Thursday, June 30, 2011

Loss of a legend

To say Wednesday was a sad day for the area would be a gross understatement.

On Wedesday the community lost one of its own -- Billy Costello.

I have to admit growing up I was not a huge fight fan so I didn't follow Billy's career. By the time I began working for the Freeman in 1988, Billy's best fights were probably behind me. That didn't stop me from hearing about the legend of Billy Costello.

He was a light welterweight champion that hit like a heavyweight I was told. I saw the photos of him in our file, the photo of him on the Freeman wall. He appeared larger than life.

In subsequent years I found out he was human, just like the rest of us, with all our faults and frailities. The biggest thing I learned about Billy Costello was how proud he was to be called a Kingstonian.

Billy Costello fought the courageous fight when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer last year. I remember when we tried talking to Billy about his cancer last year. He was more interested in talking about his fight card he was promoting. He told us his cancer was no big deal and he'd live at least another 20 years.

One year later the dreaded disease took one of Kingston's own far too soon.

RIP Billy Costello. You will surely be missed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teeing up for a good start

A belated job well done to Rondout Valley product Chris DeForest on his strong showing at this weekend's US Open.

It's difficult enough to qualify for the Open, let alone make the cut. DeForest missed the cut by just one stroke. I'm sure he's already replayed his two rounds in his mind about a hundred times, thinking about the one shot here or there that denied him the opportunity to play the weekend.

But the Open was the first in what could be a long list of pro golf tournaments the Cottekill resident played and he deserves a huge ataboy for getting this far.

Here's hoping we all get the chance to see an area athlete compete on the professional national stage for years to come.