Tom's Memories

The Purple Bathroom

Some of my favorite memories were of those times when I'd get to talk to Mom alone.  Dinner was always at 5:00 sharp and then we would all get to do the dishes.  Pat would get sick, Dick would have a book that he had to read, Jack would be late for a hot date, so Mary Ann, Jerry and I would get to clean the dishes.   After that major chore was finished we were off to play.  Many times I remember waiting for Mom to go into the purple bathroom for her evening visit.  Then I would go in and sit on the ledge of the shower and talk to her (usually to ask a favor).  I still remember the smell of Winston cigarettes in the air.  I always knew that if I could get her to say "we'll see" that I had a good chance of getting my way.  It was probably one of mom's few moments when she could sit alone after a hard day, but even then there was usually a line of us waiting to go in and see our queen on her throne.

Some of my Unforgettable Memories.... 

~ I always loved the times when Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed came over on the weekend.  Mom and Dad were always in a great mood and Jerry and I would raise hell.   

~I don't think I'll ever forget when Gram Bylancik would clean us up after dinner when Mom and Dad were out for the evening.  First, she would line us p and put us in the tub.   One by one she'd scrub our faces (and I mean SCRUB our face removing the first epidermal layer!) She would then comb our hair carefully digging the comb into my head scraping my pom pom into place.  Last but not least, inserting her washcloth (wrapped around her finger) about two inches into my hear.  No doubt about it.... I was clean!   

~Never will I forget Mom at church on Sunday morning.  First pew... all 12 of us line up in a row and right before communion, without fail, Mom would spit on her hand and wipe my hair back out of my eyes.   Funny thing, I did just that  to Little Tommy last week.     

~I'll never forget the day I opened my lunch bag in 1962 and found that Dad had prepared a "Burnt toast, peanut butter and bacon" sandwich for my lunch.  I thought I'd die of embarrassment!

Bye Bye Birdie

It was a nice warm Saturday morning in July of 1963.  Everyone of the kids except for me were off with their friends or doing odd jobs.  Mom and Sister Andrew were in the kitchen making chicken soup for lunch.  I went into the back bedroom where Dick, Pat and I spent a good deal of our time and noticed that there were a great number of crackles, sparrows, and Blue Jays in the backyard.  I lifted up the mattress of my bed (which I believe came from the Tom Sawyer Motel) and took out my trusty old BB gun.  I opened the screen, which had been well lubricated from our frequent late night escapes, and carefully aimed at a little sparrow.  I shot the bird and it fell to the ground.  I didn't realize that Mom and Sister Andrew were in the kitchen observing the birds at the same time.  Apparently, Mom thought that the bird had heart attack, but after the crackle fell she caught on and came into my room where she caught me aiming at another bird.  Needless to say, I got the "strap" several times on my rear end, had to forfeit my gun, and was sent to the yard to rake leaves for the afternoon.   Sister Andrew just looked at me with that special look in her eyes and didn't speak to me for weeks.  Bye Bye Birdie and also my hunting career!

Beer Jingle

On August 11, 1;954 I remember being placed out on the front porch of 3 Lincoln Avenue (in the old playpen).  Charlie and Dot were across the street working in the front of their house.  Mrs. Gadwah was on her way to the grocery store.  Dad came outside and called to Dot & Charlie to come over to hear me sing a new song that he had spent weeks teaching me.  Together Dad and I began to sing "Hey get your cold beer, get your ice cold Ballantyne Beer!"  Well, everybody laughed and praised me for singing such a great tune.  Funny thing... I still sing a beer tune today...only now I sing "This Bud's for you!"

Dad - A True Gentlemen   

I guess I told a lie one day to Mom and got caught.  I was sent to my room with a piece of Ivory  soap in my mouth.  When Dad came home from work Mom told him to give me the "strap".  Dad came in my room, told me to let out a yell, then he bit his tongue and strapped the bed beside me.  Thanks Dad for never laying a hand on me.  Your gentleness was a much more important lesson!

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