DelBloggolo

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ALL THAT BEER…

And not a drop to drink!

We arrived early for the southeast regional conference of the board of governors for NYSARC, Inc. It being the preliminary meeting for the annual fall convention, we looked for bathrooms and coffee first, then decided to work the building, exploring.

My two fellow board members, Jim and Ken, had driven up with me to Suffern, NY for the meeting, and after my driving, I figure Jim, who sat up front, will have nightmares for a while.

Anyway, as we walked by the hiking and mountain climbing exhibit that was setting up, we walked further and what do we find? An exhibition on beer bottling! All kinds of beer cans, and bottles were being set up for display. The display dating back to the early part of the last century included both domestic and international brews. Tap handles, coasters and openers were all on display. All that but no beer to drink!

As we perused the displays, we came to a room off the side of the display area, where the curtain was drawn back, and one could see beer bottles of all kinds lined up on the sill, and a table behind the glass window. In the room also stood a bed, and a chair with a woman reading a newspaper in the chair. I looked at Ken and asked: I wonder what she is selling? Ken of course, cracked up.

But to finish our day, as we viewed the exhibit, I called out to Jim that he needed to conduct an emergency spelling class, since he is a retired high school English teacher. Both Ken and I spotted a box with bottles on the floor, the box labeled: “Domestic and Faraen”! I guess spelling was foreign, or is that faraen?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

STOP THE CLOCK!


As I drove down Main Street in Patchogue, I came to the corner of Grove Avenue and East Main Street. There on the corner is a monument to all my hard work, dedication and dreams of becoming an artist and designer, as a young fellow. It sits in the form of an old factory that has helped more than one member of the family.

The building is in great disrepair, breaking my heart and soul, and leaving me in greater need of renovation. The great glass block windows and red brick, which made up the building, were going to seed, as they say. Large plywood panels covered the windows, the doors were seal tight, and all the memories that I had growing up into adulthood were behind those doors.

As I drove I looked at the small step like border that surrounded the building. It is on that long step that many a philosopher sat, on his lunch hour or coffee break, extolling the virtues of this country in one hand, and tearing it apart in the other. I can still remember the bus stop, on the corner, the ladies getting off the bus for their jobs, and later on boarding it heir homes.

When I turned the corner on which the old factory stands, a landmark as much as the old lace mill on the west end, and the old Rialto theatre on South Ocean Avenue. I see the narrow and long entrance where Reich Brothers, the local trucking outfit sent their 18 wheelers to load up the days shipments to the various terminals where they connected with Sears Roebuck and delivered the play clothing that the old Factory, Rollic, Inc., made its living.

I wondered how they could let the demise of this great landmark of so many souls continue. To me this building was a schoolhouse for life, a teaching and proving grounds for adulthood. The lessons learned were harsh, but to the point: “Get an education!” The pay was minimum wage, but the payoff of lessons learned was big! No diploma could match the invisible sheepskin I received at Rollic.

To this day, retired, I still have this small fear in the back of my mind that makes me think: I better stay on top of my game, because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in Rollic!

Monday, September 28, 2009

RULE #1


There are to be no rules!

It seems that there are little worlds for me to live in, in which little dramas unfold.
For instance: this morning I went for my usual roll and coffee, and as I was leaving the building, an SUV pulled into the furthest parking space in the parking lot. This has been going on for a while, and it is the same thing every morning. Same SUV, same space, but the young lady who is driving it, never gets out of the SUV! Same lady, every morning, same space, far away from everyone else, she waits.

I pulled out of the parking lot, curious, but not too concerned thinking about it, and come to a red traffic light. In front of me sits a black pickup truck, sitting under the light, waiting for it to change. It has a noisy idling engine, and you can tell something is about to happen.

Suddenly there is a loud noise, the truck in front of me bolts forward, engine roaring, and makes a sharp left turn, with the red light not changing! Awakened out of my morning stupor, the shock and noise, I realize: the lady in the parking lot I just left, is cheating! She is meeting someone on the sly!

Tsk, tsk, tsk!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SORRY SISTER

I’m sure you’ve read the news. The Vatican is launching an apostolic visitation upon the good sisters of the good old US of A! Yes, the US Nuns face a Vatican probe! Apparently, Bishop Murphy agrees there should be some kind of investigation. He has “No problem with it.” Claiming it is a very positive move. All this was reported in Newsday back on September 20th.

The Vatican is concerned about the sisters' prayer lives, declining numbers, and "fidelity to the Church's teachings," along with other issues. It claims the inquiry will be a positive experience for the good sisters, and with the exception of cloistered nuns, all 59,000 sisters in the United States are subject to the probe, which does not include nuns in any other country.

"Some American bishops and other players in the church have long been concerned about what they see as a climate of dissent," said John Allen, Rome correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter.

Excuse me but…

Are these women becoming too uppity? Do they think they can have the right to help the poor, educate themselves, run hospitals; minister to unwed mothers and save the Catholic Church from crumbling into small pieces, because the priests are under investigation? They may even try to take a page out of Bishop Murphy’s book, and ignore the investigation, deny it all and hope it goes away!

Maybe, just maybe, the Bishop is a little annoyed that the nuns look better in a dress than he does.

Listen: I’m going to hell anyway.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SORRY, HE’S ALL TIED UP RIGHT NOW!


When he was born, he tumbled out of the birth canal, and made a mad dash for the furniture. Whenever I hear his name invoked, I think of mayhem and cruelty to humans! He was without a doubt, a terror. The adults of the family were years ahead in their concept of: "terror alert”!

He was born of immigrant parents who came to this country in the early to mid fifties, and if they left a legacy, it was one of sheer edginess!

The father was an Italian dandy, slick black hair, thin chiseled features and a smooth continental air. He spoke in flowery Italian, Alto Italian, and dressed to the nines, as they say. (Whatever the hell that really means), mostly in turtle necks and pointy shoes. He was thin and very handsome, but could not speak a word of English. (That fact alone let me to a happy time, of which I will write on another blogue.)

He returned to Italy for his bride, and together they set up housekeeping USA on Fulton Street, Brooklyn, upstairs from my Grandmother. His wife was a sweet woman, who did not deserve her children or her husband, but figured it was the surest way to Heaven.

The child, the oldest, was named Ollie, a handsome child, who borrowed his looks from his mother, a real beauty, and his father’s coloring and hair. The dark almond eyes, looked out in innocence, the Italian sharp and clear, the speed in which he moved could only be measured on a radar gun!

