ON PURELY, CHASTE, PRISTINE AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXVIII

October 1, 2019

Hard to believe. The 28th! Here’s another 25 thoughts of yours truly.

  • It’s a new football season, but I still maintain that Eli Manning is the most overrated and luckiest individual to play the game of football…ever! The football Giants are toast if they don’t go with another quarterback.
  • Had contact with a recently graduated college basketball player who confirmed that two players on his team were paid. Now get this…he attended a mid-major
  • The Mets failed us once again. I thought nobody could be worse than Terry Collins. I was wrong.
  • I maintain that the bulk of the media continues to peddle lies and distortions.
  • Mets reliever Diaz doesn’t deserve the bad press. I believe he has the highest swinging strike ratio in the league – and that is an excellent measure of how good a pitcher is.
  • Just returned from a 3-day visit to Saratoga Springs. It was my 63rd year in a row. Lost some money but had a great time with the family. Finally had dinner at 15 Church Street; it was a unique experience.
  • Recently met democrat Judy Bosworth, Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead, and was impressed…so much so that I might vote for her next time around. Ditto with Councilman Pete Zuckerman.
  • It’s World Series time. The Mets are dead but I’m still alive with the Yankees (ugh!) and the Braves.
  • My new book on “Water Management” will be out before the end of the year.
  • Mary still gets mad at me when I ask the maître d’ at an upscale restaurant: “Are franks and beans on the menu?”
  • Winter is just around the corner, and I’m not looking forward to it.
  • Lost Richie Dreyer (St. Francis), one of my players, last month. He brought a toughness that was lacking on my Killeen’s Tavern basketball team. He mellowed in his old age and did some wonderful things for AA.
  • I believe that one of our nation’s biggest problems is that family life has been displaced by government subsidies for far too many people.
  • Travel by any mode is terrible in Manhattan. Ditto Brooklyn.
  • Visited Quebec City in late June to attend the annual Air & Waste Management conference and presented two papers. Loved the Canadians and what a great city.
  • When are baseball pitchers going to wake up and figure out that the key to success is to not walk anyone and batters realize to go the other way when the shift is on?
  • Only got to Lot #6 at Jones Beach twice this year. I still maintain it is the most beautiful beach in the world.
  • The New York Racing Association seems hell-bent on destroying thoroughbred racing at Belmont Park. I paid for a season pass but won’t be going back this year; it simply isn’t an enjoyable day anymore. The level of incompetence of this organization is beyond belief. Hello Nassau OTB. I’ll have more to say about this in January.
  • The level of hatred for de Blasio continues to mount; it is almost as bad as that for Trump.
  • Still involved with developing potable (drinking) water processes via the desalination route, but have recently extended my work to include non-desalination methods. This has really been exciting work.
  • Traveled to Monmouth Racetrack (twice!) with several of my players. We visited my dear friend Steve “The Greek” Panos, the toughest Greek since Alexander the Great.  I am forever indebted to Steve for probably saving my life during a riot at one of our basketball games in 1963.
  • It’s all Greek to me. I still love lamb and pastitsio.
  • Recently attended a Kourtakis (maternal) family reunion in New Jersey, and it was just great. Some of us reminisced about life growing up in New York City.
  • Dear friend and noted sports historian Arthur Lovely keeps hitting the nail on the head with his “every day is a blessing”
  • My new quote to those close to me? “I hope misfortune follows you but never catches up.”

 

Tata!

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

JANUARY 1:              On Four Key Issues

FEBRUARY 1:           On the Ultimate Quiz II

 

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ON GREAT EATS IV: DINERS

September 1, 2019

Food has been defined as anything eaten to satisfy an appetite and to meet needs for growth. It maintains all body processes and supplies energy to maintain body temperature and activity. So food is important. But the questions that remains is – where should the food be consumed? At home? In a restaurant? This fourth article on Great Eats is concerned with diners and servers as a follow-up to an excellent May 25, 2019 New York Times (NYT) diner article titled “A Last Cup of Coffee, to Go.”

 

As one might suppose, the word diner has come to mean different things to different people. Webster defines diner as “a small restaurant built to look like a dining car and equipped to serve meals” while the NYT offered “factory-made lunch cars, often with stainless-steel finishes and neon signs.” Others might describe it as something between a step above a simple eatery with a limited menu to a restaurant with an extensive menu, fancy booths, full bar, take-out menu, etc. The former would probably best describe my father’s “9 stool – 3 table business at the North end of Hell’s Kitchen prior to being evicted by Robert Moses, while the latter would best describe the first two of the diners to be described shortly.

