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If You Don't Dunk the Gargiulo, You Missed the Point

If You Don't Dunk the Gargiulo, You Missed the Point

There’s little new about Brennan & Carr in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Hot beef broth, hot beef burger, hot roast beef, hot beef burger topped with hot roast beef and cheese.

At Brennan & Carrt it’s all about the Gargiulo, a “burger smothered in roast beef” and cheese ($5.90). The Gargiulo, waiters explain, was named for the employees of the Coney Island Italian stalwart, Gargiulo’s Restaurant, frequent customers who concocted the sandwich.

It's all about the Gargiulo, a burger smothered in roast beef.

While the Gargiulo is on the take-out window menu, it’s not on the placemat menu. Don't be confused-- you can still get it inside. Don’t be deceived by its appearance either. Like most sandwiches (most everything actually) at Brennan & Carr, the Gargiulo requires dipping in a “half-cup” of the blister-your-mouthroof-hot jus, which doubles as an incredibly tasty, very beefy beef broth soup.

The ultimate move at Brennan & Carr: dipping the Gargiulo.

The process goes like this. Cut burger in half. Dunk. Pause. Soak. Wait. Okay, eat. There’s an infusion of flavor, the meat goes soft and juicy, the onions seem sweeter, the cheese gets all melty Kraft Single-like, and the bread turns into a moist kaiser sponge filled with flavor. It’s like a riff on French Onion Soup, American-style, with a burger sitting in it.

Remember, if you don’t dunk, you’ve missed the point.

Know another great roast beef dip sandwich?Recommend it below!


With each passing day I think about all the time spent in the schoolyard playing basketball.

We had all sorts of players. We had good outside shooters, a few good point guards and some guys who were bangers inside. We also had a few guys who could jump. I mean really jump. I’m talking really, really high.

As Jackie Ryan would often say, “he was talkin’ to the Lord!”

A few guys stand out when you think of ball players from the neighborhood who “got up!”

Timmy Kemp, one of the highest jumpers from the neighborhood sent me a few pictures.

T.K. was a cool dude. I used to play basketball with him all the time in the schoolyard. He had that ‘Walter Davis’- type game hence the nickname, ‘The Greyhound’.

Notice the Pony T.K.’s rockin’ in the picture. Those sneakers were in style. I recall getting a pair from Modell’s. Matter of fact, I probably saw Timmy wearing them one day in the yard and decided to pick up a pair for myself. He’s also sporting the down vest that everyone threw over a sweatshirt when they played in the cold weather.

TK is living in Alabama and doing well.

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25 thoughts on &ldquoTHE GREYHOUND&rdquo

McBear’s Summer League Lineup

Timmy Kemp
Allan Lang
Johnny Ginda
Mike Laffin
Kenny Ebanks
Barry Welch
Gammy Martinez
Barry The Owner of McBear’s
Stephen Gottleib

Can any one add another name to this list?

Tito and Curtis Walker. I think Jose was on that team too…

Curtis “Sky” Walker along with the brothers Tito and Joselito
Martinez round out that squad for sure! How did I miss that one?

I don’t know how you missed that either. Curt was tough-he had that midrange game. Plus, Tito shared the PG duties with Alan Lang. They were like Chris Duhon and Nate Robinson LOL…Jose was a solid role player. Grabbed some rebounds and defended inside. We should start a Scouting pamphlet on all the players from the Summer League, sorta like, “Who’s Who in HN Summer League”.

But just remember one thing Coach, you, Glen and the boys had the biggest upset in summer league history when you beat them. even if some of the players might have been a little off in their game that night

Jackie Ryan had hops,, the late Bundy was a quck jumper .. hardly bent his knees and got up ..

LOL…thanks D-Man. Remember Tommy Walsh and Warren Whitlock, those guys had some hops.

In the summer league one year Jackie Ryan did a 360 dunk during warm-ups which prompted ref Pete Iulo to tell him in his jovial manner “Get off the damn rim – this aint the NBA”

That’s a classic line. Pete Iulo, wonder how he’s doing?

hey Steve, i heard there having a holy name, neighborhood reunion in april, i think at bishop ford, did you hear anything on this.

Yes Rich, I heard. They sent me some info, need to post it on the site.

Yeah Tommy had the hops and Warren too. Warrens freshman year at Princeton, he was playing in the jv game before the varsity game. He got a break away at the end of the game and bent the rim on his dunk. The varsity game was next and it was on TV and it was delayed for about an hour while they changed the rim. Little trivia for ya.

Walsh was my hero! Used to love watching him in warmups, #44. How about this, I had the chance to work with him when I did some Ironworking!

Great trivia on that Whitlock story. Wonder how he’s doing?

The kid from Loughlin could get up. Tighe i think his name was.

Donnie Tighe had hops for sure. Was also a great guy. Got to know him pretty well. Rode his bike everywhere!

Donny Tighe was the master at the fake the behind the back pass and keep it wrapped behind the back and when the defender bit he would just go by his man! Donny had great hops but was a very good fundamentally sound player and real good guy! I wonder what he is up to these days?

I used to love running the break with him down Manhattan Beach-he always got out wide, running the lanes. You knew he would finish too when you gave it up to him.

Donny was the man on the break. Real good guy too. 2 other guys from Loughlin with crazy hops. Dave Green and Timmy Shephard. Shephard was one of the only guys I ever saw slam it in the Holy Name summer league. That was pretty tough with the pole there.

Wonder if Tim was assessed a Tech for dunking?

No Pete Iulo was probably talking to someone on the sideline with his head turned and missed it!

I got one .. they reinstated dunking about 󈨐-77 but only during games and I dunked hard during warm ups to show our main rival Delehanty, that we meant business.. The ref teched me and I played the rest of the game scared out of my mind if we lost by one.. thankfully we won. My coach let me have it practice the next day, rightfully so…
Dannny is right… I never saw anyone dunk in a game.. I saw a couple of missed ones though.. The pole was a hazard…
I went to dunk in a pickup game and the defender half tacked me in mid air and we came down on my ankle.. I tore a ligament the defender Raul hit his head on the pole and needed to get checked out what a fun day that was. I was cursing him all the way to the hospital..
I admired the guys who could explode … I was about 6𔃾 so I could dunk pretty easy but I could not explode like Ryan and some other guys..

If my memory serves me right there was no dunking in the Middle League although dunking was indeed allowed in the Big League or Open League. I guess the popular wisdom at that time were players that played in the Big League which consisted of high school varsity players and Holy Name College guys could in fact actually dunk the ball as opposed to the Middle League guys that could just hang on the rim and and as a result either bend the rim or worse break it off completely (a la Michael Bundrick). I remember Loughlin’s Tim Shepard dunking up there in a game as well as others such as Bruce Clarke also from Loughlin. Others that dunked in a game up in HN during the summer league that I remember were Wendell Alexis of Christ The King and later Syracuse University, Stew Granger of Nazareth and later Villanova and the late Arturo Brown also of Nazareth and Boston University. Chris Logan of Bishop Ford and later The College of Holy Cross

Dunking the ball back in the day for most of us was just a dream-we’d rather shoot the jumper!

I’m Learning To Embrace The ‘And’ — Here’s What That Means

“And” is such a tiny word. In any given essay, it’s littered throughout the paragraphs. We all probably write and speak the word “and” thousands of times a day and rarely give the word much thought.

But when you think about it, “and” is actually a really powerful word. It’s a connector. It’s a space-maker. It allows two contradictory ideas or thoughts or moments to exist at once.

