Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reruns of Sunday Memories: Lost in The Dangling Conversation, A Childhood Joy Found

Technical difficulties and medical happenings welcomes in rerun of technical difficulties and medical happenings.

Originally posted  April 28, 2013

A tense moment in The Rifleman

He had waited until 6:30 for HIS show to come on - The Rifleman.

I had never seen it.  I had never heard of it, my understanding of Westerns gleaned from Florence's critiques of bus driving styles and Bucko's Cowboy Lands.

But my father pulled up his chair close to the new flat screen TV that my sister had managed to incorporate into his life from 3,000 miles away, and watched with the rapture of a little boy

And then I remembered something.  A conversation had when he was speaking in more sentences than the few dozen he now repeated over and over again.  

Amidst the poverty and the brutal unhappiness, both  at home and on the streets of the Lower East Side, every once in a while, an extra nickel would be found and the kids would race off to the Saturday matinee, probably on Delancey Street.

There, beloved heroes fought favorite villains, the cheers and boos of hundreds of exhausted, usually hungry, tough little kids filling the beat-up old theater.  My father told me that every time the bad guy started sneaking up on their cowboy, they'd all shout, "Look behind you, Cowboy Hoot!!"

I telephoned him, seeing if I could shake loose from the mind slowly fading away, more of those days.  But, other than the names of the cowboys he loved and the cost of admission, there wasn't much left.

Before ringing off, his growing impatience and panic for Meals-On-Wheels to arrive now crowding our conversation, I told him I had never seen The Rifleman until I came to visit him.

"I'm wondering when they are going to run out of plot.  Awful lot of activity in that quiet little town," he said and then hung up to wait for lunch to be delivered.

Related Posts:

Getting Lost In The Dangling Conversations

Our Westerns
Sunday Memories: The Intimacy Of Men

And What Did My Sister Do On Her Birthday!

Sunday Memories: Stairway To Heaven

Hoot Gibson

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reruns! Of Dad And Lawrence And The Memories He Never Got To Have

Technical difficulties and medical happenings welcome in reruns of technical difficulties and medical happenings.

Originally posted June 14, 2014

Ok. Let's get something straight on this day of fathers.  We never had a television in the house.

So, there was no gathering around the TV to watch Ed or Johnny or Lawrence.

And, while we're at it, we never lived in those guys' America.

There was no clean-cut nothing going on on the Lower East Side.  We didn't speak with that bell-like crystal clear accent or with syntax that lined up as it was supposed to.

Our voices were loud or coarse, and our words came out like they had just been beaten up, vowels all open and wide and tired from centuries of running that never stopped even after sitting down at a table of food not always guaranteed.

Those beat-up words lined up in the formation of a language my father called a "slave tongue" which is why he never spoke Yiddish to us, his desperate wish, like God's for Moses' people, we grow in a world free and unknowing of those chains.

Our clothes were proudly gotten from friends, outgrown yet still good, or church bazaars where tables overflowed with proof of other peoples' abilities to buy what they needed new, now no longer useful or wanted.  We wore those clothes proudly.

How we spoke and what we wore looked nothing like what I saw that recent night in California, Dad's chair pulled up as close as he could get, his hearing so gone and the volume so loud.

I wondered when he fell in love with Lawrence Welk.

I wondered when he even got the chance to dream of a life where words were crystal clear and all the pretty girls' dresses had nary a stain or mend on them and looked like they were not three year-old fashion but just off the pages of some smart happy magazine, like Good Housekeeping.

I wondered when he got a chance to sit before a TV screen we never had and stare at the bubbles and watch skits that had utterly no irony, wit or depth or the synchronized swaying of a big band that looked like they just came out of the washing machine.

Lawrence's world looked so happy and there was none of that where we grew up.

And when the hell did my father get a chance to peek into that America?  He was too busy supporting us, his own dreams paying for our care.

He wasn't an awful father, but he dreamt of being a dad that could have lived in Lawrence Welk's America.

Sometimes, when it gets late, sometimes late in the evening, sometimes late in life, you dream of memories you wish you had.  And sometimes, that's good enough.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  And thank you for the microscope and engraving pen and the painting kits and the stuffed basset hound dog and the...

Related Posts:

The ER Visit - Part Three: Welcome to His ER California

His New York His California His Home: Part One

Getting Lost In The Dangling Conversation

Sunday Memories: Lost In The Dangling Conversations

Sunday Memories:  I'm Your Memory

Dust To Dust And Then New Cities Rose

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reruns! One Year's Meat Is Another Year's Poison. Or Piggybank.

Technical difficulties and medical happenings welcome in reruns of technical difficulties and medical happenings.

Originally posted March 21, 2013

Seymour smoked.  Florence smoked.  In those days it was like drinking coffee or putting ketchup on your burger.

When they got married in 1947 or 48, someone gave them a bubble-glass ashtray for a wedding present.

It did its job like the rest of the stuff in the house. 

But then smoking got definitely bad for you, not just kinda a lousy habit, but really really bad.

Florence offered me and Louise $100 or maybe it was more if we didn't smoke until we were old.  Like twenty-one.  Louise made her pay up.

