4/8/2010 – A*T Chronicles: Opening Day 2010 Edition

Hello, Hello, Helloooooo,

The day is spectacular as I take my traditional walk in from 72nd Street , down the bridle path toward our Green Beach .  I crest the hill and through the trees I see…an empty field?!  The Meadow is closed??!! WTF—is this some kind of cruel joke???!!!  ARRRRRGH!

After FREAKING OUT, I began searching for the Parks Conservancy people and find out they are doing “tree pruning work.”  For ten minutes, there are frantic calls among Robbie-Rob (on Mike Bohn-Heaver’s phone) Jaime-TJH, and me.  WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?  Finally, I make my way down to the path on the South end of the Meadow where I meet Matt, the leader of the work crew.  I won’t front: I was ready to beg, borrow, or steal for time on my home turf.  Turns out he had already given the order to open the gates.  SALVATION!!!!  I called Jaime-TJH with the news and he said “Dude, the guy just unlocked the gate.  I am literally the first person on the Meadow.”  I saw this with my own eyes and the world was again turning on its axis.  As I reached the opened gate, I bumped into Mojito Man Jay–our resident entrepreneur—and he said, “Man, you think YOU’RE happy…I’m loaded up for bizness!”  Soooo….

Opening Day of the 2010 All*Star Thursday season began with a Mighty Heave featuring Ralphy-Boy, Jaime-TJH, and me.  The breeze was a little squirrelly, but the conditions (which we don’t stinkin’ need) were basically perfect.  Ralph was snapping off high arcing forehands, Jaime throwing backhands with great aplomb, and I unleashed every throw I could think of.  By the time I got back, Robbie Rob-was up with James and Daniel.  Our Young Bucks are truly inspirational to our crusty crew of graybeards.  As time moved forward, more of the Tribe arrived including Quinn-O, Fearless Lou, the Ageless Trevor Brown, the Roginator, Bradford T.  Damion Heaver (in from Paris, and Godfather to my daughter), David Fried and his wife Inga (in from Germany, and brother/sister-in-law of Sir Robert), The Oracle, TedShred and the Lovely Chrissy, and Mary-Mary.  Mr. E. Fresh earned particular notoriety because he was the first wearer of the New “FukenLazy” Yella Jersey—he looked splendid indeed, as you can see in Roger’s All*Star Thursday 2010 album on FB.

Truth be told, I have only shared a small cross-section of our first Shred Fest of the year.  I was too busy having fun to take notes this week, but I can assure you there were many hummin’ Jams all day and into the night.  I recall being in one with Robbie-Rob and James where we hit a Double O’Malley (6 touches, no delay), I sent a high zing set to Rob and heard the peanut gallery shout “Gitis!”  They must have been reading his mind as he went for some very big air and CRUSHED said Gitis.  There was a roar of “Gitis: On Command!” from the crowd, though Mr. Fried assured me he heard nothing but the spin of the Styler as he lined up the catch.

The air was electric all afternoon.  The entire Tribe was thrilled to have survived the winter on the hard concrete and was thriving on the green grass of home.  There was much mixing and matching of partners with Quinn-O and Trevor on one side, Roger, Fresh, and Rob on another, and every friggin’ body having a blast.  Clearly the Jam to watch was TedShred and The Oracle goin’ Mano a Mano.  It remains rare that any hot pair goes uninterrupted for too long, but these two really put on a show.  It was not the particular combos and co-ops that were impressive, it was the give and take of two of the finest Jammers anywhere, playing a duet and making it appear like a Jazz orchestra.  There was a very nice sequence of dropless speed-flow where TO hit a ‘Goatus’ (standing Gitis), flipped the disc back to Joey who followed with a Scarecrow to an ‘insta-throw’ that I am still processing.  Doug E. Fresh announced “I’m comin’ down!” and those three took it to a level that enticed Robbie to make it a quintessential quadrangle Jam.  Oh F***in’ YEAH!

I took advantage of the inspired play to grab a Margarita and then the Roginator to get my own groove on, and Young James joined us.  Then coolest thing happened—looking to the West, I saw the arrival of a familiar face in a canary yellow (decidedly NOT Yella) shirt, toting a suitcase behind him.  In strode one Emmanuele Digitronik Faustini.  He came straight from the airport to the Jam.  There are very few that have gotten a more geographically and stylistically diverse set of jams over the course of one visit to the States, than our friend Zanardi.  And Hell Yeah he Jammed!!!!  In fact he was in the Last Jam of the evening, making the day complete.

There were a couple of folks who missed the fun though.  It appears that Ivan-TJH and Kevin will be trying to duck wearing the new Yella Jersey.  The Board is going to have a tough decision, though I’m voting for my ‘son’ because he was out on Wednesday and said he was coming.

The Blessings of our weekly Tribal gathering continue to multiply.  The Hard Corp of the Big Apple is a large and ever expanding family, with ties throughout the world.  The question we ask is simple: When are you comin’ down?  That’s right, I mean YOU!



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