Category Archives: Columns


Column: We have been warned, time to act

Joaquin gave us fair warning—hurricane season is now upon us. It usually starts in September, and is a little late this year. But we are not yet out of danger just because cool weather seems to have arrived in place of the torrid summer.

Suppose Joaquin had turned northwest instead of northeast. How many trees and wires would have been torn down in Rye, ripping away power lines and plunging our town into darkness and cold on these chilly days and nights? How much flooding would have hit us if we had received a foot of rain as in Charleston, S.C.?

We were advised from City Hall a week before Joaquin came near that the city manager had alerted our uniformed staff to be ready. No doubt they would have been ready to evacuate some of our immobile seniors. But nothing has been announced about where to find emergency shelter, let alone nourishment. The device of the Red Alert could be effectively used to get the word out.

As things stand now, anyone from small babies to incapacitated elders could be isolated and overlooked. No one would know of their plight. That is a danger unworthy of a caring community. Rye should be the kind of place where everyone is looked after. We need a census of everyone who might need assistance.

A hint of what we need in Rye appeared in the New York Times of Oct. 5 on page A12, speaking of Brian Hinton, deputy chief of the Charleston County Volunteer Rescue Squad: “Mr. Hinton’s team of about three dozen volunteers had been conducting rescues through the night, sleeping only in brief shifts.”

As a vehicle comparable to Charleston’s volunteer rescue squad, our City Council has a nonprofit entity called the Rye Community Emergency Response Team, Rye CERT, available to it. A nearby example of how such an organization can be effectively used can be seen in the comparable community of New Canaan, Conn. But Rye’s CERT needs staffing and activation by volunteers.

Even if we should be lucky enough not to be hit by any more hurricanes this year, other emergencies such as a blizzard might hit us even before the 2016 hurricane season. City Council, you have the ball.



Column: Kensington Road project clears final hurdles

I am pleased to announce that after more than 30 years—hard to believe—the Kensington Road development has overcome the final hurdles, most notably issues with our monopolies United Water, Metro-North and Con Edison, and a sales office will open in mid-October at 9 Park Place in the village.

The Kensington Road site has had a turbulent history, as developers either proposed projects that do not keep with the village character or have arrived only to be stymied by the economic downturns of the early 1990s, and then again between 2008 and 2009.

The benefits of completing this project are at least fourfold: the village will no longer have a Brownfield site; our current zero tax benefit on the property will generate significant tax revenues for the village; residents and merchants will now have clean and safe indoor parking and the village’s aggregate inventory of spaces will increase; and the area will be graced with high-quality residential construction in a neighborhood compatible with Mediterranean/European-style architecture.

Amenities in the new development include a 24-hour concierge service, a private extension to the Metro-North platform, two covered parking spaces per unit, a fully-equipped fitness center, a play area for children, outdoor common spaces and an indoor entertainment space.

The condominium units themselves, an unprecedented half of which will have private outdoor patios or terraces, will also feature special urban windows, gourmet islands with top-of-the-line appliances, spa baths and open great rooms. The apartments vary in size, with five penthouse units available complete with wraparound terraces.

The parking garage is expected to be completed and in use by next summer with unit occupancy commencing in the spring of 2017.

The pricing plan has yet to be completed as the developer awaits final approvals from the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The sales office will offer a virtual tour of the apartments for purchase as well as a fully replicated kitchen and the opportunity for a consumer to choose their own interior finishes.

The project’s developer is Fareri and Associates of Greenwich, Conn. Owning or developing more than $600 million in real estate in Westchester and Fairfield counties, Fareri projects include The Harbor on the Greenwich waterfront as well as the Chieftains, a collection of 28 luxury homes built on the Gimbel estate also in Greenwich.

The company chairman, John Fareri, was also the founder of the $200 million Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla honoring the memory of his youngest daughter.

The village and the developer were sued this past spring by Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. for an alleged violation of the Fair Housing Act, claiming the project would
discriminate against families with children.

