Kissena Park became a place of importance to me from my middle teens to about twenty. It was a couple of miles from my house by PS 120 in Queensborough Hill. It had baseball fields which were kept in pretty good shape those days, today they are more like sandlots withs fences around home plate to keep foul balls from going into people or the streets. Up the hill from the parks were clay tennis courts, but I never played them till much later after golf. Just up the corner about a quarter of a mile was the Kissena Golf course, an executive one which means short but hilly with lots of par 3s. I didn't get to it until I was about thirty, played golf once when I was eighteen but was so bad I waited twelve years before I would try the game again.
Lets get back to the Park which back in the day had a lake that one could rent rowboats for an hour. Still has the lake but no rowboats. Now Kissena has a Boccie court. Lots of trees, and a great sculpture commemorating the Korean War, "The Forgotten War". This is right by the tennis courts for anyone who might want to visit it.
Played a lot of baseball on those fields back in the day. Good games but the best thing about it was it drew the girls. My best friend Eddie Wurtzbach, Woozy, met a girl who lived close by and they dated. She had a friend who lived by me and we blind dated. She was the only Albino I ever went out with. Blue eyes, great hair, skin so pure. We went to the Lowe's Valencia to see "The Thing, a horror picture where Jim Arness, Matt Dillon of "Gunsmoke" played The Thing from outer space. We sat in the orchestra. Don't remember much of the picture since we made out for much of it. Did I mention my beautiful Albino had great lips? No? Well she did. Woozy's family moved to Florida and that was that with the girls.
My wife and her girlfriends used to go to the park when they were bobbysoxer's. She met a Colombian fellow who was going to Queens College, Alberto Del Castillo, and was engaged at the ripe old age of sixteen. Rocky found a way to get into a school, in Texas I think, and so moved away. Jilted her I guess but he was so stupid because she was one of the most beautiful gals I ever met and had a heart and soul just as beautiful. But Ricky's family were upper crust of Colombian society and a Puerto Rican gal from the Bronx couldn't be accepted by his family or so she was told in a letter. Stupid but I am glad he did because we met, fell in love and stayed in love for fifty years until she checked out to go to whatever dimension we call heaven.
My wife and I used to walk around the lake in Kissena, holding hands, sneaking a kiss, even after we were what could be considered old. We used to talk and share inner thoughts or just walk holding hands glad to be touching and being together drinking in the beauty of the water fowl, the majestic trees and quietly thankful that we were with our beloved. Hey, way back I used to rent a row boat on Sundays and we'd row about an hour. That was fun.
Now-a-days Kissena is experienced by myself. I look at the fields and remember a catch, or a hit and the joy of kids playing baseball. I remember Woozy, my beautiful Albino but most of all I remember my beautiful wife and truly miss her but one must go on perhaps to find new loves, new hands to hold. new lips to kiss. Oh, I almost forgot Kissena was one of the parks I used to take my kids to on Saturday to give my wife a break.
They always ran out of the car into the men's room (five boys at the time I ended up with six and one beautiful daughter). Now for those of you who don't know it never let five young male children in the men's room together. This is an everything blog so I won't get into the details of spraying urine into the receptacles from say, five feet away or throwing toilet paper at one another or things like that. So I put my foot down. They went to the bathroom before we left the house and Kissena park's men's room was off limits. They had the swings, monkey bars, slides and even basketball courts but no bathroom until we returned home where my wife would say I was inhuman but she said that with a twinkle in her beautiful eyes.
I guess you can tell I just came back from Kissena Park. My memories came with me. My children are no longer children. As I said my wife is no longer with me but I should say not with me physically but I feel her presence every day, she still is beautiful her beauty came from within and expressed itself without. Lucky me. But be sure of this I am looking to make new memories, maybe not playing ball but who knows there might be a cute Albino waiting to meet me. The future is always bright as long as there are parks like Kissena to make one feel young.