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Re: Castle Hill Avenue

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Posted by Steve on Thursday, July 16th 2020:

In Reply to: Re: Castle Hill Avenue posted by philip cioffari on Tuesday, July 14th 2020:

Phil – A few friends are hugely enjoying this exchange. Everybody knows somebody, but nobody knows everybody. Plenty of smiles and laughs and memories. The years you noted are a big help. By 1961 I was off to Gonzaga out west, came back summers, then to the Navy, followed by NYU on the GI Bill. So, like you say, there were many groups and cliques but not too many were forming as we grew older and went our different ways.

Did you possibly mean Kevin Reilly, not John? He was part of that Slattery team under Brother James – had a deadly one-hander, redhead, became an FBI agent. Ken McClory from that team was also at the Cross around your time. Ann Conway's sister Cathy was good friends with one guy's wife when they were both nurses at Pelham General. Benevento (Manhattan Prep/College) and Freddie White both well-known to all of us. White was part of that nighttime ballfield contingent that played stickball well into the dark.

So we seem to have circled around each other without ever meeting.

Dave Slattery was a great guy. This one time, when I was in the sixth grade and in the on-deck circle, Slattery, an eighth grader, was at bat. Mr. Dio (Diodati) was pitching. He pitched for both sides in those games after supper in the ballfield in the summer. Slow pitch so all the kids had some good swings and could hit the ball.

At the plate, Slattery swung mightily, missed, and the bat came at me like a rocket, hit me right in the head. Next thing I knew, Mr. Dio was over me, frantic, “Stevie, Stevie, are you all right? Stevie, are you ok?” Good ol' Mr. Dio. He was about to call my parents, the local priest, the police and maybe the Pope. I sat up, and actually said, “What happened”? The bump on my forehead was already rising and would stay there for weeks. Dave was apologizing like mad and they all decided that I should spend the rest of the game resting on the bench. That was not ok with me since I loved to hit the ball which usually bounced weakly to the infield. I was a sure out. It would be another year before I got the hang of it (thanks to some coaching by Mr. Dio) and started hitting line drives and one time over the fence in left field. But for this night I was benched.

Whenever I saw Dave after that, he always gave me a big hello “Hey, kid, how's it going”?, with a few soft body punches. I'm not sure he ever knew my name.

P.S. - My father graduated from Holy Cross in 1929.

Reference ID: BX88672


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