2017-02-16 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Belated wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you all enjoyed this holiday of mixed feelings!

•Remember that I wrote that I dislike football? I think that I also said I might jinx a team that I like? Well, any Atlanta Falcon fans can attest to this jinx now! I turned to the game just to see how close it was to being over. I did not know what team was playing the Patriots! When I saw that the opposition was the Atlanta Falcons, I had a dilemma. I am lucky enough to have two wonderful nieces…one in Atlanta and the other living near Boston.

I knew the Patriots won a few Super Bowls already, and as I tend to root for the underdog, Atlanta became my favorite. At that point I didn’t realize that the Falcons had a lead of 30-odd points! But by then, the damage was done. I started to watch the game and almost everyone knows what happened then!

The Patriots made a phenomenal turnaround and in the course of a few minutes tied with Atlanta. When the announcer said they would have to go to overtime for the first time in 50 years, I should have changed the channel. Sadly, I forgot I was a jinx and watched the Falcons experience a dreadful loss. It was my fault entirely! I am happy that my niece Isabel doesn’t get the Beacon, or she might hold it against me.

My team lost, but I did get to see some wonderful plays (or so the announcer said). Actually, even I, a novice at football, could admire the catch that turned the game around, as well as those that carried the ball over the line for touchdowns. Again, my apologies go out to anyone who rooted for Atlanta. Next year I will try to remember not to watch!

I have to apologize for not having a column last week…I just couldn’t find enough to write about. This time of year is always slow.

•By the time you read this, about 50 men, women and children from Babylon will be about to take off for Cancun, Mexico for their winter vacations. Apparently, they are all staying in hotels next to one another, without planning it that way! I wish them all a great time and a safe trip both ways.

When I was a child, I envied my friends who went away on vacation. At that time, most of them went to Florida or skiing. As one of six children of a man who would sunburn as he walked across the street, as well as being a great athlete in baseball, track, football and basketball, but one who didn’t really ski or swim much, a trip to Florida or skiing was out. In fact, I never had a vacation until the summer after my sophomore year at Babylon High School.

We drove up to Fort Ticonderoga and Vermont, then to Boston so my older brother John could look at colleges. I remember a tiny cabin on Lake George where we stayed overnight and were almost eaten alive by mosquitoes. The lake was pretty, but most of us sunburned as quickly as Dad, so we didn’t spend much time in the water. We drove into Vermont and saw really rural locations for the first time.

My two older sisters decided to stay in Babylon, so my parents took John (17), Rob (13), Laura (7) and myself (15). When we first saw cows and goats in a pasture in the middle of nowhere, we all piled out of the car to look at them up close. I don’t think any of us noticed a small sign on the wire fencing that said it was an electric fence. Laura leaned on the fence to try and pet a goat and started screaming.

Through loud wails and sobbing, we realized what had happened. Needless to say she had gotten a shock, but nothing too serious. (I think my macho brothers were tempted to try it themselves just to see how much it hurt!) My parents piled us back in the car and headed for Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Miraculously the baby blue station wagon made the ascent, surprising all of us.

We checked into a lovely hotel and while the others unpacked and cleaned up, Dad and I went for a walk to a nearby drugstore for film. While I was standing next to Dad, a prostitute walked up and propositioned him. Dad turned redder than any sunburn and hustled me out of the store. I didn’t understand what happened until we got back to the hotel and Dad told Mom. I suspect they both would have liked to jump in the car and head for Babylon, but we stayed a couple of days and John went to look at Boston College.

•A couple of friends have recently come home from the hospital and I'm sure they would like to hear from their friends. Dick Berry, of Cadman Avenue, and Tom Dottinger, of Sumpawams Court, are both recovering at home.

Happy birthday to Jason Cascone, Edwin "Butch" Horsley and Andrew Daly! Many happy returns!

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