Monday, January 24, 2011

Knock On Wood

The memory swelled up. Mom, Dad, Rory, 7, me, 9, sitting in our 83rd Street living room watching Mighty Joe Young on the The Million Dollar Movie on TV. Same movie, Monday to Friday, after dinner on WOR Channel 9. It was our third viewing that week. Mom was reading a Reader’s Digest Abridged Book and Dad was polishing his dress shoes with a power drill. He bought a buffer attachment specifically for this use. It sounded like Willie Sutton working a bank safe. This thrilled Mom. Dad’s shoes were lined up soldiers getting ready for inspection. Rory and I didn’t care about the noise ~ we had memorized the movie’s dialogue the night before.

In 1966, Dad bought his first small saw and lathe and worked on wood. He set them up near the fire escape window as if this would help. Now the noise, ink, lead, clay, and show polish was complimented with sawdust. I fully expected Mom to murder Dad and easily sway the jury and get off.

After her swift arrest and a speedy start to her trial, Mom would bring the jury to our Yorkville apartment and ask Rory to turn on the Victrola all the way, she’d tell me to start the power drill buffer and use lots of brown shoe polish on three pairs of shoes, then Mom would flip on the saw and lathe and grab a few pieces of wood and get at it. With the music blasting, the buffer drilling, the saw and lathe humming away, the jury would all shake their heads slowly side to side as they passed Mom on the way out of our small junior four apartment. With the sawdust flying, they’d squeeze her shoulder and give her short hugs.

Dad’s work was exquisite.


Mark your calendars: I have Storytelling Shows scheduled for Cornelia Street Cafe @ April 12th & June 14th.

Both shows are on Tuesday @ 6pm.

Tales from the stoop, in story & song. The Cafe is easy to get to, I promise you a wonderful time.


No comments: