Posts Tagged ‘James Vincent McSherry’

The Great Escape

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Jim McSherry was always our leader when we were young. We were mostly bored out of our minds desperate to find something to do. There was no technology, smart phones or video games as you have heard from us old timers ad nauseam on social media. We did do a lot of interesting things but in between those adventures mostly I remember walking to the Shopping Center to get a coke or a snack to start the day. Along the way we met with other members of the gang that lived along this route. So totally boring and mindless it seemed to me that I would spend the rest of my life walking to Carteret Shopping Center with this crew.

I thought I always had a plan in the back of my mind but it seemed too selfish and stupid to share to anybody. It was my secret.
My first love in life was the New Jersey Shore. I was carried there as a toddler by my parents, and was taken there in my early years by aunts, uncles, sisters and their boyfriends. Something magical happened to me when I sat in from of those endless rolling waves. It was mesmerizing inner peace and freedom. It attacked all of my senses, the salt air, the hot sun, the sand between my toes. This was always my heaven on earth.

As our fearless leader Jim McSherry was the one that started the football team (he was quarterback), he was the one that initiated side street baseball. He told us where to go. He told us what to do. If you didn’t listen or do what he said you were shunned mentally from the “gang” He was also much stronger than us and apparently a good fighter. (later on he did join a boxing gym and fought in the Golden Gloves).

One day James Vincent McSherry began our daily routine walk to the shopping center with a plan. We listened intently as he explained what his old brother had recently done, we would now follow. The plan was to walk to the Woodbridge train station and take a south bound NJ transit train as far south as it would go which was Bay Head. From there we would hitchhike a few miles north on route 35 to Belmar. Belmar was a quaint little shore down. This was the McSherry beach of choice. You see each family in New Jersey had adopted a favorite beach to visit. I know for the Hartmans it was Point Plesant and the Gitter enjoyed Bradley (Bagel) Beach. Stuff’s family went to Seaside Park. Jim McSherry was our leader and Belmar was “his” beach so Belmar it was.

Belmar was unique in a way that they had huge wooden lifeguard boats that they turned over at night. We could tunnel underneath them at night to create a place to sleep. A couple times when we did this adventure we actually rented a room. Today I still wonder where all the adults were. Our parents for one thing, allowing us to travel by train 50 miles south, hitchhike and rent a room to stay over night. Also, what kind of responsible mature adult rents out a room to a group of teenagers all obviously under the age of 18?

So what stuck in my mind was that this great adventure and rebellious plan actually worked. This beach escape became a permanent fixture in the back of my mind. As the gang went on to different high schools and some of us to college we separated. It happened swiftly and without warning like life usually does things. I don’t really remember saying goodbye to anybody. Life just happened. If I would have known that our very last walk down to Carteret Shopping Center was our final, I would have done things so much differently. I would have a taken camera and lined us all up in front of Krausers holding our cokes and snacks in a cheer. I would ask one of the passing adults to snap our photo. Then I would individually hug each and every one of the gang and wish them well in life. “Bless your journey, whatever it may be.” I would say with tear filled eyes.

I struggled greatly in an all boy High School dominated by geniuses and talented sport playing fellow students. They had trophies with their names on them in the huge glass case out in the reception area of the school. The administration had a flawless reputation to keep. We are the best and nothing else. They hung up newspaper clippings on a board by the trophy case demonstrating that greatness. I was just barely getting by with my grades and at home it was now 5 years since the death of my father and almost pure chaos had kicked in. It was also around this time I started to drink. I drank to get drunk. This was a fine escape.

I was delivering the Star Ledger in the early morning my first three years of high school and I adored getting up early to do this. There was something magical and QUIET about being the first one up in a house loaded with 12 children. (at this point Barb had moved out and three step brothers had moved in). I loved the complete stillness of the early morning when I walked my route. Sometimes I would see stuff in neighbors garbage that I took. I found a cool wooden box hand engraved which I still have today filled with concert tickets. One time I found a box filled with National Geographic magazines and I picked up and took it home.

It was in these magazines I discovered the world. How huge and beautiful it is. There was something bigger, more important and much more beautiful out side of Carteret New Jersey.

