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Showing posts from June, 2014

My Bronx Tale: A Father's Day Remembrance

In February of 1965, my father and I went to the Bronx.
Given the time of year and later custom, I suspect the sibling-free excursion was a birthday treat.  We probably stopped for a hot dog in that pre-fast food world, but I couldn’t say for sure. Nor can I recall a single thing we talked about on our drive.  But I certainly remember what we did that day; my father took his six-year-old son to his first basketball game.
We went to see the Manhattan Jaspers play at Fordham University.  The oldtimers referred to the rivalry as “The Battle of the Bronx”. The gym was a smoky bandbox; both sides packed with Irish and Italian New Yorkers who went home to the same neighborhoods when the game ended.
The intraboro matchup warranted a couple of lines in Sports Illustrated’s weekly college basketball wrapup though it was hardly a big game outside of New York.  An on-campus college game in a small gym was a far cry from the Madison Square Garden experience; even in 1965 with the old Garden in i…