My memories are like little flashes or snapshots…..

~ Riding in a car with Dad and crashing into the West Albany bridge

~ Mrs. O’Hare’s braided bun at School 3 Kindergarten. The big block set

~Walking around the block to Kenny Sagendorf’s house

~Sunday morning breakfast upstairs with Gram and Pop. Waffles and sausage

~Hiding under the big dining room table to watch TV after bedtime

~Gram banging on the pipes… the chimes on her mantle

~Charlie’s stories and cigars and his books… Dot’s kindness to everyone and their special love for Mary Ann

~Mim and Margie and Mrs. Dubler. Aunt Molly and Uncle George, Uncle George’s garage…. I helped stack theatre chairs there once

~In the backyard climbing on the rough beam that angled up to the clothes pole

~Collecting morning glory seeds in the fall ~The coal man and the Freihoffer wagon...a ride up the street

~Gram used to cut both ends of food cans, put a dish cloth on the floor and step on the can to save room in the garbage pail

~Pop coming home with his books. The upstairs routine...supper, then listening to the rosary on the radio, Pop sitting at the table in the backroom and falling asleep.

~Mary Ann’s dance lessons with Mrs. “Pots and Pans er”

Gramma calling me a “Crinchy dupa”

~I especially remember the move to 13 Crumitie Road...the elms arched over much of the road and huge cut off stumps were at the end of the driveway

~The night we moved in we rode around the cellar on our bikes and laughed a lot

~Ruth was born soon after we moved in

~Being free to explore the fields and old sheds and apple trees. Digging underground forts out in the fields

~Lenny Buchakjian and Paul Bania

~Baseball games with Tom Frawley and the Kelly’s

~Playing baseball with Dad on the front lawn… batting practice

~Saturday morning Little League practice...Marty Harrison and the St. Pius Braves. One year Pat was catcher and I played second base. In one game we got two guys stealing second and I think we got one going home. We ended the year about 2 wins and 9 losses

~Brother John’s hikes with us up to Thatcher Park. Some of us would run ahead and ambust the rest…. Bill and Bob Bylancik

~Camping trips with Uncle Ed and Aunt Mary, Bill, Jane and Nick ~Walking to St. Pius...the change from Blessed Sacrament was wonder, happy and productive. Sisters Marie Fortunata, Mariam Clare, Scholastica and Ann Bernadice...all wonderful women

~”Clean out that closet” was the battle cry and the dustmop was a formidable weapon. Under the shelf in the closet or under the bed...there was no place for last week’s underwear to hide

~We had a big wooden airplane that rolled around on the driveway….I think Dad had George Brown make that for us ~The reason St. Pius really build the new church was because our family wore out the front right pew in the old church

~I remember visits to camps…..

         -Uncle Marty and Aunt Helen’s at Sacandaga

         -Mulhern’s Camp at Warner’s Lake (Paul Mulhern was my Confirmation Sponsor)

         -George Brown’s camp (on a business trip with Dad??)

~Don was always called “Don Amigo or Dondi” and Jean & Joan were “the little girls”

~Dick Belanger coached basketball and directed the St. Pius Passion plays...the little crippled kid always threw his crutch at the end

~Later came C.Y.O. and Vincentian Institute

           -The band practices and concerts

           -Jack and Pat playing the French horn

           -”Put the mute back in that trumpet!”

           -The marching band -I received the John Philip Sousa Band award for spirit and participation, but I was absent the day they gave it out

~Dad was a serious “Social Member” of the Shaker Road Volunteer Fire Department and the star of St. Pius’ “Rinklebellies”

~Vacations at Pine Lake and New Jersey

~Sundays at Brookview were wonderful...playing ball games, catching minnows, fishing and swimming. Ruth almost drowned one time in a pool in the stream

~Jack was into his teens and then the “DA” hair cut seemed like the worst social disgrace possible. Little did Mom know what was to come in the haircut department!

~Jim Coyne’s visits showed some early signals of his later levels of brilliance

~The summer after high school I was allowed to drive mom’s car...the 1960 blue Plymouth Belvedere...I brought it back by my midnight deadline, said “Good night” and crawled out the bathroom window, got into my friend’s waiting car and went back to the party. A few hours later I had my head and one foot back into the bathroom window when Mom came shuffling out of her bedroom and squinted down the hall right at me. I don’t know to this day if Mom had had a date with Morgan David that night or was just smart enough not to see me

~Turn around twice and childhood is over…..Thanks for the memories ~ Dick

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