Dre\’s Ramblings

A part of my childhood went to heaven today
August 14, 2007, 12:04 pm
Filed under: New York, New York City, New York Yankees, Phil Rizzuto, sports

“Did he do it… yeah he did… going the opposite field; that Mattingly is amazing… Holy cow!”

That’s my recollection of hearing Phil Rizzuto call the home run hit by Don Mattingly that tied the consecutive home run record held by Pittsburgh’s Dale Long. Ironcially I’d just listened to the audio clip on Monday afternoon. I had no idea I’d be hearing of Rizzuto’s death while waiting for lunch today. He was 89.

Growing up in New York, especially before I discovered how much fun listening to games on the radio was, I watched every New York Yankees game broadcast on WPIX, which meant hearing the games as called by Phil Rizzuto and Bill White. I made the switch to listening to John Sterling after it was decided that Yankees games would be broadcast on cable long before The Bronx would be privileged to receive it. But it was still a treat to watch television whenever we knew the game was being broadcast locally.

Long before I knew that Harry Caray was known for saying “Holy Cow” to me it meant hearing “the Scooter” tell stories of past Yankees glory, of cannolis being eaten and of birthday and anniversary wishes being shared. He showed some of that style during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1994. He was a bridge to franchise’s past at a time when it was greatly desired and needed from its fan. The only Yankee that drew more applause at an old-timer’s game than Mattingly or DiMaggio was Rizzuto.

We knew he’d been sick for some time, though we as the fans of the team known as the Evil Empire hoped he could make it to see his beloved team play one more time in the Fall Classic. He was the same age that my grandmother would have been this year and she loved watching him call games. Most times we’d sit in front of the television and watch the game, my parents still wondering how their child could love baseball more than soccer.

Hopefully he’ll get the chance to watch the guys send the House that Ruth Built out in style from a box seat upstairs. I think those of us who enjoyed him would like that more than anything else. As for me, I see a cannoli in my future this evening, just right for someone who proved while playing that the content of a man should be measured by what they do and not by how tall they are. Steinbrenner must have been right; “heaven must have needed a shortstop,” and they went out and got the best one available. Maybe the big guy is a Yankees fan after all.



Random Shots: Orbs of holiday cheer


Since we’re right in the midst of the 2006 holiday season, I figured I’d start posting those images I promised. This first one is actually not in Birmingham, it is at Wave Hill in the Bronx. it is located in the main entryway of the main house on the grounds.

Enjoy the day.


Random Shots: Homewood High plays Broadway

I hope all of you enjoyed the holiday. This is one of the sites that Betsy and I were able to see on Thursday…


Soaking rain in midtown Manhattan did not keep the Homewood High School Marching Band from enjoying their performance in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. While this is not the best shot in the world, it does show the band as they pass through Columbus Circle on November 23, 2006 as some of the New York City Police Department stand guard.

I hope to have some more images from the parade up this evening. Check back for links to the photoset.

Enjoy the day,


Welcome to Goodburger…
November 17, 2006, 4:21 pm
Filed under: New York, New York City, other cities, Photographs, Random shots

I’ve learned something in the last few days: it is extremely difficult to get back into the swing of things when you all but shut yourself off from the rest of the world for several days. At this rate, I’ll finally catch up just after halftime of the Iron Bowl.

Luckily I was crazy enough to take pictures during my stay in New York last week after dealing with the main reason for the trip. A few of those may make their way onto the site in the coming days. First on this New York edition of Random Shots…welcome-to-goodburger.jpg

Those readers who were actually fans of Keenan & Kel (yeah, you know who you are… who loves orange soda?) remember the “Goodburger” skits. These skits led to a movie by the same name, making their legions of fans extremely happy. So it was bound to happen sooner or later; someone had to open a restaurant playing off of it. There are two locations in the Big Apple.

If I’d stopped, I would have loved to hear someone in there say “Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger. May I help you?” I’d also hope that the service was better than what it was during the skits 🙂

If you get a chance, I’d appreciate some help tomorrow out in Ensley. If not, enjoy the game.

And the weekend.


Some words and reflections
November 15, 2006, 11:45 am
Filed under: memories, New York, New York City, people, Viola Carrington, Wave Hill, Woodlawn Cemetery

I realized that I at least had to write something to let people know that I was alive and well. OK, I’m going through the motions really. I did not want to go much longer without letting those that read this on a regular basis know how much my family and I appreciated your notes, messages and prayers during the past few days.

One story directly related to this past week… The senior pastor at the church I grew up in requested that he do the funeral service. He also requested that he attend the disposition of my grandmother’s body at Woodlawn Cemetery. Due to the fact that he wanted to perform the service, Granny’s funeral was moved to Friday morning, with the viewing taking place on Thursday evening instead of Wednesday.

