Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Fall in Los Angeles

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You can find Autumn in Los Angeles. You just have to look for it. Amid the green trees and freshly layered sod, you can turn a corner and find an entire street lined with deciduous trees, turning brown and yellow, shedding leaves until winter hits and the entire avenue looks like something out of your east coast/mid-west suburban winter memory.  Then you can turn another corner to find palm trees and ficus trees growing like it’s summer time where barbeques are smoking and canon balls are splashing down in a pool.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The chill in the air, the early nights of deep, long shadows that create a lovely feeling in the brain. Nesting, holidays, baking – suddenly we’re seeing jack-o-lanterns and fake web on bushes, and Halloween candy in stores, and the excitement of the onset on Pumpkin Spice season – as touted in the latest Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer”.

This is the time of year when I miss New York the most. I envy my east coast friends who are relishing in the “mist and mellow fruitfulness” of the season back home. Yes, they are looking ahead to a tough, cold, snowy winter – but after two years of scarce rain, lack of clouds and no snow in SoCal – I would kill for one flake of snow. (Okay, maybe a light snowfall.)

I left the east coast for the west four years ago because of those horrible NY winters, and yes – my home state got socked with exceptionally bad storm fronts since I left town. But as one LA sunny day folds into another, as one week turns to month after month of no substantial rain, I find the constant state of nothingness in the climate almost deadening. The sun is blinding. The air dry.  The sky always blue – providing a surreal world of perfection to the point where another gorgeous sunny day is mockery. It’s  becoming scary. The ground and trees on the hiking trails at Griffith Park are bone-dry parched.  The smell of dry cedar and dust particles clog your nose and get down your throat. The heat index can rise up into the hundreds, burning the dry soil, baking what were once moist, water filled streams that used to bubble up from the mountains. Screenshot 2014-10-17 10.14.07The sweet, dry smell of heated wood makes you feel that one strike of a match could cause the whole forest to ignite.

Weather. How I miss you. I need the turmoil of a late day summer thunder drench. The soul needs to be fed with the mixture of season, the drudgery, and the welcoming beauty of all that waiting and freezing and dry sky – to find that warm spring ozone air breaking through on a March afternoon. The happiness caused when noticing a crocus poking out of the dark, barren earth. Turning around and seeing a forsythia bush flourishing yellow blooms within the dead brown branches and bark of winter – which is slowly, slowly turning into spring as the promise of green leaves, warm weather, shedding socks and boots for barefeet and flip flops becomes real. Then it’s wonderful, wondrous summer!  The season you’ve earned after shoveling snow and suffering frostbite from waiting at the train station.  Summer – when Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime” makes you weep for joy at the memory of summers past you can relieve in the splash of the pool and the incredible coconut smell of Coppertone.

You don’t get that in LA. It’s always nice – always pleasant. It gets chilly, and you can imagine for just a moment, being back home under the red leaves of an autumn maple tree. You can feel safe in the warm pocket of southern California sunshine when you hear the rest of the nation is buried under ten feet of snow. But one season folds into another – and you wonder if going back into the thick of winter blues may be worth it.

[written in a morning funk kind of stream of conscious kind of way so grammar be damned]


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The Hooch

flamingmartinis

My father was a nightly martini swiller. Beefeater gin was his poison. A splash of dry vermouth in a shaker with a slice of lemon, and he could settle down after a day at his office at IBM – old “Big Blue”- to the mono voice of Walter Cronkite. One drink a day – and that was it.  He coined it his daily “Zoomph”. I never saw him drunk – only content.  It wasn’t until a stroke at the age of 80 took his desire for a daily “Zoomph” away. Concerned about the interaction of pills and alcohol, he called it a day.

Forever my father’s daughter, I carried out the love for the great martini. However, as times moved on, I changed the gin for vodka. The lovely warm rush of alcohol through my veins would ease the stress after a long, hard day. I wasn’t a daily drinker – I’m still not. Although drinking at a lovely Manhattan bar after a long day at work can sink me into a delicious drunken funk, booze at home can make me groggy and slow. A few sips make me sleep, makes the precious few hours I have left before bedtime go to waste. But a nice stiff drink, at the right place and time is an elixir that softens the blow of daily life with a sharp sting of fluid going down the gullet.

