“It’s three a.m. there’s too much noise don’t you people ever want to go to bed?” -Mick Jagger
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.
It’s three am, there’s too much noise don’t you people ever wanna go to bed?
Here’s a story below from DNA Info on people complaining…about the noise.
Boy-0-boy did Mick have it right, huh?
“Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me…”
Today marks the first day of school for my daughter. She’s starting her junior year of high school.
She was born in 1999, that feels like yesterday.
But then again that is 16 years ago.
When I open up my computer and go to this blog and begin to compose, I always think back to when I was a teenager. It “jogs” my memory.
I think of all the nights we spent hanging out and having fun.
Schoolyard. Parkside. Any street corner. Back of McBears. PS 154’s schoolyard playing night basketball with Andrew Purdy.
I think of my school boy days as a student at Holy Name. Man I wish I would have paid attention to the teachers. Wish I would have studied and completed my homework on time.
But most of all I think back to my time playing basketball for Holy Name.
I started when I was 8 and finished when I was 13. My coaches Georgie Rauthier, Danny Piselli, the late Joe Farrell and Tom Brady. Those guys taught me so much about the game.
Those days seem like yesterday. When I think back to the practices in the schoolyard, I feel like walking out of my house and taking 212 steps. That’s how far away the yard was from our apartment.
I’m 51 now. I have learned to cherish every minute of each day.
Wish I would have had that same thought process back in the day.
Have a great day everyone!
I can’t believe July is here…
Where did June go?
Time is flying by isn’t it?
I need to sit back and smell the coffee.
How come I can remember things that happened when I was 14 years-old but I can’t remember where I put my car keys last night?
I thought Mick said, “Time is on my side, yes it is?”
Saturday night – May 9
Love and hope and sex and dreams Are still surviving on the street Look at me, I’m in tatters! I’m a shattered Shattered Friends are so alarming And my lover’s never charming Life’s just a cocktail party on the street.
Hanging out on the parkside listening Donato’s boom box, it’s a beautiful night. We don’t care. Everyone is singing along to the Stones. It’s the weekend. Not a care in the world.
We’re teenagers, what’s there to worry about?
If you took a count, we probably have 25 to 30 kids hanging out tonight. Some nights it’s more, some nights it’s less.
A cop car rolls up. Everyone is looking over at the cop who is getting out of the car. Someone turns the music down.
Oh shit, should we run?
Who they looking for?
It gets real quiet.
“ANYONE SEE MIKEY?” the cops shouts.
No one says anything.
It’s like we’re frozen.
We’re too afraid.
“IF ANYONE SEES HIM, TELL HIM WE’RE LOOKING FOR HIM AND HE BETTER TURN HIMSELF IN,” the cop explains.
We stand there stunned.
Wonder what Mickey did now? Guy is always getting into trouble.
The cop turns around and walks back to the squad car. It peels out, goes around the circle and books down 15th street.
We crank the music back up.
“Wonder what Mikey did?” someone asks.
“Who gives a shit,” I scream.
Beer, Bishop Loughlin, Boots, Citadel, Coney Island Avenue, Grady High School, John Jay, Lefrak, OLPH, Parkside, Prospect Park, Prospect Park Southwest, Quaker Cemetery, Rolling Stones, Stickball, Sympathy for the Devil, Windsor Terrace
It’s a little after six on a cold Friday night in late November. I am sitting alone on the wall made of stone which surrounds Prospect Park. I sit patiently, no make that, I sit anxiously waiting for my friends to arrive. I’m usually the first to show up. After supper I rush out of my apartment and head over to the spot everyone calls “The Parkside.” I rest my feet on the back of the park bench in front of me.
Looking across the street at the tall apartment building we call “Lefrak,” I see people waiting for the B68 bus that begins its route down Prospect Park Southwest to Coney Island Avenue. They are standing in the doorway trying to stay out of the cold.
As a young boy I can remember getting on that exact same bus with my mother and we would go to Brighton Beach. The trip seemed to take forever. Out in front of the Lefrak was the first bus stop, we always got seats in the back of the bus.
Some of my friends who attend Grady High School down in Coney Island take the “Grady Special” every morning from that same exact spot. One morning when I cut class I jumped on board with them and went for the ride. As they went to school I got on the B68 and came back alone.
The temperature is dropping with each passing hour but I don’t care. I have a pair of black gloves on, a green parka, two sweatshirts, a hat and long john’s. I can feel the chill of the cold stone on my ass. The boots on my feet keep me warm along with two pairs tube socks. I love wearing two pairs of socks, it’s extra cushion for my bony feet.
