Saturday, October 04, 2008

Of friends and enemies.

The day started out slow, as in relaxing. We all met over at Alba's for breakfast, ate well, again, and sat and chatted for a while. The plan for later was for my older brother and I to drive up to the Burlington Mall, he was meeting a friend there for lunch and I was going to look for some books for the flight home. It wasn't until the 80's that hanging out at the mall became a way of life for kids, so there wasn't any big flood of memories walking around the mall. But I did have some good pizza in the food court and got the books I needed. After an hour or so, I picked up my older brother, said hi and bye to his friend and we headed off to Lexington, to see things that would bring back memories.

Now picture this; it's kind of a sleepy neighborhood, we'd just had a heavy rain so everything was wet and it was cloudy and a little drizzly out. Two minivans pull up and 4 adults and 2 kids get out. They start walking around pointing, talking and taking pictures. One of the adults gets into the white minivan and leaves (to get gas and use the facilities, but the neighborhood didn't know that). Little brother and I are taking a picture of the old Fire Alarm call box, (9-1-1 of the 60's), on the telephone pole at our property's edge when a lady comes out of the house next door and asks "What are you doing?" Now, every neighborhood had one, the crotchety old lady that's always telling everyone what to do. You know, the one that without any conscious thought evolves into the focus of all the kids scorn and harassment. This was her, the voice, the words and the tone, struck a chord in my soul and I knew. I said something about having lived next door and when she said she had lived in the house for a long time I said "Mrs. Carbone? I'm Steve Rossi, I used to live next door." Instantly her demeanor, her face, changed completely. With almost a smile she looked at my little brother and said "This must be Danny, the baby?" We confirmed it and she said "And Alex, the older one?" Face change again, tone gets a little bit stern, kind of like she's sharing a serious secret with us. "He and I had a few altercations before." Uh, yeah. He tried to drive you crazy, he even admitted that when we got back in the van to leave. Well, just about then he came back from filling up the van and we did the introductions. From there on in the conversation was great, she seemed sincerely happy to see us all again. She told us about everyone who was still living there (just her and Mrs. Marble), all the people who had moved away or passed away. We heard about her son, who was a coupel years younger than me, and how he was running a farm up in New Hampshire, and how her daughter was getting her PhD at Harvard (and we thought the son was the brainaic). She was going out to lunch with Mrs Marble, but she invited us to go around back of her house so we could see our old back yard. It's amazing how different people are when you grow up. So we got up the guts to go over to our old house and knock on the door, introduced ourselves and got to see the inside. Big changes, they'd knocked out 3 walls, swapped the kitchen and the dining room and built a second level deck off the dining room. The owner then invited us to go ahead and look in the back yard. It was so green and so different, but we could still see the foundation that the rabbit hutch had sat on, and had burned to the ground on.

Finally we decided to move on. My older brother and I drove around checking out our old haunts, including the Middle School we went to (William Diamond, named after a drummer boy in the revolution) and our elementary schoool. After that we met them again, this time at Alexander's Pizza, a small pizza place around the corner from our house that has been there since before we moved there in '64. We'd just had lunch an hour or so before, but had to have something here also, so I ordered a small meatball sub. Now, small ended up being what you call big at Subway or one of those other chain sandwich shops. But, I was still on vacatrion so I ate it. Then we headed back to the Cape, each hitting a few more haunts on the way.

My older brother and his family moved back to Lexington in the 80's and lived there for a few years. We decided to go around and look at a couple of the houses they had lived in. Found the first one and took a couple pictures and then went to the second one. We pulled over to get a picture of the house and just after I snap the picture I hear "Pervert" yealled from inside the garage. Sorry kid, I wasn't taking a picture of you, we hadn't even noticed you there, or that the garage door was even open. We just looked at each other, laughed, took another picture of the house and left. Man, you can't do anything these days without being accused of something. From there we went to the golf course to check out the huge hill we used to sled down in the winters. I've been in Utah too long, it looked all but level.

From there we headed off to Providence, where we were going to spend the night so we wouldn't have far to drive for the plane in the morning. It was really nice to get home, and get dry. For the entire weekend I'd been in the Boston area I had felt somewhere between damp and wet. It was beautiful to visit there, but I was happy to be home.

post signature

1 comment:

A Paperback Writer said...

Fun story about the little old lady neighbor who still remembered you..... :)