The drink helped me the day my mom died. It all happened so fast. I had been talking to my father on the phone that morning.  Some background: They both fell ill together – both committed to long term nursing at the same time. They were both living in the same room.  Although I visited them as much as I could, as a single person who had to make a living, my weeks were spent doing just that – working. Trying hard not to get fired because of the sudden leaves of absence I’d have to take when my parents took a turn for the worse.

On this day, I had just signed the lease to an apartment on the upper east side and wanted to call my dad to tell him the news. Normalcy. I just wanted to bring normal life into his ear. While talking to him, I could hear my mother in the background – in the bed next to him.

“Ann, Debi just signed a lease to an apartment!” he shouted to her.

I only heard her voice. Any words uttered were indistinguishable.

Then, after chatting with my father, we said goodbye.

My next call was about two hours later, when the nurse from the home called to say my mother’s blood pressure was crashing, and they were taking her to the hospital.

I told my boss, who knew of my parents decline, that I think this was it. I had to go.

I boarded the Metro North train to White Plains. Sitting in a daze, knowing that the one thing I had feared since I was a child old enough to know death, was actually coming true. The one person who had been in my life since I was a zygote – was leaving this planet. Life as I knew it before – was gone. Changing. Never the same again.

We went through the underground tunnel that rolls underneath upper Manhattan, and comes up for air near 125th street, where train rolls and dips over an El line within Harlem, then over the East River. You can see Yankee Stadium in the distance. Then, the train pitches and shakes over the Major Deegan until you continue your journey to the suburbs of NYC.  The phone calls must have come when I was in the Grand Central tunnel,  void of any cell phone signals. I must have been at Marble Hill in the Bronx when I saw the voicemail icons pop up. One voicemail from my half brother. One from my uncle. The hospital couldn’t reach me – so they called the next two numbers on the contact sheet – my brother and then my uncle.

I found out my mother died while on the 5:20pm train to White Plains.

The next few days were surreal. I stayed in their condo, the one I had to sell for estate matters. My friend Marie came by with a lasagna. I handled estate issues by phone, and lawyer meetings. The funeral director was young, kind and understanding. My Miami relatives were alarmed. I had my mother cremated – and you don’t do that in the jewish religion.  Then, there was suspicion – because she had been cremated so fast. Like I was trying to hide some weird plot that lead to the death of my mother. Family things. You know.

The one thing I remember was drinking vodka all day. Not martinis – straight vodka. Martini’s require preparation, anticipation of the swilling cocktail hour celebrating the end of the day. No. This was straight up vodka. I sipped it slowly, an oral dose administered methodically.  It started in the morning and flowed through the rest of the day. It lulled me into a cushion of comfort, easing the cutting edge of pain in a medicinal manner.   It continued for a few days, as we arranged memorials and planned. I lived in the sleepy haze of booze until I didn’t need it anymore. Like my dad no longer needed his daily  “Zoomph” – I woke up from the funk and ended my need for the devil’s drink, as they say.  My dad passed away nine months later, and the vodka medicine began again until I no longer needed it.

Today, without my dad around, I don’t enjoy martinis the way I used to. Vodka makes me feel ill and sleepy. The sting of the hooch doesn’t thrill me anymore.

 


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‘Transparent’: Any Viewers of this Show Out There? Please Speak Up….

A scene from 'Transparent' now streaming on Amazon.

A scene from ‘Transparent’ now streaming on Amazon.

…I need to talk it out!

I write this blog post bleary eyed and consumed. I binge watched this fascinating dramedy last night, stopping around 11pm when I had to get to bed. But, the characters and the story made my mind bounce with ideas. Screw sleep. I watched some more. Now I’m tired and consumed with the weird, dysfunctional world of the Pfeffermans.  Has anyone seen Transparent? Jeffrey Tambor is extraordinary as Mort, now Maura, a father, after a life of hiding, decides to come out as his authentic self and live his life as a woman.  As he defiantly reveals himself as Maura, he has to handle his fucked up family’s reaction (mostly positive – one negative) – where, thanks to flashbacks, the weakened groundwork for emotional sink holes were laid down a long time ago.

With every episode running through my head, mishmashed with subtext and psychological elements so deep,  it feels downright icky going into the rabbit hole with this loving, passionate, twisted family lost in a whirlpool of change.  I’m still trying to let every twist and turn sink in before I can even deconstruct the complicated elements of this clan, the multi-faceted mishegas.

