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 Joyful memories

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alj
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PostSubject: Joyful memories   Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:44 am

Something – I am sure I don’t know what – has triggered memories of certain people and events in my childhood.

These are very good, solid, happy memories that I cherish, and would like to share.

The little town where I grew up had some very positive qualities for a small Texas town. Maybe I should say a “small Louisiana town,” though, since this one was (barely) geographically in Texas, but had a very Louisianan attitude, in a southern/Cajun /Creole way.

And a big part of that way, in my mind, was its almost absence of anti-Semitism. I begrudgingly say almost, for this was the 1950’s, and an element of prejudice could not be completely dismissed. I wish it could, but phrases like “Jew down the price” would not have existed; only they did.

But this was a below-the-level-of-consciousness thing., and not a part of our everyday living.

In our neighborhood, which was a “nice” neighborhood in an established residential part of town, there were several “denominations” represented. People still tended to identify themselves by their denominations. For example, some were Baptists, which meant that they did not drink alcohol or go to movies, especially on Sundays. Some, like my family, were Presbyterians, who could do just about anything they wanted to, because their fate was already pre-decided. Some were Catholics, which mostly, to us, meant that they did not eat meat on Fridays. Some were Episcopalians, which meant they, like Presbyterians, could do, or not do, pretty much anything they wanted to do. Episcopalians were also a lot like Catholics( who, like them, ate only fish on Fridays), but if they messed up, they did not have to “go to confession,” which is probably why, when I was 16, I decided to stop being a Presbyterian and start being an Episcopalian. And some were Jewish, which meant, to us, that they did not eat pork, and went to “church,” which they called “synagogue,” on Saturdays instead of Sundays.

One of our traditions was the neighborhood backyard barbeque. Our backyard was a frequent location, because it was large and unfenced, and on a corner lot, and because my dad had a very large grill. Everybody in the neighborhood would bring enough meat for their family and a side dish or two. All the meats would be cooked on the same grill.

I am remembering one neighbor in particular: Abe Sokolsky. Abe would invariably, when it was time to fill his plate, come by the grill and ask my dad what the various choices were, or, actually, he would direct mu father’s telling. Always, somewhere on that grill, there would be a pork roast, or rack of ribs. Abe would point to them and ask my dad, in a very innocent-sounding voice, “And what is that one, Clarence?” And my dad’s eye-twinkle would increase several degrees, and he would respond, “Oh, that’s a bit of…mutton…,Abe.” “To which Abe would reply, in a super-serious voice, “Ahh, ,…mutton…, then please, Clarence, would you cut me a bit of that…mutton?”

It’s a funny thing. I’ve told that story in the years since, and invariably, someone would get offended by what they saw as my father’s lie. What wasn’t understood was that it was a mutual lie, which allowed Abe to enjoy a bit of meat that he would not have otherwise, without having to feel guilty of an intentional sin.

Those were good times. I miss them, and all of the diverse people who would have been in attendance.

I wish my memories of those gatherings included African-American faces. They did not. That would take another whole generation of time and enlightenment, but it would eventually arrive – before I left, with my children, for life in the big city.

Ann


Last edited by alj on Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Those are happy memories, Ann.

Thank you for sharing them.

I have no recollecion of Jewish folks and the earliest memory of a black person was a very entertaining black preacher.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:59 pm

Dear Ann,
From you and Dick I think I have an idea how to work on a blog. Very Happy

Your story reminded me of my David's brother Dan and his Chrismas Day preparations for him and his wife's family and friends.

Six grills were set up in his back yard. One contained the pulled pork staying warm, another had the turnip 'taters and some collard greens on the burners. Another had hot chicken wings. Everyone had brought dishes to go with. Warm, it was.

Love,
Betty

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:26 pm

It sounds warm, Betty.

Reminiscent of my Uncle Feagin's Barbeques.

Ann
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:16 pm

Memories.
 
