Archive for January 2014

Holiday Memories   9 comments

Happy HolidaysI haven’t blogged in quite awhile but I am back now. Before I start let me just say that I have finally completed my book. For those who want to the title is “A YEAR IN BUSHWICK.” It is a fictional memoir of a fictional cop in Bushwick in the seventies. All I have left to do is to format it for publication and for Kindle. When formatted it should run between 330 and 375 pages. I had one person ask if it was like Brooklyn 99. No, it is to “Brooklyn 99” as “Stalag 17” was to “Hogan’s Heroes.” Not that it is anywhere near as good a “Stalag 17” a great movie. Speaking of Bklyn 99 when I first saw the previews I thought this is going to be bad. I was wrong it is much worse than that. The show sucks baboon ass. Anyway that’s done, now onto the blog.

Now that New Year’s is over I just wanted to comment on the holidays as I remember them as a kid and a bit older. Not quite as old as I am now which I believe to be about a week older than dirt. At least it feels like that sometimes. I’ll start with Thanksgiving watching the “March of the Wooden Soldiers” on Channel 9. I was amazed years later when I found out that the old frail Mr. Barnabas was the same actor who years later would play the young powerful Indian Chief Scar in “The Searchers.” I remember Thanksgiving in Red Hook as a large family gathering in a small apartment with a big kitchen. Most of us had large families. Few had large dining rooms but we didn’t need them the kitchen was the heart and soul of our homes. It was where we lived and entertained. There were eight of us in my family and usually a cousin or two around. On Thanksgiving there would often be over a dozen for dinner. It was a fun time. I remember Father Maroney going around from store to store and bar to bar collecting for food baskets for the poor for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My family was never anywhere near rich but we never needed the baskets and would be able to donate for those with less.

I can recall one year a few days before Thanksgiving Father Maroney walking into a bar and seeing the a food basket on the bar. When he asked the bartender how it got there he was told that a patron had traded it for a few drinks. Maroney went berserk. He started yelling that the food in that basket was to feed the children of that family. The bartender gave the basket back to Father Maroney. He stalked to the building where the recipient. Climbed up to the fourth floor apartment and banged on the door. When the father who had traded the basket opened the door Maroney pushed him into the kitchen. He put the basket on the table and dragged the man to the window. He had him half out the window when he told him he would be back on Thanksgiving and if that basket wasn’t being used to feed those kids he would throw the father out the same window. The children ate. Christmas was another large family gathering. Midnight mass, listening to the choir, “A Christmas Carol” being played over and over again. The Yule Log on Channel 11. A time of simple joy. Now New Year’s when I was young was a wild time. There were no fancy parties, no Tux’s, No one in Red Hook would have stood for that bullshit. Instead everyone’s door was open with food and drink set out on the kitchen table. People would go from house to house carrying only a glass. No one needed to be invited or to feel left out just get up and visit. Years later I would come to feel that New Year’s Eve was my least favorite holiday. It became an amateur drinker’s hour. That view was further strengthened when I became a cop and spent my first New Year at Times Square. The mob pressed should to shoulder. If one died he couldn’t fall until after the bell dropped. The roar of a million babbling drunks, the smell of the crowd and the vomit. Pretty much a good time to be had by all. Anyway that is it for today. Feel free to add any holiday memories you have and now that it is the 3rd I feel I can say Happy New Year.

Marion Harmon, A Writer in Vegas.

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