Sunday, May 5, 2013

LACKAWANNA DAYS

Such a perfect Sunday - warm, breezy, buzzy and full of possibility. Productive too, what with yard work, socializing, planning and just feeling so damn good.

In cleaning out an everything drawer I came across this funeral photo card.
                                                  


It is dear Father Lackovic - to me a great man! My entire early childhood is evoked in his face. Lackawanna in its glorious hay day like my hay day childhood. And I just now  noticed - Father Lackovic's name is 1/4 of Lackawanna! Hm...significance abounds. But seriously, all that I recall of this dear priest coincides with all the feelings I recall. He was gentle, strong, loving, kind and devoted - dedicated to his calling and most especially to his parishioners -  and beyond - devoted to Lackawanna.

Those were the days  - my days - days of gangs of kids filling the streets with playfulness. We roamed the streets, yards and alleyways with not a worry. No one was lurking about waiting to exploit us. We felt safe and were safe. Neighbors cared about us - knew us well.  Those were the days of unlocked churches, free air for our bikes, penny candy, Joni James and Ed Sullivan. Those were the days of beaches aplenty, playgrounds with sandboxes and teeter totters, hide and seek just as it was getting dark  - and my favorite game -  statues.

This man's face is rich with my memories. I saw Father Lackovic almost daily it seemed - church on Sunday, Novena on Wednesday, all kinds of activities like plays and shows in the church basement that had a pretty good sized stage - shows my mother directed which shamelessly starred her children. He was always available for talks and visits -  snacks to offer.  I remember baseball games with Father Nick and Lackovic good naturedly arguing.

Memories of those Lackawanna Days make me laugh and cry. Like the character in "Our Town" I long to relive them or maybe just one day - one insignificant day would be significant enough. Just one day to see Ma and Dad as they were - young and beautiful. To see my precious dog, Daisy and play with buddies Mickey, Reggie and Frankie.

To see my siblings and their friends, Jeanie with Chita, Gloria with Andrea, Patsy with Barbara or as we called her, Bobby, Georgie with me, Larry and Mickey. We all had a Karnavos for a friend - spanning all our ages.

And then I suddenly remember the tulip tree in back of our 5th Street house which was really in front but we thought of it in back because we rarely used the front. That sentence just made me dizzy.

New Years parties at our house always - noisy and funny and abundant with ethnic foods - relatives galore - cousins always present - never the strangers they are today - summers were endless and school was like stepping into another room in your house - the wonderful nuns - the walks pass that terrific library as we made our way home. I loved that library - its bodacious book smell - the creaky wood floors. We went one night a week - all of us to the library to take out whatever we liked - what night was that. I feel it was early Wednesday evenings.

We saw every movie - sometimes twice at The Ridge or Shea rarely Franklin later mostly at the Abbott. I clearly recall the shock of "On The Waterfront" with the dangerous Brando -  "Sayonara"    also with Brando - less dangerous here. "Rumble On The Docks" was so fabulous with the actress who was really pretty but ugly in the movie role she so brilliantly played. All we could talk about was her on our walk home. Gee, we walked everywhere didn't we? Lastly, "Three Coins In The Fountain" was magical to us - Rome in full Technicolor. Gloria remarking during a scene where Jean Peters is reeling down a country road in a brakeless jalopy - her life in peril - and Gloria broke us all up with "Look at all those red apples!" because all she could see was the beautiful red delicious fruit in the background caring not one bit for the fate of Jean Peters. So funny. So very funny. So very Gloria.

So much to remember - all brought to mind by a mere glance at a yesterday face.  I cherish that face. Thank you Father Lackovic.

6 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. I'm now spiritually 'overeating' from your wonderous memories...

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    1. Thank you, Amber - I always look forward to your reactions to my posts.

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  2. Mary Baksa PriceMay 5, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Truly wonderful memories. Wishing I could have been born a bit earlier. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thanks, Mimi - Me too - a lot earlier

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  4. Beautifully, vividly written. I wish I had met this incredible man. Between your stories and my mother's, in some way I feel that I have :)

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    1. Thanks, AM - he was something as were those Lackawanna days.

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