Sunday, August 31, 2014

June 2, 1999 - A Poem To My Nephew

A week or so ago, I posted a poem my dad wrote to his first grandson, Drew.  Here's a poem written a few years later for his second, my nephew Chris:
June, 2, 1999

Christopher David's 2nd Birthday

Well! Well! Christopher look at you!

While we weren't looking, you turned TWO!

You turned TWO before our eyes!

What a marvelous surprise

You learned the sound a tugboat makes

And how to eat those tasty-cakes

You learned to YEAH! When all else fails

No matter if its heads or tails

We knew as soon as you could walk

Not far behind you'd learn to talk

And talk you did for us to hear

And be so proud that we will cheer

"To Christopher David who is now TWO

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to You!"

Albert Andrew DeAngelo I

[All formatting, punctuation and capitalization in original]

I held Chris for the first time when he was about a week old.  There's a picture of it somewhere and it shows me, in round glasses and a white button down, my head just beginning to clear itself of that pesky wavy hair that helmeted me in my youth, holding a new born boy who slept, made some odd crackling noises (a mystery to me still) and then unceremoniously pooped.  I'm pretty sure I handed Chris back to his mother at that point.

Some context on the poem is needed.  In lines 7-8, Dad is referencing a guessing game he played with Chris.  This is what I remember: Dad would take a coin and spin it on a table top and ask Chris to guess, before the coin stopped spinning, whether it would come up heads or tails.  If Chris guessed correctly he got a point.  If not, he didn't.  After 4 or 5 points, Chris always won the game and did a little celebratory dance each time he won.  It was very cute every time it happened.  About as cute as Drews "Lord of the Dance" dance.  But that's another story.

The line just before (line 6) needs some explanation as well.  My dad was born in Trenton and thus grew up in the culinary shadow of the mighty Tastykake.  Dad loved Tastykakes and was obviously overjoyed that his grandson (even at TWO) was taking to them kindly as well.  Growing up in Southern New England, we discovered that while they weren't exactly unknown, Tastykakes were certainly not a major player in the local snack kake cake market.  There was Hostess and Entenmann's and Drakes to be sure, but my memory is that a Tastykake find was indeed a rare one.  Mom wasn't a big fan of the Tastykake - which is a huge mystery to me as I am, like my father before me, among the Tastykake addicted.

One Christmas I surprised Dad with some Tastykakes:

Yea, they were probably gone by the middle of January.

No comments:

Post a Comment