Let me explain. I recently saw a post about the gift of being your spouse’s person at the end of life and recognizing that being that person was a trauma to you. The statement struck me. I paused my mindless late night social media scrolling and considered what that statement meant.

I was with my husband every day of his illness. I was with him when he died. Being his person, even on the hardest days when I had nothing left, is something I would never change. I am forever grateful that I could be there for him, forever honored that he trusted me enough to be with him during those last moments. I am deeply thankful that he died knowing he was loved and always would be loved.

For three years, I’ve stopped there—at my gratitude. I didn’t want to examine the feeling that existed beside the gratitude. That caregiving, sitting vigil over a deathbed, all of it, exacted a high price that I’m still paying. That it broke me down. That giving when I had nothing left, left scars along my heart and soul that I’ll bear forever.

This post I came across put that gratitude in words, and then added the word “and.” It was eye opening to be told that I didn’t have to choose. Feeling traumatized by it all does not cancel out the gratitude, and vice versa. Doing all that I’d done for him was an honor and I paid a high emotional price. It’s that simple.

The “and” is powerful. The “and” allows both my truths to co-exist, which allows me to exist more wholly. The “and” gives me permission to hold two contradictory ideas without judgment. I can be grateful to have been there, unwilling to give up even a moment of it, and make space for the fact that being there was hard and broke down parts of me I know I won’t be able to get back.

The idea of “and” isn’t limited to caregiving and loss, though. It’s prevalent in so many places of our lives. The more I thought about it, the more I began to apply it to other parts of my life. For example, I’m so grateful that I can be my kids’ safe space in this world, and it’s exhausting to be their human comfort item. Or, I would give anything to go back to my old life as a wife to my husband, and I’m so proud of what I’ve built during widowhood. Or even, I know everyone is doing the best they can and deserves grace, and I want to scream “do better” at a lot of people. (The one might be too general, but it works.)

The “and” gives us permission to fill in the part that we might try to hide because it’s the part of us that isn’t as compassionate and composed as we’d like. Often, after the “and” comes the part of us that’s uglier. It’s also the part of us that’s human. The “and” allows us to be multi-dimensional: imperfect and perfect, selfish and selfless, full of grace and full of you-can’t-be-serious eyerolls.

On the other side of the spectrum—or maybe right alongside it—is the idea that “and” is a chance to find forward movement. Recently a friend did something that hurt me. It’s not the first time this friend acted in a way that hurt my feelings. My initial reaction was hurt and anger. Both are emotions that need space and shouldn’t be brushed under the metaphorical rug or muted for anyone else’s comfort, but I also took a moment to add an “and.” The “and” was not to invalidate what I felt, but a chance to not get stuck in what I felt, to find forward movement in those difficult feelings. Instead of “I’m hurt,” I kept the sentence going. I landed on: I’m hurt, and it’s time to redraw the boundaries on this friendship. The “and” was at once something that grounded me in the moment and encouraged me to take a step forward.

And is important. It’s one of the first words we learn to read, but it’s not as elementary as it first appears. And is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. And can be the difference between living your full truth or not. Between stopping your sentence or finding more.

And is a word I’m learning to embrace, because my story is multi-dimensional and propelling forward.


Every now and then I will throw up some of the comments from readers on the front page of the blog just in case you missed it…Today, Jim Sullivan and his memory of P.S. 154 located on 11th avenue and Windsor/Sherman.

The new folks in the neighborhood probably look at it and don’t see much, but the sum of those parts were what summers were all about. To me the place was:

– The Basketball Court: I don’t have the nerve to write more than a few words about hoop on this thread. My offense was middling, but I was happy with my D unless I had to cover our webmaster who was one of the toughest covers in the neighborhood. But I could rain J’s over and shutdown The Whopper consistently. One funny episode is when The Whopper brought his camera to the yard and took pictures of Glenn Thomas and Frankie Cullen skying over the rims or hanging on after a reverse dunk. Yes, they were standing on upside down trash cans. Post one of those pix if you still have them.

– The Steps: If you hopped the short fence on the Sherman side, there were two ways to do this: 1) throw one arm over the fence and pull your lower half over with your legs high in the air (maximum style points achieved) or 2) put your two hands on top of the fence, quickly push up, simultaneously swing your right leg on top of the fences, then slip you left leg under and jump down. If you went to the portion farthest from the school, where the slope was steepest, there were 3-big stone steps. It was a cool place to hang out as it was shady and you could keep an eye on the gardens, the basketball court and the remainder of the schoolyard at a glance. As little squirts we would come back from Bohack with our 5 or 10-cent tin cans of root beer to hang out on these steps. I think the part we liked most about our root beers was having to slam them into a pointy post of the airy as you exited Bohack’s lot onto 10th Avenue. I guess that was why those cans were so cheap…no pull tabs. You would lose about 25% of your soda in the explosion, but we slammed then onto that post with gusto. No can openers needed. Its fuzzy, but we would have been in the 2nd-4th grade I would guess. I probably have the wrong faces, but Patrick & Philip “Pip” Craig, Chrissy & Mikey Brennan (left to Poway, CA), Jerry Simonelli, Brian Foley, John “Jughead” Riches, Robbie Kennedy (Prospect Ave) with guest appearances by Matt Bullock & Joe Brown (HiOoooo). I don’t think my later best chum Patty Larkin would not have been there, as to hang around with guys in a lower grade at that early age was incredibly tacky. I think his gang was Eddie McGrath, Michael Hanratty and a Windsor Place guy named “DeMarco.”

The Entrance: When you walked into the school yard there was a gate with a fence above it. I thick metal pole was used to keep the top it the gate in line. As young kids we would hang down and go hand over hand from one side to the other. As teens we would enter the yard by shooting your basketball over the fence with exaggerated backspin and the ball would bounce back into your hands on the other side of the gate. You wouldn’t do this if there was a game of Swift going on, as the Swift court/stadium/whatever was only 15-paces into the school yard. For some reason we flipped baseball cards here as well. Didn’t play colors there, just flipped.

The Gardens: Tons of fun. Climbing the big blue spruce until it was too thick with branches to go any higher. Hopping over those many fences as you made your way from the Sherman to the Windsor side. Wrestling in the square cage next to the Entrance. Getting nuggies from Jimmie Johnson in that area…ouch! When I visit my parents, I am always amazed that no kids are playing in the Gardens. Above the Gardens and wrapping around three sides of the school was a band of limestone. You would put your hands on the upper ledge and your feet on the curved portion of the lower edge and work your way around the school. As a father of young kids I look at this now as astonishingly dangerous, but it was standard fare in the 70s. One time someone popped the cage over a window on the Sherman side and IT was on…kids were wandering the halls of 154 during summer recess. Obviously as a cub scout/weeblo, I remained outside the school, I think. I just remember it was raining puppets. Dozens of puppets were tossed out the window. Some wound up stuck in the tree.

The Ramp: On the Windsor side there was an entrance to the school yard for trucks that used to empty the two dumpsters. Where they cupped out the driveway there was a bump that served as a ramp for jumping our bikes.

Baseball: Yes we were small enough to play hard ball there. If you were a lefty, you were in luck. There was a small window where you could put over the fence 100-feet away for a HR. Righties had to go the long way.

The Roof: A police barricade was propped against the back wall. You climbed to the top and grabbed an aluminum air vent to steady yourself. Next was to use the window cage to pull up onto a slim ledge. Now it got dicey, as you had to lean/lunge across to that short roof where the sprinkler pipe was. This was so serious that people you didn’t know would grab you as you arrived there and pull you up. Then a metal pole was used to get to the next roof. Going up was a gut check, but coming down was the scariest thing I can recall.

