To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way
— As performed
by Frank Sinatra
Heartfelt thanks for the love and support shown to our family following the death of Mort Peskin. At the same time, please accept our condolences to all of you who loved and admired Mort as we always will.
I am proud to remind you again and again that Mort was not only a giant in our community, but my beloved uncle, which he once explained by saying, “I’m not saying I still wouldn’t have done it, but if I had known my nephew was going to turn out like this, yes, I would have at least thought twice about marrying into the family.”
Being Mort Peskin’s nephew is an honor and a privilege, and it’s been an absolute joy. Being Mort Peskin’s nephew means that I am a special person because my Uncle Mort made certain of it. He made all of us feel special every moment of our lives. He did everything to love us and to make us happy. He made sure we had the world at our feet.
Mort had a magic to him. He made you feel as though you were the only person who mattered.
And when you didn’t live up to his standards and expectations you paid the piper, and the piper’s name was Peskin, which was not pleasant but was necessary. It was always done, though, because of his love and support.
He is still known as Sonny to childhood friends and family. In my day he was “Mort the Sport”. To his two best pals in the world, his grandsons Ryan and Josh Marchini, he is simply “Sport”. And, oh, what a sport he was, in and out of the arena.
Mort was a champion diver, golfer and bridge player. He played tennis, and he loved fast cars. At least he loved making any car he was driving move as fast as it possibly could.
Riding with Mort was always an adventure, and not always the kind of adventure you were interested in pursuing. But he was never worried or concerned when he was behind the wheel. He knew what he was doing; it wasn’t his fault if the people around him didn’t.
One such incident occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike years ago, according to his niece Judy, when Mort was burning along at around, oh, 100 miles per hour.
Once the Pennsylvania state trooper was able to reach Mort and pull him over, he approached the car and said with a biting tone of sarcasm, “All right, let’s see the pilot’s license.” To which Mort produced ... a pilot’s license.
Mort, you see, was also an accomplished pilot, who, on occasion I have learned, was prone to fly under a bridge or two when the mood suited him.
The state trooper smiled a “You got me” grin and said, “No ticket. Just keep it close to the speed limit, at least?”
Mort had that way. In one moment you could strangle him; in the next moment you always ended up hugging him.
For instance, Mort was the most avid Baltimore Colts fan I ever knew and was present for the two most important games in NFL history, the 1958 championship game, still known as The Greatest Game Ever Played, and Super Bowl III.
Super Bowl III we won’t get into because it ended badly on all fronts and for all involved, particularly the parking garage attendant at the airport upon the Peskin party’s arrival home. Ask Judge Sharer if you don’t believe me. He was there.
As for the 1958 game in Yankee Stadium, Mort watched history unfold that day from the Colts sideline. Why on earth was he on the Colts sideline? Why he didn’t have a ticket to the game, of course. So he used some kind of county or state government law enforcement badge he was in possession of to not only get into the stadium, but onto the Colts sideline as well. He simply acted as though he belonged there, which is exactly why he did belong there.
These were just some of the adventures from the life and times of Mort Peskin that were being shared over the past week by hundreds of his friends and family members. As his daughter Laurie said, Mort didn’t have a bucket list; he didn’t need a bucket list. He wanted to do something, he did it. And if you were lucky enough to be with him, you were in for the time of your life.
The world became such a strange and different place last Monday morning — certainly it became a quieter place, and certainly it became an emptier place.
If you could bottle my Uncle Mort’s pride, his determination, his enthusiasm and his love, it could light up the world. Yet Mort did light up the world — our world and the world of so many others.
He was such a wonderful, positive and powerful force ... He was larger than life. One of a kind. I admired him so.
We feel sadness and we feel emptiness. And, yes, we’re surrounded by quiet now that he is gone. But we feel the richness of life in our family and in this community that my uncle Mort Peskin instilled in us and insisted we experience.
I love Mort Peskin. We all love Mort Peskin.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank him for loving all of us.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
To think I did all that
- Mike Burke - Sports
Fort Hill’s approach is all-inclusive
After Fort Hill opened everybody’s eyes last season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year (*1), it was a pretty sure bet that the Sentinels, given all of their returning resources, would be making a run for the state championship this year (*2).
What resource will the O’s allocate next?
In November 1993, Dan Duquette, then the general manager of the Montreal Expos, traded second baseman Delino DeShields to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a young pitcher by the name of Pedro Martinez. According to a story in last Sunday’s New York Times, upon completing the deal, Duquette, now general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, told Neal Huntington, then a member of the Expos front office and now the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, “This trade is going to be hated in Montreal.”
No month of Sundays this Friday
With Fort Hill comfortably in control Friday night in its eventual 46-7 1A West Region semifinal victory over Manchester Valley, and with score updates from the other semifinal pouring in from nearby Washington County, Greenway Avenue Stadium was abuzz, for the unthinkable was about to take place — Fort Hill was going to play Hancock.
Ty Johnson works hard, and makes it look easy
Any summer day you might go to Greenway Avenue Stadium to get a little exercise you are likely to see any number of high school athletes there working out — football players, soccer players, basketball players, any kind of player you might want to think of.
Think back, you know these guys
Just to prepare you for when you ask, “Who are those guys?” Tonight the guys dressed in blue and white playing Chestnut Ridge will be the Allegany Campers.
Is managing big enough in the Ripken big picture?
Cal Ripken Jr. says he has the itch to return to baseball, and most of Washington seems eager to scratch it for him by crowning him manager of the Nationals.
Had they not traded Kiner, who knows?
There are, in the words of our great friend J. Suter Kegg, “a lot of people walking around here with ‘P’ on their caps.”
Suter would have enjoyed the last two Octobers, although having been the founder and president of a nationally-recognized Yankees haters club in the 1950s (true story — he mailed out buttons to Yankee haters all over the country), he likely wouldn’t have been happy with the way October ended for the Orioles last year.
Passing swift once more as a summer storm
God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “The baseball season is at its end!”
Central Tech visits FH today
Fort Hill will welcome a new opponent to its schedule at a new game time, as the Sentinels play host to the Central Tech Falcons, of Erie, Pa., today, 5:30 p.m., at Greenway Avenue Stadium.
Keyser, FH in Greenway clash
Numbers-wise it may be a light high school football weekend, but weight-wise the match-ups are considerably heavy as the Keyser-Fort Hill game tonight, 7 o’clock, at Greenway Avenue Stadium highlights six area games this evening, with one more being played Saturday afternoon.
- More Mike Burke - Sports Headlines
- Fort Hill’s approach is all-inclusive