November 18 – Happy Birthday Richard Sise

sise_richardIf you were a kid living on the western side of Amsterdam’s West End back in the sixties, during summer vacations you congregated with your buddies at the Guy Park Avenue School playground. You got there every weekday as soon as it opened, sped home on your bike at noontime for a quick lunch and as soon as it took to shove a baloney sandwich down your throat, you headed back to that dusty fenced in acre of sand and remained there until closing, which conveniently coincided with supper time. The boys played marathon games of kickball, softball and basketball under the watchful eyes of city-hired teenaged supervisors who made sure we played fair and stayed safe. It really was the low budget heaven on earth for the youth of our neighborhood.

One of the things you couldn’t help noticing if you were a GPA-playground regular was that everywhere you turned, there seemed to be a Sise. Judge Robert Sise and his wife Theresa lived right down the street from the playground and they had somehow found the time and the patience to create a family of nine boys.

I got to know Jack the best but remember young Dickie well because he always wanted to play with the older kids. I don’t think anyone still calls today’s Birthday Celebrant “Dickie” today except perhaps his brothers and long-time friends. Whenever you read about him in the newspaper he’s referred to as Richard and on the job, he’s known as “Your Honor.” That’s because little Dickie Sise has grown up to become…

You can read more about Mr. Sise in the new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.”

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