OK, I’ll shut-up and watch Joba pitch the 8th against the Royals. Finn – Many thanks for establishing this time capsule. Proust had a tea soaked madeleine, we have the Container Diaries.

HN Class of 79

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40 thoughts on &ldquoSULLY FROM SHERMAN&rdquo

Holy shit, Jimmy Sullivan, you can WRITE!!

How much time did I spend around you and I never knew a single thing about you……how rude of me to not have found out more…..all I did was hang around with your sisters..who ROCK, by the way….

You brought back so many memories for me, they are tangible…..and I didn’t even PLAY basektball…. I did, however ride my bike up and down that ramp and jump it forever…I also learned to ride my skateboard up and down that ramp and on Lower Windsor, right outside the baseball field/area….

For some strange reason I once climbed the “dangerous” way…and I was the kind of kid who stood near trouble but was never really brave enough to get into it….

What a great piece of writing/memory, Jimmy. Thanks so much.

By the way, it was a sad day on Sherman Street when the Brennan’s moved away….

SULLY rumor has it that here is more to this puppet story.

A great blog entry for the future…The Puppet Story!

Yep, the Brennan’s were loss, further compounded by who moved in after them. It left my poor father wondering “What did I ever do to Tom Brennan (i.e., their dad) to deserve this?” We were their next door neighbors and the associated details get fugly fast, so I’ll leave just it at that.

Good to see you as a blogger Annemarie. I enjoyed your Claire story.

ML, I’ll have to arrange for a hall pass, so I can meet you and discuss your new found details and sources regarding those Puppets.

When you get around to explaining how the puppets flew out the window of 154, see if you can let me in on what went on during our 8th grade year when all sorts of things FLEW out onto Howard (it IS Howard and not Fuller alongside Holy Name, right? I’m old and have lived in many countries and many states….and I am old…) in Ms. What’s Her Name’s class…that class drove that woman INTO the closet, I believe……I was in Brother John’s class and well-supervised but I believe you, Jimmy, were in the class of things going out the window……just whenever you get to it, as you have the whole puppet thing to explain first….

Eileen Slavin McElroy said:

Sooo, you guys are the reason that as 8th graders the class of 80 were moved to the FIRST FLOOR of Holy Name.

Yes, do fess up as to what went out the windows…I have heard a few urban legend stories about old textbooks being cleared out the easy way, via the window..but would love to know the whole story LOL
Annemarie, so good to see you here! I just keep picturing your platnum blonde hair and wonderful laugh!

Hey, Eileen, I have been reading your stuff and enjoying it immensely. My hair ain’t so platinum’s more brown….(okay, there’s some gray)…it’s great to see you, too. Thanks for the shout out.

I just want to say that I had Brother John and as I see, so did you, so trust me, I had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the tossing of the books out the window…..I think Jimmy better start talking!

I never knew your year was on the first floor

Eileen Slavin McElroy said:

Hey Annemarie
That’s ok, my hair was once brown and is now blonde and has been red and many shades in between to hide the gray…(pick a box, any box ) LOL
I have a good idea who was in on the texbook caper, and I don’t think Jimmy was, so I am letting him off the hook.
But OH the things we did! Who woulda guessed we were Catholic school kids!

You know. I’ve said it before. I was the kind of kid that stood NEARBY to trouble but ran away when it got scary….so I sit here reading stories (you guys played on the grounds of the Pilgrim Laundry. ) in amazement and I wonder if I REALLY lived my life! LOL

I somehow think Jimmy was not so much involved but I think he was IN that class, weren’t you, Jimmy??

Eileen…I spent three years growing my hair long and just cut it yesterday…I now look like a twelve year old boy…gray’s gotta be better than that!

I remember those days at HN. I remember Joe Mussa used to light up a cigar on the last day of school and he would be stand in the Girl’s yard and be happy to get rid of us for the summer! I remember sitting in Brother John’s class with the likes of Eddie Krumholz, Ricky Ferro, Vinny Scali, and yes the one and only Jimmy Johnson. Johnson would ride his skateboard to school. While I was learning about the Civil War ,Jimmmy Johnson sat next to me with a pocket knife carving the dirt off of his skateboard wheels. He passed! I remember letting Eddie Krumholz peek at my tests and Brother John gave him the “A” on the report card while I got a “B” Lesson Learned Bother John! I also remember Jimmy Johnson was the only kid that was allowed to wear Puma sneakers. His mother came up and complained that they were expensive and that he had a foot problem. Sister Jane bought that hook, line, and sinker! Johnson passed on a few years ago but we had some real characters back then

Jimmy Johnson was one of the funniest dudes ever! I see some of the actors/comedians today and always think of Jimmy. The guy could of been in movies/tv…

I remember the sweltering dog days of summer and playing softball in the PS 154 schoolyard. Upper Sherman would play Lower Sherman. Upper Sherman consisted of Mike Larkin, Mike Kawas, My brother Drew, Georgie Kawas, Patty Larkin, Jimmy Deluise, and myself. Lower Sherman consisted of Kenny and Eddie Krumholz, Carson Tang, Tommy and Richie Pantano, and Jimmy Johnson, Tommy Christi. After we argued over each call we actually played. The ball would go up on the roof to the school and that’s when Carson Tang would climb the roof and throw down every ball down to a buddy and then sell the balls back to us kids. If you were good at softball you could place the ball in right field and hit the ball on the stairs. If the ball got on the stairs there was a good chance there would be a HR. Carson Tang made one of the greatest catches when he leaped up onto the brick wall and caught a shot by Mike Larkin out in center field. How Carson caught that ball was amazing! He was Suzuki Ichiro before there was one.
After the game we would go to Fucci’s Grocery Store which later became Haroni’s (Jocko’s family owned it) and got 25 one cent candies and a soda for a total of like 50-60 cents. We sat in the shade and cooled off for the rest of the day. Those were great times! We were the original trash talkers. If you one that game one had bragging rights until the next game!

As a visitor to PS 154, how about the jugs of water across the street at the Cleaner’s? We’d sit around in the shade and chug until it was time to head back into the yard…

We would go over to Nat who owned Nat’s Cleaners and get water from him. The water would be in some nasty dirty pitcher that he had in his store. None of us ever got sick like the kids today for our immune systems must have been built up by this practice. Nat was this older Jewish man that kind of adopted us Catholic kids. He had a kind heart. He would give us the water and when we asked for more water he would get upset for we took him away from his work(sewing, pressing, etc.) . He would hardly ever say no to us. Once in while we would get out of hand and throw the water around and Nat would come out screaming at us. He would then bar us from getting water from him for the water was 86’d for that day. I remember his liitle non-air conditioned store that was so hot inside especially on those dog days of summer. He would wear those wife beater t-shirts in order to keep cool. We would sit on the steps just to the right of his store and cool down in the shade.

Jimmy Johnson and I had the funniest relationship…….he’d sit outside his apartment building on the steps….I’d be walking up Windsor from 135 PPSW (where we moved from Sherman) to my grandmother’s…..this was a daily event….he’d either tease me (if other guys were around) or be really nice to me (if he was on his own..he was so sweet on his own)..the teasing one time really got to me and I spent weeks and weeks walking along Terrace to Lower Sherman, up there til I crossed 154 or eleventh to Windsor….

