On the weekend of my fifty~seventh birthday my nephew (and Godson) Michael, and Erin, got married. The wedding was at Nostrano Vineyards in Milton, New York.
The scenery was perfect. I got a chance to hobnob with our relatives and Erin’s.
I couldn’t help being smitten by the view. Milton was named after the seventeenth~century Jacobin poet, author of “Paradise Lost”.
This picture was taken on my sister’s birthday in 2014. She, her family, and I went to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I’ve never been a sports fan, and considering that I’m originally from Jackson Heights, I’ve always told people that I’m an honorary Met fan. I took the picture with my Canon digital camera. As good as that camera is though, I now take pictures exclusively with my Tracfone LG Android camera.
Today is the ninety ninth anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, thirty fifth President of the United States. His younger brother and attorney general, Robert Francis Kennedy, was fatally shot on June 5, 1968. J.F.K. was assassinated on November 22, 1963, two days after R.F.K.’s thirty eighth birthday.
Over the past very many years I have always noticed that death has no respect for special occasions. People often die on, or close, to times like Christmas, Easter, and other milestones. My mother died exactly a week after my fifty fourth birthday. neral was on my father’s eightieth birthday.
So many things are like that. Between William Henry Harrison in 1840 and John F. Kennedy in 1963, each president elected at a twenty year interval died, either naturally or by assassination, while an incumbent. This has been attributed to the curse of Tippecanoe, dating back to Harrison’s questionable tactics in the Treaty of Fort Wayne with the Indians.
Another example of inexplicable coincidences can be found in the 1917 Our Lady of Fatima apparitions and events that are relevant to them. In 1517 the world was afflicted with the Protestant Revolution, the first of many evil milestones. In 1689 Luis XIV refused Jesus’ request to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart. During 1717 the Masons were founded. 1789 was the beginning of the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution occurred in 1917, and the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. There are so many other supposedly coincidental dates that are crucial to the circumstances surrounding Fatima. I’ve only skimmed the surface. These, and many other dates and milestones, fit a most undeniable pattern that cannot possibly be overlooked.
This kind of order, visible only in retrospect, has to be reckoned with. I have no idea of exactly what’s going on but it has always made me so insatiably curious.
My name is Larry. Officially I’m named Lawrence, after my mother’s father, who died in late August of 1959, slightly over two weeks before I was born. Although I never got a chance to get to know my grandfather, I grew up constantly in touch with my Uncle Larry and my cousin Larry, on my father’s side. Among my father’s relatives there have even been nine Joseph’s, and a bit too much repetition of other names too. Throughout the years, in order to differentiate from among us Larry’s, I was too often referred to as Little Larry, and even Baby Larry. My niece and nephews, knowing that my full name is Lawrence, have often asked if I have ever gotten any mileage out of that variation of my name. I remind them that under official circumstances it frequently comes up, in school, work, and anywhere else that may require me to be a bit formal. Sister Miriam Therese, of the Sisters of Charity, was my fifth grade teacher at St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst. It was in her class that I was first reminded constantly that my name was Lawrence. She was quite strict about each student’s always being addressed and referred to by his first name. Around the time of my twelfth birthday we moved from Jackson Heights to Lindenhurst. When kids in my new schools, Copiague Junior High School, and then Our Lady of Perpetual Help, asked me what my name was, I took a chance on introducing myself as Lawrence. The Copiague kids stuck with it for around the next three years. Somehow after that it faded away entirely. In my Catholic school, though, things were a bit different. The first kid I met there was Jerry Antonacci. He asked me my name. I introduced myself as Lawrence. He then asked if he may call me Larry. I said yes and that was the end of it. Unlike certain other names, such as Anthony, David, Michael, and Peter, the name Lawrence simply doesn’t strike people as that interesting as far as always calling somebody by his full name. I see no point in ever bothering to change it. There have been times over the course of my lifetimes when it has struck me as somewhat annoying. In general, though, it’s quite nice.
Uncle Aloysius and Aunt Filomena were preparing Thanksgiving dinner as always.
“Those Protestants think they’re such hot stuff,” moaned Aloysius.
