Monday, May 30, 2016

Band of Brothers

Fall in. Park your bicycles in a row.
Breezeway leaf sweeper, shovels and a hoe.
Pay attention to the yard you must mow.
Weekly allowance – I don’t think so.

Burgers all around. Soft drinks on the side.
Anna’s baloney is best when it is fried.
Cupboard bakery snack cakes, cookies, all twist-tied..
Enough to nosh --- to be somewhat satisfied.

Cosmetic affluence --- A bit of a show.
Nothing ever as it seems you know.  
Live, love, laugh, rolling in the dough.
Color coded - Red, Blue, Green, Yellow.

Push down, pull up, roller-coaster Sandusky
Breakers, squall lines - Chicken of the Sea
Life jackets, half hitch, all aboard - bow and stern lights,
Dockside cabin cruiser – safe, clear, starry nights

You wanted to be with your friends this week.
You wanted to hang on the corner or the tracks.
You wanted to call that girl late and sneak out back.
You wanted to break some rules, smuggle a beer, relax.

Instead you are on a family trip in close quarters.
Towing the line, swabbing the deck, following orders.
And yet - All these years later I wouldn’t trade a minute
All those times I shared with my brothers in it.

Note: Our family of six children included an older brother and an older sister too. Mom often referred to me as the oldest of the four boys denying me any claim to middle child syndrome. I have fond and vivid memories of growing up at a time when a Kennedy-esque Camelot seemed attainable even in Northeast Ohio. Dad was captain of the Leprechaun – a 29’ Chris Craft with a flying bridge.       

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Attic of my Being

Reflections on May 20 – the anniversary of my birth

Tiddlywinks, Lincoln Logs, Tonka Trucks, footballs, baseballs, whiffle bats;
Superman, Batman, Robin, Tony the Tiger, Felix the Cat;
Lawn mowers, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Monopoly Money, Cracker Jacks;
Slinky, man on the moon, Tang, Rock n Roll, Photomat.

Kodak Moments --- Ektacrome, Kodachrome, Plus X;
Summit, Elbur, Lake, Manor Park, Andrews, Bird Town, the Flats;
East Side, West Side, North, South, right and wrong side of the tracks;
Ohio Bell Land Lines, Cleveland Museum of Art, May Show, Shakespeare, Peter Max;

Running, 10 speed, CYC, Valley Hike, Touch Football Passes;
Downtown Cathedral, Hegwig, Malachy, St.  Luke Masses;
Browns, Indians, Crusaders, Rangers and Hurricanes;
Madison, Lakewood Park, Sandusky, Cedar Point, weather vane;

Winterhurst, Agora, The Brass Bell, Mistake on the lake, Erie sailboat race;
Hair on fire Ralph J. Perk, Carl B. Stokes, Dennis the Menace, Face to face;
War on the nightly news, Kent State, Twist of fate, checkmate;
Ed Sullivan really big show, JFK Nixon debate, The Selling of the president in 68;

Captain Penny, Barnaby, Romper Room, Wrestling on TV;
Party in the Park, Bandstand, July Parade, Let it Be;
Manners Big Boy, Perkins Pancakes, Bearden’s Burgers, Holy Name;
NFL Football Canton and Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cut and paste, lost and found, dusty records, scrapbooks, ticket stubs, hello, goodbye;
Renaissance, rebirth, the circle of life, a baby cries, an old man sighs;
The ephemeral overwhelms but was never meant to last;
The future looks bright --- have a blast.