For twenty three years, I sat courtside at the old Boston Garden as photographer for the Boston Celtics.

I'm in the process of creating a book about my experiences in the Garden (working title - Boston Garden: From Where I Sat)

See a large selection of my classic NBA photos and more Click Here

Monday, January 16, 2017

Leroy Neiman

My Mother’s Christmas cookies became the unofficial official cookies of the Boston Celtics.

My Mom was famous for her Christmas butter cookies.

Baba, me, my sister Anna and my Mother, Mary

As kids, my sister Anna and I would help to make them and we would deliver lots of tins of cookies to friends and family.

When I started with the Celtics, there was a small office staff and I thought that it would be nice to bring everyone a box of my Mother’s cookies.

After a season or two, I decided that it would be nice if the players could have some of my Mom's cookies. The front office had grown considerably, as well, and I had no appreciation of how many hours my Mom spent baking until I took over cookie production when she became ill.

Come Christmas time, the game was incidental to the Celtics staff's anticipation of my Mother's cookies.

Cedric Maxwell would eat a whole box in what seems like moments. All these years later, the first thing that he’ll ask me when he sees me is "Where are your Mom’s cookies?".

I had the opportunity to spend some time with the artist, Leroy Neiman in Boston and in his New York studio when he was working on a portrait of Larry Bird for Larry’s retirement. I was helping with photographs for him to use as reference.

Leroy Neiman and Me

We kept in touch afterward, and one day, I facetiously mentioned to him that I’d like him to do a label for my Mother’s Christmas cookies. He asked me for photos of my Mom.

My mother was very ill at the time with what was to be her final illness.

One day a package arrived. Leroy had sent me a beautiful watercolor of my Mother with a note, almost apologetically stating that this was not his usual style, but he had done something like this for his own Mother and hoped that I would like it.

I framed and presented the picture to my mother and later, did put it on her cookie boxes. I sent Leroy Mary Lipofsky's cookies for years as a royalty.

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