Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Hey Dad, Look!"

Father and daughter at John Jay Pool on the East River.

Summer in the city.

August 26, 1969, my Aunt Joan went into labor. I bet Tommy Smith a quarter it would be a girl while we sat on his 516 East 82nd Street frying in the mid day 94 degree heat.

"Want to go to the pool?" Smitty suggested.

"Nah, I don't have a bathing suit." I was too lazy to walk one block to my grandmother's to get one also knowing I'd probably be ordered to go to three stores.

"I'll give you my father's?" Smitty offered. Since I was loopy from the heat, I said yes.

Sonny Smith, Tommy's father weighed north of 225 I was 152 when I was 15. (the day before I was weighed at tackle football practice with the OLGC Rams). Sonny's boxer trunks could of doubled as surrender bloomers for my big grandmother.

After we put our sneakers and junk into the wire baskets and got our wrist bands, I ran outside to a blast of heat and jumped in the John Jay water holding the suit up with both hands. The material came up all around me like a science fiction sized jelly fish. I didn't care, the zipper was broken and that became my main concern. I spent my pool time juggling: holding my trunks up and keeping my stuff locked up. I won a quarter though. Joan had a girl, Christine. Uncle Mommy was her Godmother, and I'm her Godfather.

Happy Birthday, Chris!
Check out my New York City memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store and online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The book has 109 Amazon five star reviews out of 109 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.
You can also purchase my photography portfolio,"River to River - New York Scenes From a Bicycle" on Amazon.
John Jay 2013

Smithy & Ray Bellinger, 83rd St. @ 1969

Christine's 1969 baptism, Mom & Tom & Chris


Al Hauser said...

There was nothing worse than having your friends or enemies throw your clothes out of the windows in the changing room at John Jay onto the sidewalk or roadway. You had no choice but walk around the outside of the pool and retrieve them

Thomas Pryor said...

Those were the days you weighed the value of friendship.