Tag Archives: Memories

A Gift in Vinyl

As everyone does from time to time, we clean out our attics, closets, and forgotten areas to make room for new things and our places are not over flooded with things we never needed in the first place. Yet we always find things in these places that just cant be let go because they have a little bit of magic of olden days and people we never forget. Maybe its a shirt, a photo, a ring or its a random stuffed animal you haven’t played since you were five.

For me, Its my nana’s vinyl collection.

This past Christmas season, my parents cleaned out our attic which had so many things from my nana’s old home. Since her passing in the bone chill of January 2002 we have had her stuff in a corner of our attic, away from view. We put it away as far as we could for both my dad and myself. The sting was still hurting. Many years had passed and we have slowly dug through the possessions of photos jewelry and other worldly possessions. Since these were new to me yet had a memory for others, slowly and carefully i began to ask my father what they meant and uncovering my family as slowly as they discovered the Pharaoh’s tombs so long ago. I always ask questions about who they were because of how little to no time i had with them, feeling as if they were of mythical stories and legendary tales you would see in novels.

My grandparents were of the Irish immigrants who arrived in the great depression looking for a better life from the Irish troubles of that time. They worked hard and made a good life for myself, a second generation immigrant. I always hear stories of them from my father and some kinda make me say “Ok now i know where i get it from” like my stubbornness is from my grandfather who would sit on hours outside his house in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston blasting his horn if his parking spot was taken by a neighbor, or part of my compassion and caring comes from my nana who even at age 80 plus would never forget to have a plate of my favorite cookies ready for my visit. These stories and now the newly rediscovered vinyl records finally connect me to people i never got the true privilege of meeting.

What the vinyl records mean to me, is everything. Its the glimpse i get into who they are and what they loved in life. These simple vinyls i got to have showcase things i never thought of. With all the music of their home in Donegal Ireland, it seems as if they were home sick yet they felt rewarded with their sacrifice to come here. All the times my grandparents were told “No Irish Need Apply” and found the worst jobs to make the money to find a meal and all the times they saw college degrees and marriages and a grandchild, made it worth something. They embraced Americana and her dreams of success while never forgetting their Irish love and where they came from, something i try to embrace when i think of what they gave up to let me live a successful life. We all have that one person or people in our lives that started from nothing yet we have everything that they never had and it just makes their work all the sweeter.

As i write this post, i have one of their records playing in the background of my one bedroom apartment, getting me misty eyed every other song. I missed them everyday, especially after these 17 years, these records to me seem to be a gift stowed away for safe keeping until i needed them. A gift in time. In a world where we sometimes forget where we come from or who have gone on to the great beyond, this is something to remember them by. These records of Ireland dreams seem to give myself a reinvigorated sense of identity. Not just the Irishman i know i have in my blood, but what being me means. My anger, my patience, my love, my flaws everything comes together because of these simple songs that they played decades ago on a small disc to console them yet remind them of who they were.

Photo by Steven Hylands on Pexels.com

So as i listen to these records i say to my ancestors:

Mo aingeal Tá súil agam go bhfuair tú síocháin.

To the Forgotten

To the people who we have forgotten in time

The men and women of this world who once made a mark,

yet their light has become noting more than a broken bulb.

The deeds they have done, both the good and the evil.

None exist to the daily eye; none remembered, just a ghost of a memory.

These ghosts were remembered once

Remembered for what they did, what they once were

Now only oxidized bronze know their names.

 

Ever since i was a child i have felt sorry for these people,

but what i realize is that it is a list that has not ceased 

growing with the times.

The only difference is, now i know those names, those faces

Yet everyone around me shows the signs of letting them go.

We say we shall always remember but what happens when hey forget?

Another nail in the coffin, another death?

 

So take this time, this moment of the hour

To look at the closest street sign with the golden names

The yearbooks with the dusty devotions to the departed

The cookie cutter stones with a face carved in words

The memories that maketh man

Admire their dreams even if they are never to come true

For one day you shall join the forgotten as will i

but that does not mean the end, it just means we have done all we can

 

So, cheers to the forgotten

I hope one day someone rediscovers you,

just i as would want for my own Self. 

 

 

 

 

For the Love of the Sox (Update)

Waiting for the series to start, the late nights, early mornings i mean its always worth it because its  “For the Love of the Sox” but this is the World Series.

It has finally come and passed, and we again win a World Series. 

Hallelujah!

I can tell you sitting on my couch for the series was very painful to watch. I got up basically every at bat, screaming at the tv, basically looking like i was about to actually  play the ball. I even got a couple of residents to knock on my door to make sure i was Ok.

