Archive for November 2012

Snapshots of life   8 comments

Today’s blog is just some little snippets that came to me as I was trying to decide what to write. I guess you could say they are snapshots of life. We don’t remember whole summers we remember instances. Sometimes sights, sometimes sounds or even a smell.

These are all Red Hook memories for me but I guess most of them would fit many who grew up elsewhere.

My mother wearing the mink is always dreamed of but never thought she would have. She was so proud of that stole. The best thing I ever bought in my life.

Meeting up with friends to go to the pool on a hot summer day. The towel rolled up under your arm.

Sitting in Tony’s looking at the picture of Custer’s Last stand. Waiting for the best pizza ever. I have yet to find a pizza close to Tony’s.

The feeling of a solid connection when your bat hits the ball. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or softball. Hell even stickball. In the same game the feeling when you throw your curve and it breaks better than a major league pitcher’s. Yelling to your friends “Did you see that?” If only you knew how you did that.

Watching out the school window as they started putting up the tents and rides for the bazaar. Wondering why they were taking so long.

The Bazaar itself. The smell of cotton candy and Chow Mein on a bun. The sounds of the rides and the excitement we felt. Thinking back about it you realize that the bazaar was actually no big deal. But Oh, what would you give to be able to go back and experience again it just for a day.

Walking across the bridge over the Gowanus canal on 9th St. The old bridge that would shake like it was going to fall whenever a car went over it. On the way to the Prospect or the Avon to see the latest Peter Sellers movie with your friends.

Sitting with your friends arguing over who is better The Beatles or the Stones. I will always be a Beatles man.

Making prank phone calls. We met two groups of girls that way.

These are just a few things I thought of. I hope some of them brought back a good memory to you. Don’t live in the past but don’t forget it either. It made you who you are. Most of your life is memories. The present goes by too quickly and the future is closed to us. To be without memories is to be without life.

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Posted November 29, 2012 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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The Exorcist?   1 comment

I have gotten more questions about the book. So here goes. It will be one year from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Eve. It is about one cop and the squad he works with. It covers jobs, love affairs, parties etc. All aspects of life in the precinct. Now it is a novel so expect it to be a novel inspired by the 83 of the 70’s. If anybody sees anything familiar or appears to recognize himself or anyone else it is a coincidence. Here is a one of the stories from the book. I have changed it a bit from the book to fit here. I hope this gives you a feel for the book.

I returned to the precinct one day from court. Lt. Shaky King was on the desk. A man came in screaming that he was possessed that devils were trying to make him hurt people. We all recognized him. We had sent him to Kings County’s G building before. Lt. King immediately advised the patrol Sgt. who had stopped in that he had the desk. Lt. King was now on meal. He would remain on meal until the situation was settled.  Sgt. Capp said take that asshole into the back. He said he will have a footman respond to take the pyscho. We cuffed him and brought him to the back room to wait for an ambulance. It was taking awhile and to liven up the day one of the anti crime guys decided to do a little acting. He was about 6′ 1″ with shoulder length brown hair and a full beard. He ran upstairs took off his clothes and came down with a sheet wrapped around him like a robe. He said ” I have come down to cleanse the demons from you. Out Demons leave this child in peace.” Our psycho turned to us and asked if we could see him. We told him all we could see was a glow. He immediately calmed down and with tears in his eyes told us that God had come down and exorcised the devils from him. The ambulance finally came and took him away with the footman riding escort. Our pyscho had been  roaming the streets for years and talking to himself. When he got out two weeks later he got a job and we never had to deal with him again. He always insisted that God had saved him. We never told him it was an Italian cop with a wife and a girlfriend.

Posted November 23, 2012 by kevingcox in Uncategorized

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Book   4 comments

Some people have asked what the book I am writing is about. I am trying to evoke the feeling of what it was like to work in the Eight Three during the seventies. Not a memoir but more inspired by, sort of like M*A*S*H. I want to show the differences between what is presented on TV and the way it really was. Those who were there no it was not Adam-12. Our corner cop bar was not a classy place filled with beautiful people. We had a place so low class it didn’t even have a name. The B&G for Bar and Grill. I don’t know where the grill came from. As for beautiful people we had Doll Face. She didn’t get the name for her beauty. She had so much make up on her face looked liked it had been stamped out of plastic. She would drink herself into a coma every day.

On the street we had Wanda the witch. She would call every once in a while because she was stuck in the tub. Of course she had to get out of the tub and unlock the door before she called. She had also been known the flash the sector car if she saw one pass with no one around.We had Charley the drunk. Bushwick’s own Otis. Harmless and pitiful. There was Hercules who could fold a quarter in half with two fingers. Nice guy sober but a real nasty drunk. His wife was the only thing he feared when he had his load on. Then there were the Saxon’s. Mean sober mean drunks. Of course we had the blackout. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Those who worked there should remember most of these. I hope to give those who didn’t work there an understanding of what we lived through. I hope to do this not with actual events or people but with stories loosely inspired by the precinct.

