The "Creative Every Day" theme for this month, is "Words"... and so I thought I'd begin with a bit of personal history.
I have lived in Brooklyn all my life. Except those times when I lived somewhere else. I was born in Maimonides Hospital, which no one pronouces correctly, with the probable exception of Jews. I know how to pronouce it, but I am not Jewish.
When I was in the first grade, at Public School 169, I made my father an ashtray out of clay. I carried it home, holding it in both hands, intent on keeping if safe. I walked the two long blocks from seventh to fifth avenue. The street to the left of the sidewalk, the rock wall of Sunset Park to my right.
As I stepped off the curb, I studied my hands holding the ashtray, and in that split moment it fell to the street, and broke in too many pieces to ever be put back together again. That's what happens when you study your hands.
My mother would pick me up for lunch every day. We would go to Meyer's or Holstein's. Real Ice Cream Parlours. I ate tuna on light white toast, and a bowl of cream of chicken soup. Every day. Sometimes mom would make the tuna sandwiches, and we'd sit in Sunset Park, across from the school.
The park went from 5th avenue to 7th ave, and from 44th street to 42nd street. Diagonally to the park, on the 5th avenue side, was Sunset Bakery. My mom and dad's bakery.
Mom was brilliant with her full red lips, and vibrant laughter. Sometimes she'd have a box with my Young People's Book Club selections... bringing it along because she knew how hard I'd wait for them. My mother is 81 now... ever brilliant, though her full lips are a more demure shade of frosted pink. Her laugh is still full of life... despite all odds.