Ollie often came downstairs to visit with my Grandfather, who could not speak much English, either. But Grandpa was smart, and decided after purchasing a brand new contraption called a TV, to learn English with it. And what shows did he choose? He chooses children’s programming, explaining he was a child in English.

Running around in the hallway, climbing on the table and chairs, screaming in Italian, knocking over things, it was a full day for Ollie. Often, when left alone with Grandpa, he would have to be tracked down and explained to in Italian that he was not long for this world if he kept it up!

Often I would walk over to Fulton Street, and there sat Grandpa with his legs crossed, tired and grumpy, and next to him sat Ollie, tied to a chair with a kitchen dish towel around his waist, being forced to learn English, while “settling him down” and giving poor grandpa a break.

Ollie went on to the business world, but when Grandpa died in 1956, they believe that he still had a twitch from living with Ollie; that could be detected, even in his grave!

Friday, September 25, 2009

JOHN PAUL JOES

Leave the ‘N’ off for Nuts!

It was the perfect day! I stepped outside to retrieve the newspaper, and thought to myself: “I should really call in sick!” Then I realized I was retired, so I just smiled to myself and had a cup of coffee!

Being in a light-hearted mood, I began to do strange things, like clean the house, and make the dinner early. It was scaring the hell out of me! Suddenly the phone rang. Looking at the caller I.D., it said “Anonymous”! I debated answering the call, but did anyway.

On the other end of the call was my saintly brother-in-law, Don. St. Don of East Setauket was calling to ask if I would be interested in coming on down to the pier and jumping in his boat for a ride around Long Island’s bay. Don is married to my youngest sister Joanne, or Sis #4, thus he has earned, and I mean EARNED the title ‘Saint’!

After some quiet debate on going on the boat on a beautiful day, (it took nano seconds), I won the debate and met him at his boat.

The man is not only a saint, he is a real Admiral Nelson, navigating the channels and shallow canals of Great South Bay, as he deftly moved under the beautiful sky blue and sun drenched day into the open waters. I assumed the title of John Paul Joes, the admiral of the bathtub, manning (bravely I might add) a bottle of cold Heineken, which I guarded with my life.

It was the most outrages boat ride I have ever taken. Serene and just making me feel wonderful, sitting in the boat, the sea breezes, the beer, the sense of freedom just took over. Saint Don, piloting the ship of bliss, and I had a great time. I kept thinking of all those poor people that were locked up in an office or factory, and I wasn’t!

We visited all his nautical haunts, commenting on the particulars of the places we visited, my reminiscences of the past, as I recall those places, only added to the best possible way to spend life on earth!

Don is a great guy to know; that he is my brother-in-law makes him very special.

Thanks Don!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

IT’S GETTING WORST!

The whole world is turning upside down!

Yes, my old age is quickly creeping up on me! Why is it that old age is the only thing that moves quickly when you get old? That and the time seem to be the only things that don’t slow down.

I was on the Internet the other day and noticed something that is becoming prevalent. It seems that these young website designers are going toward 5 point type in a light grey! Maybe the younger kids can read it, but us older kids need a break! Make it black and readable for crying out loud! It is always a mistake young designers make, they go pretty, rather than functional, and readability is important.

Another issue is whenever I buy a new product that has instructions; there is always something missing. For instance, I purchased a new phone, and went on line to activate it. Both in the printed instructions and on line they say there is a serial number in the battery chamber that starts with “ESN” or “MEID DEC”, neither of which were present! By digging around on the website, I found that I needed to use the phone and call a number that gave me the ESN numbers!

Why, oh why, do they put the dosage instructions on the over the counter headache or pain medication, deep into a whole liturgy of information I don’t care about? To top it off, the website designer is freelancing with the pharmaceutical company and putting the dosage in 4 ½ point type. By the time you read how much to take, you are either dead or the headache is gone!

I don’t mean to sound cranky but…

They are forever moving too slowly off a light, when I’m behind them. Who are “they?” “They” are those knucklehead drivers, both men and women who take forever to accelerate when the light turns green. By the time I get to the light, you guessed it; it is red. So is my language.

I get on a highway and what happens, I get locked in between a nursery truck and a horse carrier, in front and back of me, while I get the speed up to pull out into the passing lane fast enough.

And finally, why is it always more obvious in spellcheck?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BE ITALIAN, OR JUST DANCE LIKE ONE!

Vieni a ballare, o altro!

Years ago, when I was a young pup, I worked for an ad agency that had the Barbizon School of Modeling for a client. We wrote a headline for its’ catalogue and ads that read: “BE A MODEL, OR JUST LOOK LIKE ONE!”

As Columbus Day approaches, I volunteered to sign up people for the ‘Italian’ dance held at the church. All the coordinator asked is that I show up at one or two masses, sign up list in hand and perhaps help set up the dance the night it is scheduled.

Of course, nothing I do should be ho-hum, so I started to plot a way to call attention to myself and sell a lot of tickets, after all, my feeling is either pray, or get off the kneeler, if you know what I mean. So, what came to mind but that great headline: “BE A MODEL, OR JUST LOOK LIKE ONE!” Except, I would substitute the word ‘Italian’ for ‘Model.’ Then I decided that ‘Look’ wasn’t right, I needed to make it more original and choose ‘Dance’ instead.

Then I would need to look Italian. I have a couple of hats that signify the Italian bent. One is the baseball cap #1 Son gave me, with the “I” on it for the Italian World Cup baseball team. When I wear it, people ask: “What does the ‘I’ stand for?” I like to tell them that it is short for ‘Me’. I have a few that come from various ‘Little Italy communities’ from around the country, Like the two in New York, the one in Boston and Philadelphia. Those hats say: “Italia” and I would place it on the table, next to my flag, and that would give the parishioners an idea.

Of course, I have my Italian flag, it is a small desktop type, and I could bring that, all to help me sell the tickets.

But I need more than flags and hats and banners. I need to say ‘Dance” in plain old English! I could draw a picture of a couple doing the Tarantella, or a hit man stomping on someone’s head with a caption, “Don’t miss our dance-or else.”

Mom will be so proud of me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ST. JOSEPH, THE ALTAR BOY


The church was small and dimly lit, the smell of wax and wine prevailing, with a little mustiness to accentuate the venue. St Joseph the Worker church was a small old place, which served as a summer missionary church for many years. The priest traveled by horseback to say the Sunday mass for a handful of worshipers at the turn of the century, well into the 1950’s.

Now a young and thriving parish with the inclusion of many new homes that were built, accommodating a growing influx from New York City, Queens and Brooklyn, St. Joseph the Worker was on the move. Predominately an Irish and Italian American parish, the little church, situated on Montauk Highway was the centerpiece of the Catholic community.

