Lockdown Day 84: The Moon and NYC / Encierro Día 84: La Luna y NYC

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I DIDN’T GET CAUGHT BETWEEN the moon and New York City (the song at the bottom of the page), unless Belmont Lake State Park in the town of West Babylon on Long Island is where the song meant. That’s where the photo at top was taken exactly 65 years ago to the day. It was a family picnic, my mother’s extended family.

Other than blond and adorable me front and center, one of the few people I can identify is my favorite uncle, Aaron, in the background. The first word I ever said, “da-da,” was said to him one Sunday when he entered my grandparents’ apartment. He taught me how to ride a bike. He was whom I called when, at the age of 22, I returned to New York from Italy with a torn quadriceps muscle, and was then held captive (waited on hand and… leg) by him and my Aunt Lilly (my mother’s oldest sister) for three weeks.

I say held captive, because while I lay in bed in their guest room Aaron would tell me stories of his exploits out in the world. At the time, banks were offering free gifts — toaster ovens, blenders, coffee makers — with each new savings account opened. With his minimum deposits all over Brooklyn, Aaron had amassed a stockpile of free gifts. They sat on a closet shelf.

He also bought a new pair of shoes. He dickered on the price with the owner. The owner explained that he didn’t dicker; the price was the price. That didn’t stop Uncle Aaron. After a half hour of his arguments, the shop owner said, “Fine! Pay whatever you want! Just take the shoes and get out of my store!”

The other two I can identify in the photo are my mother and my grandmother. I’m sitting between my grandmother’s legs. I know it’s her because, at 12 months old, I’m almost as tall. (Also, there are the unmistakable rolled-down and knotted stockings.) My Mother the Dowager Duchess’s manicured hand is coming in from the left holding a Tupperware drinking glass (disgusting).

BUT BACK TO THE MOON. Last night as we sat down for dinner, the moon was just coming up in a partly cloudy sky. It was huge and very dramatic. I snapped whatever photos I could only to learn online during the night (when I was supposed to be sleeping) that it was called a Strawberry Moon, supposedly named by the Algonquin Native American tribes of eastern North America because they used its light to gather ripening strawberries. Here it’s more commonly known as the Rose Moon. It even included a penumbral eclipse (which, at its midpoint, darkens the lower edge of the moon).

So, if you didn’t already know these things, you’ve now learned something about the moon and about buying shoes wholesale. Aren’t you glad you stopped by?

Click the images and pick strawberries (or roses).


NO QUEDÉ ATRAPADO ENTRE LA luna y la ciudad de Nueva York (la canción al final de la página), a menos que el Parque Estatal del Lago Belmont en la ciudad de West Babylon en Long Island, sea el significado de la canción. Ahí es donde se tomó la foto en la parte superior hace exactamente 65 años. Fue un picnic familiar, la familia extendida de Mi Madre La Duquesa Viuda.

Además del rubio y adorable yo al frente y al centro, una de las pocas personas que puedo identificar es mi tío favorito, Aaron, en el fondo. La primera palabra que dije, “da-da” (papá), se le dijo un domingo cuando entró en el piso de mis abuelos. Me enseñó a andar en bicicleta. Él fue a quien llamé cuando, a la edad de 22 años, regresé a Nueva York desde Italia con un desgarro del cuádriceps, y luego él y mi tía Lilly (la hermana mayor de mi madre) lo mantuvieron cautivo (esperado en la mano y … en la pierna) durante tres semanas.

Lo llamo cautivo, porque mientras estaba acostado en la cama en su habitación de huéspedes, Aaron me contaba historias de sus hazañas en el mundo. En ese momento, los bancos ofrecían obsequios (hornos tostadores, licuadoras, cafeteras) con cada nueva cuenta de ahorros abierta. Con sus depósitos mínimos en todo Brooklyn, Aaron había acumulado una reserva de obsequios. Se sentaron en un estante del armario.

También compró un nuevo par de zapatos. Discutió el precio con el dueño. El dueño explicó que él no regateó con el precio; el precio era el precio. Eso no detuvo al tío Aaron. Después de media hora de sus argumentos, el dueño de la tienda dijo: “¡Bien! ¡Paga lo que quieras! ¡Solo toma los zapatos y sal de mi tienda!”

