Friday, November 28, 2014

The Four Seasons

The argument about what came first always intrigued me. The basic one is about the chicken and the egg, which came first? But  in the order of creation I always wondered which season came first and I have come to the conclusion that the seasons follow the life of human beings.

Spring seems to me the first order of things. There are little spouts of growth pushing their heads up though mother earth. Trees are showing buds and leaves are appearing on bushes. Soon the grass is getting greener, flowers are showing their colors and the world seems to be waking up from a deep slumber. However everything hasn't settled in just yet. The roots have to go deeper into the soil. The early buds have to open. The flowers must bloom. This new birth is very much like human life as the baby pushes itself out of the mother's body, full of life, crying, wet from the mothers insides and ready to grow and flower.

Summer is the next step for nature's beginnings. Everything seems to be taking form and the form is healthy and strong. The days are longer and warmer and full of doings. The trees reach for the heavens with their branches full of green leaves fluttering in the air and providing nesting places for the birds and climbing for the squirrels. Youthful maturity is all around us as the air is warmer, the sea more inviting, the fish biting. And everything seems to be mating and creating and loving the light and strength of newness. As the summer comes to a close things seem to move slower as the sun's heat starts to wear down everything, the plants wilt because of the heat and lack of water. Everything is starting to age little by little. Humanity is great and strong when it is healthy and young and immortality seems it's destination. But even the great athletes of seven feet and two-hundred-fifty pounds of muscle start to feel the wear and tear of their doings, of their aging.

Autumn gives a bit of reprieve. The days begin to get shorter letting the height of the sun's heat cool in the evening skies with a heat-less orb so big and round light up the skies and stars blink against the darkness of the night skies. New colors are shooting forth from the trees as the leaves are preparing to drop off the branches and flowers, bushes and trees begin their fall into a coming Winter's sleep. The deeper into Autumn, the weaker all growth on earth becomes, grass browns and loses it's greenery, everything is bare, no flowers or leaves. Seemingly, the flicker of earth's candle is getting weaker and seems like it is entering old age. And so it is with humanity. Humanity, crawls, grows strong, works, breeds and just when it seems to be ready to enjoy all of it the flicker of life gets weaker and the flame starts to fade.

The start of Winter isn't so bad, the days feel brisk, not bone chilling. Some snow comes and the whiteness is beautiful. But soon the days are almost nonexistent. The evenings get long, and even longer  which makes one wish for the golden sunlight that summer brings. Soon the air is bone chilling cold, the snow turns to ice, the animals are sleeping, and quiet fill the days and nights. It is as though the world has gone into hibernation, or death has arrived. And so it is with life. As one gets older the days get shorter and soon the sweet sleep of death takes over an embattled body and mind. The long sleep of rejuvenation starts to take place.

For as the Poet says, "If Winter Comes Can Spring Be Far Behind?". And the cycle starts all over again, for the earth to be sure, and for those of us who have the faith, and even those who do not have the faith.
For our winter will also cycle into our renewed spring of a new life as sure as it does for the planet we call Earth, and this life which contains our souls.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Radio before TV, Great Days

It was a rainy, dreary slow moving day. No place to go. Nothing to do. He was looking out his window and his mind started to drift back to when he was a kid, radio was king and television existed with only a few stations  only for those that could afford it. When he could convince his mother he was really sick she'd let him stay home and he'd listen to the radio for stories, music and ideas that let him fly all over the world without ever leaving his room or opening his eyes if he so preferred.
At noon there was a story about a hotel that people came to stay at. It's theme song was "There's A Small Hotel", and it stared Kenny Baker. A funny little half hour show he couldn't listen to unless he stayed home from school. And it was well worth it.

A little later there was Gertrude Berg staring in "The Goldbergs" a delightful story about a Jewish family living in New York City. It eventually got to TV but it never was as popular as when it played Radio, with her husband, Uncle David, her son and daughter. He could close his eyes and live with them in their apartment as they went through their daily troubles which always turned out OK.
Around five or so Hop Harrigan  came on for a fifteen minute show based on a comic book character who flew planes. It started  with Hop to the tower saying "I'm coming in.". He had Smiling  Jack
And Terry and The Pirates
In the comics which were about Pilots also. Back then flying was a big fascination especially because the Air Force became such a big factor in WW II. But as far as he remembered only Hop made the Radio which was big time. Around six or so Martin Block came on with the "Make Believe Ballroom" which played music, had some inside chatter and on Saturdays played the top 10 or 20,  He forgot how many but it wasn't 40.
He just kept remembering all the great radio shows including some great newscasters.
Gabriel Heater came on about 9 or so and always led with "Ah there's good new tonight!" even if there wasn't. Radio was great. Radio took your mind to the top of the great hotels to listen and dance, had great stories like "The FBI in Peace and War!". Radio even brought Christ back to us in Fulton Oursler's  "Greatest Story Ever Told". All we had to do was turn on the power, close our eyes, lay back and let our imagination be spurred to visual brain impulses. Most stations signed off with the national anthem but WNEW had an all night music program call "The Milkman's Matinee', with Art Ford for those of us who couldn't sleep. Great days. Better than TV but never to be recaptured.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

All The Girls I've Loved Before

Just heard Sinatra singing about all the girls he's loved before. Checked out the Internet and got Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson singing a duet of the same song. I am sure these Lotharios all loved many beauties with names and fame like they had it would be easy. But for any real time relationships that the public knows about they weren't as successful as the song has them boasting they were. We read about these famous love affairs some of them very sad and tragic, like Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. But we never get the real intimate words and thoughts they shared, the real things that formed the basis of their relationships. I guess it would be very hard to get what was really going on in any relationship for it is not words, or events it is love, feelings and more spiritual mixed in with the physical that makes up any relationship. These are things that really can't be explained they have to be lived. Only those who are sharing their lives can really know what the whole relationship is.