It was there, in East Patchogue, or Hagerman, depending on what you wanted to call it, that I started to make a real mark on the world. My buddy, Jerry Murray was an altar boy, and invited me to join the small group of altar servers. On a spring Sunday morning, Mom had invited all my aunts and uncles, and my grandmother from Brooklyn to come out and join in on my first mass as an altar boy.

Being an altar boy was a big deal in Mom’s eyes. Having studied the card that had all the Latin I would need to know, memorized, I was ready to serve. After a few months of service, I think Mom came to believe, maybe if this nut case is serving; it isn’t such a big deal. Mom prayed that I would become a priest, and be swallowed up by the diocese, never to be heard from again, until my ordination, and final election as a Pope!

Being how the altar boys were just a handful, the priest had no choice but to let me serve, and became even more prayerful. I gave him reason to pray.

On that faith-filled Sunday morning, the altar was stocked with two old pro altar boys, and two new for the first time, making their debut’s as God’s attempted reclamation of two possible wayward souls, altar boys. From that Sunday onward, the solemnity of the title; “altar boy” somehow lost it’s luster.

Whenever I was assigned a mass, it was with another altar boy. Usually you did one of two things as a responsibility. You either rang the bells, or you assisted the priest with the paten or communion plate. I always wanted the plate. Why? Glad you asked. With the plate, I could: stick it into someone’s Adam’s apple if I didn’t particularly like them, tease a girl by raising the plate under her chin, seeing if I could make her stand a little, or if I liked her, rub the plate under her chin, softly almost teasingly!

When I had the bells, I had the power! Yes, ring the bells and people stood, knelt, or if you wore a white coat and had a truck, bought ice cream! When I rang the bells, I would try to make the other altar boy laugh by mouthing the words: “Ice cream.”

I was once almost thrown off the altar boys because of my marketing skills! After Sunday mass, we would sell the tablet outside the main entrance of the church. As the congregation left the portals of God’s house, we would hold a bunch of Catholic newspapers called the Tablet and call out: “Tablet.”

One Sunday I felt a little stupid calling out: “Tablet”, and since the church was changing over to the vernacular, I thought I’d get a little more enterprising.

“Tablet, read all about it, Pope changing his religion!”

It was true, I sold all my papers, and when I returned to the sacristy, the priest was waiting for me.

“Joseph, please refrain from salesmanship, and just sell the paper, or you will be reading about your own change of religion! DO I MAKE MYSELF, CLEAR?”

Monday, September 21, 2009

SHE MAY BE DOPEY, BUT SHE’S MY DOPEY!



The other day I was reading a book (no, no one was helping with the words!) As I sat reading, a sudden low rumble began to generate near my patio door. Being engrossed as I was, I was making notes for my next novel; I didn’t pay any attention to the noise.

The noise began to grow louder, and I realized that Happy, my cocker spaniel was making the noise. I knew she didn’t hear anything, because she is deaf. She could use a hearing aid, as opposed to me who needs a hairing aid. Looking up, I see that she is facing the door, towards the pool! I figured it was a squirrel near the fence, and went back to my book.

Suddenly, Happy became agitated, and started barking loudly, while looking at me to see what was wrong.

Me: “What’s the matter Lassie, did that stupid kid Timmy fall in the well again?”

I get up and look out toward the pool. No animals in sight, but there is a big yellow foil balloon floating around the pool. The wind is gently moving the thing from one end of the pool to the other. As it floated it spun around, and a happy face is printed on one side. Whenever the face appeared, Happy went into a rage!

When Happy was younger, a similar event occurred. I was in my studio one day, and someone had given me a large 30” x 40” poster of a clown’s face, in color on a very shiny expensive stock. When Happy saw the poster of the clown’s face, she high tailed it out of there, so fast, I wished we had named her ‘Flash’!

Happy is happy when she is not shown anything happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WHEN WE’RE NO BETTER THAN ANIMALS

It deeply bothers me that a defenseless person like Annie Le was murdered. Why? How can one rationalize murder of any kind? I’m not talking self-defense, but murder. It is the worst of all crimes one can commit, be it of one or many individuals.

Raymond Clark III; makes me wonder about Raymond Clark I and Raymond Clark II. If they are still alive, how do they feel about their name being forever linked with scum? If they have any love for Raymond Clark III, how can they? How do read their name, or hear it out loud, and not suffer from revulsion?

Annie Le was doing something for mankind. She was making a better world through her research; she was helping scum like Raymond Clark III have a better world. When someone deliberately kills someone, they murder, but they also commit the crime against the whole world.

A beautiful young woman was planning a future, a day of happiness that was turned into ugliness by a coward, who chose to kill her in secrecy, and protect his coward hide from detection. People like Raymond Clark III are usually sick, or they are just plain ugly of spirit. The problem is if they are sick, how come they can rationalize their acts? How do they put all that in prospective?

Somehow, I get a sense that we are all like Raymond Clark the III. I was taking my daily constitutional today, when a young man in a SUV ran a stop sign, and careened around the corner. He must have felt empowered by the size of his vehicle, his baseball cap was turned around on his head, and when I looked at him, he didn’t care. If a small child had been stepping off the curb at that moment, he would have seriously injured or killed that child. This is in a very quiet residential neighborhood! He would have been arrested, maybe I would have killed him, and he would suddenly learn that stop signs and speed limits have a noble purpose, to protect lives. Had he killed a child, would he be any better than Raymond Clark III, any less responsible?

Oh, the weeping and wailing that would come from that young man, when it is too late. It is funny how we sometimes choose to learn our lessons.

Annie Le is now dead, her young life snuffed out by a murderer, it was no accident. That young driver would be charged with manslaughter; too, it would be no accident either. He knows the rules of the road, and he knows what that vehicle can do to someone.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

PEEKABOO, I SEE YOU!

Being among other things, I am also hearing impaired. This is political correctness for deaf! But I am not politically correct, so I’m deaf. I SAID I’M DEAF!

For a little while now, I’ve been looking for some kind of help in hearing the dialogue on the TV. It seems the marble industry is doing a big business with actors and commentators, who are stuffing the marbles in their mouths because marbles taste so good. Coupled with the overpowering background music that obliterates the dialogue, I can’t understand a word they say sometimes. I SAID: I CAN’T UNDERSTAND A WORD THEY SAY!

Anyway, I found this thing called: “TV EARS” that you put on your ears and it helps you to disagree with the commentators. Now it seems I have more reasons to make fun of Larry King! I found TV EARS in my hearing aid store, where it is prominently displayed. I was told you could purchase it on the Internet.

