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R.I.P. Tom Petty

October 4, 2017

It is virtually impossible to pick out my favorite Tom Petty song. I really like “I Need to Know” which explodes out of the speakers like the Millennium Falcon about to jump into hyperspace.

“Even the Losers” reminds me of a girl I dated who dumped me for the guy with four cars and a union job who was buying her major appliances. The line “It couldn’t have been that easy to forget about me…” resonates highly for me after what we went through.

“Century City” is a catchy tune where “it works out in the long run.” I think everyone of my male friends during their teens and early twenties could relate to “Rebels” opening line where Tom tells the woman not to walk out ‘cause he’s too drunk to follow. Those same friends from back in the day can also relate to “What Are You Doing in My Life?”

Other favorites include “A Heart with a Mind of its Own,” “Making some Noise” and a hidden gem from the She’s the One soundtrack, “Change the Locks.” Like I said it’s impossible to pick a favorite.

I was fortunate enough to meet Tom Petty and that story goes like this.

I worked for NBC Sports for a short period of time, 1993 to 1995 to be precise. I was a logger/scorer on the Notre Dame Halftime Show (or whatever it was called – it’s been that long I don’t really remember!)

The cool thing about working for NBC was that you were in the iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza aka 30 Rock. Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and a host of other TV stars have all called this building home at one time or another.

Every year the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree sits right outside the main entrance towering over the world famous ice skating rink and the golden statue of Prometheus. To say the building holds a lot of history is an understatement.

My favorite part about working on the Notre Dame show at that time was that as soon as we went off the air, Saturday Night Live, a few floors up from our 3rd floor studio, was in rehearsal mode. More often than not I would work my way up to the eighth floor and catch the musical guest going through their rehearsal. Acts that I got to see perform, included Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Seal and Petty. Clapton and Petty were nice enough to sign a CD for me!

The thing I remember most about Tom Petty the night I saw him on SNL, is that he started off doing “You don’t Know How it Feels” and I wasn’t getting a good vibe for some reason. It just didn’t sound right to me. Then something happened, as the guitars kicked in and he starting singing I was transfixed. “Holy shit,” I thought to myself. “This song really rocks.” I bought the CD on the way home!

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The Autographed CD

After Petty stepped off stage, he walked into a crowd of people all of whom wanted his signature. I had the CD of Full Moon Fever with me which he graciously signed. He really didn’t say much of anything to any of us autograph seekers other than a polite smile and a few thank yous. I found him to be very mellow and casual in his attitude. I still have the CD in my collection and no it’s not for sale.

I didn’t get to see Petty live in a full concert until 2010. He was touring with the Heartbreakers to promote Mojo, his first studio album with the band in eight years. He put on a great show and I even got to see Buddy Guy as his opening act. Tom and Buddy together were well worth the price of admission.

Petty opened the show with “Listen to her Heart” and ended it with “American Girl.” In between were several songs from Mojo as well as hits like “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee,”  “Running Down a Dream” and “Breakdown.”

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One of my favorite live CDs

The highlight of the show for me was “Don’t Come Around Here no More.” The song ended with strobe lights turning the stage into a bland grayish color. I found this to be in stark contrast to the Alice in Wonderland themed video that the band produced in 1985 with its vibrant colors and trippy imagery.

The past two years have absolutely sucked if you are a rock music fan. David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Walter Becker, Gregg Allman and Chuck Berry are just a few of the people we have lost. With every death a little piece of my childhood slips away. However, as long as I have an iPhone, headphones, a CD player, CD’s, my old albums and turntable and a radio in my car, Rock-n-Roll will never die.

R.I.P. T.P.

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Pretty cool coffee table book with great pictures and fun stories

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There Used to be a Toy Store Here…

December 20, 2016

Rappaport‘s Toy Bazaar was located on Third Avenue between 78th and 79th Streets for almost 90 years until it closed in 1981. My feeling toward Rappaports was that it was a step up from Toys ‘R Us but not as ritzy or expensive as FAO Schwarz. I remember the white wrapping paper with the red and gold polka dots always signaling that I was about to open something spectacular.

One year, a few days after Christmas the superintendent of the building where my dad worked, arrived at our apartment with loads of gifts for me from the tenants in the building. With his wife and brother-in-law in tow they came bearing gifts in several shopping bags the majority of which were wrapped in the aforementioned white, red and gold paper.

