I Remember the 1970 Knicks

After seeing the New York Knicks in the news this week:

David Fizdale fired: Knicks fire coach after 4–18 start – Sports Illustrated. I decided to write this poem:

I Remember the 1970 Knicks

it was May eighth, nineteen seventy
our little black and white television
blankly stared at my brother and i
we sat we turned staring at each other

Okay, I’ll turn it on”, i said, i stand up
i take three steps, turn on the power
i return to my seat, we stare hopefully
will it turn on this time? please turn on

we named our television ‘sometimey”
sometimes it would power up and work
unfortunately, most times it would not
and tonight was special; it had to work

it was game seven NBA championship
the Los Angeles Lakers were playing
against the New York Knickerbockers
Madison Square Garden in the city

to our surprise, wonder and glee
our little black and white TV was on
and we were on— I adjusted the hanger
a clothes hanger subbed for our antenna

my brother pulled for the Knicks
i was a Lakers fan, loved Wilt and West
my brother loved Reed, who was injured
haha, my team was destined to win

the speakers on my little tube vibrated
i was in shock at sound from the crowd
pre game Madison Square Garden rocked
my brother smiled, i waxed concerned

suddenly, out of the tunnel Reed appears
dressed to play, the cheers the crowd
my television speakers cry and dance
my brother grins, my forehead creases

tip off, Knicks ball, a hobbling Reed scores
the crowd is insane my brother jumps up
i sit, I feel sweat forming beneath my Afro
have the Lakers and i just lost our nerve

Reed leaves but he was quite symbolic
at that point i meet a man named Frazier
a few feet past half court he posts
he aims at the basket, he scores

he scores the same way over and over again i stand and scream stop him
no one in the garden hears me I’m angry
my brother, falling to the floor, is laughing

game over, Frazier thirty six points
injured Reed, most valuable player
my brother is happy, i look at him
i smiled then and i smile now as

i wish for better days for the Knicks again

#sports #knicks #jerrytjohnsonpoet

Puddle Jumping Again

Part III – puddle jumping again

From The Business Travel Log

From my vantage point, the top of the airplane looked fine. Can you just picture me standing at the doorway of the small regional jet, taller than the door, my head jutting above the door and the top of the airplane. Stop laughing. I’m puddle jumping again. Haha, if you are laughing that’s great and I’m happy that I made you laugh.

The flight attendant greets me as I bend way down to walk through the door. I am six feet, four inches tall. Small aircraft, AKA puddle jumpers, weren’t built for me. Nonetheless, I have been riding them most of my adult life. Passengers stare as I walk bent down from the entrance to my seat. It’s a long walk to row twenty on a twenty-five row airplane. Smiles glow from row to row.

I put my coat away, I’d left my roller bag at gate check baggage, then I squeeze into my narrow seat. Hmm, i need to get back to the gym, I think.

As I fasten my seatbelt, I think about a few of the puddle jumpers from past years. My first looked like a gooney bird: Columbia, South Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina — a ninety mile ride. The big propellers are what scared me the most.

My girlfriend, who dropped me off at the airport, asked “Is your insurance all paid up?”

“Health or life”, I asked her.

“Both”, she replied.

Back to my current moment, I smile as I think about the gooney bird. I raise my window flap. I stare at the terminal. My mind moves towards another memory.

“Good Morning passengers welcome to USAmer flight 49 to Pittsburgh. The aircraft door is closed. Please put away all laptops and transmitting devices and put your smartphones in airplane mode.”

The flight attendant’s announcement pulls me back to my current moment. I’ll think about the other memory later, I say to myself. I leave the window flap open and wait for lift off.

#travellogforatravelblog

jtjohnpoet.com

Part II – Don’t Eavesdrop

From the Business Travel Log

Part II – Don’t Eavesdrop

I dropped off my rental, boarded a bus and rode to the terminal. I printed my boarding pass and started my prep for security.

First, I removed suspenders, watch, wallet, keys, change, bills, glasses, phone and threw all in my backpack. Next, I breezed right through security check. After restoring suspenders, wallet, watch, etc., to their proper place it was time to find a coffee shop.

Now I sit at my gate, sipping my coffee and i read. Two young adults dressed in business attire sit in the two seats to my left.

“What time do we meet with the senator?”, the young lady asks her colleague.

I tell myself, Don’t eavesdrop.

“Eleven-Thirty”, her colleague responds.

I tell myself, It doesn’t matter how loud they talk. Don’t eavesdrop.

“We really need support”, the young lady continued.

I tell myself, Okay, eavesdrop.

“We need the funding”, the young man remarks.