My daughter Caroline just sent me this clip of me and my granddaughter, Natalie.  It is hard to believe that she will turn 18 in February.  She will be graduating from HS in June and has been accepted into the Honors program at Virginia Tech University.   Although we as older people are on the decline, we have hope for those on the rise. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCjAAcNeg0Y
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:22 am

The following was written by my grandson, Erik, as a Vignette school assignment:
 
[size=32]A Whole New World[/size]
by Erik Long
 
The airplane roars to life with a power of a thousand elephants.There is noise on the speakers reading out directions on the nearest exits. The aisles are crowded with passengers frantically trying to put their bags away before liftoff. I am sitting next to the window on the soft seat looking out to the runway where workers are trying to prep for taking off while pouring rain thumps on the ground. When everyone is ready the plane rolls out sluggishly to the runway. I close my eyes slowly and think to myself “We are going to Germany.”
 
I jolt up in my light sleep while we touch down. It is a bright sunny day in Germany when I open my small shade. I get off the huge plane and jump in a car that we rented leading us off to our grandparent's house. I look out the car window to see a new world. As the world goes past I look at the contrasting array of colors of green and browns.
 
   As I drive to my grandparent’s house I see a brightly colored, tan house right across from my grandparents. The house was filled with flowers with all kinds of colors. The workshop was shaded, inside was a layer of dirt filled with motorcycles and farm equipment spattered with grease and motor oil. This was the stunning house of my grandparent’s friends, Herr Behr. He is a tall, hardworking guy that has lost some of his fingers! He may seem mean at first but he has a soft heart. One day he invited me to come over to his house to ride his green dirty tractor around the corn fields. I drove the steering wheel and he controlled the gas. We were slowly driving the tractor, but then he said to veer to the left. I hit the corn with a smash and a whole bunch of corn cried as we drove over it. I was guilty and I always feel bad to this day about it.
 
The car drives up to my impressive green grandparent’s fence. I hop out of the car and find myself in my grandparent's courtyard. It is paved with big stones and vines growing all over the walls. The white garage is filled with my grandparent’s old car, I hear the trickling of water running down the cracked fountain. I look at the wood door where the bikes we ride are sitting there, excited to get out of the musty room.  I excitedly walk up the steep steps and open the door of my grandparents.
 
I take a deep breath. The room is filled with musty air (which I like) and warm sunlight streaming through the windows. It is something so peaceful it could be a meditation room. I walk up the tan, spiral stairs to the top floor. As I walk up I hear laughter and joy coming from the room above. When I get up there my grandparents are waiting there. Opa and Oma (which is what I call them) were standing there smiling at me. Opa is a strong, sturdy man with big glasses and white hair that was in perfect shape. He was wearing some casual clothes that didn’t match. Oma was a pipsqueak compared to Opa but she was just as great. Oma has tiny glasses and she was still wearing her pajamas! I was so happy to see them. I could just explode with joy.
 
The next days I was playing a game called UNO that Opa loves very much. We always teased each other with remarks about losing. I also watched a show called Get Smart, a comedy show where he is a spy who is somewhat clueless. It is always so nice to have a mini heart attack waking up to chickens honking their hearts out. We go to German restaurants, play on the playground, bike across the vast green vineyards of Germany, and maybe have a little dessert.
 
These trips to Germany remind me there is a whole new world out there with loving arms. I get excited to share these events with people when it comes up. I sometimes think throughout the day about Germany. Its vineyards and how peaceful it is in the morning sunlight. My grandparents are so nice and funny in so many ways. They teach me that being old is not the end but the beginning. They make me feel welcome and at home when I am there and I look forward to being a grandparent when I get older. The funny moments with my grandparents and the peaceful, relaxing times in Germany will live with me forever.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:30 pm

GOOD FOR YOUR GRANDCHILDREN!
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Joyful memories   Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:34 am

I certainly miss Ann, she made life interesting as well as happy.
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