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Ten Twenty Nine

October 16th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for apron on clothesline winter

They live there still. Behind the old wrought iron fence that bellied out punctuated with a chorus line of rosettes. Beyond the gate there were double glass doors topped with a transom window, the numbers 10-29 stenciled in gold. This was the address of the families living there. Six apartments, six families, three stories high, most of whom were related one way or the other to the landlord, an amiable, often absent Cousin Joe.

We kids had the run of the place, racing up and down three flights, including a cellar. We hosted marionette shows from the second floor landing, dangling Barbie Doll wanna-be’s (mom thought the real version too risque) attached to twine trapezing the hallway on the main level. There were dark polished oak bannisters we slid down ending the trip with a hearty thwack on the tailbone hitting the newel post. These activities were rivaled only by our numerous trips to the cellar which led to a backyard. However, it was the cellar that most held our attention, a mysterious world just beyond the steel door that easily swung on its hinges.

There was an assortment of storage bins held together with wooden slats that curious eyes could peer into behind the padlocked doors. In ours, heavy wooden steamer trunks that were filled with delicate glass Christmas ornaments once belonging to a grandmother I had no recollection of. Closer to the holiday, one might glimpse a gift or two hidden by unsuspecting parents of nosy offspring. But the most vivid of these memories was the thick pungent odor of red wine in the making.

Wooden crates were delivered every so often and deposited at the cellar steps, the recipients of whom were my mother’s two old uncles. They were the proud owners of a working wooden press and a collection of huge wooden wine barrels. The process of procuring the potent serum from the plump unassuming fruits was eagerly watched by three or four wide-eyed children. In its time, the special reserve was tasted by the grown ups and met with nods of approval and grunts of satisfaction. We children could only wonder what all the fuss was about.

Our taste buds were instead tantalized by the glorious aroma of vanilla almond cookies magically assembled by my mother. The ghost of that experience must still linger in the air as I can swear I smell them whenever I happen to think of it. If I never ate another thing, it would have to be one of those, melting on the tongue, eyes crossed in heavenly bliss.

From our second story window, dime store Christmas glittered on the glass, matching the sparkling coating of frost accumulating against the pale brick brownstone outside. Under the halo of light from the old-fashioned street lamps, diamond dust flickered in the frigid night air.

A floorboard creaks in answer to what I can’t let go of. The long gone tenants at 10-29. The two old uncles. Cousin Joe. My father. My uncle. And now my aunt who passed just this morning. I see her in a vibrant red sweater 1960 something. I see them all in their prime. Happy in their routine. Pressing wine. Washing clothes. Aprons on the line carelessly flapping in the breeze stiff with cold.

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Cabin Sweet Cabin

September 25th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

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Fall is upon us, in case you haven’t heard, or felt its cold shoulder. The onset of cooler weather gently draws us indoors, however reluctantly. I embrace this comfort myself with tentative arms as our cabin is not yet finished.
An oversized cabin, perhaps, but most certainly an understated house by today’s standards. No cookie cutter McMansion for me, thank you, having always retreated from the norm preferring to live life more simply. A log house, ranch style, tucked into the woods just so, a swirl of blue gray smoke emanating from its chimney, a loaf of good brown bread in the oven. An enormous stack of firewood patiently awaits the harsh Catskill winter. I eye these riches with a satisfying sigh which is seemingly kept at breath’s length.
When will the day come? When will I, at long last, morph into a more civilized version of Anne LaBastille with all the creature comforts of log house living. When?
As I ponder these things on a raw and rainy afternoon just on the cusp of October, I was delighted to learn that Anne’s cabin “West of the Wind” was carefully dismantled just last year, reassembled and lodged within the confines of a museum. I had always had the uncomfortable notion of it rotting away, or worse, vandalized after her death in 2011. Although, it seems somewhat odd to think of it existing anywhere other than in its chosen location, hand picked and hand built by Anne herself, the alternative is anything but the happy outcome we have today.
So while I rely on the two sets of hands, apart from my own, that are in the process of building this amazing stick by stick dwelling, we are at the mercy of human limitations, weather, and the general inconsistencies life inserts into our agenda without care or concern for our impatience. In short, it just doesn’t give a hoot (spoken by the wide eyed owl curiously eyeing my nest).
When next I take ink to paper (or keyboard to computer) it may well be inside the cozy comfort of a log home that will hopefully remain where it is for all time. Alas, I am not the celebrated author anyone would interest themselves into preserving what I have not built for myself. But with a pot of tea at the ready and oh yes, that bit of brown bread that should have been eaten long since, I am content to be as I am. Until then….

