A Visit with my Nephew Finny and His Son Jackson Pitches Like Cy Young!

26 06 2013

IMG_0515 I was really looking forward to visiting with Finny and especially watching Jackson play baseball! This was gonna be priceless! First, we took the commuter train to see Finny’s x-wife Catherine where we could all warm up Jackson and then take him to the game.

It was fantastic to see Catherine. She’s doing very well, and it looks like Jackson’s doing great in his Tuckahoe, NY home.


Catherine is looking good!

This was going to be a big day out on the baseball field for Jackson. He’d pitch an inning or two. And, play some outfield perhaps. So Finny and I set about getting Jackson warmed up for the game.

We did a lot of fielding practice, and some pitching practice. I was surprised how good Jackson was at pitching once he warmed up. Then, when he began to throw a bit wild, I knew it was time to stop. I didn’t want to overdo it!

Next we did batting practice. My how the little guy takes to hitting that ball! Such fun!

IMG_0503Soon, it was time to head to the game. It was a much more “professional” affair than when I was a kid. The teams had semi professional uniforms!

IMG_0505I bet the kids LOVED that. The parents, on the other hand, were so nervous and hopeful that their kids would perform. There was a lot more pressure on them than their children! During some plays, the parents would hide their eyes.

Finally it was time for Jackson to pitch. He managed to give up a walk and a hit which got him into a bases-loaded situation. Parents were covering eyes again. But somehow Jackson managed to dust himself off and pull it together! He struck out the next batter. And then the next and the next! He struck out the side! WOW!IMG_0500

Practice included batting practice!

What a day. Nothing like being with family for a weekend!


Myself and Finny at the ball park!

I think I will be coming back to the Bronx to visit Finny again!

I also loved the Woodlawn, Bronx, neighborhood. I found a bakery/coffee shop my first morning. Nothing like Portlandia, no, this one is right out of classic NY area lore.

No espresso served, not a hipster to be seen. Oh no. But it is a multi racial, multi class customer base! I saw cops. Yankee caps. I saw parks department workers. I saw lawyers, stock brokers, retirees, blue collar and white collar workers. Just get your coffee and grab that pastry and off they go! And like the show Cheers, everyone knows each other. Super friendly, too. So in the grit of the Bronx, we’ve got warm human souls everywhere.

This area is absolutely densely dominated by Irish pubs! I couldn’t help but ponder how so many can survive in close proximity to one another.



Just in case you need help?

Just in case you need help?

A Visit Home: New York, NY!

25 06 2013

Sabretts and Kosher Salted Pretzels = NYC

You probably don’t know this, but NY is my home town! I have relatives in southern CT, Long Island and Manhattan. Recently I paid a visit to my Finny Akers, my nephew, and his son, Jackson. While there I also spent a day in the City and saw my cousin Liza Greene, and a college buddy, Andy Schattman. A visit to NYC is always worth the trip!

I stayed in The Bronx with Finny – one must take a commuter train into Grand Central Terminal, and from there, you can walk about the City or grab the subway to zip to any destination. Wonderful!

Commuter Rail Cutie

All Aboard! Cute conductor!

It wasn’t long before I arrived at Grand Central. I planned to have lunch with Liza but I arrived early. So, I spent time walking about Manhattan. It was a bit windy and rainy! In rainy Portland, Oregon, where I live, people walk the streets clad in Gore-Tex. But in NYC, umbrellas rule!


Umbrellas everywhere, crowing the areas above your head!

NYC is the capital of making money. Rain is just such an opportunity and I saw several folks hawking cheap umbrellas, and passing pedestrians were snapping them up.

The wind was taking every opportunity to destroy any unsuspecting umbrella. Quite a few caught gusts and were wrecked.

IMG_0479I spent about an hour walking around Midtown Manhattan. Even on a rainy day people watching is entertaining in New York City.

I was to meet Liza back near Grand Central for lunch so I returned to that area.


Liza and me!

It was terrific to see Liza. We talked so much that it was hard to even order food! Everything from Oregon, to Hurricane Sandy, to her daughter, to my brother John.

Do you use Facebook? On this trip the social media website came into play as friends and family learned I was coming to NY! So, with a quick click of the mouse and a text message and a subway ride to lower Manhattan, I was able to connect with longtime college buddy and ski friend Andrew Schattman! It was great to see him! Funny how quickly something like that can happen.

We were college buddies and later took shares in a ski house in Killington, VT and also skied out in Colorado.


Me and Andy!

Then with some more time I headed uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I wanted to see some of the Egyptian collection and my favorites – the Impressionists.

I was not disappointed. In fact, I was completely overwhelmed. I had not been back there in 20 years, and its collection is absolutely MASSIVE and beautifully presented.

Block-long galleries of Roman and Greek sculpture and statues, as well as Mesopotamian, American Indian, Eurpoean paintings, Chinese antiquities, it’s absolutely WONDERFUL and ENDLESS. You can spend days in there!


There is Renoir, Manet, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh, Degas, Cassatt, Pissarro, Gauguin – they’re all there! My eyes teared as I witnessed some of my favorites.IMG_0489