Jill Solloway is a genius in creating this fascinating story.

There are still three more episodes on my queue to view. It’s taking all my energy not to watch these at work. (My entire team is in France for a conference, so things are slow) But word to the cubicle dwellers – streaming this show is really, really NSFW.

Any ‘Transparent’ viewers out there? Please comment!  I want to start a conversation.


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A Forgetten San Francisco Legend

Jane& Whoopie

Oh, the way the internet can sweep in you strange directions. While providing the finishing touches to my book Hitting the Water, I dilly dallied a bit on the Google search engine to get a feel for the San Francisco comedy world of of the 1970’s and 80’s. You see, one of my stories is an autobiographical account of a SF comedian I knew briefly when I was an intern at a now defunct radio station in New York City – 66 WNBC-AM. Her name was Jane Dornacker, a talent who was making a name as New York’s favorite traffic reporter, and who was also considered a San Francisco comedy legend.

The circumstances on how I got to know her were strange – otherworldly, in fact.  I was in college, and had just been taken on as an intern at the station. Jane was their helicopter traffic reporter. One morning, while doing the traffic from the sky, the helicopter she and her pilot were on crashed into the Hackensack River.  They both survived; however, afterwards, Jane was grounded, assigned to do traffic reports from the confines of the newsroom at 30 Rock for three months until they procured another copter. That’s how I got to know her. Sitting around various news desks, talking about life in between traffic reports.

Although Jane told us about her life, the distance in time since I last spoke to her is so vast, that I needed some Google action to remind me and provide a little more history into her life previously discussed over cups of coffee and the din of newsroom wire machines back in 1986.  I found the picture above, over at SFGate.com.  Jane had performed with Whoopie Goldberg back in 1983.

It brought back old memories. Jane who would tell us about her days in San Francisco, her intermingling with Goldberg, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and A. Whitney Brown. Apparently, she was in the bay area comedy pantheon, being watched by producers during her one woman shows – to the point where Lorne Michaels was courting her as a possible new Saturday Night Live cast member. This was around the time I got to know her. It’s what initially brought her to New York, where I guess she decided to stay for a while even though she didn’t get the SNL gig.

The reason why knowing Jane was “otherworldly”, was due to what happened several months later – after my internship ended, and I said goodbye to the newsroom, including Jane. You see, a helicopter crash resulted in her staying on the ground long enough for me to know her. But in October of that year, inexplicably, the new helicopter they sent her up in crashed…this time in the Hudson River. This time…she didn’t make it. Jane died on the air, while reporting traffic for the afternoon drive time.

It’s sad to think how that talent was wasted, and what we could have seen from this quirky, funny lady who was a bit like Joan Cusak, if Joan Cusak turned up the sexy pilot light and sang punk songs. (That’s what Jane did when heading up her SF band Leila and the Snakes).

So, hats off to my quirky old acquaintance from so many years ago. Her story stays with me as I remember her voice and the time spent in a small newsroom in Rockefeller Plaza that no longer exists.


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Fig Tree in Traffic

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It sits among the palm trees and lavender bushes, close to the edge of Melrose Avenue. It grows in dry dirt. Across the street from the arches of Paramount Studios, this fig tree lives, propped up by wooden sticks, tended to by neighbors and passersby.  The  tree stands solid, green with life, ever ready to grow its fruit. And grow it does, waiting for the rain that doesn’t come within the parched end of a drought. It sits waiting for its green bulbs to turn sticky purple, ready for the plucking. And pluck them we do – my work colleague and I.  We keep our eyes on the tree and its new growth for weeks during lunch hours when we leave the lot to take a walk away from the hustle of production crews, crowded parking, silly people and ringing phones. A nice respite away from Hollywood madness. A little tree on the edge of a busy street, growing fresh figs for salad, waiting for a little rain.


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“Mork Calling Orson…Come In Orson…” End Of Week Lesson

mork calling orson

What have I learned this week?  Here is the bottom of the barrel. Mutterings and moanings.

