I just read a blog post by a former Massapequan about her Memorial Day memories as a child, and it got me thinking about my own. I grew up in Massapequa Park, Long Island, NY in the mid-1960s-70s, and watched our village parades with my parents and an older sibling or two on Park Blvd. Even if we got there 2 hours early my parents had to park the car blocks away and carry their folding aluminum lawn chairs to a decent spot along the parade route. My father was a WWII veteran, and when I was small I sat on his shoulders to watch the parade, and when I was older I would sit on the curb, and whenever the flag approached both of my parents would announce “here comes the flag–stand up!” I even remember them shaming other, older kids, into standing up as the flag went by, tapping them on the shoulder and saying “here comes your flag–show some respect”– and they would! A day or two before the parade my mother always bought us kids small American flags (the kind on wooden sticks) at the five and ten store to bring to the parade to wave, because “the people selling them at the parade want too much money.” Mom and dad always made sure to explain to us kids what the significance of the day was, and it eventually stuck in our young minds.
This years’ Memorial Day Parade info for Massapequa Park: http://www.masspk.com/index.php/12-press-release/80-memorial-day-parade-2015
One of my all-time favorite American actors, James “Jimmy” Stewart, was born on this day in 1908.
There is a watercolor painting that hangs on the wall of a sitting room in a funeral home in Aiken, South Carolina, that was painted by James Stewart. My sister and I were there a few years ago when the owner showed it to us. Apparently, the home was formerly a USO Hotel during WWII, and in 1943 “Jimmy” visited. The subject of the painting was of one side of that same room. Jimmy had sat on the side opposite and painted the side of the room, which included a fireplace. The painting hangs near the fireplace and it shows that the room hasn’t changed much since. The painting was really well done, and signed. I just thought it was the coolest thing. A sort of “Jimmy Stewart was here” moment.
The owner of the funeral home wrote a blog post about it, about halfway down the page:
I find that, lately, my first cup of tea in the morning has been replaced by a cup of coffee, followed the rest of the day by 2-3 cups of hot tea of varying caffeine content. I am a tea person. I cannot let his happen. I will not go over to the dark side of caffeine. Tomorrow I vow to start the day with regular, caffeinated black tea, followed the rest of the day by decaf green tea.