Archive for the ‘seasons’ Category

claustrophobia

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

this was our first summer
Under the canvas gazebo
Encased by the towering rows of impatiens,
petunia’s
and daisy
where 8 foot tall sunflowers leaned into
the bursting tomatoes conversations
deep in three Layers of balanced stones
where we met each morning Covered in cool shadows
starbucks coffee and melted wax from last nights candles
you, chasing the bees and butterflies and weeds,
me interrupted by the screaming locust trying to
understand my struggle with claustrophobia
“the last time i died…” i said, “i drowned
in a wave crushing ocean.”

synchronicity

POV #8

Friday, July 29th, 2016

BLOGFLOW
E X P A N D the P H O T O

Cloud Forest

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

newCloudsleep

The one reason why I thought it was NOT a dream was because I distinctly remember being so excited at this situation that I just had to put my arm around my father. While the photo was being taken, I swirled my head in total ecstasy as to who I was with. I remember turning my head. That wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t deja vu either. It happened.

I’ve kept a watchful eye on my sugar intake. There are some very serious diabetes in our family, I want you all to know.you should really check your glucose level when you can. One of the major culprits in our sister Beverly’s death was diabetes. Our great grandfather had his left leg amputated due to diabetes. Our grandfather also had his left leg amputated and he passed away from diabetes and gangrene triggered by peripheral neuropathy.

Since we all reluctantly visit death in our imagination, we sometimes wonder how we will go. In the movie Big Fish, several children visit a haunted house where a witch with a glass eye lives. and she offers a view into her eye so that you can see how you will die. If you were offered a glance into that glass eye would you be brave enough to look?

It was on the bottom of a box. The box was underneath a pile of other boxes. Like twenty boxes. They were all filled with stuff from Whitman street. Most of it was old toys from Christmas’ long ago. A lot of papers and old letters. What I was looking and hoping for were photos. I don’t even know how I got here. It’s feeling like a dream. Maybe it is and I’ll wake up. Because Whitman street seems dead. I shouldn’t be here. I don’t even live anywhere close to this god-forsaken town. Up these crazy stairs. Doesn’t look like our old house. I don’t get it. Here is the room filled with boxes. The first bedroom on the right. By the upstairs bathroom.

Do you remember this Whitman bathroom? Once our dad spent all day assembling beautiful glass sliding doors on the bathtub so that we could take showers in a sort of luxurious way. He was pretty handy with a drill and hammer. I remember we hounded him all day as he worked on these sliding doors. Mom was excited because they were really nice looking. So when he is finally done, we all take a step back and look at this magnificent work of art. It has probably doubled the worth of our home, I’m thinking. We were the first family on our block with color TV and now we own the richest looking bathroom in Carteret. So we check it out, open and close the glass doors slowly. Yeah, everything works fine. Beautiful. Then someone, I don’t remember who, (probably Glenn did it) slammed the brand new door shut and the room exploded with a million pieces of glass.
What I remember most about that tragedy was my father who typically has a very short fuse, just shook his head, mumbled “It just wasn’t meant to be” and began cleaning the mess. Nobody got yelled at. Nobody got punished. The glass was removed but the frames that he spent hours putting into the wall remained. They were there for years. And for many years after he died. I always looked at them and felt them whenever I took a bath or shower. Touched the screws inside the track holding them to the wall and I thought of my father and his patience. His eerie silence cleaning up afterwards.

Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing. Based on this theory, time travel seems possible. If not now, then in the future. Parallel universes, or alternative universes or mirror universes have had a long run of popularity in science fiction and science fantasy, in both print and visual formats. One need only look at an “Alice in Wonderland” or look no further than the “Star Trek” universe (our Universe in less than obvious disguise) to view the near endless plot variations that such parallel / alternative / mirror universes provide our heroes and heroines. While there are some serious reasons to suspect that parallel universes do exist. Time travel is the name of the game!

stairsSo, in this dream, (which I thought was a dream) I went up the Whitman street stairs, opened a door to the first bedroom and found a bunch of boxes and began digging into them. In one window I could hear birds chirping and the sun was blasting through. When I opened the curtains and looked down it was the side of our house. When I looked up at the Summer sky, it was a cloud forest. There were a few of us playing whiffel ball and Toker was aimlessly walking around. I could hear Schnauzer barking in the backyard. Schnauzer was never allowed to wander around aimlessly. The window on the other side of the room was gray and I could hear the wind whistling through the cracks. I pushed the curtain aside and it was a blizzard outside. I could see Gitters house across the street and it was buried. Mr. Gitter was desperately shoveling the walk leading up to the door and Peanuts was barking like crazy behind him. So here I am in a room from the past split into two different seasons.
Downstairs I heard our whole family screaming. People were yelling Glenn’s name and I went to the door and opened it. At that exact moment Danny Braza was racing down the stairs to save Glenn’s life. A chicken bone stuck in his throat. This was the first use of our brother Glenn’s 16 lives.
I shut the door and realized I was way back in time. It seemed like I knew what I was looking for. Went back to the boxes and there on the bottom of a box filled with receipts and papers from Westfield Sewing Center was this photo. |Click HERE for a better view|
flattenFORblog4generations

pawn to king four

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Early June. Welcoming the unofficial start of Summer. Here in the North/mid/east all the seasons don’t slowly blend into one like most of our southern friends .Our season are abrupt, extreme and sometimes frightening. Winter here was brutal and the snow piled higher than cars at times. It has yet to release us from her grip as here I am on June 7 seeking desperately a hoody to help me make it thru the morning.
It was an email from cousin Jim Gill “Paul McCartney and Wings (on the radio now) remind me of our visits to Jersey.” that triggered this post. Also a call from a very old friend Jim McSherry was filled with resurrected Summers.
This topic has been covered ad infinitum yet I feel a desire to write about it. I’ve waited 55 years to finally say, “You kids don’t know how good you got it.” or “Get off my lawn you no good sons of bitches!” Social media is swarmed with the “when I was young…” cliche. Social media will always be telling us about life before the internet. I remember the set of outdated encyclopedias in our rec room actually WERE my internet. And if it wasn’t in there, then I really did walk 20 miles in the snow (actually it was more like one mile and it was only in the snow once) to the little library on Carteret avenue. I filled many reports with cut out photos and charts from those encyclopedias……and I hate to admit I also used books from the library for my primative “cut and paste” knowledge.
Todays internet brats don’t know how good they got it. But the internet is just the first in-line glaring example of how things have changed. Summer has changed dramatically as I look around now at the empty streets and playgrounds. Most kids have resorted to cyber entertainment. When we played in the Summer, we had to use our imagination. First of all our Summers were at least three weeks longer! For whatever reason the school year has definitely lengthened for todays school kids.
It started on the carpet when Jim McSherry and I would play “little army” with plastic soldiers frozen in boring poses. We don’t know where he got them but Johnny Lambert had the coolest, meanest looking Japanese toy soldiers in unique poses of death and destruction. How we yearned for those politically incorrect yellow soldiers. They were never to be found in any toy store.
There was always our pool and Kenny Gitters pool which sometimes became strange when we decided to take off our suits and swim naked. Mrs. Gitter put an end to that real quick Most hot Summer days she could be found at the end of our kitchen table playing Scrabble with our mom. They had also discovered a fabulous new drink by reading “Hints from Heloise” in the Star Ledger. It was called Iced Coffee. It was this same Heloise daily article where mom found out that we could actually eat the skin on our baked potatoes and didn’t have to throw them away with the tinfoil that they were wrapped in.

Actually football is always compared to a chess match. Maybe because the knight wears a helmet?

Actually football is always compared to a chess match. Maybe because the knight wears a helmet?


