Category Archives: Memories

At This Time Of Year



Remember to reach out to those living with illness and pain especially during this time of the year.  It can be a very lonely and isolated time for them. Give them a call, a smile, a hand, a hug and an encouraging word that shows you care.

I doubt there is no one who could use an extra dose of caring from a friend, a relative and yes, even from a stranger.

Speaking personally, the month of December has proven to be a very difficult month every year.  It is the month when I lost both my husbands who I deeply loved.  December anniversaries and events keep running through my mind.

I don’t look forward to this time of year and wish it would hurry along, so that the new year may begin with feelings of freshness and hope for a better year.


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Memories Of Dad’s Love Of Electronics


Our Dad was a techie nerd or nerdy techie – whatever you want to call someone in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s who loved all the newest electronic gadgets on the market.  My awareness of his interest in electronics began when we lived in the 2-storey house on E. 42nd Street in the “dead end” behind the largest cemetery in Brooklyn.

What were these gadgets?  The Victrola and RCA Victor “his master’s voice” records (he had a one-sided one on which was recorded the Anvil Chorus).  He was the talk of the family and neighborhood with that one.  Another favorite record was “Humoresque” by Dvorak.  He played it over and over.  I was a very young girl at the time – 9 or 10 years old.


A new black, heavy metal (it-wasn’t-going-to-fall-to-the-floor heavy) telephone with holes in a circle that you put your finger (usually the index) into, in order to “dial” someone’s number.  (We still use the word “dial” when we speak about calling someone’s number – never say, “key in” or “push the buttons.”)  Numbers like CLoverdale 8 or HYacinth 7 or MUrrayhill 2, etc. were the rage.  Remember those?  I’m speaking about New York prefixes.  At a time when there weren’t any area codes, and to get connected to someone in another city, you needed a Bell Company operator to connect you.  I remember our phone had a very heavy receiver, and we couldn’t speak long, because the weight of it made our hands very tired.  After I was married, and lived in Brooklyn, we had a CLoverdale 8 number.


Dad built a shelf for the phone in a corner of the dining room near the stairs going up to the second floor of our house.  The only thing missing was a chair.  But we really didn’t need a chair.  The stairs were comfortable enough.

We were also the first family on the block to get a TV.  It was placed in the far corner of the dining room (opposite corner from where the record player was situated).  The screen (10 inches wide) sat in a large blond wood cabinet.  All the neighborhood kids were invited in to see this newfangled machine.  Everyone complained that it was too small to see the picture.  My father solved that problem with a big magnifier that was available.  Some smart inventor came up with that idea – “necessity is the mother of invention.”  That monstrosity stood on a heavy stand and stood about a foot away from the small screen.  The image sure was bigger, but it was distorted.  The magnifier was not doing the job to anyone’s satisfaction.  So, we did away with it, and just had to move closer to the TV.

We had moved away from E. 42nd Street when I was about 12 years old.  Life went along, and I got married and then my sister got married.  After she got married, Dad took over the bedroom we had shared and made it his den with comfortable seating, etc.  This was before the term, “man cave” became popular.  Dad set it all up with his (newer,  of course) record player, shelves for his large collection of records, his radio, and telephone extension.  Wires were spaghetti-ed all over the room.  I don’t think Mom liked that idea too much, but she couldn’t do anything about it.

Years later, Mom and Dad moved to Florida.  Of course, Dad set himself up with his cabinets and shelves in the “Florida room,” and with his recording and dubbing machine, his myriad of records, and hundreds of blank tapes that he used to record programs and movies starring his favorite stars, starting with the silent films.  Their community had a special TV channel on which residents could view all these “oldies but goodies.”  Dad had literally hundreds on tapes.  He had books where he organized and categorized and cross-referenced and stored every one of them.  I think he would have loved computers.


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What Were You Doing on September 11, 2001?


I have brought this post back from last year.   Watching the memorial services on TV this morning, it has brought it back so vividly, again.

I remember it so clearly:  it comes back to me every time that fateful day is mentioned.  I have to put it into words now.

Bob and I were having breakfast.  We had the TV on as usual – but not really paying attention to the show, whatever it was.  The phone rang.  It was unusual for the phone to ring before 9 am.  It was my daughter, calling from work.

She asked if we had the TV on.  She sounded upset.  She told us to turn to the news channel – we usually watched CNN.  “A plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers!”

