This Month From Cliff-June 26, 2014
June 26, 2014
Cliff L. Wood
The Rockland Community College Campus
It Looks Like a Home Run
The Boys/The Men of Summer
One of the metaphors of life that symbolizes summer for me is baseball, and the phrase, “The Boys of Summer.” This phrase first appeared as the title of a book in 1972 by sportswriter Roger Kahn. Kahn’s book describes young men who grew up near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s. It also chronicles the life of noted players and the integration of baseball when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. It is the story of fathers and sons who share the trials and tribulations of boyhood through baseball. “The Boys of Summer” is also the title of a 1984 hit by Don Henley and the Eagles whose song chronicled the passage of youth to middle age.
As a boy, baseball was always a part of my summer. I didn’t play the game but my three older brothers did and I remember the numerous summer evenings at Samuells Pool in Dallas watching one, two or three of my brothers play the game. My father was the caricature of the over-involved Dad who embarrassed all of us. But, what I remember as the “good times,” were the Friday or Saturday night family outings where eight of us piled in the family Buick and drove across the Trinity River, to Oak Cliff and Burnett Field, to watch the Dallas Eagles. A highlight for me was always Ms. Inez at the organ, playing not only the national anthem, but also show tunes during the seventh inning stretch. Best of all, however, was the sound of the William Tell Overture with each major hit.
Rockland Community College has its own special Boys/Men of Summer, the people of our dedicated facilities staff, who work so hard to maintain our beautiful campus. Also, please note the hard working members of the Arena Management staff, who are available 24/7 to assist the many folks who visit RCC for special events and including our summer camp program for children and youth. If you see these folks on campus, please thank them for a job well done.
Introducing Peter Grady, a superb crafter whose special skills include a degree in furniture design. He provides quality service and expertise to any special project. It is Peter who has hung most of the artwork that enhances our special campus.
Introducing Matthew O’Gorman, who has primary responsibility for the shrubs and gardens that enhance the campus and provide a warm welcome to visitors of Rockland Community College
Introducing Doug Schmidt, Director of Plant Facilities, and Secretary Kathy McGowan. Doug steers the team that works so hard over the summer to ensure that our expansive grounds are so well maintained.
Always ready for a new project to enhance the campus, Head of Groundskeeping Kenny Bachert, assisted by Groundskeeper Wakine Fevrier, created a garden to memorialize Melissa Dimataris, a Performing Arts alumna who died last year after a courageous battle with cancer. Kenny and Wakine are shown here with Patty Maloney-Titland, Chair of Performing Arts, Andrew Marchinak, RCC Student and President of the Campus Players, and Chris Plummer, Theater Director.
Headed by Dan Keeley, with assistance from Kevin Hanlon, Vinnie Rutigliano, and Gary Peskin (not pictured), the Fieldhouse/Arena Management staff provide opportunities for over 300,000 Rocklanders each year. Residents flock to our Fieldhouse facilities to attend high school and College sporting events, trade shows, family programs and charitable events.
The College always receives accolades after community events because of the professionalism and quality of the service provided by Dan and his team. In presenting this plaque to President Wood, the American Cancer Society specifically recognized Gary Peskin for going “beyond the call.”