Posted November 21, 2012 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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Red Hook Life   7 comments

Thanksgiving is almost here and I was thinking about how it was in the Hook. I can still see Father Maroney going around collecting for Thanksgiving baskets. Each basket would have everything needed for a family to have a real Thanksgiving Dinner. My family never had a real lot but my mother always found money to donate enough to supply a basket for someone. The whole thing would be repeated for Christmas. In the 1950’s and 60’s life in Red Hook revolved around Visitation Church and Christ Chapel. You could tell the season by the churches. We had the St. Patrick’s Day plays and the Christmas season plays. The Bazaar would come in as the school year was ending. The Rye beach boat rides for the summer. In the fall school started.  Visitation Place would be crowded and noisy with kids running around but as soon as the first bell rang the noise stopped. On the second bell lines would form faster than a Company of Marines could fall in. Straighter too. You hear now of kids getting out of college who can’t read. In Visitation a kid couldn’t get out of the third grade if he or she couldn’t read. I guess all thing change in time. The school is gone. Christ Chapel is no longer. There are now apartments where the bazaar thrilled us. Maybe not everything has changed. I read the people of Red Hook came together in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Working to help each other. Maybe it is something left behind by all the good solid souls who lived and died together and called Red Hook home. There is a new crowd now but the spirit of the Point is still going strong. May those new Pointers someday feel about it as we do.

Posted November 21, 2012 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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Childhood Obesity   10 comments

Today I was watching TV and all they talked about was Hostess Twinkies. One of the experts being interviewed was saying in a way it is a good thing. He said Twinkies were one of the causes of childhood obesity. Personally I think that’s bull. They had Twinkies when I was a kid and we ate them. The heroes we got from Defonte’s or Pop’s were a hell of a lot bigger than the ones that subway puts out and we ate them. We had Tony’s Pizza and we ate it. Why weren’t we obese since we ate probably more than the kids eat now? It’s because we played outside. I remember going down to the fields with a bat, glove and ball. There would always be games going on. We sometimes started at eight in the morning and played 8 or 10 hours. Stopping only to eat or hit the head. If we weren’t playing ball then there was handball, paddleball, stickball and football both touch and tackle. We spent hours in the pool. Not laying in the sun but swimming and playing. We walked everywhere from the movies to Prospect Park. I remember walking from Red Hook to the Empire State Building. Why did we do that? Because someone said let’s do it and it seemed like a good idea. Kids now want to be driven two blocks to a friend’s house to play video games. That’s if they even want to leave the house since they can just play on line. Not only were we in better shape but we had more fun. It just seems a bit sad to me that kids are playing with their friends on-line. Laughing and playing alone in a room is not the same as joking around with your friends between games while eating one of Pop’s heroes and having a Pepsi. We bonded with our friends today they bond with a monitor.

ESP or Angel   4 comments

This is a little different post.  This is something that actually happened when I was working in the 83. I don’t know what it means but here it is. I was working with a rookie and we were down at a strike in sector George of the 83 precinct. As we went to leave a news crew came over and asked us if we could tell them how to get to the 104. We gave them directions and told them to follow us we would get them most of the way there before we had to turn to the 83. We went a bit out of our way and pointed the way to the 104. When the news car turned left we had to turn right to go back towards the Station House. As we reached the corner of St. Nick we saw smoke and people running from an apartment building. We called for the FD, parked our car out of the way and went to the people. I asked if everyone was out and we were told yes that everyone who lived there was safely out. As we started crowd control I heard someone behind me to my right say “He’s still inside. He is so afraid.” When I turned there was no one there. Turning back to the fire I again heard the voice saying “Can’t you feel the fear? He needs you.” Again I looked back and no one was there. Now I started actually feeling fear coming from the building. I went to Johnny and told him to stay by the car. I was going to take the portable and go inside. That I thought there was still someone inside. He said he was going with me. I told him no, stay by the radio. If I get trapped inside I will let him know where I am and he can advise the FD. I went inside and upstairs. I went nonstop to the second floor right apartment and pushed the unlocked apartment door open. There was an old man in his late seventies sitting on the couch praying. He was too terrified to move. He just sat there in the smoke filled room with a rosary in his hand. I pulled him from the room and helped him down the stairs. When we came out of the building the rest of the tenants were looking at him, and they were all blaming each other for forgetting about him. They said he was so quiet all the time that no one even thought of checking on him. When the FD got to the scene we left. As we were driving to the House I was thinking how strange things can be. If we hadn’t volunteered to help a news crew which we never did and drive blocks out of our way to do it when we were already in a hurry we would never have run into that fire. At the scene where did that voice come from that kept telling me that someone was inside? Why did I go in when everyone there kept telling us that all were out? I have never been able to figure it all out. Was it a coincidence, ESP or maybe an angel answering the old man’s prayers? I personally like the angel whispering to me but I don’t know.
 

Posted November 15, 2012 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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Childhood Friends   17 comments

Many friends pass through our life as we go on. Some come and go and are forgotten. This is not about those. This is about the friends of our childhood. The guys and girls we hung out with in grade school and high school. Mostly unrelated but some family. They are the ones who etch their way not only into our hearts but into our souls. They are the ones that after not seeing each other for 10, 20, 30 years will still bring a smile to our face when we think of them. They are the ones we shared our dreams of the future with. They were the ones who consoled us and teased us when our first true forever love lasted only a month. Consoling and teasing were pretty much part of the same package back then. We taught each other what friends are. We played together and learned of life together. We achieved together and made mistakes together. More mistakes than achievements but always together. More mistakes than achievements but always together. We will have many friends but no more like this. As time goes on some will pass away and take a piece of us with them. To those I dedicate this. I miss you Ritchie or as we called you Herman. The funniest person I ever knew. Billy our movie maker and artist, you where always different and incredibly talented. And to you Tony, You always had it tough but never complained. You all left us too young. To those who remain Buddy, Johnny, Billy, Jimmy, Joe, Robert, Roddy, Franny, Larry and Bill. To the girls Lolly, Lulu, Linda, Sue, Marie and the rest I wish the best for all of you. I hope you all know you will always be in my heart. So take time to remember the friends of your childhood today and smile. They will always be with you.

Posted November 13, 2012 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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