Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Never Forget

"Wishing you a holiday filled with memories to share"

That's what it says on the inside of the Xmas cards I'm sending out this year. I picked them because the snow sled pictured on the front reminded me of the one I made my nephew many Christmases ago. I dubbed his "Ev's Chesapeake Slider" and permanently etched the name on the wooden slats covering the runners. Years later I crafted a similar sled for my son, Ichiro, taking lessons learned from the construction of the Chesapeake Slider and incorporating them into the snazzier designed and aerodynamically enhanced Chesapeake Glider. They were both clean, green, sliding machines that delivered hours of snow-packed fun.

After only a few season's snows under the Glider's runners, we were off to distant shores, leaving the sled and other treasures behind. Winters had come and gone, blanketing the Mid-Atlantic landscape in a pure winter white but the Glider remained idle, safely stored away in the care of my eldest sibling.  

Some years later after I returned home for a visit on a summer holiday, I spent  the better part of one particularly sunny morning rummaging through my sister's cellar in search of some personal effects I had squirreled away down there for safekeeping. You can imagine the joy in my heart when I spied Ichiro's Chesapeake Glider beckoning to me from beneath a thick protective layer of dust.

I cradled it in my arms as I carried it aloft into the light of day. As the amber rays of the mid morning sun bathed the oak grain it glistened like a burning ember, rekindling the memories of the sheer delight Ichiro and I shared as we sailed together across the pure white plains. Then suddenly I was jolted back to the present by a sun glass spectaled figure approaching from across the far side of the lawn. It was my brother-in-law, Sparky. His eyes popped wide open as his glasses slid down the bridge of his nose and his jaw dropped to the ground. I stood silent as I waited for him to hail my serendipitous discovery.

"We got to get rid of that bad boy right away. It's rotting, I wouldn't be surprised if it's infested. With all your stuff down in the basement, and Ev's stuff, there's no room to move. This is going out in the trash today."

As the sled was tossed on the gabage heap right before my eyes, I slipped into a state of shock, yet managed to ask: "Can I take a picture of it before the garbage men come to pick it up?"

"What for?" He replied.

"For a keepsake, " I said.

"No, you don't have time for that. Besides you have the best pictures of it already, the ones inside your head - your memories."

I guess he was right but I wish I had a photograph of it just the same. Then I could have made a card just like this one and sent it to him for Christmas because as memories go this is one I'll never forget.


  1. My client has retained me and you will be hearing from us very soon, young man, oh yes you will, to discuss the rudiments of Family Law 101 and Character Defamation. Sparky contends it went like this: "I was taking the garbage out and I saw Taro stuffing said Glider into one of the cans. Sparky: "Hey, don't put that in there, buddy, that's wood and should go in the Recycling Bin. Don't you care about the planet, pal?" Taro turned to Sparky, removed the cigarette that was dangling precariously from his lips, and sneered:"Are you kidding? Planet,schmanet - that's I all I hear back home. I'm putting this bad boy with your trash, Sparks, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!" With that, Taro slammed the fragile Glider into the garbage can, and said, "What the hell, Sparks. What time do those trash guys get here anyway? What're you payin' all those taxes for,boy? Hey, I'm hungry, doing all this salvage work, you fix breakfast yet, hoss?" Sparky: "There's whole grain cereal on the table." Taro: "Huh? You and the missus better get them eggs, bacon, and home fries going. Whole grains, come on, I gotta lot more salvage work to do." Sparky:"That's not heart healthy, Taro,the missus and I are concerned about your-" Taro interrupted:"Tell you what, Sparks, you and the missus worry about yourselfs. Me, I got salvage to do. Now how bout gettin' my eggs goin' - that's five over easy." Transcript ends - More to follow.

  2. The editor(s) at The TVT are scratching their heads. We (that’s the editorial we) just don’t understand where all this vitriol is coming from. Originally entitled, “Ode to My Brother-in-law,” this piece was intended to highlight our hero’s renunciation of temporal material goods (i.e. the “rotten sled”) in favor of spiritual enlightenment. We only hope the misguided among us will look at the world through Sparky’s rose colored spectacles to see what is truly important and separate the temporal trash from the eternal treasures of life. – Love and Peace.