie made me a MARTINI at the bar. I didn’t drink it, it was just a weird thing that happened one night. I have a great Hoolie story, but I will have to check with him before posting.

  5. hoopscoach says:


    You could be right but what I failed to mention is that I’m having fun. Whenever I find myself stressed, I take 6 deep breaths! It works…Happy New Year to you my brother!


    I love that! Keep it going. How old is your son?

    Happy New Year to you…


    I was wondering where you were hiding?


    You’re the best.

  6. TONYF16ST says:

    Thats exactly what I’m saying. Sometimes we have so much fun that we fail to see the signs. All I’m saying is it isn’t so bad to slow down a little and smell the roses. Like Jack I like to have a little “my Time” so I hunt and fish as often as possible and let me tell you being alone in the woods is a great way to clear ones head.
    And besides we need you around to keep this damn blog going.
    To all have a healthy and happy New Year

  7. Kevin Mahoney says:


    As for turnstile hopping, I remember it was a regular Sunday morning event the year we played basketball in the YMCA league down on 9th street and we took the train the one stop to 7th ave.

    I’m sure your current squad has a better mode of transportation!

    • George Farrell says:

      I remember an isolated revolving gate that would only allow people to exit to the Windsor Place stairway. The token booth (actually it was 5 or 10 cents, no tokens) guy could not see you and a little guy could actually squeeze under the bottom rung and ride for free. I showed a buddy of mine how to do it and he got stuck. People now trying to exit through the gate could not because this little urchin was stuck fast. The token booth guy called the police who eventually freed the kid using a car jack. The kid got a JD card and I got a black eye when he caught up to me.

  8. hoopscoach says:


    I remember that! LOL. As for my team and our travels; we take the van. My guys would be scared to ‘jump the turnstile’ I have them well-disciplined. LOL…

    Do you still play a bit?


    Walks are great, we have a lot of ‘woods’ out here. I once went for a walk while I was visiting my cousins in Greenwood Lake and Lenny and I, my cousin, got lost. So I have that fear that I’ve never gotten over. (:

    Smelling the Roses, I like that! Haven’t heard that in a long time!

  9. TONYF16ST says:

    My father used to say better to smell the roses than to fertilize them capeesh.

  10. Richard Coyne says:


    I tried counting sheep, but with my appetite, they all turned into lamb chops!!! Now, I’m not much of a drinker, but I’ve found that a nice glass of shiraz (australian wine) will do the trick!!!!!!!

  11. Kevin Mahoney says:


    Regis has an alumni tourney once a year in the Spring, so I get out there and try to relive the glory days, but that’s about it these days for me.

    I can see you suiting up for scrimmages and teaching your guys a few things.

  12. Bobby Burke says:

    Stevie and All you bloggers,

    Happy 2009

    Red first of all – you are entering that zone in life where you need less sleep, simple as that and because maybe the internal clock starts ticking louder – you want more life and less sleep ! I walk/run Prospect Park every morning around 6:15 am – 7 days rain snow or shine, starts my day right, as Tony says clears my head, and keeps these getting older bones lubricated. Also my Honey Maria and I like to walk it at various times to just take it all in – great therapy – you forget the big world of cars, combustion, wall street woes and connect to Nature.

    The Shirley McClaine story – True – she was with my friend Pete Hamill who used to date her at one time – I just didn’t know that my friend Maureen beat her to the punch !!

    Happy and Prosperous and Peaceful to All

    Bobby Burke

  13. hoopscoach says:


    You just gave me an idea. Beginning tomorrow (hey, great time to start a routine) I’m going for a walk in a very quiet area close to our house.

    Thanks for checking in. Have a good one tonight.

    I love the Hamill’s work, I have read everything. Denis has been a great help in my writing.

  14. corrado says:


  15. hoopscoach says:


    Hope all is well. I just gone finished a few days ago writing about the night you gave me a lift in your caddy while I waited for the bus on 9th street and 5th avenue!

    Happy New Year!

  16. Kenny Whelan says:

    Happy New Year to everyone from Texas.
    Hope 2009 is good for all of us.

  17. Dan Mahoney says:


    I rememeber walking past that phone on 9th and Windsor one summer night coming back from playing some hoops at the yard with a quick stop at Bonnalli’s for a ice.Two kids were on the phone calling the Yankee stadium clubhouse to speak with George Brett !

    I said to Joe Farrell, they won’t get through to the Yankeee clubhouse… They did and Brett got on the phone !

    Hey Coach any idea who those two jokers were ? One had blonde hair the other red ?

    Just found about about the blog not too long ago, its great hearing from so many old friends from the neighborhood. Great job Coach !

    Health, Happiness and Peace to all for the New Year !


  18. hoopscoach says:


    LOL. U remember that? We use to do it all the time. We’d also call the hotel where the team was staying! By the way, the Holy Name summer league record books has you as the second all-time leading rebounder and first in blocked shots!

    Glad you found the blog, feel free to share any memories of your upbringing in Windsor Terrace!

  19. corrado says:


  20. hoopscoach says:


    That would be sweet! That story is in the book my man. I was standing there waiting for the 75 with a box of donuts in my hand and you pulled up…

  21. Broadway says:

    As I remember the Shirley event: The late Danny Mills was the bartender when in strolled Shirley, Pete and Tommy Gates. I was 3:45 AM on St. Patricks Day (actually Mar 18) After an extremely long day Danny served her after she demanded to be served at the bar in a good way with a lot of humor There were a few females in the back and she invited them all to join her in a drink at the bar. They all refused one saying that she had too much respect for her Father and would not drink at “His” bar. It was last call anyway and everyone was asked to exit by the late Patty Spaight. His calling card “OK folks ya don’t havta go home. But, ya can’t stay here”.

  22. hoopscoach says:


    A classic line from Patty! I love it.

    Have a happy new year and thanks for stopping!

  23. GT says:

    Broadway, Happy and Healthy New Year to you,

    Hope your feeling better.


  24. Broadway says:

    On the mend. Hope to make the John D. Memorial. Got a date? No card from BK yet.

  25. GT says:

    Glad to hear it Mistaaaa.
    I don’t know date, John’s anniversary date is feb 3, I’m assuming the saturday closet to the 3rd.

  26. Tonight’s a night for less sleep. Was busy since Thursday am and kept going Friday about 3:30 pm. Unwinding takes longer as we age…Glad to open up to diaries…Catching up can be calming…Do remember Shirley & Pete in Farrells…My twin brother RICH’s POLICE ACADEMY CLASS graduated that day after we all went out to celebrate and had to stop at Farrell’s to find how Bklyn. Irish American Parade turned out..The place was full of friends…Pete & Shirley were there…Drinking at the bar was Shirley’s thing…Calling the gals to come up to drink with the men seemed like a Libbers thing…Neighborhood gals didn’t need any of that..Just listened to Pete Hammill’s CD about his drinking life…The beginning years brought back memories of Holy Name School…Enjoy the busy days..About bowling, for my last birthday gran kids 6 of them, we went bowling with their parents and had a great time… HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009…..

  27. Mudge says:

    KIDS DONT WALK IN THE PARK ANY MORE BECAUSE THERE ALWAYS PLAYING oN THEiR I PODS AND Keep banging into trees and I also have a pee coat in my closet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s