Saturday, January 11, 2014

Life on the Lower East Side


Written by Betty Weiland, Ed's wife.

We lived on the sixth floor of a tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
There were three rooms for the six of us. The toilet was in the hall shared by two families.  The other family includes two or three “bad” men, Communists. The largest middle room was the hubbub of activity. It was where we ate, bathed and generally spent our time.  My  parents slept on a rollaway bed in that room. My sister and I had one room and my two brothers had the third room.

My saving grace was the fire escape where I spent hour after hour reading books, looking at the landscape and daydreaming of a better life somewhere else. I was a lonely isolated child. Once I made a friend at school and she invited me to her home which was as poverty stricken as my own. I saw something there I had never seen before---a chamber pot.  When I got home I told my mother that some people had a bathroom under their beds. She said, “Don’t ever go there again”. I didn’t.

My next friend was the janitor’s daughter, a bubbly, out going, dynamic black girl. My mother said, “Is that the only friend you can find, a schvartze”? I don’t remember ever having another friend. I went back to my books on the fire escape.

There was a large circular staircase leading to our sixth floor walk up apartment. You could look down from any floor balcony and watch the janitor’s wife cleaning the marble floor on her hands and knees.  Just then small heads appeared from a lower floor. A large rock was thrown, hitting her. They disappeared and I was accused of throwing the rock. I denied it, insisting I was innocent. Nobody believed me. That’s when I first learned treachery and deceit.

I was a thin emaciated child, always sick. My brothers and sister were robust and energetic, never seeming to have the time to be sick. I used to fantasize that the blood circulating through my veins was dark red and lifeless while my siblings had rich red blood, fast moving blood coursing through their bodies.

Once my class was assembled for a picture. Right after the picture was taken, I fainted. This ghastly picture showed a sickly, unhappy little girl for all to see. An investigator was sent to my home to see if I was getting enough to eat. My mother never forgave me for that. It was decided I needed country air. The political party in power sent me to the country and when I returned to my family they had relocated to the Bronx. I had missed the excitement of the “Big Move”.

I remember living with Aunt Clara, my mother’s sister. She was rich and we were poor. My mother used to clean her house for food money. She would bring me with her and leave me indefinitely. I never asked, do you want me to stay with Aunt Clara?
My aunt had flaming red hair, beautiful clothes and drove a car recklessly down country lanes with me on her lap, steering. We had fun, the only fun I ever remembered as a child.

Once Aunt Clara brought me home to my mother and left me. I cried over and over. I told my mother I wanted to go back to Aunt Clara. She beat me with a strap. I never complained again about that.

When I was 60 years old I finally worked up the courage to ask my mother how she could have given her child up so easily. She said simply. “I thought you’d have a better life and she could do more for you than I ever could.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

LIVE LIFE WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE

A handshake for old times sake. A firm embrace. A smiling face. The bliss that comes from just a kiss.
Joyful tears, sharing, caring, declaring love, the birth of lifetime memories.
Talking, walking hand in hand, leaving footsteps in the sand.
Laughing, dashing through a summer rain. The gentle landing of a plane.
Slipping, falling in the snow. Sleeping through a movie show.
Watching little children grow.
 How can you explain these moments of pure ecstasy embedded in memory?
Owned by one or two alone.
To savor a favorite ice cream cone or a candy bar, a good cigar.
To revere the taste of ice cold beer, a cream pie chocked with killing calories.
Filling up on wine and cheese. Sipping rare, exotic teas, stopping by a deli for delicious delicacies.
These are pleasures beyond measures you will treasure as years go by.
A Sunday at a sun-drenched shore, reading, eating, swimming some, hoping that rain won't come.
Skin burning, turning lobster red. A pillow of sand beneath your head.
Hearing children scream of glee, joyfully romping by the sea. How much better could life be?
Memory, oh memory, please do not abandon me.

