“Well, mother, he is a very nice man. he gave me some candy.”

Today is cloudy and a bit chillier than yesterday. My bedroom window was open all night, and I was cold this morning, cold enough to grab my comforter. I burrowed down, got cozy and fell asleep for another hour. Gracie woke me up. She banged her paw on the bed right beside where I was sleeping. Even though I kept my eyes closed and my breathing even, she knew I was awake. I gave in and got up. Now she’s sleeping. Oh, the irony!

I loved visiting my grandparents because they lived in a city. The houses were close together separated only by walkways almost like alleys. Small bakeries sold square pieces of cold pizza and Italian ice from opened windows. We played stick ball in the street and baseball against the steps. It was a whole new world to me. I remember two streets up there was a park, and I remember there was a store on the corner of their street. It was tiny but every shelf and counter was filled with something to buy. We went there to spend the dime my grandfather used to give us.

Once my uncle took my brother and me to Logan Airport. We walked from my grandparents’ house in East Boston. My uncle is only two years older than I am so it was just three kids on an adventure. It was a long walk and seemingly longer going home. Logan in those days was a series of hanger type buildings, many made of wood. They were mostly one story. The roofs of some of them were for observation, for watching the planes. There were fences around the perimeters of those roofs, and I remember standing there a long time watching the planes taxi to the runways and fly off while others landed. There were still prop planes and no jetways. People walked from the plane to the terminal. We went through the interconnected terminals, and I took brochures as souvenirs. I remember that as a favorite day. My mother wasn’t so happy when she found out how far we had gone.

I have another memory of when my uncle took my brother and me to the MDC pool. To get to the pool, we had to take a bus and then the subway from my grandparent’s house. I remember standing on the subway platform by myself. I don’t remember exactly where my brother and uncle were standing. A man came up to me. I remember he wore a straw hat, had bad teeth and his coat was striped. He had a cane but it was on hooked on his arm. He spoke to me, and I said hello. He offered me gum and said if I followed him behind the stairs he’d give it to me. Never take candy from a stranger jumped into my head so I ran to find my uncle and brother who were together further down the platform. They wanted to know why I was running. I didn’t tell them what had happened. I broke the rule by saying hello so I kept the whole incident secret. I never told. This isn’t a favorite memory.

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8 Comments on ““Well, mother, he is a very nice man. he gave me some candy.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Great memory Kat. It didnt take much encouragement to get us all to pile in to the Wolseley and head for London Airport to watch the planes take off and land. What a fun way to spend an afternoon and wonder when or if I would ever go on an airplane ride…destination irrelevant.

    Big Rick is down. His brief text announced damaged ligaments. My guess is that my bike will gather dust for quite a while.

    Mrs MDH and I spent a very jolly evening on Friday watching the talent show down the St Lawrence, where the Prince presented his magic act. Unfortunately he was preceded by a first grade magician, with sound, lights, a full stage of props, and a frigging live rabbit. It was probably bad form for me to boo this Vegas quality act – it was awfully good.

    • katry Says:

      Thank you, my dear Hedley

      Exactly what I dreamed as I watched those planes. Would that be me someday? I wished and wished.

      Sorry about Big Rick, but I’m thinking you suspected it might come to this. What will you do with those mornings?

      What is a first grader doing with a Vegas show? The live rabbit was definitely over the top. How nice, though, that a little guy could pull it off.

      I hope The Prince was okay afterwards and didn’t et upset. He did look the part.

      • Hedley Says:

        The Prince was in good spirits. I asked him how he did the Coca-Cola drink trick, he was not willing to disclose the secret.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Magicians hold their tricks close to their chests!

  2. olof1 Says:

    Mostly warm ,windless and sunshine here today but now it’s cloudy and rain has just started to fall. It will stay cloudy but also warm so I won’t complain.

    I remember the first time I saw Gothenburg airport, I thought it must be the biggest airport in the world 🙂 It was tiny 🙂 I think it would fit in the entrance hall to the French airport Charles De gaulle 🙂

    I loved going to my grandparents too but for just the opposite reasons 🙂 Just outside town and far from most things 🙂

    We had one of those men living in my neighborhood and I think all kids one or another time was asked much the same question but we were all warned about him so he moves away (or most likely was forced away) from the neighborhood.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The sun is shining here now, and it is a beautiful day.

      I was the same way with Logan. It was amazing to me, and those shiny planes made me want to be inside heading for the heavens.

      I lived in a smallish town so the city was intriguing to me. Besides that was the best pizza I ever ate!

      I have never forgotten that man and his rotten teeth!

      Have a great day!!

  3. flyboybob Says:

    When I was a kid in NYC my friend and I would take the bus to Idlewild airport, now JFK, to watch the planes. There was no security to the ramp in those days and jetways were just coming into fashion. The original terminal building was built out of cinder blocks with rows of surplus quonset huts making up the remainder of the building. Pan Am had a new terminal building that resembled a flying saucer. Airplanes pulled up under the overhang of the roof to load and discharge passengers. The official name of the airport was New York International Airport. But the name Idlewild stuck with the public because the airport was built on an old golf course named Idlewild.

    My friend’s dad worked for Pan Am in the catering department. We would ride on his truck going from one 707 to another at the newly opened International Arrivals building. There were no jetways and we would to up and down the steps to the airplane. He would gather up the liquor kits from the first class galley and take them to the US customs office where only the unused and sealed bottles could enter the US. While he was gathering up the kits we would sit in the pilot seats and imagine that we were flying to Europe or Asia. When he had loaded up the truck we took the kits to customs where they would inspect each one’s contents and then seal up the kit to be returned to the catering department. While they looked through the kit the custom’s officer would take a bottle out that he thought was not sealed correctly and take it home. My friend’s dad would also find a bottle not properly sealed and take it home. Opened bottles with partial contents were tossed. No wonder first class airfare was so expensive in those days. 🙂

    Both the Pan Am terminal and the International Arrivals building have been torn down and replaced by more modern and useful structures. Preservationists have saved the old TWA terminal building that was designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen. The building looked like a bird inflight and was designated a national historical landmark. It was built in 1962 and is now part of the Jet Blue terminal.

    Another beautiful day in North Texas with clear skies and temperatures in the low 80s.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Those hanger types sound like the Logan I explored which also went through a few names before ending up with Logan. The terminals were nothing to look at, just serviceable buildings.

      I recall flying coach and having those small bottles of liquor in my drinks. That was in 1972 when I first flew to Europe. The plane was so empty we went up back, put up the armrests and slept across several seats as if they were a bed. Few people flew in those days so we could move to different seats and no one minded. Food was good and drinks were plentiful.

      I am so glad that the TWA building was saved.

      I flew back to the US from Ghana on PanAm, the only American carrier flying to Africa in the late 60’s. They flew from East to West Africa on a single flight so people were on the plane nearly 24 hours before arrival in NY.

      Beautiful day here as well in the mid 70’s.


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