Sunday, September 3, 2017

a note to readers


Dear readers:

There are about 107 "chapters" in this humorous partial memoir. In order to read the complete "book" you will need to open up "Older Posts" until you reach the epilogue.

I hope the pieces of my life in these short vignettes in the blog make you laugh. Please enjoy this (ongoing and very unfinished) project.

All my best,
Marjorie

and the dogs look back....

Red Bank, NJ? Bordentown, NJ? My father would say: "and the dogs look back when we stop..." Any clues to where this pic was taken? Please leave a comment below:


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

time traveling on Dutch Broadway

on Dutch Broadway, east of Eastgate:



and now at that location:



on Dutch Broadway, an old farmhouse off Audrey Avenue:



and now: 



on Dutch Broadway, slightly east of Eastgate:

at Dantuono's Nursery now:



On Dutch Broadway, the main house at the Wayside Home for Girls:

at the location of the Wayside Home for Girls administrator's house now: 



On Dutch Broadway. slightly east of North Ascan Street:

at Dutch Broadway and North Ascan Street now: 




and the Valley Stream Historical Society house: Pagan-Fletcher: 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Two Never Lost

I am so happy I found these photo favorites from so long ago..... and can still hear my father saying "look how the dogs look back."
The skater is unknown.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rest in Peace, Dr. Leah Schaefer

in the Huffington Post
from ncfr
from The Kinsey Institute Newsletter

And at the Huffington Post's link above, you can Listen to Dr. Leah Schaefer sing “Heather on the Hill."




Mr. Hal Schaefer’s first marriage was to Leah... and he later was linked romantically to Marilyn Monroe. Small world.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

a very old letter, a newer poem: an encore

The letter below was written, in about 1929, by my grandmother to my mother:

 

"What do you want I should get you..."
"What is the matter papa did not call up..."
"... tell him he should eat red meat, go outdoors for his health, go for a ride every night that he will sleep well."























And this is a poem written in about 1992, by me:

NAP TIME

At dusk, a dream through stained glass:
In a hazy deciduous forest, I am almost naked-
Pristine gown clinging like translucent second skin,
Chartreuse satin slippers, cheeks pale porcelain rose,
And humidity turning my hair burnt sienna.
The scent of dried lavender drifts through trees-
“Alone in nature, by nature,” ventriloquists murmur.
Bejeweled spiders, resting on carefully crocheted cobwebs,
Melancholy widows, eyes green tourmaline,
A soldier seduced by indifference...
Haunted beauty washed forever in soft pink light.

A fading fragrant French cologne-
Earlier a sweet intoxicating elixir- melting and melted.
An elusive black-throated warbler,
Pausing on a great oak, bears witness:
An icon is shedding mellifluous silver tears,
Reflecting my grandfather, wrapped in his tallit
Stirring, turning, saying, “You look very familiar to me.”

A clammy breeze passes through Manhattan.
I awaken this time, awakened last time,
Acquiescent and still, not knowing
If it is evening... or morning.

© 2004 Marjorie Levine, in "Naked Amnesiac"

three love letters, an encore

I found two old long forgotten photos while rummaging through an old shoebox. I also found three letters from a summer of long ago:

August 3rd,
Dear J:
I want to tell you what happened on a hazy hot sunless Sunday, in July, at Long Beach. A few feet from where an amnesiac sat on the boardwalk eating hotdogs-- a lady, a blue blood, and a wanderer observed in the sand a mystical image. Well, because they were frightened that the startling sight might rapidly disappear or be scrambled by an insouciant breeze, an attempt was made by the lady to photograph the sight-- to freeze and thereby validate the remarkable event. The lady put down her translucent parasol and a love letter that was written in Sanskrit on an ancient faded doily. And as a tow headed child paddled to shore in a teacup, a picture was taken and developed. It passed from the lady, to the blue blood, and then to the wanderer-- from whose tired, careless fingers it slipped. The wind carried the picture down and up, up and down; it danced the tango for a few seconds before it collapsed in my open right hand. I swear J, in that photograph I saw the transmigration of a soul!
Kindest regards, L

