In Memory of J.B. Milano


Family Picnic Memorial Day

I remember when our neighborhood had a Memorial Day picnic at Freedom Park back in the 50's. I don't know who thought the idea up, but most of the families on our block joined in. We brought bats and balls, fishing poles an assortment of other items while our parents brought food and drink. The weather was perfect and after we had a big lunch our dads decided to play a game of softball as mothers and kids looked on. My dad was an avid spectator, he could handle a football, but anything smaller was trouble causing pain and bruises to different parts of the body when he failed to catch an incoming baseball. I didn't realize that some of our dads really had talent until they started playing the game. The game went about five innings when the fun went out only to be replaced with sore muscles, sprang fingers, bruised ego's, and just plain running out of gas. My younger brother Sam and I along with Milano brothers and Corry brothers found a spot under a weeping willow tree next the pond and tried our luck at fishing. We caught bream on white bread and hot dog buns until we tired of fishing. Sometime over in the afternoon a thunder storm formed and our mothers and dads came looking for us to get in the car so we wouldn't get struck by lightning. Our parents were throwing everything in the trunk of our cars as the storm moved in. They piled into the cars wet with rain and sweat taking one more count to see that all of us were in the car. As we sat there with an uneasy feeling that we were going to get struck by lightning my dad reached under the seat and pulled a bottle containing a brown liquid only to be scolded by my mother “Not if front of the Boys” my dad rolled his eyes at my mother and exclaimed it was nerve tonic and chased it with a hot coca cola. Finally the stormed past and we begin to pile out of the car to hot and sultry air. Parked next to us was the Milano family and Mr. Milano was bent over holding on the hood ornament throwing up on the front bumper. Mrs. Milano was waving her finger at him to leave the wine alone. Some families simply drove out headed home. Within the hour we all were home and our parents were putting stuff away. I got on my bike and headed to Milano house to see what John and I could get into next.