As the Summers progressed we invented new things to do and keep us occupied. One time we spent an entire Summer in our backyard creating mazes with lego pieces and watching bugs walk around in circle. It would piss us off when some bugs would just say “fuck this” and climb the Lego wall to exit our “maze of doom.”
Unfortunately for these clever bugs escape usually meant being captured again and being subject to some cruel torturous death. Being burned to death with a laser from the sun via a magnifying glass was a popular choice.

In our neighborhood the 5th of July was much more popular than the actual holiday on the fourth. For it was the day after the nightly fireworks that we would walk the sidewalks and gutters looking for “duds” Unexploded fireworks. Anything. Fire crackers, bottle rockets, the remains of a roman candle. We bought hundreds of these used explosives home and carefully unraveled them into a box. It was long tedious hours with little payoff. I ate a few crabs last Summer and it kind of reminded me of that. A lot of work with little meat and never feeling close to having my appetite satisfied.
What we did with our gunpowder harvest hardly satisfied my appetite for destruction either. I was pretty keen on destroying plastic tank models that I spent weeks building but that was usually done with gasoline. Sometimes we got lucky and were able to purchase real fireworks from the local firework dealer on Tennyson street. We would knock on this teenage kids door and barter with him. A nickel, a dime, ANYTHING for one single firecracker or bottle rocket.
We played outside. Sidestreet baseball, touch football, man hunt. We built forts in trees and under bridges. We explored the endless miles of railroad tracks that led up the dirt hill from Daniele. We hung out on the trestle

Then there were the Summers of the Gills. I had already written about this in a previous posts but these were great times. Just a few years after the passing of our father, it was good to have a man in the house again. This was Summer at it’s very best. Carefree and happy. Lot’s of pool, barbecue and popcorn. Wherever we went, we all went together. Filled the station wagon and sang songs from the FM together. It never got any better than this.

We did surrender to TV though, although it was a different monster than it is now. A huge wooden box attached to an antenna on the roof. Seven channels and sometimes eight, if we could get channel 3 to come in. Monty Python was a Summer staple on Sunday nights along with all the other mindless sitcoms of the day. Greg got us into “Dark Shadows” Saturday Night Wrestling and eventually Mary Hartman Mary Hartman.

The Day I Beat Walter Lambert In Chess
In the Summer of 72 we sat in front of channel 13 and “watched” the championship of chess between Russia and USA. This was huge when we were young. There still was a cold war going on and anything Russia vs USA was must see. At this time Bobby Fischer was still in the progress of losing his mind and didn’t allow cameras in the room where they were playing. So, for the entire Summer we sat in front of the TV and watched some guy move paper chess pieces on an upright paper board. There were sometimes HOURS between moves. It was like watching grass grow yet this is how we spent an entire Summer. This championship match had ignited a national interest in the game that we caught.

In 1973, this was worth more than three bars of solid gold.

In 1973, this was worth more than three bars of solid gold.

So when chess wasn’t on TV, we were playing it everywhere. Nobody was better at the game than Walter Lambert. One of those wise ass kids a few years older than us that “knew everything” and actually owned the yellow plastic Japanese soldiers that we craved.
I had gotten rather good at the game and even got a book from the library. Next to Fran Tarkenton, the then quarterback of the New York Football Giants, Bobby Fischer was an absolute hero to me. I studied and envied his life and his mysterious quiet way was even more intreging.
So one day, it happened. In the Lamberts always open garage door, I challenged Walter Lambert to a game of chess. Nobody had ever beaten him or even come close. And he would smirk and let out a whinny laugh everytime he beat one of us and called us knuckleheads for even trying.
But as the game went on, it became interesting and a small crowd began to gather around. I knew I had him on the ropes and he was just waiting for one stupid move, like we always seemed to make, to beat us. Not only did I keep my head in the game but I actually check mated the older, the wiser, the much cooler Walter Lambert. There was a shock of silence first but then the place erupted. George beat Walter Lambert. Yes. George Hartman had beat Walter Lambert in a game of chess. In the Summer of 1972 in a small rural town off the New Jersey Turnpike where planes flew overhead to land in Newark… I had become a folk hero for a few days. I had indeed beaten Walter Lambert at chess.
For me,
I want every anticipated Summer to be good. I yearn for the sun in my face. I watch our tomatoes and flowers grow. I BBQ ribs and steak on weekends. I’ve seen a Summer moon rise from the deck. I love each abrupt season better than the next. I couldn’t stand ‘summer all the time” or rainy seasons but Summer is a great time to feel alive. There is no greater swim than body surfing on an Atlantic ocean wave. Much like George Costanza, today, I proclaim this THE SUMMER OF GEORGE!
the abrupt seasons