I’m fourteen years old, some of my friends are the same age, some are fifteen and a few are sixteen. We started hanging out here on the wall back in August. We played stickball in the empty parking lot right by the tombs; so one Sunday afternoon after we played a couple of games we rested on the wall outside the park. Down on tenth avenue the older guys from the neighborhood hang out on the park benches. The “tenth avenue” entrance of the park as they call it. Whenever we had track practice or baseball practice for Holy Name this was the spot we met our coach. I had walked by a few times at night and would see close to a hundred people hanging out drinking, listening to music and having a good time. I knew most of them by face, some by name, some I would see playing basketball in the boys schoolyard on Saturday mornings.
As for our spot on the parkside, it was cool. We’d bullshit all night with each other, check out all the people walking by, the cars and of course the busses. We would play five-card poker right on the sidewalk. I think we wanted to be like the older guys and gals down on tenth avenue. Across the street waiting at the red light is a small group of my female friends. There’s Karen,, Mary, Laura C., and the two Maureen’s, H. and D.
“What’s up Fin?” Mary asked.
“Nothing much, how you doin’?”
“Things are good,” she answers as she sucks on a lollipop she bought from Tokyo Joe’s Candy Store and smiles. When Mary opened her mouth, she had the prettiest teeth and her tongue was blue from the lollipop.
The girls hopped up on the wall and took a seat next to me.
“How’s school?” Mary asked.
“It’s OK,” I answer as I quickly change the subject.
Little did my friends know, despite hanging out every night, I stopped going to school.
Pretty soon the rest of our crew shows up. One by one, in groups of two’s and three’s. They come from all over the neighborhood. Seeley Street, Windsor Place, Sherman Street, 16th Street, Howard Place, and Terrace Place.
We had a large group of boys and girls combined but I never took the time to count how many we actually had. Some weekends you’d see a strange face show up to hang out. Some would stay with us for the long haul, some would never show up again. There were some nights it was just maybe three or four of us hanging out. I guess some couldn’t come out because maybe they had homework or something. Maybe they were punished and weren’t allowed out?
Most of us became friends at Holy Name grammar school over on ninth avenue. Some had gone to school with me since first grade. There were a few guys that went to I.S. 88’s, P.S. 154’s and we had one kid from P.S. 10’s. When we graduated from Holy Name it was time to go our separate ways for high school. I went to Power Memorial, some guys went to Grady, Bishop Ford, John Jay, OLPH, Xaverian, LaSalle Academy and one went to Bishop Loughlin.
We didn’t have a name for the group like the “Huns” a group of older guys and girls from the neighborhood. Someone had come up with “The Young Sabres” but that didn’t last too long.
My guys are Jimmy, Speed, Sean, Mickey, Johnny G., Jose, John, and Kevin. We argued often and sometimes fought with each other, but overall, we were great friends.
“Who wants to get a six-pack?” someone shouted.
We all jumped up off the wall and were eager to chip in. Some nights I had money, other nights I was broke.
A few people were assigned to go and pick up the brewskies. Jogging across and dodging cars on the avenue, they made their way across the circle and down 15th street to the Bodega on 8th avenue. There were a few different spots around the neighborhood that never bothered to check I.D. – and if they did, we just waited outside for someone old enough to come along and purchase the beer for us.
It wasn’t long before they were back carrying brown paper bags wrapped up, and tucked under their arms. When you bought beer and wrapped it up in a brown paper bag you smuggled it because you didn’t want anyone to see it.
This was our cue to get off the wall and head into the Park. We looked like an Army marching into enemy territory.
My guy D. from 16th street carries a huge boombox blasting “Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones. When we hang out, we always listen to music and D. is the guy who provides the tunes. As we walked some of us sang along with Mick Jagger.
“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year stole many a mans soul and faith. And I was round when jesus christ, had his moment of doubt and pain…”
As we enter the park, Hippie Hill is on the right. Back in the day many of the neighborhood teens hung out here. We walk the path that leads us to the road in the park. No worries about the cars because you’re not allowed to drive in the park after six at night. We cut through the horse corral as we walk deeper into the park. Passing the baseball diamonds I flash back to the 6th grade when we played St. Saviour and Gordy struck me out three times. We make our way over to the bleachers. There were two sets of bleachers where the families and friends of baseball players would sit and watch the game. But at night we took over. It was our “hideout.”
The cans of Budweiser were handed out and we began to drink.
We paired up, we stood in groups, some sat down on the cold concrete.
Here we were, the teenagers of America, the future…hanging out drinking beer and getting drunk.
The cops from the 7-2 were nowhere to be found; they left us alone. We were too deep in the park for anyone to see us.
