Red Hook Changes   8 comments

Red Hook Pool I haven’t written anything about Red Hook in quite a while. The few things I have had time to write were on the police side. I have been busy finally finishing my book. I still have to edit it. The main thing is that I have finished it. That was my aim to write the book. I haven’t even decided if I will send it out to publishers yet. I will decide that when the editing is done. Anyway enough about that, on to some random thoughts on the changes in the old neighborhood.

It’s been a couple of years since I was have been in the Hook. Last time I was there I walked around to the old places I used to go as a kid. The softball field at Todd’s had become a community garden. Great for the yuppies not so great for the kids, I spent a lot of really good times there. It was easy to get a game going usually all you had to do was show up with a ball. When I was younger I remember watching the bar leagues play there. There would be hundreds of people watching those games. They were played as hard if not harder than any major league game I have ever seen. They were also played fundamentally better than many major league games today.

The stands down at the fields were gone, another place I spent a lot of time. Remember playing handball, stickball, paddleball, kings there. Sitting in those stands with a soda taking a break from football, both touch and full rough tackle played with no equipment and no mercy. We also played baseball on the fields behind those seats. Those fields were used as Kansas or some other mid-western state in the movie “Across the Universe.” The basketball courts were almost always filled. I enjoyed playing there sometimes although I may be the world’s worst basketball player. I remember Chris Cunningham owning those courts. He could really play basketball.

The sixteen foot pool is gone now. I remember that it was a big thing when you graduated from the four foot to the sixteen. Low board of course because going off the high board was another step in growing up. It is a shame that the kids growing up there will never know the feeling of accomplishment that came with going off that board.

People I have talked to since I left Red Hook say it must have been rough growing up there. They call it a poor area, a bad neighborhood or a slum. Those people grew up in the “better” areas or in small towns. The strange thing is when they would talk about their childhoods I realized that I enjoyed mine more. I think we had closeness in the Point that they often only pretended to have. Maybe if I write another book I will write about Red Hook. How it was to grow up there. Maybe those from those “better” areas will be jealous when they understand what they missed.

I thought of all this as I walked to the end of Coffey St. It is much prettier there now. I stood there and closed my eyes. In my mind’s eye I could clearly see it the way it was in 1963. So much had changed but when I opened my eyes and looked over the water the Lady of the Harbor was still there. Her hand was raised saying Welcome Back.

 

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Posted March 6, 2013 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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8 responses to “Red Hook Changes

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  1. Love it!!!

  2. Can’t wait to read the book,congrats!

  3. Enjoyed the read as usual, Thanks Keving xo A Red Hook Chick from back in the day!~

  4. I agree that growing up in Red Hook was great. It was a neighborhood, everyone knew everyone. Mr. Jerry Caramico once said to me about Red Hook was that all the people were the same, so we didn’t know that we were missing anything. That all changed with TV. People saw large homes and fancy cars. and people did not know there neighbors. Red Hook was a great place to grow up.

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