The following is a public statement by the village agreed upon by all three parties per the recent settlement of the lawsuit:

“In the past, we have described the new condominium project being built on Kensington Road, in Bronxville, as ‘age-targeted,’ and designed to accommodate empty nesters. With recent changes to our zoning code, this description no longer accurately describes the project.

“The Kensington Road project will not be ‘age-targeted.’ The village has amended the Bronxville code so that it no longer provides for an ‘age-targeted’ special permit.

“The Kensington Road developer has confirmed that the project will not be marketed specifically for empty nesters. It will be designed and marketed for all people, including families with school-age children.

“These changes are in keeping with Bronxville’s legal obligation under federal, state and local law and I am proud to say that these changes strengthen Bronxville’s commitment to providing equal housing opportunities for all people, without discrimination on the basis of family status or any other protected category.

“Bronxville is a wonderful place to raise children—with our great schools, beautiful parks and strong community. We certainly welcome new children in the Kensington Road project and throughout our village.”

We are pleased the lawsuit is resolved. We believe the Kensington condominiums will be a great new addition to our village, and we are excited to see them coming to fruition after many years of careful planning.

Mara Rupners

There’s more to life in the ‘burbs

It’s peaceful here in the ‘burbs. Our nights are filled with the sounds of crickets, not the sounds of traffic horns. We’ve got two or three neighbors, not two or three hundred. We’ve got fresh air, trees and lawns, parking spots for our minivans, a bit of elbow room.

Still, our counterparts living in the big city wonder about our quiet life, thinking it is perhaps a tad provincial, assuming we are missing out on something. “What of art?” they may ask us. “What of culture?”

Clearly they haven’t taken a look at the fall schedule at The Performing Arts Center. We here at The Center take great pride in the fact that the artists you can see and hear on our stages are not only of the same caliber as those you can catch on a night out in Manhattan, they are, in fact, the very same artists.

For example, on Sunday, Oct. 11, we’ll be presenting the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Orpheus was founded in New York City in 1972 by a group of musicians who aspired to apply the chamber music principles of individual participation and personal responsibility to an orchestral setting. Central to these principles was the musicians’ commitment to rehearse and perform without a conductor, which they do to this day at their home base in Carnegie Hall.

The conductor-less orchestra concept is interesting enough by itself, but on Oct. 11, our audiences are in for an even bigger treat—the chance to experience the world premiere of contemporary master Wolfgang Rihm’s new “Duo Concerto,” written especially for Orpheus and the award-winning husband and wife team of cellist Jan Vogler and violinist Mira Wang. It won’t be until a few days later that the piece will be heard at Carnegie Hall in New York City; the European premiere isn’t until the 24th.

The concert, a celebration of German Romanticism, includes works by Mendelssohn and Schumann in addition the Rihm premiere. It will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11; tickets are $80, $65 and $50.

Also in October: classical piano quintet The 5 Browns, Oct. 3; and the hilarious and very talented Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Oct. 4. On Oct. 10, Vertigo Dance Company brings us contemporary dance from Israel that explores the connections among society, art and movement. Back by popular demand, the world-renowned Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center kicks off their four-concert series on Oct. 17. And as the weather gets cooler, the Performing Arts Center turns up the heat on Oct. 24 with Ana Gasteyer’s “I’m Hip,” a show that evokes the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for a good time.

So there you have it. You don’t have to schlepp into the city to be on the cutting edge of the performing arts scene; life right here in the ‘burbs has got plenty to offer.

Mara Rupners is the director of marketing at
The Performing Arts Center. The Performing Arts Center,
Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road,
Purchase, N.Y. 10577

Box Office: 251-6200
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, noon
to 6 p.m. and on weekends
before performances


Column: There’s only one October

Next week, Major League Baseball begins its second season. Sports Editor Mike Smith can’t wait for some playoff action. Photo courtesy

Next week, Major League Baseball begins its second season. Sports Editor Mike Smith can’t wait for some playoff action. Photo courtesy

If you’re not absolutely tingling with anticipation for next week to arrive, I’m going to have to ask that you renounce your baseball fandom immediately.

