Posts Tagged ‘Les Green’


My sisters and I are on this Binghamton-specific group on Facebook. This woman that I do not know, in response to my sister posting a photo of our father, asked, “Is that Les Green the musician? If it is he worked with us Read the rest of this entry »

LesGreen.sweaterThis is unprofound: one’s age is frozen in time when one dies. Dad was 26 when I was born, so he was mostly in his 30s and 40s when I was growing up, in his 50s and 60s,when I visited him when he and mom and the “baby” sister moved to Charlotte, NC from Binghamton, NY.

But he was never young, a boy or in his teens or early twenties, at least not in my self-centered reckoning. This picture I don’t remember, and I don’t know how old he was. But I think I remember the sweater. It was a forest green sweater, and it was cream-colored, rather than white. Or so I recall.

He used to paint trees, but they were almost always barren, often in wintertime.

He was a month and a half shy of 74 Read the rest of this entry »

My sister Marcia posted a picture on Facebook. It was all pinkish, and I couldn’t even see her in the photo. So I asked Arthur the AmeriNZ guy, who must be related to Annie Sullivan, because he’s a miracle worker, if he might have a go at it.

He noted, “The original photo appears to be a low-resolution scan of the photo, and that means there’s not much to work with. If it was a higher-resolution version, I’d have more to work with.

“The pinkish cast to the photo is because of natural deterioration in photos from the 1940s through the 1960s and 70s. The dyes used turned out not to be stable, and photos taking on a reddish hue is common.” Yes, I do have a few of those in photo albums.

I suspect the original negative from 1958 is long gone, and a higher-resolution scan seems to be beyond the capacity of my sister’s machine.

He actually did three versions, one “with the colours lightly corrected”, another with “a little more intense colour correction, with the focus on making the skin tones a little more natural (which makes the background even worse)”, and the one I chose, “a black and white version, with some of the dust and defects caused by the low-resolution cleaned up. This version, because the colours in the background aren’t weird, is a little less distracting.”

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. As Paul Simon, in his corrected lyrics, once said, “Everything looks better in black-and-white.”

I have only a vague recollection of this photo. I’m sure I saw it at the time, but that was long ago. I assume my mother took the picture, and based on the baby’s size, probably on June 15, 1958. This is the only one I recall with just these four people, Dad, Roger, Leslie and Marcia.

Happy Father’s Day to you, and to me.

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.

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