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Tyler Talks Kinfolk

September 17th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

tyler

 

Hey, it’s me! Tyler! I’ve been a long time napping. Some might say it’s sheer laziness. For one thing, laziness is not sheer. You can’t see through laziness. It’s as plain as the crinkled whisker on an old cat’s face. I’m thinking I should move to a place called Sleepy Hollow, that way there will be no more questions asked. So before I get into a rant, let’s talk “kinfolk”. That’s country for kit folk, they just don’t know how to spell.

 

Nothing gets my fur in a knot so much than when a perfect stranger asks, “Do you have any children?” and when I say “No”, they say “I’m sorry”. What in God’s great litterbox are you sorry for? Sorry you have so many and I’m as free as the bird I ate last night? Or sorry you asked such a sorry assed question? What makes you think I want 5 kits like you? So each one of them can have 5 and I don’t have enough Fancy Feet for myself? There’s just so much yarn at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics to keep them all happy. I’d have to teach each one of them to knit just to keep us all in blankets. No ma’am. I’m sorry you’re sorry you’re such a sorry excuse for a brainless Bean.

 

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way (whew! that felt good) I want to talk cousins. Okay, a cousin is one thing (and I’ve got plenty) but what’s a cousin once removed? When did they move him and why? Where did they put him? Was that him on the doorstep at 2 am last night? And a cousin TWICE removed?? Wasn’t once enough? Why do they have to keep moving them around? There’s no doubt in my mind I’d have a lot more cousins if they’d just let them alone. How will I ever find them?

 

And what about step children? Are they too little they need a step stool? And step parents. Do you need a ladder to reach them? I propose everyone keeps off the stairs so we can all share the same ground. Size doesn’t matter.

 

And what about “next of kin?” If you just squint one eye open and look sideways you’d see for yourself who’s there. And they call me lazy!

 

All these questions should be brought up at the next election. If the candidates can’t answer accordingly they have no business running. When will that Orange Cat eat crow? Oh, that’s right, he dyed his fur yellow. And for the love of Pete (who’s Pete again?) stop calling him Mr. Precedent. He’s only an example of what not to do.

 

So……….whadayathink? How many children do YOU have?

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See Me, Feel Me

June 7th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for woodstock the field

 

I believe in miracles. Not big ones (although those are good too), just little tiny ones. You know, the ones that seem to crop up when you need them the most. Then after it’s done, you sit back and say………Did that just happen?

After suffering a disappointment early yesterday morning, I suggested that Michael and I take a drive to Bethel Woods just 45 minutes away. The fresh air and nostalgia would do us both good. Michael readily agreed and I thought I’d take a quick peek at the website to see what events might be of interest in the upcoming days, weeks and maybe purchase some tickets. For those of you too young to know, Bethel Woods was the site of the Woodstock festival in 1969 and has since been transformed into a beautiful museum/concert venue.

Roger Daltrey immediately popped up for this coming Friday. It was already Wednesday. Would there be any decent seats available?

Do you wanna go, I asked Michael.

I don’t know. What’s he playing? New stuff? If it’s new stuff, then no.

I searched but couldn’t find a setlist at first, then after scrolling awhile, there were articles in reference to his upcoming Tommy tour. Perfect!

