Today would have been the ninety~fifth birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, thirty~fifth president of the United States. Kennedy was the United States’ first Catholic president. He was also the youngest man ever elected to the office. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. His was the fourth presidential assassination. Today is also Burt Koza’s birthday. He was my eighth grade history teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst, New York. My niece Bridget’s birthday was on the 27th. She’s fifteen. My parents & I talked to her on the phone for practically a half hour. My cousin Gino’s birthday was on the 25th. My parents, Uncle Frankie & I all went over to his party on Saturday afternoon at around 4:00. Besides him, Michelle & their three kids, Aunt Helen, Michelle’s both parents & her family, as well as friends of theirs were there. My parents were the first to leave. Uncle Frankie left a few hours later. He only lives two doors away from Gino. I left very late at night. A splendid time was had by one & all. I only drank two beers, Miller Lite, & a cup of Captain Morgan rum & Coke. Because of that Gino made me let him drive me home. His father~in~law followed us. Yesterday after 8:00 a.m. Mass at O.L. Sorrows I got ready to go to the big annual parade we always have in the Wyomings for Memorial Day. Gino & his son Eric marched in the parade with Eric’s Cub (B0y?) Scout troop. I was a bit surprised, on two separate occasions, when a couple of people said hello to me by name . I didn’t recognize either of them. It was a really nice time. The parade went from Shoemaker Avenue in West Wyoming down Eighth Street & into Exeter by way of Wyoming Avenue.
Steve’s fiftieth birthday is tomorrow so my parents, Fran , Lisa & I went to Long Beach on Friday to attend his party. Fortunately there was only a little too much trouble with traffic in Douglaston on Friday & absolutely none whatsoever yesterday. Mary Anne, his mother, & the kids arranged a really nice time for one & all. His family, as well as friends of his & Mary Anne’s from work & their neighborhood were there. Jonathan & Maria were there too. They remembered me. Jonathan even said he remembered me because of my guitar & my lifelong obsession with John Lennon. One of the major disadvantages of a party like that is that I always make quite sure I eat & drink entirely too much for my own good. Mary Anne & Steve recently got a dog, a mixed~breed terrier named Sadie. It’s really nice & quiet. I have never liked animals but I don’t mind having it around because it’s so exceptionally well~behaved. It was abused by a previous owner. In certain ways Long Island has changed quite a bit since I lived there so it was very interesting for me to be able to check out all the new things that have been going on around there. The Sunrise Mall in Massapequa is under new management. The shopping center where Barnes & Noble & Tower Records once were is now entirely different. Mark & Laura were their with their kids. So were Frank & Tillie with their kids. I was especially happy to see Gary & Maria, & Larry & Rose & their son Eddie. Right before the party my parents & I, along with Larry & Rose, went over to Amityville to visit Aunt Norma. Maria showed up while we were there. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Carmelite meeting, so I left a message with Barbara’s husband asking him to explain my circumstances. I also called Donna asking her to cover for me because I was supposed to lector at 4:00 Mass on Saturday.
Until the middle of last month, I had never once, in my thirty~three years of driving, through both New York & Pa. , gotten a single ticket for a moving violation. One morning last month, though, a policeman on Tenth Street pulled me over for failing to yield to a pedestrian at the crosswalk in front of the school. Unlike most schools around here, there was no traffic control. The very next day I made sure I sent a check in the mail to West Pittston because I wanted to make sure that everything was paid for & over with as soon as possible. Yesterday I got a notice in the mail claiming that no one had ever gotten my payment. I called the police department in West Pittston. A woman answered. She claimed that they could find no record of my ever having paid. Two minutes after we hung up she called back & said that the secretary who was in charge of that had never bothered to put it into the right place. Everyone knows how much trouble I could have gotten into for never having bothered to pay for a ticket like that. It’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth so I didn’t dare to take any chances. Although I was technically in the wrong, I still say I didn’t do anything that was the least bit dangerous. Besides that, Luzerne County always has been among the most corrupt places in the state so I like to think I was framed.
- Alas I can’t remember the exact date but it was on a nice spring day in May 1992 when I first joined O.L.P.H.’s Knights of Columbus Council 794 in Lindenhurst, New York. Those were such exceptionally happy times for me. I even joined their Fourth Degree. I met some exceptionally good people there. Now I’m in the Assumpta Council 3987 in Luzerne, Pa. Unfortunately I have yet to become an active member of my current council but I always want to make sure I renew my membership each year. I make sure I read the council’s newsletter & the Columbia each month too. I have always been quite proud of my membership in our Order because we help the Catholic Church, neighborhoods, hospitals & in general contribute quite significantly to the common good. Today my parish, St. Monica’s, will be sponsoring a blood drive at the O. L. Sorrows Church in West Wyoming from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. I can’t donate blood though because I’ve been sick for about the past five days with a very mild flu. I’ve gotten headaches & a cough. I’ve also been taking medication. Soon, though, I shall be back to normal. Then I can give blood again.
Last night I went to the St. Monica’s men’s group meeting at O.L. Sorrows parish. The women were also there for their group’s meeting. We met in the sacristy & they met in the church’s hall. It was quite a nice short meeting. I was especially pleasantly surprised when one of the men recommended that we try to start a bowling league. I’d always especially enjoyed the days when cousins Larry, Gary, Java & I used to bowl with the Knights of Columbus’ St. Jane Frances de Chantal Council’s league in Wantagh, New York. We’d always had such an especially nice time back then. If this proposed league is going to work out we shall have to make specific arrangements about whether it should be only for men or co~ed, since the ladies may be interested. We shall also have to get a specific minimum number of people involved because we shall have an obligation to meet the bowling alley’s requirements for that & other things. After the meeting ended we held our usual fifty~fifty raffle. I drank a can of beer & ate a donut.
- Because of problems on my main blog, I shall be using this blog until further notice. Unfortunately, one morning a little over a week ago we got very bad news from my cousin Michelle. She called to tell us that Aunt Lauren had gotten very badly hurt when she fell down a flight of stairs in her house. She’s been recovering well so far but it will be quite difficult for her. Today is my parents’ fifty~sixth wedding anniversary so we shall all wish them a very happy day. Mother’s Day is tomorrow too. I now wish a happy day to all the ladies who qualify. Uncle Frankie left yesterday to visit Fran who is having a big party for Cinco de Mayo. It’s interesting because they’re not Mexican. This is one of those occasions, though, which anyone can enjoy. The weather is progressing quite well so far. There’s been a lot of rain but the cold is fast receding into my memory. Recently, for a mere pittance, I purchased quite a lot of books at the local Methodist church on Wyoming Avenue, right next door to the library. I’ve been reading them a little at a time each day. On Thursday my parents wanted me to go to Bon~Ton to pay a bill for them. When I got there I noticed a very nice digital camera that was on sale, for a hundred dollar discount. I asked the sales ladies about the details there & none of them had any idea what to tell me. The ended up, after a while, tracking down a manager who could answer a few of my questions. They reminded me that it’s not an electronics store so I shouldn’t expect them to be too knowledgeable about things like that.