To harness frustration. I, for one, am frustrated. I still haven’t finished my book. Edits are coming together slowly. Office work is crazy with low communication and even lower rewards – taking me away from the process. Why can’t the MIPCOM conference in Cannes just be over already!  It’s taking my focus away from what matters to me.

I thought I had a cover to my book – but my artist friend, who offered to design my book cover, can’t get the colors to work, and I don’t understand why – since I’ve seen this kind of color processing in books I’ve purchased before.

It’s sad that Jan Hooks died. When I look back on the last year, we lost so many funny people – Elaine Stritch, Joan Rivers, Rik Mayall, Robin Williams, David Brenner.

I’ve decided to try and find a literary agent in the next year – try to become a legit author as I self publish what I can – so my voice doesn’t die with me.

Perhaps I’ll be a writing coach? (Word to self – look up what writing coaches actually do and how realistic it is to find clients).

But all will come together. The lessons of annoying weeks like this,  where one can feel stuck, suspended in nothingness will dissipate and my book will be accomplished without me going broke. Right? I mean…right?

And to those who’ve left us this week – famous or not – the world will still revolve, and their memory will live on.

Friday round ups reveal much.

Friday…out.


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Comedy Takes Another Hit

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My lasting memory of Jan Hooks goes back to when she was a cast member on Saturday Night Live. I worked at NBC for the network censors who edited the show, and had some nice privileges. Rehearsals were open for my viewing, cast members and weekly guest hosts would roam the hall like Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Mark Harmon, Paul Simon, Alec Baldwin, etc.  Many a Thursday afternoon lunch hour would be spend watching a famous musical guest rehearse from the ninth floor level where the balcony seats are – rock stars like Keith Richards, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Sting, The B-52’s, The Sugarcubes, David Bryne and James Taylor – to name a few. And yes – I had my grubby paws on a department allotment of Dress and Live tickets to the show – which I would use on those weeks when my boss didn’t give them away to friends or family. (Did I mention I attended the dress rehearsal of Robin Williams’ last SNL hosting stint? I’m sure I did.) Not a bad job to have, I thought.

I had always admired Jan Hooks and the ladies of SNL. Since I had to go to studio 8H to give various things to my boss – messages, scripts, paperwork – I would run into her and other cast members. (Phil Hartman was my main crush, man I worshiped the ground he trotted on). Jan’s work on the show was memorable. She and Nora Dunn teamed up to do a sister lounge act that always flowed with a silly melody that landed always with “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley.”  She played a hilarious Tammy Faye Baker, and was a supreme impersonator of characters that fell into the white trash category.

Back in the late 80’s, when I had that gig at Program Standards and was seeing Jan Hooks and her then boyfriend Kevin Nealon around the hallways of 30 Rock, I managed to find a small studio apartment on West 83rd street near Central Park West. My first place. The thing about the upper west side is that many member of SNL’s staff lived around there. I used to see Jan, Kevin and Conan O’Brien walk around the area whenever I took walks to Central Park. And you have to understand – back then – Conan was just a writer on the show. He wasn’t the host you all know today. Back then,  he was that tall weird looking red headed guy who worked on the 17th floor. I was shocked to hear that this tall red headed goofball was hired to replace David Letterman on ‘Late Night’. If you can imagine, for a moment, being at work and the guy you see but don’t know from Accounting gets the job of replacing your idol on a talk show. That’s what I was feeling.

One lasting memory of Jan was the day I moved into that studio apartment on West 83rd. I was pushing my stereo cabinet across the street, vulnerable to the cars that could drive through, trying hard not to rattle the glass doors on that ugly thing. I looked behind me for a moment – over at the sidewalk. There was Jan Hooks, who always looked vacantly at me at work, looking at me the same way as I huffed it toward my brownstone. Did she recognize me from work? Who cares.  It wasn’t long before she would leave the show. She disappeared for a while. She had a recurring role on Designing Women, and years later took a hilarious turn as Jenna Moroney’s mother on 30 Rock. I had heard she was ill for some time. Sad she left us so young.

Rest in Peace, Ms. Hooks. “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley!”

