Jul 3, 2017

Cleaning out my closet.

I started to write this back in ’06. If you asked me where the time has gone, I'd have a hard time telling you because the days really do seem to rocket by. However, I’m on this kick of late to clean up all my clutter and the drafts que is a part of it, so here goes...

You look back on life and the funny thing is the things that stick with you. Memory is interesting, you block out a lot of the bad stuff and the past takes on a rosy tint. It’s a wonderful glow, free of the suffering and trauma that existed when it you were living it.

Life through the prism of memory is a highlight film, just the best moments there for you; it’s the magical times and magical people who made a lasting impact on you. They are fixed in your memory and if you grow out of touch they remain there unchanged by time.

I was about 12 when I first met Jackie. It would be around 1972 when Flo, Jackie and Laurie became a part of my life. They would be a big part of my life from ’72 all the way through to ’76 or so but they still would remain in contact with me through about 1980.

Jackie was the older daughter of a very sweet woman (Flo) my father was dating at the time. Through Flo and her family, I wound up meeting a wonderful group of people, people who would become important to me throughout my early years as a teenager. As a result, I ended up being exposed to a lot of things I would have otherwise missed out on and I would have been a lesser person for it.

There was Flo, Jackie and Laurie - we wound up spending a lot of time together for a period.

Jackie, two years older than me and Laurie a year younger, all of us would go out with our parents and have a wonderful time. I saw Gilbert and Sullivan plays because of Flo. I remember going to see Ben Vereen in Pippin on Broadway and seeing Gigi and the Desert Song as well. Also, I can recall dinners at La Crepe and the Hawaii Kai - vaguely mind you but, with fondness nonetheless.

Me, a boy on the cusp of being a teenager, an only child to boot, it was a bit of an adjustment being exposed to this household of women. It wasn’t a problem so much as being a kid in a candy store with two very beautiful girls around my own age in close proximity...
So, I started that in ’06 then came back to it in Oct. of ’08, let’s wrap this one up.

 

The Hawaii Kai was truly a great place for a teenager back in the seventies who grew up poor and wasn’t familiar with the city.  There’s a great article on Gothamist about the place (click to read).

Or watch this video:


And La Crépe too! On Broadway just up from Lincoln Center! Going there for a treat after a Broadway play was just about amazing for teenage me!

I think the Lincoln Square movie theater replaced La Crépe, so much of the city has changed.

But the point is that at a young age I did get exposure to things that made a difference in my life because I have no doubt my path could have gone off into some very dark places.

Think about it, I got to see Ben Vereen in a Bob Fosse directed play!!!





Kind of a big deal...

I got to see Agnes Moorhead of Bewitched fame in her last role before she passed. That was in Gigi!

I saw so many plays over a period of two years or so and got a chance to be exposed to a world that was so different than the one I knew, I can’t think it was a bad thing and thinking on it now I have to wonder how things like that could be so helpful to so many kids.

I’ve talked about Flo, Jackie and Laurie before. Jackie died about ten years ago now, she never made fifty. There are no guarantees and she was just one of a few people in my orbit who passed far too young and reminded me how we don’t have certainty about the length of our ride.

Which makes me finishing something I started 11 years ago seem very small in a way I can’t explain but I am lucky in a lot of ways for who has come in and out of my orbit over the years.

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