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Keeping the Change for Harry and Cheering the Bronx - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Keeping the Change for Harry and Cheering the Bronx
ETA before posting: This is part one of a post for which I posted part two close to 12 hours ago. It was frozen in time on a dead tablet that didn't come alive again until lunch at the Roscoe Diner. I'm now home and can link in the pics. It will show up in your feed long before part two, which will make it chronological if you're reading top down.  Also: I never made it to the HOF; between bad road-signing and miles of NO SERVICE in the 845 and 607, neither Siri or I could find our way to Cooperstown until I was almost back onto 81.  Some other time.

Quite a day. Quite a game. Tons of good experiences.

I decided before leaving to cut the trip in half. Had I not, by now I'd be winging over a bridge and crashing for the first of two Long Island nights. I just couldn't: Eleanor came down with a bug yesterday and called in sick today. Plus, I'd already had two longer than usual workdays and a Rochester overnight with a ballgame in between, so adding an extra night away from home and a longer travel day Saturday just wasn't making sense.  My only real reason for the second night was to see Harry Chapin's daughter Jen in concert out in Suffolk Friday night, but she's played nearer to us before and likely will again.  Plus, I'll have more of a chance to tell her the whole story of why I wanted to see her perform.

So it was out the door yesterday at about my usual worktime, a quick stop in the Buffalo office, no stop in Rochester, and making Syracuse around noon: I had an obituary to look up: her father's.

The central library there is in a newer-looking building on the onetime main department-store drag; it may have even been Sibley's ages ago. Reference is on the third floor, ladies lingerie, and I rode up with an old-school security guard. If you remember Curtis, the Blues Brothers' mentor played by Cab Calloway in the film? Yeah, pretty much him. He was just flabbergasted by the dude he had to shoo out of the computer room: Man! He was so-o-o-o hi-gh-h-h-h!

Once on three, they showed me how to access the newspaper archive. Took a few narrowings- I did know Harry's date of death, but not how long thereafter before it got published- but there it was, in the pages of the Oswego edition, two days after he passed.


I'd forgotten how many quotes I'd been able to get on such short notice; Harry hadn't lived there a full four years of college, and the years he'd been there were over a decade before. But I got things in from people who did remember him, including WVBR people who'd booked his final Ithaca show barely a year before, and I hope Jen appreciates the memories in this the 35th summer since.

Going to and coming back from the library, I passed a busker on a corner- playing Beatles on violin. I wanted a sense-of-place picture, and resolved that if I didn't get ticketed (I'd gone a few minutes over, a crime punishable in Buffalo, even during blizzards, by death;), I'd go back, take her picture, and feed her tip jar.

They didn't, so I did. Here she is:


From there, it was a nonstop shot to the train north of the Bronx. For 30 bucks train fare and station parking, I saved about that much in tolls, parking and Deegan delays, and got to read rather than curse on the trip south and, now, north.  I pulled into Yankees-153rd Street not quite two hours before first pitch.  I'd been by the Death Star via car and train many times, and almost walked in once around maybe 2010, but this was my first time with a ticket and a commitment.

It was time to explore- and take pictures.


Unlike Shea Stadium, which was paved over for needed parking and is remembered only by embedded plaques for the four bases, the original House Ruth Built (and Steinbrenner cookiecuttered) is now a park with a city-run baseball diamond on it.  The only in-place signs of its long history are this sign, not from the original ballpark but the script of Bull Durham, based on the experiences of former Rochester Red Wing Ron Shelton:


Next to the field is this piece of the distinct latticework from around the old roof:


And nearby, you see this homage to the most famous speech ever given on the grounds:


I did this trip in full-on enemy gang colors, but I was hardly alone, and almost everyone in home blue-gray pinstripes was kind to me and my brethren/sistren. I'd been told that one bar across River Avenue- Billy's- was a neutral ground for both tribes, and this proved true. It had a welcoming, if loud, vibe- with plenty of dancing, largely Latino, and mixings of all persuasions. I thought sadly of Orlando's Pulse club as I saw such acceptance all around:


All it lacked was food, so I decided to head in a little after 6. The phone-only ticket worked fine, I found a wing bar and ordered a beer, found a stand to eat at, went back for more napkins, and came back to find my almost-full 12-dollar pale ale had been swiped.  Did I mention Eleanor came down with something that I could have picked up as well? I hope you get it, whoever you are:P

No matter, though. Everything from there went just fine, and since we're not far from my station stop, I think I'll save the rest of this for a Part Deux: Yankee Boogaloo.
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