My Three Year Old Grandaughter “Drove” My Car

When we arrived at her house and had said our hellos and had our hugs

Our three year old granddaughter

Opened the driver’s side of our little car and she “drove it”- 

How beautifully did she drive it!!

The seat was about right, much better than her mom’s big car

She grabbed the wheel – turned it back and forth.

She smiled the most delightful delicious smile!

Then she found the signal lights – 

Then the air conditioner – 

Then the windshield wipers – 

Then the radio – 

Then the stick between her seat and mine. 

I went with her

And we went as far as anywhere.

It didn’t matter — it was all fun!

And in that year she drove me many times.

But by time she turned four 

She didn’t do it it it any more.

 

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Becoming a Sailor

At the end of arduous train ride

From New Haven, Connecticut to Samson, New York

We recruits lined up for physicals – 

Many shots in the arms included. 

Then the one-minute hair cuts

When clippers harvested most of our hair

And we were reduced to “skinheads.”

After being issued our uniforms, 

Then we were summoned to barracks 

And started to become sailors after a rigorous 10 weeks of training. 

The memory of all this is still vivid

And I’ve carried it around for years.

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Dive Bombing

After Boot Camp we recruits became second class seamen. That was our reward. 

We were sent here and there throughout the USA. 

Some of us were given burlap bags with thin ropes which we threw over our shoulders. 

We were then given three-foot sticks, sharpened on one end. 

We were to travel along the roadside and spike rubbish and collect it with the stick and put it in the burlap bag.

That stick became our spear, and they called our work “dive bombing the litter”.

And humbling as our task was

And unbeknownst to us

We were earning credit from the GI Bill 

That enabled many of us to go to college later on.

We were sent here and there throughout the USA. 

Some of us were given burlap bags with thin ropes which we threw over our shoulders. 

We were then given three-foot sticks, sharpened on one end. 

We were to travel along the roadside and spike rubbish and collect it with the stick and put it in the burlap bag.

That stick became our spear, and they called our work “dive bombing the litter”.

And humbling as our task was

And unbeknownst to us

We were earning credit from the GI Bill 

That enabled many of us to go to college later on.

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Sea Duty

I joined the navy in 1945. 

In 1946 I was stationed at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York.

One day I was ordered to drive a loaded truck 

over to Fort Dix in New Jersey.

I had to use a ferry to cross the Hudson River.

Then returned to my base using the ferry again.

I didn’t get wet but I saw a lot of water. 

I joined the great Navy to see the sea.

But I only saw a great river 

And some airplanes in Brooklyn.

 

January, 2020

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Hair

My grandson born 80 years after me

Now stands eyebrow to eyebrow facing me.

But his black hair 

Rises above my head —

Seldom visited by comb or brush.

When he is my age 

His hair may still be askew, just as the world is.

But then, he may not have any hair at all.

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A Memory Revived

I stood fascinated as a teenage kid
Standing on the Connecticut Long Island shore
Watching American fighter planes
Dip down from the sky
With machine gun targets
Only a few miles away.

Soon they would be strafing Germans
So far away it seemed unreal—
It was just entertainment for us young folks
Who had come to the shore for a swim.
We knew little about Hitler
But were soon to learn so much more
As the war dragged on.
Recently, I find myself
Pulling out this particular memory
From my vast reservoir.
I use it to help me go to sleep at night.
I don’t know why it speaks to me now—
But it does.


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In the Middle

When your mind
is light with agenda
do you ever stop to think
where your intellect fits-in
compared to the many minds at work
in our vast world?

I think
that I am in the middle
Not especially bright
but not too dumb either.

I think
that I fit in the middle.
This conclusion reached
after considerate nocturnal research.

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SHORT ON MEMORIES

Sometimes I read autobiographies
and though usually quite interesting
they make me feel deficient
because I remember so little of my past.

If I were to try I might assemble a few paragraphs
to lay out the memorable events of my life
they would consume but few pages.

And as my years advance
my history deminishes.

I only know for sure
that I’ve made thousands of baby rattles
and likely made some babies smile.

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THOUGHTS WHILE BEING LAID BACK

While being laid back in a beautician’s chair
to have my hair shampooed
I thought about the fact that within  two hours
I’d be laid back in much the same fashion
while sitting in a dentist’s chair.

The money spent to wash and cut my hair
would be less by far than what my tooth would cost me.

Still laid back and thinking thoughts like that
I added my recliner  stretched out to the max.

How much more pleasure that affords me
than those either designed for beauty or  for oral help.

In  a few hours I’d be back to where I’d come from
and I’d be reclining  with my lovely hair
and having one less tooth.

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A TAD OF OLD AGE ENVY

I wish I was without envy
but do not have the means
to stop its lurking
as I weigh my past.

I read a bit and watch TV
and see so many folks
who’ve done so much.

Too late for me to change my past
I wish I had another chance
to be a better man.

I trust that opportunities still exist
to add a smidgeon to the  goodness in the world
and that I’ll be less lacking.

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