MEA MAXIMA CULPA
I am certain that for the majority of you, it must seem like I fell off the face of the earth. In many ways, the days and weeks that have ensued since my last post on April 10, 2014 have kept me in a whirlwind! This has been the longest absence that I have had since I began writing this blog back on 11/29/2010 and I apologize for neglecting all of you!
In my defense however, the events that have transpired for me during the last 39 days have been unprecedented in my life. Let me explain:
- On Friday April 11th, I drove from Ocean Pines, Maryland to Duquesne, 8+ hours on the road.
- On Saturday, April 12th, I spent the day with my Aunt Peg. The purpose of my visit was to attend her 88th Birthday party to be held on April 13th, the actual anniversary of her birth.
- On Sunday, April13, festivities surrounding my aunt’s birthday filled the day. In typical hunky fashion, about 50+ guests celebrated with Aunt Peg at Ciccanti’s on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills.
- On Monday April 14th at which time I returned to Ocean Pines after an 8+ hour drive.
- April 15th thru April 22, I moved into my new office in Ocean City, Maryland. A week or more of refiling, reorganizing and setting-up my real estate office. In addition, I had Holy Week and Easter to take part in.
- April 23rd found me in the ER Department at AGH (Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, MD) for CHF (congestive Heart Failure) and Pneumonia! Spent three days at AGH and then was taken by ambulance to PRMC (Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD) for 3 more days including an emergency heart cauterization!
- Back home from the hospital(s) on the 29th and 30th, resting and taking my antibiotics.
- May 1st, drove up to my oldest daughter’s place in Exton, PA (outside of Philly) for a BIG event on May 2nd.
- On May 2nd at 9:01 a.m., my 2nd grandchild, a boy, was delivered via C-section at Paoli General Hospital in Paoli, PA. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces, Mason James was a perfect new additional. Mom, Dad, brother and baby are doing fine.
- Returned home to Ocean Pines on Monday night, May 5th, totally exhausted and ready for a few days of rest.
- That was not to happen. By Wednesday night, May 7th, I began a 5 day bout with “the runs.”
- By Monday, May 12, I was back in the ER at AGH. I was diagnosed with Acute Colitis and Acute Lower GI Bleed. Fortunately, after only 5 or 6 hours AND after being rehydrated and administered morphine for the pain, I was sent home. Since then, I spend last week just recovering.
And so, here I sit on May 19th, fully recovered and with a renewed focus on eating healthy and STAYING healthy. My new office is on the ocean side of Coastal Highway in Ocean City, MD between 81st and 82nd Streets. As a result, I’ve just been taking a stroll to the ocean each lunchtime to just sit, relax and unwind. I know that after Memorial Day, the madness in Ocean City will ensue, but being able to sit at my desk and just watch the “crazies” walk by is bound to prove very interesting!
Last week was “HOT ROD WEEK” in Ocean City, and the town was PACKED with thousands of restored “muscle cars” from my youth. GTO’s, Roadrunner, Mustangs, etc. roared past my window all day long. The best part for me however, was not the noise, but the smell that permeated the town. There was a distinct, familiar aroma from the exhausts, hot asphalt and occasional grilling meat or Thrasher’s French Fries that brought memories of Kennywood’s Sunlight Pool rushing back to me.
My childhood friend, Bob Chermonitz, recently posted a few Kennywood Pool pictures on Facebook that I really enjoyed seeing. Bob’s pictures as well as others that I have found over the years really bring back memories of the pool.
Aside from the distinct smell of fries, hot dogs and pizza being prepared and sold at the pool, there was always the distinct aroma of Coppertan Suntan Lotion in the air. Back in the days prior to common knowledge about the dangerous effects of over exposure to the sun, we all strove to get the as dark a tan as possible during the summer. If it wasn’t Coppertone that was being used, one would also catch the distinct sweet smell of Baby Oil from a nearby young lady. Had we only been aware of the dangers of unprotected exposure to the sun, I’m sure a lot of us would have led healthier lives. However, in defense of our actions, that lingering cloud of mill smoke and smog helped to shield us from the full brunt of the UV rays!
There was another part of HOT ROD WEEK that evoked memories of Kennywood’s Pool for me as well. It seemed that many of the cars totally embraced the era in which they were made by blasting the local Oldies radio station on their car radios. Sounds of Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, Leslie Gore, Lou Christie, etc. drifted through the air along the beach. I remember how, while at the pool, we had stereophonic sound before it became popular! It seems that everyone had their own transistor radio tucked under their beach towel or beach blanket while lying around Kennywood’s pool. Just think of how many hours you would spend on that towel, eyes closed, listing perhaps to some Gene Pitney song and hearing the roar of the roller coasters in the park and the excited screams of the riders! Could it have gotten any better???
And so, as we approach the Memorial Day weekend, as you sit on your deck, grill blazing and hamburgers sizzling away, close your eyes for a second or two and harken back to those wonderful days at the park and how excited you would get just seeing that big ol’ yellow arrow pointing to the times of your life!!!