Having driven to New York in the pouring rain on Wednesday (at one point portions of the metro New York area were in a flood warning), it would have been extremely difficult for many people to attend the viewing. Thursday evening turned out to be one of the calmest days that the city had seen in a while. Friday morning at Butler Memorial United Methodist Church there was not a cloud in the sky and it was unseasonably warm. I had not stepped foot inside of the church since I left for college. The simple interior was relaxing and nothing had changed since going there as a child, except for the reason for being there.
Then Rev. Samuel gave his sermon and it was one of the nicest things I’d ever heard about anyone. He had been visiting my grandmother on a regular basis for years and said that there were times where he felt as though he was the one being ministered to and not him ministering to my grandmother. My mother went up to him afterwards and asked if she could get a copy of the sermon. Rev. Samuel said he hadn’t written one, that he’d simply spoke and the words came out.

I went to Wave Hill on Saturday morning. One of the many things I gained from my grandmother is a love of plants and gardening. The property is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the city of New York and one of the first things I think about whenever people ask how I could have grown up in New York with all of its congestion and gridlock. The home was once a residence for both Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain among others.


It’s known for having bunnies that people rarely get a chance to see up close since they tend to run off if you get too close. Wandering around that morning I saw a brown bunny sitting eating some grass. I got within about 2 feet of the bunny and just watched it. It looked off at me and kept on eating. After about 5 minutes I finally felt like asking a question, looked at the bunny and said “So, how did you like the funeral yesterday?” The bunny stopped eating, looked up at me, turned its ears towards me and licked its chops. It sat there starting at me for about a minute, then turned back around and kept eating. A few minutes later, I decided it was time to go, so I said “I guess I’ll see you later on.” The bunny looked up again, turned around and hopped off into a set of bushes. Here is an image of said bunny, who sat quite patiently for its picture.


OK, so it was two stories. Thanks for indulging me. We’ll see if we can’t get back to normal, or at least normal enough, tomorrow. Those few images that I did take will be posted to my Flickr account late this evening.

Enjoy the day (and thank you),


Goodbye Granny
November 5, 2006, 9:03 am
Filed under: memories, New York, New York City, people, Photographs, Viola Carrington


My maternal grandmother, Viola Carrington, passed away yesterday morning, around 6:10 a.m. local time in New York City. She was 88 years old. The image is from my graduation day from high school; the stupid scanner refuses to work properly for me. She’s the only one I ever knew.

Needless to say that while I knew she’d never quite be as well as I wanted her to be, I was still shocked when I received the phone call from my mother yesterday morning. Considering that all of the cancer that had made her suffer over the last two years was gone, I figured I had at least one more chance to see her at home.

Due to the recent misfires with all of my computers, I have lost most of the pictures that I have from the last time I ever saw her about two weeks ago. That’s when I had four different computers decide to say that they either didn’t want to work anymore or that they wanted to be rebuilt. In one of the two clearest moments she had while I was there, she asked me if I liked the room she was staying in. As I’ve said previously, I do not like hospitals, but I also knew that she’d worked in the building years before. The last thing I ever did was kiss her on the cheek and hug her. She looked at me and said thank you as my mother and I left to complete the errands for my last day in town.

All I could think of when I saw her was of all the other people who she’d taken care of over the years, and of how she was now one of them, one of many that are beginning to live longer, but not necessarily able to enjoy it. I thought of how I was told that when I was handed my little brother upon his arrival home that I walked over to her and “handed” him to Granny (Handed meant nearly throwing the newborn towards her; thankfully nothing happened then). The irony is that he was the grandson that was able to take care of her when she needed it the most.

What I saw when I was in the room at Manhattanville was not the headstrong person I’d grown up knowing. I learned baseball in part because of her. I remember that I actually ended up taking her to her first baseball game while I was in high school. We sat through a 3-hour rain delay to watch her beloved Yankees play (and win). One of the reasons I have cats is because of remembering how neither of her cats would necessarily want to come out and talk with me. It was Boomer that woke me up yesterday morning about the time that my grandmother passed; he just looked at me and started purring, resting his head on my chest after having just hopped up on me, jumping me out of a rare recent case of deep sleep.

I probably chose to get out and explore because of my grandmother, Not the getting on the plane and exploring new states and countries, though she had the opportunity to do that. This is the getting on the subway and just riding to see where it took you or getting in the car and choosing a road. She was not as afraid of getting on the subway or bus as many would have thought. She would get my brother and I on a bus in suits many weeks to go to church. I’d told her that I’d get confirmed once I finally got settled somewhere I wanted to be for a while. When I finally did get confirmed, I realized that she may not ever know, with her memory already affected.

She was not perfect, but she was good. And for all of the people that have to hear about doing it because of how much was sacrificed for you to get to where you’ve gotten to in life, it was great to know that all she wanted most times was to hear my voice and know that I was OK. But she never got a chance to watch me get my college degree. She never got to see Birmingham, never knew that I got the job that epitomized why I went to college. She only recently was able to realize that I was no longer living in Savannah. I am grateful that I got at least one more chance to see her.

The main comfort I find this All Saints Sunday is in reading the lyrics to one of her favorite hymns and knowing that she lived as full a life as one would hope, both in joy and pain, and that she may finally get a chance to see what I was able to do with my life to this point and be proud.

I’m going to take a break for a few days, though I do have a couple of posts that are already automatically set for posting.. I’ll see you on the other side.