The Way We Were

The fire hall bell means 6-o’-clock, it’s time to come home. Irv is on, chicken’s off the grill.

Summers spent rampaging house to house, hopping pool to pool, forming ever-larger pickup games of baseball till the evening’s final light. No fences. No enemies. Just kids, racing each other around a neighborhood named for a man who built the homes that housed us all. Continue reading

Part V: The Aud Club

My life officially began October 5, 1989.

I know, chronologically, I’d just celebrated seven years of wandering ’round the blue planet … but that era’s foggier than a San Francisco morning. As I grow older, depressingly, I remember even less.  I’m told early childhood was quite pleasant – overflowing with toys, games, smiles and discovery.

But oh, do I remember donning my nicest threads to my induction as a red-blooded Western New Yorker: My very first Sabres game at the Aud. Continue reading

Part III: Nadir

All I wanted was a milkshake.

I opened up the trunk of the 1991 Pontiac Bonneville, D.o.A. in the vast expanse of a vacant lot at the University at Buffalo. I aggressively pried a ramshackle 15-speed out of the formerly beastly and bright hunk of rotting metal.

The formerly beautiful vehicle had been undone and unhinged by leaks, busts, cracks, scratches, rust and wrecks. All that remained was an empty-soul shell of a 3800 V6 with a pile of clothes, empty pizza boxes, various tools and assorted eccentri scattered across the front passenger seats.

This was my home. Continue reading

Part I: The End of Home

It’s 39 and pitch-dark, has been for hours. Always gets like this when the leaves bristle and plummet, and frost seeps into your lungs.

The cold, bleak darkness recommences with clockwork-like urgency and invariable starkness. Summer hath ended; crawl back into your concrete slabs. Continue reading