 

But, then again, why a follow-up article? The NYT article keyed on diner history and diners located in New York City. This article expands the diner story to include not only those in Queens but also Long Island. What follows is a short writing on a diner in Queens and five diners on Long Island. I asked each diner owner to comment on their background, their business, the present state of the diner business, and the future of diners. Here is some of how these six individuals responded.

 

  1. The Old Westbury Diner (formerly Seacrest), 4 Glen Cove Road, Old Westbury.

The premier upscale diner on the Island. Owned by Stavros Dimas, who emigrated (legally) from Greece in 1980. He has expressed major concerns with rising labor costs and believes only the large diners will survive in the future. My Take? One of my favorites. Great breakfast, full bar, expansive menu, excellent food, easy parking, very pleasant owner who is concerned with the community, and excellent service. This place is also the closest thing to a classy restaurant.

 

  1. The Apollo, 630 Merrick Avenue, East Meadow.

The Apollo is owned by Jimmy (son) and Harry (father) Constantotos. Harry emigrated (legally) from Greece in 1963 and has owned the Apollo since 1976. Perhaps my favorite. As Jimmy put it to me, they “provide basic services, good food and a clean environment.” It features an expansive menu, full bar, ample parking, large portions, very reasonable prices, and excellent service (ask for Nicoletta to be your server). They appear optimistic about the future but expressed concerns with existing competition, labor costs, and the real estate market.

 

  1. Uncle Bills, 307 Stratton Place, Linden Place, Whitestone.

This one is owned by “Aki” (little one in Greek), a big brute by my standards. This lovable Greek emigrated (legally) from Cyprus in 1973 and has owned Bill’s for 16 years. Aki claims it is the cheapest diner in Queens (I think he is right). He is concerned about the future because of rising salaries, rent, and competitors. My Take? The place is a local gem with lots of good dishes, easy parking, and the price is definitely right.

 

On to the next two. Both are Mary’s favorites.

 

  1. Thomas’s Diner is located at 325 Old Country Road, Carle Place.

This place is Mary’s favorite. The diner opened in 1946 and has been owned by the (Thomas) Koukoulas family since 1973. Tom indicated that diners will have difficulty surviving in the future because of “chain restaurants where the quality continues to improve. The old school diner will not be around long as many families are not passing the business along.” The place has a limited menu with great food at very reasonable prices. Despite limited parking, this landmark joint is always (and I mean always) jammed. Mary’s favorite (not mine) and an absolute must for diner lovers.

 

  1. The Mineola Diner, 138 Jericho Turnpike and Willis Avenue, Mineola.

This is one that has survived the relentless passage of time. Michael Alpert purchased the diner (from a Greek) approximately 10 years ago. One of Mary’s favorites, it features excellent food at reasonable prices. The place is small, parking is a problem, and is only open for breakfast and lunch. The menu is limited but there are nearly 100 items to choose from. Not my favorite, but another landmark that has survived the times and one of the better ones that belongs on everyone’s go-to-place list.

On to the sixth one.

  1. Station Plaza Coffee Shop and Diner (breakfast and lunch) at 206 Station Plaza, North Mineola (facing South at the train station).

A newcomer and a relatively unknown, it is usually packed. Probably the cheapest diner to eat at. And, the good news is that the food is excellent and plentiful. Lots to like here even though it doesn’t look like a diner. But as the old saying goes – try it and you’ll be sure to like it. Only negative: metered parking is a problem. New owners, George Arniotis (and father) and Pete Vatakis – Greeks, of course – are there for 2 months and are optimistic about the future of diners. “Give them good food and they’ll keep coming back.”

 

I would be remiss if I did not comment on three other diners. Presently, the diner of all diners is The Neptune (Astoria Blvd. and 31st Street). It was my favorite 65 years ago while growing up in Astoria, and it still is, and is the diner by which all others should be compared. Unfortunately, its days are numbered; it opened its doors for the last time TODAY.   (Update:  Interestingly, the media had reported that the diner was closing but apparently, the lease was extended.)  Another is Mykonos (not the one in Great Neck) – a hole-in-the-wall, semi-diner; it is named after an island in Greece and located in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a community overrun by Greeks and Greek-Americans. Finally, one of my early (pre-teen years) memories that has yet to leave me was dining out on Sundays approximately once a month. It was a Greek eatery – The Acropolis, located on 60th Street, just west of Central Park. I wish it were still around. I can still taste the roast lamb and pastitsio, your author’s two favorite Greek dishes.