As we watched, the camera picked up another visual:  Another plane was headed to the other Twin Tower!  Bob and I gasped in disbelief.  We were watching what millions of people were probably watching at the same time.  The newscasters were beyond words.  They were shouting and scrambling for words.  This couldn’t be happening!

But it was.

Then the news reported there was a plane that crashed right into the Pentagon, and then another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.  It seemed as if the world – our world – was being turned upside down.

And those scenes were played over and over and over.  I couldn’t watch.  Every time there was a replay, I turned it off.  It was too upsetting.

Some time later, I found out that a cousin of mine had a meeting scheduled in one of the Towers, but, at the last minute, it was moved to another venue.  Speaking of timing!  She was supposed to be there, but then again, she wasn’t supposed to be there.  It was not her time.

And, one of my neighbors, here in Florida, lost a son.  He was one of those courageous firefighters who, unlike most of us who would run from a fire, ran towards it with the one goal in mind:  to save people.

It was another “date which will live in infamy.”

Memories of Visiting Wineries


Long Island

We visited many wineries on Long Island when I lived there with my first husband, Dan, and also in Upstate New York. Can’t remember the names, but they were always a wonderful experience! My favorite trips were out east.

The drive out on the Island or to Upstate were so pleasurable.  It was usually in the Autumn, close to Thanksgiving Day, and the leaves still had their beautiful, colorful leaves; although, many were already on the ground.

I loved driving out east, from our home in Hicksville.  It was a great “get-away;” the air was cool and clean.  We would stop occasionally, get out of the car, to view a lovely farm scene with their silos and weather-worn red barns.  Barns were always red.  It felt so good to take a deep breath of that delicious air which was a mixture of sea, farms, animals, and flora; then spiced with an addition of burning leaves.

It was a time when there was a sudden growth of wineries on that very long, narrow strip of land.  Was it a fad, or was it a viable industry?  Evidently, some entrepreneurs found the earth mixed with sand to be a friendly, welcoming mixture for wine grape vines.  I don’t know much about different types of grapes; I can only assume there would be certain types of grapes that would thrive in that soil mixture, better than other types.

The wine-tastings were exceptional. The tours were very interesting and educational. We were given a look into the beginnings of the now popular and excellent wineries that were in the midst of research and experimentation in that young industry.

I remember the owners of one winery in particular, who were very excited and proud of their new business.  They welcomed all visitors to their “baby” in a small, original old farm building.  It was very rustic.  The owners were exceptionally excited about their complete stainless steel “casks,” which were installed in a large, concrete building.  This was the “ultra” line of machines at the time.  These people were modern, forward-thinking investors.  There were gauges and valves all over these behemoths.  Dan and I were impressed with the cleanliness of the building as well.  After tasting their first “batch,” we knew they had something special going on, and of course, we bought some.

Some of the wineries were so new, that they had just started planting their grape vines, and had to wait for several years for their vines to mature in order to produce, what they hoped were, excellent grapes.  Dan and I felt so enthused with excitement for these courageous people, and we felt privileged to know that “we were there” at the start of this tremendous undertaking for Long Island wineries.


Memories of the Snowstorm – Winter 1956-1957


My Mom and sister had gone on ahead with some friends earlier in the day, and my Dad waited for me to finish my classes on Friday, at Kings County Hospital School of Nursing.

hospital 2

It had started to lightly snow in Brooklyn when I got into the car on that cold, blustery early evening.  We had a long trip ahead of us, and Dad told me that he was glad that Mom and Merry went on ahead, because he was a little uneasy about what was expected along the way, weather-wise.  But, he was confident that we would make it.  I think back now about that remark, because I’m not sure if he said it to reassure me or to reassure himself.

We were headed into the Catskills.  There was a place that we had gone to before, so Dad knew the way.  Good thing.

Of course, we were caught in the Friday evening traffic – although, it was lighter than it would have been; probably due to the weather forecast.  But, we got onto the highway after going through Manhattan, and we were on our way for an enjoyable weekend outing!

As soon as we got onto the mountain roads, things changed.  The snow was coming down very heavily, and the wind was pushing it at the windshield.  The wipers couldn’t go fast enough, and I don’t know about Dad, but I was very nervous.  He was quiet, so I guess he was feeling the same way.  We could hardly see.  We were blindfolded.

snowstorm 1


snowstorm 5



Fortunately, there was no problem with the car itself – Dad believed in taking good care of the quality engines for his vehicles; however, it was too bad that the weather didn’t believe in good quality, human-friendly weather at that time.  We forgot to put in our reservation for that.