One day I was walking with my brand new confirmation was ENORMOUS…on my shoulder (I am turning red at the very idea of me doing this, lol)…playing Bruce Springsteen really loudly (I did not even know it was Bruce, it was just on PLJ)…and as I passed Jimmy and his cronies, he shouted at me “BRUCE!! BRUCE!!” in this wild women who love the Beatles kind of way….to this day when someone says Bruce, I go, “I HATE Bruce Springsteen…” LOL He would yell BRUUUUUCCEE!! at me every time I walked past for like three years…..

One day some kids from another school came along and started to bother me as I went past Jimmy’s building. He was alone. He ran up to them and shouted and stood his ground to stand up for me…..I was so shocked that I let him shout Bruce at me from then on without feeling stupid….JIMMY JOHNSON STOOD UP FOR ME is all I could think of. That’s a good guy. I’m sad to hear he died.

if you walked by my parents house on sherman st next to what was the cleaners, my brothers who hung out with jimmy johnson would still probably break your chops lol,

I too had a love for a school that we never attended (kindergarten doesn’t count), but still taught us so much. In following your lead, I’d like to add a thought or two that you might have missed as a continued tribute to PS 154.

· Regarding the alleged Puppet Caper story: Failing at my verbal attempts to persuade him against such an act, I had now become his reluctant accomplice. My thoughts of returning them and undoing the damage were quickly dashed once he started tearing apart his spoils. I guess he didn’t know what to do with them. While trying to enjoy a cool drink courtesy of Nat and contemplating the err of my ways, the Cops pulled up and proceeded to question us about a reported incident. I immediately froze in fear. In seeing them and thinking quickly, he calmly stuffed the previously beheaded puppet under the grating before they could get a glimpse and covered it with his feet while he answered the officer’s questions. All the while I was terrified of getting the dreaded YD or JD Card, which for us kids meant that my life would be over.
· Summer League
o Playing softball with the big kids I got to pitch, I guess, because no one else wanted the position.
o Bumper Pool Tournaments – A shortened version of billiards that involved shooting around several bollards.
o Table Hockey – This was basically the predecessor to air hockey. There was no air to help things along and you placed your thumb on top of the wood disk to shoot.
o Indoor Baseball – We used either an oversized whiffle ball with bat or a Spaldine which you slapped handball style.
o Indoor Basketball – Despite my young, impressionable age, I was able to dunk the basketball by launching my foot off the wall where the backboard and rim were attached (similar to Jim Carey’s performance in Cable Guy minus the absence of fiberglass shattering).

Some other miscellaneous comments:
· Cream Soda was the Bohack soda of choice for me, and your right, the can opener was the pebble finish of the retaining wall that supported the fence or the closest point of an iron picket fence.
· In addition to flipping over the fence, we used to mimic the popular 1960’s Animated Spiderman TV Show by leaping down from the stone/concrete embankment to the fence below.
· EK and JJ used to call you Big Jim 6 – 8, but besides nooggies, they also used to give you forced wheelies on your banana-seated bike as you tried to ride off.
· JJ’s actions indelibly etched similar unforgettable memories in my psyche. I remember one such incident. With a lit cigar in his mouth, he would pull back a sling shoot loaded with a M80, ignite it with the cigar and shoot it through one of the school’s windows. It would break the glass and explode inside the empty classroom. Repeat. One of the writers of the A-Team must have been taking notes.
· Hanging out in a make-shift club house made by old doors in the Lot.
· B&H Store (at the corner of Windsor and 11th Av) was good for candy, chips and a cold soda. Woody bet the older guys that hung out there that he would streak. He borrowed George K’s bike and flew past in the buff and hollered, “I win the bet”. To top things off he also rode through Bohack (at that time it was a supermarket with doors that opened on both sides).
· For some unknown reason, I can still see Johnny Jupiter trapping bees in empty coke bottles in the yard.
· In the Sherman St vs. Windsor Pl Games – It was often myself, Glenn and Eddie who played Louie and Peter M., Demarco in hockey on 10th Avenue, but only if it was the season. There were likely others that joined in as well.

I am so happy, Patty, to find out just what initiated the streaking. OMG I forget how old I was but watching Woody ride his bike down Sherman, naked, was beyond the scope of my understanding. It was just too much…..I remember in school when I learned about Paul Revere thinking it must have been just like when Woody streaked….”The British are coming” wasn’t nearly as fast word of mouth as “Woody is streaking…”…..I am also very amused at the idea of him riding his bike in one Bohack door and out the other.

Ahh..the Krumbholz family…yes I do believe they were the ones hanging out with Jimmy Johnson…learning to walk past them without feeling stupid made me a brave person as I got older… thank your brothers for me, Richie!

Kindergarten SO counts (as does Preschool). Patrick Craig used to eat dirt in Mrs. Duffy’s preschool room (remember those shoes of hers?) and Mrs. Leonard was the best teacher EVER on this planet……Kindergarten or otherwise.

And, let me tell you, once I moved down to 135 PPSW, I had to cross the street with Mrs. Tripp (was it?) for years…..we didn’t get along well at first… I got older, we began to understand one another and then all was fine….

We were in the same grade. I dont’ think we were ever in the same homeroom class. Half those names you named don’t even sound familiar to me. I do remember Eddie K., he was a funny guy. Remember Kung Lau? I thought he was the funniest kid in the school. He used to pass the doorway on the way from the water fountain, with a mouth full of water, then he’d make a pose like a statue & proceed to spray the water out of his mouth right in the hallway.

Was Mr. Mussa a teacher? I don’t remember him. I do remember Br. John (he wore jackets with crazy patterns that made me dizzy) , Mr. Ludwig (used to make us listen to Bach & other classical music with our eyes closed & when the song was over we had to draw a picture of what we saw in our head) , Br. Thomas, Miss Manna (The Cow), Sr. Dorothy (EEEWW), & Mrs. T. (who loved all the boys).

Good stuff Pat. I forgot about the indoor activities at 154. I was only in there under the supervision of some guy called “Captain Joe” at 154 summer camp and cast votes in the epic Joe Ferris – ____ Ricco battles.

The Woody streak was legendary. It made you proud to be from Sherman Street. I remember people crying wolf all time after the actual event…”There goes Woody!” Everyone would run to the corner, look around then cuss the one who sounded the false alarm.

The Lot is worth a thread of its own. Lots of good times.

“The Woody streak was legendary. It made you proud to be from Sherman Street.”

LMAO, Jimmy. It’s absolutely the truth. That is going to be my favorite sentence for the rest of my life.

Just for the record, one of my boys asked me what I was laughing about as I enjoyed reading Jimmy Sullivan’s comments on The Woody Streak…..and I decided to tell the story…which is the first time I ever actually told it to anyone.

With the information from Patty Larkin, this story was the best story I have ever told. Curse words HAD to be used because it was so friggin unbelievable. How old were we, Jimmy? Nine? Ten? Eight??

Seriously. I can still see him flying past Cheryl, Beryl, Meryl and Deryl’s house……

Word flew like wildfire…and now that Patty explained how it all began, I understand how we had foreknowlege of said event….


Annemaire, I couldn’t tell you how old we were. The range you provided is probably right. Hey, but be careful with that story…somewhere down the line you could find one of your young lad’s clothes on the floor of your garage, but both he and his bike missing!

hey john whats up, doing good my brothers still live in the neighborhood, i’m out in staten island, whats new, have you seen any of the old crew around, 7

Jimmy, my kids are so “good” and “polite” that I would thoroughly encourage such shenanigens…..I would, quite frankly, fall down laughing!

