Who recalls Jo-Jo White of the Boston Celtics filming a commercial for Pro-Keds at Bishop Ford High School?
I almost got his shoes at the end of the shoot but a lady on the production staff messed it up for me.
Wanted to pass along birthday wishes to my main man, Matt Long.
Matt attended Bishop Ford back in the day. Pretty good ball player – went on to play at Iona College.
One of the most inspiring dudes I know. Keep kickin’ ass!
BTW, I highly recommend his memoir, “The Long Run.”
Sad news from Glenn Thomas:
I am sad to post that Windsor Terrace native and Holy Name graduate Stephen Trimboli passed away on Wednesday, May, 22, 2019.
Stephen was 44 years old and fought valiantly before succumbing to Leukemia.
He was born and lived on Sherman Street.
The Trimboli Family were our neighbors. After attending Holy Name he went on to graduate from Bishop Ford. A few years back, Stephen and his family moved down to the Manalapan, NJ area.
He is survived by his devoted wife Maria and their three beautiful children. Stephen was a very hardworking, kind hearted, and caring man.
He was always a great husband and father. He will be sorely missed.
Earth may have lost a great man but heaven is gaining one heck of an angel. Rest in peace Stephen for you will be missed by everyone.
Throw-Back Thursday is a pretty popular theme on social media. People like to post old school pictures and apply the tag, #TBT. Here at Container Diaries, it’s always “throw-back” day. You know that!
This morning while sipping some hot coffee and reading the newspaper I thought of one of my favorite people of all-time.
It wasn’t often that you shared your thoughts about someone, especially publicly. Unless you didn’t like someone, you made it clear to them.
This guy I am about to write about didn’t live in the neighborhood but he was close. Third street between 7th and 8th avenues to be exact.
St.Saviour’s guy. But we never held that against him. I almost went to Saviour’s. We lived on 10th street.
I am talking about Chris Logan. The guy that everyone called, “Tiffer” played basketball for Bishop Ford. He was 6’8″ and one of the best players I recall watching during the 80’s.
He’s also one of my favorite people of all-time.
This guy is the salt of the earth. I mean it.
They don’t come any better. Matter of fact, they don’t make ’em like this anymore.
Two months ago on my visit back to Brooklyn I had the chance to catch up with Chris.
He has not changed.
He’s the same as he was back in the day.
I recall as a teen, the “lost days” as I like to call them I had just finished playing ball at East 5th street park. I must have been 16 or maybe 17? As I was about to exit the park and walk up the hill back to the neighborhood I heard someone shout;
“YO RED, YOU WANT A RIDE?”
I looked over my left shoulder and Chris Logan was getting into his car. I didn’t have my bike at the time so getting a lift up the hill was a welcomed thought. I just finished playing ball and I was dead-tired.
Without hesitating I walked towards the car and hopped in the front seat.
To be able to ride with Chris was an amazing opportunity. I had watched Chris play ball at Ford and now he was playing ball at Holy Cross College.
He was a guy a teenager could look up to; he was the perfect example of how to live your life. Great role model. Older guys don’t do that anymore. It’s a “Me” society now.
Chris Logan played the game the right way.
He lived the right way too.
He cared about people. Still does to this day.
I never heard anyone say anything bad about the guy.
We rode up the hill and Chris stopped the car outside Bishop Ford. We parked on ninth avenue. Keep in mind it was the middle of the summer. School was out. Somehow we got in the locked-down building and went straight to the gym.
I wasn’t sure why we were there. I lived a few blocks away, I felt like leaving and going home to sleep.
Glad I stayed.
As we entered the hot gym Chris threw his car keys down on a plastic chair and like Houdini, he appeared with a basketball. Chris got some shots up while I rebounded and made passes back to him for the next 30 minutes.
After some shooting we went into the weight room and lifted for 30 more minutes.
Chris had just finished playing ball at the park and now he was putting in extra work. It’s what the great players do. They do a little extra. He was a D-1 college basketball player, not satisfied with his current state. He wanted to get better. I’m not sure if kids today subscribe to this theory?
The hour I spent with the guy everyone knows as “Tiffer” was 60 minutes that I treasured for the rest of my life. I never forgot what he did for this low self-esteem teenager. He lifted me up. That’s what the great ones do.
