Hi, Dom

Last time I spoke of an era coming to an end. Our softball days were over.
The tarp has been laid across the infield securing the many, many, memories of games past and the athletic and not so athletic feats accomplished on the field.  

Like the time Gus P. was chasing a fly ball and  felt his legs going out. In an attempt to break his fall he extended his arms and somehow the ball wound up in his glove for one of the greatest catches of all time.  Or the time, yours truly, hit a tape measure shot that a marathon runner could have started and ended his race before the ball came down…..and I desperately made it to 3RD base where I required medical assistance.  Or the time we came within one out of a double play!!

Know your limits!

Know your limits!

Now, the bats have been silenced, the leather gloves have been oiled and religiously taped to be stored away for future generations. and sadly, the roar of the crowd ( our wives and kids, who were forced to watch)  are no longer echoing, our field …. Softball has come to an end., but we did go out in style.

Now, a new day has dawned, and we must find a new way to fill the gap, and get our competitive juices flowing again. We started a walking club…didn’t help….didn’t last. What could we do for excitement and be able to take out our aggressions on each other in a nice way, of course.

How about competitive “GIMP”….you know, where you fold over and under four strands of GIMP,  in a geometric pattern and ultimately create a keychain or even a wallet….NO WAY!

How about TOPS….this is where you wind your top with your secret tension on the string and fire it at your opponent’s top in an attempt to strike it with a deadly blow ( A CHA-BE-BEE )…rendering his top DEAD. And you the

“CHABEBEE KING”               also NO WAY

Then, there it was all along right under our noses. The pastime of all pastimes, the one game, we were bred for. The ultimate game for over the hill athletes.

Love the Old World verisimilitude. No manicured fields, or stands for spectators. Working with what the environment gives us. Remember stickball in the streets?

Love the Old World verisimilitude.
No manicured fields, or stands for spectators.
Working with what the environment gives us.
Remember stickball in the streets?


Today’s posting is an Ode to Bocce by Ron.
Also find it on Ron’s page under Contributing Writers on the Web Site.

I think I understand how to copy and paste images.
A prettier blog.

Sally Chetwynd, from Sally’s Corner (Contributing Writers, on Web Site) sends in this notice:

Hi, All,

I'll be exhibiting tomorrow at the 2018 New England Authors Expo, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. My Great American Novel #2 - "The Sturgeon's Dance" - isn't in print yet (aiming for next month!) but I have loads of copies of Great American Novel #1 - "Bead of Sand" - in hand.  Meet authors galore (there are loads of them besides me), buy books for Christmas presents, and otherwise rub elbows with the up-&-coming local literati!

Sally M. Chetwynd
Brass Castle Arts
P. O. Box 1916
Wakefield, MA 01880
781-224-0530 (h)
781-548-9519 (cell)

Today is Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my 108th consecutive daily posting.

It’s 5.48 and the weather is continuing its run of muggy and intermittent showers and, tonight, thundershowers.

I’m at my desk.
Dinner is Broiled/Seared Fresh Swordfish, on sale at 14.99 per pound. This recipe is so easy I must post it soon.


“Inglourious Basterds” is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, and Mélanie Laurent.

The film tells the alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's leadership, one planned by Shosanna Dreyfus (Laurent), a young French Jewish cinema proprietor, and the other by a team of Jewish American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Pitt). Christoph Waltz co-stars as Hans Landa, an SS colonel tracking down Raine's group who is connected to Shosanna's past.
The film's title was inspired by Italian director Enzo G. Castellari's macaroni combat film The Inglorious Bastards (1978).

Tarantino wrote the script in 1998, but struggled with the ending, and chose instead to direct the two-part film Kill Bill.
After directing Death Proof in 2007, Tarantino returned to work on “Inglourious Basterds.”
A co-production of the United States and Germany, the film began principal photography in October 2008 and was filmed in Germany and France with a $70 million production budget.
It premiered on May 20, 2009, at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, and received a wide release in theaters in the United States and Europe in August 2009 by The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures.

“Inglourious Basterds” grossed over $321 million in theaters worldwide, making it Tarantino's highest-grossing film until the release of Django Unchained (2012); it remains his second-highest-grossing film.
It received multiple awards and nominations, among them eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
For his role as Landa, Waltz won the Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor Award, as well as the BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


Wednesday’s Post is reserved for stories of growing up in Boston’s Italian North End in the watershed decades of the 1950s and 1960s.



That’s right, Bocce. The game that will separate, the good from the bad, and the best from the worst. So with everyone on the same page, we selected six teams, constructed elaborate scoring devices (thanks to Sammy V.)  and went out to purchase Friends of the North End official league shirts (thanks to Tony G) which proudly displayed our logo.


We’ve been at it for eight years now and it keeps getting better. You see, you can play at your best without worrying about heating pads or ice packs after the games are over. Yes, the games are less physical and more mental.

You can be very opinionated about the opposing team or your own team for that matter. So, once you learn all the nuances and tolerate the minutia, you will have found the perfect game.

We celebrate each end of season with a banquet where the winning team is recognized. A good meal and a good time is had by all.

We even had a Father & Son tournament one year,  and we were also featured on Channel 806 FOX  Zip trip, which airs on Friday morning, in the summer ( more on these events at a later posting ). Like I said it just keeps getting better.   So with all this said….here is my  tribute to Bocce.


The Art of Peaceful War

Softball was our way to acquire territorial bragging rights, sort of King of the Hill

which we did with instinctive play avoiding at all cost taking a spill.

The competition remained strong as the years rolled by at an mazing rate

and our bodies would tell us, quit, the end was near, let’s not tempt faith

We realized our bat swings have slowed as did negotiating the bases

so it was decided to pack it in, give it up, before we all wind up in braces

Yes a sad day was indeed upon us, our manhood could not take the pain

give up our way of settling the score or walk forever with the aid of a cane


Alas, a new day was upon us which brought us a new way to compete

yes, again you can claim victory and scorn the souls of whom you defeat

The boys all seemed excited and lined up to answer the call

to engage in a new way of sport, this one is called  “Bocce Ball “

To play the game of Bocce really requires no long winded resume

just be on time Sunday morning, drink your coffee and be sure your dues are paid

You don’t have to have a fast ball or being built mean and lean is not required

for most, if not all of our players, are semi or fully retired

The sun rose out of the east on our first Sunday of play,

and you could just sense we would make history by the end of the day

We picked six teams each consisting of four vintage warriors raring to go

yes, to dehumanize, humiliate, verbally debase, and criticize their new found foe


So now the time has come to face your enemy and deal with your fears

will you play well enough to be praised by your opponents who are your peers

Well let’s give it try and see what happens releasing the ball as you take aim

If you’re furthest from the pallino, and you lose points be prepared to take the blame

As the games progress, and the scores go back and forth, fun is surely at hand

this is when you decide being with your friends, nothing could be more grand

In between the shooting and measuring is the why we are really here

To talk, about our live together which we hold so dear

I know we all look forward to our Sunday morning fray

may we all stay strong and healthy to play yet another day

So as we leave the battlefield we realize we are all winners and men of pride

through all these years we’ve  endured and enjoyed each other while standing  side by side.   

© Ronald P. Fuccillo 2016


Post Scripts
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Be good.
Be well.
Love you.