A Short Bio

May 20th, 2014

Right at the beginning I need to level with you.
I was a child who believed in Santa Claus
and wouldn’t listen to anyone
who said that Santa was a lie.
I wanted to believe in the Easter Bunny
although the idea seemed incongruous.

I was quite old when I figured out
there was a baby in the fat lady’s tummy.
I began to worry and wonder
how it would get out.
Quite a while later I wondered
how did it get in.

Would you believe I learned
the secret in a biology class?
What I mean is I learned that
the rumors I had heard were true.
These things didn’t occupy
much of my mind’s time
for I was learning about the
continents and the peoples
of the world, the ancient wonders
and the lives of the saints.

I experienced many of the major events
of the 20th century.
I had a child’s eye view of prohibition.
I often heard the men in the family
discussing their recipes for home brew
and on several occasions
I was awakened by the explosion
of bottles in the cellar.

I wasn’t there for the 1st World War
but my Dad was and he was obsessed
by his experience and talked
and talked about it.
Now Psychiatrists treat traumatic shock,
but then one had to face the memories
present every waking moment
and dreamed of every night.
He relived the war
until he died of lung cancer
caused by his smoking, complicated
by exposure to mustard gas.

I was first aware of the miracle of radio
when my uncle who lived down the block
and was something of an inventor
would come running to our house
to call my folks to come and listen,
“I’ve got Denver on the air or Dallas
or somewhere far from Phoenix.”

I heard a king give up his throne
for the love of a woman.
This a  great influence on my romantic nature.
I heard a reporter describe the explosion
of the Von Hindenberg dirigible.

I enjoyed Amos and Andy
and never thought of them as black or white.
They seemed like two of my uncles.
I loved Jack Benny and I would throw
a tantrum if Mama called me to dinner
in the middle of the Lux Radio Theatre.

Once my Dad took me to a field
outside of Phoenix where we watched
an airplane make landings as the pilot
offered rides to anyone brave enough to try.

I was twelve before we had a refrigerator.
There was always an ice box and
everyday the ice man came
to deliver a twenty-five or fifty pound
block of ice, depending on the weather.
We kids would chase after
the truck, begging for chips.

I heard a learned professor speak
on the reasons why there
would not be another world war.
His thesis was that a war
would destroy the major cities
and therefore was unthinkable.

The unthinkable came to pass
and just as he said
London was bombed
and the major European cities
were destroyed.

My brothers went off to fight.
Pete joined the Navy.
Joe was killed in France in the same
region where my Dad was injured.
I married a young Lieutenant
who had just received his wings.

Those were the days when death
was our constant companion.
I have lived on the edge of despair
and of happiness and sometimes
both at once.

green door pic


Note: This was included in my book,
“The Green Door” published in 2002.
It is out of print, although I noticed
recently that there were a couple of
used copies on Amazon.