the abrupt seasons

low tide

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A wooden house in eastern Europe. Elm trees. Low hills. My walking stick. “Let me sketch you.” Set yourself free. Charcoal shadows and hollow air. The earth sings goodbye to another day. Brisk and fresh. Steam and mist. There is no script. A car radio bleats the blues….my minds not right….my sideburns are lopsided…my testicles are hanging lower than usual. The moon is a boomerang and at low tide you can smell dead sponge and rotten crab meat. From the bridge we looked down and saw huge fish swimming, a broken dock and the cafe lights where we had lunch. A salad with walnuts and fresh fruit. A glass of bubbled water from another country. Down at the waters edge, the crowds filled the streets and bikers had an excuse to ride in the orange hue dusk. We will grow old. Read books on a porch. Wait for visits from children. And their children. Fade into the colors of the trees. Watch the shadows move across the wood and when the noiseless winds come, I will still hold you and kiss you.
The End.

A Night at the Circus

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Route 76, Somewhere in Pennsylvania, daybreak.


Let’s walk into the dark fields of uncut grass. Into the heart of America, the midwest laughter and red white and blue explosions in the sky. Feeling the immediate sowing of a yellow hook moon in my heart. Another journal into the depths of space. The ending of the pain from my headaches….( a blood pressure concern)
I’m in the wrong century again, damn it! I miss the sepia skies and the angles singing. The black and white streets, crowds of busy people and the gaslights glow.

Dark pub and a lost soul from the future.

This is where I met him many years ago. A disco in the seventies. The drinking age was still eighteen. We were deadheads drinking shots, dressed like slobs and making fun of the music. The women were beautiful with big hair and attitudes. Annoyed at the hippies laughing in the dark corner. I had too much, as usual and it always seemed to hit me earlier then the other guys. I was never meant to be a drinker. I threw up all the time and I had diarrhea. Other guys could just drink, pound them down and play quarters for 24 hours straight and get up and walk a straight line home. (at the moment I am writing this, I am experiencing a severe case of Déjà vu) Now this crazy looking guy from across the bar is staring at me and I feel a vomit coming on so I ease over towards the bathroom and this guy is suddenly waiting there. I ignore him as I feel for the mens room in this dark hallway….I mean really dark….”Hey listen…..hey…hey George.”
So who the fuck is that and how do they know my name. The room is spinning. The music is thumping “Funky Town” by Lipps I think, I could almost taste the vomit…”Hey George” he giggles. He is right next to me. Suddenly I feel better. I feel better than better. I feel great. I am sober, I think. This guy is staring at me in the dark with this big smile.
“Hey George” he half whispers.. “I know you. I’m from the future.”

It's not easy being green

This really happened to me. A disco in 1979. A strange dude that told me about cell phones, 9/11, the Giants winning a Super Bowl in seven years, financial hardships, computers taking over, marriage, divorce, winning the lottery, drugs, drinking, sex, death, miracle cures, war, typhoons, tornados, tsunami’s, torture…
Hey you freak what are you saying. What are you putting in my mind. What the fuck is a cell phone? What kind of crazy pants are you wearing….disco boy….fag….leave me alone. Oh my head hurts from you. Get out of my life. Get out of my mind!!! Now forever making cameo appearances in my freaking dreams. Do you believe me?

