Friday 30 Sep 2016

Yours, Mine, Ours
AJ Robinson

Now, some people will hear that phrase and immediately think of the old Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda comedy movie. In this case, it refers to something completely different. When my Dad and I moved into the old cottage on New York Avenue (in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard), we found a whole bunch of different things there. Some were obvious: pots, pans, beach towels, and so on.

Well, in a small cabinet were a glass pitcher and two small glasses. The pitcher had the word "Ours" painted on the side, and the two glasses had "Yours" and "Mine" on them. I pulled them out, dusted them off, and set them out for us to use. At first, I had no idea what to put in them, but then I remembered that Dad and I had just recently begun drinking iced tea.

So, about once a week, I'd get out the good old Lipton's Iced Tea Mix, and whip up a pitcher of the stuff. Yeah, I know, you're supposed to make it yourself with real tea bags, and then put the sugar and lemon to suit your personal taste. Well, I just wasn't any good at getting that to taste right. Whereas, the prepared powder stuff was - to my taste buds - perfect.

We'd sit out on the front porch, watch the world go by, and share a pitcher or two (or three) as he'd regale me with some of his old stories. Sometimes it was about his summer on Sawyer Island with his family, the year they ran the inn there. Other times he'd talk about being an assistant pastry chef in a Miami Hotel back during the Great Depression. And, of course, there were his war stories. Oh, I could listen to those for hours - even though I'd heard them all before.

There was the tale of his enlistment, faking out that green lieutenant to get ammunition so his men could get some live fire practice before shipping out, disarming bombs in North Africa, traveling up the "boot" of Italy, and - of course - meeting Mom.

These days, I know it's PC for men to be in touch with their feelings, and for fathers and sons to show emotion, tell each other that they love them, and all that sort of stuff. But, back then, for me and my Dad, this was our special way to share our feelings, and feel truly close to each other. Looking back, I know it wasn't much; just iced tea on a front porch.

Yet, for me, it's a very special memory. Oh, and the pitcher and glasses? Yeah, I still have them to this day.

Click here for more by AJ Robinson.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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