Acting silly or insane as you hum and old refrain, so absurd you can't recall a single word.
The nagging will not go away. What did it say? Memory is a sometime thing.
It comes and goes like rain time in spring.
Life's a repeating, self- defeating, adding, deleting, rarely conceding mystery.
Like a precious flower. It blooms but for an hour, then it's gone.
So too the dawn and fading light of the day.
Revere, endear time. It soon will pass away.
So little time to do the things that mean so much to you.
 So much to say, so much to hear,  so much to share while you are near.
So much to loose if you choose to let life pass you by. It can be lost in the blinking of an eye.
Why?
Let life's meaning be defined. Let it remain in your brain until your dying day.
Never let it's message go astray. How can you know the tragedy, the sudden sorrow that can strike tomorrow.
Life's a gift that lifts the spirit of your day. It can be lost and tossed aside like a worthless debris into a cold, uncaring sea.
Let this be part of your legacy. Let life and love be your philosophy.
Let it be the creed that guides your destiny.
Life comes and goes and who knows when we'll take our final breath and go unremittingly to our death?                                  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A POEM ABOUT ME

I went to my funeral for I was dead.
My family was there and everyone said
There lies the man who used to be Ed.
But the strangest thing I happen to see when I went to pay my respects to me
Was a corpse as live as a corpse can be.
All of the mourners were wiping their eyes.
And all of my friends were telling nice lies
About the once me who was there in disguise.
All my survivors were greatly annoyed
That one who was I was now in a void,
Unwanted, unloved and now unemployed.
My soul was uncertain just where to go.
To the place up above or that down place below,
Aflame with the fires of hell all aglow.
And so I said with a smirk and a sneer
In a voice that I'm sure the mourners couldn't hear:
"If you don't mind, I'll stay right here"

Monday, May 20, 2013

AN OLD MAN REMEMBERS LIFE AND LOVE

The older we get, the more we fret about this and that.  I remember the time I told my wife I couldn't find my favorite hat, "It's on your head," she said. just like that.

 "I can't find the pie I baked to donate to the county fair," she said in great despair.  "Get up!" I said. "By gosh, you're gonna squash it. You're sitting on it. It's right there beneath your bottom on the chair."

"Who took off my clothes last night?" I asked, turning on the bedroom light.

 "You might remember, It was I," she replied with great delight. "Your " passionate yawn turned me on. Your peck on my cheek  made me weak. Ahh, but when we did IT, that was IT!" 

"What Was IT?" I was confused.

She was amused. "Don't you recall? You squeezed me tight, turned off the light and.."

“How could I forget? It was the first time our  bodies met,  We tried,  clumsily. I feared if I had a premature manipulation it might dampen my lover’s  anticipation of satisfaction, a reaction to two who enjoy mutual physical attraction.

“We were awkward at first, but our thirst for each other convinced me we were destined to be lovers forever. We quickly  wed and went straight from the preacher  to the  bed, as court sanctioned legal husband-wife relations, and continued our nightly sexual celebration. 

“I remember, when I was  eighty two and you had just turned seventy nine. What we did was just divine. I looked at  yours,  you looked at mine Those valentines  said it all.”

“We  shared a glass of wine, undressed and went to bed, lay close together cheek to cheek, vowed our everlasting love and went to sleep, counting sheep.”

Our sex was through, but something new has taken its place. A soft embrace,  a smiling face, fond memories of the used to be that is no more, Isn’t that really  what old age is for?



Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Mumbly Ed and the Tale of the Beautiful Mind

First of all, for those who don't know I work at a Retirement Community. Not a nursing home, so not too many crazies. But we still have our share, which is irrelevant to this story.

There is a man we call Mumbly Ed. He is a guy in a wheelchair, probably 70'ish, who mumbles alot. We poke fun at him and his breakfast ordering habits by aiming our mouths into our shoulders and saying "Rumma rumma rumma rumma PANCAKES." It's quite amusing.

Don't you judge me, by the way. We make fun in the spirit of friendliness. I actually do like most of the people for whom I work.

So back to Mumbly Ed. A few weeks ago a server came in and told me that he had given her a piece of paper with a link to his blog. His BLOG?!? We HAD to see this. I loaded up the page and was instantly impressed by the fact that the man has been blogging since 4-05. More than four YEARS of blogging for a 70+ year old man. Then I noticed that he had been a newspaper reporter/editor for 50 years. That would explain the blogging.

Next I started reading the blog. Apparently he has come up with a style of poetry/blogging that uses internal ryhme and alot of allegory to make his points. He covers religion, politics, race relations, music, pop culture, history, just about everything you could imagine. He also hates Dubya.

So here are some samples from the blog.