August 12th,
Dear L:
I love you and want to marry you! Why didn't you tell me you were spending July out at Long Beach? I desperately wanted you to know that I enrolled in a film workshop and I will complete the requirements and be eligible for a certificate in film. By the way, the theme of my first project is the lost years of Jesus. I wish you were with me supporting my cinematic aspirations and visions. Last Tuesday, while I dined at an outdoor sidewalk cafe on Columbus Avenue, a lady passed holding a translucent parasol. She was walking her Shih Tzu and when she paused, in front of my table, she allowed her thirsty pet to take a few swigs from a bottle of seltzer. I took a picture of the lady and her dog, and I am sending it to you.
Love, J

August 28th,
Dear J:
Your letter was forwarded to me from the Long Beach address. I am now staying in Westhampton. While I was having dinner at a restaurant in East Hampton, I was introduced by a blue blood to a group of young Buddhists. In the early mornings, I joined them at a mansion for the recitation of five prayers. I want to tell you what happened at the beach on a hot sunny Sunday in mid August. A dilettante, a pacifist, and a codependent led me to a spiritual man, who for a short time in July posed as an amnesiac at Long Beach. He now conducts a series of past life regression sessions and I was persuaded to participate. As I reclined on the Westhampton sand, a lonely seagull flew overhead and a tow headed child paddled, in a teacup, to shore. In time, I recalled a past life! I realize now, Jason, that we were together as lovers during the French Revolution. So, I will be returning to Manhattan at the end of August, and we shall plan our wedding.
Love, xxxooo, L
























TWO DAYS

One hot sunny Sunday, in July, at Long Beach:
An amnesiac sat on the boardwalk watching
A strolling lady who was carrying a pearl-handled parasol.
A handsome soldier passed holding a love letter that was
Written on a faded lace white doily and a lonely spinster
Stared at vague images in the sand...
Lines soon to be scattered by an insouciant breeze.

An innocent, guileless, sienna-haired child
Paddled to shore in a teacup.

This is what happened on a hazy sunless Sunday,
In mid-August, at Westhampton.
A spiritual man, who once posed as an amnesiac,
Conducted past life regression sessions
In an old chartreuse theater and
A tattooed director, with wild cinematic aspirations,
Filmed the event in shades of mysterious gray.

Later, I rested on sands
And watched one lost kittiwake fly
In circles overhead while an organ played
Music from an invisible carousel.

I listened to the ocean and
Imagined mermaids swimming painlessly
In peaceful and seductive warm waters.

A sienna-haired child
Stepped out of a floating teacup,
And walked with sea legs
Along colorless sands.

Sometimes before twilight,
I think of those two days.


© 2004 Marjorie Levine in "Naked Amnesiac"
registered WGAE December 10, 2004
as part of material titled "Naked Amnesiac"

Sunday, April 3, 2016

from "Slowly He Starts"

“I did not know him, I knew my idea of him.” ― Sharon Olds


Jack Vettriano, "Yesterday's Dreams"


Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Blast from the Past: Ruby Lazarus, RIP


Ruby Lazarus waiting to testify during the Grand Jury gambling investigation:



the following from In Re Lazarus, 276 F. Supp. 434 (C.D. Cal. 1967)