409 Downing Street Westfield New Jersey


Dad’s Root beer
Our dads home when he was growing up. His teen age years. Meeting mom. Having dinner with Geraldine his sister and William his brother. His mom and “Pop” sitting in the living room waiting for him to go through that front door again and join the marine’s….or get married….or help Pop out at the store on East Broad street….not too far away. Westfield was a different place then, but it hasn’t changed much since. The biggest disappointment most recently is that they tore down “The Leader Store” They still have real live cops directing traffic during peak hours. The Westfield Sewing Center, our Grandfathers and then our dads place of business is long gone. People don’t sew their own dresses, curtains or make crafts anymore. Everyone is too busy on the cell phone or watching reality TV on the tube. We are all in front of mini-monitors, TV, computer or phone…taking commands and giving them. One of the things my dad passed on to me was growing tomatoes. It is an art to grow them…actually an easy art. Tomatoes are very hardy plants and even a seed from a tomato on a sandwich can fall in the crack of the sidewalk and if you let it grow, YOU WILL harvest a tomato or two. The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous. It has been the Summer of dreams….long days, hot skies, cold oceans, simmering spaghetti sauce, ribs and tomato plants wilting in the endless ninety degree days.
There are few gifts greater than offering your friend your home to stay. The other night we lay by the windowsill telling stories of our days, current and past. The Summer had been so hot, we were worried about the flowers. But as the darkness grew in the fading day a cool breeze had reached on the window sill. A small rumble of thunder. A flash of lightening and finally ……..rain. We listened, watched and talked. I am very grateful for that moment of time. To be protected from the storm but to be so close to it. To be able to listen to someone and have someone listen to me. To be able to smell the rain. To be able to call something “home” is a great gift. To have the blessings to share a meal with the one you love. To sit on the back deck and watch the day slowly turn into night. The candle on the wooden table splashes yellow puddles on your face. These are the moments of that you live for. The quiet unnoticed ones. I wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for you. Thank you.

A night at the circus


A moment of time forever etched digitally on a blog deep in space. Perhaps not for eternity but it is there only because I thought it was worth digging in my pocket for my camera. We were cutting through some woods towards a wooden roller coaster. The yellow spot lights giving off an eire glow. Party balloons abandoned. My kids way ahead of me because I was keeping company with my stupid camera. Somewhere in south Ohio, July 4, 2011, the United States of America. Earth.

Mark O’Neil

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Mark O’Neil went to school with me at St. Joesphs (The Worker) Grade school in Carteret NJ. His family lived right next to the school and I remember there seemed to alot of turmoil in their home. They were a pure Irish family, on the short side and Mark was rather nerdish perhaps even a little sloppy. He always seemed to be struggling to hold himself together. His shirt was always untucked, one of his collars would always be pointing towards the fluorescent lights of the classroom. He had a little pot belly and sometimes his zipper was halfway down or his belt was unbuckled. Besides all that, while most kids had bookbags back then, he carried one of his fathers old brief cases. When he opened it, it sort of popped and things flew out and sometimes papers blew into the aisle where Mark would grumpily stumble out of his desk to go bend over and pick it up. As a result of this slight physical feat, his belt would probably pop open, his shirt would untuck and Mark would always be mumbling under his breath and get red-faced. Mark was blessed with Irish fair skin that usually blushed very easily at the slightest discomfort before people. Usually trying to hide the blushed face just made things more embarrassing and the face would get even redder. As a result of all of this Mark O’Neil become easy to make fun of or laughed at. He wasn’t one to bully, though, because of his Irish spirit, he was one tough little fireplug. He had alot of pride, and stubborn determination.

Every year St Joseph (The Worker) of Carteret NJ had a “Talent Show” This was a big event that I think happened at night in front of the whole school and all the parents. The auditorium was transformed into a rather large social extravaganza, most people dressed up and there were decorations and a sort of special anticipation filled the air.

There was usually the same thing every year. Groups of classes lip-synching to a scratchy 45 on a school phonograph. Synchronized dancing. Small one act plays. If a child was brave enough or talented enough, he or she would do a solo either on a musical instrument or singing a popular song of the era. But the solo acts were very rare. One year a girl blew the lyrics to a song and panicked, the crowd kinda laughed, she ended up crying on stage and this became a legend for years. The nuns would be back stage running around setting up the next act or adjusting the clumsy costumes.

