Sunday, March 3, 2013

A product of the environment?

I've always held the position that you are a product of your environment.   It begins from early childhood.   What was your home life like?   Was it loving and nurturing?   Positive?   Encouraging?   Was it a single parent home like mine?   Did that make a difference in how you viewed life and its' possibilities or limitations?   Or on the other hand was it ugly, violent, argumentative, hostile and, especially back in those days, severely impoverished.

Although I grew up in a single parent home...there was love, positive thoughts and there was my grandfather.   We called him "Pop".   He lived with us in the South Bronx at 1339 Prospect Avenue.   Immigrating from the island of Bermuda, he worked for the "New York Typographical Union" somewhere in lower Manhattan.   I was a youngster at the time...and didn't have a full appreciation of what he did.   Back in those days...if you where black and got a job in the Post Office or with the New York Transit were pretty much guaranteed an entree into the "black (Negro) middle class".   But again...I wasn't sure of exactly what he did.

All I knew is that he left the house every morning in a white shirt & tie, a three piece suit and his infamous homburg hat.   Every Friday he would return home with a quart of hand-packed Breyer's Ice Cream.   In those days...there were no "supermarkets".   You stopped at the local "candy store" and had them "scoop up" and "hand pack" the ice cream.   It became our Friday night treat!   I think the only ice cream back then was Breyers?

And then there's my Mom...but that's a whole 'nother story!   Tip-toeing through the tulips...yes!   An awesome, loving, giving woman?   An even bigger yes!

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