Thursday, March 27, 2008

Never Simple

Joe usually rides the train downtown, but today he decided to walk. His flowing black and silver hair is held down by a headband as he moves along Broadway.

“I like this stretch,” he says. “It’s an old Wappinger Indian trail so I know the lay of the land.”

Joe has native blood in his veins. He’s not sure exactly how much, but there’s no doubt it’s there.

“I grew up on a reservation in Oklahoma,” he says. “My mother was mostly Irish and my father was part Arapaho. They died when I was young so I lived with our neighbors. They were an older couple and I called them my grandparents. They weren’t, but really they were. You know what I mean?”

Nothing was ever simple.

“I never felt comfortable with myself growing up,” Joe explains. “The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to come to New York. Mickey Mantle was from Oklahoma and he made it in New York. I knew he was important and I knew the city was, too.

“Allie Reynolds was my grandfather’s favorite player,” Joe continues. “He told me about the wins and the no-hitters and all the World Series victories. They were beautiful stories.”

Joe now has his own stories.

“Joba Chamberlain is my man,” he says. “I’m so proud of him and his native heritage. I got to every game that he pitched last year. I’m also planning to make every one this year. It was gonna be easy with him in the rotation, but now he’s back in the bullpen and could possibly pitch in every game.”

Joe shrugs.

“Nothing is ever simple.”


JoeyBoy said...

Great story, man! You always get to the heart of the city.

Olivia said...

Thanks for keeping this blog going. You always brighten my day with something interesting.

Donna said...

Baseball is so important to so many people. I will always think of this man when Joba pitches.