Thursday, November 19, 2009


I've been getting very nostalgic lately about my childhood and teen years. I don't know why, really. Perhaps it's because I'm getting older and I like to look back fondly on those formative, fun, carefree years of mine when I wasn't saddled with mortgages, bills, husband, working, etc. And I wonder why I did not ever take photos of those good times? I hardly have any photos of myself with friends who I grew up with.

There was a review of a book about the history of the Grand Concourse called Broken Dreams. From what I saw on Amazon, it looked like a well-written, interesting book, and for the first time in nearly 4 years I bought that book from Amazon, wondering if it will mention my street in the Bronx where I grew up and the neighborhood of Kingsbridge Heights.

The strength of one's thoughts just getting out to the universe is very powerful. Here I am waxing nostalgic since I bought the book, waiting for it to arrive and, strangely, during this time, someone from my childhood finds me on Facebook, as I also put my maiden name there, asking if I remember her. Of course I remember. She was one of my first best friends. She would come over to my house to play and I'd go over to hers, which was remarkable because my folks didn't allow me to have secular Jewish friends. Her parents were Holocaust survivors and they had this gorgeous dining room which no one was allowed to enter. It was only used for special occasions. She also had a beautiful teenage sister whom we envied who dressed in white go-go boots and whose hair was so fashionable. This was in the mid-1960s. Her sister had a yelling match with her mother, was absolutely horrible to us and used to always slam her door shut. We used to sneak into her room to listen to her records. This is what I remember. We used to giggle when sis had her tantrums and say - "That's teenage for you." We were bratty 10 year olds.

She also had a lovely country home in Lake Mohegan and I loved going there on Sundays, walking on those country roads, letting inchworms crawl on us and watching fireflies and having barbecues.

So we caught up on Facebook emailing our stories, checking each others photos, and trying to catch up on 45 years of life in just a few short paragraphs.

Then, I glanced at a couple of her friends on Facebook and one was a group from the same elementary school in the Bronx and there I saw someone whom I was friends with who lived in the same building as I did in the 60s. I contacted her and she remembers me too. I remember playing with her when I was as young as three. She had a brother and together (with his friends and without her) we used to poo in our apartment building's concrete back yard (I think we were about 4 or 5 years old)to piss off the superintendent, who'd think it was stray dogs dirtying up the premises. Disgusting, eh? But that's what little kids do behind their parents' back. I think at one point we were found out and his folks didn't allow me to play with their son any more. Fortunately, I eventually grew out of being a shit-disturbing troublemaker and became friendly with his sister. She was gorgeous and looked like a little Elizabeth Taylor. I felt ugly and stupid next to her. I remember when I stopped hanging out with her because I just felt so inadequate. We were about 12 and she was hanging out in the lobby with some boys trying to bum a cigarette off them and I heard her call them "cheap" because they wouldn't give her one. She was way out of my league. I wasn't cool, I didn't smoke anything until I was 19 and I was an Orthodox Jew which made me feel so old-fashioned and frumpy next to her. So it was great to catch up with her too, though I didn't remind her of the poo thing with her brother. I'm hoping she either never knew or forgot about it totally.

And I wonder if anyone is doing a documentary on how Facebook reunites people after decades of not being in touch...

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