self portrait with caution tape © Robert Sommers 2019

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fallen memories

It was a nice weekend. Friday we were supposed to meet a couple pals at the brewery for a pop after work. One person showed up, the other thought I was evidently supposed to call first and we got our signals crossed.

I got to hear something precious for the first time, you are great on the internet, but you suck at real life or something like that. I think it was a legitimate screw up but am always willing to fall on my sword for a friend. Whatever.

A typical Saturday at work. Sunday I got up early to judge the Fallbrook Vintage Car Show at Pala Mesa.

Not sure how many years I have been doing it, but it has to be close to 10, this is the fiftieth year and we had over 400 cars.

I had a third of the pre '40 modified and had a great car or two in my class. Not sure who got what, I was whupped and left after I finished my class.

Drove over to Rosas for a menudo breakfast and then went to Major Market to buy some barbecue from a touring grilling god from Mississippi named Jones, I think. Looked like a Nascar star in the ads, great guy, we talked about his rub, brisket was going to take another hour, I opted for his chicken and ribs, which were quite delicious.

Went home and slept the afternoon away.

Yesterday was memorial day and I thought I should spend it the old fashioned way, while remembering the souls and spirits of the departed.

I drove over to the masonic cemetery and visited the grave of my old friend Liz Duchi. God, has it really been eleven years? I loved Liz and her late husband Tony like family and they loved me, in fact Tony often called me his third son and meant it. But the kids wouldn't even let me go on the memorial boat ride, they were either jealous or they didn't get it and I will never forget it.

Leslie met me at the top of the hill and we drove down to San Diego, stopping at Jasmine for an excellent repast of early afternoon dim sum. Place was packed but the food was special and outrageous and they custom made duck rolls for us.

After lunch we headed down to Imperial Avenue and the family cemetery, not in a great part of town but in an interesting part of town.

My sister and my grandmother are both buried at Home of Peace. They may plant me there one day too and it will be fine with me.

I am much more conscious of my own mortality since losing my father and with my mother's extended illness. The world misses you for a second but nothing really ever misses a beat, things move along.

Amie was born ten years and one day after I was. She never let me forget it. Full of piss and vinegar, talented and full of life, she died at a tender age in a car accident. The worst pain I have ever felt.

I was in the second grade when grandma died. The gravestone says Pola but we had always known her as Pessa.

It was possible that both she and my grandfather used deceased relatives papers to leave Poland, while they still could and that their names were not really their names.

I don't know that much about her except that she loved me, always gave me silver dollars, served seven layer rum cake and sweet Russian tea, while grandpa sat in his wifebeater t -shirt and pared green gage plums with his knife.

It is said that she killed herself, with pills, after some infidelity of my grandfather's. I don't know and with all the players now gone, will probably never know.

I was in the second grade when she died, in godforsaken Lancaster. My mom and her husband left me by myself at home for three days while they went to the funeral and I got sick with the mumps and whooping cough while they were gone. Lancaster, many of my classmates wore hosiery caps, with a major outbreak of head lice going around at the time.

The school wasn't real happy with my being home alone. Will thoughtfully spare you some gory details of my illness.

My grandmother's grave is in sad, forlorn shape now. Covered with alkaline salts and pretty much forgotten, I must find something to spruce it up.

I had the realization that I might be the last one of the family with the geographic ability to visit these graves, or maybe one of the few who still cared about such things. Some people don't do death well. A lovely dandelion grew perfectly in front, the weed adding  a measure of grace to the picture. We left a rock and a rose on each grave.

Life is so short and death is such a long time.

Les wanted to go to Balboa Park and we walked around the garden so I could take pictures of the giant bismarckia and we did.

Afterwards we decided to spend the last hour and a half at the zoo while it was still open.

We did the skytram ride and both the feel of the cool air and the glorious view of Balboa Park and the ocean were wonderful.

I am proud to be a native San Diegan, I love the city and the city it once was. Outside of Sevilla, maybe the most beautiful park I have ever been to. I just saw that the man who delivered me and my brother, Dr. Phil Rand, just died at the age of 94. Delivered Buzz's kids too. They said Phil Rand delivered more kids than any other man anywhere, over 40 thousand I hear. Thanks Phil, never got to tell you.

My dad and the man who brought me into this world, both now gone, months apart.

The zoo and the park are so beautiful.

Oh yeah and there were animals too, lots of animals.

Spent a lot of quality time with the Malaysian tiger, who was huge and as cute as they come.

I have lots more pics but don't want to bore you and will stop right here. Because there are birds too. Thanks for sharing my memorial day with me. Hope that I wasn't too maudlin.


North County Film Club said...

Enjoyed this visit with you. Balboa Park, my favorite place in the world!
Wonderful photos!

J.W. said...

Were those the red river hogs?

Anonymous said...

Loved the tiger pix. And the pigtype one. RENEE