“Ok” isn’t a thing with a championship on the line.

Even the continuous text message of how stressed i was, to the point where i believed i threatened to become a chain smoker was tossed about. This series was so beyond stressful i can not imagine what it was like in 2004.

To watch a season culminate in the World Series is like a New Years Eve Recap of the year. You remember where you were when the season started, what you were doing, who you were. For me, i started this year in grad school, working towards a Masters degree, struggling through the stresses of capstone. It was really emotional to say the least. AS the summer went on i looked for a job and after many “almost not quite’s” with job interviews, i began to worry. I began to worry i wasn’t cut out for my field that the degree was a fluke. That’s why the 2018 Boston Red Sox mean so much to me. They became something i attached to, and embodied through an entire calendar year .

So when that final out came, i had all the emotions come to my mind. Basically sat down an shed a couple of tears. I am kinda happy no one saw me. I was a mess. The boys won  it all and i got to watch it unfold like a storybook. Priceless.

As the parade goes by today online in my office, i think i can after so many months breathe a small sigh of relief. The stress of finding a job, the stress of winning a World Series. The doubt that i didn’t belong, the doubt of losing the championship.

It was all just was washed away.

I couldn’t have been happier. Like i said before the Sox are the toast of the town, Boston’s baby boys; and when they win, we win. Isn’t it a great thing to see?

For the Love of the Sox

They are the team that gets you up in the morning.

This team will take you on a wild ride, through the dog days of summer and into the fall classic. Then just as you are about comfortable with the team, they break your heart.

They are the heart breakers those Boston Red Sox, but it is a pain that we fans put up with every year.

I am part of the lucky generation, the generation where i only had to endure 10 of the 86 year “Curse of the Bambino” and had the 2003 season to cry over.

Yes, there is crying in baseball.

What the Sox mean to us is more than any other sports team in the world has, its the ability to define the odds and break the odds in 2. Like the American spirit, we may get things thrown at us and our odds dwindle, but we find a way some how to keep moving on. Its in our blood. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for heartbreak

Growing up in part of the heart of Boston, you grow up a Red Sox fan.

Period. End of Story.

Unless of course your parents grew up somewhere else and you fall into their fandom. As a kid, you dream of going to the Red Sox games, just walking up the tunnel your first time is something to behold. I can remember the first time my father took me to a baseball game. The smell of the stands, the crackerjacks, the loud sounds of the bat hitting the ball, its just a magical timeless act. You dream of catching a foul ball and you just take everything in. Every little thing about the Sox can affect your life, Especially after a heart breaking trade (looking at you Nomar).

As you get older, you analyze the game more and your favorite player changes over time and you become truly anointed into Red Sox Nation. The in depth Podcast (Section 10 in the Building!) and the old time classic players transitioning to the analysis broadcast teams, you really start to look at the small details, the averages, the on base percentage, the nitty gritty stats.  You become more aware and go in-depth and engulfed in the game and it stings even more when you have to wait for opening day the next year no matter the result. We even skip work or pull our kids out of school for a day just to see a game in the brisk spring days. Honestly, Boston and all of New England should have opening day off, or at least a half day.RedSox1

What the Sox can mean is a lot more than just a baseball team.

The Red Sox have been a centralized landmark in Boston’s culture for over 100 years. When we have personal tragedy, triumph, or rough days at work, the Red Sox are always a way we can connect generations and bring back good times and fond memories.The games and the team have  always been a staple even in Boston’s darkest hour. During the recovery after the Boston Marathon Bombings, the team became a sign of hope and healing. From the Boston Strong Motto that we still use, to the honoring of the first respondents. Even Big Papi’s speech was healing. In Boston’s cathedral of Fenway Park,  we came together to find some sort of regularity, something we as a city could find that could relieve the horrors of the times and get a smile on our bleak faces. The season led to the top, culminating in the world series being won at Fenway for the first time in 95 years. Indescribable.

The Sox are Boston’s baby boys, the talking points (either good or bad talk), the toast of the town.

We love them, because they are us. They are the working men and women of America just in a different uniform. They represent what we hold dear in our values and our hard work and determination. Even if they get knocked down and banged around, they still get up on their feet and keep moving forward.

Now, on the cusp of the 2018 ALCS win we have a chance once again to take the crown, and look forward to another title in Title-town USA. Don’t expect we will act like we have been here before; I still think all of Boston will be on the edge of their seats, screaming at the TV and saying their Hail Mary’s, even with experience under our belts and even going into the World Series with one of the best teams assembled since 2013, there will always be a nervous overtone to Red Sox Nation.

Its just the reminisce of a lost curse that stung for too long.