Derek Gentile: Shop local and do something nice — all year-round


PITTSFIELD >> A few nuggets from the memory bank today. But I promise, this will be a Trump-free zone.

• It's the holiday season, so shop locally. I often hang around Tune Street in Great Barrington (which keeps me off the street) and people often come in and tell the staff what a great store it is to browse. And one of the staffers would quietly tell me, "And if you don't buy something, we won't be here next year to greet you!" Good point. Try to support your local merchants.

• Shifting to sports, the recent death of the Celtics' Jim Loscutoff saddened me. "Jungle Jim" was best known for his physical play. As well he should have been. The NBA of the 1950s to the 1960s (and 1970s) was a rough league. Fans regularly fought with players, and Bill Sharman told a story of a game in Syracuse at which fans invaded the Celtics' huddle. Loscutoff ejected several.

But Jim was a great defensive rebounder and had a nice outside shot. You don't play on six NBA champions by just hitting people.

• There are about 6.2 million Muslims in America. More than 75 percent of them are American citizens. About 30 percent of them are white. Not the stereotype you see in the news. I have Muslim friends, and they're more patriotic than I.

• Everybody knows my leg story from a couple years back. So I'm a one-legged cowboy. But the good side of that was that since then, I've lost almost 100 pounds, from 310 to 212.

That's great and I feel wonderful, but there is a drawback. I gave away most of my old clothes a few years ago. But I could never get up the nerve to toss away the 20 or so XXL-sized boxer shorts I have. You know, waste not, want not.

They no longer fit, and a few months ago, after accidentally donning a pair, I was walking around work and my boxers had dropped to my knees. Weird feeling. I'm just wondering if there are any charities, like Underwear for Gorillas, or something, to which I can donate them.

• It's Christmas. You'll think of doing nice things all this month. But try to expand that, and be nice to everyone the rest of the year, too. Just a thought.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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