 


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The Day the Hare Krishna Disciple Came to School

GHharekrishna

When I entered the world of college academia many a decade ago, I found myself taking a class called “Pop Culture and the World Around Us” to round out my credit requirements. Maybe it wasn’t EXACTLY called that – but it was indeed a class about popular culture and various world views. A studious, young professor taught the course, and the curriculum was a fun mix of art films, news reels, and books. We’d read essays on how popular culture effects the way we live, what we buy, and how it motivates us through the course of our lives. The films of John Waters and Andy Warhol were dissected. We field tripped it to museums and various galleries, discussing the role that art played in various cultures throughout the world.

Spirituality was also touched upon in this class. One afternoon our professor invited a member of the Hare Krishna temple in town to speak to our group about his life as a devotee. He was about twenty five years old. His head was shaven, leaving a plume of hair atop his head to sweep into a singular ponytail that trounced around whenever he moved. He was swathed in a robe and wore sandals. The third eye mark was flecked on his forehead – the point where meditation is focused  – and henna markings surrounded his eyes.

Although I remember the visuals, little details escape me, like his name and specific stories he may have shared. I do recall a bit of his discussion about his life before Krishna. He wasn’t a lost soul. He was never involved with drugs. His life was good. He came from a happy, stable family. The course of his spiritual life unfolded when he sensed a deeper purpose in his life.  The emptiness that the secular world provided was not enough to fill a hole within. He read books on religion and spirituality, and came upon – Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. It moved him, inspired him to envelope his life with teachings of Krishna.

I remember this man being intensely gentle. His skin seemed soft. The faint aroma of incense floated around him. A glow of spiritual peace and joy radiated from his being. There was something so delicate about him, like soft powdered sugar or light fluffy bread dough – as if he was above human flesh having immersed himself in clean living and daily meditation. It was humbling.

As I sat there, taking in as much as I could, I remembered back to my pre-teen days when I’d listen to the sitar strings and eastern tonal beauty of the Beatles songs George Harrison had inspired from his studies in India and with the Maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar.   As a child discovering Harrison and his other Beatle colleagues, I looked over photos of him with crowds of Krishna devotees, looking happy and calm. His later songs were always about God in some way or another. His work with a prominent Krishna temple in London was intense, having produced one album called “Chant and Be Happy”, which I’m sure made some Beatle fans think he was hanging with a very strange crowd. Not me.  Gazing upon these photos taken so long before I found them, it was lovely to see George find this life. Plus, I thought these lovely bald, laughing, singing people were lovely. And a little amusing.

Yet, as this young man answered questions about his daily routine, his connection with family (he was still very connected to his family) and his future, I remember doing a very naughty thing. I was seated next to a friend during this lecture, and my professor took a seat behind me. Curious about stupid stuff, and filled with the effects of being a comedy nerd, I turned to my friend and very quiet, very discretely (or so I thought), whispered to my friend the following words:

“Do you think he’s wearing underwear under that robe?”

My friend chuckled. I leaned back in my seat and continued to listen to our guest. A few moments of his answer died down until it was clear he was ready for another question.

I heard my professor’s voice behind me.

“I have a question. The young lady in front of me wanted to know if you are wearing any BVDs”, he said with a smile on his face.

The whole class roared with laughter. Some classmates around me knew he was referring to me because they heard me whisper this question to my friend. I was delightfully embarrassed. It was a riot to hear my teacher bring this truth – the truth that I had this odd question – to his friend in the front of the class.

It also delighted our Krishna devotee, whose face lit up as he stepped back to give out a great, big, amazing laugh. It was like he was crossing over to Buddha, laughing hard with his head thrown back. The joy was contagious. God was in the room.

Then, when the laughter died down, there was a brief pause of silence where we all looked at him as he relished the moment.

“Well?” asked our professor.

Another pause, as if the ticking hand on the clock stopped for a few seconds.

“No…no, I’m not wearing anything under here, ” he said with a beauteous smile before another wave of laughter crashed through the room.

It was a gorgeous moment, a moment in time I do remember as details of that afternoon fade. The innocence of the question posed by an air headed student like me – that turned into a wonderful moment of laughter and honesty.

I think George Harrison would have been pleased.

Hare Krishna!


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“Bang…Zoom!” Using What I’ve Learned in Improv to Write

bangzoom

Any lovers of comedy improv out there? Maybe you know the concept of word association (or A thru C) – the technique improvisors use when a suggestion is shouted from the audience. If anyone here has ever gone to ASSSSCAT 3000, a popular show at he Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York (where I studied a few levels of improv) and L.A. – you know the drill. Someone shouts out a suggestion, and a monologist takes it, thinks of what it reminds them of and breaks it down with story telling, allowing the group of improvisors to capture elements of a story to create totally out of the blue scenes.