TLW (The Little Woman), and the lover of my life, promptly went on the Internet to find it, and sure enough found a place, locally that sold them. She is of the opinion that if she doesn’t do it; probably it will be done later. Writing down the address, I set my GPS and start out.

As I cruise along Carlton Avenue, the lady in the box, A.K.A. ‘The bitch in the box’ informs me to turn at Bishop McGann Drive. I turn as instructed (it is a woman’s voice, after all) and drive through the parking lot, where the GPS announces that I should now get back on Carlton Avenue! Huh? Or is that Huh!

I get back on the road and the GPS starts yelling at me (it is a woman’s voice, after all) and directs me to make a u-turn, after each and every intersection I come to! My thinking is that there is another address down the road that is similar, and I will find it. NO SUCH LUCK! I said: NO SUCH LUCK! I turn around and head back, now the GPS is telling me that it is on my right, directly across the street from Bishop Mc Gann Drive!

I can’t find the building, and I know it is a large building because there is a suite number, 3900. I decide to go home, and drive off. Being very smart, (after all, I married TLW) I pull over and call the place. (Two things here; 1) I practiced traffic safety by pulling over, and B) TLW told me to take down the phone number “Just in case.”)

The Place: “Hello, The Place You Are Looking For:”
Me: “Yes, where are you located?
The Place: “#20 Carlton Avenue.”
Me: Well, I can’t find you”
The Place: “Well, where are you?”
Me: “Right here.”
The Place: ?????
Me: Is there a land mark you can give me to find it?”
The Place: There is a little sign on the lawn that states: “Bagels and sandwiches at the Deli. You turn there at Hoppins Avenue, make an immediate left turn into the parking lot.”

The place is behind four or five story tall trees, that completely obscure the view from the road! I find the Hoppins road on my GPS, who all along is now yelling: “Recalculating, make a u-turn, I SAID; RECALCULATING, MAKE A U-TURN!”

Me: “Very funny! TLW is right, you are a bitch!”

I said: "VERY FUN..." ah, never mind.

Friday, September 18, 2009

OHHH, THE SAD FACES!

The swagger has gone the way of the lazy summer days, or is that daze? No longer do I hear the idle chatter of happy voices, the enthusiastic cadence of running feet! By 8:00 AM, the streets are void of music, bicycles and bouncing balls. The children are all back in school☺

As I drive to my daily roll with coffee, they gather like sparrows migrating to the south for the fall, gathering one by one as they do, but instead they wait. Soon the big yellow monster will come to collect them, and collectively, they will sing the strains of: reading, ‘ritin’ and ‘ritmetic. Playtime is over!

Somewhere out there, a game is left unfinished, a sandcastle on a beach is left to disintegrate into the vast ocean, and life is back to reality. Behind closed doors, mothers are smiling once again; plans are being made to eradicate the last reminders of summer, and maternal peace has descended upon Mamma!

As I drive, I notice the little faces, funereal in pose, looking downward, as they poke with their little feet, the ground that holds and binds them for the yellow monster. Backpacks are securely affixed to their backs, they are laddened with books and lunch and the writing implements they will need to free them someday to share in their mother’s joy!

All across this land, yellow buses traverse the highways and by-ways of America, depositing their cargos and once again, another school year has begun!

NOW EVERYONE SING ALONG!

School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate, "I love you, Joe"
When we were a couple of kids

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ALL THE CHILDREN

In a cemetery on Long Island is a child’s gravestone that reads: “Let the children come unto me.” It was engraved about 29 years ago, and the wording is from the New Testament. It has become a rallying point to which I base my life on, all children, no matter what denomination, color, origin, or age. It only matters to me that they are in need.

I know that the world, and God himself do indeed work in strange ways. There are children that need medical help, emotional help, and even financial help, that go un-noticed, who lack care and are in need of our concerns. One of the greatest human beings, Danny Thomas, built a hospital in honor of St. Jude, for children, and that hospital has been answering prayers through the years. Thomas claims that he prayed for help and vowed that if his prayer were answered, he would build that hospital. But where are the rest of us going with our lives? How do we fill the real void that exists out there for children? Who will pick up the pieces of a shattered life of an abused child? Who can feed one before he learns to steal and perhaps hurt in order to survive? Which one of us is willing to grasp the hand of an emotionally bereft child, and lead him out of the darkness? How will we reclaim the lives of those parents in despair, who watch the dreams they had for their child, a child with mental disabilities who can’t even walk or see or speak?

Let us look for a moment at the children that are put up for adoption, because the mother could not for whatever reason, keep her child. Her sacrifice goes unheralded: sometimes she is even condemned. But what she did was for the good of the child. The hope that she has is for her child’s happiness, so she does the most painful thing a mother can do. Don’t condemn her, don’t pity her, just realize that she gave her child priority. She gave her child a fighting chance!

There are parents out there that desperately fight for their children, advocate for a child that has broken promise because of an illness or deformity, or emotional deprivation. Yet, these parents stand up and deal everyday with those issues, providing love and support. What do they ask for? They ask for our help, they plead the case of the outnumbered; the out gunned, the underfinanced, so that they can help their children have a normal life. They don’t demand, they don’t call for entitlements, and they don’t complain about their problems. They come in all the colors of the rainbow, all the sects we proclaim in God’s name, and even those without His mention.

There is a woman I am very proud of, who today being her birthday: twice suffered a nightmare, and: no one could imagine it. She and her husband have lifted the darkness of losing two children, and bring light into the lives of other children. They teach children, and give them purpose for the lives of these innocents. They also bring comfort to others and joy when they are present. They did not close themselves off, but rallied like the heroes that they are.

This blogue is written for Joseph, Brandon, Thomas, Sam, Seth, Ava, and all the children that had or have the love of their parents, and for all those children that have nothing but pain and abuse, and hopelessness.

Pray for all the children.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IT’S A WHIRLWIND!

The distant background noise intruded with my dreaming, turning a pleasant dream event into a shocking awakening! The bedroom door was closed, but the shade was up, and what sounded like a tornado was in question. The sun was shining, there was no immediate danger of a storm, and so what could the noise be? Was the foundation to my house coming undone? Was there some horrible disaster at the local airport, or a gas main explosion? Had the terrorist struck Holbrook, Long Island?

Rolling over to the side of the bed, I dropped both feet onto the rug and listened. The hour on the digital clock read 6:32 am! TLW (The Little Woman) was nowhere in sight. Slowly I walked to the bedroom door and opened it. Looking about, I noticed the downstairs lights were all on. Then I saw it! TLW was cleaning! God! 6:32 am and she’s cleaning the garage, no less!

