It’s one of the hardest things to do as a teen.  Even some adults struggle with it.

Some are decent at it, some are terrible.

I was terrible at it.


Into my adult life I gradually became better. I saw how important it was. I really try to learn to be better at this all important trait…


Are kids today listening to the older people in their lives like they should

Are there adults out there passing their wisdom on to the younger generation or are they learning from the wrong people?

In Windsor Terrace you had the ‘experienced guys’ passing along their encouragement, advice, and discipline to us younger guys.

It could be in the boys schoolyard teaching us how to take a left-handed lay-up in the 4th grade (Thanks Danny P).

It could be Jimmy R. from 10th avenue showing us how to play basketball the right way or maybe it was telling us to get off the corner at midnight and get home (Thanks to many guys).

There was a cool guy named Cadgee who was always in the boys schoolyard playing basketball. I think he was from 12th street between 8th and 9th avenues.  The guy was aces.  He was always riding around on his 10-speed bike.  I recall him talking to me when I would be frustrated from playing bad or losing a game. I’d be on the side waiting to get back on the court and sure enough Cadgee would come over and tell me to cool down and get my head straight and go back out there and get them.

Years later he found God and became a born-again christian. (It would be amazing if he ever finds this blog)

There was Corrado pulling up to the curb on 9th street and 5th avenue in his cherry-red caddy while I waited for the B75 bus and giving me a lift up to the avenue. It was close to midnight, this after walking down to the donut shop picking up a dozen.

Thanks to Rich F. for giving me a card in celebration of my 8th grade graduation from Holy Name and slipping in a ten spot. (And thanks for accompanying me on a recruiting trip years later)

And of course thanks to Gerard T. from Howard Place for telling me to go to school and get a good job!

How about it? Does anyone stand out in your mind who gave you valuable advice when you were younger? A school teacher from Holy Name., a good friend, coach or even a priest?

I once heard Michigan State University men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo say, “Learn to listen, listen to learn.” Best advice on listening I have ever heard.



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  1. Jim Casey says:

    I was blessed to have as my mentor in the yard (Fr.) John Vesey, the first winner of the Mr. Schoolyard trophy.

  2. bob terry says:

    Where do I begin? The priests @ Holy Name, especially Monsignor Francis Downing & Father (now Monsignor) Joe Pfeiffer, both of whom were instrumental in my going to Cathedral Prep. The Sisters of St. Joseph, especially Sister Joseph Christi, who first taught me to pray daily; everything good that has ever happened in my life has been a result of prayer, and to her I am eternally grateful. The Xaverian Brothers, especially Brother Romanus (everyone loved Brother Ro), Brother Guardentius (now Jim Blair & a lifelong friend), Brother Gerard (Mike Donahue), Brother Edmund (maybe the best teacher I ever had; academically changed my life) & Brother Duane (that’s where I got my middle name from). The Franciscan Brothers @ Bishop Ford and for me @ St. Francis College. The neighborhood people: Kevin Fogarty, John Vesey (now a Maryknoll missionary in China), The Kents (Bobby, Donald & Eddie), The Houlihans (Jimmy & Bobby), Gerard Conlon, Ray & Peggy Bischoff, Pat Morrissey, Rae & Otto Berger, and many others. I could go on & on; some of the best people I’ve ever known. I got to grow up in a great place amongst my brothers & sister, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins, all in my neighborhood; how lucky I was. I am what I am today because of Holy Name and all the people I knew. Thank all of you & God bless all of you. Bob Terry/ Los Angeles

  3. Jim Maloney says:

    Im going to print this out and give a copy to my son, talk with him about who wrote it, and where we come from. Im sure that will lead into some discussion of the characters who helped me and took an interest in me. If he is smart he saves it, glances at it when things go tilted in some way, and remembers that good advice is really only valuable if you take it on before you need it. Thks Red.

    • hoopscoach says:


      You’re the best!

      Wish I would have listened better as a kid; luckily for me, it wasn’t too late when I decided to be a better listener.

      Izzo’s quote is used daily around Michigan State.


  4. jimmyvac says:

    Bob Terry, also a Cathedral Prep , alum, class of 78.. remember Jocko Crane? The first real conversation I had with Monsignor Downing was about going there. I was a hardhead but would eventually listen to the adults. I think the best lessons I learned in the yard were verbal but also by watching how Trapp and Jimmy R took their practice shots the exact way every time or watching guys work their off hand. I also felt great when complimented by the older players or deflated when they knocked me. Outside of sports, I was lucky to have my family, great neighbors. I still remember Mrs. Pacifico, slipping me a couple of bucks for a third grade report card. I think we were lucky to have mentors who were family, neighbors, older kids, and teachers who would talk the talk and walk the walk.

    • bob terry says:

      I graduated in 1968 & I do remember Jocko Crane, a great guy & coach. I was @ Cathedral in 1964 when we celebrated our 50th anniversary as a school. We had a wonderful dinner honoring Jocko. Guys from the class of 1920 were there (@ the time, we were called Cathedral College & we were a six year school & attended classes all day on Saturdays). I plan on attending the 100th anniversary dinner next year. I am still very involved with the school, as I am with St. Francis College too & a number of schools here in Los Angeles.

  5. jimmyvac says:

    My h. oops coach was Vinny Cirulio. I had dinner with him a few years back.As you know, Crane was Vince Lombardi’ coach. I asked him about Lombardi and he said he was a quiet studious kid with a vicious temper….. I went to my 30th but it so different that the school is liked with Queens. The old building looks the same.

    • bob terry says:

      Vinny was a student there when I was there; a good guy. Lombardi attended Cathedral. I was a Brooklyn guy, but I must say that Queens had good guys too & over the years, I became friends with many of them. Queens Cathedral was new when I was @ Brooklyn Cathedral. For years, I referred to it as the new school, but now it’s 49 years now & a few years ago, I was a contributor to its capital campaign as it needed updating. I did stop by Washington & Atlantic, and saw Cathedral Condominiums. It was sad, but at least that beautiful Gothic building was still there. More than I can say about The Brown Derby in Los Angeles, long gone. I’ve been in Los Angeles since 1972; Brooklyn was a lifetime ago.

  6. Mary Ann Kalambay says:

    Karen Bullock was my ideal. I watched & admired her on Sherman Street. Everyone was happy to see her because she was happy to see everyone. Always in a good mood, she lifted people’s hearts. I made a point of becoming more friendly and interested in people because of her. It has paid back dividends my entire life. Didn’t come easy, but now, many decades later, it’s second nature. Thank you, Karen.
    Mary Ann

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