My Facebook Blog - Oct. 8, 2014
7 years ago today-only change, I double spaced
“Venus, if you do, I promise I always will be true; I’ll give her all the love I have to give, as long as we both shall live. Hey Venus, Oh, Venus! Make my dreams come true.” I still know all the words to this Frankie Avalon song from 1959 and that the other side of the 45, was “Bobby Socks to Stockings”, to which I remember most of the words.
How could you forget a phrase that said “when she starts trading her baby toys, for boys”? For a soon to be teenager, the last year of the 50’s came jam packed with its own kind of sensory overload.
Unlike today, when, if you choose, you could stay in bed and be provided, via technology, with nearly everything you desire. At 12 years old, I was halfway through my school life. Staying in bed and home from school was, at best, risky business, which included interrogation by the grand inquisitors, mama and papa. Only actual blood, or vomit in congress with an Oscar nominated plea for sanctuary, would one be able to ever stay home from school. That was OK, because my brother, Chris, and I never wanted to miss anything at school. This was the place for our type of sensory overload and remained so, through our graduations in 1965 and 1966, respectively.
In winter, after a night of steam pipes clanging and banging, like the seven dwarfs working in their diamond mine, we would scurry out of bed, always on the edge of being late, to the coldest floors in America. Making it first to the bathroom was paramount, because there was a big warm fuzzy bathroom rug, and with the door closed, the midget sized radiator made it feel like a tropical rain forest. Bolting the door and making your brother yell “let me in, I need to use the toilet (pee)” was important for setting the mood for the day.
By then, our sister, Patricia, age 2, would be making noise to be released from her prison as well. I owe all my expertise with babies to Pat. Mama stayed in bed as long as she could but Chris and I had to be off to school, and eventually, I’d turn over a happy, breakfast fed, dry sister to her. Did I say sensory?
In the next few years, Victoria followed by Andrew, came to be under my care. Mama was either waitressing or doing someone’s laundry, just to help make ends meet, so the role of live-in babysitter became a routine that, at the time, didn’t bother me, seemed like the least I could do, for parents that always loved and cared for me.
I/we, had plenty of time for school and sports and friends. Girls were becoming more of a sensory feeling that greatly interested me. How did that work? I made a mental note, let’s figure that/them out; a note that still hangs in my mind even these 59 years later.
Unlike the technology of today, we had only our senses to figure and work things out, and I will say that even today, I’d still much rather talk and be able to see and touch someone, especially a girl, than wait for some app, that tries to explain how that is done. Google is never going to be able to tell whether she wants to be kissed or not; or in my case in 1959, whether it was OK to even speak to one (a girl).
We were kept busy with, school, being an altar boy at St. Ann’s, Cub Scouts (Mrs. McDonough was my pack leader) playing football and basketball in fall and winter and baseball in spring and summer, and little league in addition to duties at home, for a 12-years old, suffice it to say, there was enough of everything to fill each day.
Back to today, which is a fall day in October of 2018, I took a little break, as my brother Chris came over and we went to Good Days for lunch and we had burgers and fries and each a glass of water. We reminisce, often, of our old friends and match up our exploits and memories to make sure they jibe. Chris has been a much larger sponge of our childhood and our lives than I, and I’ve been told I’m pretty good at what I recall. It’s good to have him here often, sometimes, I hold back the tears, he wouldn’t understand, as per one of papa’s life lesson’s, “boys don’t cry”, he, Chris, has not always had it easily, but he’s still here, and continues to work at being the perfect man, husband, son and brother; I love him, and wanted to at least note it somewhere, since he has steadfastly refused to enter the world of Facebook.
We always say "love you" whenever we part, as do my other siblings. Do you? It’s good practice, also it sets an example for your children who hear everything (believe it) to follow and pass on, and you don’t even need an on switch to do it. Maybe the next time I’ll do better at staying on point; it’s in my job description “handle with care, he drifts”. Bless you all and if He Wills, later, just sayin’..