Submitted for your approval: a December ramble. Another holiday season is upon us all. And I know full well that there are still twenty-four hours in a day and three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. Those certifiable facts of life haven’t changed since the day I was born and some time before that. But, really, it seems like only yesterday that it was Christmastime here in the Bronx, and that my steadfast mailman was delivering the mail in his summer garb—postal shorts, plastic safari hat, and sans a jacket—on Christmas Eve. The temperature was in the seventies that day, and summer’s annual plants hadn’t yet been done in by a frost. That’s seventy degrees Fahrenheit, by the way. In the early 1970s in St. John’s grammar school, I recall being introduced to the metric system and its system of weights and measures. We nine and ten year olds were instructed that our United States would soon be joining the rest of the world and would be jettisoning its quarts, pounds, and miles. Although I have purchased a liter of soda pop in the ensuing forty years, I still wouldn’t walk a mile for a Camel, and this morning’s temperature—according to my AOL page—was thirty-something Fahrenheit.
(Photos from the personal collection of Nicholas Nigro)