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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here in southern Texas, it is easy to forget the seasons. I'm reminded when I watch live TV (such as Good Morning, America) and see people wearing coats. It is October, after all. August marks autumn for me (due to some literary work I read in my distant past), so October should be pretty chilly.

As a little kid, we did spend a few years living in Jersey City, New Jersey. We were in an apartment complex. We lived maybe on the 3rd or 4th floor (I could be wrong, but it was definitely "upstairs"). We could see across the street out the front window. One rear window is in the bathroom, where you would have access to the clothesline: a loop of rope held in place by pulleys on our side and pulleys on the neighbor's side across the way. The other rear window leads to the fire escape landing.

On the side of us, just across the street is a school. I used to remember our New Jersey address but not anymore. School no. 6 on St. Pauls seems a very good possibility. That school just across the street is where I attended until we left New Jersey. I started in 3rd grade when we got to Texas, so I guess I finished 2nd grade there in New Jersey. If we go straight down that street, we'd get to a park; and the map shows that (Pershing Field Park). I remember passing that water reservoir and thinking it was the Hudson or some such big body of water.

Just next door to our apartment was a little store. We used to go down there and buy Bazooka bubble gum. We collected enough wrappers to get some prizes. One of them was a pinhole camera. Kinda cool but we would still need film and money to develop the photos. We were poor, so we might have used the camera one or two times.

For a while, we didn't have a car. So we did a lot of walking. Eventually, we did get a car. Parking was a slight challenge.

Anyhow, all this is to say that I have lived up north. I have seen the snow, which became slush. Schools had looong winter breaks (it seemed). Squirrels were fatter with fluffier tails than down south. Ice had to be scraped off of windshields. My father did have to deal with snow chains. The car battery sometimes was removed from the car and brought indoors. Long Johns were standard.

It was the late 70's. Elvis Presley died during that time, "Son of Sam" terrorized the area, Pope John Paul II was elected (though I know nothing of religion at the time), and the first "Star Wars" movie opened and swept the country (though we never did go to the movies), as did "Saturday Night Fever." As for fashion, please don't ever take me back to the 70's (*gag*).