Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Everybody Has A Story.

I read the newspaper every morning on the radio; it's for the visually impaired and homebound of my area. The obituaries are a big feature, perhaps because we want to know if any of our friends or acquaintances are still with us. As we get older, we know more people and there is a greater chance that one of them will show up in the morning paper.

They aren't just names. Joe Blow was born here, worked there, made a bunch of kids, retired and died. That's not what you will see when you read them carefully. You see, many times, the little differences that families allow to be seen.

"Daniel Fields ... was self-employed as a marriage broker, owning and operating Fields Exclusive Service." He was Jewish, born in Poland; perhaps he conducted his business over there.

"John Barberio ... was a recycling pioneer, establishing his regular practice nearly 70 years ago." I went to his wake and learned that he was a junker since he was 12. Picked up anything he saw that would fetch a dime. Cans, bottles, glass, metal. He knew where the best spots were. Made some good money.

"Geraldine Van Dyke ... treasured her childhood memories of a time when her home often was the hub of holiday festivities for family and friends who visited for food and drinks during the Prohibition years." Just think -- mommy and daddy ran an in-house speakeasy and Gerry was there to experience it.

One woman, who passed away at 77, had been a Radio City Music Hall Rockette many years ago. Another was a five-time winner on "Jeopardy!" and made it to the Tournament of Champions. Yet another was born in a logging camp in a remote part of Luzerne County and, in her old age, decided it was time she joined the Metropolitan Opera. If you've seen the Met, there are people who populate the stage and have no singing roles other than walking around in costume. She was in several productions, fulfilling her ambition to be onstage at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. I knew her; quite a character.

Everybody has a story. Maybe mine might be that I'm the only person in my profession in the U.S. who also has a broadcast engineer's license, the highest class of Amateur Radio license, was a Notary Public, had a music column in a strike newspaper for over 27 years and is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in Entertainment.

What's your story?


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

You know you mentioned the nuns and their docility etc. I went to a school which was run by the Dominicans, and from sixth grade up we had sister Henrietta, tall and straight who I doubt ever smiled in her life on earth. She did not seem to have a temper problem, however several of us back row boys in the class were recipients of he slaps. In fact, a friend of mine, Kenny did something, I forget now, and she pushed him under his desk and kicked him. Kenny was a tough kid, from a poor family in a bad side of the city, and he got out from under the desk, stood up and punched her in the mouth. We never saw Kenny after that.

Sister Amata, who must have been at least 124 years old wielded one mean three-sided ruler. She was the pre-cursor of Maxine and in her class she was ''da boss'', and I guess nearly half the boys in that class had their knuckles rapped over the school year.

Now, that didn't bother me. What bothered me was being punished for whatever and having to spend Saturday mornings washing the convent windows. My father would help me out a bit and bring a mess of fish over to them. Actually what that did was that my father and mother became more intimate with the nuns whom I suspected laid it down on them on what a troublemaker I had become since my earlier years there when I was a darling. My mom used to invite the mover for a picnic in the yard. Sister Amata would come over and funny how I found her to be a real nice person. Good old Maxine!

Enjoy reading you stuff. Very versatile. You must have touched many avenues in life to be able to venture into these subjects

April 12, 2006 6:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home