2003-09-26 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle

The Weight Of Education
Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle The Weight Of Education

Those moving companies you see lining up at schools are just there to help kids carry their book bags home. Some parents, always driving the newest vehicles—last spring it was the Humvee—are arriving at dismissal time driving forklifts (equipped, of course, with CD player, navigational system, and racing stripes) to move the textbooks home. They don’t want their kids getting hurt. They’ve seen those other kids, the poor souls who lug their book bags on their backs and then stay hunched over for about an hour after getting home. The kids walk around like they’re looking for something on the ground.

Poor kids? Ha! I not only had to haul 50-pound book bags, I had to walk ten miles to school. And then ten miles home each day. Yep, in the snow almost every day and uphill both ways. With holes in my shoes.

And after all that walking and lugging….what did I have to look forward to? My mother’s cooking. The only thing heavier than my book bag was my heart—knowing I had to face those horribly burnt meatless pork chops at dinner. Other kids didn’t have it much better. At dinner, they were being served liver and nobody was helping them with book bags on the way home from school. It’s amazing any of us survived.

You know what they say, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. So what do I do with my kid? I add a brick or two to his backpack. Makes him tough. Sometimes I toss in a couple of old pork chops for good measure.

Of course, since I’m not the sharpest pencil in the back pack I wind up carrying him and the back pack home.

In the not-too-distant future when books are online or on CDs or some other lightweight gadget, kids will look back and either say, man, remember how heavy our book bags were —or— man, remember how our parents used to carry our heavy book bags for us. Which will be the better memo ry?

Boyle-ing Over: So whatever happened to Richie Knott and Dave Reilly who were cuffed and ticketed at the now infamous 4th of July beach party fundraiser? Well the local law of Trainor & Seplow defended these guys pro bono (that’s free) and got the charges dismissed on September 10. It took a couple of trips to the courthouse to face the ridiculous charges but it did have a happy ending as the judge tossed the charges like an empty beer can. The accusers did not show at all—they must’ve realized the charges were absurd, too. Attorneys Joseph Trainor and Christine Gray-Ferazani are to be commended for offering their services.

**Bloody good show! The community turned out in a big way for the Graybeards blood drive held on September 14. Two hundred and eighty-seven people showed to give the red stuff—and though some were turned away because of things like being on medication or traveling abroad recently—the Blood bank was able to collect 247 pints that day. As these drives go, that’s about three times the amount usually collected. So a big salute to Rockaway people for the support. Bram Stoker’s got nothing on organizer Rick Horan and his band of merry blood brothers (ladies, too) who were just phenomenal in their efforts. Mucho kudos to Jim Dunn, Bill Hanson, Brian King, Dan Murphy, Mary Ellen Olsen, Lou Pastina, Mary Tufts, and Jack Weber.

**Reminder: A Friend in Need party is scheduled for this Sunday at the Knights of Columbus. Stop by the K of C on Beach 90 street anytime between 1 and 5 p.m. Raffle tickets are available at many local watering holes.

**You might consider yourself a sophisticate of sorts, perhaps downright artsy-fartsy. Which is all well and good. But may I suggest a new experience? Something to broaden the old horizons? Check out Rockaway Rugby! The famous Fisheads will play the Village Lions at Fort Tilden Saturday (September 27) at 1 pm. There’s a helluva lot of great action in a great festive atmosphere. And this Saturday just happens to be Alumni / Family and Friends Day. At 5 pm, following the game, there will be games, rides, and attractions for kids of all ages. This’ll take place at the Rugby Club on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 113 Street. Don’t be shy—it’ll be fun. And it’ll be safe—it’s not like they’re going to ask you to play (unless you weigh 250 pounds and have a face full of scars).

Rockaway Rugby is one of the great traditions in Rockaway and like many such things they rely on the support of the community (and they in turn, support many community teams and events).

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