The trip north goes on.
It was rainy, damp and 50 degrees yesterday. It is rainy and damp this morning. And cold. Typical fall weather in upstate New York.
Contrast it with Key West where it was sunny and 88 degrees yesterday.
It is good to experience the change of seasons, however. Just a bit. No more. My preference has become sunny and warm all the time!
This is a special day. My Mother’s birthday! Were she still alive, she would have been 96 years old. She did not make it unforunately. She left us in 1989.
Happy birthday, Mom!
I had lunch yesterday with Bob. A retired employee of my former law firm.
I had known Bob off and on over the years. He had become a restauranteur in Old Forge. Old Forge is near First Lake in the Adirondacks.
The restaurant did not make it. Bob went bankrupt.
We met soon thereafter on the street. He told me of his misfortune. I asked him if he would come to work for me. He was delighted.
Bob was not a lawyer. But there are a multitude of tasks which require doing in a law firm that do not require a degree. Bob did them. And well.
He worked for the firm for many years. He and his wife were able to purchase a new home. The burden of the past was lifted from them.
Bob is retired now. His wife passed on in March. He is overwhelmed by the loss.
We went to Creekside. A local breakfast/lunch place run by friends. We sat long and talked. It was good for the both of us.
Last night was dinner again with my Father and his lady friend Frances. Outback! I cannot escape Outback.
Once again the discourse was good. We enjoyed. Laughed. How many dinners do I have left with him?
Saw some old friends and acquaintances at Outback. One was Joe George.
Joe and I were never close. We just knew each other. A respectful hello every now and then. A brief conversation.
He is my age. He looked good.
We spoke briefly. Very briefly.
As I sat watching him across the room, our yesterdays came to mind. His father’s small lunch room on John Street. It was near my high school, Utica Catholic Academy. We would lunch there.
Joe worked in the restaurant for his father. Though he went to a different high school.
We would also run into each other in our high school days in the pool rooms. High school boys did that back then.
The final remembrance involved Vinny Esposito. The best of the best. One of Joe’s closest friends. My neighbor.
Vinny was a great economic success. In the laundry business. From Maine to West Virginia. Sold the business. Made mega bucks.
Vinny could not handle success. A mental thing. He committed suicide.
Joe eulogized Vinny at Vinny’s services. Touching. Made me cry at the time. Brought tears to my eyes last night when I saw Joe and thought about Vinny.
Our hello was brief, but full of memeories. For me. I hope for Joe, also.
I was home early. Watched the Larry Smith variety show live from the Bottle Cap in Key West. On the internet!
A terrific show! Hopefully Broadway bound some day!
A little more Utica history. My intent has been to share a bit of my home town’s history with you each day.
Utica is in tough shape economically. It has been so for many years. Typical of the northeast.
When I started practicing law in 1960, Utica had a population of 125,000. Now it is around 55,000. Then the population was a mixture of all ages. Today, primarily senior citizens.
There was a time! A time when Utica was an economic giant. And a political one also! Between the bottom half of the 1800s into the early 1900s, Utica had no peer politically.
The two United States Senators from New York were both from Utica. And at the same time! Frances Kernan and Roscoe Conkling. One a Democrat and the other a Republican. The Governor of New York was from Utica also. Horatio Seymour. Seymour was also the Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 1868. He lost to Ulysses Grant. Another Utican, James Schoolcraft Sherman, was elected Vice President of the United States in 1912.
So it was! Good days. Powerful days. Good times for all.
Nothing is forever, however. It is another day and another time. And things are no longer as they were.
Ally telephoned me last night. You will recall my 5 year old granddaughter can now use the telephone. The shout came through loud and clear…..Poppa! I love you!
God is good.
It is radio show time tomorrow. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. 10 am. KONK 1500 AM radio. On the internet worldwide at www.konkam.com.
It will not be me live. I am here. The show in Key West. You will hear me. A rerun. You will not be able to see me in the rerun on the internet. Only sound will be transferred.
Whatever. Sorry I cannot do tomorrow’s show. I wanted to do it from Utica. It could not be arranged. Listen in however. The old shows are just as much fun and as informative!
Enjoy your day!