1:30 Schmaltz Oldies: A
Song to Remember
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The following is a list of the stories in this section, with their author's name.
This is the sequence in which they appear.
EARLIEST MEMORIES - Marge Schwegel
FAMILY REUNION - Marge Schwegel
TRUE SAILING STORY - Anonymous
SERENITY FROM THE SKY - John Shewman
A TRIP TO CHIRICUAH MOUNTAINS - Doris McCullough
COMMUNICATION, CONTESTING AND PENMANNSHIP - Doris McCullough
Holme Avenue in Elkins Park was just a dirt road when I was a little child. There were only three other houses on the street when my dad and mom bought two lots in 1940 and decided to build a house there. The area had small farms with wheat and cornfields and blackberry bushes, woods and a small stream where watercress grew. Dad was a construction worker by trade and knew how to lay cinder blocks and bricks. He and Mom (with weekend help from some of his drinking buddies) worked hard on the small two bedroom house with attic and basement and matching red brick garage. Finally they were able to move from their tiny apartment in the Olney section of Philadelphia. I was born in January, 1942.
C. G. Jung in his book, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, remembers lying in his pram in the shadow of a tree on a fine sunny summer day. I can’t imagine remembering back that far.
My earliest memory is when my mother arrived back home from Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia with my dad at the wheel. It was 1946 and I was four years old. Mom got out of the old black Chevy holding the youngest member of our family, baby Richie, swaddled tightly in a white blanket. I was standing on the red brick front steps holding my grandmother’s hand with my younger brother, Jim, on the other side.
My mother’s mom was a gentle Ukrainian lady with a plump round face and a twinkle in her eyes. Her auburn hair was twisted tight in a bun but it fell down around her waist when she brushed it out before going to bed. Her English was halting and I remember when we children would do something mischievous, she would put her hand on her cheek and say “Oy, yoi” in a singsong voice.
My grandmother was nice but I had really missed my mom these past two weeks and wondered if she would ever get back home. It was a happy November day when she came up the steps to our house with the new baby.
Submitted by Marge Schwegel
On my mother’s side of the family, we get together every year or two. Usually, my cousin Ray and his wife, Lorine, host a summer picnic at their large home in the New Jersey countryside. Ray always draws up a large poster of the family tree and hangs it on the side of the house nearest the driveway. Families arriving could add or subtract family members and update the poster before they went inside.
The aunts and uncles, some with little ones, came two by two, bearing large casserole dishes, potato and cole slaw salads or desserts, which they deposited on the kitchen counter. The adults wandered out to the backyard patio and found folding chairs so they could settle in and start catching up on the news from other relatives. The children immediately dove into the pool to splash and cavort around.
A large roast pig was outside on a table ready for carving. The barbeque coals would be glowing red and gray, ready for the hot dogs and hamburgers. There was a platter of sliced tomatoes and onions. Plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup, mustard and relish stood nearby like sentinels lined up for inspection. As our family was Ukrainian, there was always a pot of sauerkraut with kielbasa. Pierogies were nestled in a frying pan swimming in onions and butter. Lorine would step out from the sliding doors with a big plastic bowl of assorted strawberries mixed with chunks of watermelon and cantaloupe, a welcome addition to a hot sunny day. Beer for the adults and cans of soda were in coolers packed with ice.
Gab, gab, gab. There was so much family news to hear about. Every half hour or so, I would switch my seat to another table to hear from other cousins, aunts and uncles. We enjoyed the good food and later on, a hot cup of coffee and a bite of homemade cake or pie topped off a wonderful day. Shadows were getting longer. The kids were wrapped in beach towels, their hair wet and tousled, tired after a long game of Marco Polo.
Before the mosquitoes came out, families slowly left for home, clutching their empty bowl or dish. There were many fond goodbyes, hugs and kisses, and promises to meet again next year.
Submitted by Marge Schwegel
Serenity From The Sky
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