Of course it would be quite difficult for me to pick the perfect voice to narrate my blog’s posts. I should suppose that considering how I’ve always so very much liked the sounds of the Beatles’ voices, both separately and together, perhaps I should choose either Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr to perform this most ominous and foreboding task for me. It would be so very interesting for me to hear the voice of one of the Fab Four relate all my ideas and adventures to the public. A nice Liverpudlian scouse accent would do my writing style quite a world of good as far as I can see. Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to have some kind of connection to my favorite band. There would be no other way for me to get involved with them since I can’t sing and I’m not a good enough musician. I make so many references, in my entries, to them and their adventures, musical and otherwise anyway. Everyone would be so shocked if I could get one of them to help me, but no one could possibly be the least bit surprised at my having tried.
Light out Wanderlust. Head us out to sea. My brother in law Steve and cousin Mark own a yacht together. Ever since around my twelfth birthday I’ve always lived within walking distance to a significant body of water. Except for my seven and a half years in northeastern Pennsylvania, where I lived down the street from the Susquehanna River, I’ve always lived by salt water canals and a bay that leads to the Atlantic Ocean. Although I don’t ordinarily spend a lot of time specifically on boats or at the beach, or in immediate proximity to any of the water, it’s always been quite interesting and enjoyable for me. Because of my always having been a bookworm I can see lots of significant symbolism in water. From Noah’s Ark to “Moby Dick” mankind has always been inextricably linked to this extremely important reality of life, and has always referred to it significantly in story telling. From the point of view of wanderlust its appeal can easily be found in the significance of what lies out there beyond all that man’s eye can see. A horizon can be both frustrating and intimidating. Many things in life can be elusive and deceptive. Once someone reaches what is currently his horizon, it’s not there anymore. It’s all relative to his current circumstances. That’s why wanderlust can be a frustrating problem, never to be satisfied.
Of course if I were ever to have the absolutely ultimate party, I should have to invite Beatles John Winston Lennon and James Paul McCartney to represent my favorite band. It would be only right to make them sit next to each other. Their combined intelligence and creativity as well as wit, humor and imagination would be bound inevitably to provide one and all with quite a fine time. If I allow them to sit right next to Lewis Carroll, that would really make for such an interesting collection of insights. Everyone knows how intensely significant an influence Carroll always was on the 1960’s musical world. The threesome could take us on all sorts of misadventures throughout both Pepperland and Wonderland. Woody Allen would be quite an exceptionally interesting guest too. He and I are both neurotic bespectacled native New Yorkers. We also share an interest in dwelling upon mankind’s much bigger, more significant questions about the ultimate meaning of life and death. We most certainly don’t have any of the same answers, though, unfortunately. Perhaps I should be more comfortable in the company of the typical character Allen played in his movies than with the real Allen. Each of the characters he played is quite a perpetually befuddled eternal square stranded in a world that’s utterly over his head. There’s a side of me that’s very much like that. An accomplished jazz clarinetist, he, along with Lennon and McCartney, could provide quite a show. In order to ensure that there will be women in attendance I could invite Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen and Flannery O’Connor. Austen could give our festivities a bit of a sense of propriety and a dose of what life was like during England’s Regency period. She was known for her having been supposedly quite stuffy but I’ll bet she could really cut a rug. The Misses Dickinson and O’Connor, by explaining to us all exactly what was going on in their perpetually lopsided literary works, could give us all sorts of insights into human nature. Dickinson was quite the dysfunctional recluse, and O’Connor a strict orthodox Catholic, but I should assume each of them could swing from the occasional chandelier or two every once in a while too. The last name on my guest list would be Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the thirty fifth president. R.F.K. has the distinction of being the most interesting of all the famous people I’ve met in person. I met him at his last St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a few months before he died. I was only in the third grade then. Kennedy also was quite charming, witty, intelligent and articulate. He could explain just exactly what it is about the Kennedy mystique that has always kept people so enraptured throughout the course of the past few generations. A consummate politician and statesman, he could also be an effective moderator among the others.
