Browsing All posts tagged under »childhood«

Baffled as a Buffalo

August 17, 2014

91

My childhood was filled with peculiar sayings and expressions. I heard them so many times that I was sure they must have meant something, and equally sure that I was just too dumb to know what it was. Most of these phrases were employed by adults who, in the way of the mid-twentieth century, strove […]

When Men Were Boys

June 2, 2014

60

I can remember exact moments. It’s early afternoon on a Saturday, and we’re getting into our pale blue Chevrolet, a two-door Impala coupe. I turn sideways to squeeze into the back seat, then step onto the hump in the middle of the floor and drop next to the window on the far side. My father […]

Related by Blood

May 17, 2014

83

When we were young, my cousins and I got together at least once a week. We all grew up in big, Italian-Catholic families that were in a constant state of competition — the fathers vying to see who could smoke the most cigarettes, and the mothers to see who could have the most babies. Holidays […]

The Play’s the Thing

March 24, 2014

93

If I sit perfectly still and squint a little, I can venture back in time, through the dusty drapes of my memory to the early days of childhood. As the years contract and slide behind me, I feel myself shrinking, my arms and legs growing thinner, my mind releasing its vast collection of clutter. After […]

A Well-Grounded Childhood

February 7, 2014

79

As kids growing up in the North Bronx, we spent our summers mostly roaming the streets and alleyways, picking through the rubble of empty lots and analyzing anything that seemed out of the ordinary. One of my friends found a five-dollar bill once, which in those days was a small fortune, enough to buy a […]

If Not Now, Where?

January 14, 2014

71

My father often interpreted the misfortunes of others by saying that the person was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d explain that this could be a matter of either poor judgment or bad luck. “You could even be in the right place,” he’d say, “but at the wrong time.” I guess […]

I’ll Stay Home If I Want To

October 18, 2013

114

My son, who is nineteen, goes to a lot of parties. In fact, in any given three-month period, he goes to more parties than I’ve been to in my entire life. And so, he has stories to tell, because that’s really the primary reason for getting together with other people: to take note of all […]