Still in shock.

Or as Mick Jagger would say, “State of Shock.”

John Cain was a huge Rolling Stones fan…


Here’s an awesome tribute from Robert Fields on J.C.

What a heartbreak for the Cain and Davis Families! My sympathies to all, especially Mr Cain, John’s son, Kathy Ferris, Pat and Tim, and all the nieces, nephews and cousins from WT/Holy Name and NJ.

John was my oldest friend, who spent many happy days with his grandfather and grandmother on 16th Street (the late, great Bridie Davis, also grandmother to Noreen and the Windsor Place Davis families), two doors up from our old place on 16th (John’s sister Kathy and her family have lived there for years, and still do).

John and I palled around since we were born (joined a year later by Sean Keating from across the street), attending kindergarten at PS 154 together, and then–on one of the rainiest days I ever remember–we marched up to Holy Name together to start our academic careers, full of excitement and hope, he in his blue rain slicker, me in my yellow one. When we got through the huge school doors, we were quickly disappointed, as they literally had to separate us to join two different homerooms, me to Miss Schiotis (sp?) and John elsewhere down the hall. We never again had the same class in our 8 years at Holy Name, and John later went to Loughlin and I to Xaverian, but we always hung out anyway as before, either on 16th or Seeley, or in the park/subway/wherever the fun/girls/excitement was to be found.

It was a pleasure knowing John, who truly could be said to have had a twinkle in his eyes (a gift from his mother, Irene, who had the same); nonetheless, a tougher/gentler guy you couldn’t find, and I was happy many a time to have had him in my corner when the going got tough! He worked too, and was a hard grafter. He had sense of right and wrong, and while mostly quiet, when he did speak, he spoke from the heart and wasted few words.  Anyone our age (HNS Class of ’78 or thereabouts) would know the fun times we all had at the Prospect Park Corral, a secluded place just off the Circle/9th Ave., with the boombox as a musical backdrop to socializing in the park, a place to meet and date pretty girls, get up-to-date on the latest news and gossip, and figure out our way in the world as teenagers always do.

As times go by we lose track of friends, and focus on careers and family, while the years pass more quickly than ever. I regret not keeping up with John since I moved to London (22+ years!), but only a few years ago, John’s older brother Tim moved over here and married an English girl like I did, and we would go out whenever our schedules would permit and talk and laugh about the good old times in Brooklyn. How I regret now not calling John, who I think about often. My sympathies on the loss of a great guy and good friend.

We’ll meet again, pal, I’m sure.

-Robert Fields

Posted in Blog, John Cain | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments



Sad to report my childhood friend, John Cain has passed away. Cain died of a heart attack Monday night. He was 52.

My friends

John is in the back row, second from the left, next to Sean Reilly. John’s holding a case of beer on his right shoulder.

We had been e-mailing each other the past few months. We were just exchanging e-mails this past week.  Yesterday he wished me a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

As teenagers we spent a lot of time together. In the 8th grade we played on the same intramural football team. (Only people who attended Holy Name get this). I was the QB. John was the best player in the league. Wherever I threw the ball John was there to make me look good. Dude was fast.

This message was posted on his brother’s Facebook page:

It deeply saddens me to inform you that my brother John passed away last night from a heart attack. We are all deeply shocked and can’t believe this has happened. Funeral arrangements:

Friday 12/30/2016
Joseph G. Duffy funeral home
255 9th street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
2pm to 5pm
7pm to 9pm
Funeral Mass at Holy Name Church
245 prospect Park west
Brooklyn, NY 11215

John was a great dude…




Posted in Blog, John Cain | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments


Wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Hope the readers of Container Diaries have a great day.

Here’s one of my many Christmas memories from back in the day.

I was 6 years-old.  It was a little after 7:00 AM. Everyone in my family was sleeping.

Santa Claus brought me a Voit basketball.  I reached down and pulled it from under our tree. Ripping the ball out of the box, I started dribbling in our apartment and mom woke up screaming at me.



I did as I was told.

Got dressed, walked across 9th avenue, down Windsor Place, hanging a right on Howard Place.

Straight to the yard.

212 steps.

I had the yard to myself. It was empty. People walking to church were looking at me like I was crazy.

Been in love with the sport ever since.

Merry Christmas.



Posted in 1970, Angry Men, Basketball, Bernard King, Boys Schoolyard, Children, Church, Coach, Coffee, Complaining, Voit Basketball | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments


For I have sinned – it’s been 11 days since I last composed a blog entry.

Brian Keating and Edgar

Each and every morning I drive past an outdoor basketball court. It’s covered with snow (we got about 10 inches the past few days).

It got me thinking back to when we would shovel the court in the boys schoolyard ta Holy Name so we could play.

Oh wait, you already heard this, right?

I have a question though; you think ball players today shovel the court anymore?



Posted in Blog, Holy Name | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments


Received sad news about the passing of Jimmy Wares.

Condolences to the entire family.

Jimmy was a neighborhood guy from 18th street between 7th and 8th avenues.  He ran with “The Jokers.”


Sunday Dec. 18 (7:00 PM-9:00 PM)
Monday Dec. 19. 2016 (2-4PM and 7-9PM)

A. Azzara Funeral home
183 Sand Lane
Staten Island, NY 10305

Mass Tuesday Dec 20 (11:30 AM)

St Josephs Church
171 Saint Marys Ave corner of Tomkins Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10305


Jimmy is the first one on the left…kneeling.
USA. New York City. 1959. Brooklyn Gang.

USA. New York City. 1959. Brooklyn Gang.

Posted in Blog, Jimmy Wares | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Been living in East Lansing, Michigan the past 20 years. Here’s a pretty good story from our local newspaper on my journey in coaching.



Posted in Blog | 8 Comments


It’s here…

The white stuff.

When I think of snow first thing I recall is the shoveling the basketball court in the boys schoolyard. Our coach, Danny P. made is clear the court for practice. Edgar, Gammie and I shoveling at night to clear a path so we can work on our dribbling…

Corner shot of schoolyard

Posted in Blog | 4 Comments