I had concocted a plan and it was to run away from everything. I would save enough money for a one way ticket to Hawaii, pack nothing, fly there and then spend the rest of my life there. Since Jim McSherry had taught me that you can sleep on the beach that was my plan. I would stay on the warm beaches of Hawaaii until I could find a small job, maybe washing dishes and then just work my up. I told myself I wouldn’t tell anybody where I was. I would have just vanished with a new life.

With no internet checking flight prices and departure times was done with a phone and at times my vision of living on a beach in the Pacific ocean seemed unrealistic. But I was determined and several times I had saved a couple hundred dollars in the bank for my plane ticket but then “something always came up.” I don’t know whatever happened to this plan to escape. It got lost in the rough and tough tumbles of life. It was still always there, though, whenever I got frustarted or lost a job or fell behind on my bills.

It was only in writing this now and remembering that I realize a very influential friend has been gone in my life since I turned 20. It was one hot day in the Summer that Jim McSherry knocked on my door and said, “I’m leaving now. We’re moving to Arizona” His father had asthma so bad that the doctor told him that moving to Arizona would be the only left to save him. So Jim McSherry moved away and started a new life. He came back to visit a few times and I went there once to visit him in Arizona State University but it was never the same. He was on the other side of the country and so was his imagination, his laughter, his impersonations, his animated story telling and all the magic that he brought to any friendship.
Now he is slowly dying from congestive heart failure and I ask that anybody who reads this to say a prayer for him and his family. He is a great man.

What Goes Without Saying

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The ART of Appreciation or
The Appreciation of ART

I enjoy this ____ because ____
I respect this ____ because ____
I admire this ____ because ____
I appreciate this ____ because ____
I think this _____ is worthwhile because ____
I love this ____ because ____

July 2012 New York City
The city. In a nutshell I missed you terribly and yearned for that thundering subway underneath my tattered (I’m in shatters) sneakers. (Sha doo bee) The stench of rotting sewers sweltering above as we wait for the green flashing WALK. My balls tingle as we rise rise rise above the sweltering elevator of un-airconditioned heat. (Sha doo bee, shattered shattered)

Diary of a Sex Addict
scene 32
Greenwich Village. A crowded outdoor Cafe.
CoCo: That’s a nice camera.
Butch: Bigger is better.
CoCo: (signaling for a check) Not always.
Butch: I’m not talking about cameras.
CoCo: (annoyed) Why change the subject?
Butch: Because I’ve been watching you walk around the Guggenheim in that sexy dress all day.
CoCo: (laughing) Oh, lets’s get a room, then!
Butch: How about a secluded back alley off Bleeker street?
CoCo: Cheapskate!
Butch: No. Thrill seeker.
CoCo: Mmmmm, that does sound intriguing. I dare you!
Butch: I dare us!

The Gone-by Days of When I Drove a Forklift on the Nightshift.
or Goggling Your Own Name
Entering a new drag and drop dimension Funny how life works in ebbs and flows. A lot of blogs I read are written through rose-colored glasses. We all have a tendency to sugar-coat our own life – social networking gives us that opportunity every day.
When I woke up, I was 18 and working at a warehouse across the railroad tracks and over the West Carteret bridge. I woke up drunk because bed-time wasn’t but a few hours ago. (spent most of the night driving around with Glenn Haley drinking Bud nips. (7 ozs bottles) I don’t know why we always got those nips. I think because we were driving and if we got pulled over maybe it would be easier to hide.
In the past the Summers are always hotter and easier. There were no cops or confusion. Just drinking and adrenaline laced adventures.
My fork truck was #30 and I named it Wharf Rat. Written on the side in black magic marker forever. One of the faster in a large fleet of fork trucks. I was young, dumb and full of cum. My pony tail curled up into a twisted blonde ball, my beard a wiry mess.. Wharf Rat was my horse and I rode her into the sunrise of the receiving dock hangover in tow. This was my life for too many years and I thought I would die there in the long aisles of warehoused sporting goods.
Back to the closet of another job here in the future. One final kiss before the time travel. Kryha is so into passionate kissing Now to a different warehouse on a rainy night and the smell of fresh cut pine.
You’re face is glowing red in the distant sun of the EXIT sign.
Yes, I have said goodbye to all my friends of the past. Some are even dead now, but I’m going to see them again.
Mc (pronounced “Mick”) Gitts (pronounced “Skeeter”) Bill Brunner (pronounced “Bill), Hoy (part of the original Banana Splits) Stuff, Beds, Dino, Puppet, Nutty, Pokey, Bobby Orr, Bok (pronounced “Baaaaaaaak) God I miss these fucking bastards.

