On Saturday last I gathered for what can best be described as a “Fenway Fest” at a place very near and dear to me, Curtis Liquors in Weymouth Massachusetts. There are a number of reasons why this is so.
Curtis Liquors Grand Opening circa 1982, left to right, Rick Curtis, Marion Curtis, two town of Weymouth selectpersons, “Dick” Curtis and yours truly.
I have known Rick Curtis for 40 years and my association with him and his establishment has been the source of life altering and life defining events. But more than that is the relationships that have been forged through my time spent in this place. The impact they have made upon my life has been deep, profound and immeasurable. And on Saturday it was no different as many folks came by to join in the Fenway extravaganza which featured, a live broadcast of the Joe Ligotti Show.
The Guy from Boston chatting with my eldest daughter before the show goes on.
An appearance by none other than El Tiante himself, the Red Sox legendary hurler who in my mind is the best pitcher not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but that will be covered in another post down the road!
Luis with daughter number two and her girls. (That yellow polka dot dress in the lower right corner is her third girl who you can tell loves to have her pictured taken)
And in the midst of it all were Kerry and I signing copies of Images of Fenway Park.
David was among the missing as he was in North Carolina with his family on a much deserved mini getaway.
For me and my family it had all the elements of a reunion, for they too are connected to the location of Curtis Liquors.
Family friend John, my Big Brother Willie, who has appeared on this blog a few times, his lovely wife Paula, son Marc, daughter Jill and grandson Gus.
The establishment Curtis Liquors is located where the very first Curtis Farms Supermarket was located back in the early 1960s. It is there where Big Brother found his first job in high school. Next door is the building which once housed the James Anthony Beauty Salon and it is there where Paula found her first employment in the beauty industry which launched her career. Today she owns and operates Headlines by Paula in Hanover MA. and has done so for nearly four decades. http://www.yelp.com/biz/headlines-by-paula-hanover
Old friends came by to say hello and share a moment, a memory and a smile.
Pat and I worked together at Curtis in its early days.
My friend Danny and I, who met at another Curtis establishment, share a laugh on Saturday.
New acquaintances dropped in to finally introduce themselves and share their memories and thoughts on Fenway and the Red Sox.
Joe Ligotti, Luis Tiant, Yours Truly and Gary Titus. Gary operates the website shermfeller.com, in tribute to the late Fenway Park announcer.
And so many folks came by, young and old, to grab a book and to share their personal stories of Fenway Park and the Red Sox.
In a day filled with so many great moments I must confess that among my favorites was a few minutes spent on the air with Joe and talking about the mound exploits of Luis Tiant.
It was in the 1970s when I spent the most time at Fenway Park, averaging about 20 trips to Fenway a year. And in that time frame I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Luis Tiant pitch many, many times. I said it then and I’ll go to my grave saying it; I have been visiting Fenway Park since 1959, I have seen some great pitchers and some great pitching performances, and if I had to pick any Red Sox pitcher to pitch the one game the Sox had to win, I am giving the ball to Luis Clemente “El Tiante” Tiant! There is no pitcher I have ever seen with more heart!
It was a joyful day, replete with great stories of Luis, the Red Sox and Fenway. Yet once again the star of the day was, yup you guessed it, relationships. Relationships born, in the same place that now echo through time; relationships rekindled, relationships formed and relationships missed. And all generated by the energy which emanates from a ‘lyric little band box” located in Boston’s Back Bay.
PS This morning at 6 AM the trophy was at $150,000 with 17 hours to go!
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, August 1, 2012, the first of the “dog days”.