Yes, we’re finally here. After slogging through a 162-game season, it’s playoff time once again, and I’d be hard-pressed to remember a time when there was as much baseball buzz in the area heading into October.

On one hand, you’ve got the Mets, the brash upstarts with a fearsome rotation who just clinched the NL East title for the first time in almost a decade. On the other hand, you’ve got a Yankees team that is still attempting to nail down that final win and has far surpassed expectations this year—though you wouldn’t know it judging by the grumblings of the fanbase on the airwaves of WFAN.

The Mets are preparing for a first-round showdown with the one team in the postseason that can seemingly match them ace-for-ace, as Grienke, Kershaw, and the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town, while the Yanks’ postseason fate is still technically uncertain. But even before the Bombers (likely) take the field on Tuesday night for the one-game playoff, there are so many questions that will no doubt be captivating the tri-state area.

Will Tanaka be healthy enough to pitch?

How will rookies like Luis Severino and Greg Bird fare during their first-ever postseason?

Should current Yankees rub the head of Derek Jeter for good luck in the postseason?

The Mets, too, have their own uncertainty as they head toward their first postseason since 2006. Over the last month or so, Terry Collins has employed seemingly endless permutations of lineups and defensive alignments, but will need to determine which players have earned starting spots in the NLDS. His deep pitching staff also gives him flexibility—and decisions to make.

But even if you’re not a fan of New York teams, there is so much that makes this one of the most intriguing postseason landscapes in recent years. Three teams from the NL Central will be in the mix, vying for the pennant: the long-suffering Cubs, the steady Cardinals and a Pirates team that is hoping to channel 1979 for this year’s run.

Toronto, perhaps the best team in the American League, could potentially be without its all-world shortstop.

The last AL wild card spot? That’s still up in the air with the Angels, Astros and Twins all hoping to extend their season and earn a shot at the Yankees.

For the next five weeks, each baseball game is appointment viewing. You don’t know what you’re going to see, which players are going to raise their games or who will crumble under the pressure. Even for fans like me, those without a rooting interest, there’s more than enough drama to keep me invested.

I just hope the rest of you feel the same way.


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Column: A pope for the masses

My family includes members of all three major American faiths, therefore we do not judge, lest we be judged. Our late son John Jr. was a Catholic. One of my favorite first cousins is a member of the Order of the Sacred Heart. Thus, we were able to rejoice wholeheartedly in the pope’s ministry here.

We were particularly touched by his presence at locations long familiar to us. As he entered the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, we thought back many years to when my wife Pat and I drove past that location twice each workday, en route to our jobs in the center of Philadelphia.

Many years before that, I would be driven by my parents to the nearby Academy of Natural Sciences. There, I would not enjoy mounting a long staircase topped by an enormous stuffed gorilla. Other sights in that museum were more enjoyable to youngsters, as were the live animals and birds at the
Philadelphia Zoo.

The view along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia has changed with new buildings, but still looms the rather grotesque City Hall with William Penn’s statue atop the tower. I remember my mother taking me up in a creaking elevator all the way up to “Billy” Penn’s feet. Mother predicted that the time might come when City Hall would no longer be the tallest building in the city. How right she was, about that and most other things of importance.



Column: The history of Bronxville from a new platform

During my new and glorious role as first time grandmother, I find myself spending more and more time on the southbound side of our train station as I head to Brooklyn for a visit or to babysit.

Always too early, even for the on-schedule trains, I have taken to really studying the surrounding environment and I continue to be in awe of the beauty, gravitas and history of our village.

The train system I wait to catch first arrived in the village in 1844, more than 50 years before we were considered the Village of Bronxville. Our first petition attempt to incorporate was invalidated by the Eastchester town supervisor who declared the vote illegal because women had signed it. Now 53 percent of our village population is female, and I daresay Bronxville women can move mountains when called upon.