I accidently by all
no fault of mine

traveled via blue sky many years ahead
waking up in twisted wet sheets

a man breathing, walking white halls
pulling around squeaky wheels

his oxygen tank
into pristine whiteness and

florescent dementia and weed cancer
in the retirement home

of ex designers and production printers
spray paint freshness of the train muralist

(pronounced “Graffiti”) crazy old people
mostly men and my sister Bonita visiting me

So I must be in Ohio, she sits on a white surreal plastic chair
flirting with the younger male receptionist

I miss driving most of all and texting
and the rest of my family where ever they have gone

I don’t recognize my hands
and I’m missing a finger

Kryha is in Poland milking cows
with rich Asia on a golden farm with huge bales of hay

you always told me “I’m not going to take care of you”
I appreciate your honesty, emails, and electronic brain photos

of Polish hillsides
and those strange looking trees

you always liked to paint
“I am in love..” you type “…with another…

…bucket of hot foamy milk”
and brown crispy fresh baked bread

the jagged fields of berries
are radioactive red! those damn Ruskies!

the sky is swirling with doubt
I am an old fox in a florescent cage (pronounced

retirement home) waking up alone
with a nurse washing my armpits

All the Arctic animals have melted
everyones warm laptops scream the news

Outside my recycled window the bravest hour
strikes my analog clock

My desire to live will never go away
is what my sister whispers in my ear
(to be continued this post)

Inventing Abstraction
Man of Construction says this: Can you climb that ladder on the hottest day of Summer
carrying tools, strip the three layers of old roof off and install a new roof?
Man of Printing says in return: No. But can you scan a high resolution image, color correct, clean, clone and print?
Man of Construction then says: No. So I guess we are even?
Man of Printing says this: Yes, pretty even I guess, except that I didn’t emasculate you in front of your mate like you did to me.
Moral: “Say it once again now-
Oh I hope you understand-
When it’s done and over
Lord, a man is just a man

The wind whispers yet another rainy Jersey Shore evening
Butch: (looking off into the distance) I want to change the world!
CoCo: Oh yeah? You don’t have any money.
Butch: (shakes his head out of a daydream) Money! Who needs money to change the world?
CoCo: (laughing out loud) You need money for everything dear.
Outside the thunder and pounding rain on the boardwalk invite warmth and love into the warm cozy hotel room.
Butch: I love thunder.
CoCo: Perfect timing too. You are going through another Super Hero stage.
Butch: (after taking a deep breath) You don’t need a super power to change the world. When you wake up to the blessings and gift of another day, you must face it with the willingness to do the best that you can. Be kind to every person you meet. It’s not easy. Neither is judging. When I meet somebody for the first time, in my mind, I have them all figured out within ten seconds. Their aura is sucked into my brain and most times I configure people to be less of a human then me. I am learning to stop this quick judgement of people. If there is a leach on your back, it is probably sucking the life out of you and you don’t even know it. This leach has the capabilities to to suck all the monies, strength, and dreams from your body and soul. The leach is in a place on your back where you can’t reach it. Everybody sees the leach on your back but they can’t pull it off for you. That leach is yours and only yours..or so you think. Until the day comes when you can finally reach around and pull that F-ing thing off your back, you MUST walk tall and act as if it isn’t there.
A leach will never learn to live for itself. It’s whole world depends on sucking from you twenty-four seven. I have the super powers of sobriety, calmness, patience, love and most of all: GRATITUDE. You can fly through the clouds self-doubt. Break through the brick walls of depression. The day the leach falls off your back, curls up and crawls away, you will realize that it was indeed years and years of this leach that has actually made a super hero out of you!
CoCo: I have a craving for cheese perogi.

(the continuation)
I know if anybody knows
the trails and cliffs of time travel

Whose are these doors I open?
where strangers in white shadows swim

If you’re driving down a ONE WAY street
in a refurbished pick-up full of trees

thank you for not turning around
the snow flurries carried me home

Ill miss your Chinese eyes
Ill miss your chicken soup

A robot cleans my room today so
grab a brush and paint your dreams

End
(pronounced “see ya later”)