Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jungle Love

Cleaning out my Dad’s house, I found evidence of his single life.   There’s nothing that prepares you for that.  It’s like getting hit upside the head with the reality that your parents were actual people at one time.

Hidden in the back of his closet was an old wooden box, held shut by an old and rusted latch.   Although it did not have any intricate carvings, it  reminded me of the box from "Jumanji."  Clearly this was a game of reminiscence that was full of surprises. No drum beat this time.

"There is a lesson you will learn: sometimes you must go back a turn." 

I went back a turn to the 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's. The box was full of usual papers: old diplomas,  grammar school pamphlets, and sacramental certificates.

A hunter from the darkest wild makes you feel just like a child

His birth certificate indicated he was born at home and he was over 9 pounds.  My poor grandmother. That poor midwife.  His grammar school diploma had his Polish forename. His high school report cards were fun.  How does one get a "C-"  in "deportment?" But  I think back to his many stories of running to NYC to "catch a show at ' The Paramount,'" having friends write parent notes, and his antics at local football games.  Now I realize he deserved that "C-".

At night they fly, you'd better run. These winged things are not much fun

There were even dated "Latin Quarter" programs from the famed nightclub run by Barbara Walter's father Lou Walters. Beautiful women were pictured with flowing gowns held up like wings. No,  I am sure these ladies were tons of fun though.  Tucked in that program were photos of my Dad buying cigarettes from a real "Cigarette Girl."  Yikes, Dad.  Two social blunders in one picture.  Even after your death, I still roll my eyes at your behavior.

In the jungle you must wait until the dice read five or eight.

There was an envelope also in the box.  Wrapped by a rubber band that had long turned brittle was a collection of eight wallet sized pictures of young ladies clearly from the late 1940's.  Their hair was just shy of shoulder length, permed, with similar part to the side.  Although black and white, there were clearly blondes and brunettes. All looked to be about 17 or so.  None were my mother.

They must have been old girlfriends.

Need a hand? Well you just wait. We'll help you out, we each have eight
I am not sure who all eight of the young ladies are. The pictures contain no dates nor names. There were cheerleader pictures (ugh...), a prom queen picture (lordy!) and a picture of a young lady with a book (yea!), and bathing suits.  Half had bathing suits. Jeez, Dad.  But I admit you had good taste.  But I knew that already.

No wonder after Mom died, you asked me about the fine points of, veromi, intelius, birthdatabase, zabasearch, etc.

I don't know what to do with these pictures. I already have a minivan full of "stuff" that needs to be sold or donated.  The diplomas are being kept. Sacramental certificates are being kept as well.  But to throw these pictures out? Clearly they mean nothing to me except idle curiosity and a certain assurance that my father was human after all. A randy one at that.

A law of Jumanji having been broken, you'll be set back even more than your token

 I put them in the back of my minivan and laughed.

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