My mother was reading a few posts and started to get annoyed, this many years later, that we did some of the stuff we did. I know now why I moved to Africa! LOL.


Mr Mussa taught the lower grades when we were in 8th grade. I remember Brother John’s loud sport jackets. He looked like Lindsay Nelson or a 70’s Bobby Knight. One day in class Eddie Krumholz and Jimmy Johnson were talking in class and Bro. John yelled over “Hey Laverne and Shirley do you want to stop talking?” and Jimmy Johnson without hesitation replied “OK Kojack” (for Bro. John was bald). Bro. John looked over and said “Good one Johnson” The class erupted in laughter! Kung Lau was new to the country and his english pronunciation was limited. I remember we put on a production of the TV series “Happy Days” in Ms. Manna’s seventh grade class and Kung Lau played the character of Arnold. lol I don’t know if that would go over well in today’s PC world!

Do you remeber when Jimmy Johnson’s mother came up to the PS 154 schoolyard looking for you and said the famous words “Clear the ******* schoolyard” I remember that like it was yesterday! Every once in a while your brother Kenny and Ilaugh about that time.

Just to clear up the “Woody Streak” episode. He actually did it twice! He went on his black Schwin bike racing down Sherman Street and across 11th ave and into the schoolyard over by B&H grocery where that whole crew would hang out (Bruntons, Magees, Danny Ryan etc) All of Sherman Street were out on their stoops watching in amusement. I can remember all of these conservative Catholic parents having this conflict where they wanted to laugh but at the same time showed restraint for they did not want to encourage other kids especially their own kids to repeat this act! Woody went and the people who missed the first show encouraged Woody to do it again and Woody to his credit did not disappoint and did it again about a half hour later. That was classic Woody! He is doing great for I see him once in a while!

hey Glenn
yeah i remember lol, she was there with her daughter, crazy lady. how are you doing

hey john, sounds good, i live in the annadale section of the island off of woodrow road, not far from arthur kill road, yeah i remember your sis, kenney lawsens brother steve lives a few blocks from me, i think he told me kenny lives down by the bay street area, he had a heart attack a while back.

I was recently looking at my class photos. I had totally forgotten they used to put the boys & girls on differnt sides of the school. I guess that’s why I didn’t know Mr. Musa. I always used to wonder why they separated the boys & girls class from 3rd grade to 6th grade. Does anyone know why? I ony have the class pictures from 3rd & 6th -8th grades. We lived in St. Louis when I was in 4th and 5th grade. After two years we came back to Windsor Place. Anyone from the class of 1977 have 1st & 2nd grade class photos. Maybe funds were low for my parents those two years. That’s the years I took dance class with Ms. Renee on 8th avenue. Anyone remember her and her son? I still can remember the cute little outfits & the big dance recital at The Brooklyn Academy of Music. What a big deal that was for us. We felt like the Rockettes.

Richie, All is good and its good to hear from you. I work for the NYC Dept of Education. My wife and I still live on Sherman Street with our 3 little ones. I talk to your father a lot for he walks up and down from the Avenue. I haven’t seen Kenny in quite a while. I did see Eddie and he seems ok.

Does anyone who hung out in PS 154 back in the late 70´s or early 80´s remember when Jimmy Johnson shot his bow and arrow from his apartment house down on Terrace and Windsor Place? The arrow had a point on it and all. They later went up and found it on 11th Avenue! LOL! I know that guys like Buzzy and Eddie Krumholz, Jerry Romano, Dougie, Tommy Christi, all remeber that time. How he got away with stuff like that not too mention the slingshot that Pat L wrote about. He was crazy but definitely entertaining!

Hey Jim,
My parents felt soooooo bad for years after selling the house to “those people”.
Reading all of these posts make me feel like a kid again as I can remember many of them like they were yesterday too. Just for the record, Woodie was riding my brother Bob’s bike. Glenn yor mom was on the top of your stoop and she covered her eyes as Woodie went by. Then we all ran through my house to watch him ride through the Bohacks parking lot. He almost caused a few accidents.
My parents have both passed away, Mike and Chris still both live in Poway, Bob lives in Reno and I am currently in the Carribean. I will tell you all that my brothers, especially Bob and I always talk about how great it was living on Sherman St and going to Holy Name.

When Weather Sealed Cameras Matter

I’ve always felt that, for me, a weather sealed camera isn’t essential. It’s certainly a nice feature, but not something I just have to have. Cameras that aren’t weather sealed can handle the elements to an extent, and oftentimes there are easy steps to mitigate the weather conditions (such as an umbrella), so I haven’t found it to be a limiting factor to my photography. Yet, there have been times that having a weather sealed camera has allowed me to “get the shot” when I might not have otherwise.

Fujifilm has a few cameras with weather sealing. The X-T0, X-Pro, and X-H series are all weather sealed, while the X-T00, X-T000, X-A, X-M, XF, X-E, X100, and X00 series (am I missing any?) are not. I’ve owned a few of these non-weather-sealed cameras, and I’ve used them with success in conditions that might warrant weather sealing. Take a look at the pictures below:

Monte Cristo Mountain Snow – Monte Cristo Mountains, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Out In The Cold – Cedar City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Umbrella Overpass – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Dust In The Wind – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

The photographs above were all captured in conditions where a weather sealed camera would have been nice, but I got along just fine without it. The X-E1, X100F and X-T30, which are the cameras that I used for those pictures, are not weather sealed despite that, I was able to get the picture that I wanted. I didn’t allow it limit my photography.

A weather sealed camera allows you to photograph with confidence in more extreme conditions, such as cold, rain, snow and dust. While non-weather-sealed cameras might get the job done, a weather sealed camera definitely will. Each time that I pushed the envelope on what my camera was designed to handle, it worked fine, but I worried about it. I hoped that I wasn’t ruining an expensive photographic tool.

There was one situation where I know that if I hadn’t used a weather sealed camera, I would have ruined the camera, or at least would have had to have it serviced. More likely, I wouldn’t have photographed at all, knowing that the camera couldn’t handle it, and I would have missed some great pictures. But I did have a weather sealed camera, and I have the shots that I wanted. Those pictures, which were captured on a windy day at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado using an X-Pro2, are below:

From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Sandal – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

The conclusion is this: you don’t need a weather sealed camera until you do. Almost always your non-weather-sealed camera will suffice, especially if you take action to mitigate the conditions, but occasionally you might run into a situation where you really do need weather sealed gear. In those circumstances, you’ll either get the shot because of your camera, you’ll get the shot in spite of your camera (and you might find yourself in the market for a new one), or you won’t get the shot because of your camera. I do think those situations are rare for most people, and whether or not you have weather sealed gear is unimportant for most, but it’s sure nice to have it when you need it.

New to the game and very intimidated

So I come from Diablo, I’ve been playing this game for about 15 hours now and just finished Act 4. I’m following a bleed bow gladiator guide and it seems that I can’t get any good bows and items to make my links and skills better, and I’m low on currency such as colorize orbs, jeweler orbs, etc so I can’t afford to gamble. I’ve been trying to do what guides say, sticking to 2 levels below next map level so exp is efficient. I’ve died a couple times but now I have no idea if my passive tree is for the early game or end game as I follow the build guide tree line. It’s frustrating to not know if you’re doing something wrong or right. My split arrows seems to do fine but I’m still rocking with a common bow 4L at level 41. what did you do to overcome the initial intimidation of the game when you started? Any tips would help. This is my first ever character btw.