If I were ever able to be someone famous for a day, I should like to be Beatle John Lennon. That’s assuming it would be permissible to be someone who’s now deceased. Of course, I’ve always been quite insatiably and obsessively impressed with all the Beatles anyway so it’s somewhat difficult to narrow it down. Since it’s all but a mere fantasy anyway-perhaps in Lennon’s case we could even refer to it as a Double Fantasy?-I should like to see what it was like to have been in his Cuban heels during the Beatle era. That’s always been my favorite time. As much as I’ve always enjoyed his solo years, including the recordings he made with Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band and Elephant’s Memory, there’s something about Beatle John that absolutely can’t possibly be matched. It’s kind of weird, though, because I’ve always so bitterly despised exactly all the very things with which the mighty Swain of Liverpool had always found so impressive. All that left wing political ideological crap and Hare Krishna simply isn’t for me of course. I’m just guessing but there’s a pretty good chance that neither Cynthia nor Yoko is exactly my kind of woman either. There have always been so many things about the Beatle-era Beatles, though, that have impressed me ever since as far back as I can remember. I can only assume that it would be worth all the terribly nasty inconveniences to be able to follow it all from a specifically first-hand point of view for a day. I’ve always been quite interested in all the other people, things and circumstances from that era too. If, for a day, I could pass for the Walrus, I could have quite an inside scoop. I could find out exactly how all those exceptionally interesting ideas entered into his head, and I could be steeped in all the things that were happening during the Viet Nam era. I should really enjoy being able to count on seeing things from the point of view of Lennon’s imagination, intelligence, sense of humor and with. Besides that, I’d get to spend so much time associating with the other Beatles, finding out exactly what they were like too. It’s a good thing it would have to end very soon. Things of that nature have a built-in tendency to lead to extremely big trouble if allowed to go on too long.
Over a month ago, on Saturday, February 8, I drank my usual cup of hot tea with honey and sugar and went to bed at around 9:00 p.m. I know quite well that I was in Long Beach in 2014 then. When I woke up on Sunday morning, though, I was in for quite a shock. Somehow, upon opening my bedroom door, I appeared to have been transported back in time, precisely a half century, to Sunday, February 9, 1964. Besides that I was in front of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. At first I couldn’t possibly have known that I was so far away in the past. After a few minutes, though, I started catching onto all the anachronisms. Because of my having been so interested, for as far back as I can remember, with the era, I soon recognized all the then-current styles of vehicles, clothes and hair. Billboards, taxicabs and buses advertised for the New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadow, and the movie, “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. A few stylishly dressed teenagers were listening to the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie”, that was referred to as new, on Music Radio WABC 770 AM. People were cussing out Lyndon Baines Johnson and Nelson A. Rockefeller, as they tried to recuperate from the recent assassination of Johnson’s immediate predecessor, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a few months earlier. There was talk of Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council. It all really sank in when I picked up a copy of the New York Daily News at a nearby newsstand. My suspicions were confirmed. It was that fateful day in the winter of 1964. All sorts of references to, and pictures of John Winston Lennon, James Paul McCartney, George Harold Harrison and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr), were staring me in the face. There were countless references to their upcoming appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” at 8:00 that night. It’s quite interesting to take note of the fact that I was already alive back then. I was a little boy in Jackson Heights, Queens, and I got a bit of a kick out of wondering if I could come up with the nerve to go to 92 Street to say hello to my young adult parents, infant sister Mary Anne, and toddler me. After a few minutes I looked up from the paper only to get quite a major shock. The legendary John, Paul, George and Ringo were standing right in front of me. In those days they were all still so very young and handsome. Because their manager, Mr. Epstein, was still alive to keep them in check, there was none of the noticeable rampant excess that would characterize their later style. They were quite a friendly bunch. John greeted me with a jovial, “Well, ‘ello”, in their characteristic Liverpudlian scouse accent. He then said, “‘Ey, Paulie, me buy, get a load o’ this fellow!”