One cannot actual see TLW when in the state of cleaning, what one sees is a small tornado shape in a robe, as it runs over territory a few inches over the ground. Unlike a tornado, instead of devastation, there lies neatness and garbage in big black plastic bags! The hunt for order and neatness in TLW’s life was now in progress! Soon the weather channel would be reporting seeing her in the basement, as she lays neatness over all #1 and #2 Sons memorabilia. Then the storm would make an abrupt right turn and overrun my stuff.

Overcome by the ferocity of gale force winds, I retreated into the bedroom, and slid under the bed to wait out the storm. After a half hour, my coffee fix and kidneys were starting to make a statement. I crawled out from under the bed, and sucking it in, headed down the stairs. Step by step I went, down into the jaws of TLW’s tornado. Not knowing what the day would bring, I got my coffee and picked up a newspaper and leaned back in my easy chair. Ah! Made it!

“JOE!”
“Darn, Yes dear?”
“Would you comer over here and give me a hand?”

As I rise from my comfortable position, the stupid dog wants to go out! Holding my coffee, I let the dog out, run to the treat jar, and poke my nose into the basement where hurricane TLW is now located, and ask: “What?”

Would you take all the stuff I piled on the steps and put it in the hall?”
“If I don’t?”
“Then I won’t be able to get up the stairs!”
I consider that for a brief happy moment.

I run to the back door to let me stupid dog back in, toss her a treat, spill my coffee on my chest, and start evacuating TLW.

The process takes forever, since she was allowed to clean by herself, she has cleaned up our lives, once again!

My advice to all husbands: If you hear a noise in bed, put the pillow over your ears and stay there until the season changes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MAKING OLD ACQUAINTENCES!

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of seeing for the first time in over 30years, some of my old high school classmates! I saw faces that I remember fondly, of people that were always friendly and courteous and I felt welcomed.

It’s funny how we forget, and then like a bolt of lightning, it hits us about who this or that person is. I was impressed and grateful that we have gotten better. I am spearheading a committee to reunite our class after 45 years, and I wonder to myself what I got myself into. Then I see the wonderful potential for good times with good people, and I’m glad I’m doing it!

There is some pain in the process. So far, out of 160 classmates, about 13 have passed on! This is very disturbing to me, and it had me up all night!

When I think about today, how the high schools have installed metal detectors, and police or guards on the grounds, I realize how great our generation was. Never was there a gang war, or a rape or murder, just plain kids doing what kids did to have fun, make a little mischief, and learn to like, and yes, even love each other.

We dressed well, kept our underwear out of sight, and our pants up. Our shoes were always tied, and when we wore a baseball cap, the peak was squarely on, with a little bow to it. Today, the shoes are untied, the pants hang at the hips and the underwear is all hanging out! I would have died if anyone saw my underwear, especially a girl!

I saw one gal recently who had what I thought was a very colorful blouse. It had rich colors and bold designs, but when I got closer, it hit me. IT WAS A GIANT TATOO ON HER CHEST! That’s right, her chest was a big tattoo!

I have to wonder who dressed her, let alone let her out with money to buy that tattoo?

Give me the good old days, the wonderful women I met recently for the first time in 30 or some cases 45 years, and the sanity that there was. Not one ‘F’ bomb was dropped!

Monday, September 14, 2009

MULTI-MESS!


This morning I went to my deli for my usual coffee and roll, and as I was entering the store, I noticed a sign on the window. The sign was hand lettered and stated:
“MALTI POO PUPPIES INQUIRE WITHIN”

Not being a dog expert, I was intrigued and entered the deli. I poured my coffee, went to the counter and selected a buttered roll and a ‘young fella’ was at the counter. A nice kid, wearing a black Yankee baseball cap for style, started to ring up the sale.

Me: “I have a question for you.”

“Sure, go ahead, shoot” (Probably thinking: “Now what does this old crank want?”)

Me: “I see that sign in the window, that white one, that says: “Malti Poo puppies! What are: Malti Poo puppies?”

Shrugging his shoulders, he said he didn’t know!

Me: “Well, I have a multi poo pup, you think I could include her in the giveaway? She shits all over my yard, very ‘multi-poo’, if you know what I mean.”

Well, this kid could really laugh, even as I left the place!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

CAPE MAY, MY WAY

I spent the Labor Day weekend in beautiful Cape May, NJ. The weather was picture perfect, as was the scenery and the company we spent it with. Taking two loaves of Irish soda bread, I made, and TLW’s favorite salad, off we went. I was surrounded with the usual assortment of Irishmen, and two Sicilians! Feeling like an outsider, I continued to plug on, through the wonderful hospitality of Sara and Kevin, TLW’s Sister-in-law and brother. Along with Sara and Kevin were Angela and Dennis, TLW’s younger brother, two great hosts in Colorado, who hail from Virginia, who were very gracious and accommodating when we spent a few days out in Steamboat Springs, Co.

There was Maureen, TLW’s older sister and Steve, whom I know will not be outdone and invite us for a whirlwind tour of Europe. (I hope its not too many countries, because I get confused easily.)

Touring Cape May has always been a favorite thing to do. It is a beautiful seaside community, and the oldest resort on the sea in the USA. I’m sure my being there has made it older.

Being the last to arrive, we were given the “Princess and Pirate” bedroom, which is reserved for Emma and Jake, Sara and Kevin’s grandchildren. The home itself has four porches, two down stairs and two upstairs! A fun place by any standard!

The town which is filled with many historic old homes, focused on the boardwalk and beaches of the town, and there is always festiveness in the air. It is opened all year round, and at Christmas, from what I hear, is the place to be! The house you see belongs to a Dr. Physik, a foremost leader in the area of stomach surgery. Taking a physic came from his works.

If you would like the recipe for a truly great salad and/or Irish soda bread, send me a request and I will send it to you.

Tomorrow: Stevenson University

Saturday, September 12, 2009

CAN YOU SPARE A FEW PRAYERS

The world of new moms is a very uncertain world at best. Sometimes children are born, and go home with mom and dad, and sometimes things happen. My new great nephew, Alexander John is in need of a few prayers. You can see how beautiful he is.

It seems he is having some difficulties, and I won’t mention them to you, but to say that he is being delayed his chance to go home with mom. I’m almost positive that things will work out, but a little spiritual begging wouldn’t hurt. Pray that the doctors can figure it out, do what needs to be done, and send him home with his Mom and Dad.

