Sunday, August 11, 2013


I grew up in a working man’s family.

No spiraling staircase or sparkling chandeliers were in my boyhood home.

Not even a dining room.


There was a gas furnace beneath the floor in the living room.

When the furnace dragon was roaring hot, you had to be careful not to burn your feet on the metal grid as you walked across it.

When you looked down you could see the glowing heart of the red inferno.

One time, infantile droppings descended from my diaper, creating a horrible stink---or so I am told--- because I have no memory of this, but my older brother has given me enough instant (I first wrote infant!) replays of this moment so that I am able to clearly recall the odoriferous occasion without needing any hypnosis or psychoanalysis to pry loose the memory…not that I would want to!


Hollyhocks, garter snakes, and night crawlers dwelled outside in the small front yard, and beyond this were open fields full of hopping grasshoppers.

I had to go catch these insects whenever my dad went fishing.


Our house had one record player.

My “classical” music education consisted of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and some of Tchaikovsky’s compositions.


Before our 3-D computer age, I was happy in my simple, non-electronic world.

I got along just fine without any wide screen TV, laptop, iPod, or cell phone.

My 3-speed Schwinn was my best friend.


My parents weren’t big readers, but my mom loved to read Micky Spillane’s novels. 

Later in life my dad told me that his favorite poet was Tennyson.

I wasn’t a big reader either, until after high school.

I found two books that were in the house:

One was called Motorcycle Chums, and the other was called The Book of Rhythm.

The last was a book on natural birth control, but I didn’t want to read it and all of its fancy charts.


Almost every weekend in the summer was spent in the mountains where my dad went trout fishing.

There were places along the river with these deep, dark holes where ancient trout lived, wary of being caught.

One of my cousins liked to scuba dive in these caverns.


No, my life didn’t have a very classical or classy education, and I have been ironical in claiming that it was.

Sorry about that.




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