Friday, May 20, 2011

Porcine Surprise

Proof that I am indeed my father's son arrived on my door step electronically the other morning.  Some time ago in this space I told the story that my first recollection of seeing the World Trade Center was driving with my Dad when I was just a sprout and watching him point across the Hudson River at them and saying, "See those two buildings.  I taught the sons of the man who built those buildings."  To this day I have no idea how much of that statement was truth and how much was a Dad-ism.  I love it though because it reinforced my old man's efforts to channel his inner Zelig.  From his unique perspective, that was what the Twin Towers were.....two colossal buildings built by the father of (apparently) at least two of his students. 

How well did I take that lesson to heart?  Well enough, I am embarrassed to admit that among the things I thought about on September 11, 2001 was how pissed off my old man must have been to have seen the destruction of the Twin Towers for - after all -they were buildings built by a man whose sons he had taught. 

Earlier this week the Boulder Daily Camera reported on the demise of a store on the Pearl Street Mall called "Paper Dolls".  I do not believe that it existed when I was a student at CU a lifetime ago - although given that unique gifts and knick-knacks are things that I had even less need to purchase then than I do now, it very well might have without my knowledge.  Regardless of its sketchy relationship with me, it is closing its doors forever - and quite soon. 

My interest in the story was not about the demise of the store.  Rather it was the reference to the festive fiberglass pig that sits outside of its front door on Pearl Street.  The story included a picture of a child sitting on the pig.  Cute kid to be sure.  But not even close to being the best photo - or even the second best photo ever taken of someone sitting upon it. 

Two summers ago, shortly after Suzy B died, Joe decided to accompany Margaret and me on our great Western adventure to visit Rob - who at that time lived in Cheyenne Wyoming.  The last full day we spent out West we took Joe to Boulder to check out where I went to school and to check out the Flatirons.  On the way out of town, we stopped downtown so we could walk around on Pearl Street.  And with the soul of the child that is contained within his grandfatherly frame, he was drawn to the pig outside of Paper Dolls like a moth to the flame. 

Do not believe for a moment that I am the only one in our family who enjoys those two shots.  Margaret made Joe a scrapbook of his trip out West almost immediately after we arrived home in late July.  Both of these shots were among that collection's conversation pieces.

R.I.P. Paper Dolls.  In my case, I never knew ye.  Thank you though for your fiberglass pig.  It provided a few minutes of amusement and a lifetime of good memories to my father-in-law, my wife, my son and me during a summer in which amusement and good memories were both in dangerously short supply....

.....that's all folks.


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