Friday, March 23, 2012

Didja wonder why...

...I have a picture of a T.W.A. Super Constellation as a header picture? More than likely you never even gave it a thought. I've always liked the design of this plane. Moreover I have flown in one.  Not recently though. That would have happened in 1956. That was last century. That's a way to make yourself feel old. Hey! I'm working on my second century! Well putting all that aside, my parents had been here in America for 10 years. My mother was an American citizen being born here. Without getting into a complex family history dirge. Both my grand fathers were from the same little town in Sicily. They were farmers and knew each other.  After WWI grandfathers came to America to work. My mother's father brought his wife and all his children were born here. My father's father came alone and sent money back to the old country. Everybody went back to Italy just in time to catch WWII. To sum up, my parents married in Italy and came to America after the war. Ten years later they went back to visit for three months. I of course went along. I was four.

We were supposed to fly out of Boston when a snowstorm changed the plans. We ended up taking a train to New York City, one with sleeper cars, to depart from there instead. Here we are at one of the airports in New York. My uncle Sam (my mother's brother) is  taking the picture.
Left to right, my aunt Lucy, my mother Mary, my dad Angelo and me. The picture was taken by my uncle Sam, my mothers brother and my aunt Lucy's husband.
I do have memories of being on that plane. I remember the sound of the engines. I also had a toy model of that very same plane that I remember playing with it in the aisle of the plane. I don't know who gave it to me. We stayed in Italy for three months, also visiting Rome and some other long forgotten locations. For nearly two of the three months I was sick with scarlet fever. I also have memories of that. 

Getting back to the plane, I suppose my love affair started when I first eyes on it as we walked onto the tarmac. In those days you didn't board via some tunnel from inside the airport directly onto the plane. You walked up a stairway placed against the doorway of the plane. Anyway The image of that plane has stuck with me all these years. When I was a teenager I bought a plastic model kit of the plane. I don't know what prompted me to find a picture of the plane but there it was and once again it was love at first sight  again. I know it's only an image, but it is sleek and sexy and perhaps it did flick some pre-adolescence switch in my brain when I first set eyes on it. "I like it but I don't know why?"

I suppose you could also attach a Freudian angle to it as well. Go ahead. It may or may not be true. It also  brings back memories of that trip to Italy. And though I was only four I still have vivid memories of certain events of that time including the T.W.A. Super Constellation. In the end it's still a beautiful, timeless design. Appealing design never goes out of style.

This whole blog, like the Constellation, came out of the blue. I was going to change my header picture and attempt a refurbishing of my blog. I looked at the picture and was admiring it again, when I heard the hum of the engines in my mind and I flashed back to that little boy playing with a model airplane in the aisle of a Super Constellation, somewhere over the Atlantic in 1956.

I'm outta here.     


  1. I loved this post Paul. It was fun learning some more about your family. You sure were a cute little guy.

    Have a great weekend Bro. I hope you don't have to work.

  2. I so enjoy getting to know you more through your writings. You look like your sweet mother. I noticed the plane and also the Blogzilla in the clouds. Oh and what a cutie pie you were. Pinchable cheeks.

  3. Lovely post Paul interesting to learn about your family. My father was a travelling sales man so all three of us where born in different parts of England. Maybe that's where I get my wander lust from. Fab post thanks again for sharing your thought's with us.

  4. I LOVE memories when my friends blog. Nothing more interesting to me. really. Hope to see more.

  5. I love this. It's always great to learn about others. Helps us understand some of this world we live in. The picture was so cool.

  6. I can understand your nostalgia about that trip 'way back, Paul. It's more than the story of distance traveled; it's about time spent with your family, observing and interacting with strangers along the way, and the machinery that moved you from place to place. You had that beautiful aircraft; I had a Milwaukee Road passenger train (and I was a little older on that trip than you were on yours). I, too, remember the sounds of the vehicle--for me, it more a feeling of the vibrations through the bottoms of my feet. The way you feel about that magnificent plane is the way I feel about old trains.

    Do you find that, as time passes, a lot of those memories--like your plane trip--beg for their stories to be told? It's true for me, but the thing is, you have the gift for telling the true stories of where you've been, where I'm more comfortable with fiction; I wish I had your gift.

    Do you think you may write more about your time in Sicily? What was the landscape like? When you weren't ill, did you have opportunities to walk through hillsides and pastures whilst there? Was the food wonderful? Were there any parties or celebrations; other children to play with?

    I'm glad you've decided to stay put for now; for awhile there you talked about shutting down Blogzilla; I would've missed you and your own style of storytelling.
    Sadly, I'm not around the blogging neighborhood as much as I used to be, but it's nice to know that you, Toodie, and the others I've come to know are here. My world would be a little lonelier without you guys.

    Keep writing; you're good and you always have something interesting to say, even when you insist you're writing about nothing. Sometimes your "nothing" is more interesting than someone else's "something".

    ...and you'll always be a good egg in my eyes.

    Take care, my friend.

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  8. Thanks Marge and everyone. There are more pictures of Italy that I am not in possession of at the moment. As I said this blog just happened.

  9. Any more you would care to share would be welcome.

  10. I did notice that plane the last time I was here. I was raised around them on an Air Force Base. I love planes and flying. I hate the full body scanners they have now and the right to pat you down.. but better safe than have someone blow us up and getting back to your blog. I enjoyed your memories , and the photo. Made me think back too. I loved Marges comment also.