Narcissistic Old Man

With the weather being nasty the past week I have not gotten to the library to pick new books. I was so desperate for something to read I began a search of my book shelves. There in my secretariat, on the lower shelf, I spotted the familiar white cover booklet that I made. It’s been fifteen years since I wrote and bound my vignettes into books. It was time to open the covers and to relive the moments of my childhood that I cherished enough to spend considerable time to record them. I titled the work “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Nineteen Forties and Fifties.” The title is also part of me. My parents who were very European spoke very broken English until the day they died. I also had an older brother named Joe after our father. Brother Joe tragically died at age seven from scarlet fever. My Dad didn’t have a middle name and neither did my brother. To differentiate which Joe was being addressed in conversation Dad was Senior and brother was Junior. Yep, you got it, they didn’t pronounce junior as junior they pronounced it as jun-e-or. A few years after Joe Jun-e-or died I was born, and named after my father. My parents called me Jun-e-or for the remainder of their lives. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me as Jun-e-or. I wasn’t just plain Joe until I left for college.

There are three volumes to this story. Each is a collection of vignettes about my earliest recollections up until college. I suppose I could have continued with additional volumes to cover the years in between volume three and today, but frankly I don’t have that many memorable memories from that period of sixty-seven years. Sad, isn’t it? Finishing the story about those years is a good project for my bucket list.

The book I picked up to re-read was volume three which describes life as a pre-teen, my toys, my hobbies, school, and neighborhood activities. I actually enjoyed reading these short stories again. I kept looking for ways I would improve the writing if I had to, but honestly, except for one story, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it was all about me and my interests it kept me awake, I’m not sure what you or my friends would say. Except I do know what a few of them have said. I have on occasion loaned a single volume out to friends, and they have commented that they enjoyed the nostalgia of reliving in the old neighborhood. They saw the old places and saw themselves in some of the stores and places I described.

I’ll finish reading the remaining two volumes in reverse order. The second book is about my time on the farm with my mother’s father. The strange thing about this work is that I totally left out anything that happened with my brother and sister. It is as though they didn’t exist. That worries me because it implies that I am self centered and narcissistic, and I hate that in other people.

If you are at all interested in reading one of these volumes it is available on Amazon for free. Click on the book icon on the right side of my blog and it will take you right to it.

Jun-e-or

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerFinally, I printed volume three of my memoirs titled “Jun-e-or.” I began writing them seven years ago. I thought it would be great to document my earliest childhood memories for my grand children. I scibbled every memory I could into a tablet by hand, recalling FDR declare war on Japan, riding home with Dad in his new -used car(1929 Buick Special). I stood on the front seat next to him and looked out the back window over the top of the seat. As I wrote each vignette, more memories surfaced until I had recorded over three hundred. The next step was to have them converted to the word processor. I talked my good friend Judy into doing this for me. What an angel, she did it without changing a thing. The final step was the hardest. I had to clean up the grammar, and make the stories sound interesting. 

I published Volume One and presented it to my children and grandchildren for Christmas 2006, Volume Two came in 2007, now Volume Three. It is not completed yet, because I still want to insert art and family photos to enhance the text, and to make it more meaningful to them. Finally, I will bind the book with a nice cover and it will be finished. The three volumes complete my story up til hIgh school.

 My next work will be called “My Love Story.” I want to leave the kids with the narrative of how Barbara and I met, fell in love, and began our life together. This story will end with the birth of our last child. I figure the kids can begin their own stories from that point on.

Here is a sample vignette from Volume Three of “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Ninteen Forties and Fifties.” 

POOPER SCOOPER
There were many street vendors such as the ice man, the milk man, and others. They used horse drawn wagons to carry their wares. The horse often dropped a load in the middle of the street. If Mom spotted a pile within a couple of houses to either side of ours, she’d shag me out to pick it up. I shoveled the pile into a bucket. It was lousy duty, but I did it. Mom used the manure for fertilizer. Before she did, she aged it for a long time. Fresh manure is too acidic to use. It will burn the vegetation that it’s used on. Aging it cuts the potency. Aged manure is excellent in the garden.
  
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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