Dad was a doorman at One Gracie Square on 84th Street and East End Avenue and was obviously well-liked by his tenants, as this act of generosity proves. I forget the reason why I received so many gifts from a majority of the tenants, but at four or five years old you don’t ask. You just tear open your presents and say thank you and proceed to play. I basically had a second Christmas that year.

Mom dad and I rarely ventured “down” to Rappaports. Living on 94th Street, Woolworths on 86th Street was closer for mom or dad to take me on a Saturday so I could pick out my Hot Wheels car or my LEGO bricks for the week.

However one visit to the iconic store does stick out in my mind. It was in the fall of 1973. For whatever reason mom took me to Rappaports to get a LEGO set. I still recall the particular set; it was a Villa with the instruction booklet. It wasn’t the loose bricks where you just used your imagination and created something. No this was going to be an actual house with windows, shutters, a door, a white fence and even a tree. Also included was a direction booklet. This was a first for me, my first LEGO set.

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The Lego Villa Set No. 356

This set is still a far cry from what my son puts together in 2016. His LEGO’s include Star Wars ships, figures and weapons, Batmobiles and Minecraft houses. His LEGO’s even come with figures!!! Imagine that…LEGO people!

As mom and I were in the store about to buy the LEGO I did what any 10-year old kid in a toy store would do, I started to wander around. Up and down the aisles I strolled just looking, knowing I was already secure with my soon to be purchased LEGO.

I got to the end of one aisle and there they hung on a hook, rack packs of the latest football cards from Topps. For those of you not in the know, rack packs are see through cellophane usually with three sections. So when you look at these packs you will immediately know six of the cards you will be getting.  And who was staring at me on top of one of the three windows? None other than the greatest Jets player of all-time, Joe Namath himself.

I immediately pick up the pack with Joe Namath on top and asked mom if I could get this as well. She gave me a look that seemed to say, “Isn’t the LEGO enough for today?”

Then something happened that I will never forget. One of the salespeople in the store who was close by and saw what I was holding in my hand said to me, “I know why you want that one.”

In all honesty, I forgot my exact reply but it was something along the lines of, “You got that right.”

Mom saw that the pack was only something like 39 or 49 cents and she gave me the OK. So we go to the register and pay for the LEGO and my Joe Namath card. It really didn’t matter who the other cards were, I got a Joe Namath card!!!

I don’t know if the LEGO set we purchased that day was given away, lost or is still in a box in my attic. I know the instructions are probably long gone, because I mastered the art of taking that set apart and building it without the aid of the instructions. In case I still have it and I do find it someday, I have found the instructions online.

As for the Namath card THAT I do still have. I was at the game when he wanted to kiss Suzy Kolber. I have met him on several occasions, interviewed him and hung out with him and chatted at an ESPN event. He’s a terrific guy and I am glad he straightened himself out after the Kolber incident.

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The author and Joe Namath at the now defunct ESPN Zone in Times Square

Had I kept that card intact in the rack pack unopened, it might be worth a couple of hundred dollars today. But I did what any kid would do with a pack of sports cards, I opened them. The card is far from mint condition, but it is one that I treasure just because of the great memory it brings me every time I see it.

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My son with the original 1973 Joe Namath card.

As for Rappaport’s, that is something neither I, nor anyone from my old neighborhood will ever get back. However, it is forever etched in my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Visit with Muhammad Ali

June 6, 2016

I was fortunate to have met Muhammad Ali in 1992, while I was working for ABC Sports. Ali and ABC Sports had a long history together, and Ali had come up to our offices to discuss putting his image on a clothing line that the company was producing.

He had already been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease but the effects weren’t as bad as they were in his later years. He was a little slow but he had all his faculties. All of us at ABC Sports had been use to seeing stars in our department. I met Reggie Jackson once and of course our own announcers like Frank Gifford, Brent Musburger and Jim McKay would come up to the 13th floor periodically.

The day Ali arrived was totally different.  It was actually announced the day before. This was a big deal. This was MUHAMMAD ALI, The Greatest, the three-time heavyweight champion of the world. When Ali arrived he was ushered into a conference room where he sat down and started interacting with people.