Los otros dos que puedo identificar en la foto son mi madre y mi abuela. Estoy sentado entre las piernas de mi abuela. Sé que es ella porque, a los 12 meses, soy casi tan alto. (Además, están las inconfundibles medias enrolladas y anudadas). La mano de Mi Madre la Duquesa Viuda viene desde la izquierda sosteniendo un vaso Tupperware (asqueroso).

PERO VOLVAMOS A LA LUNA. Anoche, cuando nos sentamos a cenar, la luna estaba saliendo en un cielo parcialmente nublado. Fue enorme y muy dramático. Tomé todas las fotos que solo pude aprender en línea durante la noche (cuando se suponía que estaba durmiendo) que se llamaba Strawberry Moon (Luna Fresa), supuestamente nombrada así por las tribus nativas americanas algonquinas del este de Norteamérica porque usaron su luz para recolectar fresas maduras. Aquí se la conoce más comúnmente como la Luna Rosa. Incluyó un eclipse penumbral (que, en su punto medio, oscurece el borde inferior de la luna).

Entonces, si aún no sabías estas cosas, ahora has aprendido algo sobre la luna y sobre comprar zapatos al por mayor. ¿No te alegra que te hayas detenido?

Haz clic en las imágenes y recoge fresas (o rosas).

Back to 1955. Speaking of “someone that turns your heart around,” that’s my sister Dale in front, one of my mother’s five sisters to the left, and The Dowager Duchess with me (and Grandma) in background.
De vuelta a 1955. Hablando de “alguien que de vuelta tu corazón”, ella es mi hermana Dale al frente, una de las cinco hermanas de mi madre a la izquierda, y la duquesa viuda conmigo (y la abuela) en segundo plano.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

32 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 84: The Moon and NYC / Encierro Día 84: La Luna y NYC”

  1. Beautiful hair your sister had! You guys loved to picnic I see. FAmilies seemed to do that more back then.
    SO overcast here that the moon was not visible to us. Great photos!
    What a classic song!

    1. Jim:
      Yeah, Dale was a natural. We continued having picnics with my parents’ friends. I don’t know of many more with my mother’s extended family, although in summer we all met on the beach many Sundays.

    1. James:
      Thanks. I keep talking about setting up our tripod and scope on the terrace. That would certainly improve the quality of those photos.

  2. I don’t have to play the song, I was singing it in my head upon seeing the blog title.

    you and dale. sweet memories.

    and that moon; we were rainy and cloudy last night, so no rose moon for us. 🙁

    1. anne marie:
      The layer of clouds made the moon more magical that night, but it did completely disappear at one point. I was glad I got to see it. And, yeah, always sweet memories of Dale. You and I are very similar, I think, when it comes to song references. (I know it’s crazy, but it’s true… ooh ooh.)

  3. Wonderful old family photos. I remember a grandmother with the stockings rolled down like that – drove my mother batty to see that.

    1. David:
      My grandmother’s dresses always hid the rolled-down stockings, until she sat down.

  4. We had moon but it looked more tangerine than strawberry.

    And Jim is right. I don’t think people picnic like they used to … my family also picnicked a lot when I was a kid.

    1. Bob:
      It’s funny how so many news sites (and individuals) tinted their photos to make the moon look strawberry, when that’s not even why it’s got that name. Our extended family picnics ended in those early years, but we then would regularly meet on the beach on Sundays in summer… which was still basically a picnic. We had an annual picnic with my parents’ childhood friends (often at that same park). I tended to dread that one. The women played mah jongg and the men played softball and poker. No mixing.

  5. Your sister’s face is priceless. How poignant it must feel for you to hold that photo.

    Wish I had taken a photo of the moon that night—it was back-lighting clouds or peaking in between them as storm clouds gathered. Stood at the kitchen door in the dark watching it for quite a while. Your scenes were much more soothing, but maybe both our views were reflective of the conditions where we each live at the moment.

    1. Mary:
      Yeah, it had been an especially difficult week and that photo made me teary. What times we’re living.

  6. Fantastic moon photos! I love its rosy pink-orange hue and the filmy clouds. And yes, those Tupperware glasses were disgusting. They’d always get all stained inside. I love the old photos, though, and the stories of your uncle’s exploits! Why would anyone want a shelf full of toasters and coffee makers?

