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A Family Holiday

Life Story Club Contributor

Nov 22, 2019

I mean not any one that stands out in particular. My mother had died when I was about to be 15 so I stayed close to my mother’s sisters because they were in New Jersey. But then my father relied a great deal on his sister, Terry, who was my godmother.

And so when it would come to the holidays it was mostly the Italians part of it that did more of the bigger type thing. The other relatives had something and you always welcomed. But the biggest traditional big meals and everything was always on my father’s side because I had my Aunt Terry and Aunt Del and Aunt Jean. And they were all clustered in Corona. So that we usually where we had the biggest.

But then I was closer again, because I was in New Jersey, I was closer to my mother’s cousins. I mean on my mother’s side, the cousins. They become like sisters because I was an only child and so you reach out as you go. So in terms of really ever doing anything in my own house. At least, all those years…Nothing.

When my father and I moved to Jackson Heights, let me see, that was 1966. And I was working at RKO and give or take. So a little bit more upscale paycheck and different things like that. So we would have, not so much, what do you call it, the big meals per se. But my father worked in the pruned vegetable market. And on that street you had the meat market and you had the flower market and you had the pastry market and you had whatever. So he would rather float up everything. So he has a porterhouse steak. And he has the lemon and the pie, the mince pie and the other pie and the other pie and the cream pie. And he has all the cakes, all that kind of stuff. And so he would always make sure that Terry’s family got it. The mother’s family, the aunts…Here’s for father guy doing the church. Here’s for the principal and holy angels.

So I just recently now found out that my food stamp case actually had gotten resolved. And that I had actually gotten stamps that I didn’t even know I had. But I won’t be able to got another order. But anyway, anytime it comes to food or arguing over food or not having enough or whatever, I just get really… Do anything, just don’t mess with my food…

Because my father was such a blessing to everybody that at the point there’s even a discussion about let alone food stamps or whatever. It just annoys me because our family was such a blessing to other people that I don’t want to be like the beggar on the street, when it’s coming to something like that.

So now these Thanksgivings now will be pretty much, if I can I make the rounds. Kind of like a hi, bye type thing. And they do wonderful Thanksgivings here. There’s no way to go hungry. But then what happens is when I see a lot of food it overwhelms me as much and then I have no appetite.

I remember a boat show around the holidays that they had at one of the piers. And I was walking there to a convention services. It was a nice job. We would get paid off the books and we worked as cashiers and different things at the trade show. And they had one of the piers filled with food. And I swear, you’d walk through and the irony is you see so much of it that you can’t…

I think I said, “May I have a sandwich.” And I walked out with a finger sandwich and a little bowl of ice cream. And so I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. And at the end of it, it was like take whatever you want.

There’s so much. And people like stuffing themselves… And I was looking and it was like where’s City Harvest? Where’s the homeless? So, they gave me some sandwiches and some stuff. I guess I walked. And within a block, two blocks, there are the homeless lying in the street by the Time Square Church and along Seventh Avenue. I think I had 20 sandwiches. They had the sandwiches. I walked home and I had to stop at McDonald’s.

To get a coffee and yogurt or an ice cream. And I said, I wish I had a trade show with all this food. But I couldn’t, no appetite. So anything that becomes so overwhelming. Anything will. Too much of anything. So maybe sometimes we’ve had too much. And we need to be grateful because there were times we didn’t have.

And the balancing. The balancing. And it’s Thanksgiving, but how about a kind word? How about I try to say hello to somebody? Now I walk around with lollipops. I mean, it’s a little bit of… But you will be amazed that people are so grateful that you just even say hello.

Big Risk

Life Story Club Contributor

Nov 15, 2019

The risk sometimes is surgery. The doctor says “you’re going to have to go to surgery” and I’ve had three of them, total hip replacement. And you have to take the anesthesia and the whole nine yards and they can only hope that you wake up and there’s no complications and whatever. I mean, they ultimately, the surgeries haven’t been successful and that I still have a limp. But that was because I didn’t have a strong enough bone to be able to do whatever they were trying to do.

Three of them in this same hip here. But it’s just the idea of any kind of surgery or heavy duty operation, any medical stuff, you’re always at risk because you really don’t know what can happen. So I would say that’s three of those moral lessons.

Yeah, the scar goes from my knee all the way up, all the way up, and all the way up and all the way there. But this last time around he, however he did it, he had to, I guess, lengthen whatever, or use whatever kind of bone he could. But then he had to, he showed me pictures of it, it’s like wiring, like a spiral with extra wire to support what’s there. It’s like a five hour operation, six hours.

Is it painful?

It’s, because of the weight discrepancy, sometimes it’s, it’s that kind of way. But it’s not excruciating pain, but it’s uncomfortable. I really should be in some kind of physical therapy and I haven’t figured out where to go, but it’s in the works of things to be doing.