If the world had more Chris Logan’s, it would be a much better place. Especially the game of basketball.
I recall a hot Saturday afternoon right around that time I rode my bike to Manhattan Beach and watched Chris play and his team stayed on the court all day.
The guy was and still is a winner.
Chris has a lovely family and is living in New Jersey. His son looks like he’s going to be some ball player.
While in Brooklyn last weekend, I was informed of a young lady by the name of Jill Conroy. Jill attended Bishop Ford and hails from down by East 5th street.
Maybe some of our readers are familiar with the Conroy family?
Jill plays college basketball at Holy Family. While she attended Bishop Ford, she played on the girls basketball team; Dennis Nolan was her coach.
And how about Bobby Valentine? Unreal what Bobby did.
Take a few minutes and check out this awesome story via ESPN.
Outstanding story via the New York Times on the St. Francis College men’s basketball team.
Bishop Ford alum Glenn Braica is doing a great job as head coach at his alma mater.
As a young boy, it was there at 180 Remsen street, down in Brooklyn Heights where I got my first taste of college basketball.
We would go see Gerard Trapp and Edgar De La Rosa play for SFC and do work!
It’s a Wednesday night. Billy and Jimmy are hanging out in Farrell’s. Both guys just got off work. Billy’s an ironworker working on a building on Madison and forty-third over in midtown. Jimmy’s a cop who works at the 7th Precinct in the lower east side. It’s a little after six.
“You see 30 for 30 last night on ESPN?” Jimmy asks Billy as he takes a sip from his glass of beer.
“Nah, it came on too late, I gotta get up at four in the mornin’,” Billy answers as he looks up at the TV which is showing highlights from game two of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.
“You missed a good one,” Jimmy muttered.
Billy takes a sip of his beer.
“They’ll show it again, ESPN is always showing those shows over and over,” Billy counters.
Both men visit Farrell’s every night after work to get together, talk sports and talk about life.
“Knicks looked good last night,” Billy mentions as he gulps down the rest of his beer.
“Duffer, gimme another,” Billy shouts.
Duffer is behind the stick tonight, he’s been working at Farrell’s for over 30 years. He’s a local guy and it must be noted, one of the better guys in the neighborhood. He’s also a retired fireman.
“Not sure how the triangle offense is gonna work,” Jimmy added.
“Well, if Carmelo buys-in to the team philosophy, anything is possible” Billy offered. “Not to mention he has to play defense and stop being a ball hog.”
The Knicks have not won a championship in 41 years. They have a new coach, a new offense and Phil Jackson is back at thirty-third and seventh running the show.
“How’s your kid like her new school?” Jimmy asks.
“She’s coping, but she’s bummed that Ford closed.”
Bishop Ford closed it’s doors this past June forcing many families to look for another school.
“It’s a shame, Ford was the place you went after you graduated from Holy Name,” Jimmy says as Duffer places another glass of beer in front of him and pulls some money off the bar.
“Yeah, that sucks,” Billy says. “But it doesn’t matter to me, I went to Jay, and my daughter loves Saviour’s.”
Saint Saviour’s is an all-girls high school down on sixth street. Many girls from the neighborhood go there.
The bar begins to fill up. Duffer is joined by another bartender, he’s new on the job, Duffer will be training him tonight.
“I miss the Knicks teams of the seventies,” Jimmy admitted.
“Yeah me too,” Billy agrees.
“They played the right way. Frazier, Bradley and Willis.” Jimmy added.
“Don’t forget their coach, Red Holzman,” Billy shouts. “HIT THE OPEN MAN and SEE THE BALL!”
Both men laugh and reach for their glasses and take a gulp of beer.
“Just like our coaches at Holy Name taught us,” Jimmy says as he lets out a burp.
“I miss the days of waking up on Saturday morning, running to the yard and playing three-on-three all day.” Billy says. “Kids don’t play in the yard anymore.”
Both men polish off another glass of beer.
“We’ll never see another team like the Knicks from nineteen seventy-three,” Jimmy says.
“No doubt about that,” says Billy. “And with that, I gotta get outta here Jimmy, my old lady wants to go down to Snooky’s and see some friends.”