This whole thing got me to thinking about some of the girls I've loved from when I was very young to when I am very old. Some were very short relationships, one was extremely long, one or two were ones I didn't know there was a relationship going on until it was over. The ones I knew about were very intense, and burned with desire. The other ones remain a sad thought of reflection. The shortest ones were somewhat comical. The shortest occurred when I was 17.
I was a senior in high school and Loretta was in my class as well as in my neighborhood. Two things ranked first and second in my life then, baseball and music, coming up closer was girls and Loretta was all girl that captured my attention and returned some favors. We hung around all summer together and then one hot summer night after sharing some summer kisses she asked me where we were going in our hanging around together. I was under the influence of the starlit , full moon skies and I asked her to be my girl. After she said yes and we smooched and petted a bit, she said "And one more thing". This is a phrase I felt bared some problems and I was right. She proceeded to tell me that now that we were a couple I would have to spend more time with her, like going to church on Sundays which would mean I would have to give up my Sunday Baseball games. I had a game the very next day and we were fighting for first place. I didn't want to give up Baseball so I had to choose. Maybe it was a cowardly thing to do but I agreed with her, went home, woke up the next day and played the game, we never spoke again until some 45 years later when we happened to meet. I think she forgot about our entanglement.  By the way I got a couple of hits that day.
 The next three relationships happened at three stages of my life. Bobby and I met at my first place of employment after high school. She worked in stationary and I was an office boy who wandered all over the building. There was a storage place that was quite lonely. We used to meet there and pass the boring part of the days making out. We finally agreed that there was a passion that couldn't be quenched between us so we became a couple. We dated, made out and things were going very splendidly as far as I was concerned. That is until one day I ventured to our spot in stationary and I found her in the arms of Jim Gallon. Suffice to say I was a bit upset and being young and a bit inclined to rash decisions I broke up with her on the spot. I really couldn't understand how she could be in love with me and make out with someone else, I really haven't changed much, but that's me. She was absent from work the next few days so I called to see what was up and was told by her mom that she turned on the gas over some emotional problem and she was being attended to. She called me later and we started to date and become involved all over again. But even after her promises I found her with Jim again. I couldn't blame Jim, in those days that is the way guys acted, but I did expect her to stay away from him as long as we were a couple. Out theme song was from Jose Ferre's picture "Moulin Rouge"  which had lyrics that said "Whenever we kiss I worry and wonder, your lips may be near, but where is your heart?". We finally said goodbye. She didn't die and neither did I.

The next gal was a bouncy blond that was a few years older than me which held a certain mystery, going out with an "older women", who knows what this could mean. My best friend was part of this whole group of guys and gals that went out together. Georgette and I hit it off right away and we became a couple. I must admit I felt a bit guilty since she had a boyfriend in the Army and the Korean war was going on. But what the heck, life goes on. And to prove that fact it seems that my best friend was also attracted to Georgette and when they became too friendly I decided to step aside and let them have a go at it. Unfortunately,  Georgette didn't see it that way and used to call me at all hours, two or three in the morning which caused my mother a lot of distress but didn't seem to bother my father. After going through a year of this craziness I split once and for all and asked her to go on with her life and let me go on with mine. And we did. She eventually married my best friend and became a shrew. I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

The last girl I will tell about was a long term affair, over fifty years, but not without it's very own problems. This beautiful gal had many suitors before me and in fact was engaged. She would never tell me much about these guys just enough to let me realize she never forgot them, that is until she came down with Alzheimer's. The recurrent theme always came up, the other guy. In fact if she didn't split with Rocky Castle, Roberto Di Castillo, we would have never married. That bothered me in a way. The other suitors were a flight of fancy and I guess so what. One thing was certain that in over the fifty years we were a couple the only arms she was in was mine. But the recurring theme was there was always another guy lurking in my girl's past. Of course there was another girl in my past. But you know how guys are, don't you? They want to be the only one even if it means the ones before are just forgotten.

As to unknown loves there were only two I remember. One was with a vivacious co-worker with whom I got very close but not until we were in separate jobs did I realize she was looking for a deeper relationship. She came to town on a business trip and invited me up to her hotel room for breakfast before work. She was in her bathrobe but face made up and I know something could've happened but I had a quick cup of coffee and left. Since that time we have drifted so far away that we barely exchange Christmas cards. Before that day so many years ago we always shared deep emotions and ideas. The other one was Marilyn, who was a Secretary and with whom I got very close. She was married, older and was in love with her husband and children. She was moving away and came into my office and said she wanted me to know that she was in love with me. She said she could tell me that knowing we would never see each other again and therefore nothing would ever come of it because she still loved her husband. Needless to say I was floored but very flattered, and also very sad for obvious reasons.

I guess that's all about all the girls I've ever loved before, well not all but the most important. As to present relationship, I can't refer to that except to say history has a way of repeating itself but most important  the thrill of a kiss never wanes, a hand holding that says "I am here for you",  the thrill of life that comes from a shared love always makes life exciting and worth the ride.