This past Monday was Memorial Day. Long Beach, New York, always has such an especially nice parade. As always I made sure I marched in it with my Knights of Columbus Monsignor Cass Council 2626. Alas, when I took a picture of my council’s banner, our number didn’t make its way into the picture. However I got quite a nice photograph of our local division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Believe it or not my ethnic background is only half~Irish.
Harvey and Shirley Wallsteadter, and their kids, really wanted to go to his family’s annual picnic on the Memorial Day weekend. Each year they make sure they pinch all their pennies, foregoing all luxuries, howsoever slight or trivial, so they can afford this one big annual trip. It’s the only time they get to see all his relatives together so it’s the absolute highlight of eveyone’s year.
The big day finally arrived. They made the three hundred mile drive to Hecksher State Park in East Islip, on the south shore of Long Island. Unfortunately they’re only allowed to get the park for one day each year. If the weather isn’t good enough on the appointed day, there’s no second chance. All the relatives gathered together in their favorite spot very early in the morning so the could set up all the picnic tables.
Finally it was noon and everyone wanted a nice hearty lunch. The people on k.p. duty set the tables so nicely. Just as they were about to put all the food upon them, cousin Elmer noticed some terrifyingly black and grey clouds upon the horizon. Aunt Flo Pauline’s complexion blanched entirely. There were people there from all over the country and they couldn’t afford to make any changes.
Of course, being the industrious bunch that they’ve always been they managed to figure something out quite soon. First and foremost they made sure they all shut their car windows. Cousin Leroy reminded them that they could always go to the gift shop, buy an umbrella for each of them, and spend the day shopping in all the gift shops and enjoying all the other indoor attractions. Conveniently, since they always spend the entire weekend together each year, the food wouldn’t be wasted. They’d just have to make sure they took it all over to their hotel rooms.
In a way it was all so depressing because they were forced to miss out on the single most significant part of the entire weekend. Nothing’s ever struck them as so enjoyable as the picnic. In spite of all the initial frustration and resentment, Harvey and Shirley, along with all the others, got quite a kick out of their bad break.
Mother’s Day went really well this year. Although my mother has been going so frequently to chemotherapy and getting physical therapy for the past few months we all had such a good time. Mary Anne came in on the bus for a few days. Neither Steve nor any of the kids was available. Recently Steve, Mary Anne, Bridget & Sam, along with other members of his family went on a trip to Europe with his mother Barbara. They will be there for a while. I gave blood a while ago at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston. It was my first donation since I gave blood there last December. Last Saturday morning there was another men’s meeting for the Guardian of the Redeemer Group at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, St. Monica’s Parish, in West Wyoming. Over the course of the past week Larry, Rose, Krissy Krissy Krissy, and Krissy Krissy Krissy’s daughter Natalie came to visit us from Massapequa. A few days after that Gary and Maria came in for a visit from Massapequa too. I’m always so very happy to see my Massapequa cousins. Memorial Day went really well too. I went to the annual parade on Wyoming Avenue and Eighth Street. Gino and Eric marched in it with the Cub Scouts. Yesterday I had such an interesting time. On Sunday I read in the Dispatch that Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, and his wife Rosalynn, were coming to the Wyoming Monument on Susquehanna Avenue to make a speech and to accept some awards. Yesterday I went to see them. It was so interesting. I heard their voices and saw them from a distance. Unfortunately it was so very crowded and it was raining but I couldn’t have had a more enjoyable experience. I parked in the Midway parking lot among lots of buses. I was forced to walk quite a distance but it was worth it.
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.