Posts Tagged ‘John Lambert’

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 I remember the set of outdated encyclopedias in our rec room actually WERE my internet.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

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”)