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Long IslandLI Life

'69 Mets: Don Lewis

Don Lewis played banjo in the Smith Street

Don Lewis played banjo in the Smith Street Society, which led the Mets ticket tape parade down Broadway in 1969. Photo Credit: Photo by Richard Slattery

Don Lewis, 66, Inwood. Retired sign painter, actor, musician. When his band gave the Mets a musical send-off on their way to the World Series, they never thought the team of young unknowns and veteran nobodies stood a chance against the mighty Baltimore Orioles.

"We all laughed because how did these guys ever win a game? They went away and we forgot about them, and lo and behold.

"A few weeks later, the band was serenading the Mets again — this time leading the ticker tape parade after the Amazin’s beat Baltimore in five games.

"We were actually late because we couldn’t get down the street because of the crowds, so they actually held up the parade for us.
“It was a frighteningly large crowd in 1969 . . . The din of the crowd, it raised the hair on the back of your head. I was having a ball . . . It was the thrill of my life.”

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