This is somewhat of a vague memory, with a less then-fortuitous origin and a (most probably) undignified and ignominious end, but I do retain the golden moment.
It was during the early days of the war, when toys, particularly large and metal playthings with rubber tires, were suddenly unobtainable. There were, however, always castaways from yesterday lurking in some attic or cellar for the lucky little boy or girl.
We lived in an apartment building with no attic, of course, but there was a cellar with a variety of rooms for storage, working and repair making up a dark and mysterious labyrinth. We had a variety of handyman and janitorial type workers in the building who, I do remember, were very kindly disposed toward cute little boys and girls who lived in the building, as were very few of us: two as I recall.
As to the workers, few of them, particularly come to mind: short-legged Pete, who stood well over six feet tall (only one of his legs was short) and was a giant to me. But it was Al who discovered the red pedal car in the basement archives, escorted my mother and me down to the building’s bowels for an introductory showing, and offered to paint the thing if we wanted it.
I can only assume that one of my parents must have offered Al a gratuity, but I have absolutely no recollection of this and cannot imagine what, in those days, would constitute such an offering: a dollar? The car, however, certainly in terms of its memory’s longevity alone, was to be worth incalculably more.
The wait for its newly painted body seemed to take forever and was so relentlessly fraught with anticipation. But I imagine Al had other projects, and the paint, after all, needed to dry in that cool cellar. The day, happily, did arrive.
There she stood in a pristine, image-altering white! True to his word, and I think before my next birthday, Al had done it. Come to think of it, he must have received something for his labors. As I think back, it must have been a tough, detailed, and time-consuming job. It was all done by paint brush – no aerosol cans back then!
I don’t remember ever riding this pedal car. What I do recall was how she remained abandoned in the living room corner of our two-room apartment for years, papers and magazines and odds and ends piled inside the kiddy car. My legs hit painfully against the underside of the dash, too long to pedal.
What I do remember was that GOLDEN, indelible MOMENT in my early life when old, wizened Al rang our bell one afternoon, standing there smiling with the new white car, for me, by his side. No car has ever come close!
TEN GOLDEN MOMENTS
This book spills all the beans. With snippets, anecdotes and vignettes as well as technically perfect (heh) Short Short Stories it pretty much spans the years, spaces and times, from the early 1940's (remember those years?
This will help you!) through today.
The TEN Golden Moments alludes to Thomas Wolfe's mention of said moments...when in "You Can't Go Home Again" Wolfe said that if you have lived ten golden moments, ten WONDERFUL, memorable, moments, stress free, with no angst, cares or woe, you have lived!
I ruminated on this and, happily, was able to come up with, to recall, somewhat more than ten; some 125 Golden Moments.
These are not simply happy, pleasant moments; these are extraordinary, eidetic, memorable "moments," in the hope that they will serve to resonate with the reader.
I KNOW many will.
The book apparently resonated with someone.
Gary Alexander Azerier
This book has been accepted into the U.S. Library of Congress
Gary Alexander Azerier
Gary Alexander Azerier © All rights reserved.