Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When artist Bill Gallo died, I was sad.  I collected many of his cartoons in the New York Daily News for many years.  I even had my own dedication to Gallo in this piece titled WHY BILL GALLO WAS MY IDOL.

The reason by I bring up Bill Gallo is because of all the cartoons that I've collected of his, there was one that I put in the frame in my 9 year old's room... when he was probably 4 or 5 years old.  It's a child and his father and it's below, but in the nutshell, the kid finally understands what his dad means by trying to do your best, and of course, the father equates it to Derek Jeter.

When I read it and see the father and son interacting, it still gives me chills.  If you don't have children, it may be hard to understand but even now, this cartoon is very special  to me.  Parents raise their children to do their best...and dammit, if you fail, you fail trying your best, and as sad as you may be that moment, you know you tried.  I tell my kids that all the time, not so they fail, but instead so they get a "taste" if they actually DO succeed.  Parents are the backbone to a future leader, a future "Jeter", be it in music, in society, in baseball.

How the hell do you think Derek Jeter got to be the way he is today?  He leads by example.  He's the perfect role model for so many, children or adults and there is no denying that his parents had so much to do with that.  His parents are what helped him succeed, no doubt. Read WHY JETER IS EPIC FOR 1 GOOD REASON. It is by far my favorite post ever on Bleeding Yankee Blue.

(In Photo: Louisa Luisi)
All of this reminds me of a woman named Louisa Luisi, a teacher from Ridgewood High School that has written a book called Your Best Coaches (In comes out in November.)  Clearly she and I carry the same ideals and I couldn't just walk away from this terrific piece about her and her book. I read it in the Suburban Trends this weekend... it's by Tara Kolton. (Read HERE.) Good work Tara.
In the piece, Tara writes that the book "shares the message that 'through high and low points in life, your parents will always be there to root for you.'  She goes on "'One part of the book addresses being 'thrown a curve.' Throughout life, many curveballs are thrown and kids need to learn how to face this. From being cut from a team to failing a test to not getting the lead role in a play, to not getting into their top choice for colleges, to a divorce or even a death, kids must learn how to handle these curveballs. And parents should be the ones who support children through these times...' said Luisi."

Thank god somebody wrote this, because let's face it, parents are the backbone to any kids future. That's the point of this post today. Sure, it's a life lesson, but today I got to incorporate a few of my favorite things, plus, share alittle extra... Louisa's book.  I don't know her, I never met her but her message is clear and it's a message I learned long ago when I was able to learn from my mom and dad the simple things to make me who I am today. I learned to fix a bike, to cook, to swing a baseball lose sometimes, only to win more. That's the point of this. Future leaders form when they're support comes from home.  Sure, some of us may be tough on our kids, and that may be because we believe in them.  Others just make sure they understand how trying to succeed is just as rewarding as never trying it in the first place.  And then there are those parents, like me, who look at my kid standing on second base after he just tied a game with a 2 run double, and there's just a moment; him smiling, me clapping and not a word is spoken. But I know in my heart that that smile says, "Thanks Dad. That's for believing in me, thanks for teaching me and thanks for always being there."  That smile let's me know, it's not only my kid who succeeded just then... I did too. I raised a boy with more guts than anyone I've seen at his age in a long time as hard as it is for a 9 year old...all I ask is that he try his best. Sure, sometimes there's that sting of defeat, but sooner of later, they get that thrill of victory...and all the hard work makes it worth while.

Sometimes it's truly great to be a parent... that's the honest truth.

Oh and if you want to read more about Louisa's book, go to

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