America the Beautiful

***Happy Flag Day***


When I was born, oh so many years ago, I lived on East 51 Street in Brooklyn. My uncle Eddie, my father’s brother, lived right across the street.  My parents’ closest friends all lived on this block. Ben and Caroline, Gloria and Joe, George and Helen, Pat and Dennis. These were my parents’ card partners and church social partners.

All us kids went to the same school — Mary Queen of Heaven.  We all sort of had the same house – a three bedroom boxy kind of house.  We left bicycles out on the lawn. There was no stealing. Everyone would sit on their stoops at night after dinner in the summer. The ice cream man would come by. We all had driveways.

It was a nice life, and in each house there was a flag holder just below the porch windows and sure enough, any reason to have your American flag out and it was out.  All our parents served in WWII, and were children of the depression and they wore their patriotism on their sleeves — a very proud bunch!

Today is FLAG Day. I have so many flags. Sadly, they are from deaths, so I have my Dad’s flag, my uncle Bills’ flag and a third folded flag I’m not sure whose it is. Maybe Claudia’s uncle Ernie’s flag?

So today we unfolded a flag and put it on the piano.  It looks good, but I’ll take it off tomorrow .

My parents and their friends all belonged to the American Legion, a nice little hang out for veterans. They would have dances with a cheap bar —  50 cent beers — and I was in the Sons of the American Legion. We would march on Veteran’s Day and I had to wear this little military outfit. It was kind of corny, but damn I looked good.  It was at the American Legion I learned how to fold a flag into the triangle (some of you may know it from that football we folded out of paper and played with in school)

Anyway, Flag Day got me thinking about my Dad. I miss him a lot!


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