"`Q Do you know Tony Salerno?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Do you know Elliot Paul Price?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Do you know Jerry Zarowitz?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Why did you and Salerno leave Miami, Florida in October 1965?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Why did you and Salerno travel to Palm Springs, California in October 1965?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did you and Tony Salerno share a room at the Canyon Club Inn in Palm Springs, California?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 you were present at meetings at 893 Camino del Sur, Palm Springs, California, with Alo, Salerno, Price and Zarowitz?
"`A I decline to answer that question.' "I am sorry. That question was:
"`In October 1965 were you present at meetings at 893 Camino del Sur, Palm Springs, California, with Alo, Salerno, Price and Zarowitz?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Were telephones at 893 Camino del Sur, Palm Springs, California, used to transact gambling business and to place wagers?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did you use the phones there to lay off wagers?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did Tony Salerno use the phones there to conduct gambling business?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did Zarowitz use the phones there to call Las Vegas to transmit wagering information?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did Price use the phones there to call Massachusetts to conduct gambling operations?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Did Alo use the phone in connection with the gambling or other activities of the criminal syndicate known as La Cosa Nostra or the Mafia?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q What was the purpose of the meeting in October 1965 at Palm Springs, California?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Was there discussion at that meeting concerning the division of points in the ownership of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Was there any discussion at that meeting concerning the conduct of a gambling layoff operation in the Eastern United States?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Was there a dispute at that meeting between you and Zarowitz?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Was there a dispute at that meeting between you and Price?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q What was the subject matter of the disputes?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 for what purpose was a telephone call placed from Palm Springs, California to Robert Lynn Martin in Las Vegas, Nevada?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 for what purpose was a telephone call placed from Palm Springs, California to the Prokos Brothers in Miami, Florida?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 for what purpose was a telephone call placed from Palm Springs, California to Basil Milardi and Charles Cardinali in Union City, New Jersey?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 for what purpose was a telephone call placed from Palm Springs, California to Herbert Kaufman in Baltimore, Maryland?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q In October 1965 for what purpose was a telephone call placed from Palm Springs, California to Harry Chorodowsky, also known as Harry Clayton, in Brighton, Massachusetts?
"`A I decline to answer that question.
"`Q Mr. Lazarus, your persistence in declining to answer these questions leaves this Grand Jury with no choice but to return once more to the court to seek the assistance of the court in this matter.
"`I would ask that the foreman direct Mr. Lazarus that he is excused but is to remain nearby to await further court proceedings.
"`THE FOREMAN: You are so ordered.'"

Canyon Club Inn today:



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Two Houses

These two photos both show homes which were torn down on Dutch Broadway in Valley Stream and both homes may be of historical importance.



The next house is visible in the background on the left. It may have been a house for migrant farm workers and owned by the farmers.


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Party That Sticks With Me

One of my earliest memories is of the time when I was about 4 years old and went with my grandmother to a party in this Clara Barton School in Bordentown NJ.

I can still remember all the colorful balloons and sweet things to eat. After the party, we walked the short distance back up E. Burlington Street to my great aunt's house, which is still there.

 The memory of that party so long ago still lives within me.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mr. Levine Travels to the Aleutian Islands During WWII


My father made a series of "records" when he was in the Army during WW2. They were made as he crossed the country from New York to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and they were for his family who were back in Brooklyn.

After he died in 1994, I had the records transferred to audiotapes. A copy of the tapes are now at THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM in New Orleans.

the audiotapes at YouTube


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Green Shutters

I moved into this apartment in 1968. There was a small tree in the back courtyard that was visible from my windows. And on the brick wall that faced my windows I could always see in bright colorful paint: "Sol Shapiro, Plumbing Supplies."

Also, on that wall were three large windows with green shutters. The shutters were rarely opened and when they were I never really saw any activity behind those windows.

I thought of those windows today and those green shutters. Over a decade ago, the windows were replaced with brick and everything on that wall was covered in dull beige paint. Now, it just a wall and nothing remains except this one memory:


In about 2002, I looked out and saw a young man looking out of the middle window and he stayed there for quite some time. He may have been saying good-bye. 

On this street, the old New York Telephone Company is becoming the Walker Tower. And the old post office that is a landmark may close.


Nothing else much has changed I suppose, except that the tree in the courtyard is now taller than the building.




"Top 4 Floors in Chelsea to Be Above the Adjacent Structure; Condo Shaped Like Inverted L"

Saturday, May 11, 2013

And just like that...

the years come flooding back.