This one particular year was going to be special, though, it was seen on the scheduled agenda for this years talent show, that Mark O’Neil would playing the accordion……..SOLO. By himself. On his own. In front of every parent, teacher and child in the whole community of St Joseph (The Worker) Grade School. It was said that even the janitor had somehow booked front row tickets for this amazing event.

I will never forget the quiet that filled the auditorium when the curtain rose and Mark was sitting there on a stool. His white dress shirt slightly untucked his thick hair parted sloppily to the side and a HUGE accordion on his lap.
Now I heard his father playing sometimes when I passed his house so I knew there was some kind of musical thing happening in that household. But it never struck me that Mark was taking lessons from his father for a musical instrument that looked almost twice his size on his lap. A musical instrument that looked slightly more complicated algebra book I had seen in Terry McSherrys room one day. A musical instrument that had so many buttons it seemed to be part of an American lunar landing that was going on in the days this took place.
Mark never looked up. The awkward silence was broken by the sound of this strange carnival sounding thing. It was a song. Some sort of slow sad melody and then ….a broken note….. silence again. Mark started all over. Playing again while audience stared. Then several notes into the song….he messed up again. He started wiggling in discomfort never looking up at the huge crowd in front of him, some of whom started to open their mouths in disbelief. Halfway through the song, maybe, he blew it again and the mistake was loud and whiney. Now more long awkward silence. Mark started mumbling to himself. I think everyone in the audience was uncomfortable as his face started to turn bright red. In the silence, what to do? By now he was physically struggling, sweating and getting redder by the second. Mark gathered up enough courage to start the song again, for the forth time! To most people they were witnessing an epic failure live in person.
It seemed like forever to me, that Mark O’Neil was in front of the whole world stumbling, staggering and failing until finally a nun lowered the gold curtain. Maybe it was God that lowered the curtain because there was a huge sigh of relief that it was finally over. There was a small silence then applause and finally a buzz of talk in the auditorium until the nuns finally opened the curtain to another act; the entire fifth grade class doing the Alley Cat (a popular song and dance at the time)

Mark O'Neil and the accordion


It is a funny thing, the memory. How we remember only certain things in life and forget others. That all that was taught to me that year; math, english, geometry and even art class. That all the people I had has friends. All the things I did, learned, and lived that school year are forgotten except for this moment; Mark O’Neil playing accordion in front of the whole school.
I will never forget his father, how he smiled and hugged him afterwards, I didn’t understand. Mark blew it. He was horrible. He collapsed in front of everyone and will be a laughing stock in Carteret for the rest of his life.

It was years later. After I had kids. After I had learned the disappointments and failures and ups and downs of life. Of learning to live without a father. Of getting over pride and ego. Of learning to accept myself for who I am. Of learning how to keep trying no matter HOW HARD it is that I realized this:
Mark O’Neil playing accordion on stage that school year was the only thing I remember because it was probably the most important learning experience of my life.

One bright Fall day in Rosendale NY

Saturday, October 17th, 2009
One day in Rosendale NY

Bob (left) a mushroom harvester and Chris (right) steel drum player/human puppet

In my exploratory discoveries of upstate New York, yet another quaint little town shown to me by Golden Bear. We found Bob in a parking lot when a blue herring suddenly and gracefully flew across the sky. We all stood in awe and my first impression of Bob was ripped and thrown away when only he was able to identify the bird immediately. When I noticed his Florida license plates, I felt drawn to him and soon found a wonderful man with a wonderful story.
He was once well over 300 pounds when he met a woman, who taught him how to cook and eat organically.
He also went to a 6 month spiritual retreat with her and together they became interested in healthy eating and cooking. He took a course in Mushroom harvesting and comes up here to NY to identify and harvest. He goes town to town to sell his “schrooms” to local restaurants. Some can fetch quite a pretty penny per pound.

