Claire V. Bogdanos

POEMS….THOUGHTS…..MEMORIES

DATELINE: HOBOKEN, NJ, USA (2013) “BREATHLESS” 2013/06/18

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:18 pm
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Shall we speak of another poet of whom I know little or nothing about, only the words?  R.L. Sharpe, c. 1809, and the poem, ” A Bag of Tools “, beginning with the line, ” Isn’t it strange that princes and kings and clowns that caper in sawdust rings and common folk like you and me are builders for eternity? ”  Powerful thoughts and words, ” Each is a given bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules and each must make ere life is flown a stumbling block or a stepping stone”.  Will you know which choice you have made when you approach your final destination?  But of course by then, it is too late for correction, isn’t it?  Life is about choices, ” The lady or the tiger “!  However, another poet of small fame could be Adelaide Crapsey who observed ” On seeing weather beaten trees”, in eighteen simple words, an entire philosophy, ” Is it as plainly in our living shown, By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown? ”  Just the thought leaves me breathless, how about you?

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

DATELINE :HOBOKEN, NJ,USA (2013) “ICEMAN COMETH”

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:16 pm
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Remember the peddlers? Well, I’m still in the 30’s and recalling that bygone era with much affection. Especially the iceman who came once a week the entire year long. We never questioned where the ice came from, much like today’s children who do not query the existence of Wi-Fi. How much we take for granted since Ben Franklin’s experiment with a simple kite in an open field. I think I was about three and we lived on Cambridge Avenue in Jersey City, close to the park on the first floor of a frame building with a wooden porch in front of three large railroad rooms with a shared toilet in the hall! It was just up the steep hill from Hoboken off Congress Street with cheaper rent. It was a very hot summer. If you wonder what “railroad” means think of trains, opening one into another minus wasted hallway space (of course no privacy). Two huge double-hung windows porchside and two in the kitchen, yardside, with wide walls in between, there were large pocketdoors on the front room to save coal in the winter. No bath! Enough said, a huge laundry tub and a folding screen next to the obligatory black iron coal stove with a giant water cauldron over the glowing embers, familiar to anyone? But back to the ice, my dad built a shelf for an oscillating fan and placed an enamel pan with a 10 cent piece of ice on top of the icebox, opened all the windows, and “voila”, old fashioned air conditioning for a dime. No radio, no TV, no online, just the bible, loads of conversation, love, family, neighbors, poverty and ingenuity! Great huh?

 

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA “CLOTHESLINES” (2013)

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:05 pm
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May I share with you? But what shall it be? Big decision, the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, I’m not sure where to begin as each era is shouting my name! I remember my daddy making “bathtub gin” and the horse and cart peddlers who sold ice by the piece. And stirring a pot as big as myself set on a black iron coal stove with a huge wooden paddle, boiling my baby sister’s diapers, on a homemade stool built just for me. Of course every yard had a huge wooden clothespole that reached for the sky with giant iron hooks where the clotheslines were tied. But the hooks didn’t start close to the ground for security’s sake, you needed a ladder at least ten feet tall. Yes, there were laundry thieves who could shinney hand over fist up that pole to steal sheets off the line. Those wash lines would occasionally fray and it took a juggler to replace them. My daddy taught me how, I was his only “son”, haha, for nine years which is why I am adept at “hammer and nails”. You listened in bed for the squeal of the pulley in case your neighbors were the victims! All pulleys made a noise, no way to silence them, no silicone to spray them. Most stores and homes had little jingle bells suspended on their entrance doors that welcomed all who came. Old habits die hard, I kept those bells on my doors until I moved to Florida to retire. I have a feeling that perhaps a return to the bell system might inhibit some burglars! Do you think it’s worth a try? Keep tuned, there’s more to follow!

 

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

 
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