Now this was a team…
Thanks to Glenn Thomas for posting…
Shoveling the Court:
There they were, two of the best point guards our neighborhood ever produced. Edgar Dela-Rosa and Gammie. On a cold, snowy December night, must have been close to 7:00 PM.
Holy Name boys schoolyard had three full courts. Edgar and Gammie were hard at work removing the snow from the middle court.
It had snowed a lot earlier in the day, matter of fact it snowed all day and just stopped at six. After school I didn’t bother to go to the schoolyard like we normally did to play ball. Cold weather didn’t stop us, nor did the snow. Just didn’t feel up to it. Instead I hung out with my friends on ninth avenue throwing snowballs at people. We were also skitching on the back if the 75 and 69 buses.
After dinner I was hanging out with my friends on Howard Place and Prospect Avenue. We did this often, never really picked a particular corner. It was random, every day.
I looked in the boys schoolyard and saw two people shoveling. I walked in and Edgar and Gammie were hard at work. In our neighborhood we didn’t have a gym. The boys schoolyard was where we played ball. No rec center. You weren’t getting in Bishop Ford High School to play.
At the time Edgar played for St. Francis College and Gammie was a senior at John Jay High School. These two fantastic point guards shoveled a narrow path from one baseline to the other; fence to the church wall.
After they cleared a path, all they did was work on their dribbling. Up and down the court. Cross-over, behind the back, covering a lot of ground. Spinning and hesitation too…
“Yo Red, grab a shovel and help us!” Gammie shouted.
I did what I was told and began to help them. There was a shovel leaning against the fence. When I was done, I joined them. My friends stood outside the chain-linked fence and watched us. When Gammie and Edgar left, I shoveled some more. I needed more space to get a few shots up. After that night I would shovel the courts often.
Those were the days my friend…
Our guy, Jackie Ryan…
Bishop Ford High School Alumni that either played basketball or otherwise was an alum.
This is open to all whether you are from Ford, Xaverian, Nazareth or Loughlin.
We will have our Basketball Reunion/Holiday Get Together on Friday Night December 6th at The Kettle Black in Bay Ridge on 3rd Ave and 87th Street beginning at 6pm.
Please feel free to share this to anyone….be it teammates or opponents. The goal is for a good time to be had by all sharing stories and laughs.
What we’re gonna do here is go back, way back, back into time.
Brooklyn, New York in the late 70’s and early 80’s to be exact. It was a different Brooklyn back then.
The Barclay’s on Flatbush and Atlantic? S.M.H.
My friends and I played outside in the streets from early morning to late into the night. Some nights we didn’t go home. We called it, “Breakin’ Night.”
Holy Name schoolyard was our favorite spot. The priests would kick us out at 10:00 PM. We played all sports. No such thing as specialization. Basketball was my favorite.
We rode the F-train to Coney Island and back (never paying our fare).
We hitched on the back of the 68 or 75 bus and rode our bikes all over New York City.
We broke balls.
We broke windows playing stickball (accidentally of course).
We didn’t have cell phones.
No one owned a gun. Not that I knew of anyway.
Our parents were not watching our every move.
We learned to be tough. You failed at something, you got back up.
We learned to fight our own battles. Sometimes.
We didn’t run home, tell mommy or daddy what happened.
Wait a minute, daddy? My dad left for good when I was six.
Mom didn’t blame the teacher when I failed a test nor did she complain to the coach if I came off the bench for the basketball team.
Best of all the friendships formed and nurtured were unbreakable. I loved the people I grew up with. They were loyal and cared about me.
Sure we argued with each other, we even had a fistfight or two. But the next day in the schoolyard we were teammates playing two-on-two.
Those were the days my friend.
Back in the day I would jump on the F-train at 15th Street-Prospect Park West and head down to St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn to watch the Terriers play basketball.
Get off at Jay Street, walk a few blocks to the gym.
Main reason was to see my idol, Gerard Trapp play.
This morning I received word that Gerard’s teammate at S.F.C., Duncan Blair, died recently.
