Wednesday, January 15, 2014


(A repeat of a 2011 post with a photo added)

That was me…I was the little bastard.  Let me explain…

From kindergarten through high school my best friend was Richie Genoni.  We were Richie and Billy, Rich or Richard, and Bill came much later.  Richie and his family lived on his grandfather’s farm about a quarter mile up the road from ours, and directly on the way to school, so we shared part of the daily walk to and from school until middle school (Junior High in those days), and a bus ride for the next 3 years.  Our educational careers diverged in high school when he went to the area’s catholic school, but our friendship persisted.

Richie was an athlete, and was active in baseball and basketball in high school and in the local Babe Ruth league.  For those of you who know me, this may be hard to believe, but I was not an athlete, and my participation in scholastic sports consisted of 2 years of basketball in Jr. High.  Richie was a varsity starter while I was JV or second/third team varsity.  Although I did win a varsity game once with a tremendous basket as the buzzer sounded, but that’s another story.  Like most athletes, Richie was very competitive, while I was not.  When he played, it was to win, when I played it was to have fun.  And we played…especially basketball, since we both had a basket set up in our yards…usually 0-U-T or H-O-R-S-E.  Now on an even playing field I was no match for Richie…he was taller, more athletic, and had a better jump shot than me…but I had one thing in my favor…laughter.  I could make him laugh whenever I wanted to, and of course I wanted to when he was ready to take his shot.  And hence the name calling. Between fits of laughter as he missed his shot he managed to yell…”you little bastard”.  There were occasions when my victories where the result of pure skill, or more likely, pure luck, when I made some incredibly difficult shot that he could not duplicate.  When that happened “you little bastard” lost much of its affection.

He was a good friend.

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