In fact, the village was a hot bed of the suffrage movement and it has been chronicled that in 1911, village women clapped so vociferously for their right to vote that they “split from thumb to wrist their arm-length suede gloves.”

The first actual village government was formed at “Dogwoods,” the home of Frances Bacon, newly-installed village president, at 61 Sagamore Road. Still familiar names, Bacon, Kraft and Ken Chambers were our first governing body.

Suffrage was not high on the agenda; rather, our first ordinances were for the fear of the establishment of saloons and brothels. Gambling and the use of profane language was outlawed as well. One of the first official acts was to create a village seal. The motif chosen was a bumblebee, though we don’t know why.

Under the category of “history always repeats itself,” addressing noise pollution was also an early priority. The same adage is true in reference to the neighborhood just to the back of me as I stand on the railroad platform. The Parkway Road residents formed a neighborhood association in the early 1900s named Bronxville Manor Improvement Association with the goal of addressing “public improvements long neglected.” As early as 1905, residents asked village government to address the decayed bridges on Parkway Road, soon to be followed by a petition to increase the inadequate street lighting.

These old meetings also observed the complete submersion of the old Girl Scout Cabin on Paxton Avenue due to catastrophic floods in 1910 and 1938.

The “Lowlands” neighborhood area near our present-day school was also plagued by early flooding. In 1920 when the current site on Pondfield was chosen for the public school, a village elder remarked that “the only problem was that much of it was covered by water.”

Chief among the tall buildings on the downtown side of the railroad is Lawrence Hospital, now part of the New York-Presbyterian network. It was created out of necessity as Dudley Lawrence, the son of the village founder William Van Duzer Lawrence, was struck with acute appendicitis while his parents were vacationing in Europe. The local doctor advised that an immediate operation was required, so a baggage car was outfitted with a bed and mattress from the family-owned Gramatan Hotel and attached to the first train coming south from White Plains. Dudley’s life was saved and his parents donated the land and a $250,000 endowment to open a village hospital on the site.

The crown jewel in the Lawrence family holdings was indeed the Gramatan Hotel. With 300 guest rooms and 165 private baths, it was home for extended stays by such notable guests as Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, Mrs. Jefferson Davis, Teddy Roosevelt and even Greta Garbo, as well as many bachelors who were segregated to a separate wing for single gentlemen housing. It is also recorded that President John F. Kennedy was a very reluctant ballroom dance student at the hotel when it was first the home of the venerable Miss Covington’s School of Dance.

A particularly poignant story relating to the Gramatan Hotel surrounds the protracted death of a young 15-year-old visitor from Pittsburgh. Stricken with incurable influenza, Margaret Brown’s spiritual needs were tended to by the kind neighboring rector of Christ Church, Albert Wilson. To show their thanks, the Browns commissioned the very first stained glass window in Christ Church in gratitude to Rector Wilson and as a lasting Bronxville memory of their daughter.

The hotel closed in 1972 because of the increasing cost of taxes, labor and maintenance. The entire structure was demolished in just two days. The Gramatan Hotel was the early home for the village’s Catholic community. Without a church to call home, but with a congregation growing too large to continue to meet in private living rooms, the pastor of Tuckahoe’s Immaculate Conception Church rented space at the hotel for Sunday services. The present home of St. Joseph’s was not built until 1928.

As I stand on the train platform in the quiet off-hours now thrice weekly, my thoughts often revert to the prophetic words of famed architectural critic Paul Goldberger who spoke on the “Power of Place” at the Historical Conservancy’s First Annual Brendan Gill Lecture. He observed that Bronxville as a community has been “endlessly copied, but never matched.”

Note: Special thanks to the plethora of local historical books, lectures and journals and their esteemed authors from whom I have borrowed freely for this column.