The Adelphi High School alum and Bay Ridge native played for S.F.C. from 1974-1977.
Condolences to Duncan’s family.
Yesterday was Jimmy Houlihan’s last shift behind the bar at Farrell’s.
WPIX reporter Magee Hickey reports.
He’s the unofficial mayor of Windsor Terrace, and after 54 years behind the bar at Farrell’s, Jimmy “Hooley” Houlihan is retiring.
Shouting “Hooley, Hooley,” hundreds packed this quintessentially classic Irish bar, Farrell’s, of Windsor Terrace, to pay tribute to their favorite bartender: 80-year-old Jimmy “Hooley” Houlihan, who began working in Farrell’s in 1969.
“I have never met better people than we have right here,” Hoolihan, the retiring bartender, told PIX11 News.
“Hooley’s like the mayor of this neighborhood and he ran this bar like the town hall,” Denis Hamill, the writer/journalist and frequent customer at Farrell’s, told PIX11 News.
Good luck Hooley and thanks for the memories…
Received sad news this morning.
My Aunt Eleanor passed away last night. She was my mom’s older sister.
I loved that woman so much.
As a young boy when I would visit my cousins she always made me feel so good. She went out of her way to make me feel part of her family. I always felt like her son.
Aunt Ellie was tough but fair. Her discipline was what I needed. It’s what all kids need. You messed up, she let you know. Aunt Eleanor did a wonderful job raising her sons and daughters; Lenny (RIP), Ellie, Corbett, Michael and Dori.
Before her family moved to Greenwood Lake, I recall spending New Year’s Eve at her house on 13th street between 3rd and 4th avenues. We didn’t have any noise makers so she would bust out the pots and pans from her kitchen and we would go outside in front of the house and ring in the new year… the old school way.
Aunt Eleanor and her family left the concrete jungle for fresh air, trees and green grass.
Summers spent up in Greenwood Lake were times I will never forget.
My mother, older brother, young sister and yours truly would take the bus from Port Authority in Manhattan and two hours later arrive in town where Eleanor was always waiting to pick us up and take us back to the house.
On warm summer nights we would drive to the local ball field to watch Michael and Corbett play for the Greenwood Lake Elks softball team under the lights. I thought it was the coolest thing.
In the winter, in my early twenties, I would hop on the bus at Port Authority, this time alone to watch little Ellie play hoops for Tuxedo High School. For two straight years their team made it to States in Glens Falls, New York. Eleanor and I would sit in the stands and cheer Ellie on.
Most of all, Aunt Ellie’s love and warmth shown to me made me feel like a million dollars.
Their home in Greenwood Lake was sweet. And boy was it huge. I was jealous. We lived in a five-room, railroad apartment on Ninth Avenue. They had a really cool built-in swimming pool out back. We would also play wiffle ball on their lawn.
The first time I watched E.S.P.N. was at their house in Greenwood Lake. One Friday night when we arrived for the weekend Eleanor grabbed the channel changer and found the all-sports station. Cable was unavailable in Brooklyn so every time we visited I would sit on the couch at night and watch TV.
Aunt Ellie boosted my self-esteem. She knew I was a sports junkie.
We often spent Thanksgivings up at the Lake. Aunt Ellie always prepared the best dinner. Seemed like she was always standing in the kitchen working her ass off while everyone was seated or watching football. She was kind and thoughtful. It was always about others, not about her.
When I was 13 we talked about me possibly moving to Greenwood Lake so I could live with Ellie and my cousins. It fell through, I chickened out. Would have been cool though.
Years later when Eleanor moved back to Brooklyn she drove a sweet looking Lincoln. When I finally got my driver’s license, I didn’t own a car but wouldn’t you know it, she let me use her Lincoln often.
A viewing will be held at The Colonial Funeral Home, 2819 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY on Thursday 10/17/19 from 4:00-8:00pm.
A Mass will be celebrated at St. Charles R.C. Church, 200 Penn Avenue, Staten Island, NY on Friday 10/18/19 at 9:15am.
Rest in peace Aunt Ellie, you were one of the best…
Your nephew, Steven.