I got a e-mail today from an old buddy of mine from high school, who says that there is another child in need. Click onto http://www.sethfongstory.blogspot.com/ and read. I assure you, I do not know this child or the family, but I do know the child needs our prayers,

There are all kinds of issues out there. There are all kinds of causes out there, but when it comes to children, we all have to pay attention, pull ourselves together and pray for them. I don’t need to know a child: I just know that there are enough of them out there that need our prayers, and our help.

Please pray for all the children of the world.

HE WAS A REAL MAN!

His name is Jim, and although he passed on a number of years ago, he lives on. Cantankerous, disposed to few words and very little nonsense, he lives on. A man first and a father foremost, a loving husband always. A gentle soul by anyone’s account, he is, and will always be fresh in my mind and I will be in his debt. He is TLW’s dad!

Today is his birthday, but I think the world has celebrated his birthday everyday, because of his gift to the world: his children. They follow in his footsteps, and live by his examples. They all do or did good works, service to humanity, in the best tradition of Jim. They are not needy, but attended to those that are. All Jim's children are either; teachers of; religion, or math, or administrators of the needs of mentally ill and developmentally challenged, or inspired and successful administrators of higher education. All this is done quietly: there is no fanfare, nor reminders from them. This was Jim’s way; after all, these are Jim’s children.

His stature was one of a small man; but his legacy is one of a large man, both in his content and spirit. There are and were too few like him in this world.

Happy birthday, Jim.

Friday, September 11, 2009

CRIMES AGAINST THE CHILDREN


It is difficult to think that since 2001, we have had to take a relatively serene lifestyle, and altered it because of the reality that is the world at large. I was lucky in that I know no one individual who perished in that horror filled day back in 2001.

Back in 1941 and until 1945, we as a nation were very guarded. We took after any suspected enemy, and if we proved they were enemies, we prosecuted and sometimes executed them. We concerned ourselves about Americans first, our allies second, and didn’t give a darn about the enemies comfort.

Today, we have removed our spine. We have found a haven for our enemies. We harbor and shelter them under our constitution, we apologize to them, and God help any American who disagrees with our coddling of the goat loving bastards.

We can watch the horrific film of the planes that crashed into our twin towers. The killing of thousands of innocent people, who had no ax to grind with the perpetrators of the cowardly acts, can be our reminder. Some people seem to wet their bleeding heart panties over the treatment we gave those bastards for their guilt in the killing of mothers and fathers. The scaring of the children for life, that will never see those parents again, should not be a part of our conscience! After all, WE ARE AMERICA, WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!

Maybe I’m a mean old SOB, maybe I should show compassion for the scum from the middle east that perpetrated the crimes against my fellow country men. Somehow, when I know you have intent to harm my family or me, I want to kill you first. Vengeance seems to take over in my heart. If one of my children or my wife or friends were in the towers, I assure you, I would not be understanding of the constitutional rights we bestowed on the sons of bitches.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WELCOME ALEXANDER JOHN!

Today I give you a special blogue, an introduction to my new grand nephew! Born on 9/9/09, he now shares a birthday with his great grandfather, Tony! The first born of Annemarie and Greg Schneider, the grandchild of my baby sister Mary Ann, and Larry and Fran Schneider, the child will be royally spoiled, and let’s hope so.

Since today is Dad’s birthday, I decided to pay him a visit at his gravesite, and when I drove into the cemetery grounds, I first stopped at Alex’s grandfather Carl’s grave. Carl left us a few years ago, and he won’t be replaced, but he will be missed, especially on this day. I know that we should all be happy on this bittersweet day, but life deals us what it does. Carl would probably be strutting if he was here today, and I guarantee you he is strutting around in heaven.

Mary Ann, one of my baby sisters, fortunately is an airline attendant, so she is used to being high off the ground. Today, she is soaring higher than she ever did, since her two kids graduated college! She deserves all the joy she is getting from this, and even more should come her way. I’m proud of her for this moment, and all her moments, and know she and her children, and now grandchild will make for a better world! She looks too young to be a grandmother!

When I heard the news, that Annmarie was experiencing a little problem with the birth, I decided to go to the hospital. It turns out everything is now fine, and I am a great uncle (in name only) and will make one simple request.

Being how I am retired Annmarie, I am not used to driving during rush hour. Please refrain from having babies during rush hour, after 9:00 am however, is fine!

Note: No picture is available at the time of this posting. One will definitely follow.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

TONY


There are 4 times when we celebrate, and times when we commemorate, and sadly, today I commemorate. 93 years ago today, my dad, Tony was born. He wasn’t born to nobility, fame or fortune, just a humble beginning in Rockville Center. His real name is Anthony, and he was always called Tony.

Tony never finished high school. He attended Harren High in Brooklyn, but his real father died, and he wanted to go to work, during the height of the depression. Leaving school with six months left, he lamented that decision until the day he died.

He tried many things, and finally settled in Manhattan for the New York Laboratory and Supply Company, as a shipping clerk. He raised four children on a meager salary, but saved enough to move his family away from the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, to the wide open spaces of Suffolk County.

He took a job with Rollic Inc., as a foreman for the shipping department, and life seemed so much better for all of us. He somewhat prospered, but not nearly enough to satisfy himself. We lived a comfortable life, doing without when we couldn’t afford, and working overtime to do with. He taught me that.

He would probably ask Mom for a strawberry short cake, and one of his five children would wrap a head of lettuce up and give it to him for a birthday present!

He had a cadre of riders, old maids that worked in Rollic for years, as operators of sewing machines and trimmers. Tony would pick up each one at her doorstep, so as not to wait for a bus in the blazing sun and frigid temperatures.

Everybody loved him. He didn’t have an enemy in the world, but one or two disliked him because he had a family of loyal children.

He didn’t give me much, just a lot of loving moments and happy memories.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We all love and miss you!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

WHEN GOD CALLS

People like me often question whether there is a God or not.

In life’s trials and tribulations, we don’t always come out on top! So we wonder: “Is there a God? Why did He let this happen?” We question the longevity of certain suffering, and the sometimes-painful conclusions. We might even wish to pick a fight with God, demand an answer, or give us a sign. We become self-centered!

Sometimes I wonder if I’m being punished for something I did in the past, or maybe it is the ‘sins of my father’ that went unpaid. Then I think about how righteous I am, how I sit on the moral side of the fence, and think that God is on my side, too! Just like everyone else in this world, I judge. But there really is no fence!

My judgments have brought me to the place where I am now. The moral currency is always being spent; it is unlimited, because it is minted in my mind. But the possibility to be morally right; is non-existent. There are so many variables, that to walk in everyone’s shoes is impossible. To be able to judge and make the right conclusion, we need to know what it means to everyone, not just ourselves.

