HAPPY LABOR DAY

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TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT

As a kid I loved Friday night.

When I was 15, I had a blast. Hard to choose; Friday or Saturday as my favorite day of the week?

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Slept in.

Went to the schoolyard to play ball.

Ate pizza.

Played some more ball.

Afterwards we hung out on the corner of Windsor and Ninth watching all the people go by. We broke balls. You learned to take it. We broke more balls.

Went home for dinner. Fishcakes and beans.

Showered and went over to Prospect Park. It’s the place we met up. You just knew to go there. If you grew up in the neighborhood, as a teen, it’s where you hung out. Each generation. Parkside. Circle. In the park. The benches. Pick a spot. We spent time there.

At around seven o’clock picked up some booze. Walked back to the park. Always in a brown paper bag, trying to hide it. Little did we know, everyone knew what we had under our arms. LOL

Head over to the bleachers, take a seat and we’re off.

Drink and bullshit. Bullshit and drink.

Music on the radio, come on baby.

There must have been 20 of us. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

You were always welcomed if you were an outsider. If you came from another parish. If you came in peace.

Friends hanging out. Having fun. Not a care in the world. Teacher, leave them kids alone.

No idea what was ahead.

No clue as to what I wanted to do.

Oh wait, I wanted to be an Ironworker. Still had a couple of years to go though.

At around eight or nine you snuggled up with your lady.

Holding hands. Touching. Kissing.

Next you and your girl took a walk.

Either you went behind the bleachers or you walked out to the diamonds.Maybe you walked up to Quaker cemetery?

Time to make-out. Plant that kiss. I had no idea what to do. No one ever taught me how to kiss.

Maybe you chased each other around a little.  All in fun of course.

Pairing off with your girlfriend was my favorite time of the night. Always looked forward to it. I was in love. Puppy love.

Somewhere around eleven, it was time to go.

Saying good-bye to everyone and making that walk to her house.

Holding hands exiting the park. A little buzzed. Walking across ninth avenue, past Farrell’s; men looking at you. “There he goes…”

Hanging a right down Windsor Place.

At a snails pace I might add.

In front of the house, I hated kissing her good-night. I didn’t want her to go. Wanted to be with her all-night. Felt like I may never see her again.

Couldn’t wait for tomorrow…

Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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AND STILL THOSE VOICES ARE CALLING

When I was six my father left our family. I was the middle kid. My brother was ten, sister was three.

I had no idea where my father went. From time to time he would come around and crash on our couch.  He would come home real late, get up at the crack of dawn and vanish.

One day while sitting at the kitchen table eating a bologna sandwich with mustard,  I asked my mother, “where’s daddy?”

“He found a new family,” she answered.

Found a new family? I asked myself.

Little did I realize right around that time I would discover something that would take his place.

Me in the Yard

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THE GRADUATE – 1961

Grad program 1GRAD EXERCISES 2

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BUNNY

Seven years ago right around this time, Michael Bundrick passed away.

“Bunny” was a good guy and a good basketball player. I loved him. He once had a classic line.

Corner shot of schoolyard

We can all agree that the Holy Name Summer league gave us some kind of drama each and every night of the week.

You had great players and not so great players.

Excellent teams and not so excellent teams.

You had your characters and you had your serious ball players.

You had your funny guys, that almost everyone liked and you had your schmucks whom not many people liked.

I used to love to watch Bunny play ball in the summer league.  He was one of the taller guys in the neighborhood and by far one of the better inside scorers.  If you knew Holy Name schoolyard you were aware of the baskets being held up by a pole.  Bundrick was great at utilizing the pole to break free from his defender and shoot a sweet looking reverse lay-up.

One night during a game in the summer league Bundrick went up and grabbed the rim on an attempted lay-up.  In the summer league, dunking was prohibited. You stayed off the rims.  It was at this time when I heard one of the funniest lines ever at a basketball game in the schoolyard (and let me tell you, there have been many classic lines shouted out by some of the funniest guys to ever walk in the yard).

Danny Pisselli ran the league at the time was a master at discipline; he didn’t like anyone that disrespected the game or the rules;  he was Roger Goodell before Roger Goodell.

After shouting to Bundrick to stay off the rim, Bunny replied;

“Danny, I’m sorry I slipped in the air.”

Here is my “Top 10 Coolest Dudes” in the neighborhood from back in the day:

1-John Corrar  (“I can go for a slice, ya got wheels?”)

2-Gerard Trapp (Best basketball player to ever come out of Holy Name)

3-Jimmy, Michael and Georgie Rauthier (Tie) (Great trio of brothers)

4-Tom Brady (Old Buttercup)

5-Michael Bundrick (“I slipped in the air…”)

6-Joe Farrell (Fonz) (He once wore a white shoe lace for a headband)

7-Cadge (Awesome dude, always hanging out on the corner with his 10-speed bike)

8-John Powers (Duffer) (“Get outta here or you won’t get a piece of cake”)

9-Kenny Lawson ( I once saw him walking down Windsor Place wearing a Baltimore Orioles helmet)

10-Joe Sullivan (Breezily Bruin.  ‘Ay muscle-head, get off the field’)

-Red

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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COPS IN CARS, THE TOPLESS BARS

SUBWAY STAIRS

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SHAPE UP – LOOK SHARP

2001 Unisex Hair Cut

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