Thursday, December 3, 2015

Stories, Colin, Jaime & Sugar Daddy Animal Heroes

Colin Dempsey
We're going to rock next Tuesday at New York STORY Exchange - Last Show of 2015! Hope you can make it to Cornelia Street Cafe on Dec 8th @6pm ~ it's a fantastic line-up. Host, Nicole Ferraro presents: Rachel Goyette, Sandi Marx, Thomas Pryor & Adam Wade.

Excellent Jaime Nelson​ interview with Colin Dempsey​ of Supersmall​ in Anglonerd ~ British TV & Comedy for American Nerds. Two friends brilliantly shooting the breeze on a range of things. It's a gas to learn the favorites of any friend as talented and eclectic as Colin. At the bottom of Jaime's interview read what gives Dempsey a kick in the pants. I plan to check out the ones I don't know based on the great number of his favorites he and I share.

Steve Murphy 1969
Heading out to Flushing for a wake today. This brought back one of the bizarre events in my young life involving another #7 subway trip from Manhattan to Flushing Meadow with Steve Murphy, who if you read my book was my partner in crime in "The Playtex Chapel," when he and I partnered up with two Air Canada stewardesses for dates to Hullabaloo, an NBC rock & roll show, and two Ranger hockey games at the old Garden on 8th Avenue & 50th Street in 1966 when Steve was 12, and I was 11. It's the best story in the book, and you have to read it to learn more.

The winter of 1965/1966 was a bitch, windy arctic days that almost kept us indoors, but didn't. We always found something to do to keep us moving like playing catch with a football either under a laundry mat's exhaust vent or in the biggest building lobby we could find where we weren't immediately kicked out. Running out of buildings we decided to take the train out to Flushing Meadow for the first time since the World's Fair closed the previous fall. Wanted to see what was left of the place and kill an afternoon. As usual, Steve had a Sugar Daddy in his mouth, and if after bugging me to buy one I didn't, he'd spring for the dime, so both of our mouths were permanently coated with caramel so sometimes our lips stuck together and it was hard to understand what each other was saying. Steve wasn't a candy nut, he was an "animal hero card" nut, one came inside each sucker and Steve had to have the whole collection as soon as possible.  Cards were nice. Sturdy, attractive and a few exotic animals I never heard of but I didn't get it, too much money for too little. Yet, I spent all my money a few years before chasing the elusive #200 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card but kept coming up with Hector Lopez (I owned 13). Kids and their obsession have a mysterious dance.

So were on our way to the World's Fair grounds and out the window of the train I see a Chevy ad near a junk yard with a temperature sign that says, 13 degrees. Not good. We have the football with us and run around the place with the kind of intensity you need to not develop frostbite. Occasionally, we took our gloves off for just a moment to play catch better but put them back on when our fingers turned into twigs and started to cry. We ran pass the Unisphere, NY State Pavilion, and our favorite, the Rocket Thrower statue. There we exchanged a glance that said, "I'm frozen, race you to the train," as we did we both heard a whiz right over our heads. We turned and saw an arrow in the frozen turf, not a stick to the wall suction arrow with a small plunger on the tip, a real arrow. We turned the other way to see an older guy loading up again and drawing back his arm, we ran, first close to each other, and then snake like the way we saw soldiers move on the battle field in film and TV.  The second arrow clunked behind us hitting a light post. There was no third arrow, or we were out of distance.

Steve & Tommy 1969
Sitting on the train waiting to leave, Steve took a half finished Sugar Daddy out of his back pocket, he tried to lick it but it stuck to his tongue, he left it hanging there and moved it around. We started laughing like hyenas (one of Steve's favorite animal hero cards). After our stewardess adventure if we bothered to tell anyone in our neighborhood about this they'd tell us we were full of shit. It didn't matter, we knew.  

Do you need a gift for an ageless kid? Then check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (113 five-star reviews out of 113 posted) or Barnes & Noble.

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