First night in Boston
September 19, 1978
First night in Boston was something that had been foremost in my mind for better than a year. I had spent the previous 2 days pacing a hole in the living room carpet while debating my leave taking for Boston.
I was enrolled in Northeastern University but the apartment I had secured had been rented out from under me leaving me to hitchhike, again, to Boston to find housing for the upcoming semester.
Boston Common Realty rented me a spacious, albeit dilapidated, studio on Huntington Ave. for $160 a month directly across the street from the N.U. quad.
I hitchhiked back home to Port Washington, N.Y. and packed the trusty foot locker which had seen me through a 12 year-old’s rustic New Hampshire summer camp, 2 summers of sports camp and 4 summers of Massachusetts religious camp, with underwear and the clock radio…
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Ah, 3, 6, 5, days
Just press lever, get pellet
A mouse in a maze
75 years ago, Sunday, December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The very next day, December 8, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war characterizing December 7 as a “day that will live in infamy.”
3 hours later both houses of Congress voted to wage war on Japan and on Germany as well and all of their allies.
When I was a child some 50 years ago December 7th. and 8th, 1941 were well known as the folks, my father among them, who fought in WWII, were alive.
Nowadays only my 91 year-old aunt, actually my Mom’s first cousin, Thelma Allera is still of this world.
As late as my days at Nassau Community College, 1976-78, these dates were mentioned by teachers. Ofttimes they would speak on what they were doing and where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked and listening to President Roosevelt’s radio address.
On occasion this would spark a discussion of the atomic bomb(s) used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At our congregation of the North Shore Unitarian Universalists in Plandome, N.Y, F.D.R’s formal declaration of war was often contrasted with U.S. policy in Vietnam, and prior to that Korea; where formal declarations of war were deemed needless or overly divisive.
Suffice to say that the U.S. hasn’t declared war since December 8, 1941 although our armed forces have been engaged in conflicts too complex and numerous to delve into here.
President Obama declared today National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day but it seems to have flown under the radar of many folks. Being 58 my generation’s parents fought in that war so it remains my touchstone.
Indeed, it is difficult for me to conceive of any President making a formal Constitutional declaration of war.
Today my thoughts are of the adults who surrounded me in my early years.
Follow this YouTube link for a film of President Roosevelt asking Congress to declare war on December 8, 1941.
BLACK FRIDAY, the day after Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas shopping season in spite of the fact that my nearest CVS has had Christmas thingys since Halloween, and don’t give me any of that ‘Happy Holidays’ stuff, as surely as the Detroit Lions vs. whoever has been played since 1959.
Target, Macy’s, Olympia Sports, Sephora, Sears, and a virtual plethora of retailers clamor to gain our ears, bandwidths and wallets. Even “cultural” retailers such as the Guitar Center on Boylston St. here in Boston ply their off priced wares. Here in the New England of the 21st. century malls such as Boston’s Copley Place and the Natick Mall advertise for all of the stores housed under their roofs.
Security firms pay $25 an hour for armed guards at the Neiman Marcus at the Natick Mall! Righteous bucks!
*54″ HDTV for only $19.99!*
and the like are the lingua franca of…
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BASEBALL:30 years ago tonight: Game 6, October 25, 1986, Mets vs. Red Sox, Our House (West), a night to remember
“…a little roller up 1st. base, it gets through Buckner’s …and the Mets win it!”
I was standing at the corner of the S-Rail at the O.H. with one eye on the TV and the other eye on the door. Robbie “Captain” Johnson had been appointed “security” for Game 6 by Frank. The outside lights had been extinguished and the window blinds shut as we were at the legal capacity of 180.
“Now Steve, we will probably have a small riot so make sure that all of the silver and glasses are off the tables. Start putting together the toasters while the game is on so you can build some anticipation. Keep the champagne in the case but let people see you carry it out of the walk-in. I can just smell that we’re gonna win this thing.”
“What do you mean we?”
“Don’t be an asshole like you know…
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