I really enjoyed making this one. It’s got the date that ground was first broken on one side (October 28, 1961) and the date that I took the shot of Shea coming down on the other side of the mug (1/27/2009) and it’s all set against a large dusty shot where you can just make out the crane and the baseball player logo. Now whether a Mets fan would want to drink their coffee from such a mug – that’s another story. But I’m going to give a set of them to my sister (big Mets fan) for her birthday.
It does bring back memories – not so much of the stadium but of my Uncle Hy W. who first took me to Shea, and how we sat way up high and felt like the planes were going to knock us out of our seats. He died a pretty long time ago, but was such a fun guy to have as an uncle. The main reason was that whereas we were always scrimping and saving in my household, he had more money, and seemed to really enjoy cooking breakfast for me. Rather than having to cut frozen pieces of cheap bacon in half – as we did in my house – you would come down to breakfast and there would be as much fresh bacon – not cut in half – as you could eat. The tomatoes were redder. The bread was fresher. You didn’t see anything that said “A&P” on it.
Sometimes he would brew fresh coffee (maybe I was eight years old at the time) and mix it with half-and-half and let us have some. Instead of margarine there was butter. He liked, and could appreciate the good things in life. He introduced me to Radio City Music Hall. Took me to Italian restaurants where the menus were in Italian and each pizza was made to order. When I would tell my dad about the great things we had had to eat – he would say, well what’s the big deal – anyone can do that if they have money. Maybe he felt bad hearing me rave about the delicious food I could get at Uncle Hy’s.
One day, when I was about fifteen, he drove about an hour out of the city, to what was for me upstate New York – just to bring me to a place which he proclaimed made the best pizza – called of all things – The Dugout.
It was a sort of pizza that was very light, with a thin crust, and was sort of like White Castle in that you could sit there and eat an entire pie by yourself. I think he had some health issues at the time, and couldn’t gorge himself any longer – and he told me that he brought me along just so that he could enjoy watching me wolf down a pie.
I had two uncles named Hy – so in case anyone in the family is reading this – I’m writing about Hy W. He died a tragic death at an early age – but left me with very satisfying memories. Whenever I think about baseball, I think of him. Oh – and just as an aside – he was a tremendous ballplayer. In fact, both of my uncles were great baseball players. My other uncle – Hy B. had a tryout with the Cleveland Indians, and could have started in their farm system, but his parents didn’t want him to leave home. It may have been due to the depression. I’m not sure. I was very close with Hy B. also.
Well, I’m sure that’s enough rambling based on a mug.