Missing You and Us Too

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There was little reason for my Grandmamma to leave her huge farm, to go into the town a few miles away, for groceries, gas, farm equipment overalls and newspapers.

Now I only go back for the funerals and to hear on the breeze, what I’ve missed.

I’m not into romanticizing the past, believing things, for the most part are always improving, until GW of course, as long as what’s new doesn’t obliterate what’s been with what’s coming round the bend.

I don’t miss Mayberry or my slumlord friends on Shelter Island, but I do miss NYC neighborhoods, walking city blocks and being constantly in rehearsals for something.

I miss Gypsy and Heinrich best and worst watch dogs respectively. Don’t miss Dad and Mom so much, as it still feels like they’re here, but I do miss people who trim their trees back from power lines, so when the winds come we keep our AC.

I miss hailing a yellow cab for Carol Channing, strolling mid-town with Colleen Dewhurst and chatting with James Whitmore, about “The Next Voice You Hear.” He said I was too young to have seen it, but while other boys my age were outside playing ball, I was watching old movies on TV. Mr. Whitmore was so proud that he had made the movie with Nancy Reagan before she met “Ronnie,” but I told him I would never forget what it felt like when God spoke to him on his radio. I miss that.

I miss taking time to tune up with morning prayers and reel-to-reel Gregorian chant.

I don’t miss fast cars and curvy back roads, for that’s still how I relax, when not doing 40 on the back roads with God.

I miss Jimmy Stewart & Harvey, Yul Brenner & the American original six, Gregory Peck whom Mom told, “my son is an actor too.”

I never miss Florida except when I think of hurricanes 250 miles off shore, pinning me against the life guard chair streaking back my hair with beach sand, my lips rimmed like a Margarita glass and the ocean some distance away, lapping occasionally at my toes, as a seagull above makes no headway because of head winds.

I miss the silence that can only speak without the din, and I miss people who understand the wisdom in that. I miss Marvene’s white boots as much as our drama classes. I miss voice lessons with Wayne & Ernie and both the Peabody & Baltimore Opera in the days of George Woodhead and Bill Yannuzzi, the only man who smoked more cigarettes than my 61 year old brother, just diagnosed with the lungs of an 80 year old. I miss him already.

For me missing is more happy memories than sad longing, but I do miss not seeing my best friend Lance Thomas Vining anymore. However, I don’t miss the Silver Diner, his favorite dining choice. I do miss my annual trips to Europe, but it was a wonderful career that suspended them, so we make choices.

I miss dates on letters, easy to find telephone numbers on bills and sleeping more than five hours, but most of all I miss who we were in the sixties. I miss, “Abraham, Martin and John” and Bobby too.


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