Warning: My Handwriting Is Atrocious
You should really think about buying some pottery. It makes a wonderful holiday gift. And really, you can't find better stuff than you find at The Wave on Beach 88 Street and The Boulevard ---they've got pottery and pictures and this 'n that and they just happen to be having a sale on Saturday, December 7---which is probably today or tomorrow, depending upon when you're reading this.
You can buy pottery from Susan (who happens to double as Wave publisher) and meet the Maytag Repairman (who happens to be me). You remember the Maytag guy from those commercials---the loneliest man in town. I get to play the loneliest guy on the beach when I set up to do a "book signing" at The Wave between noon and 1 pm (I pleaded with Wave management to make it between noon and 12:01 but they insisted on a full hour). It feels a little weird ---come meet me---but apparently people like having an autographed book so I'll gladly oblige. Though again, I kinda doubt anyone's gonna show---I mean it's not like I've had a chance to publicize the book on the Dorothy Dunne show or John Baxter's version of Rockaway's Believe It Or Not.
Of course, my mother will be there (Ma', before you come, lower the gas under the pork chops, will ya?). She'll come with books she's already bought. Which is fine. If you've got books from local stores, Amazon or The Wave or wherever---please feel free to drop by if you'd like the books signed. There'll be copies available at The Wave as well. And if you're feeling charitable----please know that $11 a book is going to the Graybeards---and they're not spending it on beer. The money will be used to fund a tuition gift or scholarship. (So for those of you waiting for somebody to finish the book so you can have a free read, realize if you fork over the cash you'll be helping a good cause).
Oh, another point, the thing about getting a signature on "Braving The Waves ~ Rockaway Rises And Rises Again~" seems, I dunno, slightly misdirected---the names of great people are IN the book, not on the cover. Although it makes them all cringe when I say this, I'll say it anyway: they're the ones who should be signing autographs.
**Jimmy Roberts, a coach who's dedicated himself to learning all aspects of baseball, will be running a "power pitching winter baseball clinic" on Sunday, December 8 at the Brooklyn Sports Club, 150 Van Siclen Avenue (Exit 14 - Pennsylvania Ave on the Belt) ---it's $55 per person which is a bargain for serious baseball players between the ages of 9 and 13. It's all about skills and drills. Here's a chance to get a big head start on the competition. Questions or inquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-945-5162. Coach Roberts will be assisted by a stellar staff of college and high school coaches and players.
**The Broad Channel football squads enjoyed great success this year. John Hanning's 11 and 12 year old Ponies captured the League Championship game by beating top-seeded Levittown, 20-6. The championship was an exclamation point to a great year as the squad compiled a 10-2 record.
Marty Feeney's 9 and 10 year old Midgets lost in the championship game to Brentwood---no shame there. Brentwood went undefeated. Marty's Midgets did themselves and the Channel proud with a stellar 9-2 record.
**More and more kids from the peninsula are making it over to the Channel for football---which is what Coach Feeney and others have hoped for---keep an eye and ear open for next season's kickoff.
**Teddy Roosevelt inspired the teddy bear. Teddy Roosevelt was from New York (He was police commissioner, for one thing). So where does Vermont get off having a Vermont Teddy Bear? Beats me. (Kinda like the Utah Jazz basketball team or the Los Angeles Lakers, for that matter) Teddy fans will be happy to know that New York Teddy Bears are now available at New York City Teddy Bears (Division of Roxbury USA, Beach 101 St.). You can check 'em out at www.nyctb.com or order them by calling 800-456-8346 or 718-634-1004. Here's a chance to support your local businesspeople.
**Congrats are in order for the Brooklyn Mariners, the legendary semi-pro football team coached by gridiron great, superior of the sidelines, the incomparable Pudgie Walsh. The squad won the semi-finals of the Harvest Bowl and now travels to Rome, NY as they march towards a possible national crown.
**And Congratulations are due Steve Stathis. He's been named a Deputy Grand Marshal for the upcoming St. Pat's Parade (Back in the day, his mom started an Irish Step dancing school in Rockaway Beach so he's got a wee bit of McStathis in him). He joins a very distinguished group of honorees. Poppa Graybeard is on a roll. He'll soon be a grandfather and one of his son's ---is it Craig or Christian? --- has just got engaged. You'd think I'd get that straight before press time ---well, I'll get it right before Dad rents a tux.
**A new class is entering the Fire Academy this Monday. Best of luck to these men and women who will shoulder the responsibility of carrying on a valiant tradition.