STAN FISCHLER: Thanks goes beyond just one day
THINGS I’M STILL THANKFUL FOR EVEN THOUGH THANKSGIVING DAY IS IN THE PAST:
• Well, I’m still able to knock off a column at age 80; provided that a cup of black coffee is at my side. (Mornings and afternoons, only. No decaf accepted. Occasional half-and-half is allowed but not too much.) I’m sure thankful for all that.
• For a change I’m able to appreciate the Yankees after 70 years of not liking them. Plus, I recently got to know the Bombers president Randy Levine when I emceed the recent Lou Lamoriello Roast at the Yogi Berra Museum. That’s worthy of thanks. Besides, when it comes to the Yankees, what’s not to like about Derek Jeter? (Don’t ask me about A-Rod.)
• And I’m thankful that Yogi Berra is a friend of mine even though I only see him at his museum once in a blue moon.
• I’m so thankful that there’s a team such as the wonderfully underwhelming Oakland Athletics. Their nattily-attitired uniforms alone make me feel good. Their manager Bob Melvin is a cool cat. And their 2012 season -- forget about the Giants -- was a real, live version of the book and movie, “Moneyball” -- only better.
• I’m tickled pink to have pals like Sylvia Rozzelle, Nancy Schuckman, Carole Roberts, Craig Entwistle, Jack and Phil for their good work at Trail Nursery, the entire Szkeley Family and the Fusfelds, to name just a few Catskill chums. And they all make me smile.
• Grateful, am I, that there’s at least one TV show I can watch, savor, and can’t wait for the next episode; and that’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Every Steve Buscemi performance is Oscar-worthy; even when he doesn’t say a word. (It’s his glare that I really love.) That big guy, Gyp, really scares me.
* I’m extraordinarily thankful to have five grandchildren, Ezra, Odel, Ariel, Niko and Avigal. That’s a lot more than I ever dreamed would grace my life. Each is a gem in his and her own right.
* I would be most appreciative -- which I cannot be right now -- if National Hockey League games were being played. ‘Nuff said on that matter.
* Even with my ancient ears I can fully appreciate drummer Ray Bauduc and string bass man Bob Haggert doing “Big Noise From Winnetka.” That’s easily the best-oddest duet in the world of jazz. Continued...
* I’m very appreciative of Barbara Stanwyck starring in any movie but especially “Double Indemnity” and “The Lady Eve.” She’s the best, most versatile actress of all-time.
* I’ll always be thankful for my wife, Shirley, and especially the manner in which she thoroughly surprised me with an 80th birthday party. Imagine, it even included the Israeli branch of the family who secretly buzzed in without my knowledge. You don’t get surprises like that every 80 years.
* As for golf, I’m grateful that the game just exists. That means I don’t have to play it if I don’t want to which is never-ever. Which means that I can spend those extra, golf-free three hours either biking, speed-walking, reading, hiking; anything but hitting that poor, little white ball around. (And I’m grateful for those who play the game; keeps them off the streets.)
* I thank God for allowing me the precious view that we enjoy from our deck of Samuel’s Point. Ditto for the view of the mountains from our beloved Ashokan Reservoir; not to mention the view of the reservoir from its Spillway.
* So pleased am I for any visit we can make to Tiso’s Trattoria in Mount Tremper because every single meal for decades has been the very best. We love every single Tiso.
* Thanksgiving should not go by without a low bow of gratitude to the Olive First Aid Unit, Olive Highways Department, the good folks in recreation, the pool people, Boiceville Market, and even Central Hudson -- that is, of course, when the electricity works. Likewise, the nice and competent Trailways bus drivers.
* My 30 (at least) year old Panasonic Sport Deluxe ten-speed bicycle should not be forgotten. Hey, -- in 2012, at least -- it still made it up Traver Hollow Hill. I deliver that two-wheeler a low bow of appreciation for just working. (Okay, okay, so I just barely make it up the hill!)
* I really love telling jokes to George Szkely at Davis Park Pool because George is the best audience I ever had and I’m thankful for every laugh I can get. (And to his wife, Laura, who “gets” half the gags.)
* In the hockey world, I’m very appreciative for knowing Lou Lamoriello, the Devils genius-boss. It was Lou who taught me a wonderful proverb: Do what’s right and do it now. (That bromide is most applicable when there are dishes in the sink.)
* I’ll always be thankful to have had 74 years with my “Kid” Cousin Ira J. Sheier who passed away this last Summer. As human beings go, he was a prince. Continued...
* I’m grateful to have seen and heard the best stand-up comics such as Dick Capri, Mal Z. Lawrence, Henny Youngman, Jack Carter, Fat Jack Leonard, Buddy Hackett and Alan King. Plus, I’ll never forget my meeting with Jack Benny at Sardi’s Restaurant; a priceless moment in my reportorial life.
* And big thanks to my sports editor, Ron (I Still Love The Islanders Wherever They May Play) Rosner, and everyone else in the Toy Department -- alias sports section -- who helps make my column look good.
* Without the graciousness of Hunter Mountain’s Izzy and Orville Slutzky -- and their sweetheart of a press agent, Paul Pepe -- my two boys never would have become the good skiers they are today. Hunter was our bastion of fine skiing for a long, long time. The Slutzky Brothers always will be fondly remembered.
* Thanks to Rich Conaty and his wonderfully endless “Big Broadcast” every Sunday, 8 p.m. to Midnight on WFUV, 90.7 f.m. right out of Fordham University. Rich invariably knows where the genuinely good pop music resides. Ditto for my artistic buddy, Joe (Spiderman) Sinnott, in Saugerties. Joe and Rich, remain the best Bing Crosby musicologists this side of the Bobcats.
* All New Yorkers owe kudos to Jeremy Lin for giving us a basketball season in The Apple like none other. (And guess what, Jeremy, the Knicks are better off without you.)
* As for my two sons, Ben and Simon, I immediately think of a wonderful tune, “Stay As Sweet As You Are.”
* Anyone who likes ice, sticks and pucks in our area should be thankful for what the Kiwanis folks have done with their superb ice rink in Saugerties and how much it helps the kids.
* No, the football Giants didn’t have to let us MSG Network folks use their practice facility a few days before the last Super Bowl but they graciously did and thanks to Sir Coughlin & Co. for the that.
* My thanks also to Islanders owner Charles Wang for moving his team to Brooklyn. I would be even more emphatic had he done it years ago but, alas, there was no arena on Flatbush Avenue then, as Barclays is now.
* Dare I forget my alma mater, Brooklyn College? Nay. Tuition in the early 1950s was about 75 bucks a semester plus whatever the used books cost. Thank you, BC -- and my first sports editor, Bud Rosenthal of Hudson -- for helping to get me into the journalism biz. Continued...
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