What's In A Name? Maybe A Booby Trap
Glad to hear that Police Officer Kevin Boyle who was shot in the leg last week is going to be okay. I got numerous phone calls and emails asking if I were leading a double life, a couple of so-called friends were pretty snide---saying it made sense since I seem to have a fondness for donuts. Most people knew it couldn't be me---the thought of me holding a steady job for 17 years as Officer Boyle has done was laughable. There are a million Kevin Boyles running around so you're likely to hear a million stories. There have even been reports of impostors using the name. I hear one was seen spotted at the recent Graybeard Dinner Dance. That couldn't have been the sober, sensible Kevin Boyle of this column.
You never know what a namesake might do to your life. Sometimes an ordinary name can become a buzzword or worse, overnight. My sister's neighbor, I kid you not, was named Jeff Dahmer. All his life he had a name that didn't strike a particular chord with anybody. That sure changed once the stories got about Jeffrey Dahmer, the body parts eating serial killer. Now this regular guy Jeff couldn't check into a hotel or give his name to Domino's Pizza without somebody making a remark. Hey, what do you want on that pizza? We're out of livers and hearts but maybe you'll like the anchovies (hey, who else would eat them besides someone named Dahmer?).
Speaking of the Graybeard Dinner dance, I was, wasn't I? Forgive me, I tend to get distracted whenever I think of Jeffrey Dahmer. Anyway, the Graybeards, a local non-profit dedicating itself to community service. did themselves proud. Thousands of dollars were raised and you can bet some good things will come as a result. More than 40 people donated prizes to be raffled off. Some of the good stuff: vacation getaways, a sailboat trip around New York harbor, SONY Playstation II, great sports and Broadway show tickets, a day at a spa, Rosie O'Donnell and Saturday Night Live tickets, his and her watches (I feel like I'm at the Academy Awards afraid to start naming names because I'll forget some obvious ones so I better just stop right now). But what generosity!
Monsignor Geraghty of St. Francis was one of the honorees and I gotta say, he knows how to work a room. You get equal parts humor, warmth, inspiration, and I guess the other word would be love. Although it was a room of 200 people ready to claim some of those raffle prizes or spill onto the dance floor, the crowd was a willing, captive audience of this extraordinary community leader. We're blessed to have Monsignor in Rockaway.
More Boyle-ing Points: Fairfield University's women's basketball program just got a lot better. Hoop star Janelle McManus looks like she'll be able to get on the court as early as next December after transferring from Boston College.
**Legendary hoops and all-around sports star, Norman Ochs, a guy with Rockaway sand in his shoes if there ever was one, donated $1000 to the Graybeards in honor of fallen firefighter Richie Allen.
**Ray Corrigan and Levon Kalolyan are getting major minutes on their respective college teams, Amherst and Potsdam State. Although they're just frosh, it sure looks like both programs are hanging their future hopes on these two hoop studs.
**The girls basketball team at Christ the King (CK) is flexing its muscles. They recently beat Molloy High School (a team of freshmen and sophs) by a score of 82-27 (I had to take out my calculator but that's a 55 point spread). And this past Monday CK pasted Bishop Kearney by 47 or some such ridiculous number. I always thought the point of sports was competition. Does anyone benefit from such lop-sided games? CK always seeks a high national ranking---why not join or establish a league full of schools with similar goals?
If coaches think sending "messages" or humiliating a team because "it's personal" (i.e. one coach doesn't like the other team's coach) it's time for school officials ---not athletic directors but school principals to remind these coaches (of young people) that sportsmanship means something. Or at least it should.
Sometimes blowouts happen. Subs come in and play better than the starters. Everything works right for one team, everything wrong for the other. That's fine. But it's a shame when you turn kids into Goliaths. Let's face it, it's hard to be happy for kids when they win by 55 and 47 points. It's hard to say, hey, good game. Because it wasn't a game at all.
**TV watchers and gossip column readers know the name Greta Van Susteren. She got all this coverage because she recently had plastic surgery to make herself more attractive.
Seems to me she must've bought the Linda Tripp package---because I can't tell them apart now.
**Readers of this column know I often share these deep, profound thoughts. Don't you think it's odd that we don't find more dead birds on the streets? I mean where do all the seagulls, Canadian geese, and regular robins go when they croak? We've got a zillion birds but it's only once in awhile when you see a dead one. Is O'Connor's handling this?
Is there a conspiracy I haven't heard? Like maybe Kentucky Fried Chicken .oh, forget it.
**News Flash: Broad Channel still exists. Marty Feeney, grouchier than your average bear, wrote to tell me that big things are happening in the BC hamlet. Thanks to the efforts of some great people they're building a new baseball diamond for the 2002 season, including an irrigation system. (Registration is every Saturday in the month of February, 9 30 am to noon at the field house) Marty tells me the BCAC will be having its Opening Day parade on April 27. This year they'll be honoring all the " Home Town Heroes"---and they don't want to overlook anyone. The Channel wants to salute those on both sides of the bridge. Marty says he's received a few emails already from children who would like their dads to be honored. Hey, if you know a hero why not let Marty know (he's only grouchy to me). Send info (including name, telephone and address and maybe a brief story to firstname.lastname@example.org.