Monday, January 11, 2010

The Character we all Need

Remember the "character" on your block when you were growing up. Well, we all had one, and most of the time they were older than us. And in no way am I saying that the "character" was a clown or someone to laugh at. No, they could have been someone you looked up to or even taught you your first curse word.

Now on my block the were many characters, from Bobby Wilson to Sam Goldfeather. They were people we saw every day, either hanging out on their porch or walking up the block drunk with a cane. They could have been Jewish, Irish, Black, Italian, just about any race, shape or size. But what made them a "character" was usually what they said and what we learned from them.

Yeah, sitting around him on the stoop late at night, or leaning against a fence on East Fourth listening to all his war stories about growing up in Brooklyn. And the stories were all interesting and made you laugh, because otherwise you wouldn't be there listening. Or maybe you looked for the "character" every time you went to Izzy and Bennies candy store on McDonald Avenue. Someone who may have been smoking a cigar and wearing sunglasses at night time, and cursing at you as their own special way of greeting you.

"Hey you F_ _ king A_ _ hole where da hell have you been?"

Never getting mad when the character cursed at you, because you knew he actually loved you, and his cursing was just his way of letting you know that.

And today I'm very worried about our kids and the lack of characters. This world we live in has gotten so bland and soul-less, maybe it's this political correctness bullshit thats turning everyone into a pussy. I don't know, but I feel sorry for all these young people who have no "character" in their lives. No one to listen to telling stories on the stoop, no one to call them a F_ _king A_ _ hole as a form of greeting in some candy store on McDonald Avenue.

A real shame I tell you, a real damn shame.

Yes, the "character", we all had one when we were growing up. And I'd like you to tell me about the "character" you remembered when you lived in Kensington. Because I don't know if it's me, but I just don't feel we have enough of them today. And that makes me sad, because someday my kids may need someone to learn a real good curse word from.

And I don't want to be their only teacher.

Ron Lopez


Anonymous said...

Our Good Humor man was just one of ours over on E8th, he sold knishes out of his truck, and if you asked for mustard, he would write FUCK on it with the squeeze bottle. He was harmless and he made us crack up every day with his antics, and not one of us ran home and told our mother.. Hey mom Ralph just wrote fuck on my knish! Now everything they know comes via texting, the drunk lady can't send you for beer anymore when you're 10 either, Will

Spinner said...

Lopez, Have your asshole kids call me, I'll tell them a few fucking stories...about their father, how he's a character. What about the shopping cart guy in the fatigues? Remember he would crash the cart up the block and curse every time it hit a bump?