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Showing posts from 2014

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World

The other day, I came across a tidbit in the news.   It said it was the birthdate of former movie star Hedy Lamarr; she would have been 100 years old.    To call Hedy Lamarr’s life fascinating would be to damn it with faint praise.   The word to describe her journey has yet to be invented (Larmarresque?). She was much more than a beautiful woman, but beautiful she was.   Ms. Lamarr’s look was truly timeless.   Her publicity shots from the thirties and forties could be released, unaltered, today and cause the same buzz they did then.   Fortunately for her, though, the term “buzz” was not yet in vogue and she flew somewhat under the radar through a series of scandals that – if seen today – might cause the Twittersphere to explode.   She left Germany in 1933 after stirring up controversy for depicting the first female orgasm in non-pornographic film history.   She was married at least six times.   She essentially gave away her 12-year-old adopted son and never spoke to him agai

Haypath Park

We didn’t have social media.   No Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram.   In fact, we didn’t have the internet, cellphones or cable TV. But we had Haypath Park and that was pretty damn good. I have a vivid mid-sixties recollection of my father at the kitchen table with the Long Island Press reading an article about plans to build a park on Haypath Road.   Almost like literary foreshadowing, I sensed this was a more important nugget than whatever was on the first few pages of the paper that day. Carved out of the woods between three housing developments, our park immediately became the beating heart of a generation of local kids.   Two baseball fields, a basketball court, tennis courts, handball and some scattered diversions for younger children.   From the day the gates swung open, it rendered the question, “what are you doing after school?” obsolete. In my decade or so tethered to the park, I tried just about every game known to man.   We played football, basebal

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