NFL Hall of Famer Larry Csonka noted on his Facebook page that he had been to some banquets with Ali and that the champ “always noticed and recognized kids in his presence.” The day I met Ali was no different.  Some parents brought their kids in and Ali entertained them with magic tricks, like making a handkerchief disappear.

The champ got up to fake spar with one kid by holding his opened hands up and telling the kid, “come on.” The kid hit one of Ali’s open hands pretty hard and was reprimanded by his mother. Ali just smiled at the woman and said, “He can’t hurt me, no one can hurt me.”

It seemed that pretty much everyone in the sports department and a quite a few people from the news division made their way into the conference room that morning. Ali was great. He was in his element, it was a controlled environment and he was in control. The man could light up a room.

When it was my turn to sit next to him and get my picture taken, it was a moment I will never forget as long as I live. I sat down and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture with me, he replied with “What did you say?” I repeated myself and asked, would you mind taking a picture with me champ?”

He looked at me straight faced and asked me, “Who you calling a N—–?” A look of pure fear shot across my face. Just look at the picture, look at me then glace at the looks on the faces of the people around me.  Whoever took that photo snapped it at precisely the right moment.

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I didn’t say that!

Needless to say I was scared as all hell. Here I am with all these people around me, my bosses, several Vice Presidents, and Ali’s handlers and Ali is accusing me of calling him the N word. I jumped up out of my seat and protested, “I didn’t say that!” Ali just started laughing and smiled at me and was probably thinking, “I got him.”

After my heart slowed down, I crooked my finger at Ali and told him that wasn’t very nice. The champ got up out of his seat, put out his arms and gave me a hug. And if any of my ABC Sports colleagues have that picture, I’d like a copy!

After meeting with everyone, taking pictures and signing autographs, Ali went into a meeting to discuss the clothing line. It was from this meeting that I got the idea for my first ever published story. I interviewed our Sr. Vice President of Finance at the time, since he was the one who arranged for the meeting with Ali. The piece appeared in our inter- company newsletter ABC Ink, and my journalism career was off and running.

Since that day I have met and interviewed hundreds of athletes, I have also met and spoken to a plethora of musicians, actors, comedians, television personalities and even two former Presidents.  But nothing will ever compare to meeting Muhammad Ali. He was, and always will be, The Greatest.

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The Ties That Bind

April 27, 2016

Ties

I remember my own First Holy Communion like it was yesterday (it was actually May 9, 1970). I couldn’t fall asleep the night before because I was so excited. My house was going to be filled with family and friends the next day, and one of my favorite relatives, my Uncle Chris (my mother’s brother), was going to be coming in from Long Island. My dad had died the previous September and Uncle Chris was like a father to me. He had a lot of experience being a dad having four of his own children (all boys) as well as a step son and a step daughter.

This past weekend my own son, Aiden, made his First Holy Communion and it was very emotional for me. I personally dressed him in his little suit and put his tie on him and made sure that he looked just right. The whole thing hit me as he was walking into the church with the rest of his class. I was seeing something my own dad did not get to see. I am sure dad was watching my ceremony from his seat up in heaven, but to a then six-year old kid it’s just not the same thing.

I was very proud of my little big man. He was as close to perfect in church as he could have been. While some other kids were fidgeting and even falling asleep, Aiden was steady as a rock. He made me proud. Of course my wife and her parents were the first ones in the church and grabbed seats in the pew right behind where Aiden would be sitting. While they were getting seated, I took him in the back room where he was to meet with his classmates and get some last minute instructions. It was here that I gave him something I wanted him to have on him. I gave him the tie I wore the day I made my first Communion.

What can I say? I‘m a pack rat, I save everything. I showed it to him, told it what it was and put it in his pocket. There was no way he could wear it, as it is 46 years old, yellowing and about two sizes too small for him. Some may call me a sentimental fool but that is alright I have been called worse!

On my wedding day I wore a tee-shirt with a pocket under my tuxedo shirt and in that pocket I had a picture of my mom and dad from their wedding day. Obviously they couldn’t be at my wedding so I was going to have them close to my heart. Sentimental fool indeed.

