Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Origin of HammerBoy

A friend of mine asked where the nickname "HammerBoy" came from.

Here's the tale:

Blizzard of 1996: Echelon Village Apartments, Voorhees, NJ

Yeah, we'd been drinking a bit [Coors Light or Samuel Adams, most likely] and were pretty cabin-fevered by the second day, paralyzed as we were by 30" of snow and car consuming drifts. The stereo from the apartment below us was coming through the floor pretty strongly; and nothing that I'd want to listen to. Something in my noggin led me to believe that my new neighbor was a slight but tall Jewish kid. I was feeling pretty badass at the moment [I won't go into why, exactly] and reached into my toolbox for a rubber mallet that I used for "bike repair."

I figured I'd go down stairs to teach Mr. Schwartzengoldenbergenmeyer a little lesson in neighborliness.

The Mr. S that I expected, did NOT answer the door. I was instead greeted by an eclipse of a man; as tall and as wide as the door and dark as a moonless night.

"Is something wrong?" he asked as I snuck my arm behind my back, quick as lighting.
"Is the stereo too loud?" he inquired with a sweetness of tone and genuine politeness that frankly, scared the shit out of me.
"I'll turn it down," he apologized, then introduced himself and his girlfriend to me. I struggled to stash the mallet into the back of my sweatshirt [I'm pretty sure she saw, however] as I extended my hand. A hand which barely encircled 40% of his paw.

I found out that next week that my neighbor was George Hegamin; Offensive Lineman for the despised Dallas CowGirls, but a native of Camden, NJ: 6'7" / 330 lbs. He had moved back into the area to take care of his family.

A few years later, he would play for the Eagles. D'Wife enquired on more than one occasion [and always with a smirk] "Hey, HammerBoy! Go ask him for some tickets. If he won't give them to you; fuck him up with your little mallet."

This was not the first football player to rent in our development. Mark McMillian [DB] and Vaughn Hebron [RB] lived there as well in the early. I would play basketball with them at the courts nearby - 3 guys; 2 black, one white; average height: 5'7"; average income: millions.

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