Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Uncle Mommy sent me a Halloween card every year. Here is the last one along with some of my favorites.

As kids, we struggled and moaned in a Woolworth's 5 & 10 aisle trying to figure out what to be, what costume to buy. Each character had a mask that you secured to your head with a rubber band attached to the mask with two staples that sometimes poked you when you moved around. If it broke (often), and you were not near a stapler, you walked around holding the mask up to your face with your only free hand carrying your candy bag in the other mitt. When I was 5, my Irish grandfather was pretty pissed off when he found out my grandmother used his "not that old" clothes for my "Bum" costume. All the clothes were delivered back after I received five hundred flour sock whacks from my so called friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Pumpkin Family's New York Holiday

After taking Junior to the top of the Empire State, the Pumpkin family continued their first day in New York in Carl Schurz Park. They're here to celebrate you know what (hint: "BOO!") Stopping at 86th St. they noticed Peter Picklepants throwing himself a 15th birthday party near Henderson
Place. After a slice of yummy cake, they took Mister Picklepants to Ryans Daughter for a hearty toast. Saying goodbye to the old fellow they headed west towards a lovely B&B they found that welcome families of fruit. They walked through Central Park saying
hello to The Tempest and two star-crossed lovers. At 72nd St. & Central Park West leaving the park they froze to enjoy a perfect sunset slipping into the river.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Cold War Kid

In October 1962, my parents’ mood was grim. There was a lot of whispering between them.The newspaper headlines were bold and twice their normal size, like World Series headlines. The Cuban Missile Crisis was commanding the full attention of the television and the radio.

“The Russians are coming,” was all I heard from just about everybody. It raised the hair on the back of my neck. I tried to shut it out of my mind.

I was 8 and in the third grade at St. Stephen of Hungary School on East 82nd Street. At the start of music period, our teacher, Mrs. Francis, would put the needle on the record.
“Class,” she would say, “sing along.”

And we did: “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think/Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink.”

I was oblivious to the meaning of the lyrics we were singing. I liked the tune. Thinking back, it was not a prudent selection for young children to sing in fall 1962.