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The Blog Brothers

Two Black-Irish-American brothers from the mythical city of Albany, New York ponder their 20th century adventures from either side of the Pacific Ocean; Bob in Kyoto, Japan and Mick in Santa Barbara, California.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Newspaper of the Living Dead

You forgot to mention one other place on that route, Mick:

At last we've got some weather I can call cold, I who grew up in upstate New York just south of the north pole where winter weather meant daggery January winds racing howling down from the north with ice in their teeth as we teens stood thin-clad on the thickly rimed streetcorners at night bein cool, hangin out, it just doesn't seem to get that cold any more, a situation that frequently prompts my intro: "Why when I was a boy...," begetting that roll of the teenage eyes in the vicinity "Oh no, not that story again, about the weather..."

Yeah, and when I was 9 years old my brother and I used to take turns going out at 5 a.m. in NY winter blizzards to deliver the morning newspaper before going off to school, and those were blizzards like you don't see anymore. One place we used to deliver the papers to, in the heart of wintry darkness, was the big old cemetery out beyond the edge of town.

None of the dead subscribed, but the cemetery caretaker did, and he lived in the big old Addams family type caretaker's mansion with its pointy spires and tall narrow windows, right in the middle of the very big graveyard beyond the high, creaking, speartipped, slowly opening cast iron gate, through which you went alone down the long wide deep-snow walk in the dark beneath the high arching bare-limbed, howling and arm-waving elm trees, toward the big plate-glass-windowed doors that glowed with a sinister nightlight there in the distance through the screaming wind that spit snowflakes in your face; and right from the first screech of that heavy gate there began to sound from the lower depths of the house an infernal howling, a devilish moaning, long and lowing, yearning for the flesh of a young paperboy...

What ghosts must live here after all these years would race unbidden through my 9-year-old mind surrounded by graves, the keepers of the air brushing my face with the whispering touch of the dead...

That soul-chilling yowl was the eccentric caretaker's herd of Great Dane hellhounds, each twice my height on its hind legs, yearning pent up all night in the silent house until there was my sound...

Then as I approached their home the hounds arose from the cellar depths and began their clacking, howling gallop along the long wood-floored corridor from the back of the house to the front door, timing their journey perfectly in the dim light of winter dawn so that just as I reached the doorway and was about to place the newspaper on the doormat safely out of reach of the drifting snow, all those massive front paws would strike the giant plate glass windows of the doors like bearclawed catcher's mitts and send a whang of a bonging gong shuddering thoughout the dead-air house and me and the immediate universe and the dogs would commence to boom their deep bass roar-bellows over and over, slavering the glass, embodying the ice-toothed morning air as I turned and hastened toward the gate, thankful that again the glass had held, that once more I was beyond the monsters' reach, at least until another wintry dawn...

Those were interesting times... And that was cold that was cold... You don't get weather like that anymore...

Why, when I was a boy...

[posted an earlier version of this on PureLandMountain.com]

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Blogger Maxine Montale (a.k.a. Digital Femme) said...

Bob, Mick, this is brilliant! Special! Endearing! Timeless .. etc ...

I've read all that was listed under 'recent posts' and now need to work my way forwards from the first October post.

This collaboration, well, it needs to be published as a book!
But where or where and how will it end? What sacred story will be saved for the last chapter? And when?

It reminds me almost of Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine!

I am your number one fan and reader!!!!

~ Carmen

5:15 AM  
Blogger Mick Brady said...


Thanks for the passionate words of encouragement; can't wait to check out your podcasts. Who knew that when the brave new world finally arrived, we would be using its 'cold' technology to share the deepest parts of our lives. Human, all too human.


11:26 AM  
Blogger Robert Brady said...

Yes, thanks, Carmen, for your generous words and the kindness of taking the time. Ago is a beautiful place, from where Mick and I are now. A pleasure to share.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I'm working backwards and the stories just keep getting better.
Thanks- ted

6:39 PM  

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