Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mom periodically made a point of reminding. . .

Mom always made a point of reminding me and Pop that Pop went to a Phillies game the night she was at the hospital having me. The funny thing is that I never asked Pop if they won that game. I imagine there is some baseball web site where I could learn if the Phillies won on my birthday in 1948. On the other hand, maybe I don't want to look. Given the kind of revisionism I noted in some of the long standing but ever evolving stories, it's altogether possible that the Phillies were out of town that night and Mom's whole story was an urban legend that she herself had come to believe.

Speaking of the Phillies, Pop used to tell of being invited by a friend to go down to Connie Mack Stadium for a World Series Game in 1950. Apparently the friend decided to scalp his two tickets instead of use them after learning how much they were worth. So he and Pop sat in a bar down in Philly and listened to the game on the radio. I forget the name of Pop's friend, although I'm sure he mentioned that name at least a hundred times when he told that story.

Sam may remember the name. Sam's mind is like a steel trap for such facts, although the other night he said Father Larkin could say Mass in 14 minutes, so he's not infallible. Both Jas and I agree that, on a roll, Father Larkin could do morning mass in 22 minutes, but never 14. We all agreed that he could probably do Mass in 14 minutes if he really needed to, like when shells were coming down over in Europe during the war, but not in Trooper.

Jas claims that he never got behind on his altar boy responses during Father Larkin's masses. I remember getting behind, and I like to think I was pretty fast with the latin responses, if I wasn't daydreaming. Not that having an altar boy get behind ever slowed Father Larkin. He did both parts if you were too slow. Also, he used to sway, forward and back, back and forward, very slowly, seemingly almost to the point of tipping over, when he said early mass. He could practically hypnotize you with that swaying if you hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before. And then he'd look hard at you if you forgot to ring the bells or whatever. There was like one or two or three little old ladies in church, all of them probably too deaf to hear the bells; but Father Larkin liked the bells rung on time, and he wanted the wine and the water there promptly when it was time for it - very little water. Not that anybody could get much of a buzz out of that wine. Later, when me and others altar boyed Tuesday night Sodality we got into that wine. Terrible stuff.

Now that I'm sort of on the subject of sports; Pop also used to tell of Grandpop L deciding to fish in a fellow's pond while the fellow was away. By Pop's account Grandpop L fished with a quarter stick of dynamite; and there were a lot of fish to share around the neighborhood. The owner of the pond was said to have been somewhat displeased and to have figured out who done it - but what was he going to say to someone who had dynamited fish near Norristown, and who might have the other three quarters of the stick of dynamite close to hand. I wonder how carefully Angela checked out the basement of her Mom's house before she sold it.

And finally, still sort of on the subject of sports; Don A down in Florida recently, I think, cleared up the question of how Uncle Joe Sky came to be well involved in his sports related business by the time Pop got out of the hospital a couple of years after returning from the war. Don told me that Uncle Joe was the brother-in-law of his aunt - I think I have that straight. Anyway, that means Uncle Joe was already related to the Perino side of the A family before he married Aunt Lucy from our side of the A family. And, being related to the Perino side, he was related to Jamaica, a very snappy dresser among Perino's sons. Jamaica died in the late 1930s or early 1940s; but before that he could very well have been connected with folks who could have set Uncle Joe up in his business. I know Jamaica was a snappy dresser because Don included a picture of him on a disk he sent me a couple of years ago, and I saw other pictures of him at the Perino side reunion a few years ago. One of these days I need to compare that picture of Jamaica to the fellows in the sort of rogues gallery of New York guys that I found in Aunt Lucy's box of pictures that passed down to Anna M.

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