But I would say any kind of medical stuff that we go through you know, you’re just here in the hands of the surgeon. The interesting thing is, without even asking for it every time, which I find interesting, including when I’m in the emergency room, which was recently about some stuff. For some reason, there’s always a social worker that just happens to come by and there’s always a minister chaplain that just happens to come by. And it’s like any time something, here’s the minster and here’s the son, here’s the minister, and here’s the son, and I thought, “God, you really kind of have me covered.” It’s just, those are the two. You know, you pray. If God’s going to take you, he’s going to take you. You know what I mean? It’s like you just have to block it out, that anything terrible is going to happen. But it’s still, anytime anesthesia…

There was no, if you don’t do it. We have to. Yeah. But anyway, so I would say medical is… And then joyful would be the ability to, after the operation, to stand up and walk and say, “I’m not crippled, I’m not in a wheelchair. I’m not, in a way,” I have the cane that I still use, but I mean, I’m not a crippled person. So, still mobile. T-Mobile, I’m still T-Mobile.

Extraordinary Day

Life Story Club Contributor

Nov 1, 2019

I can still cry when I think about it, it was so crazy, the day that Kennedy was shot. And we all got the news, and it was around Thanksgiving time. And we were in the office, we were going to be leaving early, I think. And all of a sudden, this noise. And I just remember everybody gathering around and all we could do was cry. And it was like, is this for real? Feel that kind of a way, so extremely, extremely emotional time of it.

And then, this is real intimate, but another day at work, as I was in love with somebody at work that I was dating who was two timing me, and I didn’t know it, with one of the other women. And they … In the same company but on different floors. And I remember the secretary calling me and saying, “I can’t deal with this another second, because I’m extremely fond of you and I don’t care if I get fired for this, but I have to tell you something about my boss and your boyfriend.” And I remember meeting her on a neutral floor, telling me that he had this other girlfriend. And I’m telling you, if the ground could have just opened up and swallowed me, I would have been happy than to get that kind of news. You know what I’m saying?

So, I continued to stay there, whatever the deal is, but he went on to get promoted. Nothing happened to the secretary. I had to still see the other woman because she was friends with the girl who worked right next to me at the desk. And I used to see her come in on Fridays with the bags packed and whatever. Cause they would both go away on weekends. But once I knew that, I knew, but it was just a really … And it ultimately wound up costing me my job because I couldn’t deal with seeing him and seeing them, and I just couldn’t get over it at the time. Now I would go tooth and nail, and the hell with you, you know? But at that point in time, that wasn’t where I was at.

So, you just left your job?

So, that was my … I was asked, did I want to leave?

Yeah, kind of. You know, I really wasn’t coping very well, it was too much for me. It was affecting my job performance and everything. So, that was my most memorable day at work, finding out about the girlfriend with somebody I was totally in love with that I thought I would be marrying, not just-Yeah, it had gone that far, talking of engagement and all that stuff. So, this was a real … what do I even say anymore? Let down.

And then also the … Well, what I found out lately, forgive me, is that he married when he was 54, and he’s living in, forgive me, Sun City, Florida, in a half million dollar home and whatever is going on. And we were able to connect on the YouTube, looking like a million dollars and whatever. So, he’s happy, and he settled, and he’s whatever I’m going to say. What can I tell you? But the one that got away, you know, you have other feelings for people, but there’s always like, I think maybe one particular person that you would’ve considered life with. You know, other people, give or take. So, memorable day at work.

I can picture it like it’s … Ugh, if the floor opened up. I wanted to just not be there anymore, you know what I mean? So, don’t be in love that much anymore. Nobody’s worse it. Nobody’s worth it.

Young Trouble

Life Story Club Contributor

Oct 25, 2019

I wasn’t in trouble myself but, I was put in trouble by other people and I was thinking about it the other day. It was Halloween and we used to go through the neighborhood, you know trick or treat. And I lived in Hoytsville, which is a part of Fort Lee, next to Englewood Cliffs going off Jersey. And they had started building up the houses and stuff and I was curious to see how the quote “richer” people lived and they quote “new houses” and I decided to venture within my own town but a few blocks away to where the quote “rich people” live. And they were like, what do you call them, bullies. So I had collected a whole bunch of wonderful candy from my neighbors and my people. And a group of them got together, and they said they were going to steal my candy. I can remember, you know you just, you know, sometimes you just get a fear thing that happens and you don’t kind of like, forget it. And they said we’re going to come after you and beat you up and we’re going to take you up your candy. And they didn’t really mean that but they were kind of like running after me. And I never ran so fast. And I thought, the next time I run because someone gonna take candy from me. It’s like “Here, take it.” You know, is there anything else I can give you on the way, but please don ‘t rob me, please don’t threaten me, please don’t make me afraid. Please don’t make me afraid. I have like a thing about that. So ever since then, particularly with Halloween now, I go out of my way to be kind to people. I always say treats only, no tricks! And it just was a…. It’s just one of those things that you remember, how you can be having such a nice time doing it and then somebody can just put a damper and just make you afraid for whatever reason. Anything it’s just not nice.

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