As Father’s Day draws to a close I look back on this picture. I am too young to have any memories of this moment but as I look upon it I feel the love that my father always had for me as he holds me in his arms. Protecting me from danger as he would do until the day he left this earth. Now years after his going home to be with the Lord I can still feel myself being protected by him as if I was still being carried in his arms. I still feel his love and while I miss him every day I have no doubt that whenever the need arises in my life he is there for me spiritually. Guiding me and protecting me.
Reposting in honor of my hero, my dad and one of the fondest memories I have of us.
Saturday morning October 1, 1977 the sky is not blue in fact it’s very very grey and the rain has already started to fall. 11 year old Carl looked out the window sadden, after all today was the day he was supposed to go to the big ballpark in the Bronx to see his favorite team the New York Yankees clinch the American League East. But my dad was not about to let a little rain ruin his son’s day. Let’s go he said and we headed out. We waited for the BX55 to 161st Street in the rain and while we waited and again on the ride my dad assured me that a little rain wasn’t going to ruin our day. We got to the Stadium and the tarp was still on the field. The thought that they would play a game was looking bleaker and bleaker. But then my dad said look at the scoreboard. Suddenly thousands of rain soaked fans were mesmerized by the scoreboard. Baltimore was playing Boston and if Baltimore won the Yankees clinched. It was starting to rain harder and my dad could easily have said we’re going home but he didn’t instead he said look at the dot (indicating which team was batting) it’s been on Baltimore for a while, they must be having a big inning (this is how we did it before smart phones) and when the scoreboard confirmed just that we would smile at each other and high five. Baltimore would eventually win 8-7 and the Yankees were AL East champions. My dad and I sat in the rain bonding over scoreboard updates and celebrating the Yankee winning the division without the Yankees ever taking the field. They eventually played the game, Yanks lost 10-7 to the Tigers, we were long gone by then but it didn’t matter because little 11 year old Carl was as happy as can be. My dad had assured me a little rain wasn’t going to ruin our day and he was right, he made sure of it. That why he was my dad!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CHARLES W. COOKE YOU WERE THE BEST!
We are living in turbulent times gripped by a worldwide pandemic, dealing with racial injustice, unemployment levels not seen since the depression, burgeoning homelessness, food scarcity and the lack of adequate healthcare for not only our most vulnerable but more and more the so called middle class. Through it all we are trying to navigate these tough times with a leadership that is bereft of empathy and looks to divide rather than unite.
Yet despite these troubling times the last week has brought something remarkable. We are seeing a significant portion of Americans coming together, refusing to allow themselves to be torn apart by the devise minority that sadly refuses to let go of the hate in their heart. Those that seem to exist on hate. I call this The Coalition of the Righteous and it is growing more powerful everyday. As a people we appear to finally listening to each other . To be willing to put aside our differences and to take the first steps as a society to understand each other.
For myself personally I have been experienced racism and seen the ugly side of policing but I have also been fortunate to say I have friends of all colors, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations.
I grew up attending a grammar school 95% Italian in the little Italy section of the Bronx, during a time when tolerance was not the word of the day. Yet I made life long friends I met there. We do not look like each other, we do not share the same culture but we do share a bond of brotherhood. We have always been our own Coalition of the Righteous and each of us is keenly aware that above all we can count on each other and we are not afraid to say we love each other. In my darkest days, when my heart literally stopped beating, when my recovery was long and hard they were right there. I did not have to ask them to be, I did not have to wonder if they would be, they were my family so I knew they would be.
We don’t look alike
We don’t share the same culture
We are brothers
The Coalition of the Righteous – it’s a beautiful thing.
Remember Mom will always be by your side
The first three lines of this post were intentionally left blank because in reality words can not state what I feel about the most amazing woman I have ever known my mother Frances Cooke. Such an extraordinary woman nothing can ever match a mother’s love. A shoulder to cry on when you come on as a child with a scrape knee. A shoulder to cry on when you come home having been rejected by a girl when you’re an teenager. A shoulder to cry on when you’re an adult when life throws you an unexpected curve. My mom was always there for me and even today I know from above she is still there for me.
Happy Birthday Mom – I love you
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So I’ve been able to control my blood sugar over the last few months without relying on meds so in an effort to continue that trend. Plus it can’t hurt my heart health I decided to try and be a part time pesco-vegetarian, a diet which includes plant-based foods and fish. Because let’s be real I’m not going meatless full time, so two maybe three times a week I’m trying this.
This week was week one three of the dinner meals include:
Broccoli Rabe and Mushrooms sautéed in garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Along with Eggplant (cubed) sautéed in Hunts diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano No Salt Added.
Swordfish, sautéed garlic asparagus and roasted cinnamon garlic butternut squash.
And who’s says it just for breakfast. Scrambled eggs with kale and tomatoes.
All very tasty. Wish me luck on this new diet and let’s see how this goes.
Sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do so that we may do the things we want to do. As Spock would say it is not logical but it is often true.
I grew up around many Italian families and NYC’s real little Italy Arthur Avenue and was honored to have a number of delicious homemade Italian meals and eat at some of the best Italian restaurants and pizzerias. So let me be clear:
1. Deep dish is not pizza it’s a casserole
2. The Olive Garden is not an Italian restaurant it’s a store that sells something that looks like pasta and taste like… well I’m not sure because I’ve only been there once begged forgiveness after going and swore never to go again
3. Dominos, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut are not pizzerias it’s a storefront version of a supermarket freezer storing those frozen pizzas in a box
4. A slice with pineapple topping is not a slice it’s an abomination.
5. The real little Italy in NYC is not in Manhattan it’s in the Bronx and Arthur ave & 187th Street is still the epicenter