Chris was sitting on his chair playing a small steel drum instrument that he had invented himself. The sound that came from his fingers against the drums was heavenly and mesmerizing as the town people just walked about doing their thing. Chris was surrounded by an open garage filled with hand-made masks, robes, banners and the smell of paint. The banner across the top advertised for a “puppet show 4:00 PM” something I just couldn’t (and glad I didn’t) miss.

Halloween comes early in Rosendale

Halloween comes early in Rosendale

You can’t beat entertainment that includes most of the children from the audience and live music provided by the locals. Community comes into your heart like a great wind, knocking down barriers of prejudice and fear. The show made me want to sing, chant and dance along and I would have if that by doing that I would have blocked others view and been too rude.
This makeshift stage, (garage) hand-painted scenery and stories probably written that day was one of the simplest joys I had experienced in a very long time.

An exciting way to activate your intuition is through wonder!

An exciting way to activate your intuition is through wonder!


Another nice find, The Rosedale Cafe, full of locals and good food (and free WiFi ! LoL) is a great place to visit among all the history and restored buildings.

1969

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Was a hot Summer. A long Summer. I remember being in Dads Westfield Sewing Center when one of his teenage girl workers begged him to go home early so that she could get ready to leave for Woodstock.
I remember the whole hype and build-up on Tv and the newspapers to finally watch man land on the moon. I became so obsessed with that, collecting the photos (Life magazine was always the best) and buying the model of the Apollo 11. I spent endless hours putting it together, the glue and paint my first very young “high” (damn that stuff was strong back then)
I remember Glenn climbing the black railing on our front porch and falling. He broke his arm right in front of me. I thought that was strange because I didn’t hear anything “snap”
And the Mets, ahhhh, my first season as a fan. The magical Mets captivated me and Jim McSherry. We went up to his fathers room to watch every night game on WOR channel 9. Their miraculous climb to first place. When they made it to the World Series, the nuns stopped class and rolled in a TV so that we could watch a day game.
When you are living an era in your life, it can take many years later to look back on it and realize how special it was. All you can remember is the romance, the innocence, the smiles, and the music. I mean sometimes I just hear an old song and I am back there! Transported to that time, surrounded by all those old people in your life, and it is very powerful.
Who would know, 40 years later….the Summer of 1969; after Woodstock,
Man on the Moon, Miracle Mets, Dads Fabric store,
Student Jan Palach sets himself on fire in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This starts the “Vietnamization” of the war.
The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businesspeople.
The Brady Bunch premieres on ABC and Monty Python soon follows in the BBC and the first Sesame Street a few months after that. Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a “Woodstock West” and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the “end of the sixties.”

Entry for December 19, 2008

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Well, it is almost Christmas. It snowed today here in Jersey and that can really put you in the spirit. But then it rained and everything was cold, wet and slushy. Ice water dripped down my back while I was waiting for the bus and I wasn’t sure quite what it was at first so I just screamed. Several people looked at me in disgust. My favorite movie for Christmas spirit is “It’s A Wonderful Life” Not only is the central characters name George, but he ends up on a cold snowy bridge in desperate need of help. How many times do I need to go to this damn bridge in my life? I miss when I was a family. I really miss my house and gardens, chopping wood for the fireplace. I am grateful, though, for where I am now. Right now, it’s not a cold snowy bridge. That movie “A Christmas Story” seems to be getting more popular every year. I love that central character Ralphie. He always reminded me of someone and then finally this year I figured it out.

RALPHIE and Brother GARY

Santa and Uncle Rebel

A Reindeer and George
How did Mom and Dad do it? Ten kids. Yet in all our “Twenty Questions” we all list Christmas as our favorite memory. It was never about money or toys (ok, so maybe it was) but there was never anything more magical then all of us being together under that tree in the morning.

SPECIAL THANKYOU: After Dad died, Gene Kaufmann and Danny Braza among others were there for mom to help put the toys together and help with all the work that can associated with Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!