Tag Archives: NY Mets

Day 341: My Cousin Darren

12 Mar

Darren and me back on Staten Island

A few months ago, I returned to Staten Island to help celebrate my cousin Guy, and his wife, Diane’s, 25th wedding anniversary. My cousin and I were both married in the same year, 1986.  My wedding was in August, and his wedding was in October.  If you follow baseball, you may remember that the N.Y. Mets made it to the World Series that year. And won!  But that is beside the point.

In 1986, a week or two after our wedding, I moved to Ashland, Oregon, with my new husband.  Since that time, I have been back to Staten Island many times, but there are some people that I never get to see.  One of those people is my cousin Darren.  He is like me in one big way: he moved away from New York and only returns for a visit now and then.  The anniversary celebration was one of those times… and for the first time in more than 25 years, I spent time with my cousin Darren.

Darren was born the year that I turned 13.  The funniest (or strangest) memory I have from the time he was little was when I was walking with him (at about age 2) and my sister, Janice, who was about 5.  My boyfriend, Michael, was watching them with me and we were walking through the neighborhood when a lady came up to us and said, “The children are so cute… are they yours?”  I was fifteen years old!  and far  too stunned to say anything at all!

Darren and I caught up a bit at the anniversary party… and he honored me with a dance to repay me for babysitting all those years ago.  A few days ago I mailed Darren a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie for him and his son, Tommy, who he named after his Dad. I want to thank him for the memories from those long ago days… and send him love and good wishes for the future.

Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden – Author Unknown.

Day 147: Unca Booey

31 Aug

Today is the birthday of my Uncle Billy. He was about 12 when I was born and was sort of like an older brother to me. When I was little I could not say his name and that is how he became “unca booey.” Uncle Billy loves baseball and I remember watching baseball games with him at my Grandma’s house. I remember him in front of the television on the floor watching the game with me sitting behind him making comments or asking questions. It went something like this: The announcer calls the name Ron Swoboda. Then I would say, “Uncle Billy, his name sounds like soda.” My uncle probably grunted in the affirmative to keep me quiet. When the name Dusty Baker was announced I might have said “Gosh that sounds like me Uncle Billy” (because I was always covered with flour when I baked anything). To his credit, Uncle Billy never told me “hush.”

It was really nice to be included in watching the games. I was the oldest grandchild and eventually became too old to be part of the “kids table” and was still way too young to sit with the adults. Because I was included, I really began to like baseball and started learning a little bit about sports. My uncle was a Mets fan and I remember when they won the series in 1969. It was as if they were doing it for us! And then the year I got married they won the series again. It was hard not to think that there was a special coincidence there.

And the best moment of all with my uncle? I’d have to say it was at my wedding. I was dancing with my husband and my Uncle Tom asked to cut in. And for a moment I was dancing with Uncle Tom. And then both of his brothers – Bill and Richard cut in as well and for what was probably only a minute I got to dance with my Mother’s three brothers. It was such a special treat for me to be dancing with them all!

About ten years ago, my family got to go to Walt Disney World because my Uncle Billy was working there and was able to get us in for free. It was such a tremendous gift to us. When we arrived at his house I presented my uncle with a baseball that had been autographed by Harmon Killebrew. It just so happened that Mr. Killebrew had appeared at a regional game and willingly signed autographs for the fans. I asked him to sign a ball for my uncle because he is the biggest baseball fan that I know. And it was so cool to be able to give him a baseball that was signed by a man who was in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Because I planned ahead, my Uncle Billy received his “brownie pie” today (I mailed it Monday). I wanted to make sure that he knew that I am very grateful for all he has done for me. And I want to thank his wife, Aunt Carol, for making me feel so special. They have both done so much for my family and we are all very thankful.