EDIT: Thanks for all the in depth replies and help! Appreciate it as a new player. Will make sure to come back here to read all the tips before I start a next character to remind myself of what to do!

If you're intimidated you'll take 10% increased damage from attacks.

Take your upvote and get out

Which is 10% more damage sometimes, sometimes less.

Here are some examples of really cheap gear with good stats to get you started:

You can trade for these just make sure to balance out our resistances and get the required attributes (eg dex are int) that you need. If you need an explanation on how to trade let me know.

But these should give you an idea of what to look out for :)

oh wow great, ill pick one. trade should not be that hard to figure out, just use the site and whisper the person if he is online about the trade i assume? or does it have something to do with stash tabs?

sad, poe loot based arpg. here just buy all the shit u need.

Since others have covered a lot of points, Iɽ like to address this one:

sticking to 2 levels below next map level so exp is efficient

While this is good advice in general,on your first playthrough I wouldn't really worry too much about overlevelling if that makes your character stronger compared to the area you're in.

For what it's worth, xp penalty kicks in at certain threasholds both ABOVE and BELOW the current area level, and the higher the area level, the wider the range, so you have a good amount of wiggle room.

yup, this is really important. cause since you're gona be wayy slower than the people who have thousands of hours and are trying to min-max leveling there's really no point to follow this rule while you're learning the basics of the game

Iɽ start doing it on my 3rd or 4th character to get used to doing it, it's definitely a good habit to develop.

a 4 link is very normal until around lvl 75 as a starter, it also doesnt matter in which item the 4 link is at that point. you can use any bow that fits the build better and move the links/gems to another item.

If you find a decent bow, a good tip is to get the 5 link prophecy. It's dirt cheap and gives you an instant substantial damage boost.

"what did you do to overcome the initial intimidation of the game when you started?"

I had the wiki open and every time i would not understand something, I would read about it on the wiki. I love learning, so it was a pleasure for me.

If you're following a guide you're already doing better than 90% of newbies.

Are you on standard or Ritual?

Link us your character profile (I'll let you figure this out, it's an important part of learning how to play the game and improve).

It’s frustrating to not know if you’re doing something wrong or right.

We can tell you if you're doing anything wrong, but generally, if you only died a few times and can still kill things moderately quickly, you're doing just fine.

You may want to buy a new bow from another player.

You're going to want to set a level limit (so you can wear it) and look for bows with more pDPS (physical DPS), to better scale your bleed damage

Thanks for the indepth reply! Appreciate it.

My profile link: me know what you think of it any advice is appreciated

There should be vendor recipes to add physical damage to an item, just buy the highest base bow you can find and use the recipe then craft flat physical on it. That’s what I did for all my melee characters and it made the story easy.

I’m low on currency such as colorize orbs, jeweler orbs, etc so I can’t afford to gamble

In order to accumulate currency you have to pick up the rares, ID them and then vendor to get orbs. A lot of guides tell players to zoom through the game because picking up rares is a waste of time, but it is the only way to accumulate orbs for crafting and/or trading.

This is also how you get basic upgrades. Learn how to use your crafting bench to make gear better by adding on life, resists, or dps to weapons. Make sure you have ➭vanced Mod descriptions' checked under the UI tab. This will allow you to see prefixes and suffixes on items when you hold the alt key. Items can have 3 of each. If you see open mods consider putting it in your crafting bench and see what can be crafted on. eventually you're remember what mods are prefixes and which are suffixes and you won't have to put them in your bench.

I’m still rocking with a common bow 4L at level 41.

You won't start finding gear with more sockets until later. Six socket items don't start dropping until level 45 zones. Keep your eyes open for white items that already have linked four linked sockets. This way you don't need fusings or jewelers for basic stuff. You'll be able to save them for the 5s and 6s stuff.

There is an in game help panel. make sure you read it to learn some of the basics, like vendor recipes to get upgrades. Hit to read it.

Spaghetti Grilled Cheese

This recipe comes from the food blog, "The Kittchen". While this recipe calls for you to make the spaghetti middle of the sandwich before putting the sandwich together, I found that it also works with spaghetti leftovers. Just make sure to heat up the leftovers you intend to use so that they aren't cold before using them in the sandwich. To make the sandwich following the recipe exactly, you will need 2 slices of soft Italian bread, 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter, a 1/2 teaspoon of basil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of finely grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 a cup of bolognese sauce (or a spaghetti sauce of your choice), and 1 cup of angel hair pasta. The first step is to make the garlic butter that will be spread on the bread. To do this, mix the garlic, basil and butter together. Spread the butter mixture on each slice of Italian bread. Sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of parmesan cheese on the buttered side of each slice of bread, press it lightly into the butter.

The next steps are to make the spaghetti insides. of the sandwich. Bring a pot of saltwater to a boil, add angel hair and cook until al dente, then drain. Stir the cooked angel hair into the bolognese/spaghetti sauce. Next comes assembling the sandwich. Lay a piece of the buttered bread down, butter side facing down. Top with three slices of fresh mozzarella, making sure to cover the bread. Spread the sauce covered angel hair over the mozzarella and top with another layer of mozzarella. Add the second slice of bread, butter side facing up. Then heat a skillet over a medium-low heat. Add the sandwich and cover the skillet. After 5-6 to minutes the bottom of the sandwich should be golden brown, which is when you flip it. Cover the pan again and cook until both sides are golden brown. Serve immediately.

The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Jay Connor Is Racist

As someone who’s spent the past three or so years on the receiving end of death threats, vitriol and all manner of foolishness and fuckery on a weekly basis, my Black Man’s Survival Guide to the Universe consists of the following tenets:

  • Do not watch Fox News.
  • Do not eat unseasoned food.
  • Do not fall prey to white tears.
  • Do not engage trolls.

The first two are relatively simple. It’s that last one that presents a bit of a challenge.

It means dodging emails, ignoring tweets or just laughing in people’s faces should the situation call for it. Trolls live for a reaction, and every single time I refuse to oblige, they suffer a fate worse than death. Though sadly, my reign of torment must come to end in order to provide you fine folks with the ripostes you’ve come to expect from this column.

So congratulations, trolls. Your prayers have been answered.

But I’ll keep this brief since I got shit to do. Let’s get it.

Our first email comes from Mr. David Bastille, who feels some kind of way about my penchant for “supporting racism”:

From: David Bastille
To: Jay Connor
Subject: Stop Supporting Racism

Dear Mr. Connor,

I’ll be upfront, honest, and try to still keep cordial, but I want to say first that this is a letter being written from a Caucasian male whose majority of family came over after the turn of the 1900s. I also want to point out that ive been in inter-racial relationships for almost a decade now, and in the past two years living in Atlanta, have been fired from jobs for either just being white, or accused of being racist because I am white.

I’m writing this because there is a massive flaw in the fight against racism that many people are ignoring or blatantly denying, and that’s that everyone. all skin colors. have racist tendencies. Until that is accepted, the fight will always be a failure.

Allow me to press my point of view, and I hope that as a fellow American and a journalist, you will take the time to read this and understand that it’s not as one-sided as everyone wants to play it.

