It’s always been quite so very easy for anyone, after he’s gotten to know me for only an extremely short time, to figure out that my taste in all things pop cultural are old. My niece and nephews are quite young, though, so thanks to them, it is my lot in life to be constantly bombarded with all manner of references to current developments on the musical scene. I don’t ever bother to pay enough attention to any of their songs, though, to be able to recognize any of them as the definitive song of the summer of 2014. As everyone knows, the Beatles, and the music of the 1960’s in general, have always been been my very favorites. Having been born in 1959, I’m too young for that era, but living vicariously has always struck me as quite a really hep way to go. This summer I have really going on quite a Yardbirds binge. People my age usually think of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck as soloists, and Jimmy Page as part of Led Zeppelin. During the 1960’s, though, each of them got a turn as a member of this really important blues band. Unfortunately I have no idea of how to narrow my choice down to any one and only specific song of theirs that embodies this summer for me. I’ve been listening to so many real classics. I’ve ended up picking on “Never Mind”. It’s always been a favorite of mine. Musically I’m spending this summer as I’ve spent all my lifetime, dwelling on the really hep stuff and keeping an irrevocably bygone era alive. I should hope that two decades from now, I can still handle it all.
It’s always been quite difficult for me to choose only one specific scent that strikes me as the definitive summer smell. There are all sorts of beautiful smells that come from flowers and other plants in general. The smell of suntan lotion and and skin care products can have quite an impact on people too. It’s yet another variety of aroma that is restricted to only the warm weather. I also truly enjoy the smell of chlorine in a pool . Barbecued meat, including beef, pork, chicken and all sorts of other fine dishes, really captures my attention. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always really enjoyed these smells. For as far back as I can remember I’ve always tended to notice distinctive, out of the way things anyway, including scents. Summer’s air has always been filled with good things. Warm weather in general has always brought out the best in me. I really wish spring and summer could last throughout the year. Autumn loses its charm after only a fairly short time and winter is absolute hell. Summer scents are so enjoyable precisely because they’re associated with only such a very short time frame. They’re exactly as enjoyable now that I’m an adult as they were when I was very much younger.
Although I haven’t traveled very far, and haven’t even seen any foreign country except Canada, I can think of quite a lot of interesting things I’ve seen in different places. Having been to places ranging from Florida and Illinois to Washington D.C. and Michigan, I’ve tasted a wide variety of good food, seen many landmarks and a lot of fine scenery so it may be quite impossible to choose any one thing that I should want to clone in order to have it permanently with me.
If I were ever really forced, though, to pick one thing, I should like to have Jitty Joe’s, the famous ice cream parlor on Birney Avenue in Moosic, in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. They have, without question, absolutely the very best ice cream I know of. Everyone who goes there is quite crazy about it. Having spent a significant amount of time in northeastern Pennsylvania, I’ve often gone there to check out their wide variety of flavors. They sell cones, sundaes, sodas, shakes and any other kind of things that can possibly be made with either ice or ice cream.
Unfortunately since there’s not so much demand for ice cream during the cold months they’re only opened for a fairly short time each year. During that period, though, it’s most certainly quite a fantasy land. If I could have it here with me, within walking distance, I could go there much more frequently during the warm months. Within only a very short time frame, I could have an opportunity to try each of their seemingly infinite variety of flavors of ice cream, sodas, and toppings, ranging from bubble gum and teaberry to rocky road, peanut butter, and chocolate chip. I’ve always had quite an insatiable sweet tooth so if I were close to someplace like this I could count on being able to have quite a regular feast. There are a lot of benches outside to enjoy the warm weather and scenery. It’s such an exceptionally interesting environment.