My ears swell.

“What are you guys taking about”, says a gentleman, closer to my age, who just walked up to where we were seated. “I could hear you halfway down the concourse.”

Now I wanted to turn my head and see how blush both of their faces were. Nonetheless, I kept looking at my phone. The chatter ended.

“Good morning passengers, Flight Ninety-Four to Reagan-National D.C. is ready to start boarding…” boomed over the intercom. Disappointed, I put away my phone, grabbed my roller bag and fell in line, right behind the two chatter boxes and their older colleague. The whispering begins.

#travellogforatravelblog

jerryjohnsonblog jtjohnpoet.com

Observations

Observations

Why is everything crafted these days? Nothing is “made” anymore.

Everything is crafted. There are craft beers —at the top of the list, mind you. You look at a list of twenty five craft beers and you are overwhelmed. Some have really cool names like Fat Belly Duck, Short Tailed Dog, Skinny Whiny Rooster and so on. Of course I made up all the names listed in the last line but you get my drift.

“Pardon me bartender, is the Fat Belly Duck a lager, an ale, an IPA?”

“How the hell should I know?”, reply the more gruff bartenders.

“Sweety-or Boss- there are twenty five of these craft beers in the list, too many for me to be an expert on. Would you like to sample one?”, reply the kinder ones.

After sampling your fifth or sixth you start feeling confused and quite tipsy.

I propose that craft beers come with warning labels like : “taste just like a lager”, “gives ale a bad name”, “you will hop”, “like an Austrian Kangaroo”, “there are no Kangaroos in Austria my dear” and so on and on.

So back to where I started, today we label everything “craft” or “crafted”.

There are craft soups —what happened to homemade soups?

There are craft salads—what happened to house salads and Caesar salads?

There are craft meatloafs, what happened to plain meatloaf glazed with ketchup. I love ketchup.

Craft and crafty are fine but let’s not forget the concepts of: good old fashioned, down home, made from the heart and homemade—or is this really the point that the term “craft” is trying to make?

#jtjobservations

Part I – Conditioning

From The Business Travel Log

Part I – Conditioning

The large, gray, four-legged creature darted out of the shadows into the wash of the street light. Fortunately I was obeying the 15 mile per hour speed limit at my apartment complex. Deer love to walk through my complex at all hours of the night.

I take it easy on the main road. More deer may be roaming. At 4:30AM I can count on one hand the number of cars traveling down Mill Plain Road. The highways will be different.

Interstate 84 runs right through Danbury. It’s congested. It connects travelers to Highway 684. Highway 684 runs between Brewster, New York and White Plains, New York. It’s congested. The Hutchinson Parkway, often referred to as ‘The Hutch’, runs through Westchester County . It’s congested and it’s barely 5:00AM.

“It must be a lot of fun traveling like you do.”

“I wish I had a travel job like yours.”

I think about comments like these when I am competing with cars and trucks while speeding down the highway in dark predawn hours. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling but I am conditioned to the hardship of road travel. Fatigue and weariness sets in at week two of continuous business travel. You wake up and your mind says I’m tired of this yet because you are conditioned, you find yourself getting dressed (after bathing of course) grabbing your luggage and heading to the airport.

Blinking lights of white and blue mounted upon the high cables of the Whitestone Bridge signal our exit from the Bronx into Flushing Queens. Off in the distance more lights outline the shape of the Throgs Neck Bridge. My weariness changes to exhilaration. My exhaustion turns into adrenaline. Conditioning and experience kick in.

#travellogforatravelblog

jerryjohnsonblog jtjohnpoet.com

Prologue – Up and Out

From The Business Travel Log

Prologue – Up and Out

All the lights in the house were out except one: the light streaming from the 32 inch flatscreen television that sat on top of the tall wide dresser.

One of the many crime investigative shows that crowd today’s broadcast airways was playing. It was 3:00AM. My eyes popped wide open again just as they did at 1:00AM and again at 2:00AM. My alarm was set to go off at 3:30AM. At this point I said forget it, flung the bed covers off my body and sat up on the edge of the bed.

Forty-five minutes later I was showered, dressed, drinking coffee and zipping up my carry-on luggage. It was 26 degrees Fahrenheit in Danbury, Connecticut. White smoke rose from the exhaust of my rental car as it warmed up. Most times It’s cheaper to rent a car at a corporate rate and drop it off at the airport than it is to park your own.

With my luggage snuggly packed in the back of the car I backed out, put the car in drive and was on my way.

Welcome to my post from my business travel log. There will be more to come. I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned

#jerryjohnsonblog jtjohnpoet.com