Friday, February 04, 2011


It’s always puzzled me why I have such vivid memories of those years in Malden
while I’ve fewer about places I’ve lived as an adult. Maybe it’s because when you’re
younger there’s not as many worries and distractions to keep you from living “in the
moment?” I can recall the day I was sitting at the kitchen table when I had a fleeting
glimpse of something falling past the window. My grandmother kept me from looking
out because what I had seen was one of the men re-shingling our roof falling to the
ground. He was lucky; he missed the picket fence that marked the boundary with the
Corielli’s and broke his back, but he didn’t die.   

There was the back yard. It had a small dip in the middle and a large lilac bush. I
remember one summer night when there was some party going on and we kids
chased fireflies outside. One of Aunt Emily’s Italian relatives, Uncle Luigi, played
mandolin and sang.

We had a dog, a fox terrier named Saddles who had been with my folks since
before I was born. I was 5 or 6 when he was killed in a dogfight with the boxer that
belonged to the man who owned the grocery store across the street from our house.
A year after that Dad brought home an Irish Setter that had belonged to one of his
coworkers who was Polish. The dog only answered to commands in Polish, and
a few months later, Dad gave up and returned the dog to the previous owner.

We were often visited by Jack Coyne, the boyfriend of my late grandaunt Winnie
and he brought us candy. I once ate a bunch of chocolate cigarettes and promptly
got sick.

Speaking of sick, there was the pickled beets disaster where I was ill all over Uncle
Ed’s  car interior. I still will not eat pickled beets after nearly 60 years since that ride.

Most of all, there were the comings and the departures of people. I’l discuss those

(341 words)
Written for the Family History Writing Challenge

1 comment:

T.K. said...

Bill, I'm enjoying your take on the Family History Writing Challenge. You have lots of interesting memories and a facility for letting them flow in what seems like an effortless way. This is a good lesson for me, the way you mix the stunning memories with the little daily ones. Somehow they seem to enhance each other.