Happy Fourth, Dad …

Most of my funny stories are about my mom. Because I had her around longer, because she was a more dominant force in my life, and because frankly, she was funnier.

Dad was like a summer rain storm. All day the weather is hot and sticky, the humidity so thick you can slice open a cloud and drink. Then in the late afternoon or early evening, the clouds darken, electricity crackles, thunder and lightning, rain pelts hot concrete and fast and furious it’s here and gone.

And so in my life, my dad was like an afternoon thunder-storm, electricity, thunder and lightning, and fast and furious he was gone. He was young. I was younger. We didn’t know or understand each other in time to make any sense of it.

But he loved a few things I loved.

He loved walking in the rain and music, cowboys and baseball, football and politics. He loved his adopted country, and more than anything or anyone, he loved my mother.

He loved swimming in the ocean and telling tales of the sea and Tuesday nights at Coney Island.

Kids from all over New York knew the famous display of fireworks that exploded from Fourth of July to Labor Day Weekend every Tuesday night at Coney Island.

The mothers and children went late on Tuesday, arriving at the beach around three in the afternoon with their wagons and bundles. Dozens of people moved in the other direction and as many were arriving, having the same thought. The women set up camp in their usual spot, gathered several of the large steel mesh trash cans to cordon off their territory and sat back, waiting for the men to arrive.

When the men came on Tuesday afternoons after work, the women brought a wagon filled with pots of pasta, baked fish or chicken, raw meat or poultry cooked on the grill, including the coffee, brewed after dinner on the grill or an open fire.

From Sunset Park:

The older men came in from their swim and stood for a long time drying off.  The families shared their pots and dishes filled with pastas and salads, broke fresh-baked bread and toasted deep blood-red wine in short glasses the old men used for tea at the deli. They laughed and ran after the small children, corralled them into the center of the blankets, banked by their parents, protected, safe and happy. 

Some of the younger men brought their guitars and sat holding hands with their newest love. I moved back and rested on a blanket alone listening to the sounds of the strings and the harmony of their voices. I wanted the night to go on forever as I gazed at the sky and watched dusk turn to dark. The nights were warm breezy and the sky overflowing with stars. 

Suddenly the night exploded with light and the hush sounds of children and adults, the darken sky decorated with intricate patterns, trailing, swirling.

 Like blossoms opening and closing and petals falling, falling towards the water, towards my smiling face. 

The sounds of children laughing, people clapping, hushed again, exploding colors and lights, a baby crying, a man shouting, patterns and explosions, lighting my face, falling, falling down into the ocean. 

And oh a collective sigh, ending with the darkened sky.

Have a happy day
And remember someone
You love,

fOIS In The City

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2 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

2 responses to “Happy Fourth, Dad …

  1. christicorbett

    Such a wonderful post, I feel like I’m by your side experiencing it all.

    Great descriptions!

    Christi
    http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

    Like

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