…the soon reunion!

pathetic me and me
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Children to me seem so resilient. I’ve seen my grandaughter fall and blast into tears…for about a half a minute and then…bingo,right back up and in action too!
I dont know at what point we begin to remember more specific details of our pains and our joys. I have always held it in my mind that I can remember the very moment I was aware of my mother-I think it was the time my seeds mingled and worked with the other seeds…I’ve always ‘seen’ this moment in my deja vu and my recollection is that of a very ‘Maxfield Parrish” kind of scene-somewhere in a very beautiful space. What ever it looked like I can tell you that the availability of that memory is only a mere few seconds long,but perfect each time I view it.
I know that in my life there were many things that were fun and happy and I had summers with mornings that my little energy could not get asleep fast enough to greet again for the thrill of it-it was the resilience of the child in me. I don’t know exactly where that resilience wore down…
As a boy most of my summers were divided into two places-half in Washington DC and the other half in Pottstown Pennsylvania. Grandparents!
I looked forward to both visits-at one time in the city my grandparents would allow us children to catch the ‘car’…at that time street cars and electric buses ran through Washington so a handfull of dimes and a sack full of sandwiches and we’d be off to roam the streets of downtown! It was considered safe then-although there was the ever solid warning “stay away from Lafayette Park”….that my friends is a way other story!
(which can be realized with some research-hint:the flower pansey and how that park and WW2 made that name synonymous with things that went on in that place)
Those liberties dwindled down after President Kennedy was shot and things became heated over civil rights and the Viet Nam war.
However-those summers became more better with the freedom of Pottstown and to spend the other half of my summer playing and exploring with my cousin,who was just a year older than me.
I never talk much about Pottstown and my grandparents there…not much,perhaps I’ve hardly mentioned them.
Our grandmother was a cadillac…she was large woman who my cousin and I both conceded this last month that she stank! But she was a sweet old gal-the birth of where I learned old woman die their hair blue..she always did-I’d been to the beauty parlor with her and seen it done.PopPop was a grumpy old man who showed our little asses how the wire end of a fly swatter can wreek havoc on a boys backside-he somehow had this way of showing you how things worked by being the hard ass on you. I remember once he was trying to teach me to catch a hardball in a mit and I was’nt doing it right and so he made me hold my arms to my side and he went back to his spot and threw that ball right square in my face. I dont think I played ball after that.
However…there was my cousin and we both hooked up immediatly and we traveled Pottstown on foot-which was easy to do because our grandparents lived on Beech Street just blocks away from the main drag-High Street. You just have to know Pottstown in the 50’s and 60’s to understand.
Our teenage life was different,my cousin and mine-although it was all the same..times were’nt the same,our adolessence became a hurdle-although it was my brother to be buried up there…just a few blocks from cousins house-it was family…all family.
And the Viet Nam war was humping on the high list those days-our simple times had grown into an awareness we were’nt used to…the hippie movement grew into masses who marched on the capital of our land…then,so unheard of in the ranks that it was taking place-black Americans were outraged too. It became a different atmosphere,and these two little boys (cousins) grew up in through it and into it.
My last vivid recollection of being in Pottstown with my cousin as a lad was around our 17th year. Things were really changing.
It was’nt a time of fishing in the Manatawney or going to Sunnybrook to swim….it really went down as we closed in on our adult lives.
We saw each other around five years ago. My older brother Frank had recently died and I had taken off on a road trip-to Pottstown to hunt up my cousin-we promised to stay in touch,but we all know how those things end up sometimes. This last trip the reality of the only thing good that came out of it was to reunite with Dave again. We realized we had so much more in common than we ever realized…other than having been like brothers as kids-we thought many things that were simular and we recalled things that made us want to cry-and we realized that we had so much more alike than we allowed to know through these years gone from when we entered the military until now. We realized a great variety of lifes patterns that were typical and matched…and made us realize the bond we had was important to renew now.
As boys we always had our birthdays around the same time. He’s in June and me next week-almost to the day one month apart. It had been just coincidence that the trip up there last month was right at his birthday and after all these years I got to have a chance to be there with him and his daughters and grandsons…twins!
So the promise was made the last night…”Jay…I’m coming to Florida”…”one of these days-I’m coming to Florida”!!
Your darned right you are!
This Thursday I’m driving to Orlando to pick up my cousin. He’s only traveled to few places…boot camp and I think to the west coast once-but not much of a travel type trip. I’m going to have the thrill of giving a man my age who has lived in the same place longer than I have lived here…and at times I worry about the length of my own residency-but,to have never seen Florida-and not Disney nor Sea World-but the real deal that AAA forgot to tell people about because the resorts draw in more cash then the old oaks with spanish moss and miles and miles of open prairies with tall palms and the way the sun sets over the Gulf-and he has never seen the Gulf. The speed of the resorts dont give you that view.
A week Monday we will driving down to Citrus County and hop on an noise polluting machine of maximum perportions-we will be mounting ear phones to protect us from the sound of the propeller and the huge Chevy engine thats going to push the airboat we will be riding across the marshes at the base of the Homosassa River right smack up on the Gulf of Mexico!
….a boy from Pottstown will be grinning from ear to ear!

5 Responses to “…the soon reunion!”

  1. Megan Says:

    I am so excited for him to be coming there!! Have you told him any of the things you are going to be doing while he is there? I am going to tell him tonight to make sure he gets a white long sleeve shirt because of the sun. I will also make sure I tell him you said so because he might be stubborn about it otherwise… You know him! Hah. When I get vacation time next year I think I am gonna convince him to take another week to come and visit. I have been to FL only once, when I was 15, but I can honestly tell you I loved the atmosphere so much more than any other place I have ever visited. I hope he is as excited as you.. and I think he is! Love you.

  2. Ani Says:


    Just wanted to write real quick to say that I’ve missed hearing from you. Its good to see you’re still blogging. I find it inspirational the way you pour yourself out through your writing, every thought and feeling. I find recently I’ve been more held back with my life in my blogging. Thanks so much for the reminder that doing so, without holding back, helps others (as you have helped me).

    Hope Sent,
    ~ Ani

  3. jayherron Says:

    The last sentence of your comment Ani is worth more than anything or any money-thanks you so much for saying that!

  4. Megan Says:

    While Pops is there you need to take a picture of him so you can show everyone on your blog how HANDSOME he is =) He is so excited to come down there. I love it!

  5. Mike E Says:

    My dad lived in Dania while I grew up — which consequently I did part time in Florida.

    (Let’s for the moment reserve judgment on my evidently baseless claim that I “grew up”)

    One good thing about my dad: when my sister & I visited he made sure to treat us to shit loads of very cool kid things to do. Many weekend trips to Disney World. Weekend trips to Disney World?? How many kids get a few of them each year? Yeah & I frikkin loved Disney World too. I took to drawing maps after bed time — maps of the theme park I hoped to one day build!

    Mind you these trips were paid for with money he swiped from the United Way. But who knew? Not me.

    Besides: in the 1980’s everyone remotely involved with the organization embezzled a little something from the United Way.

    He also took me to my first Grateful Dead concert. Good old dad; by far not without his good points. Too bad he was a pedophile though. Sans that one repugnant detail he might have been a fine man.

    Topsy turvey world, eh?

    My point: dude once took me on an airboat ride — the terrific noise form which I remember well enough that I knew exactly what you meant as soon as you said “noise polluting machine of maximum proportions.”

    All got me to thinking a little…

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