"Sixty, sixty, sixty percent Wizelnut. That's what the doctor thinks I'll get back to. I just hope it's worth it, for sixty, for sixty percent"
This was the conversation two nights before his knee replacement. A knee replacement he should have done back in '91 when a murderer escaped via jumping out the window of the floor of the 67 Detective Squad, not before throwing a typewriter at the knee of a young detective causing his knee to snap backwards with everything internal snapping back with it. I guess today he would be entitled to Mets tickets, but I don't take much issue with that, being a Yankee fan and all. He retired to the hardest job, being a hyper, Marine Corps, retired NYPD detective, turned stay-at-home dad of three girls under 12, and was definitely way too stubborn to believe he needed surgery.
He was just getting into the swing of it, three years later, when he was heading out to Five Towns under the Rockaway Freeway, pre-DiBlassio aka, pre-bike lanes. A still unidentified (probably soon-to-be Mets season ticket holder) person made an illegal turn, sending Jim into one of the cement pillars.
An amazing off duty firefighter talked him through the shock, told him to look away from his ankle wrapped around the brake, focus his sight on pictures of his wife and three girls, instead of wondering how his left elbow was on the right passenger dashboard, until the jaws of life freed him to a helicopter to take him to his home for three months of healing. When he was told he would never walk again, he said, "Watch me," and we all did. His "bad leg" became his good leg.
For over 25 years he has coached young girls in softball, set up the manger on 116th with the Knights of Columbus, and helped the "old" people of his block shovel snow. Over the years, we have all seen him grimace through the pain. His unwavering faith and strength is nothing short of a miracle and self-will. He is strength, he is grit, he is Jim Hurley.
This is a story I normally share in April, the anniversary of what could have been the worst day of our lives, when a coward left him to die under the freeway. But I share it today, dad, to remind you, when I used to fight for a failing grade of 60%, you rooted for me. When I studied so hard to get that 60%, and you sat with me and my flashcards and woke up with my anxiety. That 60% turned into a 4.0 master's degree for me, I cannot wait to see what that 60% becomes for you. Here's to bike rides, little league games, and definitely no Mets games! We love you. You got this! Plus, you coached your physical therapist in Rockaway Little League, she owes ya one (Yes Katie, we are counting on you!).
Love, Your Hurley Girlies
I find Lou Pastina’s article “Thanksgiving Coming and Goings” about the NYC National Museum of the American Indian truly fascinating, however I wonder whether such a museum has in display, the bottle of whisky with which the Dutch bought Manhattan from the Native Americans?
I note your article regarding cursing (Boyleing Points, November 7, 2019), such as what is now called "The 'F' Bomb."
When I was a teenager, my language, like most teenaged boys of that era, was starting to have various curse words sprinkled into regular conversations. My maternal grandmother, a retired acting assistant principal in the Board Of Education (board, not department), asked me a question, which I think deserves repeating here.
She asked me how effective they'd be in indicating that I was angry or upset, if I used them all the time? How would people hearing me know I was upset, as they would be used to me using them, as opposed to using them for shock value?
Turns out my grandmother was a smart woman.
Richard C Berger
Regarding Boyleing Points, Novermber 7: Honestly, that was a great f’ckin column.
Thank You For
My husband is a veteran who served in the army during the Vietnam war. When he returned home in the late '60s, more people were protesting the war than thanking veterans for their service. However, I do believe that we have come a long way from that type of climate. He always wears his Vietnam veteran hat. On Saturday November 9, he was in the bagel store on 129th Street. While inside, he met a young man and his child. This young gentleman, who clearly had been born after the events of that war, thanked my husband for his service, and treated him to his morning meal. While exiting the store, others also thanked him for his service. My husband was so touched by these kind gestures. It made him feel so proud, not only to have served his country, but to also be part of such a wonderful community. God bless Rockaway Beach
The Luhrs Family