Friday, February 21, 2014


    In my younger 20s I still lived at home with my parents and younger sister in Yonkers N.Y. We had a few Beagles as pets in our childhood. But after my sisters nightmare dog was booted out from the house. It was going to be a tough sell to get a dog back in my parents good graces.        One summer day I went up to Untermyer Park as I had done quite often. This early 60s and 70s hippie hangout was incredible. The deceased owner of the estate was heavily in to the occult as graciously portrayed in the mosaics and statues that were on display throughout the estate. An Italian mosaic of the Medusa surrounded by zodiac sings was displayed just under the carved stone marble columns. These beautiful gardens were completely surrounded by 12 to 15ft walls encapsulating all this magnificent art. All of this needed restoration, for the 60s were a destructive time for the open to the public Untermyer estate.       This is where I met my first traveling companion and future copilot. A Chinese girl that frequented the park had brought a new dog up with her that afternoon. He was cool. Apparently he thought it was time to find his way out into the world beyond. Kay told me he was part of a large litter of pups in a garage in down town Getty Square. He just decided to vacate a bad situation and followed her home. All the way home to her house a few miles away. She really liked him and would have kept him if not for her parents whom she also lived with.So there we were. I wanted him but knew my mom was done with dogs for a while. As the hours passed and the flickering light of day was fading, there were still no takers. It was getting late when Kevin Como, a real jerk, appeared and said he would take him. Well.....That wasn't gonna happen. There was no way I was letting the coolest dog ever (As I was soon to find out) live his life with such an A-hole.  I yelled " Hey! You said I could have him Kay. Don't you remember? I said I'd take him" So me and my new buddy took off and went to meet mom and dad. " Sorry Kevin."   The ride home was just getting to know my new friend and letting him know he could trust me. His girlfriend he followed home was now gone. On arriving home I was greeted at the front door by my dad. My dad was the coolest dad that there ever was. He loved my new sidekick and helped me out convincing my mom to give him a chance. He seemed to be a pretty cool dog so my mom said alright.    I was going to be leaving home soon and needed a traveling partner. I named him Orion like the constellation. The one I always seemed to look up at whenever I looked up. I tied a red bandanna around his neck and we were off. Inseparable friends till the end. After teaching him a few things I realized Orion was in need of a name change. Saying Orion was not as direct as Ryan . Dogs can really relate to that rrrrrrrrrh when teaching them rrrright from rrrrrong. Going back to Untermyer's was awesome with my new partner who would wind up to be one of the best Frisbee dogs on the planet. We would tire out a whole park full of disc slingers daily. But now it was time to go on my first big adventure. Leaving New York to go out west . I climbed into my 1st of many hippie vans with Kay Ho,Ryan and a good friend Frank D'Avanzo. We then departed Yonkers to seek our destinies.  We were so boldly gone.   SWOOSH.....away      FREEDOM ! FREEDOM ! FREEDOM !    Good bye New York     Hello whatever comes our way .            Stay thirsty my friends        Wizzzmo 

Drawing of the gazebo at Untermyer Park on the Hudson River
drawing by: Raymo Mancini 

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