 

Finally, diners remain near the top of my list of restaurants to frequent. Why? Six reasons.

 

  1. The food is always fresh
  2. The price is right
  3. Expansive menu
  4. Generous portions
  5. The ambiance is usually casual
  6. Rarely a wait

 

In addition, I still think diners have a bright future despite concerns with dwindling customers, rising rents, lost leases, shrinking profit margins, etc. Some of this is true, but most of the new restaurants reviewed in the literature are hellaciously priced. I make every effort to stay away from these joints; they simply are not worth it. The diners have been hurt by credit cards and a more strict enforcement of the tax codes, i.e., they can no longer rely on patron tax charges that often served as the margin of profit. Two options that can help diners survive is to modestly increase prices and provide a more compact, rather than expansive, menu.

 

A closeout? I need to mention my current favorite of favorites. It is the Triangle Diner located in Saratoga Springs, home of summer thoroughbred racing in August; my recent visit to SS was the 64th year in a row (see pics below).  The diner is a “garage,” similar to an old-fashioned diner located in the middle of nowhere during the depression era.  It is surrounded by some really great 4-star restaurants, including 15 Church and Pennell’s. Yet, it is the 3rd highest rated restaurant in SS. Fantastic breakfast and lunch at extremely reasonable prices. A local gem and a must for all SS lovers.

 

 

 

Below are three pics.  One at our hotel, another at the racetrack and the third at the Triangle Diner.

 

Please drop me a note about your favorite diner.

 

Visit the author at:

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NEXT POSTINGS:

 

OCTOBER 1:              On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

 


ON THE 2019 EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget. Why? The same two reasons I mention every year at this time: waste and senior citizen exploitation. From my perspective, this District does not care about the seniors, but for goodness sake, you would think they would do something about the waste.

 

The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment.

 

It is important for both parents and educators to understand from an educational perspective that the landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. The recently approved 5-year STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Program were only words in a written document. Today’s educators need to guide students to develop into lifelong learners. Students must acquire the knowledge and critical-thinking capabilities that prepare them to continually learn new skills for a future few, if any, can predict. In effect, educators must respond to a changing world, implementing creative, student-centered solutions. It’s all about teaching kids to use their minds so that they will have imagination to respond to many changing circumstances in the world. This approach can expand the world for students beyond the classroom, giving them access to resources, ideas and glimpses into cultures that they may not have opportunities to explore. Technology is a bit part of that. It’s not about whether or not to include technology in education anymore; it’s about how to do it in the best, most engaging and inspiring ways to support the desired learning outcomes. Anyone really believe the EWSD is capable to accomplishing this? Most have come to realize that the District is very slow to change.

 

Taxpayers are also concerned about the rising cost of education. If there are things that can be done differently to provide the quality necessary, this should be figured out. Unfortunately I really don’t think they are capable.

 

And where does the PTO fit into all of this? Forgive me, but it would be more appropriate to refer to them as TO since they do not represent the parents and their children. As I’ve said in the past, this is unfortunately an organization whose members are just uninformed, or lacking intelligence, or educator/teacher ideologs, or some combination of the three. Not a healthy situation. Many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community. The turnaround will come when the community comes to realize that Board members – in almost every instance – are there for self-serving purposes. If they really cared about all the kids – not only their own, they would not move on once they have graduated. Board Trustees generally stay as long as they have children in schools…and the silently scoot out. They really aren’t that much different than the parents involved in the recent college admission bribery scam — parents looking to gain an advantage for their children at the expense of others. Think about past Board members who were so vociferous and outspoken about defending the status quo … a status quo that has resulted in higher taxes and decrease in the quality of education.

 

Finally, and as noted above, our taxes are too high because of excess spending that is educationally unnecessary. This waste is harming real estate values. Simple actions, which can positively affect our community, are opposed by the teachers, the administrators, the present illegitimate Board, the self-serving PTO officers, and many of the misinformed (thanks to the PTO leadership) PTO members.