First and foremost, racism is an “ism”. By definition of that, it is a humanitarian issue, much like any other discrimination issues, like age or gender. It is not an inherent trait due to someones skin color, and needs to stop being treated and presented as such. I’ve been accused of thinking of fellow co-workers as “ niggers” (apologies, but I felt it necessary in this letter to be fully open and point of fact, so you had all the facts of how and why my view is represented as such), that I “didn’t know how to cook for black people” (I’m a chef by trade. 22 years and 8 states. and because I suggested an elk burger on a menu, and not chicken wings and collard greens, I suddenly didn’t know how to cook for a whole group of people, and was told they were too ignorant to enjoy elk. Told to me by a black chef, in Atlanta), and that I didn’t respect my superiors because they were black (no, the fact that they would constantly change recipes in a dire fashion, like to suddenly include peanuts, and not inform staff, gained my disrespect. Not caring about your customers dietary requirements to the point you cooked fish on a beef grease-laden grill. for a pescatarian. gained my disrespect). There are a massive amount of times I’m being told what my thoughts are, based on my skin color. That is racism, performed on a white person, by black people.

Before I go farther, I want to say that I’m not comparing the amount of one crime to another. That would be ignorant, but it’s also ignorant to pretend that racism is an issue that is inherent to one side. Two wrongs don’t create a right. Some black people can, and often are, racist, just as some Arabics are, Indians, Asians, etc.

This idea that the only racism out there is the one based on systematic racism, and therefore only a trait of white people needs to be vanquished because this isn’t just a huge dragon in this war, but also a false shield that many people hide behind. I ask you to research the history of systematic racism and learn about the three people that were behind the push of it in the US. It might surprise you, and many, many others, that this particular view was pushed by three white professors trying to get grants for work from the NCAAP. It is also a thought process and term that disavow the existence of almost any other form of racism, and have allowed there to be a divide in the mindset of popular culture between discrimination and racism. Its actually been stated that black people can’t be racism, because of this. That’s a huge and profoundly ridiculous lie that is being told. Discrimination of other races IS racism, because it’s exactly that. discrimination against someone due to their skin color. Its impossible to realistically and factually separate the two, but it often is because racism is being viewed as one particular. There are many branches to racism: social, individual, institutional/systematic, economic, etc, but everyone seems to focus on one branch, and one branch alone. How blind are we to the tree and the root of the problems, if all we do is focus on one branch? For any true ground on the fight against racism to happen, everyone needs to come to terms that racism is everywhere, amongst everyone, and it’s not an inherent trait of someone’s skin color, but can be expressed and performed by anyone.

A second point needs to be made. Many black Americans are expressing this “well, now you get to experience how it feels” mentality when they accept that there is racism against Caucasian/white people. This is a horrid mentality that is growing in abundance. Instead of horror at the crime being committed at all, it’s almost applauded and encouraged. This is akin to someone killing someone else, because one of their loved ones was murdered, or worse, a rape victim applauding the rape of someone, because “now you know how it feels, huh?” Have we become so animalistic and inhumane that instead of revulsion of an affront, we applaud it? Encourage it? Defend it?

If a Latin American went into a predominantly white area. lets say Lakeside Mall in a suburb about 30 minutes north of Detroit. and shoots 40 white people he/she has targeted, I choose that Mall particularly because ive gone to it regularly for a decade. I know the majority of the customers there are Caucasians. Is that heinous act to be applauded and justified because the reverse happened in El Paso? Should the rape of a white female, by an African American male (hypothetically speaking of this situation), be applauded and justified because a white person from 100+ years ago, or since, raped a black female? Is that to be his defense? Or should we be looking at the crime committed, add the reason of discrimination or targeting because of the race of the victim, and proceed that way? What should be done? What should be the justified and progressive thing to do?

I’m not asking these things to mock you, or if you choose to use any of these points, to mock any of your readers/listeners. I am challenging them to an answer, an answer to be brought to the public, because I hope that maybe if the answers are what I believe they are, then maybe more people will publically acknowledge this false shield, this false pop culture groomed ideal, and face the truth, and then maybe we can make actual headway.

I’m not the enemy because I was born Caucasian. Being born with this skin color doesn’t automatically mean my ancestors had slaves, participated in the holocaust, or any other racial travesty, no more then you being black guarantees that your family were part of the slave trade. They could have been immigrants from African in the last 30 years, and you were brought over by them as a child. I don’t know that, personally, but it would be wrong of me to look at you, Mr. Connors, and just assume that your grandfather or great grandfather were automatically slaves, would it not? That your family history could have no other outcome, simply based on your skin color? Being born black doesn’t automatically make you a rapper, a sports star, or the descendants of slaves, no more then my being born white guarantees me wealth, property, and an easy ride in life, because I guarantee you, Mr. Connors, in this day and age, it definitely has not done that. Instead, I’m automatically judged as the enemy, a racist, well off, white man that is either hunting for a trophy relationship, or a situation I can exploit.

I hope that some of what I said here, and I am cutting this short due to many people’s abhorrence of long emails, does maybe make it into one of your articles, in a good light. I hope that maybe someone besides you and I will read this, many people, and maybe things can start to change. I do hope that, but I know it will take much, much more than me. Despite the reality of it, how I know this will be read and possibly taken with a “ Can you believe this white male explaining racism to me?” ( btw, if that’s gone through your mind, I ask you to pause. take a deep breath, relax, push that from your mind, and reread this again), I can hope that change can come from this, for someone. One step at a time, little by little. Eventually, we all can get there, to the end of the fight, but not if everyone doesn’t accept the truth, and puts all cards on the table.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hudson Valley Vegfest was a BLAST

First of all, let me apologize for not talking more about the Hudson Valley Vegfest in advance. I had this event on my calendar from the early planning stages, but it kind of fell off my radar for a while.

Then, about a week prior, I finally visited the website and I was immediately impressed. It was, by far, the most organized, comprehensive, event site I've ever seen for this type of event. There wasn't one question that wasn't easily answered within a click. In fact, most answers were so ideally and prominently placed, that I knew the answer before the question had yet to form in my mind. All information was clear, aesthetically pleasing, consistently branded, and a breeze to navigate astounding credit goes to the designer, for sure. Case in point: on the question of whether or not dogs could attend, there it was in plain sight, along with a sweet explanation and recommendation on how to assuage your guilt: by bringing home treats! More on that later.

GSA Spotlight: Minnesota’s Zack Raabe Living The Dream With Gophers

Minnesota second baseman Zack Raabe has more than proven time and time again that baseball is alive and well in the North Star State. His 31 base hits led the nation a year ago before the season came to an abrupt stop, and he&rsquos slashing .484/.600/1.032 this year through 10 games.

You may notice the inflated slugging number, and that 1.032 isn&rsquot a typo. It&rsquos also not by accident, but we&rsquoll get to that shortly.

Raabe&rsquos father, Brian, also played under legendary head coach John Anderson at the University of Minnesota, doing so from 1987-1990. That&rsquos about 10 years into 14&rsquos career as opposed to Zack, who is with Anderson during his 40th year at the helm of the program. Brian was named an All-American in 1990 and was drafted in the 41st round by his hometown Twins that year. He spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues with the Twins, Mariners and Rockies and currently serves as the head coach at Bethel University at the NCAA Division III level.

So, while Zack is a native of Forest Lake, Minn., Raabe didn&rsquot just go to Minnesota because that&rsquos where he grew up. He was born to be a Gopher.

