Saturday morning stroll in my Lenox, MA neighborhood in the midst of Covid scarceness, Feb. 2012.
(This welcome visit from the depths of the Great Depression was shared recently by an old family friend in Syracuse.)
Boys Raise $2.30 by Fair and After Noisy Argument Decide to Help Charity
Eats, Lecture and Sale of Home-Made Ink helps Swell Fund for Needy Children at Hillcrest.
July 27, 1925 Syracuse Herald – David Read, 10 of 118 Clarendon St. and Bobby Wise, 9, of 713 Livingston Ave., wanted ‘to have something.”
They couldn’t decide whether it would be a circus or a motion picture show or a fair.
The motion picture show ranked high in favor because David and Bobby had just earned $3.50 helping Bobby’s parents move, and they purchased a pup tent on shares. It would be an ideal place for a motion picture show.
However, all the kids couldn’t get into the tent, so they decided on a fair.
Mrs. Read baked some tarts and cakes and made fudge, and Mrs. Wise contributed the lemonade.
They had a fair in the Read yard with a varied program. Bobby Wise gave a talk on zoology, explaining the difference between a salamander and an alligator.
Billy Lowenstein, 13, of 707 Livingston Ave., gave a chemical demonstration, manufacturing chemical snow and making ink, which he sold at 4 cents a bottle, “practically cost,” as he explained.
Robert Goldstein, of 846 Livingston Ave., took a basket of cake and fudge and sold it in the neighborhood.
Little Francis Read, 6, contributed to the program by singing a song, “Wal, I Swan (Giddyup, Napoleon).”
Nancy Pratt, 13, 787 Ostrom Ave., “sold many tickets,” as Bobby Wise explained.
Another boy, Jackie, was to have his name in the paper, but he “got mad and went home,” before the reporter arrived, and the rest of the boys decided he shouldn’t have a part in it at all.
Then they made a club of all the boys who had participated in the fair, and elected David Read president and Bobby Wise major general.
They counted the receipts from the fair, which totaled $2.30, which they decided they should donate to charity in spite of the insistence of one club member that it be divided among all the members. After a noisy argument, charity won, and David was appointed custodian to see that the sum was sent to Hillcrest for the children out there who are sick, and “can’t have fairs and things,” as Bobby explained.
Ed. note: Our guy with the green eye shades says the $3.50 would be about $51, and the $2.30 would be about $34 today.
Here’s where he was 19-20 years later: My father’s war.
One of the coolest gifts coincident to the recent birthday was an out-of-the-blue message from someone I was yoked to through a dozen years of parochial school in the world’s most provincial town. She thanked me for my contribution to her unsuccessful effort to become boss do tutti boss of our fellows! Here it is:
I had to ask her who won, because I didn’t stick around for my senior year, enrolling instead in boarding school, where I would produce a thick layer of delicious icing to disguise the stale pound cake of high school. And, I succeeded in fooling the gatekeepers at BU!
My old classmate’s greeting included this: “Sorry you had to miss senior year for misbehaving.” It truly is heart-warming to be remembered, especially with something as specific as this poster, but also to learn a century later that my childhood classmates think I had been banished for misbehaving – whatever that means.
If it is a euphemism for disobedience, then, sign me up. I’ve made a career of being disobedient to each and every person who ever has feigned authority over me. It made me the man I am today – broke, joyful, and free. And, possessed of sufficient restraint to resist asking details of my alleged misbehavior?
Better to let urban legends lie.
Holy molly, 72? you gotta be kiddin’ me. The number seventy two has been prominent in my mind since 1970, when I re-enrolled in college, this time at Oswego State, following my initial mental de-flowering in Boston, while LBJ still held the gun.
In 1970, from Ken Sicke’s admission’s office in Culkin Hall, my view of 1972, the year I would complete my baccalaureate, seemed as likely to arrive as Bridge St. was to begin flowing with milk and honey.
But it did, with Nixon now holding the gun, having gotten off scot-free from his sabotage of the Paris Peace Talks, which was enough to get him elected, at the cost of an untold number of American lives and millions of other people’s lives.
So here’s a friendie* – taken on my 72nd birthday (11/10/2020), by my friend Donna, at her house on (Oliver Wendell) Holmes Rd. in Pittsfield, MA, across the street from where Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick!
One week earlier, we decided potus #45 has taken enough of us and enough from us. Godspeed Joe Biden, with a law degree from Syracuse University, same as my father, who was president of the class of 1940!
*friendie – a picture of you made by your friend.
Barnstable is a delightful little touristy town along Rt. 6A on the Bay side of the Cape. At the wrong time of day and with only my pocket-phone-camera to hand, I couldn’t resist a quick look around this old burying ground. Next visit shall be at a time more amenable to shadow and I’ll be aiming a Canon!
Practically on the spur of the moment the other day, I made my initial amble up Mahanna Cobble. It is a gently rising hike that pays off with a fresh view of Yokun Ridge, and I think I recognized Monument Mountain? As the hike gets underway, behind the condos at Bousquet on Dan Fox Drive, there are views of Mount Greylock! I’ll return soon, wondering where there may be an area with a look toward Greylock, as well as Monument Mtn.