 

The bottom line: It’s OK to vote NO on the budget. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. Stop being taken for a fool. Stop being an enabler for the EXPLOITERS on the Board and some PTO officers.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

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Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day VIII

JULY 1:                      On the Ultimate Quiz

AUGUST 1:                On Engineering as a Career

SEPTEMBER 1:         On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

OCTOBER 1:              On Barack Hussein Obama Update VI

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

 


ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE, AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXVII  

March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

Here we go once more…my 27th. This one’s a mixed bag, with both sports and personal commentaries.

 

  • Still fighting to keep my weight down. My diet, described in an earlier newsletter, has really helped.
  • Humanity can survive without numerous amenities. However, it cannot survive without energy or potable water.
  • Had a successful visit with three of my guys to the simulcast facility at Monmouth Park Racetrack and (naturally) dropped by their Sport Book. My bets? The Nets (750-1) to win it all. The Mets (22-1), Atlanta (18-1), and Diamondback (750-1) to win it all. Virginia (15-1), Buffalo (75-1), Tennessee (16-1), Kentucky (17-1) and we have Marquette (25-1) to win the NCAA. Partners with two others. Wish me luck.
  • Working on desalination projects. Hoping to come up with a viable economic process that will provide potable water. Someone is going to get rich in this area but it won’t be me. My best so far involves geothermal energy. My associate and former classmate is working on mangroves and hybrid processes.
  • I’m also still working on accident and emergency planning/response issues, particularly as they apply to terrorism. Stopped giving seminars but my book is still selling.
  • NYRA is a disaster; they have effectively destroyed Belmont Park, the most beautiful racetrack in the world. But hope springs eternal. Kay, the CEO, has thankfully left. We now await another Cuomo political appointment who no doubt will also fail to right the ship.
  • I used to think that energy and water were the critical issues that mankind needed to address this century. Nope! It’s water, and solely water.
  • Go Mets!
  • I should stop complaining. I still go out for dinner, walk almost 2 miles a day, do 8 pushups on awakening, write books, keep pace with my newsletter, go to the track several days a week, bet horses every day, etc.
  • A few of my guys are now claiming they have property in Oz.
  • Insecure people use profanity.
  • There are days when I wish I could go back in time and relive my Killen’s Tavern basketball memories.
  • I have tremendous difficulty throwing anything away, particularly things related to my books. And yet, when I go, they will certainly find a home in a circular file.
  • I’m still addicted to hot pastrami sandwiches, hot dogs with kraut and mustard and hamburgers. Perhaps Trump and I have something in common.
  • People continue to ask me out to lunch or dinner. My usual response: “Can I have the money instead?”
  • Please remember that the fanatical green environmental self-defined experts-engineers and scientists alike – who have certified (*!*$#%*) the existence of a global climate/warming problem would be out of business if no problem actually existed.
  • I’m often asked: How am I doing? I often respond with “How good could I be doing if I’m talking to you?” Is that a politically incorrect response?
  • I’ll be 85 come April. Hard to believe! But I’m still good looking…well, sort of.
  • The major effect of breaking my back (fractured vertebrae) 1 ½ years ago is that I am now 2 inches shorter. Not good for a guy like me.
  • Let’s hope one of the sports will ban players from spitting. It’s disgusting, particularly in baseball.
  • The second edition of my Basketball Coaching 101 book is now officially on hold due to numerous other commitments.
  • I hope to soon publish details on my basketball “umbrella offense.”
  • Travel has now become such a hassle. Visiting Florida is the only place that has been acceptable. There obviously will be less travel in the days ahead.
  • I’m hoping to do an article on taxes in the near future. Here is a checkbook list of mine: Federal, State, County (Nassau), Town (North Hempstead), Village (East Williston), and School (East Williston). Add to this sales, gasoline, gambling (when I occasionally win), etc. Twenty percent tipping has added to my woes.
  • Legendary sports historian Art Lovely (my dear friend) recently celebrated his 90th birthday with his beloved Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series. Unfortunately, I needed the Dodgers at 8-1.
  • Kudos to yours truly. I hope sports officienadoes will finally come to agree with me that Eli Manning is the luckiest and most overrated athlete (not just quarterback) of all time. Thank you Lou for letting us know early on.
  • Blew a couple of big consulting jobs as an expert witness…more and more people are apparently questioning my claim to be the world’s premier environmental authority.
  • Every time I meet someone socially, I ask about the $20 they owe me. One guy recently and a gal sometime back took me seriously.
  • Every one of us is aware of the lazy, indifferent conduct of government employees…and most of us accept it. But now, their conduct has expanded to include criminality. The best way to solve the problem is to eliminate most of these positions.
  • Baseball pitchers (and managers) have yet to figure out the truly negative results produced by walks.
  • Hunkered down for another winter. Ouch! But I still have The Queen, the kids, and the grandkids, along with my other activities.