Thank God for doctors and nurses, and people to help in crippled and deformed. They are doing what God intended us all to do. If we were all doing this work, in some degree, there would be no wars, no crimes, no hatred, because we would all understand, suffering. No man IS an isle, unto himself, because we are all suffering, and need each other. And, only a precious few respond.

So rather than ask God why things happen, rather than demand a sign or response, we should tell God what we did to let it happen as humans. I know sickness like cancer can’t be helped, but God gave us life and time; he gave us the human condition to contemplate and react to. When we suffer, we become teachers, and when we act or react to those kinds of things, we do God’s work. It’s God’s world, not ours.

Monday, September 07, 2009

ANOTHER SEASON GONE!

I can’t believe that fall is upon us. I got the idea from the stores putting out the Christmas stuff. Before we know it, it will be summer again!

I'll see you in September when summer is gone
Have a good time but remember, I'll be waiting back home
And when you go out dating with some guy all alone
Just remember I'll be waiting when summer is gone

Time goes by fast when you either have a good time or are getting old. I try to do both, have a good time and get old. If I combine the two, it is less effort and more pleasant.

When the warm June nights surround you
Don't fall under his spell
When he puts his arms around you
Remember that I loved you so well

As a young man, two things would occur every year at this time. First; the car radio played: ‘When Summer Is Gone’ (which I think should be played in June) and the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon, both of which signaled the end of summer.

And I'll see you in September when summer is gone
Have a good time but remember
Come back to me when summer is gone

Not being a big fan of summer, I was a big fan of days off from work or school! So, both occasions were sad ones for me. I particularly hated the day after Labor Day, which was like a giant Monday morning. In fact, Labor Day was a giant Sunday afternoon!

When the warm June nights surround you
Don't fall under his spell
When he puts his arms around you
Remember that I loved you so well

Now that retirement has set in, I look forward to those rainy or snowy days of fall and winter, when I can lean back in my recliner, coffee in hand, and watch the morning commute! Every day is a giant Friday evening, going on vacation!

So, to all you kids out there: “Haha!”

And I'll see you in September when summer is gone
Have a good time but remember
Come back to me when summer is gone

Sunday, September 06, 2009

THE MEATBALL MAN

It seemed every Sunday morning in Brooklyn was the same. It started about 11:30 am, and consisted of two visits. Something like the three ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge, one at a time they came. The doorbell downstairs was pushed, shattering Mom’s concentration at the big pot, and Mom or Dad would return the ring from our third floor walkup. Calling from three flights down, Mike, our compadre, would climb the three flights after announcing himself.

Shaking hands with Dad, kissing Mom on the cheek, and patting my head then musing up my hair, Mike would reach for a fork, and dig deep into Mom’s meat pot, and extract like a surgeon, one of Mom’s meatballs!

With one motion, fork and meat sphere would be deposited. The meat was HOT, but every Sunday, down in one shot it would go, with even a wrinkle of Mike’s brow. I would stand there in awe, as this man did this amazing feat.

After Mike left, he would pass the baton to his dad, who was making HIS Sunday rounds! Once again, the downstairs doorbell would ring, and Mom would lean into her doorbell, to release the outer doors downstairs.

Slowly, Il Compadre would climb the steps. A big hulking man, with very little English and a heart as big as Italy, would fill the doorframe of our apartment, being greeted like a long lost friend, by all in the house at the time. The old man was a hard working Pennsylvania trackman, who was crippled on the job, but worked anyway. There was no compensation for people in those days.

Dad would go into the kitchen closet, reach up top and grab a bottle of whiskey and a shot glass, pour the old man a glass, and in one gulp, bye, bye, birdie!

These are memories that die, hard. They are not important in and of themselves, but they suggest the ethnic clannishness of a by-gone era, one of love and brotherhood in its commonality.



View my new post!

I decided to put my novel up as a preview! Please comment if you like. Go to: http://deliterature.blogspot.com/
This is the last chapter I will preview from my book, Chapter 3, Tolik's Odyssey.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

FINALLY

We heard from #2 Son today, who is away at SUNY Purchase! Apparently, there is some screw up with the phones, which he is working on.

For the last few days, all I’ve been hearing is NOT: Wow! What a good looking guy!” or “Can I buy you dinner” or, Are you alive?” from TLW (The Little Woman), but, “Did Michael call?”

My feeling is; no news is good news, and that is the case. He is doing well, seems happy and says he likes it there. Good for everybody!

My folks never knew if I was home or not, I was so quiet. I just went to school, came home, went to work and back home to study, and do it all over again the next day. That was a problem for me on weekends, though.

Dad had a philosophy of: If you are not working or studying, you are in school. Mom’s was; don’t make a mess, and clean up after yourself. I have to admit, she did write the phrase: "Take two aspirins, and go to school."

None of my parent’s children made a fuss out of life. We all worked, studied, and did chores around the house. No questions were ever asked, no excuses given, and neither questions or excuses were ever accepted. Life was simple, neat and clean, and we avoided the wrath of dear old Mom.

Today, Mom is a worrywart, she is central command, she takes over and coordinates life in the household. It is actually fun to she this little lady take over, three chutches being ordered around by TLW.

She has developed the swagger of General Patton, The presence of Ike, and the cunning of Rommel! She sits in the morning in her chair, and plots the day’s activities for all concerned. She is a real Mom, giving a comfort to her children and even her dumb ass husband.

But everyone must report by week’s end!

Friday, September 04, 2009

TAKING A MOMENT

If you remember last Monday, it was a beautiful day! The sun came out in the afternoon, and the air was perfect, no wind or humidity, and calmness was about.

After cleaning a bathroom, then tackling a closet I meant to get to for a while, I prepared a marinade for a chicken dish that need to sit in the frig for a few hours. Around 2:00 PM, I took out a Heineken and lit a White Owl miniature and sat out in my backyard, among the trees and flowers. I could enjoy the quiet of the afternoon, and could easily hear the lazy drone of a small aircraft as it flew overhead.

As I sat there, the sun filtered through the giant oak tree, dabbing me with sunlight like a paint bush from Titian. I sat with such contentment, like I have never done before. I wondered what took me so long to discover this wonderful pleasure!

