November 26, 2012

No such thing as a coincidence


An interesting story in and of itself, right? But there’s more. Ten minutes later, Eileen sent me an addendum: “Well! My niece just reminded me that TODAY is my dad’s birthday … he would have been 93 if he were still alive. SO, mystery solved! Happy birthday to my dad! Smile.”

That’s one of those lovely stories that needs no extra commentary.

I recently opened my Facebook site and saw a large number of nostalgic images, supplied by my nieces and nephews and several generations of my brother Jim’s family in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. They were captured from color slides, taken from the 1950s through several decades. I was enthralled to see pictures I had never seen and some I hadn’t viewed for a very long time.

Among them were views of our construction work on the St. Lawrence Seaway, camping trips at Cole’s Creek, old cars we owned and a special picture of our parents and my favorite Aunt Rae. Her love for Jim and me was showered on us in myriad ways from crib to college. She invited me for vacations in her Maplewood, N.J., home and gave me indelible memories of her 1949 Crosley automobile, visits to the local movie theater, a night at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., to see “Roberta” and so much more.

Every inch of her house at 23 Garthwaite Terrace, a dead end and beautiful street, is stamped on my brain. Every ping-pong game in the basement, the smell of her perfume and my Uncle Harold’s White Owl cigar still haunt me in delightful ways.

As Kaye and I sipped our morning coffee and viewed the slides on my computer, I was transported on the wings of angels. When breakfast was over, I told my dear friend Les Bradford about the experience and logged onto the Internet to see if Garthwaite Terrace even exists any more.

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