Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday sayings

I thought I'd start a new thread in my RR ramblings and go back and pick up on our family sayings and talk about some of the times when my dad or mom would come out with the particular words that made up those sayings.

This week:  "I feel my blindness coming on."

Most of the family love this story.  Yeah, they can laugh and enjoy it.  They weren't part of the awfulness of having their father grab hold tight of their tiny hand, and pretend he was blind in the middle of downtown Philadelphia, as he started singing, "Abide with me."

It all started on one of my early visits to Philadelphia with my father.  We were heading over to 15th and Chestnut to see Dr. Feldman, a chirpractor.  My father was a big chripractor supporter.  To get there, we got off a bus which we picked up in Runnemede (#21 or #31) at 12th and Market and started to walk toward City Hall, in Philly.  After we got off the bus, of course, I took my dad's hand.  He had with him an umbrella.  He never went to Philly without his umbrella. 

All of a sudden I noticed that he had gripped my hand more tightly.  I looked up at him, and he smiled and said, "I feel my blindness coming on."  Huh?  What did that mean.  I was about to find out.

Dad started to sing "Abide with me", he took off his hat and held it in front of him using his umbrella (with the same hand) as a cane, pretending he was blind. 

This was not, to me, a funny tease, since there were several beggars who really had problems on the street near where my father's "blindness " hit him. 

Did I learn my lesson?  No.  The next time we went to visit Dr. Feldman and he took me with him, he did it again!  Am I stupid or what?  It seems to me that daddy must have pulled that trick four or five times before I finally learned not to hold on to his hand on Market Street in Philadelphia.  If I wasn't attached to him I could pretend I didn't know him, making his "blindness" all his own, and not involving me in his little "joke."


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