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Showing posts from August, 2010

Knowing

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For Rita and Jackie.

Every once and a while, I can pinpoint what I know to be true to a moment in time. This is the tale of one of those moments.
My first memory of WWII is of a book in our living room that described a German POW camp. There it sat with my parent's wedding album, the family Bible, and other assorted flotsam and jetsom that collects on coffee tables and side tables in living rooms across the country. Spiral bound with a leather cover it is likely the first thing that I read about WWII. It had line illustrations of the camp and us kids knew that our father had been in one of those camps after being shot down over Germany during WWII. He never really talked about that time -- we knew this because we had the book. I read that book in the hope that I would learn more about him from its pages. And I did.
So there was the beginning of an understanding of World War II. The real life version of "Hogan's Heros" and life was not so pretty as a German POW but as…

Of Fedoras and Bunions

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"Daddy, do you have your hat," I can hear Grammy's voice as she and Grampy would prepare to sally forth. She in her mink with a perfectly coordinated silk scarf and he in his fedora. Somehow, I ended up with the scarf, the fedora, and for a time the mink. I can remember wearing the fedora around college and then around town. At some point I jettisoned the mink and more recently the fedora went out the door. The scarf remains -- a mix of oranges and golds tucked away in a box with various other scarves acquired during my life. Scarves that I no longer wear but somehow can not bear to part with.
Somewhere there are pictures of my grandfather wearing that fedora and my grandmother in that mink. I know that she used to wear it as she caught the sun in Elinor Village when they wintered in Florida. The fur was damaged as a result -- with the shoulders and collar turning the color of straw and feeling just a tad rough (under the arms was just as soft as could be). Somewhere the…