For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Bronxites


by Ed Jacobi


have never figured out why it was that whenever I think back on my childhood inthe Bronx I always remember the winters. Maybe it is because of the warmth and my feeling of belonging in my own apartment on Tiebout Avenue. Maybe it was because I was an only child and my mother, father, uncle and grandfather made for the warm environs.

The cold, gray days of winter with a drizzle and the temperature in the high 30s or low 40s sets the stage. I enter the apartment and my mother is sitting by the living room window near the radiator. (Radiators were what warmed the home back then. Nobody ever heard of central heating and, for God's sake, never air conditioning). She is usually reading the Bronx Home News. The air is filled with scents of the dinner to follow. It was cold outside but warm with love inside.

Being too early for dinner, I would sit in the living room with my mother, turn on the radio, and usually turn to WOR, Mutual Broadcasting System - The Blue Network. I'd sit there in the living room listening to Uncle Don chat with the kids about coming to work in his "puddle jumper". Follow the exciting adventures of Terry and The Pirates; Orphan Annie; Jack Armstrong; Mandrake The Magician. Each program was only 15 minutes long but they filled those 15 minutes with hours and hours of imagination that painted brighter pictures than any television could paint.

About the time my programs ended, my father would come home from work, having taken the "D" train from 34th Street up to Fordham Road. He would always bring home the Daily Sun and I'd read Moon Mullins after dinner.

We would have dinner on the breakfast table: the dining area was for company. Afterwards, we would all sit in the living room and talk about the day and the love and friendship of the family filled the entire apartment.

I guess it is the love that stayed in my heart and has warmed me as an adult long after I left the Bronx. I may have left the Bronx but the Bronx has never left me.

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