    1. Steve:
      I could never drink from Tupperware. My mother actually kept hers for 40 or more years. We were once having a garage sale in Connecticut around 1990 and she tried to get me to fill up a box with all her old, discolored, unburpable Tupperware. To sell! At first I argued, then I took a bunch and threw it out when I got home. When she died in 2016, there were still cabinets full of it. Even SHE wouldn’t use it. “Why would anyone want a shelf full of toasters and coffee makers?” Easy! Because they were FREE!!!

    1. Debra:
      Aaron was the best! We adored him. And he WAS a card. He always had time for the kids in the family. Always made us laugh. Lilly was 9 years older than my mother, 18 years older than the youngest in the family. So, she and Aaron were like second parents to my mother. For some reason, Aaron nicknamed my mother “Magoo” when he met her when she was 9. He had no nicknames for anyone else in the family. So when she had kids, we became The Magoos… which reminds me of another story I need to tell.

  7. Wispy and rose-tinted – the moon and the family shots. So very sweet. (Except for the nasty tupperware glass.)

    1. Wilma:
      Drinking from Tupperware. Blech! You could always taste that odd plastic. SG thinks that’s why he grew up hating milk. His mother used Tupperware “glasses” in the house for the kids. Thankfully, my mother only used it for picnics.

    1. Judy:
      So do I. Last week I wished I could have shared the photo with her.

    1. Cheapchick:
      As I’m sure you know by now, I, too, love old family shots… and I have a lot of them. Wish I had even more. Hope you’re doing well.

  8. You were a cute baby. I must say your mother hardly looks like a dowager in that second picture. I half-expect to see Laura Petrie behind those sunglasses.

    I’ve opened both a savings and checking account, and never got anything. I feel gipped.

    1. Kirk:
      I WAS cute, wasn’t I? What happened?!? The photo of my mother was BEFORE she became the Dowager. At that time, she was just another Duchess. And, yeah, Laura Petrie could have been styled on my mother. Except my mother was rarely out of heels! She said she felt like she was falling over backwards in sneakers. Even her slippers had heels. I think it was through much of the 1970s in NYC that there were free gifts for opening bank accounts. And I think all you needed to do was deposit $10! Aaron had accounts all over Brooklyn when he died, and there were still appliiances in that closet! Amazingly, now that I think about it, when I got my own apartment in Brooklyn in the late ’70s, he didn’t give me anything! I had to buy a toaster oven!

  9. Your uncle Aaron seemed to be a great and really persuasive man. I related to him when you said he taught you how to ride your bike since a couple of days ago Luke learnt how to do it with a bike with pedals. I can´t say I actually taught him since I barely hold him a couple of times and gave him some advice. Anyway. Beautiful moon. I wonder if you had dinner at your balcony or somewhere else. Love you and miss you guys.

    1. Pedro:
      I have to pull out a picture of me on my first bike to send to Luke. The video of him riding was shocking. He REALLY took off! We have NEVER had dinner ON the balcony, but we were right nearby in the living room. I loved my uncle Aaron and my aunt Lilly). So did Dale… well, so did my parents. He and my father were closest of the brothers-in-law, really enjoyed each other’s company. Miss you all so much, too!

  10. I like Uncle Aaron. I hope he shows up again. I want to know what he did with all the free gifts for opening accounts. The DD might have been holding that Tupperware cup for you. You look as if you were old enough to drink out of a plastic cup. It’s not a good idea to give a glass to a small child. Favorite Young Man chewed on the edge of a glass and broke it. We had to make sure we got all the shards out of his mouth. But that was back when he was 39. Now he’s 40 and probably able to appreciate crystal.


    1. Janie:
      Yep, the Duchess WAS giving me something to drink.I remember another photo of me with my face in the cup (but I haven’t come across it again). I was just about to turn a year old in that photo. So glad Favorite Young Man has outgrown that glass-chewing phase. Every “child” must go through that, but I somehow missed it. I don’t know what Uncle Aaron did with all those gifts. I know some were still in the closet when he died more than 20 years later. He certainly never gave ME anything from that stash.

  11. Every moon has a name these days. Why, when I was a kid, there was just one moon. It was a phase. I’ll alert the media. Now get off my lawn!

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I agree with you! I don’t know how I lived this long without knowing (or ever even hearing of) all the names for all these different moons. Damn kids.

    1. Urspo:
      Thanks. Sometimes, I get lost in these old photos… or in the moonrise.

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