 

Feel free to get back to me whether you agree or disagree with my comments. Happy hunting till XXVIII.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

APRIL 1:                     On the Analysis of the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2019 East Williston School Vote

JUNE 1:                      On the Theodore Healthcare Plan


On Media Bias

September 1, 2018

SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

Is the media, animal, vegetable or mineral? I’m not sure. But one thing I am sure of is that the media is not only biased but also unprofessional, un-American, and untrustworthy.

 

Consider The New York Times (NYT), the so-called premier newspaper and leader of journalistic integrity. Remember that they supposedly live by the motto “all the news that’s fit to print.” So, if the NYT is biased, would it be unreasonable to consider that others in the media are also biased?

 

Here is my case against the NYT, and I ask that you draw your own conclusion. What follows are 30 undoctored/unedited NYT front page headlines over the 6-9 to 7-17 time period (I went on vacation 7-18). As noted, these are the NYT’s unedited headlines…not mine. Note that I chose to italicize some words. I ask the reader to consider these headlines in deciding the objectivity of this newspaper. Here goes.

 

6/9:     Trump Confronts Allies Over Excluding Russia and Barriers to Trade. Stark Rejection of the Geopolitical Order. Europe, Japan and Canada answer with Anger

6/9:     Risks for President in Attack on the Health Law

6/10:   Trump Confronts Allies over Excluding Russia

6/11:   Outbursts Isolate Trump Before Meeting with Kim

6/11:   Officials Dig in vs. Canada, and Allies Recoil

6/12:   Trump Upends Global Trade Order Built by U.S.

6/13:   President Pitch to Kim Yields Vow with Few Details

6/14:   Vote Secures Trump’s Grip on the G.O.P.: Candidates Now Cross Him At Their Peril

6/14:   President Claims His Talks ended Nuclear Threat, Specifies Still Scarce Over a Path for Reaching Disarmament

6/18:   In Senate Bid, a Provocateur Evokes Trump

6/19:    Trump Resisting a Growing Wrath for Separation

6/19:   Europe Allies, Grip Slipping, Get U.S. Shove; Anti-Migrant Remarks Aimed at Germany

6/21:   In Retreat, Trump Halts Separating Migrant Families

6/22:   4 Military Bases Prepare to Hold 20,000 Children: Chaos on the Ground

6/23:   Migrants Order Tosses a Wrench into the System; Contradicting Policies; Zero Tolerance Clashes Rule to Keep Families Intact

7/1:     How Free Speech Was Weaponized by Conservatives

7/3:     Facing Reinvention as Trump Tightens Grip

7/4:     Trump Wants No Due Process at U.S. Border; Constitutional Worries After A Fiery Attack

7/7:     Trade War Rises, and Trump Plan Remains a Puzzle; Path to Goals is Murky

7/9:     U.S. Delegation Disrupts Accord on Breast Milk

7/10:    Fierce and Costly Fight Over Court Nomination Commence in Capitol

7/12:    Trump Undercuts Leader of Britain After NATO Clashes

7/12:    Fire and Fury as FBI Agent Defends His Decision

7/13:    Trump Embraces Russia As His Aides Make a Fist

7/14:    The President Takes His Denigration of Journalists on the Road

7/15:    Trump’s Choice: Beltway Insider Born and Bred, Father was Lobbyist

7/16:    Gains for Russia as Trump Attacks Allies

7/16:    Trump Rattles Global Order

7/17     Trump, With Putin, Attacks 2016 Intelligence

7/17:    Disdain for U.S. Institutions and Praise for an Adversary

7/17 – 7/28: On Vacation

 

Hope the biased case has been made. Also note that the NYT never reported anything on Trump and/or his Administration of a positive nature. Never.  Not one word last month on Trump securing the return of our fallen heroes from North Korea. WOW!