Aiden was also wearing a gold pin in his lapel that I bought for him the previous week. It’s a chalice with grapes and a host. I was wearing something a little different in my lapel. I had a pin with four Stanley Cups and the New York Islander logo in the center of it. I figured while I was in church, it couldn’t hurt to ask God for a little divine intervention for Sunday night’s game. And as always, God came through for me as the Islanders won the game in double overtime and thus won the series. Thank you God and John Tavares!

Speaking of John’s, my cousin John, who is my Uncle Chris’s oldest son came to the church with his entire family, which I thought was a really nice gesture. His dad was at my First Communion and here his family was at my son’s ceremony. It meant a lot to me and my wife and it just goes to show you how strong our family ties can be.

After church and some picture taking we headed home for a little party, which John’s family attended. John’s youngest son, Andrew. is my Godson. He is a terrific kid. Well calling him a kid is kind of pushing it, he’s 23 years old, 6’ 4” working a full time job and going for his Masters Degree. It’s kind of hard to believe that 23 years ago I held this kid in my arms on his the day he was baptized.

I watched Andrew grow up and I never missed one of his birthday parties and I would always go to my cousin’s house for Christmas and spoil his kids with gifts. Aiden really liked having my cousin’s family in the house. My Godson was so cool. He looked at Aiden’s Pokemon cards and told him that he had a bunch of them when he was younger. Then he did something Aiden loved, he played video games with him. Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Brothers U. Like I said Andrew is a good kid!

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The Video Game Players, look how serious they are.

After everyone left all Aiden could talk about was how Andrew told him that he had a video game over at his house that he (Aiden) wanted to play and that we should go over there sometime!

What I thought about was My Uncle Chris coming to my First Communion and now 46 years later here was his grandson at my son’s first communion, interacting with him and having a great time. Another big event and our family ties remain as strong as ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My (very) Short Glimpse of Prince

April 25, 2016

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I’m not going to hype this up and say that I am a huge Prince fan. I do not own one album or CD of his. I think I may have the vinyl singles of “Let’s Go Crazy” and “1999” and that is about it. I never had the opportunity to see Prince in concert. I always admired him as an artist and I wish I would have attended one of his shows. However, I did get to see him for all of about 10 seconds in 2004.

That was the year his Royal Purpleness was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held at the Waldorf-Astoria so my friend Dennis and I decided to go check out the scene the day before hand and maybe catch a glimpse of some rock royalty.

In my younger days I had this nasty habit of sneaking into places without either a ticket or permission.  The majority of these were sporting events and rock concerts and the occasional Saturday Night Live rehearsal show (I worked in another part of the building so it was sort of OK to do this). Although one time, I did sneak into my then girlfriend Jennifer’s bedroom, but she was an accomplice. I climbed up the fire escape and knocked on her window. She let me in, saying that if I woke up her parents or her younger sister, I was a dead man. I just handed her the flowers I bought for her, kissed her and made my way back down the fire escape. Ah young love!

I had attended a few events in the Waldorf and sort of knew my way around the floor where they would be holding the ceremony. Dennis and I walk into the Waldorf and found our way to the area of the grand ballroom. There were a lot of construction guys walking around, and most of them looked like carpenters as they were helping to build the stage and some wooden ramps.

When we heard music we decided to take a peek inside to see where it was coming from. As we walked into the ball room there was Prince on stage. I don’t recall the song he was doing or who was in the band but I do remember locking eyes with him. I also recall him being extremely short. After about 10 seconds, Dennis taps me on the shoulder and he starts walking quickly out of the ballroom. I looked to the right and saw a guy coming toward me who was obviously security of some kind. I immediately followed Dennis out the door toward the left.

As we got outside the ball room and into the hallway area this irate person who we now knew was security yells, “Who are you guys?”

Slowly I turned around and said, “I’m Tommy and this is my friend Dino.” Dennis never likes using his real name in these situations.

“What are you doing in here?” he asked angrily.

I looked him dead in the eye and with a straight face I answered, “Looking for the bathroom.”

This seemed to get him even angrier. I don’t know why. He was asking questions and I was answering them in a forthright manner.

“You’re not supposed to be in here,” he bellowed. “How would you both like to get locked up?”

