Saturday, November 2, 2013

Reflections On A Life Well Lived

He really had no complaints. He grew up in the nicest neighborhood. Way back when the place was dotted with empty lots, plenty of trees and single family houses. Only ten miles from New York City yet it was country. Had a public school with a great schoolyard where all the guys learned how to play softball, fast pitch, stickball, handball and basketball.  You learned how to fight there too. But no gangs and no grudges. The guy who beat you or you beat him was the first guy you picked for the pick-up softball game the next day. The high school was only a mile and a half away and in those days was great.

The neighborhood was his second family, everyone knew everyone and looked out for each other. What was great he had a great family he was born into. The fact that it was just he and his brother with a Mother and Father who were always there for them didn't mean his growing up didn't include a grandmother, plenty of uncles and aunts and great cousins who seemed more like brothers and sisters made his growing up a swinging affair with lots of laughs, yelling, kissing and food great food with plenty of servings of music.

His first love was Baseball. He never made it past "Open Y" ball and an offer from Dem Bums (Brooklyn Dodgers) for a trip to Class D but at least he had a shot which he turned down because Class D probably meant he'd become a baseball bum before a major leaguer. So he turned to music his second love and he tooted his horn for the Army Band for two years, played local gigs even had a few songs published which never went anywhere. He did have the pleasure of playing ball and music, before crowds. Baseball before a crowd of a couple of hundred once in an all star game for one of the YMCA leagues. Played before a group of Three Hundred as a soloist in the Army and as many as there might be as a member of a wedding band. He always remembers the big hand his solos got and even one time in Baseball when he made a sensational catch and threw a runner out at home. Good memories!

In the business world he even had the rush of being a young man on the rise for an Independent Motion Picture company. Became Assistant Treasure at thirty one. Traveled all over the world in this capacity and felt the rush of success that didn't last longer than fifteen years but he enjoyed every minute of it. The special moments he really savors comes when the young attorney, the only attorney, was going through a nervous breakdown and could not function at all times and he wrote the contacts and negotiated some deals. For a year he practiced corporate law and acted as a salesman. None of his deals ever fell through nor were any of his contracts challenged. He even participated in selecting pictures offered to the firm as part of a team

At a later stage he got into acting and taught for two years as an Adjunct at a Community College. He really enjoyed performing. Some of the larger crowds he performed before were as large as five hundred and once or twice only two or three. The one movie he made for satellite played the I Max at Lexington Ave, but not for long. Another movie is still playing in some foreign countries. Never made too much money but met some stars and some that were on the rise. No complaints.

With all that was going on the best thing that he ever experience was this Hot, Beautiful Puerto Ricana whom he pursued until she caught him and spent the next fifty years raising their brood and loving deeply and strongly. She loved her kids greatly and he did also but he let her love shine through he figured his kids would get to know how he felt towards them He was always there, faithful as she was, they understood a loving long term relationship. His kids recognized that faithfulness and fidelity not because it was a burden but freely given and they have returned it a hundredfold. He always felt she left too early but when the Master calls we gotta go. No regrets.

All this was done through the Spring, Summer and Autumn of his life. Now he is in the Winter of his life but he isn't going to lie in the snow of age and fall asleep peacefully. His life was full of love, romance, laughs, personal achievements and he saw no reason to let that stop. He knew he couldn't play sports or music anymore but he could view it and listen to it and appreciate the fervor of the fans and the heights a good trumpet solo can raise one to. Many feel that the Winter of one's life should not feel the hot breath of love and should settle for companionship. He felt if the situation arose why not jump in the water and take a swim as long as there is a willing partner who wants to share a life full of love and trust, regardless of age. There was much to share, to give, to receive.

Looking back on his life he had no regrets. Everything he wanted to taste he did. Maybe some things were not a full meal but sometimes a taste or two is better than not having the sense of the great bouquet and aroma any part of living can give. But he was not looking back he was looking ahead. Hopefully he will continue to have his special someone to share the future's great surprises until, of course, one closes one's eyes and slips into eternity.          
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