Years ago I had a newspaper column in a local rag. My by line was The Jazz Bus, which originally was Jazz B US which was misconstrued by the editor week one, so it stuck. That’s another story to which I digress, but back to Father’s Day. Let it be known I miss both my parents as well as my aunts, uncles, grandparents and sibling who have predeceased me. I only hope that they are looking down on me with a smiling face. Not having anything special to say today, I decided to re-run an article from April 3, 2011. For those who expect some music related theme their is a mention of my kid brothers SUPREMES record collection. HAPPY FATHERS DAY.
The Jazz Bus: Childhood Memories
I grew up in a small cape style house on a quiet street off of Hawkins Boulevard in Copiague. Having arrived from Brooklyn as an infant, that house was all I ever knew until I established my own place. Being the oldest I flew that nest first by establishing my own place across town. My brother left for an upstate college, got a job there, met a girl, married, bought a house of his own. My Sis only lives a few miles away from “the nest” . Unfortunately, my parents are no longer with us and with no true reason to return to the nest the time has come for their children to sell our home.
The major task at hand for the next few days would be empting sixty years of mementoes from the house. I started by taking the pictures off the walls. My hands started to shake and hesitation abounds with each photo as a special moment captured in time brought everything back to life again. Then the voices, sounds, and scents of the many years began to replay in my head: My brothers laughter and all his Supremes 45’s being played on dad’s Victrola; my sister telling on me for teasing her; my mom’s always great advice; my dad’s ashtray on the kitchen table filled with the Camel cigarettes he smoked while he waited for me to arrive home so we could discuss one of my many indiscretions. Later I uncovered my long discarded bike in the shed, the motorcycle “trophy” given to me by my dad after my second spill, a Little League team picture taken behind Scudder Avenue School, my sister’s dolls, my brother’s art portfolio, and my mother’s wedding dress. With each item the task at hand became more unbearable. Pots, pans, dishes, flatware, cups, clothes, furniture, on and on it went. Christmas ornaments, books, records, and finally the photo albums. I was alone when I found the box of special photos and childhood mementoes that my parents secretly saved for us to find at this moment in time. Report cards, progress reports, news articles, and special birthday/ anniversary cards we made for them when we were kids. Tear stained they became as I could not control myself, calling out to them aloud and thanking them for having put these items in my hands today. Yea, I didn’t remember sending them, drawing them, or even making the Honor Roll, but I had to thank them for saving these truly precious memories.
Today the house has been completely emptied, first time in all these years. Most items are in storage so at a more convenient time The Family can get together to decide who takes what. Walking through the old address one last time gave me a sense of satisfaction and a huge smile appeared across my face, Not that I had cleaned it out but rather for those two loving people from Brooklyn who raised a happy family in Copiague by taking a small house, a wooden structure, and turning it into a home, our home. They must have been proud as to what they accomplished. I imagine them smiling down upon us.