I think the fact that I was being so cool with him was bothering him, which I continued to do. “What are you going to lock me up for?” I asked. “Looking for a bathroom? I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think that is a crime. I walked into a hotel, looking for a restroom, I walked up here and no one stopped me or asked to see any ID, I heard music I decided to take a look and happened to see Prince, who is much shorter than I imagined, and you tell me I can’t be here, fine I’ll go. But could you tell me where I could find the men’s room?”

“Get the hell outta here and if I see you in here again I will lock you up,” he said as we walked away.

Up until this time, I had done all the talking as Dennis is rather quiet and reserved in these situation. However, when he wants to be he can be really funny. He saw his opening and took it. Dennis said to me very loudly, “That guy is really going to be pissed off when he sees us at Keith’s table tomorrow night.”

Epilogue: We really didn’t have a seat at Keith Richard’s table the next night nor did we ever get locked up (which would have been interesting. “What are you in for…?” “We saw Prince!”).  As I stated above I was never a huge Prince fan. But I will share a special piece of Prince memorabilia that I own.

I collect Hard Rock pins, specifically girls and guitars. An ex-girlfriend of mine, Sherry, used to travel a lot for her job so when she would be in a city with a Hard Rock she’d pick me up a pin. She got me this one from Hollywood:

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When she gave me the pin, Sherry  told me about the conversation that she had with the girl behind the counter at the Hard Rock. The girl told Sherry that they didn’t have any more purple ones since they only made a limited amount of them. Sherry took the blue one because it was close to purple and looked much better than the other colors they had. I didn’t care I just thought it was great that I got a HRC pin in the shape of Prince’s guitar. Purple would have been cool, and if it was from Minneapolis instead of Hollywood that would have been cooler.

R.I.P. Prince.

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R.I.P. David Bowie

January 12, 2016

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You’ve got your mother in a whirl, she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl…

And with that opening salvo I was introduced to the music of David Bowie sometime in the mid 70’s. Who was this guy? Was was he even a guy? Was he even human? Ziggy Stardust? Thin White Duke? Aladdin Sane? This guy has had more makeovers then some of those Mob Wives. While some other male rock stars flirted with androgyny Bowie embraced it. Yet through all of the makeovers and persona changes, the music still stood out. The hits are too numerous to mention The guy could write, sing and perform.

And his performing wasn’t limited to the music industry he was also an actor, appearing in such films as The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Last Temptation of Christ (as Pontius Pilate no less!) and on Broadway in the Elephant Man. Calling Bowie multi-talented would be an understatement.

A former colleague of mine mentioned this morning that Bowie was almost a Bond villain. I remembered this as well. He was offered the role of Max Zorin in A View to a Kill. Bowie turned it down to do Labyrinth instead. The Zorin role eventually went to Christopher Walken. However I can still imagine Bowie as the sociopathic Zorin.

I was fortunate enough to see Bowie perform live twice. The first time was on the Serious Moonlight Tour in 1983 in Madison Square Garden. By this point of his career, Bowie had abandoned all the freaky personas and just put on a great rock-n-roll show with limited theatrics. I do recall the stage being cool with columns and a moon hanging from the ceiling. At the end of the night that moon opened up and small inflated quarter moons descended from it.

I recall my date that night a girl who I met at Hofstra University the previous semester, who I’ll call Sandy, wanted one of the moons. I eventually snagged three for her as we had upgraded out seats due to little hustling by me. We watched a majority of the show from the second row in the orchestra!

The second time I saw Bowie live was on the Rosie O’Donnell Show sometime in 1997. A friend and former roommate of mine, Patrick, was a writer on the show and he got me two tickets. I asked my friend Donna if she wanted to go and she agreed. Donna is one of the biggest Bowie fans I know. To this day she does not believe me when I tell her this, but as of the morning of the show I had no idea whom the guests were going to be.

I like being surprised when I got to a live TV show. When the show opened and the guests were announced Donna punched me in the arm saying, “You didn’t tell me David Bowie was going to be here!!!”

“I had no idea,” I replied.

“Yeah, right,” she said, as she rolled her eyes at me.

For the life of me I cannot remember what songs Bowie played that morning. However I do remember that he played a few extra songs that Rosie mentioned would be used in the summer when she was on vacation. After the show my friend Pat took me and Donna on a tour of the studio and the backstage. Needless to say Donna had her eyes peeled for David Bowie but he had already left the building.

