Monday, October 25, 2010

The Mick ~ Yorkville Boy

I was an uncool boy. Two men in my life made me feel near cool when I was around them. One was my Dad, and the other was my Uncle Mickey. Mickey was one of Yorkville's best ball players ever, an actor, iron worker, Korean War veteran, bar keep, coach, and Shea Stadium usher. Mick worked his last Met game four weeks ago. He died peacefully yesterday at 77 years old.

When I was young, Mickey sang The Blues in The Night in German. I thought, "Boy, that Mickey he knows languages, too." Then I saw Sid Caesar on TV and figured out that Mickey was making the German up. Mickey made me laugh more than anybody in my life, and anytime I saw Mickey, I knew he was glad to see me, kids know that.

Mickey's younger brother, Robert, told a story tonight at the wake. He and Richard, Mick's other younger brother, were 10 years old up their railroad apartment at 514 East 84th Street. Mickey, home from the Army, came up the house with his friends Allie and Gene. The three men in their mid 20s' and the two young boys played a one hour hide and seek game in the dark, followed by a full contact football game where the front room was one end zone and the rear room was the other end zone. Then Mickey taught the two young boys how to repair lampshades and how to glue broken knick-knacks back together before Mom got home.

Three months ago, Mickey rode the subway from Elmhurst to East Harlem to guest on my first two radio shows in July. Tomorrow's radio show is dedicated to Mickey, it's going to be a spooky one, we're celebrating Halloween. My guest, Amanda Thorpe, a terrific songwriter, musician and artist and I are going into attic to see what lurks.

You can listen to tomorrow's show live @Tuesday @9pm on the Centanni link below, or listen to Mickey's show or tomorrow's show at the archive on the second link below.

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