. They were dressed quite casually, and George was wearing a bit extra because of his having recently recovered from a sore throat. All their notorious Beatle charm shone through. After a few minutes they invited me into the Plaza and we had a few drinks. They told me a lot of stories about John’s wife Cynthia Powell and son Julian, Ringo’s girlfriend Maureen Cox, and Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher. George would meet Patti Boyd in a few months. I ended up having to make quite a few adjustments in my attempt to explain to them my circumstances. Never having been aware of all the etiquette of time travel- I don’t suppose there’s an official rule book that covers it- I tried ever so desperately to refrain from telling the young Fabs about what was up ahead of them. They explained what went on, during their early days, with Klaus Voormann, Jurgen Vollmer, Astrid Kirchherr and all their other friends and family. I tried, as they told me that they intended to sing “All My Loving”, “Till There Was You”, “She Loves You”, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” that night at Studio 50, to maintain some semblance of composure. I sat there uncontrollably stunned, somewhat politely humoring them. They talked of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and the Who, the way just anyone would refer to his friends and people at work. All I could think of were things like the infamously nauseating sexual revolution, drugs, the war in Southeast Asia and everything else that would make such a mess of a time frame that would be forever referred to as specifically the Beatles’ era. Besides remembering that they’d break up in April of 1970 I couldn’t help cringing over the events of December 8, 1980, when John Lennon got killed, and November 29, 2001, when George Harrison died. Assuming I should consider myself as having been sworn to absolute silence and secrecy, I asked more than I told. “Gentleman”, I was tempted to say, “Even you, with your seemingly infinite imaginations, couldn’t possibly begin to imagine what you’re up against!” Knowing about Lewis Carroll’s influence on the musicians of the 1960’s I kept thinking of it all as a trip through a looking glass, down a rabbit hole, or in some other offbeat out of the way direction. They could even be seen as a four-part variation of Robert Browning’s Pied Piper, with Liverpool standing in for Hamelin. From the point of view of an entirely favorable interpretation of their impact on the world they most certainly got rid of quite a few metaphorical rats. We sang a bunch of their early songs together. They showed me some guitar tricks. Conveniently their sense of humor turned out to be quite compatible with mine. I kept trying to convince them to put some colorful twists, of my invention, into their songs. We kept cracking each other up. Throughout my lifetime I’ve always considered their early songs, style and image to be their very best so I was absolutely as high as could be. Conveniently I managed to avoid any anachronisms and all went quite well. Eventually the moment of truth came to pass. It was time to get ready for their legendary appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. We all went over to Studio 5o. I somehow cajoled them into letting me join them. They even let me hang around backstage. When they started the show, they sang, “All My Loving”, and “Till There Was You”. Immediately after Ringo’s world-changing drum fill and John’, Paul’s and George’s perfect chant of “She Loves you yeah yeah yeah!” I was back in Long Beach yet again, in 2014, sipping tea with honey and sugar. It’s a true story.
I’m fifty four years old now but I can still remember my twelfth birthday , September 16, 1971, as if it were only yesterday. In those days, Richard Milhous Nixon was still in his first term as president. Carole King’s “Tapestry” album, John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Paul McCartney’s “Ram” were all on the radio. Up until five days before that, my parents, my younger sister, and I had always lived in Jackson Heights, in Queens, New York. This was during our first week as residents of Lindenhurst, in Suffolk County, New York. I had always gone to St. Gabriel’s Elementary School in East Elmhurst up until then. All the time I was in Queens I could count on good friends and familiar surroundings. Even back then I disliked change. For my first two weeks in Lindenhurst I went to Copiague Junior High School. My party was very small. The only friends-potential friends, so far-in attendance, were the three kids who lived next door, Tommy, Bobby and Karen. Their mother was also there. As a kid I had always been so very shy. I was having quite a difficult time getting used to the new environment and new people. Considering that I felt exceptionally uncomfortable with all the new surroundings it was quite a nice simple time. Nothing eventful happened that day but I learned to enjoy the new world that would be mine for the next four and one half decades. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/
Yesterday was Father’s Day. On Saturday afternoon Mary Anne, Steve & Bridget, along with their dog, surprised my parents by showing up & staying overnight. Steve, being Steve, got my mother, Bridget & me to go to Jitty Joe’s in Moosic with him for ice c ream. I got a bowl of praline ice cream. Early yesterday we all went to Perkins, on Rte 315 in Dupont, for a really nice breakfast. They were forced to leave early to pick up Sam at the airport. He was in Florida visiting his other grandmother. Michael & Erin were visiting her parents. Uncle Frankie has been visiting Fran for the past few days so I go to his house regularly to pick up his mail. I’m in the habit of attending 8:30 Mass each Sunday morning at St. Joseph’s on Sixth Street but yesterday I went to 11:00 Mass at O.L. Sorrows. After Mass, when I stopped at Unimart on Wyoming Avenue, I ran into Gino, Michelle & the kids outside the store. On Saturday morning I attended our monthly Lay Carmelite meeting on South Meade Street in Wilkes_Barre. We meet at the Little Flower Manor on the third Saturday morning of each monthe. We welcome new people who are interested in joining. Sister Mary Robert wasn’t available but Msgr. Grimaglia was with us. Unfortunately, O.L.P.H., my old grammar school on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, N.Y., is now closed permanently. On the bright side, Msgr. Bob Brennan, an alumnus of both O.L.P.H. & St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, N.Y. , has recently been named an auxiliary bishop in the Rockville Centre Diocese. Today is Beatle Paul McCartney’s seventieth birthday. We hall hope he has such an especially fab time.