As previously mentioned, Pam and Vicky are, at this very moment, vacationing in La Apple Grande. The other day they paddled over to tour Ellis Island and found my grandparents names on the Wall of Honor.
My Nonno, Giuseppe, first immigrated from Sicily in 1911 at the age of 16. He returned to fight in WWI, where he and his brother saw combat in Africa. He returned to the states and worked for several years before returning again to Sicily in the early 1930's when it was time to find a wife. The Sicilian "marriage broker"(likely some friend or relative of my grandfather) arranged a meeting with my Nonna (she stood on the balcony of their home with her father while my grandfather and the broker passed by in the street below. My grandfather tipped his hat at my grandmother, thereby signaling that he was pleased with her. The rest, as they say, is history.
Giuseppe and Maria both returned to the US in 1933, settling in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Over the years my grandparents worked hard to make a life for their three sons. My grandfather used his limited education (probably 3rd or 4th grade) to do everything from working in a shoe factory, to farming, to laying track for the railroad. He dabbled in the fruit and produce business, made wine, started a bread delivery business,and worked in a candy factory. At one point he and my grandmother owned and operated a small corner grocery for several years. My grandmother, being the sharp cookie she was, handled the business end of things. They were proud to be Americans and worked hard to instill a strong work ethic in their sons.
Today I will be vacationing vicariously through Pam and Vicky, currently on tour in NYC.
Above is a shot they took yesterday in Central Park. The dude is Justine "Brought the Sexy Back" Timberlake. The young hottie with him is the lovely Mila Kunis (That 70's Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Apparently the two are currently in NY filming the romantic comedy, Friends with Benefits.
Today in Clayton I plan to do some laundry and maybe wash the car. Perhaps I'll take my shirt off and bring my own brand of sexy.
In an effort to do my part of the summer cleaning, I recently tossed out a bunch of old Pioneers bearing my erstwhile column.
When I first began the column back in 2003 I would collect as many copies as I could find, going so far as to raid the recycling bins at the Clayton post office. (I could never understand why so many people chose to toss the paper rather than read my column) But as time went by and I became less enamored with myself, I began to keep just one copy. So last weekend I went through the stacks and if I had multiples I tossed all but two copies of each, (I assume ONE day my kids may want to remember when dad was "someone.") boxed them up, and stuck them in the shed.
One day I will use them to fund my retirement by selling them on Ebay. I'm sure the kids won't mind.
I totally want one of these. As luck would have it, this is probably all I'll be able to afford if I'm ever lucky enough to retire.
The beauty of the Tumbleweed home, besides the fact that living in one would make it impossible to accumulate a lot of crap, is that it's portable. They can be built right on top of a trailer so you can plop it anywhere. I'd like to plop one in my backyard for my own little hide-away. But think about how nice it would be to clear away all the clutter of your life and pare it back to just the essentials.
In his book, Billy Ray's Farm: Essays from a place called Tula, Larry Brown wrote an essay called Shack, all about his desire to build himself a "tiny house" next to his pond somewhere out on his eight acres of land in Mississippi, "a little place somewhere off to itself, four walls to get inside, a roof to keep you from the rain, but where you can sit and watch it come down...close enough to step out the door and fish."
Wow, I can't believe it's been 25-years since Live-Aid, the Woodstock of the MTV Generation.
The brainchild of Bob Geldof, Live Aid was organized to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Top British and US acts of the day performed simultaneous concerts at London's Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia's JFK Stadium. Geldof, and his Boomtown Rats, performed at Wembley Stadium.
I think I still have a VHS tape around somewhere of the last few hours of the show. I had to go to work at Skip's and wanted to make sure I saw the Led Zeppelin reunion. Turns out Robert Plant's voice was shot to hell and they sounded like crap.
Remember the MTV "VJ's" hosting the event? Remember how Phil Collins flew from England to the US on the Concorde so as to sit in on drums with Led Zeppelin, becoming the only performer to play in both shows on both continents? Exciting times. I still remember how they cameras rolled as the Concorde landed, and Collins walking across the tarmac to be whisked off to make his set. I remember Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers being introduced by Don Johnson before ripping into "American Girl", Mick Jagger and Tina Turner performing "It's Only Rock & Roll." Seems funny some of the bands that performed, bands that have since faded away but were lucky enough to be popular at the right time in history, thereby getting a chance to participate in something epic. As a young 20-year old, I also felt that our generation was a part of something epic, and while there ended up being a bit of controversy, and accusations regarding where the money went, the spirit of the day remains intact.
In a continuing effort to improve our grinding, olling, nose-sliding (and/or grinding), pop shove-it and kick-flip techniques, we here at Hey Joe have forced allowed the boy to sign up for a week-long skateboard camp. That camp began today.
We are also hoping not to experience any serious Wilsons or Asphalt Cocktails.