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"Barracuda in the Attic" is published by Fantagraphics Books.
"Barracuda in the Attic" is published by Fantagraphics Books.

Shooting pool with the doomed and going to the World Series on a school day

I admit I initially wondered why Milwaukee’s Kipp Friedman had written a memoir. But that’s before I really knew the slightest thing about him.

Thankfully, "Barracuda In the Attic: A Memoir by the Latest Member of a Comedic Dynasty," published in hardcover by Fantagraphics Books, makes it all quite clear.

Friedman, you see, is the son of Bruce Jay Friedman – a novelist, actor, screenwriter and playwright whose many credits include "Stir Crazy," "You’ve Got Mail," "Doctor Detroit," "Splash" and this year’s "Brazzaville Teen-Ager," which he co-wrote with Michael Cera.

As the scion of a successful, respected writer, Friedman – like me a New York ex-pat making a life in Brew City – lived the kind of life in the Big Apple that wasn’t really as open to the son of a cop, even if he did fingerprint David Berkowitz.

Friedman, at age 12, shot pool with with Crazy Joe Gallo at Jerry Orbach’s Greenwich Village brownstone just weeks before Gallo’s bloody demise at Umberto’s Clam House, an eatery from which my grandmother got – presumably by slipping it unseen into her purse – a ceramic ashtray that I prize.

Friedman dined at Elaine’s with his father. He knows that it’s worth pointing out that he recalls dining at table No. 4. But the real point is that he remembers the night that DeNiro, Pacino and Giannini strolled in. It was the same night Woody Allen dined with friends at the table adjacent to the Friedmans’. I can remember eating at a diner on the corner of 11th Street and 2nd Avenue a few times.

Above all and most importantly, Friedman’s dad took him to Game 3 of the 1969 World Series, at Shea ... ON A SCHOOL DAY!

Kipp Friedman is my hero.

He will appear at Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. to talk about and sign copies of "Barracuda In the Attic."

For the record, on Oct. 14, 1969, the Mets whooped the O’s, 5-0, to break the series tie. Gary Gentry allowed just three hits in notching the win and a young hurler named Nolan Ryan recorded the save.

Though the Mets made it to the series when I was a kid, in 1973, I didn't go. And they didn't win. And Ryan had already been dealt for Jim Fregosi.


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