Miracle on Saint Mark’s Place

What Was Grandma Maggie Doing On February 2, 1937 on Saint Mark’s Place in Manhattan?????

She was having her baby!!!  Happy happy day!!! Grandma finally had her baby.  On this day, February 2 in 1937, Timothy Duffield was born.

Did you know, then, Grandma who you had in your arms?  My uncle Tee! Curly-haired brown-eyed sailor boy all the girls loved. Mischievous, charismatic (in a quiet way), who seemed to have talent with everything he tried.  Straight A student at Rye High School, graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, bright young star at JC Penney, lived in a first floor apartment with a fireplace in Chelsea, Manhattan, read every book anyone ever put in front of him, seemed to know a little or a lot of each question you asked, and when in doubt, faked it beautifully. Uncle T, a man of few words until he storytold, and then could do so for hours with a touch of the savant, learned to upholster furniture for the hell of it, owned an antique custom wood boat with his best friend Asa. Tee, the father of two girls and a bachelor for years after his divorce, knew every pizza parlor and bar of New York from the meat packing district to the edge of Harlem, but favored best the Cornelia Street Café. Uncle Tee who my mother, Kasha adored, and he back, who came by train to Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas Eve at our house when I was a little girl, and sat like a sentry with an amused smile on his face and ate with relish everything on his plate but the vegetables. Uncle Tee curious and not afraid of the world, hired a limo when my mother and I flew to see him one Christmas.  Uncle Tee the first person I knew to own a computer, who saved all my letters and emails because he said one day I would be a writer, died of a heart attack when I was 28, died owning three apartments in New York, a house in Dallas near the JC Penney headquarters and a time share in Hawaii. At his funeral friends who had known him for 60 years would speak.  My family would huddle in a fierce winter wind and throw his ashes off the rocks of Sachem’s Head, where as a little boy he used to swim and sail and run along the seaweed, calling to his mother, my grandma, so he could show her the shine in the shells he’d found.

But grandma doesn’t know that yet. She knows only that she is a young woman with her very first baby, a little boy, born healthy on February 2d, a few days past his due date. And now she has three long weeks to rest. Which we will let her do, not bothering her at all until she emerges again and tells us what it is like to have a new baby boy on Saint Mark’s Place in Manhattan, 1937.

Until then we are grateful for our guest bloggers. Every single submission coming in is fascinating and fabulous and different from the next. We have novelists and puppeteers and poets and we have grandmas that will absolutely make your headspin they are so magnificent. Stay tuned everyone…  And if you are a guest blogger who would like to tell us about your grandmother, write me and let me know!

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4 Responses to “Miracle on Saint Mark’s Place”

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