This morning when I learned of Bowie’s passing I texted Donna. She got back to me and asked if I remembered seeing him on the Rosie O’Donnell Show. I told her that I still had scars on my arms from when she was grabbing me while he was singing. I told you she was a big fan.

As for Bowie on the Rosie O’Donnell show you can see it here:

 

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On October 19th…

October 19, 2015

I was born on this date in 1962. Please indulge me as I’d like to take a look at October 19 through the years. Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was born on the same exact day as me. Once at a press conference, I brought up this fact to him and even showed him my driver’s license to prove it. Holyfield laughed as did the other reporters at our table.

October 19, 1962 also saw the United States in the opening days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That morning, President Kennedy met with Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff before leaving for a scheduled trip to Ohio and Illinois. They discussed various military actions and the possible consequences. Ironically this meeting took place two years to the day that The United States imposed a near-total trade embargo against Cuba. For more irony, in 1917, the same year Kennedy was born, Love Field in Dallas was opened on October 19.

Traveling back to the 18th Century, 1781 to be precise, Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington and Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown Virginia on October 19, essentially ending the Revolutionary War.

In 2004, Curt Schilling and his bloody sock beat the Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series to even things up at three games apiece. Exactly one year to the day, I was sitting in Yankee Stadium watching the Yankees beat the Marlins in Game 2 of the World Series. What a difference a year makes!

In 1994, my friend Dennis and I went to see Pulp Fiction. I remember coming out of the theater in awe. I had never seen anything like that film before. It was funny, it was violent, it was gory, it was told in a non-linear format and it was immediately placed in my Top 10 favorite films of all-time list.

Aside from Mr. Holyfield, there are a few other celebrities whom share my birthday. These include artist Peter Max, Journalist Jack Anderson, actor John Lithgow and Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch) as well as wrestler turned actor, Tor Johnson (Plan 9 From Outer Space). Lithgow hails from the great city of Rochester, which is the same place my wife was born and raised. If I ever meet Lithgow, I will have two points of reference to start a conversation with him. In an ironic twist both Reed and Johnson also died on the same day, May 12!

Former First Daughter Amy Carter (1967), director producer, screenwriter and son of Ivan, Jason Reitman (1977), first round pick in the 1986 NBA Draft out of North Carolina, Brad Daugherty (1965), actor and writer Jon Favreau (1966) whom I once met at a Bruce Springsteen concert; and South Park co-creator Trey Parker (1969) all came into the world on this day. My former co-worker Lydia and a friend from the old neighborhood, Mary, also share my birthday. Mad Magazine writer and Facebook friend Dick DeBartolo also claims 10/19 as his birthday.

There are a few notable deaths on this date. During a trip to Ireland I learned that Writer Jonathan Swift died on October 19, 1745. Swift wrote one of my favorite pieces of satire, A Modest Proposal. Academy Award winner Actor Gig Young, whom has a part in one of my favorite movies, That Touch of Mink, shot and killed his wife then turned the gun on himself in 1987.

Needless to say 19 has always been my lucky number. I always tried to secure that uniform number when I played any organized sports. Some legendary number 19’s in the sports world are: Bryan Trottier of the New York Islanders, Willis Reed of the New York Knicks, the San Diego Padres Tony Gwynn and Johnny Unitas of the (then) Baltimore Colts and then the San Diego Chargers. All of them are Hall of Famers and none of them were born on my birthday. However, Jose Batista of the Toronto Blue Jays who sports number 19, does share my birthday. I’m guessing he took the number to honor my, er I mean his birthday. During his brief stay in Toronto, John Cullen (no relation) wore number 19 for the Maple Leafs. I would love to get that jersey as a gift!

On the night of October 18, 1977, Reggie Jackson hit three home runs securing his World Series MVP Award and giving the New York Yankees their first championship in 15 years. The next day the Daily News headline shouted: REGGIE REGGIE REGGIE! When I met Reggie I got him to sign a copy of the paper with the Inscription: To Tommy Happy Birthday Reggie Jackson. The date of the Newspaper? October 19, 1977.

As fate would have it, this year I get a special event on my birthday as well. George Lucas and the Walt Disney Company must know what a huge Star Wars fan that I am. They will show the third and final trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens tonight during Monday Night Football. Happy birthday to me!