They say all good things must come to an end.
My guy Carl Manco, along with his brother Anthony is closing shop at Sport Prospect.
Carl’s been at 362 7th avenue (between 10th and 11th street.) for the last 29 years. He’s been a great friend over this time. He’s one of the best.
I first met Carl in the late 1970’s. At the time I was in the 6th grade at Holy Name and Carl was running a basketball league down at St. Saviour high school. My two good friends Frankie and Jimmy Cullen played in the league, so I’d go down with them whenever they had a game.
I sat courtside, alone on a folding chair, filled with envy wishing I could play.
In my early 20’s while unemployed (which was often), which was often, Carl hired me at Paragon Sporting Goods over in the city. I didn’t have a very good work ethic at the time, nor was I fully committed to the philosophy of making a living.
My tenure at 18th street and Broadway didn’t last long; I quit after a week. That decision is one of many in my early days that I wish I could get a do over on; little did I realize at the time Carl had put his reputation on the line by bringing me in.
I felt that I had let him down.
For the past few years, each time I visit the neighborhood I make it a point to stop in the store and chat with him.
“It’s sad, but it’s not a bad thing,” 64-year-old Manco said, meaning that the closure isn’t because of a rent increase. “It’s been 29 years and it’s retirement time.”
Good luck Carl. Thanks for your service and friendship over the years. They’re going to miss your T-Shirts.