I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


214. TOMMY AND LENORA (nyc, 1968):

Tommy and Lenora Vicks were two people I'd gotten to know from down along e12th Street - he was a stage-construction union guy for some of the big uptown theaters and she passed her time waitressing and trying to put together some sort of dance career - which never went anywhere that I saw - and the two of them were pretty normal in all other respects and by the time I met them it was surprising to me to be able to find two NYC people in a close age range who actually did live fairly normal lives from their own nice apartment - flowers and window-sill planters and a decent little garden spot out back nicely furnished rooms and kitchen and all the other amenities I'd normally have thought about for some older uncle or aunt somewhere - but they did this pretty well and I guess really the only thing they'd not acquired was a car - urban New Yorkers took that in stride and never thought twice about it even though it did stand out a bit to me - but Lenora's paradise was 14th Street and all the stuff it offered so that I suppose from that spot most of these things appeared and back in those days it was still the sort of environment where 14th Street yet held some dignity - fairly decent dress and gown and linen shops and dishes and stuff - whereas now it too has degenerated into the usual Chinese junk and imported trinkets sold by immigrants along the way - acres of cheap paper products and detergents indoors and ten dollar shoes and watches outdoors - and the rows and rows of carts and booths which now distract the eye and ear (and nose) were not there : another funny thing about old New York is the fact of the now 'glorified' charm of the old pushcart vendors who sold along every street their wares and fruits vegetables and most anything else in the early days before the establishment of sales taxes department stores and compartments and sections for selling this and that under roof and ceiling - now that same 'once-so-charming' outdoor sales effect has degenerated into trash merchants redundant up and down some streets and certainly any historic 'charm' has long ago been cancelled out : but Lenora partook of all this stuff and from it made a nice place and Tommy - always busy - just came and went as he needed and it was a pleasure to visit them - 311 e12th if I recall - the few times I did but before that Tommy Vicks had gotten into some sort of scrap with the law and had a few precarious months as he put it in jail or Rikers or somewhere sweating it out but he was always the same - direct and strong-willed with a foul-enough mouth used mostly on the job but it was all something he'd say you get used to real fast if you're 'gonn'a survive' and because of his skills he'd built a few really nice shelf-cases and tables in the apartment which added a nice touch but there really never were any books about - they'd load this all up instead with decorative stuff I guess called 'furnishings' or something that she'd get out shopping along the streets and it was nice visually but never meant too much to me to see and I did always rue the lack of books there - one day he came home with a small sculpture as I remember from some production or other - a form made of sticks and wire - some sort of human pose supposed to be evocative of something and he plunked it in the corner on a small pedestal he'd brought - it stayed there a while but the next time I went in it was gone so I never knew what happened : I was never much a theater guy but they always had those little Playbill books laying about too for any of the current productions and they were sometimes fun to see - especially the ads - and Tommy would say he needed them for work and from them he referenced names and titles and locations where he could at any time be sent on a job - made sense to me - and then I learned later also that 'opening night' Playbills or sometimes opening night Playbills signed by a cast member or two were very collectible and considered sometimes quite valuable - the 'opening night' specials were often sealed and stamped in a corner especially to denote their provenance or uniqueness or whatever - anyway I learned later that the root of Tommy's problem had been in forging signatures and falsely sealing and stamping playbills which he and another person had amassed and they'd been selling them as original 'opening nighters' through some form of mail-order or something for the theater crowd - they'd gotten caught and had been charged with forgery and theft-of-services mail fraud and a few other things and for a while it had looked bad (serious enough charges) but after a month or so in jail and after a few hearings they'd been able to buy a good enough lawyer to calm everything down - Tommy's biggest fear was in losing his job and his union card and all that - so that nothing much came of it all after a while - funny and totally unique story to me at the time.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger cg said...

I wonder where they are now. Aged and tired? A garden still, maybe not, their hands might be hurting with arthritis like mine. Are her eyes still blue? Where they blue?


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