Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back in the gym

Fly is back in his comfort zone.
After working at a bike and skateboard park in Brooklyn, Fly has moved to a gym at St. John's Center in Bedford Stuyvesant.
No more bikes. No more skateboards.
"I'm in the gym, where I belong," Fly says.
Fly, a seasonal employee for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, works at St. John's in the morning till the mid-afternoon when he clocks out.
"These are older guys here (at St. John's)," Fly says. "By the time the (younger) kids get here, I've gone back to my center."
That's the Brownsville Rec Center, the gym where Fly honed his skills as a youngster and now works with kids. He stays at Brownsville Rec Center till dark and goes home not far away. Then he starts a new day.
Fly says he just received a copy of The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle that details the tragic death of his former coach at Austin Peay, Lake Kelly, who died from complications of gallstone or kidney stone surgery.
"You realized it was 30 days after they retired my jersey?" Fly says. "It's unbelievable. Me and coach spent a lot of time together while I was in the hospital when I was sick (the week after his Feb. 5 jersey retirement). God brought us back together after all those years. Everything that happened like it did, it's unbelievable."

Below is some info about St. John's Center, courtesy of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation:

Troy Ave, Bergen St, Prospect Pl, Schenectady Ave


Acres: 8.98

This park and recreation center, located on Prospect Place between Troy Avenue and Schenectady Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, is named for Saint John, also known as John the Evangelist and Saint John the Divine. He was one of the first disciples called to follow Jesus and is traditionally known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” St. John is the presumed author of the fourth gospel of the New Testament and, by tradition, the Book of Revelation.

There are many legends surrounding the power and holiness of John. It is said that he was sentenced to death by immersion in a cauldron of boiling oil. He was lowered into the pot and, some time later, emerged miraculously unharmed, even rejuvenated, with his hands joined in prayer. After Peter, he is the apostle most responsible for the formation of the early church in Palestine and is the patron saint of Asia Minor.

The land that became St. John’s Park was acquired by the City in 1950. Plans were made shortly thereafter to eliminate the stretch of St. Mark’s Place that ran between Schenectady and Troy Avenues in order to create more parkland with the intention of eventually building a recreation center at the site. 

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