Remembering Queens pals, heroes on holidays
December 28, 2006

By Denis Hamill
NY Daily News Columnist

I had all my holiday cards made out, signed, sealed, stamped and ready to be mailed and then I just got swallowed by parties, shopping and bills.

And here I am with a stack of unmailed cards, like every year.

On top of the list is one to the New York Mets. No other organization in the borough of Queens brought more joy home. This year I watched one kid who lost his father in January sink into a deep funk and then blossom back to life in the spring when he started to watch the Mets with his Cardozo High pal, Tommy.

Here's another card for Joan Wettingfeld, who writes a wonderful history column for the Bayside Times. No one brings Queens' past to life better than Joan.

And here's another one for Frank Skala, who still fights the good fight.

Here's one hoping the family of Todd Upton finds peace in 2007 after he was shot to death on the Cross Island Parkway by a nutjob named Matthew Colletta who drove around Queens firing at people in red cars.

Here's one for Tom Murphy, author of "Reclaiming the Sky," about the men and women of the airline industry that bravely took us back into the air from JFK and LaGuardia after Sept. 11, 2001. Murphy and Queens-born Mary McKenna, a 30-year veteran flight attendant for American Airlines, and a licensed psychotherapist helped many of the "walking wounded" of their industry find their wings again after dear friends died on 9/11 and on Flight 587 in Rockaway.

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