Friday, January 16, 2009

Shadow Games: Life Away From Here


Dear Todd,

Hey, it's me. I know we don't know each other that well; as a matter of fact, we don't know each other at all, except for what we read from each other. I often wrote comments on your posts whenever your turn was up at Bronx Banter; usually silly and joking in nature, but hey, the way you wrote compelled me to write back. See, everyone has a quality that draws people to them, whether they realize it or not. Yours, to me, is compassion. You introduced us to many characters from your daily walk in this life that no one would have given a second thought to otherwise, lending a spark to bring their experiences to life for us. That's nothing to scoff at, believe me. A lot of people try and even more don't, but you succeed.

Yunnow, when Alex Belth was ready to debut the new Bronx Banter, among the things he shared with me was his excitement about you coming aboard. You could actually read the giddiness in the note, which was interesting because I think Alex is a superior writer, and for him to be excited about another writer joining the Banter was a fine endorsement (even if I had never heard of you before! >;) But yeah, he was right about you. The quality that you have that draws people to your work worked PDQ.

I think what it was for me was whenever you talked about riding the 2 train. You see, I live near the 2 train, and your observations about it were usually the same as mine; especially about Mark James, the homeless man. If I recall, you liked what I had to say about that. Well, I think everyone has the Common Man aspect, and some people have a unique way of touching base with that element. I could learn a little something from you about that.

It's no small thing to lend your energy to someone else so that they can be seen and heard. But what's even harder is to remain unseen yourself in the process, and I could tell you had a very good sense of modesty. I thought to myself how cool it would be to bump into you on the 2 train one day, neither of us having any indication of who the other, but somehow realizing who you were by just remembering the things you talked about, related or even championed. There'd be a knowing look followed by a pound and a wide-ranging conversation about how funny life is.

Or maybe not. I'm actually pretty quiet in "real life", my life away from here. Seems like the best writers are the ones who can't stand people on principle, but I doubt you're like that. No one who observed the things you did could be bothered by people that much. Irony comes in many forms... and I never liked this particular form. I know you'll have something intersting to say about that when I do see you on the 2.

Take Care and God Bless,
Chyll Will

Todd Drew, creator of the blog Yankees For Justice and regular contributor to Bronx Banter, passed away after a brief illness. To know more about Todd and why we have so much respect for him, go to the following:

Bronx Banter - Tributes (I compiled a short tribute list of songs I thought of at the time)
Bronx Banter - Shadow Games (A compilation of his posts at BB)
Lo-Hud Yankee Beat Blog (Tribute by Pete Abraham)
Yankees For Justice

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Woodrow!


This man means the world to us. Period. That's my youngest sister on the left; since I'm the baby of the family, she is Lord of Me. (It's always been that way, so I don't mind so much.) Her birthday is next month, so I'll get to her later. But Ah! the stories Uncle Woodrow tells and the passion for politics he has. Did I mention that he is the President of the Coalition for the Institutionalized, Aged & Disabled (CIAD)? He's also an accomplished artist (woodwork) and a tireless advocate for seniors and the handicapped.

Uncle Woodrow had polio as a child during the Great Depression (he met President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his retreat for stricken children in Warm Springs), but after several operations he was able to walk for many years before the ages started to take their toll. I gave him a Cherokee-carved cane two years ago for his birthday, which he has hanging on his wall by the door ("It's just too nice to walk with!" ) There's really not enough I can say about him here, so I hope to co-write a book with him based on his experiences and his almost Twain-like observations.

Much of my chyll I owe to him, because ever since I became a man on my own, he has helped guide me through the highs and lows of local life. Many people respect, even adore him, and I'm always amazed at how quickly and easily he not only puts people at ease, but also gives them something to think about. You'll think, "wow, the guy is the coolest guy I've ever met!" Well, I'll let you make up your own mind about that over the coming days...

I love you, Uncle Woodrow. Stick around for a while, and "don't be a stranger", eh? >;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To The Section 8 Hillbillies Who Live Upstairs...

You are too noisy. You are loud, obnoxious slobs who are accelerating the depreciation of this shared, yes SHARED establishment. The only thing worse than the house exploding or just falling apart around our ears is you living here. You have a hearing problem: you only hear what you want to hear, and that's a problem. The landlord told you. The neighbors told you. Hell, even the dog told you. So how about a nice warm cup of STFU and a U-Haul to carry it to your new hole in the wall (as illustrated above), where you can be you and the world can be safe from your perpetual state of "Duh"... and take the cock-a-roaches you brought into this world with you as well. I mean c'mon, we can hear the whole town of Amityville chanting from here; it must be for you. Have you figured out yet why the mailman keeps leaving flaming paper bags at your door? I should warn you that Paramount Pictures is sending their lawyers after you; the way you all walk across the bare floor upstairs reminds everyone of the movie "Elephant Walk". But I won't warn you about that, I'll let them drive you out like Thelma & Louise. Bottom line, you helped heroically in the effort to give Section 8 recipients a bad name. I know you are not proud people; just stupid, so I will put this in as simple terms as you might be able to understand:

Get... the hell.. out. Now. Go away. Live in your own world somewhere else. Good-bye. Go.

P.S.: The illustration is a suggestion of sorts. Don't take too long to figure it out...

(I am accepting all donations of leftover change you don't care about in our ongoing effort to move away from these, umm... people. Everyone deserves to have a home and live in comfort, and I in no way intend to disparage Section 8 recipients, just the brain damaged farm animals who live upstairs. I figure since this will likely go over their heads like clouds on a windy day, it's better if I take my own advice and high-tail it to a less-intense part of the tri-state area. For details, leave a message and I'll get back to you at my earliest convenience (i.e. I set up an email and P.O. box) That way, everyone's happy! Now, bedtime... >;)