"The mirror of our exterior reveals us as either achiever or deceiver and disbeliever."

"What the eye inspects the mind directs to the subconscious the guilt that filters from our no nonsense sense of common sense to the conscience of our soul."

My personal favorite so far... kind of like a spoken limerick:
"I went to the funeral of the inventor of the urinal, a man of unerring aim who rose to fame and great acclaim and made a splash seldom seen on the scene among visitors to the local latrine. He was really a standup guy who helped keep the men's room dry. To honor the man who aimed so high, pee on his grave as you go by."

So now it's time for the website. Go to:
wegads.blogspot.com

Once you have read a little, do the world a huge favor and share this blog with others. I'm not part of any blogging communities or forums, given my disgusting lack of spare time, but those of you who are should share Mumbly Ed with the world. You won't regret it.

-Eric

Monday, March 11, 2013

WHY I MISSPEL



(Probably one of Ed's last Post. He died at 88 and 1/2.)

Wegads was on the blink, I think. because I  mizzspelled misspelled the word misspelled.  Printers can print but they learn to spell at night but not during the day.  We  worked night and day.  Thats how we learn to spell krectly.     

There are other reasons why my blogs have been delayed. I  fell and broke my wrist and since my wrist is attach to my hand and my hand attached to my wrist I had to be careful how I spell misteaked  mistake.  

To tell the truth my wife was a better speller than I  was so I always blamed my spelling on her  and I miss her very much.  On Sunday June  19 I will be 88 years old and I  will miss her even more.   

Thursday, December 20, 2012


MEMORIES  OF  A  LIFE  WELL  LIVED

A hug, a kiss, a last goodbye for those quite old about to die. A sharing of fond days gone by. Walking, talking, holding hands, leaving footprints in the sand. Laughing, dashing through a sudden rain. Whiling away hours admiring flowers at a garden show, walking slow. Talking low. Sipping cups of tea while listening to a melody on the radio. Memories to treasure as years pass by

A lazy Sunday at the shore. Eating, reading, watching your children play. The sea, the sky, birds flying by. Waiving hello to a guy you don’t even know. He returns the greeting. In a fleeting second he is gone. A day tucked away in your heart and mind. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WHY BIRDS FLY AND DO WHAT THEY DO

Why oh why do all birds fly? Some fly high and some fly low and some just go to and fro. Most stay near their nest. They cannot rest and do their best when they stray here and there and everywhere in the air, swooping down to end their fast for a breakfast treat of meaty worms and sweets that creep on city streets.

 Some birds circle, others swoop to do their thing on the wing in answer to nature’s call. Could they do all sorts of flying just by trying this and that? That I doubt. I figured it out. Each bird was born to do certain things with their wings. How high to fly, how to do it.  They aren’t designed to have a mind to try to fly another way.

Another thing, puzzling at first: why do some birds quench their thirst by sucking up the morning dew while others wait for  rain? Can someone explain that aviary mystery?

 Some species drop their feces in the grass, some flying through the air, anywhere or, instead, defecating on the heads of people passing by. Why?

This too is so. Birds fly to where they go and are smart enough to know the route to take without mistake and not get lost along the way.

(Why do all birds sing  different songs?  I’ll tell you soon, so string along.)

Now back to bird elimination. I believe birds relieve themselves prematurely due to lack of proper medication. They gotta go and cannot wait until hey get to where they’re going to go to go.

How they know the route to fly without a map or the AAA is hard to say, but my guess is God blesses each birdbrained creation with that information while they’re still in incubation. Between the moment of fertilization  and when they crack their shell and come out to Earth they’ve already gotten their DNA donation. They know  every thing about bird births worth the knowing. So they’re going into life prepared for flying in the air, how to fly, how to go and what they’ll find when they get there.

One more thing: why birds all sing a different tune, some chirp, some peep (do some talk or sing in their sleep?) Geese honk, ducks quack and roosters crow, but I lack knowledge why owls ask “Who?“ and I wonder what they would do if they knew.

Why don’t all birds sing the same? The answer came to me in a prayer. Birds all were born in different places of separate             races and talk in different words only understood by birds of their ethnicity. Each is born of special breed and pleads
his/her prayers in their native tongue.
Each bird prays to God as best he/she can and He always understands. The same is true of animals in the zoo and jungles, too.