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Memories. Voices That Call To My Mind.

I am not nor have I ever been sentimental. Seems of late I have been flooded by memories, of happy times mostly but some sad heartbreaking times as well. Maybe I am a bit homesick for my two beloved cities….New Orleans (NOLA) and pictured below…..Chicago (Home).

My mind goes back to happier times in my life often, like fishing with my grandparents, as a child. Fishing is a thing, not a sport or a pastime, but a thing. I was always lucky as a fisherman. Some folks can sit in a boat or on a pier for hours not even getting a bite and be content. NOT I.

My grandfather used to tease me often, when people asked him if he caught anything upon our return to our cabin from a fishing adventure, he’d say not me, I was HIS (pointing at me) hook baiting assistant. I was 7 and could not yet bait a night-crawler onto a hook.

I was blessed with luck when it came to fishing. I’d cast my rod into the water and no sooner than 5 minutes, I was reeling a fish into the net. Still to this day, I catch fish when all around me, folks get not even a bite. Fun times those were.

My Gramps taught me to hunt rabbits, squirrels and coons as well as pheasants and quail as a youngster. I only liked hunting rabbits, basically because I loved to eat rabbits. Quails were delicious but way too small and squirrels were just too close to home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, for my taste. Pheasants were so regal that I never liked shooting them.

Fact is pheasants and squirrels were no challenge. Now rabbits, those animals were so fast, quick and smart, it was amazing. They would sit, and sometimes you’d actually step on ’em before they would get up running like they were shot out of a cannon. We had two rabbit beagles and the dogs would sometimes chase the rabbit for 35 minutes until the rabbit would circle round to it’s hiding place. One had to be an excellent shot to hit a moving rabbit and not hit the chasing beagles. I was very good. And my Granny could do things with a cooked rabbit that no chef could ever match.

I LOVED high school. Many didn’t like school at all and especially high school. I loved the daily/weekly routine of high school. I felt strong and intelligent, mostly because I was both things, and confident as well. I have since come to understand why so many kids disliked high school. It was a time of not fitting in and low self confidence for some of those kids. I was a loner. I played football all 4 years but didn’t “hang out” with team-mates. I didn’t hang out period.

I enjoyed my classes and especially my teachers. The female teachers. Seems during my high school years, an influx of young newly hired teachers were being added onto my high school faculty staff. Young. Sexy. Attractive. Downright gorgeous. Being a young man, it was very difficult NOT to like High School.

My grandparents raised me from birth and I guess they are what this is all about. I miss them. My Granny & Gramps were magically spectacular as parents. I was given every opportunity to grow and blossom into a man who used my gifts taught me by my grandparents to my full potential.

My Gramps taught me cars, fishing, hunting, right from wrong, that lying & stealing would get me either killed on a life in prison. He taught me to work for what I wanted, maybe not so hard as to work myself to death, but to work to achieve my goals.

Granny taught me love, respect for those who deserved my respect and she was the one who taught me to be a fighter, a warrior for justice and whats fair. Granny also taught me to cook. Vitally important since I spent 26 years as a chef, traveling the world cooking for cash. Now thats a living.

It started on Saturday mornings when she would make biscuits for the coming week. I started out sitting at the kitchen table watching Saturday morning cartoons but that quickly changed. Granny never told me to pay attention, she allowed me to gradually lose interest in cartoons and start to watch her make biscuits. That was when I was age 8. Today I know of nobody living who can make a biscuit like me. Cornbread for that matter, as well.

I never usually post blogs about myself or my family. I’m private. I miss them both and for some strange reason this is therapeutic. I’m not big on afterlife but wherever they happen to be, right this moment, I need them both to know I am thinking of them and missing them both.

Io ti amo sempre e mi mancherai entrambi.

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