Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Slices of Life

            In the Village for an errand this afternoon. Walking down Greenwich Avenue, I passed the school yard at P.S. 41. Boys and girls were running around and playing and shouting, but the gate to the street was closed because school hadn’t let out yet. Still, many parents were massed around the gate, waiting. (Did they want to get their children home quickly so they could leave for the long weekend?)
            Twenty or so minutes later, I walked back past the school yard. The gates were now open, and lines were forming at the Delicioso ice cart (mango, coconut, rainbow) and at the ice cream truck. Leaving town would have to wait for snacktime.

            At 12th Street, the sky over the West Village looked ominous, but looking north, it seemed like it was clear over midtown. But when I got off the train at Columbus Circle (yet another errand), it was cloudy there, too. Venders were already selling “ummm-brellas,” and there was moisture in the air. But there was blue sky further north. And when I got up to 112th Street, it had clouded up there, too, yet still further north, it was clearing. Was I bringing the clouds with me as I traveled uptown?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Perfect Game (Slice of Life Tuesday)

(This Slice of Life is almost 60 years old.)
            Monday, October 8, 1956, I was in my ninth-grade home room at the end of the day. The assistant principal, as he was announcing school bus departures over the P.A. system, also noted that in that afternoon’s World Series game, Don Larsen of the Yankees had so far pitched a perfect game.
            The word “perfect” clicked in my mind. Was there actually something a human being could do that was “perfect”?
            As soon as I got home, 15-20 minutes later, I went immediately to my parents’ bedroom, where the TV was, and turned the channel selector until I found the channel broadcasting the game. (There were only about five channels then, and no remote.) I saw the final three outs that climaxed that amazing 27 up, 27 down accomplishment. The catcher, who I didn’t yet know was Yogi Berra, ran toward the pitcher and jumped into his arms. There was only one camera shot, middle distance, probably from the level of the press box.
            With that perfect game, baseball cemented itself in my heart. 
( has a short video of the highlights and the end of the game, with interviews with the participants and the announcer of the game.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday (it actually happened on Monday)

Subway Sight

    A mother gets on the #1 train with her little boy, about 4 or 5 years old. He is hungrily licking on a paper cup of rainbow ice. A woman sitting next to me gets up so he can sit down, since it's obvious he is paying way more attention to that rainbow ice than to keeping his balance on the moving train. He is slowly sipping melted ice from the edges of the cup, then pushing the ice up from the bottom. "Look," he says, "it's getting higher." Is he pretending that there's more ice in the cup even as he sucks up what's there? His mother suggests that if he's eating the ice, shouldn't there be less? No, he shakes his head, "it's getting higher."
    The boy runs his fingers over the ice. "See, there are different colors," he points out to those of us sitting nearby. "It's a rainbow!" Then he licks his finger. His mother suggests that he not eat his ice by way of his finger. He goes back to sucking melted bits of ice.
    At 59th Street, mother and child get off. So we'll never know how long it took that little boy to finish his ice, or what he said when it was all gone.