This is how I write on days when my day job is out of control, and I just need to convert my thoughts through the creative portal to my fingertips so I can write. I look at interesting items on the web or ideas that come into my head and do an A thru C: Where This…reminds me of This…which brings me to This…which starts a story based on what I’ve whittled down from that idea.

So…The internet universe has given me a suggestion – The New Yorker cartoon you see before you.  And here I go.

Alice Kramden reminds me of “Bang, Zoom” the comment Ralph Kramden would shout on The Honeymooners to Alice when she really burned him. This reminds me of old timely television, black and white with a dial you had to get up and turn in order to get one of the seven channels available for viewing. Pre-cable. Pre-satellite. Pre-DVR. Pre-Streaming. Pre-anything. Okay – maybe not pre-anything. There was FM radio back then, after all.

It reminds me of the old basement in our old house in Ardsley, New York – fully furnished with a mid-century flair (as we now know it), some old furniture, a bar for cocktails and the lingering smell of mildew. It’s where I watched old re-runs of The Honeymooners with my dad on a Zenith color television that resembled a piece of furniture. It’s likely my father purchased it back in the early 60’s long before I was born because there was never time before 1983 that it didn’t exist in my life. That old wooden thing with the dial and the coffee ring stains and the rough speaker cover with straw and silver threads was a mainstay in our household. It was the kind of old television that would blow a bulb (just like a lamp would blow a light bulb), meaning my dad who have to take it to our backyard neighbor – who happened to be a television repairman – to replace it.

As television advanced, and cable television gave humans more choice to fry their brains on any given night, my dad was hesitant to let go of the old Zenith. It cranked out a lot of hours of reruns of the Honeymooners, or original airings of CBS Saturday night shows like All in The Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show (I still feel the cool chill of the basement when I hear the first moments of “Love is All Around”), The Bob Newhart Show or Carol Burnett.  After a while, I defied my 11pm Saturday bedtime and snuck out of bed to watch Saturday Night Live to laugh at John Belushi flipping burgers (“cheeze boiger!”) and marvel at Gilda Radner’s character creations, Lisa Loopner and Rosanne Rosanna Danna.

I remember watching that TV one evening in 1982 when a special report broke into regular programing to announce Belushi was found dead at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. Damn. John Lennon had died only two years before. It was rough to see another bad boy John leave the planet. When Beatle John died, I was devastated. When SNL John died, I was really pissed off.

The television set and the basement reminds me of Saturday afternoons watching  The Wonderful World of Disney and NY Mets baseball. I can’t remember what I saw during the Disney hour, but I remember the lull of the Shea crowd putting me to sleep.

I can remember the days when my dad still smoked cigarettes in a red pack that were not Marlboro. To me, the smell of the sixties (which I barely remember) and the seventies is a mixture of cigarettes and toast – old car smell that has the fragrance of a thousand old smokes permeated in the threads. It’s not a bad aroma.  In fact, it’s a comforting one. Although my dad quit the habit when I was still quite young, I can still see the swirl of the smoke streaming from the smoldering cigarette waiting in the ashtray as he took out his guitar to play House of the Rising Sun or his favorite Spanish classical piece Romanza.

But it all comes back to the television. As we entered the eighties, and that old TV set started to lose color, contrast, horizontal and vertical strength, I pleaded with my dad to get a new one. Finally, finally – he broke down and purchase a brand new color  set (now long since thrown out) to replace the old Zenith.

“Why, why do you want to hold on to that old television”? I asked him the day before he walked into Crazy Eddie’s to buy that brand new fancy one.

“The memories!” he’d say. “The Saturday night television. The baseball games. Jack Parr. Laugh In. I watched all those damn shows.  But most of all…I watched a man walk on the moon for the first time. And then a second time. And then I’d watch the the rest of the Apollo mission. This television showed me outer space.”

“Bang-Zoom….to da moon, Alice!”

He must have heard Ralph Kramden say that a million times on that old television. And then he watched a man actually walk on the moon.

Yeah. That television was a keeper. Sorry dad.