Sitting in the tranquil sunlight and shade of the yard, took me back to my Grandmother, Grandma Frances. I recall her backyard with such fondness, now that I don’t have the chance to do so anymore. I remember the grape vine that overhung a portion of the yard, the sun peeking through in spots, again, painting me in sunlight splashes of golden yellow. I could smell the basil, that sweet smell I love so much: as the wind would gently lift the aroma to my nose. I remember the tomatoes, and the perfect shape that Grandpa Ralph made them into; picked and sitting on Grandma’s windowsill.

I recall the sleepy afternoons when I sat and watched my grandfather, his legs crossed, asleep in his folding chair, a fedora tucked over his eyes. And yes, I can still hear the lazy drone of a small aircraft as it flew overhead, sleepily inducing me to dream.

Sitting peacefully makes for a good day, it settles you down and like a gyroscope and a compass, it rights your course, and the sea seems calm, once again.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

MOMMA TAKES OVER

The last minute instructions were issued, and we all piled into my car for the drive up to Purchase. #2 Son was leaving home, to live with his peers for a few years. Mom was seeing to it that the transition went smooth for him, and we assured, and then reassured him that all would be well.

The only problem was that #2 Son didn’t need any reassurance!

Armed with a dogged determination, and independent air, and my money, he was willing to let us ‘go’, and try to adjust with life without #2 Son. We would try, and not think about it.

As we drove up, the usual battle started to ensue, TLW (The Little Woman) was about to rage war with the woman in the GPS. Yes, the old foes were at it again. Not needing the GPS for navigation until we got to Purchase, I told TLW we would not need it. But the grudge she carries was too great for her, and turned it on.

As Ms. GPS told me to take the Throgs Neck Bridge, and I ignored it, TLW inquired why I was bypassing the bridge. I informed her that I was taking the Whitestone Bridge, which would be a better route. TLW was delighted that I was ignoring that ‘Bitch in the box” on the dashboard. If anyone was going to tell me where to go, it was going to be TLW, so there.

When we arrived at the campus, there was a lot of confusion, disorientation and missed turns, as the campus is large with a lot of small ancillary roads to confuse one even further. After Signing in and #2 Son receiving his key, we unpacked him in his dorm room. The place houses five men, and there are three bedrooms, a working kitchen, a dining and living room, and a lot of closet space.

To unpack #2 and settle him in took the leadership of TLW, who directed, ordered, instructed, and advised both #2 Son and me as to what to do. I wondered if it would be the last time the room would be that neat.

“Don’t you think this should go here?” intoned TLW.
“OK” responded #2 Son. (He would change it anyway, once we were gone.)
I just go along for the ride. I’m retired, so I don’t let things get in the way of serenity, anymore. TLW was in control!

We decided to go explore the campus, and found ourselves walking for miles, as we explored a very beautiful campus, even in the rain.

Then into the jaws of hell we went. Shopping!

Downtown, to a multi-level parking garage, and a congested area of traffic, stores and people, all crowding into one small space, was what we did! It made me miss Long Island!

Buying last minute supplies, like soda, toilet paper and plates and household goods, we braved the stores, climbed back into the car and let the ‘Bitch in the box’ guide us home. It seemed every time TLW opened her mouth, the ‘Bitch in the box’ interrupted her! This made TLW furious, and I had to calm her down, or we would be forever lost in the middle of Westchester County.

Finally, we settled #2 Son in his residence and made our farewells. We didn’t want to leave, but after a good seven hours, we were beat, and said our goodbyes, not only to #2 Son, but to an era!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

SO, WHERE DO ALL THE YEARS GO?


It’s 7:00 AM, and as I sit here typing, I wonder where the years have gone. Almost 22 years ago, TLW (The Little Woman) and I along with my two kids, stepped out of a steak house, and noticed snowflakes falling and swirling from the clouds. It was a late afternoon or early evening, and the sky was very grey and foreboding. I wondered if this would be the time that TLW would have the baby we were expecting, as we climbed into our brand new 1987 Mercury. My fear was a driving snowstorm and my having to drive an expecting woman to the hospital.

Here I am, in just a few hours, I will begin the process of letting go, once again. It’s funny how we ‘let go’ of our children. I’ve done it many ways, many times, and I never really enjoy the process. It is part of life to ‘let go’, and see your children move on. Off to college, or a new home, or even death, is a part of ‘letting go’ and life.

I recall the morning I was ‘let go’ from the security of my home. A home I knew all my life, was about to be a part of my past, the first leg on the journey through life. The morning was a beautiful one, filled with sunshine and hope, as I awoke to the knocking of my best man for my wedding. My family had already left, not even awakening me! People had a lot of confidence in me in those days. They must have realized I would never miss the chance to marry TLW.

#2 Son is asleep, getting the last few miles of his home bed, before we wake him and drive him to his college career. I am happy that we will finally have a quiet life of just the two of us, no other adults in the house, and that he, #2 Son will embark on a life’s journey. Will we miss him? Yes. Do we want him to stay? No! We will help him where we can, and he will have to help himself.

After 37 years, we will make a new life for ourselves. Just the two of us.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

PITKIN AVENUE

It was a fall afternoon, in the early 1950’s. The air was getting colder as the afternoon wore on. Mom and Aunt Marie strolled down the crowded street, with it’s heavy traffic and crowded sidewalks, teeming with merchants, a baby carriage for each, in control.

Like most women of the era, the two sisters were looking for bargains, and the Jewish merchants that inhabited the stores and stands, were just the guys to give them the deals. Mom was a little more outspoken than my aunt, and never missed an opportunity to be so, so protocol was: “Let’s make a deal.”

The stores themselves were either walk-ins, or you stepped down a couple of steps to enter, and when you did, the places were filled with merchandise, all being hawked by the merchants.

The air although crisp and cool, smelled of knishes and roasted chestnuts, there were frankfurter wagons that competed with the chestnuts and knishes. The knishes were my favorite! Hot, salted and delicious on a fall afternoon. One of life’s real pleasures; I do not see anymore.

Coming to a shop, we descended the small steps and Mom approached a dress rack. Looking at the dresses, the owner of the store followed her as she looked. Picking out a dress, she inquired:

“How much?”

Aunt Marie stood off to the side to watch a deal go down. The merchant, looking both to his left and then his right, responded:

“For you lady, $12.00!”

“Is that the best you can do?”

“Lady, I have to make a living! I’ll tell you what, being you are a nice lady… $10.00!”

TEN DOLLARS! TSK, TSK, TSK, MAKE YOUR WIFE WEAR IT!”

Yes, Mom was indeed, ‘outspoken!’


View my new post!
I decided to put my novel up as a preview! Please comment if you like. Go to: http://deliterature.blogspot.com/
This is the first second from my book, Tolik's Odyssey. Next week: the third chapter.