The Quaker cemetery was back behind us about 100 yards away. There were rumors that Devil Worshippers hung out at night and would sacrifice goats and chickens using some crazy voodoo shit. Kids around the neighborhood said that they had seen weird-looking people with pink hair and a lot of black make-up chanting crazy shit as they worshipped the Devil. One night while we were wasted we made a trip to see them and actually the rumor was true. We saw a bunch of live bodies about a hundred yards in front of a big fire, I felt like Charlton Heston in the Omega Man. We harassed them from outside the high silver fence and they scattered. We wanted to climb over the fence but there was way too much barbed wire on top.
Do you remember back in the day listening to music when hanging out with friends?
Music was a big part of my life growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.
Despite having a low self-esteem, whenever my favorite songs came on the radio, I felt a whole lot better.
Music powerfully influenced the emotions in my body. I’d play the air guitar or think I was Charlie Watts with the sticks.
Whether it was on the street corner, in the schoolyard, in Laura Cox’s apartment, Prospect Park, or better yet, with the one you loved; the sounds put us in a good mood.
My man Donato Barrucco of 16th street between 8th and 9th avenues was the first guy from my group of friends to own a ‘boom box’.
Donato had a job at United Meat Market delivering meats. He was promoted to working behind the counter where he sliced baloney. (How come when you walked in the butcher there was always saw dust on the floor?)
We listened to everything from rock-n-roll to disco. Most of my buddies were into rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who and of course The Beatles.
I remember one night Donato didn’t have any ‘D’ batteries so we plugged his box into the street lamp-post courtesy of Con Edison of course.
Whenever your favorite song came on the radio or cassette, you asked Donato if you could hold the radio.
When ‘Brown Sugar’ by the Stones came on, John Cain and I went nuts. Cain was Jagger, I was Keith Richard. Know matter how many times I heard that song, I could never understand what Mick was saying; especially the beginning.
But there was nothing like sitting on the couch with that special person in your life at the time and listening to music.
One of my favorites from back in the day by Paul McCartney and Wings.
Amy Sohn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Nets, Carroll Street, Denis Hamill, John Wooden, Mick Jagger, New Jersey Nets, New York Daily News, New York Times, Prospect Park West, Rolling Stones, Sports, Stickball, UCLA
The telephone is ringing
I say, “Hi, it’s me. Who is it there on the line?”
A voice says, “Hi, hello, how are you
Well, I guess I’m doin’ fine”
He says, “It’s three a.m., there’s too much noise
Don’t you people ever wanna go to bed?
Just ’cause you feel so good, do you have
To drive me out of my head?”
Mick Jagger’s lyrics when he rocks out the Rolling Stones smash hit, ‘Get off my Cloud’.
As of late, I have heard so many stories about people complaining. I know complaining has been around for many, many years. But I’ll tell ya this, when I stopped this awful habit, my life turned for the better.
I blogged yesterday about the New Jersey Nets and their possible move to Brooklyn, while some folks down by the Atlantic Yards do not want this project to take place.
Today a reader/contributor of Container Diaries left a link in the comments section on an article by our own Denis Hamill and it seems some folks on Carroll Street are upset about an annual stick-ball game; and of course there’s my girl Amy Sohn and her latest book, Prospect Park West.
The guys from Carroll Street between 6th and 7th avenue who get together and play stick ball once a year actually have a website/blog. I’m not really sure what’s going on because I haven’t been there but D-Hamill gave us his take on the situation too.
That said, I am deeply offended that stickball, the glorious street game that defined our storied streets, taught generations about team play, obeying the rules, conflict resolution, and to treasure life-long friendship is now considered a quality-of-life crime in the “new” Brooklyn.
My Zen readings of late (see, even I change) have tamed my raging impulses to sling the term “yuppie scum.”
Sorry, this time there isn’t a more appropriate phrase for these self-righteous elitist snobs who would dare ruin a beautiful game of stickball in Brooklyn.
Here’s another article on the stick-ball game from Mike McLaughlin of the New York Daily News.
Because of residents’ complaints, four cops were sent to the block for the first time to oversee the Sept. 19 game.
Amy Sohn, a writer from Park Slope with her new book, Prospect Park West has caused a stir with some of the locals. New York Times review. There’s one particular person who calls herself, ‘Smart Mom’- who seems to be really…ticked off. I’m trying to find the link to her review of the book. LOL
What’s going on here? People are going wild-seems like everyone needs to complain about something. Wake up in the morning and look for something to complain about. Look, I’m complaining about people complaining!
Former UCLA Bruins basketball coach John Wooden once said, ‘Don’t complain, don’t whine, and don’t make excuses’.