Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Marty, Kulk & Darryl Strawberry

BENNINGTON -- Marty handed me the piece above and asked what it is. I did not know so I took a picture and messaged it to the gallery owner. Marty said it was a "sepfur" and I knew he meant scepter but also knew it wasn't a scepter. Within minutes the gallery owner said it was a paintbrush.

That blew Marty's mind because it's made out of porcelain.

I think it looks like a back-scratcher. That's how I'd use it.

Then Marty and I began to chat. Marty loves to chat unlike that Marty fella in the Safeco commercial who does nothing but stuff his pie hole every time the wife kvetches.

I asked this Marty "Where are you coming from today?" "Southeast Florida. We're originally from Long Island." Marty's wife walked to his side and smiled. Her name is Pat. "What brings you to Bennington?" "My son lives here. ... Where are you from originally." Marty somehow knew to throw in "originally." "L.A." Marty smiled and asked how I ended up in Bennington. "I'm a journalist. Easy to up and leave." "Are you into sports?"

Yes, Marty, I am into sports.

We talked sports. I told him the Dodgers and Lakers and Kings and L.A. Rams and USC football were teams I love. Marty told me the Knicks of several eras gone by and the Mets and the Rangers and Islanders are teams he loves. I told him "the Knicks should have kept Lin" and he agreed then talked about being a Knicks fan when it mattered. Reed. Bradley. DeBusschere. Frazier. Earl the Pearl.

Then Marty brought up the Dodgers again and told me of the days when as a boy he watched them at Ebbets Field. Then he brought up Koufax. I said Koufax wasn't so hot the first few years but then became a legend, and Marty flashed a knowing smile. Then we talked hockey and I told Marty I never thought I would see the day when the Kings raised the Cup. He asked how far back hockey goes back for me and I told him back to '80 when Bossy and the Islanders were the team, and Marty said "Oh, my Islanders!" and I told him about the game I went to at Nassau Coliseum a few years ago and what a cool experience it was to see hockey in that rinky-dink barn. Marty went off about the Islanders throwing away all that money at DiPietro the goalie instead of building a new barn -- only to watch DiPietro get hurt.

This was a sports moment.

I noticed Pat becoming itchy to leave but Marty was knee-deep in this sports chat. He told Pat they would leave in a minute -- after he asked me a trivia question that he said no one had ever answered. "Who's the only guy to play for the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers and Giants?" Marty said he's a guy who could have had it all, been the greatest ever and yadda yadda. I wasn't sure but had an idea and answered "Strawberry?" and that blew Marty's mind, too. "Wow! No one ever answered that before" and he shook my hand.

Marty asked a second question: Who is the only person to ever play for the Rangers, Knicks and Dodgers? "I don't know the answer to that one, Marty." "Gladys Gooding."

Gladys Gooding was an organist.

Marty and I shook hands and then he took Pat's hand and walked out. He asked if there was a deli anywhere nearby that served hot pastrami sandwiches. I told him not really but then told him to go to the Blue Benn Diner tomorrow morning. By now I knew Marty was Jewish. "If you love lox, try their lox and sour cream omelette. It's the best." Marty said thanks and smiled and left the gallery.

Marty and Pat from Boynton Beach, Florida, via Long Island