Growing Up Rich

Did you grow up Rich?
I did.

Ocean Beach Ferry

I see the throngs headed toward Penn Station
from their Manhattan Dwellings every Friday…
Struggling with bags and juggling train schedules,
Paying Fares on the LIRR or NEW JERSEY TRANSIT,
and on taxis and ferries
Just to get out to some tiny house they own
so that they can enjoy a sliver of sunshine.

When I was a Kid, My Father gave us the Ocean
And the Sky.

We were simply awakened at sunrise from our beds in our Bronx Apartment, piled into the car,
and driven a half hour to Sherwood Island or Jones Beach
We didn’t have to struggle and juggle
And we were not limited to some small piece of land we owned.

Sandy Beach
We rushed into the park at Sunrise, threw all the picnic tables together
And the entire extended Family enjoyed the Entire Park,
Beach, Shower Facilities, LookOut Points…
We would have stopped at the Bagel Bakery on Allerton Avenue for 96 Bagels
(and a Dozen Rolls just in case!)
The Barbeque Grills were set out
The Adults took care of the Food
And the Kids Played in the Sunshine

Family Picnic

Family PicnicThe Beaches were So Expansive
Unlimited Ocean
And All Ours
There were other Families there and we were only too Happy to Share.
In Fact, when additional Cousins, or Friends and their Families wanted to come along, we were completely Welcoming
The More we Shared, The More we had to Share
The More we gave away, The More the Beach was Ours…

And Movies

Movie Theater Drapes
Somehow there were Movies every Saturday
at the Bainbridge Theatre in the Bronx
And if you ducked down after the Movie and hid,
the Movie Matron would occasionally turn a blind eye
and let you stay to see the next showing for Free.
But we had Movies…
Not on our Phone as a Convenience, but at a Theater as an Event.
Not on a one-inch Screen, but on the Big Screen
Not in a multiplex, but in a theater that existed just to show that Film
That Day
Just to Me.

Did you Grow up with Your own Bed?
With Pillows — Sleeping on Soft Pillows Every Night?
And Clean Sheets, just like a Hotel, except that MAMA was washing them
Every two or three days
And Hot and Cold Running Water
And an Electric Osterizer Blender for Morning Egg Nog*
Precursor to the Smoothie and the Protein Shake

And a Telephone
And a Television Set in the Living Room
A Living Room
Sunlit Sky
And vacations to the occasional rented Cottage or Motel by the Beach
Just for a few days
We owned nothing
But when we walked outside at night in these places,
There was no small patch of sky
There was an Infinite Star-Filled Sky
All for us
And The More we Shared, The More we had to Share
The More we gave away, The More the Stars were Ours…

Starlit Sky

Other people had a pool in their yard
Mom and Dad made great efforts to take us to visit them.
How sad, I would think, that they only had this small cement square filled with water, when we had the entire Ocean.
I felt So Rich!
There was School: Education from Kindergarten all the way through College
There was the Nurturing of Dreams
And the Fulfillment of Promise

There were Drives in a car with four wheels
And visits to Lots of People.
There were Lots of people Visiting
And MAMA always made a dinner that every guest agreed was
“Better than any Restaurant”
And there was Always So Much Food…
Such Abundance…
mqFmyoANELHLKzh82PlKP5A Lorelei-Playbill-01-74 Man-of-la-Mancha-Playbill-06-72 Broadway Shows
There were Broadway Shows for special occasions
Like my Graduation from Grammar School…
Balcony Tickets were about $8.00 then
But it was the same RICHARD KILEY and JOAN DEINER…
that were seen from the Orchestra Seats.
Sometimes MOM would invite relatives and friends
and we’d go as a large group.
And The More we Shared, The More we had to Share
The More we Gave Away, The More the Experience was Ours…

Did you grow up Rich?
I did.

Mom & Dad, who made it all possible...

Mom & Dad, who made it all possible…









Recipe for EGG NOG

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  1. Wealth indeed. You grew up with the very best kind, and now we enjoy the riches you write about.

  2. Yes I grew up rich too—glad I was able to share some of those same riches with you


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