I thought I was on the Bethel Center for the Arts website but somehow ended up with a third party ticket vendor, not immediately realizing it.  After purchasing the tickets on-line, I needed a physical ticket to gain admittance but didn’t have the capability of printing them. So, I called them (in a slight panic) and was told they’d sent an email saying the purchase had been canceled. Why? There was some confusion they couldn’t explain, would I like to try again? Heck, no, that was why I was calling in the first place. What a stroke of luck. Sort of.

As it was later in the afternoon, I asked Michael did he still want to go to Bethel and maybe be lucky enough to get Daltrey tickets. Even if we couldn’t, it would still be fun to go there. Once again, he agreed.

At the box office, there were just 2 tickets left in the prime seating area for a reasonable price. It was even about $75.00 cheaper than the comparable tickets purchased earlier which included other hidden charges.  Another stroke of luck!

Next, we perused the somewhat pricey gift shop and bought a cool baseball cap for Michael with (what else?) a peace sign emblazoned on the front and Bethel Center for the Arts stitched on the side. Very nice. That done, we slipped out the back doors into the still glorious afternoon sun to take a look at “the field”. You know, THE FIELD. The one and only historical landmark where it all took place. Rock and Roll Heaven. All the hippie dippy stuff. Peace. Love. No rain. Mud.

The road to the field was beautifully landscaped with twisting turning pathways, tents setting up for Friday’s event, and the sound of Daltrey’s voice wafting in the air. Nice of them to get people in the mood for the concert.

That sounds “live.”

Yeah, it does. Doesn’t it?

Our paces quickened with our pulses in the direction of the sound coming from the outdoor pavilion. We were the only two people besides those that worked there busying about. There was nothing and no one to pay us any attention.

We just kept walking. Past the No Entry sign leading to the pavilion and up a little hill with two perfectly placed picnic tables overlooking the stage with (pinch me if I’m real) Roger Daltrey rehearsing Tommy with his band and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. What????

We sat at one of the two perfectly placed tables, quiet as mice, pretending to be invisible. They ran one song after another, with us watching and listening intently to the odd absence of no applause after each set.

This is real, isn’t it???

We took some  video to prove that after 49 years, magic still pervades the air at Woodstock, and feeling quite certain that the audience of two were accompanied by some invisible ones as well.

Ain’t that right, Janis? Jimi?

Like I said. Miracles. Just little ones. They happen every once in awhile. Especially at Woodstock.

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The Great Le Duke de Fromage

April 23rd, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

Image result for the big cheese

Today marks the passing of a very dear friend.

 

When Michael and I first started Whadawethink, we began receiving commentary from a mysterious person by the name of Le Duke de Fromage. We delighted at his interest in our blog. So much so, that we kept writing and he kept responding. His deep and insightful remarks were often laced with subtle good humor that always elicited a chuckle. Who was this fancy French dude?

 

Time went by and still Le Duke’s comments kept coming and engaged us in a volley of charm and wit.  When at last it was revealed that Le Duke was none other than the father of a long time friend, Michael couldn’t have been more surprised or more pleased.

 

Le Duke continued to be the biggest fan of our blog, and more often than not, the only one who ever took the time to read and comment on whatever we had to say. Looking forward to hearing from him made our efforts worthwhile. In short, Whadawethink will never be the same.

 

The profound sadness we feel at the loss of his friendship is only eclipsed by the bleak realization in knowing that at the end of this blog post there will be no comment from Le Duke de Fromage, not now or ever again. And that is simply unthinkable.

 

Mr. George, if we may be so bold as to reveal your true identity, you were a voice in the dark and a light when we most needed one. Thank you for your constant friendship. In our endeavor to create a platform in which to be heard, you responded with interest and with kind good humor. You will never know how much that meant to us both.

 

I think you would have wanted us to keep writing, so no matter the blog post met with silence, we will always remember you.

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Blackbird

March 26th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

 

Image result for red winged blackbird

 

I held the fluttering heart

Of Spring

Cupped within both hands,

And sought to let

This winged thing

Soar past the touch of man.