Snooky’s is a bar-restaurant on seventh avenue.
“Don’t get into any fights with the seventh avenue boys,” Jimmy reminds his friend.
Billy grabs his money off the bar, throws a ten down and shouts, “YO DUFFER, GIMME A CONTAINER TO GO AND GIVE JIMMY A DRINK!”
Duffer heads to the stick, fills a container and swipes the ten off the bar. Billy’s out the side door, headed down sixteenth street on his way home.
Jimmy looks up at the television. Glances at all the people in the bar and downs his glass of beer.
“Duffer, gimme a shot of Johnny Walker.”
Friday morning, May 2
Someone once said, “an alarm clock is not an alarm clock, it’s an opportunity clock…”
Usually when you’re on a vacation you sleep in, right?
Well not if you are back in your old Brooklyn neighborhood.
I’m up with the birds and the sun. In the shower, dressed and out the door.
I have an opportunity to check in with some old friends and make some new ones.
Making my way up to the Avenue I see people walking along the Parkside. Health conscious for sure.
I also see people rushing to work, trying to catch the early morning train to Manhattan.
Instead of stopping at Connecticut Muffin I walk to the Windsor Cafe for the best scrambled eggs and ham. But first I grab a newspaper.
Three guys working in the cafe, George, Nick and Gus are three of the coolest people I have met on this trip. These guys run the show, they make things happen at a high rate. Might be the first time I have ever sat at the counter in a diner.
Next stop is Terrace Bagels for a bagel and coffee but the joint is packed; all the tables are taken. I head down to Connecticut Muffin and grab a latte.
Camping out for an hour, sipping on my latte I don’t recognize one single person. I’m so pissed I forgot my MacBook Pro back home. I could have had these diary entries up to the minute.
Time to go see my guy Carl down at Sport Prospect on seventh avenue. But first I stop off at the Armory on 8th avenue. They have done a great job with this place; it’s a basketball court and they have a nice running track.
Now it’s time to hop on the train and head to Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn.
I had thoughts of walking but I had to meet someone up at Bishop Ford at two. Can’t be late.
Jumping on the F-train one stop to 4th avenue where I switch for the Manhattan-bound R-train for two stops.
I come out of the station and I’m overwhelmed by the Barclays Center. Boy has this area changed.
Flatbush and Atlantic.
You know the place, where the big clock is. Better known as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower.
“Red, you remember back in the day you needed to carry a pistol around here?” my boy Johnny P. reminds me.
Sssshhhhhhhh…Don’t mention any stories from back in the day.
It’s game-day; tonight the Brooklyn Nets play the Toronto Raptors in game 6 of the NBA playoffs. You remember the Nets, right? They used to be in Jersey. But don’t forget, at one time they were out on the Island; Strong Island for the Public Enemy fans.
This place is amazing. I walk around a bit and grab a Starbucks in the lobby. Around the corner on Dean Street I see the employee entrance and maybe I’ll see J-Kidd coming in?
Across the street there are a few apartment buildings. It must be mint living across the street from an NBA arena.
Never got the chance to go in Barclays Center but some day I will check out a game.
I did make a pit stop in their gift shop. It was empty. Nice merch out on the floor but a little overpriced for me. Guy on the floor was a bit chatty and friendly; said he graduated from Xaverian out in Bay Ridge.
I head back to the neighborhood taking fifth avenue all the way to ninth street where I hop on the B75…oops, I mean the B61. No more 75.
As we all know, Ford is closing its doors in June. As I get off the bus and cross the avenue there’s a big sign on the black picket fence. Someone took a bed-sheet, hung it on the fence and used a black Sharpie:
SAVE BISHOP FORD.
I head down the block and meet up with Danny Piselli. Danny was my coach way back in the day at Holy Name and he also gave me my first high school coaching job. He was the JV coach and brought me in as his assistant. I had a ball.
Hey Dan, I took mental notes of that season; I use a couple of your drills with my team, thanks.
We chat about old times and he fills me in on the situation at Ford.
Time to split, head back to the apartment and get ready for the Old Timers dinner later tonight out in Bensonhurst.
Looking forward to seeing a lot of good, basketball people.