Into the Sicilian-American lives of Sadie and Frank Scherma came a cute, bouncing baby boy: me! I am a child of Brooklyn and I cannot escape my roots. As a teen I wanted to be a man’s man, so I joined my high school football team; Sadie objected, but I got Frank to sign the permission slip. I tried my best but really, it was not a good fit. Then I studied to be a Roman Catholic priest for about four years and after Frank had a religious revival and Sadie got used to the idea, I left to become a Latin teacher in the Public Schools of New York City [uh huh]. I went on to become a guidance counselor, a college adviser, and then a psychologist. At present I have a practice with adults in Greenwich Village.
When I was embarking on a new graduate degree, Sadie would ask me plaintively, “Don’t you know enough yet?” I replied, “Oh Sadie, I have so much to teach you and Frank.” I took them through my religious phase to my spiritual and from my straight relationships to my gay ones. “When does it stop?” Sadie inquired. I said, “Never.” I was always trying something new even though it was not my nature to do so. I went off to Fiji to find God, off to the Seminary to find Jesus, off to loving men and women so that I could be simply who I was.
Most mornings are like this: you are walking alone, very underdressed for the harsh whip of winter (sorry Mom), multiple book bags in hand, and struggling. You are out when the shop owners dump buckets of soapy water onto the street, to wash away dog piss. You are out when the bums are still too […]
The day before hurricane Sandy hits New York I go to the beach. The subways are shut down. The mayor has recommended evacuation of coastal areas. The news warns of widespread blackouts and flooding. The wind pulls garbage from gutters and tosses it against the legs coming out of the grocery store, shuffling under the […]
New Yorkers of a certain age who dig hoops can tell you that there is a lot of Jewish DNA in the city game. Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, an instructor at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, but the game’s popularity really took off early in the 20th century in the settlement […]