But it stayed,

Its broken song

Stuttered in the wind.

Not of the earth

Did it belong

But to Heaven’s din.

Angels held

The closing door

As it stumbled in-between,

Had I only asked

For more

Than to wish upon a dream.

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Crows Call

March 7th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

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Crows call

Through the fast-falling snow,

Both filling the void

In equal measure.

How good it is to watch and listen

To nothing

But the stirrings of the soul,

To spend the time actively searching

For nothing in particular,

And finding the all-important

In idle restlessness.

 

Crows call.

And faster forms the ghostly plumage

Of my shortcomings

In drifts and drafts,

A profusion of the nonsensical

In answer to my bucket list

Left lying to itself.

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IMPEACH

October 30th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for impeach trump

He’s a danger to the American people. He’s putting the health & safety of the American people at risk. IMPEACH

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Scarecrow

October 21st, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

 

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Be afraid!

For didn’t you see my shirttail fly

As I stand stock-still with a glint in my eye,

Pretending to be just stuff of straw?

But know this, raven, I am much, much more!

 

Tremble at my arms a’flailing!

The wind discerns my wit by wailing,

And you, fine raven, consider my threat

As nothing more than baseless fret,

And weary at the effort, less hurricane than zephyr.

 

Be afraid, I say!

As night descends with its screeching owl awry,

For in this field of stubble rests the shadow of time gone by,

And I must rise to shake the dust,

For know this, raven, I must, I must!

 

Quiver just a little now!

A feathered pile to fluff my brow.

Will nothing ruffle, rift or tousle?

My words deflect, devoid of muscle.

Oh, raven, cock your head

Give me an ounce of dread.

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Tom Petty Heartbreak

October 4th, 2017 by Magdalena Tabor

TOM PETTY Concert Ticket Stub 11-19-1977 Bottom Line New York NY 11/19/77 RARE

In March of 1977, I was just 22 years old (Okay, do the math, if you must).  My friends and I regularly frequented a favorite music venue, now defunct, called The Bottom Line in NYC’s Greenwich Village. I can recall many a sleepy drive home to Queens in the wee hours through the Bowery in that white VW convertible after an exhilarating show, nary a soul in sight.

On this particular evening, we were introduced to an unknown artist by the name of Tom Petty, the opening act for a famous guy, that has seemingly slipped from memory. So I did a little digging through the archives, and lo and behold, it was none other than Mr. Roger McGuinn. Now how could this be? Forget Roger and remember somebody nobody knows? It seems Tom had made a lasting impression. But it wasn’t his music I remembered that night.

Music freaks of the ultimate kind, we always made sure to secure a good seat by being among the first to get to the doors in front of a long trailing line of attendees. It was always general admission and the club, being a small venue, ensured that no matter where you sat, you would get to see the performance all right. But we always managed to sit at a table directly in front of the stage. Luckily, that night, there were no beers yet purchased to spoil what happened next.

Well, out walks this scrawny blond guy setting up his equipment, and I remember thinking, who’s he? No one had ever heard of him before. Then suddenly, he topples the microphone stand directly on top of our table. How’s that for starters? Maybe it was opening night jitters.

I honestly don’t recall another single thing, not the music, not whether or not I liked him, not even poor old Roger McGuinn who I love and adore.

But right after that night, everybody, and I mean everyone, had heard of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His career debuted and just took off. For whatever reason, I always remember him as the guy whose microphone stand fell on our table.

With the passing of Tom Petty, little did I realize how many wonderful songs were penned and performed by this amazing and gifted artist. What a long way we’ve come since those cherished  and rebellious days of our youth. And to know that, even now, we can choose any song, anytime we please, and be catapulted back to that long ago era.

I’m right there. Center stage. Microphone stand crashing to the table. A blip in time forever encapsulated. A moment in Tom Petty’s life that everyone, even he, forgot. All…. except me.

 

 

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