Friday, August 30, 2013
Atlantic City NJ
Labels: Atlantic City
Thursday, August 29, 2013
One night mom & dad were having an increasingly alcohol-fed argument downstairs as I was trying to fall asleep. I rarely fell asleep easily. I went downstairs & told them to stop, that I had school the next day. There was nothing I could have done to more righteously embarrass them. They looked humiliated. To dad's credit, he eventually quit the heavy drinking. But it got worse, Another night mom actually so lit into dad he wept. I heard this from my bed. I felt humiliated.
There was one person who saw, & heard & knew the history of this marriage. & was witness to traumatizing events happening to my siblings before I was born, when my one of my brothers was horribly burned on a hot radiator. My parents were not directly involved in this.
My week long visits to Nana in Atlantic City were sanctuaries. I subjected myself to her rules - few but firm, three good meals, regular bedtime hours. The only "favor" Nana asked of me was to learn chess from a lonely, elderly man in her building. I was a lousy student, would've preferred checkers. But Nana supplied some ice cream for the occasions. He also had some interesting stories.
When I returned from a week in Atlantic City in the summer or over Easter vacation, I probably looked healthier, slept better, behaved less neurotically for a brief period. Being nurtured isn't the same as being spoiled. Nana provided me with a emotional "vacation". She knew what I was trying to escape. She gave me an amazing "playground," a fairly long leash within certain limits, & did not fill up my pockets with money. She was on a fixed income.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The March on Washington
Then I realized I was almost certainly with my Grandmother in Atlantic City on Wednesday August 28, 1963. Rarely read newspapers there. Watched TV only for an hour or two in the evening if I wasn't on the boardwalk. I usually had a novel to read in bed, & listened to the local rock station my small transistor radio. I simply wasn't paying attention.
Recently read this book: The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights, a new book by William P. Jones. Not the most enjoyable prose I ever read. Crammed with facts. It begins before WWII, with A. Philip Randolph's plans for the first March on Washington in 1941, how the groundwork was laid then for the 1963 march, with many of the same leaders & organizers. About 80% of the history, involving labor unions, African-American organizations, African-American women's groups, many unfamiliar names, was new to me.
One of the demands of the 1963 March, stated at the end from the podium by Bayard Rustin, was for a higher minimum wage.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Pigeons of New Jersey
of the Great Falls of the Passaic
below the footbridge where Dr. Williams
& Allen Ginsberg looked down at mossy boulders,
the rising mist, mulled over
the consequences of Hamilton's America.
"On the boardwalk in Atlantic City,"
the important men, Capone & Trump,
Dean & Jerry, & the giggling colleens
riding trains from Philly to the sea,
Nana throwing popcorn during the Great War,
meeting Sam Rixon, Liverpool Irish.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Butt humping America
A few days later, one of our fans, an Italian-American kid who barely cracked 5' came to my house. His '58 Caddy had taken a hit. He said he'd give me $50 if I got the name of the perp. I said if I got the name he could have it for free.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Nazz - Wildwood Blues
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Dean Martin - Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Doo Wop Song
A thousand miles
You & me
This is our love
Our ring of gold
We're not too young
They're just too old
Sunday, August 18, 2013
North Wildwood NJ
Friday, August 16, 2013
Yankees have finally assembled a lineup with some pop in it. Might be too little too late. Six games back for wild card. Do-able, but they have to jump four other teams & accomplish it with mediocre starting pitching, except for Kuroda.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Eydie Gorme on the Steve Allen Show
I watched two episodes of What's My Line" (a classy Sunday night show, came on I think at 10:30, I never got to see it until its final years in the Sixties) with Steve & Eydie as the Mystery Guests (panel blindfolded). The first episode, around this time, they were guessed fairly quickly, & on the way out they only shook the hands of the panelists. Host John Daly referred to them as "young people." A few years later, 1964, Steve headlining a Broadway show (& having been a panelist five times), both having had hit records, they baffled the panel for a longer time; as established show biz stars, Eydie & Steve cheek-kissed Dorothy Kilgallen & Arlene Francis, & Eydie blew a kiss at the audience.
Steve & Eydie came out of the old tradition, such as was available to them when big bands were going away, the night club & Catskills circuit shrinking, caught between the emergence of rock & roll on one side & on the other the novelty songs fine singers like Patti Page, Dean Martin & Rosemary Clooney were often made to record (the independent Peggy Lee composed her own). They used television to great advantage. Their big pop hits were good by the standards of the time, if not quite Great American Songbook material. Eydie had a special feel for Latin music. She spoke Spanish fluently from childhood. Not conventionally pretty, but very attractive, it was impossible to guess her heritage (Sephardic Jewish via Sicily, Turkey & The Bronx). If her passing results in a new appreciation of her talent - I'm just discovering her - it will make Steve Lawrence very happy.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Somers Point NJ
Friday, August 09, 2013
Ocean City NJ
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Ocean City NJ
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Diner Ho Fight
Violence in Jersey's all night diners, probably even an urban one like this, is rare. They are considered neutral & secure. Jersey kids begin hanging out in them the moment they get a drivers license, sometimes the first night. When WFMU moved to Jersey City, its "gold coast" location was creepily desolate at night, the building boom just getting powered up, but there was a 24/7 diner, The Flamingo, right on the corner near the radio station. The old station location had one, The Harris, a short drive away. There's two within walking distance of my apt, both with WiFi.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
An except from one of my poems was used on the cover of the program for the all-faith (or no faith) service at this summer's Netroots Convention. I was quite pleased about that.
Monday, August 05, 2013
Vow of Silence
If there is no vow of silence, can I ask why there weren't any black people in the town & who ordered the vicious beating of the barber who tried opening his shop on Wednesdays & expect to receive answers?
I should just lie & say I grew up in Atlantic City. It's what I always wanted to do. Did you grow up in Roselle Park? Heavens no, I just went there to visit my parents & siblings.
Labels: Roselle Park
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Ocean City NJ
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Yes, someone actually posted that.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Toots & The Maytals - Spiritual Healing
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Shout out to Carrie