Column: Defending the Dark Knight

Over the last two weeks, Mets hurler Matt Harvey has been embroiled in an innings-limit controversy. Sports Editor Mike Smith thinks that protecting pitchers’ arms is a complicated issue.  Photo courtesy

Over the last two weeks, Mets hurler Matt Harvey has been embroiled in an innings-limit controversy. Sports Editor Mike Smith thinks that protecting pitchers’ arms is a complicated issue.
Photo courtesy

I’ll be completely honest with you: I don’t quite know yet where I stand on Matt Harvey.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last two weeks, the saga of the Dark Knight has been unavoidable. With the surging Mets heading for their first postseason berth since 2006, the issue of Harvey and his innings limit has reared its ugly head; and Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, has clashed with Mets’ brass about the potential overuse of the right-hander.

Harvey’s people claim that the Amazin’s were in danger of pushing Harvey past the 180-inning limit recommended by Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on the ace in 2013.

The Mets, predictably, balked at that assertion.

The result has been the sort of infighting, double-talk and uncertainty that has been the Mets’ calling card over the last decade or so.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Mets—who are still a near-lock to clinch the NL East—have struggled down the stretch, dropping back-to-back series against the Marlins and the Yankees.

Everything came to a head on Sept. 19 when Harvey, tossing a one-hitter against the Yankees, was lifted after the fifth inning and a shaky Mets’ bullpen imploded to gift the game to the Bombers.

A loss to the Yankees, precipitated by a premature Harvey exit?

That was a perfect storm for Mets fans who flooded sports talk shows the following day, demanding the front office ship the righty away as soon as possible.

Mets fans know that, given the acrimony between Harvey and the front office, it’s highly unlikely that he will resign here once he hits free agency. If that’s the case, they feel, why not push him now, while the Mets have a shot at the title.

After all, look at what happened to the Nationals when they shut down flamethrower Stephen Strasburg a few years back.

Harvey, some fans opine, is too concerned with preserving his arm—and the chance for a huge payday down the road—and his selfishness is sabotaging the Mets’ postseason chances. After all, they say, nobody ever had Tom Seaver on an innings limit.

But it’s not that simple.

In my mind, Harvey is in a tough spot. Of course he has to think about his future. He could be leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table if he throws caution to the wind and ends up going under the knife again. On the other hand, he has a duty to the team to help them win ballgames to the best of his ability.

The real kicker, however, is the fact that arm health is an inexact science at best. The 180-innings limit is arbitrary. He could have gone out in his first start of the season and reinjured the elbow. He could throw more than 200 innings this year and be the picture of health. We just don’t know.

What we do know, is that it’s in the best interests of both Harvey and the Mets to figure this thing out as soon as possible. They’ve got a chance to do something special this year; let’s just hope they don’t ruin a promising star in the process.


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Column: Founding families and the legacy of Virginia Hefti

The gravesite of war hero Theodosius Fowler, a member of one of Eastchester’s founding families. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

The gravesite of war hero Theodosius Fowler, a member of one of Eastchester’s founding families. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

What makes reporting on the fascinating history of the Town of Eastchester so engaging is that new information is discovered about our storied past that can change our perceptions of who we are and where we came from. It has long been known that the historic Town of Eastchester was founded in 1664 by Puritan farm families from Fairfield, Conn. The original site of the first settlement was just east of the Hutchinson River near present day Co-Op City in
the Bronx.

In those early years, those first families set up a co-operative farming community centered about a village green, around which for almost two decades, they lived on equal size lots, and left each day to separate fields where they raised livestock and produce, most of which was shipped to nearby Manhattan for sale. Starting in 1665 and continuing for the next 17 years, the male heads of households signed or made their mark on a document named the Eastchester Covenant that insisted that people in the community follow the biblically-based moral principles of integrity, compassion, cooperation and reverence. The Eastchester Covenant is the only surviving one in New York state and it affords a window into our mid to late 17th century past.

During last year’s celebration of the 350th anniversary of the town, more information has been forthcoming about the contribution of those founding families to the colonial and revolutionary heritage of Eastchester. The Eastchester Historical Society honored one of those, Virginia Hefti, at its annual fundraising dinner on Sept. 18 in which a re-enactor Jack Sherry brought Ben Franklin back to life.