“The first Thanksgiving, though, was really on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida, before their time.”
Filomena happily humored him, knowing that he was harmless, as well as right.
“They beat those snooty Protestants by fifty six years.”
“Don Pedro Menendez proclaimed the New World for Philip II.”
“The second Thanksgiving,” he continued, “was in 1598”, and he proceeded to explain the details.
“The Indians and Spaniards were on friendly terms.”
Filomena continued listening, knowing it kept him happy.
Rochelle Wisoff~Fields is in charge of our weekly Friday Fictioneers, a hundred~word attempt at story telling. Sandra Crook has supplied this week’s photo prompt.
It’s the end of January and 2015 is settling in upon us. Last night I went to the first lay Carmelite meeting of the new year. I got my niece Bridget to drive me to Our Lady of Peace parish in Lynbrook. All went well. I made sure I paid my forty dollars dues. We’re studying Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. I really miss both the St. Joseph community in Seaford, New York, and the Our Lady of the Mountain group in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, but these meetings seem to be working out very well so far too. Compared to my last two groups, this one has quite an exceptionally large membership. They said last night that there are over forty official members. The Seaford and Wilkes Barre groups only had around a dozen each. Karen Lee gave me a form to fill out so I can officially transfer from my Pennsylvania group. Next month there will be a day of recollection at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens. I’m hoping to be able to go. I haven’t been there in quite a very long time. It would be so good if someday I could say that I’ve gotten things all figured out and all was right in the world.
One day recently I wandered, as usual, into a time warp and met 2004 me for coffee. He was happy to see that I still drink coffee so compulsively. He reminded me of what life was like back then, with all its good and bad news. I told him about what was up ahead of him. He was happy to see that I’m still a lay Carmelite. I tried to explain to him that I still have all the same staunchly conservative ideas now as then, but that by now, they’re more fully developed. I gave him the impression that turning fifty didn’t seem to carry with it any major milestones, that the passage of time would, in many ways, leave me neither in better nor worse shape. I explained to him that both my parents died last year and that that left me with quite a few major irrevocable changes in my circumstances. Having lived for much of the past decade in northeastern Pennsylvania gave me some insights into what life in a radically different environment was like. The internet, of course, was quite a major topic of conversation. My younger persona was quite happy to hear of all the advances that were to transpire during the time between then and now. He got a kick out of all the things people have been doing with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and all the others. He was so happy to know that I’ve been able to keep in touch with all my oldest friends from school for so long. Most certainly, he was quite disgusted when I told him about everyone’s having a cell phone these days. He reminded me of the days when my cousins and I were on the Knights of Columbus’ bowling league, with the Wantagh council and recommended that I get involved in something like that again. He also reminded me that since my anxiety, temper and migraines have mostly subsided into virtual obsolescence, I should by now be hepper than ever.
It was a crisp bright Saturday morning one long ago Fourth of July weekend quite a few years ago. I was visiting Uncle Frankie in West Wyoming. As he occasionally does, he was telling me quite a lot of long stories about life before World War II. From out of nowhere, the phone rang. It was my cousin Vinnie, in Hilldale. He explained that he desperately wanted me to take him to Jitty Joe’s, in Moosic, for ice cream. Everyone knows theirs is the best. Since I really wanted to get the ice cream I was getting so overwhelmingly frustrated at Uncle Frankie’s story telling. Conveniently he only lives around two and a half miles away from Hilldale so it would only take me a few minutes to get there to pick up Vinnie. Moosic is about twenty five minutes from there though, and we desperately needed ice cream so once we started to go, we’d really had to fly like crazy. It’s always been quite an addiction for us. Eventually my raconteur uncle ran out of anecdotes about all our long-deceased, and mostly long-forgotten kin. I took advantage of his having run out of steam, and reminded him that Vinnie and I desperately needed ice cream so he let me go. With absolutely no remaining time whatsoever to lose, I ran out his front door, down to my car, and drove as fast as possible to Hilldale to pick up Vinnie. From there, we drove at about eighty miles per hour, on River Road and Route 81, until we finally arrived at our destination. It was worth it.