A Time Remembered

I had hoped to send this story off to a magazine called The Spotlight but between my move to a wonderful, new and larger apartment and a joyous family gathering in downtown Vancouver I missed the deadline so I’m posting the essay in my website. 

A Time Remembered – by Joei Carlton Hossack

How unique we are as human beings that a word or a gesture of even a moment of quiet reflection will conjure up a memory from so long ago.

We were not a religious family.  Dinner Friday nights were the same as any other night except that there was no school the next day and we could all run out in different directions when it was over.

Although both my brothers had been Bar Mitzvahed we did not attend Friday night or Saturday morning services. Holiday dinners,  however, were another matter. It was a reason to get together with family – brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Hannukah, 1950  –  Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I was, and still am, the baby of the family, aged six.  Mona was eleven years old. Harry, the bane of my parents’ existence, was sixteen and Nathan, the quiet one, was eighteen.  I sat next to my favorite brother, Harry.

Harry, the brother who took me to baseball games and babysat with me while my parents worked until all hours. He was the wild one who worked as a news agent on the train and took me along with him to Cornwall, Ontario from time to time. Harry, the same brother who was now whispering in my ear “I’ll give you a dime for every glass of wine you drink.”

He poured. I drank. My parents never noticed until it was too late. Just before giggling and cracking my head on the plate under my mashed potataoes I heard my mother yelling something.

Could that have been the time we discovered that red wine produces the migraine headaches that I have been plagued with for over sixty years?  I hope not but I still maintain that Harry owes me sixty cents PLUS interest.

He doesn’t remember.

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