Virginia Hefti is a direct descendent of Henry Fowler, one of the town’s founders and the 17th man to sign the covenant. Henry Fowler, English-born and a blacksmith and miller by trade, brought his family to settle in Eastchester in 1676, two decades after he came to America. He signed our most precious document, the Eastchester Covenant, that insisted the moral principles upon which this community be based would be integrity, compassion, cooperation, and reverence. Henry and his wife Rebecca had 11 children, two of which became town supervisors. William, one of their sons, married Mary Pearsall Thorne in 1689, two of whose grandparents signed the Flushing Remonstrance, the first written statement of the need for religious freedom
in America.

The Fowlers were a prolific family and a power in the community. Moses Fowler, the son of Henry, served as town supervisor for 10 years between 1728 and 1738. As Eastchester supervisor, in May 1729 he delivered to the town meeting papers giving the town sole title to the land that is present day Eastchester, called the Long Reach.

But Moses’ most significant contribution came in 1733 while he was still serving as town supervisor. A corrupt, royal governor had tried to fix an election for a representative to the colonial assembly. Moses was a vote counter for that famous election. A Dutch printer named John Peter Zenger used this incident in the first issue of his newspaper The New York Weekly Journal. While Zenger never set foot in Eastchester and did not write the article, two years later he was put on trial for seditious libel and acquitted. Many years later, Zenger’s acquittal, based on the principle that the press has a responsibility to print the truth, would be used as a defense for the First Amendment right of freedom of the press.

During the American Revolution, the Fowler family was bitterly divided between Patriots and Loyalists. Judge Jonathan Fowler did not support the rebellion and for a brief time before the signing of the Declaration of Independence was imprisoned for his Loyalists view. A few months after his release, his son Theodosius joined the Continental army. Theodosius fought in the Battle for New York, Saratoga, wintered at Valley Forge, and encountered the British at Monmouth. He was then transferred to upstate New York where he was engaged in savage fighting against the Iroquois. In 1781, Theodosius, now a captain, rejoined Washington and was present for the surrender at Yorktown. He would spend the last two years with Washington waiting for the final peace settlement.

In 1787, his loyalist father died and is interned in the family vault at Saint Paul’s. Theodosius became one of the richest men in Eastchester and passed away at age 87, a true American hero. He is interned along with his father at Saint Paul’s.

Virginia Hefti has every reason to be proud of her heritage. It is an honor for the people of this town that she still lives here. Virginia’s ancestors rank among the most influential families in the history of New York state (e.g. Fish, Fowler, Bowne, Reynolds, et al.). Virginia was also honored at the Bronxville Field Club in December 2014 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The widow of former Commissioner of Planning and Community Development Robert Hefti, Muzzy, as she is known to friends and family, thrice served as Regent of the White Plains Chapter DAR; is a lifetime member of the DAR Officers Club; a member of the DAR Roundtable; a member of the Anne Hutchinson-Bronxville Chapter DAR; a member of the Westchester County Genealogical Society; served as a councilor to the New York State Chapter of the National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America and is an avid genealogy researcher, having corrected the historic records of the National Archives on more than one occasion.

New insights into Eastchester’s colonial and revolutionary past have also recently been provided by descendants of founding families like the Shutes, Pinckneys, Drakes and Tompkins. A special debt of gratitude must go to David Tompkins. David is a direct descendant of Nathaniel and John Tompkins, both signers of the Covenant and among the original 17th century settlers of the town. In 1997, David published a meticulously researched book on colonial Eastchester from 1666 to 1698. One of his ancestors, Daniel Tompkins of Scarsdale, became vice president
of the United States under James Monroe.


Column: My experiences in Guantanamo Bay

No news media that I am exposed to has mentioned any reference by Pope Francis to Guantanamo Bay. Yet I am sure I heard the English translator of his statement on arrival in Havana say that Guantanamo must be returned to Cuba. I was not able to follow what the Pope said in Spanish.

