Archive for April 21st, 2011

Traffic Watching (odd childhood 2)

My father was a bit eccentric. He claimed his favorite music was “Cuban Opera” and bagpipe music, for a time he sported an elaborate “British Sgt. Majors” mustache, he wanted me to name one of my bands “The Haggis Heads” and one of his favorite activities was traffic watching. Now I don’t know if “traffic watching” is a legit activity but my dad raised it to an art. Summer on the Jersey Shore meant sunday afternoon traffic jams on the north bound side of the Garden State Parkway. Every sunday afternoon the parkway looked like a parking lot. So in the late afternoon on most sundays the four of us would pile into the car (’74 green Ford Torino station wagon) and head over to a quiet road that ran next to the parkway north. We’d pull over on to the dirt shoulder and parked. We’d sit there and watch the backed up traffic, we’d be there for a while, sometimes we’d bring a light picnic. My brother and I would read comics and my mom usually had a book with her. My dad would laugh softly and occasionally point out a particularly vexed driver. Then when he’d had enough we’d head home, with dad in a markedly better mood.

me with the Torino

Dad with his fabled radish crop