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Showing posts from March, 2015

Lessons from Bill Heinz

W. C. Heinz, simply called Bill by friends, family, and colleagues, was perhaps the lesser known of a literary cannon of sports journalists: A. J. Liebling, Red Smith, John Lardner, and Grantland Rice, but the most influential. A craftsman of the written word whose use of detail plucked the reader into the middle of a story whether he was writing about boxing (The Professional), football (Run to Daylight with Vince Lombardi), the war from the frontlines or a surgeon during the Korean War (he wrote the novel M*A*S*H under the pseudonym Richard Hooker), Heinz brought a descriptive, personal feel to his writing, influencing generations of writers, journalists and novelists, including David Halberstam and Jimmy Breslin. Ernest Hemingway wrote that “The Professional is the only good novel about a fighter I've ever read."

Bill Heinz and boxing trainer Ray Arcel remained close friends since the days when Heinz began pounding the keys of his Remington (one loaned to Hemingway) 50 yea…

NYPL Oral History Project: Bridging Our Stories: J.A. Reynolds

MEET our neighborhood treasure, MR. J.A. REYNOLDS, through Bridging Our Stories, the New York Public Library's Oral History Program focusing on Washington Heights and Inwood. Mr. Reynolds, who is 91, spoke about he helped transform Isham Park from a garbage strewn dump into the beautiful park it is today; the life and loss of his son, Port Authority Police officer Bruce Reynolds, during 9/11; the cultivation of neighborhood teens and Bruce's Garden; his experiences with racism in the community; his life as a social worker and performer; and how he hopes to be remembered.

NYPL Oral History Project: Bridging Our Stories: Dave Hunt

BRIDGING OUR STORIES MEET DAVE HUNT, one of the owners at Coogan's on 168th Street, through Bridging our Stories, the NYPL's Oral History Project.  Listen to Dave reminisce about growing up on Cooper Street in Inwood, playing basketball with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), his friendship with writer Jim Carroll (The Basketball Diaries), the influence of his Irish-born parents and the community, and tales from the world-famous restaurant, Coogan's.

NYPL Oral History Project: Bridging Our Stories: Obie Bing


The New York Public Library's Oral History Project, Bridging Our Stories, kicked off its project with an interview with Washington Heights' very own Obie Bing. Obie spoke about the migration of his parents and grandparents from the south, growing up in Washington Heights where he still lives, and the tremendous impact the neighborhood has made on him. And for you sports fans, Obie is a first cousin of Hall of Fame basketball player Dave Bing (Detroit Pistons, Washington Bullets, and Boston Celtics).

The photograph was taken by me. The calendar was produced by my friends, Steve Simon and Vivian Ducat, to benefit the Riverside Oval Association. This year's calendar includes a photograph of the apartment building that Obie grew up in.

To listen, click on this link which will take you to the interview: