Christmas 1972

Bobby looks very solemn with his Snoopy pajamas and Bicentennial kitsch drum, but sooner rather than later that drum’s gonna a receive a whack too hard and off to the trash it goes. Not that I blame him any — I mean, what good is a drum to a child if he can’t thrash it, right? I salute my parents for selflessly feeding us rock-ish instruments again and again, with the final upshot, after many formative years of clangs and bangs and disembowelingly huge bass sounds, being 1) a son who spent some years drumming on a professional basis 2) another son who spent some years DJing weddings and parties on a professional basis 3) yet another son who reviews records on a semi-professional basis. (Go me.)

Mom has clear memories of Jerry Lee Lewis playing the Brooklyn Paramount; the really shocking thing to her was not the sex & religion thing but seeing him DISRESPECT the piano. Growing up, pianos were not to be toyed with, they were expensive and your key to mobility up and out of Brooklyn. But (I’m supposing) the family was already out of Brooklyn anyway. The family ended up largely avoiding “proper” instruments, maybe thanks to my parents obnoxious recollections of endless piano lessons: some family photos show an upright piano in this room that disappears prior to my existence and I even wanted to learn the violin at elementary school but I vaguely recall my parents discouraging it.

Also, you can’t really see it but right next to Bert is a card or a box (hard to tell) with a flag on the moon and an astronaut waving hello; the final American lunar landing was only days before, and God, what a waste of time that all seems now. I also salute my parents for feeding us with mild patriotism, though the good that did us has been largely fuck-all.

Here my parents first employ a trick of placing “stocking stuffers” (gifts not really significant enough to be wrapped) on large patterned sleeping bags, giving the illusion that the floor is covered with more stuff there’s more than there really is, which is still quite a lot of stuff. And this isn’t even Christmas proper yet — the unwrapping of the REAL presents, following tradition, would be much later in the afternoon.