 

What has the media been reporting on? Obstructing justice (for 18 months), collusion with the Russians (for 18 months), stealing the election (for 18 months), hatred for minorities (for 18 months), hatred for illegal immigrants (for 18 months), hatred for America (), exploitation of workers, etc., etc. It’s Comedy Central watching the raw hatred of the liberal fanatics – who continue to fail to report and/or distort the news and are now pushing for violent action – for this individual some of us once viewed as a buffoon. I can’t wait to see what attacks, based on the usual lies, false information, etc., will be forthcoming in the near and distant future. At the time of the preparation of this article it was Manifort and Cohen. Folks, it is indeed Comedy Central.

 

In the meantime, a spoiled billionaire egomaniac playboy (who some of us used to laugh at) somehow overcame insurmountable odds to win the primary, won the election, and deliver on his promises to the electorate – all despite opposition from unions, liberals, the Democratic party, the Republican party, the cesspool in Washington, some truly crazed women, the corrupt media, Hollywood, foreign leaders, sports heroes/idols, etc. And further, and still in the meantime, the corrupt media has mounted nonstop attacks (with no credence) on our leader regarding his physical health, mental health, adult sons, daughter, in-laws, younger child, wife, associates, appointments, lying, womanizing, etc.

 

Case closed…I think.

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

OCTOBER 1:              On the New York Racing Association III

NOVEMBER 1:          On “Basketball Coaching 101” II

DECEMBER 1:           On the OHI Day III

JANUARY 1:              On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

FEBRUARY 1:           On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

 

 

 

 


AS I SEE IT ON PURELY, CHASTE, PRISTINE RANDOM THOUGHTS XXVII

August 1, 2018

 

AUGUST 1, 2018

I can’t believe there have already been 26 of these. Here is another set (20) of my thoughts on a host of topics. Hopefully, the reader will not find any of the comments below offensive.

 

  • Any of the readers familiar with my books? A “fan” recently emailed me on my new book: I’ll waste no time reading it.”
  • I’m working on two processes to get safe drinking water from the sea. Sounds simple. All you have to do is separate out the salt.
  • Anyone ever think of starting a business that would provide a service of placing your pet(s) while one is away with others who have pets at a nominal fee (I would call it Vacation Exchange of Pets, VEP).
  • Just finished reading O’Reilly’s “Killing the Rising Sun”. The fanatical conduct of not only the Japanese leaders and military, but also those at home during the war was unforgiveable. I’m going to have trouble buying Japanese products from now on. I can also understand the logic behind the unfortunate interning of Japanese-Americans.
  • Are the Democrats or the Republicans in Nassau County more corrupt? I think it’s a tie. They have all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
  • Trump truly has many attributes. But, at times, he ought to give some thought to the gift of silence.
  • I still can’t believe the number of walks given up by major league pitchers. The key to being a great pitcher is to not walk batters.
  • I also still can’t believe that batters don’t run out ground balls and fly balls.
  • The key to good health is walking and drinking water.
  • Just published my 115th book. This one’s titled “Introduction to Mathematical Methods for Environmental Engineers and Scientists.” It was coauthored by Chuck Prochaska, a graduate student at Manhattan College.
  • Kelly Behan, a junior structural engineering student studied at Buffalo and a resident of Mineola, is the coauthor of our soon to be released book “Introduction to Optimization for Environmental and Chemical Engineers.” Kelly is presently interning with Turner Construction and previously served as the editorial manager on my “Basketball Coaching 101” book.
  • I still maintain that environmentalists have become a liability to our society. Their fanatical conduct is simply not acceptable.
  • The Queen and I received a standing ovation at the recent annual Air and Waste Management Association awards luncheon in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • I can’t believe the widespread hatred for our spoiled egomaniac billionaire playboy president. It just doesn’t make sense, given what he has accomplished in 18 months.
  • Dining out has become ridiculously expensive. The tax and tip increases your bill by approximately 30%.
  • Dining out? Be prepared to get ripped off if you “drink.” Two bloody Marys at Morton’s cost $33…and that doesn’t include the tax and tip.
  • I keep hoping things will be “resolved” in Noko, Iran, Israel, Syria, China and Russia. Am I asking and hoping for too much?
  • What happened to our Mets?
  • The New York Giants are doomed with Manning.
  • I’m planning to do another edition (IV) on Great Eats. The next one will key on casinos.That’s it, folks. I’ll be back with another “random” in 6 months.www.theodorenewsletter.com.