“GTMO” was the U.S. Navy’s abbreviation for Guantanamo during World War II. We claim a treaty right to lease GTMO which we would be reluctant to give up because of its strategic importance. The huge sheltered harbor is not far from the Windward Passage and the Panama Canal. The view across the bay to the hills beyond is spectacular.

During WWII, my ship, the USS PC-1245, put in at GTMO. German subs were prowling near the U.S. east coast, so merchant ships moving north or south were in peril and needed protection. They would travel in convoys, escorted by our anti-submarine warfare ships. We were constantly searching underwater for the enemy, using the magic of SONAR.

SONAR sent an audible sound wave out through the water. You could hear it going “ping… ping… ping” night and day. If we heard it go “ping… thud,” that meant something solid was bouncing the sound back, possibly a school of fish, possibly a sub. That was called a “contact” and would usually bring the entire ship’s crew to “General Quarters,” with all hands at their assigned battle stations.

I first heard a shot fired in anger one time when SONAR indicated a contact. Excitement raced through the crew. We fired weapons called “hedgehogs,” small bombs that landed in the water ahead of the ship, sinking, and set to explode on contact with anything solid. We heard no explosion that time, so it was back to escort duty.

Upon victory in Europe, we were ordered to the Pacific. After passing through the Panama Canal, we stopped at Pearl Harbor. There we acquired additional automatic fire power, to be able throw up at attacking Kamikaze planes the greatest possible amount of metal. We heard we were to be part of a “picket line” of small ships to draw fire from suicide planes at a distance from Japanese shores where our landing craft would be operating. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki avoided all that.



Column: Monday morning quarterbacks

Sports Editor Mike Smith spent his Sunday gorging on NFL action. After the Giants’ performance, however, he’s just about ready for hockey season. Photo courtesy

Sports Editor Mike Smith spent his Sunday gorging on NFL action. After the Giants’ performance, however, he’s just about ready for hockey season. Photo courtesy

In my haste to welcome in the new NFL season this year, I forgot about one of the inevitable low points brought on by my gridiron fanaticism: the Monday morning malaise.

Outside of football season, Sundays are generally lovely. Without anything to cover, the day is completely mine; I can curl up with a book, get a little writing done, maybe even hit the gym if I’m feeling ambitious.

Once September rolls around? Not so much.

This past weekend, my Sunday played out much as it will for the next 17 weeks. I met up with some friends in the morning to watch the NFL pregame shows and proceeded to spend the next 11 hours glued to the couch, laptop opened to Yahoo’s fantasy football page while the RedZone channel provided us with a constant stream of football action. By the time the Sunday night game rolled around, my eyes started to glaze over. Information overload turned me into something akin to a football zombie.

But it would have all been worth it if not for the final three minutes of the Giants-Cowboys game. That was the icing on the cake.

Now, I get it. The Giants, even if everything broke right this year, were probably not going to make the playoffs. At best, they are a 7-9 team destined to miss the playoffs for a third straight year. The least they could have done, though, was beat the rotten Cowboys in Week 1.

But with a three-point lead late in Sunday night’s game, the Giants made every mistake they possibly could have made. Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin lost their grasp on the situation on the offensive end, and then responded by melting down completely and allowing Tony Romo and his band of star-clad nogoodniks to march down the field for a game-winning touchdown.

It was absolutely brutal to watch, and knowing that Monday morning was coming made it even worse.

When other sports teams lose a game, it’s fairly easy to move past. No matter how badly the Yankees play on a Sunday, you know there’s a good chance they’ll go out the following night and put one in the win column. With football, you have all week to digest what went wrong with your team; all week to pick apart deficiencies and bad calls; and all week to envision a season so filled with futility that it makes you want to throw up your hands up in despair.

And if you’re like me, you get to work in the morning and see your editor, a die-hard Dallas fan, who can’t wait to talk about the game the night before.

I should have just called in sick.

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