&ldquoIt&rsquos an absolute dream come true &ndash it really did come true coming to Minnesota,&rdquo Raabe said. &ldquoEver since I was a little kid, I was a die-hard Gopher fan. We had season tickets to go to Gopher games: hockey, football, baseball &ndash we&rsquod go to all of them. I grew up in Minnesota and I&rsquove always loved Minnesota. Right when I got offered, this was the place I wanted to go.&rdquo

&ldquoI wouldn&rsquot want to play for anyone else,&rdquo Raabe added about playing for head coach John Anderson, affectionately referred to as &lsquo14&rsquo. &ldquoBeing here and being around him is a dream come true.&rdquo

Once a player attributed to hit the ball where it&rsquos pitched &ndash which always seems like a nice thing to say but isn&rsquot always perceived to be a compliment &ndash the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Raabe has spent a lot of time in the batting cage, and the weight room, looking to improve his craft knowing it&rsquos a never-ending process. With that has come added power, as his eight extra-base hits (three doubles, four homers and a triple) in 10 games this year equal the eight (seven doubles and a homer) he hit in 17 games in 2020.

Time, after all, is the one thing baseball players were afforded more of during the pandemic.

&ldquoI work with my dad and [assistant coach Packy] Casey a lot,&rdquo Raabe said. &ldquoPack Casey is one of the best in the business, I have nothing but good things to say about him. He knows what he&rsquos doing, a hard worker. He studies a lot and helps all of us in ways that I can&rsquot even imagine &ndash they&rsquore over my head. He&rsquos such a good teacher on the mental side of hitting.

&ldquoThe big thing he worked on with me, and our guys, is the thought process in the box, your approach at the plate, nitpicking that stuff to get the real hitting experience, the real D-I experience because that&rsquos the difference between high school and D-I in my opinion, the mental side.

&ldquoI&rsquove been working a lot with him on my eyes, tracking the baseball all the way in. If you can&rsquot see it, you can&rsquot hit it. He works on that aspect more than any other coach. And same with my dad, we work on tracking the ball and harnessing my mental side of hitting.&rdquo

Add in Raabe&rsquos diligent work in the weight room with strength coach Scott McWilliams and you have a physically fit player determined to add power to his already polished hit tool. Just look at the year-by-year triple slash progression to get a sense for how he has improved.

The power isn&rsquot a fluke. It&rsquos not like he&rsquos hit a stretch in which he&rsquos just seeing the ball better and yanking line drives down the line that clear the fence. He&rsquos driving the ball with authority, more consistently. In fact, his triple this year was mis-called by the umpiring crew after the ball bounced back into the field of play at U.S. Bank Stadium after clearing the fence. Meaning, he should have five dingers right now instead of the four that show up on his profile page.

In that same series, he hit two doubles &ndash one that he launched over the center fielder&rsquos head and just missed clearing the fence &ndash and a home run that couldn&rsquot be mis-called. And in adding power to his swing, he hasn&rsquot lost his approach and has actually become more selective at the plate as evidenced by nine walks and only two strikeouts in those 10 games played.

For as good of a hitter as he is, when you ask Raabe about his goals he doesn&rsquot talk about his numbers, base hits or the draft coming up in June. In fact, he actively avoids those questions until you find a way to ask so he can&rsquot avoid it. He does, however, quickly point out the different things he can do to help his team win.

&ldquoThat&rsquos Zack. He&rsquos a team-first guy,&rdquo Brian Raabe said about his son. &ldquoHis main goal &ndash and he truly means this &ndash he wants to win first, more than anything else. That&rsquos a big deal to him, it always has been. &hellip He realizes that if he does well that&rsquos great, that probably means the team is doing well. But if he&rsquos not, and if it&rsquos not his day &ndash you know how baseball goes &ndash if he can help in any other way [like] on defense or with his hustle or enthusiasm, then that&rsquos what he&rsquos going to do and bring to the table.&rdquo

Brian Raabe&rsquos profile was very similar to his son&rsquos. They&rsquore both righthanded hitting second basemen with smaller statures that really know how to hit. And the elder Raabe is quick to point out that size doesn&rsquot necessarily limit a player&rsquos physical capabilities, mentioning the success of proven big leaguers including Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia.

&ldquoHe&rsquos so technically sound. It&rsquos his swing mechanics, that is why he can do it,&rdquo Brian Raabe added. &ldquoThere&rsquos a lot of players that are a smaller stature but can flat-out hit and hit with pop. Zack&rsquos no different. If you try to throw him away, he can hit a double to right, no problem. You throw him in and he [can drive it] to left-center. Because of that he provides a lot of problems for a pitching staff. They don&rsquot know where to throw him, now they&rsquore trying to trick him, and if they leave a hanging breaking ball up in the zone, he&rsquos going to kill it.&rdquo

&ldquoI kind of chuckle every time I hear that question because it&rsquos the biggest advantage anyone could have,&rdquo Zack Raabe said in response to working with his father. &ldquoI&rsquod be lying if I said that I got here on my own. That&rsquos not the case. Obviously, I&rsquove put the work in and all of that, but my dad has been here every single step of the way. Ever since I was a kid, he was the first person that wanted to go outside to throw whiffle balls to me, play catch with me.&rdquo

Raabe points out there have been a lot of people along the way that have helped guide him, including his father, his grandfather, Coach Anderson and the rest of the Minnesota coaching staff. It should also be noted that the family has a close connection to the family of Matt Wallner, another product of Lake Forest, Minn., who opted to play college baseball at Southern Miss.

Wallner returned home, so to speak, in June of 2019 when the Minnesota Twins selected him with the 39th overall pick of the draft.

While Wallner and Raabe are completely different athletes and hitters &ndash Wallner is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound lefthanded slugger that you can&rsquot miss when he takes the field &ndash Raabe values being able to the mind of a close friend, someone that has had a taste, with success, of college baseball and more.

But Raabe isn&rsquot one to look ahead. He clearly is grounded and focused on the present and genuinely is intent on helping his team win. With a 3-8 start to the 2021 season that part has been easier said than done. Work still needs to be done, however, as Raabe and other upperclassmen are focused on helping the first-year players find their way both on and off the field and getting through the rough patches together.

The rest will take care of itself.

&ldquoI&rsquom not worried about the draft,&rdquo Raabe said. &ldquoI&rsquom here to play college baseball. That&rsquos my main focus. That&rsquos my only focus. I just want to win games, I&rsquom a big team guy, I&rsquove always been that way. I want everyone around me to have success, not just me.&rdquo is your online home for college baseball scores, schedules, standings, statistics, analysis, features, podcasts and prospect coverage.

Taco Bell's Waffle Taco took over the breakfast world

People feel like they've seen it all, and more importantly, eaten it all. But, every once in a while, something entirely unique hits the market that causes so much buzz you can't help but want – no, need — to be part of the craze. And that's exactly what the Waffle Taco did.

The idea behind the Waffle Taco came from Heather Mottershaw, Taco Bell's director of product development, after she saw a Facebook photo of her friend folding a waffle around eggs, avocados, and a few other breakfast ingredients. While some people only saw a cool idea, Mottershaw saw lightning in a bottle. After showing the idea to the creative team, Taco Bell went through 80 potential variations before settling on a winner. "As soon as the team started to see it, there was this instant excitement, this buzz that this is a cool idea, this is a big idea," Mottershaw said.

Now, if you feel the excitement of the Waffle Taco quickly building in your gut, you have to shelve that craving. The item came and it went. It's now a distant — but delicious — memory for those lucky enough to have indulged while it lasted. Will Taco Bell ever re-release the epic creation? It's hard to say. But, until then, you can grab yourself a box of Eggos and MacGyver your own.

Watch the video: Dunk for $100 #shorts #basket-ball (November 2021).