For as far back as I can remember I’ve always quite thoroughly enjoyed only warm weather. There’s most certainly something quite exceptionally enchanting about the early days of autumn too though, with all the colorful changes in temperature and the colors of the leaves. Even autumn, though, especially Thanksgiving in North Tonawanda, New York, can be pure torture if it’s cold. Unfortunately I honestly believe that I have quite an extremely nasty time coping with cold weather, especially when there’s precipitation along with it. Throughout my lifetime I’ve always lived in either Queens, Long Island or northeastern Pennsylvania. In each of these places winter is quite notorious for being nightmarishly long and bitter cold with a significant amount of rain, ice and snow. Especially when all that endless weather trouble is combined with an early sunset, it drives me inevitably to extreme frustration. Because of my always having been such a bookworm, and a literature major, I tend spontaneously to see things in terms of symbolism. All that cold, dampness and darkness invariably remind me of unbearable desperation and desolation. It’s the perfect symbol of pain, unhappiness and evil in general. The dreary appearance and mood, combined with horrible road and traffic conditions, and the lack of foliage on deciduous plants, always get me frustrated and resentful. As I’ve quite frequently said before, by the time March gets here, I simply can’t even try to wait any longer for nice weather. I’ve often referred to my nasty reaction to March’s tendency to hold back on the warmth and other nice weather conditions that are supposed to accompany the arrival of spring. That’s a lot like what life in general is like. Evil and pain never like to let go. Bad habits have a nasty tendency to remain. In the vocabulary of philosophy, the concept of time is divided into time and duration. Objective time is always the same but the way people react to it in a subjective sense, its duration, is what varies. March always takes the same relatively short length of time each year, the same as many other months, but its association with spring’s nice warm weather
, combined with its tendency to keep on torturing and tormenting us with bitter cold and precipitation, always drags me down. It appears absolutely never to end. Besides all the increased risk to people’s physical health and safety it’s an unbearable strain on the emotions and nerves too.
It’s so hard to believe right now, but summer will soon be upon us, and I’m truly looking forward to it. I simply can’t stand cold weather. Although I don’t, so far, have any specific plans, I shall be so happy just basking in the warmth of the sunshine. Ever since I was twelve years old I’ve always lived very close to water. Long Beach is well known for its beaches. I can take a half-mile walk down Lincoln Boulevard each day, and go to the beach. Even if I don’t go into the water, the boardwalk can provide me with quite an amazingly impressive view. In Wyoming I lived very close to the Susquehanna River, and it was very quiet and very enjoyable, with such fine scenery. In Lindenhurst I was right across the street from a few nice canals. They were also known for being so epecially picturesque. Since I’m still fairly new to Long Beach, and quite unfamiliar with it, the summer months will give me quite a nice opportunity to get out and to travel more throughout the city. Although I shall absolutely dread the traffic congestion because of all the people on vacation, it will all be worth it. I was always quite involved with my parishes in Queens, Lindenhurst and the Wyomings so now I can take advantage of the warm weather out here to start getting really busy with St. Mary of the Isle too. Maybe I shall go to northeastern Pennsylvania to to see my father’s relatives for the long Fourth of July weekend. Perhaps then I can relive our infamous blueberry picking fiasco of yore. I’ve been doing so much walking lately anyway. Out there, especially in the nearby Poconos, I shall be able to do a lot more walking because there are a lot more wide open spaces. Besides all the fattening food and crowds on the Independence Day weekend, the main thing I may have a bit too much of a problem with will be the sunburn. Because I’m a bit pale complected the sun, if I’m not very careful, can take quite a toll on me, mostly if I spend a significant amount of time either in a pool or at a beach. Over the course of the past eight years in the Wyomings I got a chance to meet a lot of people and to make quite a few friends. I can even visit them too. Most certainly I shall have to visit my mother’s relatives. I’ll say hello to Uncle Frankie and Fran, and all of Aunt Lauren’s family. If things really work out well I can even take a few trips to Jackson Heights and Lindenhurst to visit my old stomping grounds. Most importantly of all the weather will be warm. All I really want now is to have as much sunshine as possible. Unfortunately it will be my first summer since my parent’s deaths. I shall have to get used to each set of circumstances, as it comes up, without them. That will be the only seriously sad thing. As much as I dislike change, it’s an ongoing inevitable occurrence. Both good and bad keep happening. Instead of complaining, I can consider my first Long Beach summer as yet another lopsided adventure.
For some strange reason, this is my first post since the end of August. My birthday & my father’s are on September 16 & 25. We went, with my mother & Uncle Frankie, to Perkins on my birthday to get a nice meal. The waitress explained that we could have gone to Cooper’s because they give a free meal to the guest of honor. I’ve never liked seafood though & that’s Cooper’s specialty. I got a few phone calls that day from Mary Anne & family. Steve & Bridget left me messages on Facebook & Mary Anne, Michael & Sam all talked to me on the phone. I was especially happy that my cousin Gary even called. It gave me a chance to catch up with all the New York gossip. Fr. McKernan’s birthday is the day after mine. He was on a retreat in Chicago that weekend. The next week, for my father’s birthday, we went back to Perkins. Uncle Frankie wasn’t available at the time because he was visiting Fran. The traffic, on the way to Rte. 315, was absolutely unbearably bad because of construction. Fortunately, though, the construction only lasted for around a week after that. Unfortunately summer is long gone by now & we’ve settled into autumn.