Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"On Three, Make a Stupid Face" ~ Freedomland 1962


“OK, go stand against the wall.” Dad said.

“Oh God, another friggin picture.” Mom mumbled down towards the top of Rory and my head.

We just stepped off the Lexington Avenue local at the end of the line: the Pelham Bay Park El subway stop. With his Yashica 44 camera hanging from his neck, Dad was gathering us for our first group shot before the train we got off, pulled out. On our way to Freedomland, the terrific new amusement park in the north Bronx, Dad thought he'd capture every step of the way. Every step. The three of us took a vote and Dad won “biggest pain in the ass of all time,” and we didn’t even get to the ticket booth yet.

“No, no, Tommy on the left, Patty, you in the middle, Rory on the right.” Dad said.

“I want to be in the middle!”

“Rory, be quiet.”

After the three of us were placed in dog show positions, Dad said, “Hold still, and smile when I count to three.”

Mom said through her tight lips,”On three, make a stupid face.”

“One, two… three!”

And here it is. The most revealing photo in my family history. Mom and I in cahoots make stupid faces, Rory is still pissed off at Dad for not letting him stand in the middle.

Because we ruined Dad’s photo, he walked ahead of us and didn’t talk to us for an hour. Which was just fine with Rory, since he was always mad at Dad, and vice versa. Mom was thrilled she pushed Dad’s button. My stomach hurt from being caught in the middle.

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Two events coming up: I'm reading at "Mr. Beller's Neighborhood Reading Series" on Friday, May 27th @ 8pm @ Happy Ending Lounge on Broome Street **** our next "City Stories: Stoops to Nuts Storytelling show" @ Cornelia Street Cafe @ Tuesday, June 14th @ 6pm. Details to follow on both events.


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2 comments:

amgphoto said...

Tommy, this brings back so many memories for me...

I remember going over the George Washington Bridge in our new Austin-Healey convertible...a 4 year old perched over the gearshift between my mother and father...no seatbelts or carseats back then...one small bump and I'd have flown right into the Hudson!

My father brought his 8 millmeter Yaschica movie camera...and filmed all the sights...the burning of Chicago, the boat ride through the Great Lakes, the horseless carriage trip through the New England village, the western gunfight, Danny the Dragon, and so much more.

It was one of those places I begged my father to take me back to...but it never happened, and a few years later it got torn down to make way for Coop City. I still have those 8 millimeter films...

Thomas Pryor said...

Andrew, I can see the film! Thank you so much for sharing your memory, its funny, the GWB reminds me most of Palisades Amusement Park, that gold ring on the other side of the river when I biked with Dad up to the bridge. Thanks again, seeing you in the car makes me grin, take care, Tommy

ps got to see your films