Posts Tagged ‘Les Green’

Marcia, the younger sister, in very many ways, has become the keeper of the flame, not only for the history of the nuclear family in which we grew up back in Binghamton, NY in the 1950s and ’60s, but for the extended tribe as well.

It’s logical. She was the only one who moved to Charlotte, NC with the parents. Leslie and I were already ensconced in college, though of us lived down there for brief periods in the late 1970s.

After my father died in 2000, Mom and Marcia took care of Marcia’s daughter Alex and each other, though as time marched on, Marcia and her daughter were tending more to Mom until she died in 2011.

She still is tending to our parents’ memory, as she has access to decades worth of photos and other material.

As all three of her kids knew, my mom LOVED Nat King Cole. She had a whole bunch of 78s of his, but I have no idea whatever became of them. There were some items in my maternal grandmother’s house, the house my grandma and mom grew up in, and where my sisters and I spent a lot of time. The stuff went into storage and ultimately disappeared long ago, including some photographs of mine.

Marcia was musing about my mother back in November, just before Mom’s birthday. Our mother particularly loved Nature Boy and other familiar tunes by Cole. But neither Marcia nor I had heard him perform There Will Never Be Another You. It’s become one of Marcia’s favorite Nat King Cole songs. And I can hear why.

BTW, neither she nor I ever really learned to play the guitar, though Dad and Leslie did. The painting in the background with the guitar was by our father.

LISTEN to There Will Never Be Another You

Arturo Sandoval

Nat Cole

Doris Day

Happy birthday, Marcia!

Jaquandor asked what I believe is the last of the Ask Roger Anything questions for this round, which I held off answering until now, because today would have been my parents’ 67th wedding anniversary:

What’s the thing you remember doing as a kid that drove your parents bonkers? (I’m talking harmless stuff here, nothing like playing with matches. Mine was to flick those spring-things with the rubber tip that keep the door from smacking into the wall as it opens. You pull those things over and let them go and you get this fun, loud BRRROOOOIIINNNGGG! sound as the spring snaps. Drove my mother NUTS.)

First off, I’m SHOCKED by your behavior as a child.

Secondly, I had the hardest time coming up with an answer to your questions. I even asked my two sisters, and they couldn’t think of anything.

I mean, I drove my father bonkers, but I didn’t see him feeling that it was harmless stuff. For instance, when I was in elementary school, I would watch the other kids play softball on the playground. And then those kids would go home, and other kids, who had already gone home, would return to the playground and play, and I’d watched them.

I almost never played myself, unless a team was really shorthanded, and they’d stick me in right field. I loved the game, but I wasn’t particularly good at it. I got better by the time I got to college, but not in 4th or 5th grade.

So I wouldn’t get home for hours after classes ended, and sometimes this would really anger my father, so much so that he’d pull out the strap – or worse, make ME go get the strap, so that he could use it on me. Well, at least once.

As for my mother, I did use to take words she said and add lyrics from the popular songs of the day. So if she were to say, “We go to get,” I’d respond, “if it’s the last thing we ever do,” evoking an Animals song. Or if she needed some help, I say, in my best Beatles voice, “you need somebody, not just anybody.” I don’t recall using these exact examples – and I can’t remember what I DID say – but it’d be something like that.

Truth is that my mother was usually oblivious to the reference, which was actually quite entertaining to me. I don’t think it really irritated or as much as mystify her. “What IS he talking about?” she must have thought.

lesgreen.vest
Dad was always about 47, give or take a decade. It’s like Willie Mays was always 30 to me. When I see those pictures or that stringbean of a young man, that wasn’t my father (and he was not yet my father, for most of that time). And in early days, I don’t recall that much.

Les Green had a lot of different jobs, including floral arranger, sign painter and singer/guitarist. But for six years or so, he worked at IBM, driving these electric trucks around, moving material from place to place. It was at night, so we seldom saw Dad, except on weekends. This was the period our mom would take us to W.T. Grant’s almost every Friday night to have the all-you-can-eat fish.

Still, we did see him on weekends Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the gravesites, beyond the limits of geography, is a very personal preference, I believe. I don’t think I’ve visited my dad’s grave more than two or three times. Of course, when he first died, on this date in 2000, the headstone wasn’t ready.

I know I made at least one trip, maybe two, to the military cemetery 40 miles north of Charlotte, NC, with my mother and at least the sister who lives in North Carolina, and very likely, her daughter.

The last time, I’m sure, was when my mother died in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Les and Trudy. Marcia Green - Mobile Uploads
As usual, the youngest of the three Green children, the one who lives in the parents’ home, is pouring through old pictures, uncovering ones that, if I had ever seen, is lost to my memory.

An astonishingly large number of the photos in her possession were taken in the backyard of 13 Maple Street, Binghamton, NY Read the rest of this entry »

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