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on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the New York Racing Association III

OCTOBER 1:              On “Basketball Coaching 1010” II

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day III

DECEMBER 1:           On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

JANUARY 1:              On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

 

 

 

 


ON WHEN NEW YORK CITY WAS NEW YORK CITY II

July 1, 2018

 

JULY 1, 2018

As most of you know, I was born in New York City in 1934 and called it home until 1970. My first 7 years were spent in the north end of Hell’s Kitchen. The next 12 years were spent in an area that is known as Lincoln Center. The last 17 years of those were spent in Astoria, Queens. In effect, NYC was my home for the first 36 years of my life. This tale is the second of a 2-part article concerned with New York City during that 36 year time period.

 

I made a conscious decision to split the “When New York City was New York City” article into two timeframes: 1934-1953 and 1953-1970. The first part appeared in August 2017; it keyed on life in Hell’s Kitchen and naturally, the material was autobiographical.

 

Flash back to 1953 and the tale of this piece begins in Astoria, Queens – my new residence at that time. World War II is a thing of the past and a fleeting memory. The Great Depression is also a fleeting memory. Gone is the Office of Price Administration (OPA) and the accompanying rationing via coupons, and, to a lesser degree, tokens. Jobs abound. Good-paying jobs. Some really good-paying jobs. The worm had indeed turned. Our great nation is experiencing boom economic times along with superpower status due, in part, to a combination of democracy and capitalism. Perhaps even more important was the Marshall Plan, devised by General George C. Marshall. The World War II period had converted out nation into a manufacturing giant. But, the economic boom was about to come to a halt since there weren’t enough buyers of the goods and services we could produce. Enter the aforementioned Marshall’s plan of reviving the economies of Europe and Asia in order to develop markets for our goods and services. And, guess what? It brought prosperity beyond belief to our nation for nearly 40 years.

 

The 50s and 60s were understandably periods when it seemed that nothing could go wrong, everything was going right, and anything was possible; it was a special era. The relentless pressure of war and personal and economic sacrifices were now history. In a very real sense, it was a time of innocence. WWII was just a 2-letter Roman numeral. The Hamptons were still a rich Waspy family living on Park Avenue. Korea was also a thing of the past. The basketball point-shaving scandals didn’t apply to my friends who I have dubbed the Boys of Killeen’s. Jack Molinas was one of the few Greeks (I thought)–he was Jewish–who had gone bad. It almost was a reincarnation of the roaring 20s–everyday brought joy, excitement, laughs, new challenges, etc. It was also a time of great friendship, good times, perhaps excessive drinking, beautiful girls and great athletes.  “Eddie My Love,” a haunting melody that is still with me, was the juke box favorite over several summers. There were other tunes during that period. In addition to “Eddie My Love,” there was “Sh-Boom” (Crew Cuts) and “Earth Angel” (the Penguins). Rock ‘n’ Roll had arrived. The song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was also bothersome at the time since I found myself walking home alone every night. Likewise was the tune “You Belong to Me” (Jo Stafford), since there was no one I could claim belonged to me. Add this to my favorite tune from the late 1940s, Russ Morgan’s “So tired” (I’ll wait forever dear).   But along came the Chordettes with “Mr. Sandman” who indeed did bring me a dream–a Bayside Queen named Mary Kathleen Tonry–and my lonesome nights were over. I fortunately disregarded Damon Runyon’s advice, “fall in love with an heiress if you must fall in love.”

 

Here are five of my memories of that era—memories that will never leave me.  They center around Killeen’s Tavern, my basketball team, Rockaway Beach and (of course) my favorite.

 

  1. Killeen’s Tavern

 

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a small bar named Killeen’s Tavern on a side street in Astoria, New York. The tavern’s history dates back to about 1934 (the author’s birth year).  It was owned by a burly Irishman. The whole place was no bigger than 30 ft. by 15 ft., half of it designed like a half-moon bar, and the other half consisting of a few tables, a juke box, a telephone booth, a toilet that was always clogged up, and a kitchen that didn’t work. Beer was 12 cents a glass, and a shot of rye was 45 cents. The local crowd had its colorful characters. Damon Runyon would have loved this place. There was “Buster” the late night singer who crooned Sweet Leylani, Lorraine the Dancer, “Cuz” the night bartender, “Oil Pan” Tom, the landlord Pete the Russian, Freddie “Spook” Stegman–the greatest sport birddog this side of the Mississippi, and dapper George Connelly–the Sunday bartender of 30 years who many believe James Cagney had copied his mannerisms from.

