Friday, April 11, 2008

Highland War Face

Highland War Face

Me in '88. Totally pissed. This was shot in August, just after I finished a stint at baseball camp. The season prior, I was on an undefeated little league team (Paterson Stamp or Parker House... sponsored by a local business... can't recall which) where the team captain was the coach's son. Course he was. I was far and away the worst player on the team- a potential threat to their image and record. Whenever I was called up to bat, the groans from my own team's dugout were audible... and crescendoed with every unsatisfying swing of the bat. I was fortunate enough to have a dad who [I clearly recall] assured me that if I wasn't enjoying myself and decided to bail, I wouldn't be a "quitter"- I would have just been someone who wasn't having fun and fucked off for good reason. I fully believe that I might have been a different person today if he was a dick about it. I finished out the season of doom and decided, along with my best friend Kevin, that I would sign up for [and destroy at] baseball camp.

What followed was a training period of Rocky IV proportions *Vince DeCola montage fade-in*... What was left when the dust settled is evidenced by the eye of the tiger, above.

When baseball season rolled around (1st season of "Babe Ruth League") teams were randomized but the 1st team we faced boasted a handful of kids who were on the undefeated team from the preceding season. As I approached the plate, I heard muffled laughs and a couple of them sat down in the outfield as a physical demonstration of what I couldn't hear from across the field. I. Was. Seein. Red. The first pitch was at eye level. I swung anyway, and cracked the shit out of it. The ball scorched for the first basemen's head. He ducked just in time. As I stood on first base, safe, I stared down my ex-teammate for a good 5 minutes. I remember getting off a good line, but I'm not even tryin to recall it. No desire to.

Sweet Enola Gay, son.

(Highland, NY is where my Grandmother's parents settled from Italy. They dug for water and started a small working farm. Elders of the Bellacicco family still live on this land and my Grandmother still owns the 2 room cabin, which was built in '69 on the 1 acre of property I'm sitting on, here. I still visit when she's up there. It's just outside Poughkeepsie.)

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