Archive for April, 2012

For every ailment under the sun…


For every aliment under the sun…there is a remedy, or there is none, If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -Mother Goose

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Waiting

We do not go (to the theatre) like our ancestors, to escape from the pressure of reality, so much as to confirm our experience of it. - Charles Lamb

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Rising to the top

My love of New York City began when my father took me to my first Giants game in “old” Yankee stadium and we took the subway from Manhattan into the Bronx. I was nine years old and my right arm was glued to my fathers huge hand as I was dragged through the streets towards the stairwell that led to the underground train. The whole scene seemed too fast and noisy for any talking, but I do remember looking down the street towards downtown and seeing the World Trade Center being built. It was quite a sight, not just the size of them, but because there were two. One building was higher than the other and I thought that was funny. Was it a race? If they were to build twin skyscrapers then they should be built…..together….right? I pointed towards them and asked my dad, “What’s that?” because I had to know.
“That is the World Trade Center and they will be the biggest buildings in New York City.”
Wow. To a nine year old that is really exciting. Dad was the smartest man in the world because he was always watching the news and reading newspapers. After their completion, they had become the biggest building in NYC. It seemed like forever until that fateful day 9/11. But more interesting then that, they had broken the record (1931 – 1972) of the Empire State Building which was NYC’s largest building for 41 years. Before the Empire State Building there was the Chrysler Building on Lexington Ave that held the record for less then a month.

The Empire State Building as seen from New Jersey. Days before becoming the second tallest building in New York City.......again.


There has always been an aura of magnificence and history surrounding this building. It was amazingly built in a little over a year during the Great Depression. Six people died building it. Five were construction workers and the other one was a woman on the street that had her leg grazed by a falling object. She died several days later from an infection. Unlike the World Trade Center the Empire survived a plane crashing into it’s side (1945) and has witnessed 30 suicides. The most famous being Evelyn McHale when a photographer captured her cradled death on the roof of a limousine just four minutes after her plunge.

Life Magazine called it: "The Most Beautiful Suicide" and Andy Warhol made this photo into art prints.

The building was designed “Art Deco” style from the top down in just two weeks and was built by Mohawk Indians and European Immigrants in record setting time. The changing spectrum of colors lighting it’s peak actually mean something. The famous variation of floodlight colors have celebrated holidays, people, sports and seasons. For the most part I have tried to figure out what the colors might be celebrating and I have been horribly wrong most times. Who would really know that all yellow flood lights would signify that the US Open is going on in Queens? This link HERE will take you to the floodlights schedule on the Empire State Buildings official www site. The movie King Kong when I first saw it as a little boy on the MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE (probably a rainy Sunday afternoon) scared me so much that I ended up having out-of-scale stop-action nightmares for weeks !!

WHERE OH WHERE HAS MY UNDERDOG GONE?

In this corner.....the rising champ of the century.

And now a new target for terrorism rises in the distance. Maybe that’s why they changed the name from “The Freedom Tower” to “World Trade I” Nothing will deter an attack on this building and it may not be in my lifetime and I hope and pray never. Such an insignificant event it seems today in the news… The Empire State Building losing it’s “Bigger is Better” title but it caught my eye. I read everyday about all the children murdering their parents, guns being pulled everywhere, corruption corrupting my very soul. But the moment the Empire State Building loses it’s title, New York City will lose it’s 1930’s innocence again. “The World Trade I” a modern marvel of octagons, twisted steel, plastic and glass is just asking for trouble. The world will change and step deeper into the future of high tech terrorism, suspicion and doubt. Here in New Jersey, we are always in the shadows of these giants. We can only watch from a distance the rising concrete mountains as it takes center stage to the troubled world. I do love New York, especially after my stint of working large format graphics there. But unfortunately, the darkness never goes……in some mens eyes.

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whitewashed


Buddha was right. Happiness comes with a separation from material things. Whitewash your fears and dive right into that ice cold ocean that you have nightmares about. To thine own self be true. I hope your children will be famous one day and I pray that my children aren’t mopping floors.

It was the quintessential dream that everyone has of being able to fly. I WAS flying. Over buildings and trees and people down below didn’t see me. Sometimes I went through large fluffy clouds and came out the other end. My own snoring jarred me into a consciousness of “half-asleep – half-awake” This is probably one of the best states of mind that you can find yourself as a human being. It is very peaceful and carefree but it is hard to achieve. It just has to happen and rarely can you control it. As I am flying and watching my shadow down below on the sidewalks of my childhood I don’t want to wake up. I am free. I am happy. Now I am drifting back into the real world. I have to pretend to be asleep for another minute or two so that I could find a place to land.

Once when I was ten years and ten months old, my mother took me outside onto the front porch of our house on Whitman street. Under the black Summer sky she told me that I was the man of the house now. When you are the oldest son of ten kids I thought that I was supposed to just jump right into his shoes. After many years of stumbling, awkward walking and falling, I realized that his big black shoes were just way too big.

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Home Movies


On the plane back from Las Vegas Nevada my prized possession was a dvd that Jaybird had burned for me. Several attempts at viewing proved futile and finally a visit to a "dvd specialist" gave me the bad news. The dvd never really burned. What I had was three seconds of Comedy Centrals Happy Days. Well, these weren't the happy days I was looking for.
When I called Mr. Jaybird with the bad news he almost instantaneously resent the dvd along with some other surprises. The movie then had to be converted in order to edit it. I found some free software on the web.
Originally this movie was just thrown together. It is a scrambled mess of dates and places and is in no way in any kind of chronological order. Some of the earliest stuff on here is around 1961 and the pool scene is probably a two years before dad died.
I want to thank Robert Jaybird Jones our long lost cousin for getting so many memories to me. It has been so good to be able to talk to him randomly on the phone.
For me, it is really quite eerie seeing dad "moving" That many of us probably never even remember seeing him move. To see someone you love acting goofy and even clowning around with his father is quite amazing after 41 years. The few seconds of mom being a loving mother is just priceless. You can almost forget at this point in your life that she did indeed give birth ten times in her life. She was a mom practically her whole life. A good mom too.

Most of these movies were taken by Jay Jones. Our uncle. He too, died terribly too young before any of us could really grow up to appreciate what a great guy he was. I remember him fondly. I am very fortunate. He had a heart of gold in his own military way!

A further analysis of this tape including a "who is who" list will come quickly after this posting.

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