The best part of Rebecca Jade’s early growing up was that she lived not that far away. I was in New Paltz or Albany (NY), and she and her parents (my sister Leslie and her now ex-husband) were living in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, a couple-hour bus ride away. So I saw her a month after she was born, and then several times the next couple years, including on her first and second birthdays.
Then they moved away, first to North Carolina, then to Puerto Rico for over six years, and I never made it it down there, much to my regret, since the photos made their place seem beautiful. I’ve noticed, though, that when I did get a chance to see her – at my grandmother’s funeral, visiting New York City – there is photographic evidence Continue reading The eldest niece is 35 (tomorrow)→
My sister MARCIA found this and put it on Facebook:
It’s a promo sheet my father created for himself as a “singer of folk songs,” never as a “folk singer,” which was too limiting a term for him.
I’m particularly interested in the set list, I’m guessing from late 1950s. Some of the songs he was still singing a decade later, when my father, sister Leslie and I sang together, while there are others (Twenty Souls) I don’t even recognize. I’m always fascinated to hear other people sing the songs he, or we, performed Continue reading L is for Les, Leslie and Roger, the Green Family Singers→
For her 12th birthday, my sister Leslie received her own guitar. With some assistance from my father, a largely self-taught player, she became quite competent with it in about a month. And that really became the birth of the Green Family Singers, when the three of us used to sing around Binghamton, NY together from 1966 to 1971. The program initially was a variation of what my father had been singing by himself. We would sing harmony on some choruses or responses, for instance, though there were a number of pieces that were three-part harmony throughout.
As mentioned, I had a root canal a couple weeks ago, and the pain was far less than the last one I had some 15 years ago. But then I had to have some work done on another tooth, and the mouth discomfort after that one was mighty steady; not a sharp pain, but a constant ache, for which I was surviving on certain medicines.
And it was not great timing. Last weekend, the daughter didn’t have soccer, but the Wife and I did have a wedding to go to, a co-worker of hers who I didn’t know to a guy I knew just as well. The service was at 2 pm in Niskayuna, in neighboring Schenectady County, and it was lovely. The reception wasn’t until 5 pm, in Altamont, in Albany County, a 30-minute drive, so we did what we needed to do Continue reading Living on Anbesol and Advil→
Back in 1988, my sister Leslie (who was visiting from California) and I (visiting from New York State) were in the car with my parents and my sister Marcia, traveling from Charlotte, NC to Raleigh, NC for some event when the issue of the NAACP Image Awards came up. I hadn’t watched them, and I don’t think Leslie had either. But my father had done so, on television, and he was VERY upset with actor Gregory Hines (pictured). His failing? He was wearing an earring to the event, showing an intentional lack of respect for the NAACP and for the proceedings. Continue reading Random Memory of My Father: Gregory Hines edition→
Back in the mid-1980s, my “baby” sister Marcia, who was in her mid-20s , was living at home home with our parents in Charlotte, NC. I said to her at the time, “You’d better get out of there. You’re going to get stuck taking care of our aging parents,” who were approaching 60 (in other words, about my current age – yeesh.)
In the Scudder Hall dorm, at the State University College of New Paltz, my room was B-2. I had a roommate named Ron, who was a graduate student; an odd pairing, a freshman and someone doing post-graduate work. But he was a pretty easy-going guy, and I guess I didn’t drive him too crazy.
It was surprising, though, that one day, Ron decided that we really needed to thoroughly clean the room. I didn’t think it looked that bad, but I admit I would not have been the gold standard for that kind of thing.
My father’s cousin Ruth sent this picture of my sister Leslie, her friend Linda, our cousin Debby, and Leslie’s friend Nita. We all went to Trinity AME Zion Church in Binghamton when we were growing up, which was two very short blocks from our house.
I was listening to my favorite podcast not hosted by Arthur. It is a music podcast, which should be no surprise. The second tune in the set was a song called Passing Through. I went to the website to see to whom it was attributed as the original artist of the song, and it said Leonard Cohen. I said to myself – I often talk to myself – “There is NO WAY that song was originally done by Leonard Cohen.”
My certitude came from the fact that my late father used to sing that song when he performed in my hometown of Binghamton back in the 1960s. While I didn’t know all of the specific origins, I did know that his song selection was established in the late 1950s and early 1960s from albums by people such as Woody Guthrie, Harry Belafonte, Odetta and Pete Seeger. Cohen came into prominence as a singer/songwriter later in the 1960s.