I have been thinking about Found In America for a very long time. It was my good intention to launch it a while ago, but the revitalization of Innovasion in June 2012 got in the way. I am now very slowly beginning to introduce FIA. I wrote this blog entry in March 2012 when I thought I was getting close to launching my newest endeavor. I have a few more stories to share….here is the first.
Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home! Home! And this is my room – and you’re all here!
And I’m not going to leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all!
And – Oh, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home!!
There’s no place like home – the very last words of my favorite movie. The Wizard of Oz is a treasure because of the memories I have that are tucked deep inside.
The first memory is of me being a child and at the age of five, watching The Wizard of Oz at the Colonial Theater in South Philadelphia. It is no longer there, but my memory of that time is still with me.
My memory is of walking to the movies and going to George’s ice cream parlor afterwards. The ice cream parlor had authentic ice cream tables and chairs and the menu was written on the blackboard. There was a counter and soda fountain. Not a “retro” design, but the real deal. Because back then it was real – they didn’t know they were retro. George’s was owned by a mother and son. I do not know how old George or his mother were when I was only five, but my memory makes me think he was 75 and she was 95. (They could have been 40 and 60, because when you are five, everyone is old). Now that I am 62, 75 is now middle age and 95 is the new 75.
George’s left such an impression on me that my fantasy business was to open an ice cream parlor and call it “George’s.” I have had this fantasy for more than 40 years, long before there were national chains like Friendly’s and Stone Cold Creamery.
Time has gone by and I still want to open my fantasy business – but I have given up the name George’s and replaced it with a new name. My fantasy has expanded – it is not my business, it is the business that I will own with my granddaughter. Caroline is only seven, but I will wait for her to grow up. Her parents have told me that there are child labor laws.
The ice cream parlor’s new name will be Pink Elephants. I was with Caroline a few months ago and we were wearing our pink pajamas. We were talking about having an ice cream parlor business and Caroline said that we could eat all the ice cream we wanted. I told her she was exactly right and then we would become Pink Elephants.
As I move back in time, I fast forward to me being the mother of my first two sons, Matthew and Michael, when they were three and five. A time before VCR’s, DVD’s TiVo and DVR’s, the Wizard of Oz was broadcast once a year. Making popcorn and watching The Wizard of Oz with my little boys, and having them see the magic of the movie….still fills my heart with joy.
While Dorothy came to the conclusion that “There’s no place like home,” and I do believe this, I also believe that home is where the heart is. Therefore, I start my blog with what I have Found In America that is for sale – but that I will not very likely buy.
March 21, 2012 was my 62nd birthday, and my husband Larry took me to South Philly for my birthday dinner (and had my best friend Linda and her husband Mike there to surprise me). More memories made – a thoughtful husband, dear, cherished friends, wonderful food and a one hour mini opera performance during coffee and dessert. The evening was topped off by Larry driving me down Memory Lane. Whenever we are in South Philly, he takes me down 10th and Tree, past the house where I was born. When I was 12, we moved South – to South Jersey. Even though I was only 12 when we moved, I knew I was leaving memories behind. One memory was as a little girl playing stick ball with the boys on the street and wishing that every day like this one could be 1,000 days – I never wanted the day to end.
The house where I was born, 1013 Tree Street, is for sale. Even though it was past 10:00, the woman who lived next door was sitting on her steps. When I saw the sale sign, I jumped out to take a picture (with my phone of course), and asked her about the house. I told her I had lived there 50 years ago (and as I spoke those words, my brain was saying “really?” – that’s not possible).
The woman next door told me that the lady that lived in the house lived there for almost that long – she had just moved out last Spring. I have come to learn that Jenny now lives with her son in Florida. I checked out the price of the house on-line. Apparently, it had been purchased by investors and they completely gutted the inside and made it into a “well appointed townhome.” But, no matter how “well appointed” it is – it is still only 725 sf.
725 sf is not a lot of space for a family of five. My parents did not own the home, they only rented it, and we moved to South Jersey because my parents’ bought their first and only home at the ages of 50 and 48.
Amazingly at the age of 62, I have the opportunity to buy a piece of my history, but unfortunately, I can’t afford it. The house would have been a consideration if I had “found” the house before the investors did. I will hope that the family that does buy the house will make memories in it that they will treasure in their hearts.
This blog entry is a tribute to my mother and father and what I learned from them. I have never been afraid of losing anything material because my most valuable possessions in this life are my family and my friends that I have “found” along the way.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also