Then there was the day bartender–Pat Killeen himself. An impressive 6′ 1″ and burly 275-lb. man with a thick Irish brogue, who, when angry, would roll his black cigar from one end of his mouth to the other. Yes, he could intimidate if necessary. But he was a fair and open-minded individual, always with the best intentions at heart.

Who were the other inhabitants of the Tavern? Here are some of their names: Scratch, Buddy, Gaylord (the author), Big Dan, The Whale, Jimmy the Greek, Steve the Greek, Weegie, The Rat, Vince the Prince, The Grey Fox, The Scavenger, The Buff, The Snake, The Brat, Tuto, Tex, Superman, Buster, The Hawk, The Cool, The Phantom, The Bant, The Weedler, Big Fitz, Red, Joey Hot Dog, Sparksy, Dixie, Jake the Weightlifter (all 95 lbs. of him) Bugsy, Louie The Lob, Filthy Phil, Tony Guido, etc. The girls included Mary Gloves, Marie the Dancer … perhaps it be best to stop here.

 

The Boys of Killeen’s were the children of working-class parents who endured The Great Depression and survived the harsh times of that era. Although better off than their parents, the Boys of Killeen’s were a group that appreciated good times, and were not nearly as security-conscious as their parents. It was a group that ultimately went on to succeed in the workplace, no doubt influenced by their New York City and Killeen’s experiences.

 

 

  1. The legendary Killeen’s Tavern basketball team

 

I’ll pass here since most of the details appeared in my book, Basketball Coaching 101 (Amazon $18).

 

  1. Rockaway Beach

 

It was New York City’s beach of beaches during that era. It was a period when many referred to the Rockaway’s as the Irish Riviera; interestingly, Jimmy Breslin described it as “where wood rots and people waste.” There were numerous drinking establishments one block from the beach to accommodate the crowds. They included Murphy’s and Gilroy’s on 90th Street, the quartet of the Irish Circle, Rainbow Bar, Leitrim House and Mickey Carton’s Mayo House on 103rd Street (he played the accordion while his sister, Mary, sang). Ruthie Morrissey, regularly featured at the Mayo House, captured and touched so many hearts. The Mayo House was a favorite of the senior folk but it was Gildea’s–famous for drinking, dancing and fighting–that the younger set frequented most. Further west was McNulty’s and the White House on 109th Street and 110th Street, respectively. It was also a time I earnestly became interested in girls. At Gildea’s, I remember watching, with envy, the Savoy–a dance I never quite mastered. The 108 St basketball courts? I’ll pass again since numerous details and memories are available elsewhere. Did I mention my book, Basketball Coaching 101 (Amazon–$18)?

 

  1. The Queen

 

How many guys have married the girl of their dreams? Well, I did. We married in 1967 after a 3-year courtship. Mary recently celebrated her 51st anniversary. It was dinner with the entire family at the Limani restaurant in Roslyn (see attached photo).

 

  1. The Fabulous Copacabana

 

And, it was indeed fabulous.  And, it was a time I was courting The Queen.   Name the premier entertainers of that era,  and The Queen and I saw them at the Copa. George Duganis was the maître d’ and a great table was always available. The best shows included Louie Prima, Don Rickles, Joe E. Lewis, Bobby Vinton, etc.

 

Of course, there was more: Belmont Park, Saratoga, Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceway, the Jewish Alps (the Catskills), bar-hopping, etc. Space precludes providing details.

 

I close this out with a comment from one of my readers on the first article: “I’ll always believe that our New York City was quite special. Somehow, I think you’d agree.” Amen!

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

“The great hills of the South Country they stand along the sea; and it’s there, walking in the high woods, that I would wish to be, and the men that were boys when I was a boy walking along with me”  (from The South Country: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953).

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the New York Racing Association III

OCTOBER 1               On the OHI Day III

NOVEMBER 1:          On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

DECEMBER 1:          On Basketball Coaching 101 II