Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-01-15 05:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It's funny the way things work sometimes. On this date last year my father died. January 15th also happens to be my brother Ben's birthday. He turns 34 today, which also happens to be the day that his wife, Erin, is going to deliver their second child. Talk about the life cycle. They couldn't have planned it to work out like this. I'm so happy for my brother, and I'm thinking about my pop. So, here's raising a toast to the birth of my niece, and while I'm at it, I'll spill a little iced coffee on the floor for the old man.

2008-01-15 05:52:48
1.   Sliced Bread
To the Belths! La chiem!
2008-01-15 06:02:13
2.   Alex Belth
Thanks, dog. Appreciate that.
2008-01-15 06:28:04
3.   joe in boston
Salut ! My the Yanks win it all this year for her first birthday.
I lost my dad last year as well. Tough, really tough. My oldest boy is named after him though. I can't tell you the number of times I've said something to him and realized it was something my dad said to me long ago !

This Fri is my folks' 50th wedding anniv - I'm heading to FL to hang/cheer up my mom and root for the Jints with her and my oldest.....

2008-01-15 06:30:48
4.   williamnyy23
Watching Geore Mitchell great his former Congressional colleagues, it finally dawned on me why Selig commissioned the report...basically, Mitchell is a highly paid lobbyist.
2008-01-15 06:50:12
5.   RichB
0 3 Cheers, Alex and family! Birth is a wonderful thing. The death of our parents is something that almost all of us have to deal with (ironically, only if we're lucky). It connects us in a very human way. I lost my dad a couple years ago. My son will be 1 in a few weeks. He's named after my dad, who would have just adored him.
2008-01-15 06:51:54
6.   JL25and3
In a couple of weeks, it will be 13 years since my dad died. A lot of the time, I still can't believe it.
2008-01-15 06:54:58
7.   Alex Belth
It's funny about this mourning stuff. Sometimes I get caught up in morality, "What SHOULD I be feeling?" Should I be sadder than I am? If I'm not sad am I avoiding it? If I'm too sad am I dwelling in it? Of course, there is no right or wrong answer. I suppose there is a part of me that will always miss my dad. Sometimes I wish he was here so that I could chat with him. Other times, I'm relieved that he's not here because I don't have to face his criticism anymore. Go figure.
2008-01-15 07:40:30
8.   Bronxer
3 Welcome back, Joe in Boston. Good to see you on the board again. How's the teaching going?
2008-01-15 07:49:41
9.   willdthrill
Are there any books out there, be it fiction or non-fiction, that deals with the complex relationships between sons and fathers? Sometimes I think the complexity is self-imposed because I see other father and son relationships that are rather simple and loving. My own relationship with my father can best be summed up as long periods of silence with intermitten bursts of shouting.
2008-01-15 07:51:07
10.   joe in boston
7 I always had a pretty good relationship with my dad, although I learned as I headed into my 30s-40s to filter things better in our conversations:

a) "yes dad I went to church today"
b) always talk about the Yanks
c) Use the $100 Rule- that is- nothing cost more than $100: If my old school Italian dad knew what I spent on things like running shoes, stereo equip, mountain bikes, skiis, etc - he'd go nuts, therefore I would always tell him it cost 85 bucks or so.
d) when in doubt, talk about the weather, my kids or the Yanks

2008-01-15 07:54:20
11.   Bronxer
9 I had a troublesome relationship with my mother as she wanted to send me to an all-girls catholic school and I wanted to go to a public school. We fight over such now-trivial things.
And now I'm a parent and it comes full cirlce.

10 Nice comments, Joe.

2008-01-15 08:03:29
12.   Alex Belth
I know that I used baseball and movies and to some extent music and books as subjects to talk with my dad about. Things that connected us. But also, he was a big emotional lug and could always be counted on as a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Not that I went to him with too many burning issues since, oh, my college days. But he wasn't a guy who was afraid to say "I Love you." Funny, but he was better with that warm and fuzzy stuff than my mom is.

The other thing, is that my relationship with him was dramatically different than his relationship with my twin sister and younger brother. I guess it was an oldest son thing, but he tried to live vicariously through me during my formative years, determined to correct the mistakes he had made through me.

I can't think of any father-son books off the top of my head...there's always "Field of Dreams." Lol. (Joke, just a joke, although my pop never failed to tear up at the end of that movie...since he's been gone, I've seen the movie, and it didn't make me choke up, but I did get a little teary thinking about how it got to my dad...)

2008-01-15 08:04:39
13.   The Mick 536
Very mixed emotions,eh. One checks in and one checks out. I take the road that says so long as you keep the departed in your mind and heart, they haven't really left.

My wife's mother died last week at 92+. Her dad, 87+, sits in a hospital mourning, awaiting his inevitable death. Married 62 years. She had them around for a long time. As Billy Pilgrim would have said, "so it goes."

2008-01-15 08:07:41
14.   spudrph
My family managed to hit a threefer-my wife, her mother, and my sister in law's boy were all born April 3.

As my favorite Yankee fan (a short list) once put it:

"And so it goes, and so must you soon, I suppose..."

2008-01-15 08:22:27
15.   Alex Belth
Dude, Marvin Miller and his wife, Terri, celebrated their wedding anniversary this past December. They were married in 1938?!?!?! And both are still sharp as tacks.
2008-01-15 08:51:14
16.   joe in boston
14 that's rare. My bro and sis were born 4 years apart - same day. Used to bust my wallet for presents when I was little.

The priest at my dad's service said it was ok for my mom to "round up" 49+ years of marriage to an even 50. I thought that was a nice thought.

That generation of couple is very different from now. My dad did all the driving, shopping, mom did all the cooking, cleaning. They BOTH raised us "kids" however with their own way of care, discipline and love. A tough act to follow as I'm finding out.

2008-01-16 08:48:10
17.   Jay Jaffe
9 The one book recommendation that immediately springs to mind on the complex topic of fathers and sons is Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. It masquerades as a book on baseball, but it's far deeper than that.

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