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September 15, 2014

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A bagel with straight cream cheese and Choo Choo Coleman

NOW

On Sunday morning I was the guest speaker at the Temple Bet Knesset Bamidbar men's club meeting at Durango Hills Golf Club. Although the New York Football Giants were playing the Eagles on TV, thereby reducing the size of the crowd by about a third, I wasn't complaining, because the men's club members who were present peppered me with nonstop sports questions for about 90 minutes.

They weren't like that Jack Klompus guy who ran around with Morty Seinfeld in the Del Boca Vista condominium complex, either. They raised their hands before they asked their questions and I'd like to apologize to the owners of the hands I didn't see, or for those I didn't call before time was up.

Murray Waks, the president of the men's club, was a delightful host. Plus, when I told him I liked my salmon grilled and preferred my bagel with straight cream cheese, he took the salmon off my hands as if it were Sandy Koufax's baseball rookie card.

I met several old-timers who had seen baseball games in old Ebbets Field, old Yankee Stadium and the old Polo Grounds. How's that for a trifecta?

I also heard the name Choo Choo Coleman spoken with reverence, proving that's it not impossible to hear the name of the old Mets' catcher with the career .197 batting average spoken with reverence, at least if you're willing to wake up early on a Sunday morning.

THEN

Announcer Ralph Kiner to Choo Choo Coleman, after a rare Mets' win during 1962: "Choo Choo, that's a unique name for a ballplayer, why do they call you that?"

Choo Choo: "I don't know."

Ralph: "What's your wife's name, and what's she like?"

Choo Choo: "Her name is Mrs. Coleman, and she likes me."

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