The rest of us quit here and there.  And then finally.

So the ashtray, along with all the other accoutrements of lighting up, had to find a new job.


Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: On The Road

Sunday Memories: Part Three: Home Work

Sunday Memories: Our Gods Eat These Foods

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Memories of Memories: "I'm Your Memory"

Technical difficulties and medical happenings welcome in reruns of technical difficulties and medical happenings.

Originally posted May 25, 2014

That's what Len says every time Seymour says he can't remember.

Not stuff like the thousand of jokes or remnants of Marx Brothers songs or ditties from the lower east side my father can rattle off for hours on end.

No.  Just the next five minutes.  If he and Len are going to the bank or the supermarket. If it was lunch or time to sit the couch.

"I don't remember."

"Don't worry about it.  I'm your memory."

Len is.  He remembers the schedule of each hour and every day.  He know every doctor and every check up.  He knows what meals are incoming and what medicines are running out.  

But I wonder who holds the other memories.  Not the joke or that the supermarket is next.  But the other ones.... the smell of the cake his mother used to bake in coffee cans when they lived at Knickerbocker Village.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories:  Lost In The Dangling Conversations

Ode To Spring, New York Old School Style

Encore:  When Does A House Become A Home

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday's Child is Loving and Giving
And Is Practicing Detente

Two adopted cats
after 18 months,
have accomplished
what some Governments
around the world
have not.

Learned to live together.  
And when the need arises, 
attack only the shadows...

You too can have 
international peace in your home!!!!

Meowsers, this girl is a stunner! Molly and her sleepy sister are very cuddly and affectionate. They rub themselves against the bars of their cage asking for attention and swoon at the gentlest touch. They are 8 years old and need a home together because they've lived their entire lives as a dynamic duo. They will make wonderful pets for a very lucky cat lover! Come visit them during Social Tees' regular hours (see below!).


It's freezing out there and all the rescue puppies and dogs need some extra layers! Social Tees will more than happily take used sweaters, coats, shirts, etc.

Please email if you have questions.  Donations accepted anytime during regular hours! Thank you!! (This well dressed boy was adopted last week!)


His foster parent just canceled and Social Tees doesn't want him stuck in a cage!

Coco is amazingly friendly and playful, awesome with other dogs and all people he meets. Loves to cuddle, 8 yrs old, only 12 lbs, just groomed.

Email NOW if you can help! Pickup is ASAP at Social Tees





Mon to Fri 5pm-7pm
Sat & Sun 12pm-4pm

Social Tees
325 East 5th Street
New York, NY  10003

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Waiting for Godot. Or the World to End.
Whichever Shows Up First.

Used to be a Sunday afternoon found the Henry Street Theater packed with kids.

Used to be going to the theatre was more normal that watching TV

Used to be being in a theater was as precious as riding the Staten Island Ferry.

So I was surprised to see them sit down.  And thrilled.  Suddenly, braving bitter winds and cranky subways to see a show didn't see like such a rare event.

It reminded me of what leaving home used to be all about: watching alive, vibrant masters of their craft do what came naturally.  In this case, re-enacting the radio show, the War of the World and my favorite book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 

I hear next week there is even more.  Back to the Future!!


Related Posts:

Variations Theatre Group

The Chain Theatre

Sunday Memories: Television, Old School

Sunday Memories: Getting Out of Town

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Stork Has Arrived!

And when you write about cloning, it's an extraordinary stork, indeed.

Welcome to the world, The Only Ones.

An extraordinary book by Carola Dibbell and published by Two Dollar Radio is now available for purchase, for delight, for a flight into another world.  Be the first on your block.


Originally Posted June, 2014 and REVISED!

You can spend years in a room.   Wondering if that whole "caterpillar in a cocoon" thing was just a fairy tale that kept you locked up.   Until one day you're done and it's finished and you push open the door to a huge world and you come out, bursting with brilliance that would make the most beautiful butterfly weep with envy.

And that's exactly what Carola Dibbell's debut novel, THE ONLY ONES has done. 


Below are excerpts from TWO DOLLAR RADIO's announcement and interview:

With a stylish voice influenced by years of music writing, The Only Ones is a time-old story, tender and iconic, about how much we love our children, however they come, as well as a sly commentary on class, politics, and the complexities of reproductive technology. It is an outstanding book, grand in scope, relatable, heartbreaking, accessible, that I know will turn a lot a lot of heads.

TWO DOLLAR: The Only Ones is your debut novel, and we’ve scheduled it to publish in March 2015, which is a month before your 70th birthday. That’s pretty rad.

CAROLA:  Having said all that about the dignity of unrecognized labor, let me be clear. It is a life-changing event to have  work I’ve put so much into about to head out in the world. I find myself thinking I should finally start cardio workouts so I’ll be alive to write the next novel. I think about the shape of a life with this late-breaking twist.  It is very, very sweet.

It also would have been sweet at sixty.

Even fifty.

Happy Birthday, Carola!

And thank you for being such an inspiration.

Related Posts:

Her New York's Debutante of the Year

Two Dollar Radio

Admiring the Moon Over the Capital