We had some breath-holding moments, for sure, but after about 3 hours, we finally arrived safely, if not very tired, at our destination:  Rosenberg’s Hotel.

snowstorm 3

The cheapest one around:  only $5 per person, including clean rooms, clean toilets, and brunch and dinner each day.  We all had a ball!

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In The Beginning…. There Was Pony Express


pony 2

Love the requirement of “Orphans.”


We’re too old to remember Pony Express, but we’re not too old to remember when stamps were only 4 cents.  Well, maybe just some of us.


The increases in postage for a letter or postcard have seemed to occur before we finished turning around from the previous raise in rate.

According to an article in the Washington Post:

The U.S. Postal Service has to roll the price back, the effect of a ruling that allows the post office to collect $1.1 billion to cover its recession-related losses.

What about my losses and yours?

Are we supposed to jump up and shout “Hallelujah?”  We still have to pay 49 cents until – when?  Eight more months!!

Then, what?

Well, if all goes according to Hoyle (who’s that?), we should see a drop – a what? – in postage rates.

I wonder where that $1.1 billion’s coming from?  If the USPS has to roll back its rates at the end of 8 months from now, that means we’ve been paying and will have paid that $1.1 billion for – let’s see – seven or eight years?  I may be a little off, but you get the idea.

Any guesses as to how much the USPS is going to lower their rates?  One cent, or two?


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Fireworks At Walt Disney World


It was years ago that I used to travel to Orlando FL with my daughter, granddaughter, and sister to feel like a kid again.

No matter what your age, when you’re at that magical place, you let go of all your inhibitions, do lots of smiling and laughing, (and walking for many miles) and enjoy every minute.  I recommend it very highly.

We were lucky enough, one night, to have a good viewing spot to watch some fireworks (which are a nightly extravaganza), and here are some photo results:

Disney 2

Disney 3

Disney 4

Disney 5

Here is another photo, showing the entrance.

Disney 1


Simile: Life’s Clock


I was going through some drawers today, trying to consolidate and get rid of whatever I really didn’t need.  I gain a certain satisfaction in doing this.  I don’t like clutter – even the clutter that is hidden from view.

Much to my surprise, I found an old poem of mine that I wrote when only 19.  While reading it, it made me realize how thoughtful and serious about life I was at that young age.  Second surprise.





One of the most worrisome

Questions of them all

Is:  Who dares to take from

That imperious clock on the wall,

Flagrantly, the right or the might,

If I may with permission add,

To capture the Seasons or Day’s light;

And finding none about this glad?

Now, as it comes to my bother,

I find that each and every

One of us, in one way or another,

For no reason or for every,

Is attempting the utilization

Of this time force

To find only sheer futilization

And, the agony of loss

In the repression of active mind:

Of full hopes; brave dreams; and pure souls.

So we sit:  we turn and wind;

Trying to perceive far-away goals.

Why does one to no avail

Conceive and plan without some cares

For we servants, who shall fail

Our future mark; cursed by he who dares?

Time is neither girl nor man:

At dawn, it’s naive and new;

At dusk, it’s a wizened broad hand,

Sweeping out remnants of a life we knew.

Life is to fate as fate is to life:

We are all of us destined to an end.

There is goodness and yes there is strife;

Whatever, the hands of the clock an eternity lend.

~ Carol Carlson

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A Little 1950’s Nostalgia: The Diamonds

In my humble opinion, the 50s music was the best!!  I came across two videos of this most popular group singing, “Little Darlin’.”

The first shows the guys performing in 1957:

The following video shows them performing in 2004 in Atlantic City for the “Magic Moments – the Best of 50s Pop.”

I enjoy walking down “memory lane” on occasion.  I hope you enjoyed this little stroll, too.

Memory of The Dancing Patrick Swayze





I loved Patrick Swayze and still do.  His rough and tumble portrayal of a bouncer in “Roadhouse,” his sweet, sensual portrayal of a young man in love and then murdered in “Ghost,” and his summer romp in the Catskills in “Dirty Dancing” are still favorites of mine.  His dancing in the 40’s or 50’s timeline in “Dirty Dancing” was the highlight of the movie and its music is nostalgic.  I still play the CD in my car.  In memory, I can still feel the movement of the dances I used to dance with my first husband, Danny.

Patrick and his wife, Lisa Nieme, performed at the World Music Awards in 1994.  I had never known that his wife was such a superb dancer IMHO, and I very much enjoyed the two of them in this memorable performance.  They danced to the music of “All The Man That I Need,” sung by Whitney Houston.


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