I remember driving my dad nuts in the way only I could. He’d smirk, sigh and laugh. We’ve been together 35 years and I can still do it. But this memory was long ago, we were both younger and this is where I’m supposed to add that my mom who was watching us the whole time hasn’t aged a day since then. She sat there just glad I wasn’t badgering her with my endless bombardment of questions. Robin just sighed. We were in a restaurant in Chinatown had probably finished dinner and it had been awhile since I saw those eyes and I still wanted my father to tell me the true magic behind it and I wasn’t giving up until I heard an explanation that matched my childhood imagination.
Every year for Christmas my mother would take me and Robin to my Dad’s office. My older brothers were off doing older brother things so most if my memories are just the 4 of us. We’d get there and play with the file folders and rolling shelves and when the whistle blew (or dad was afraid we were about to reorganize his filing system) we would walk to see the big tree.
I doubt I have to explain anything about the Rockefeller Christmas tree or St Patrick’s Cathedral or Macy’s windows or anything else about the splendor and majesty that is NYC at Christmas. We’d always see the tree, the church, and the windows, buy a steaming hot pretzel and then jump on the subway to Chinatown for real NYC Chinese food. Rockefeller Center is packed every night and every day with people gazing at the big beautiful tree bursting with color and the skaters in the rink below it. My family and I navigated our way thorough the crowds towards the tree. After a while of taking it all in my father lead us into the Rockefeller building itself, away from the crowds outside. The lobby was quiet and empty. He directed us to look upwards to the ceiling of the lobby, where a fantastic mural had been painted. The figure in the center of it all had a menacing glare in his eyes and he stared back at us hard. My father took us to a different spot in the lobby and miraculously the dark mean eyes seemed to follow us. We found another spot and was still being watched. My dad explained that those eyes would follow us all over the lobby and of course he was right.
I remembered being amazed by what he shared with us that night and it was a similar amazement that I felt today looking back up at that same mural. That building is the flagship NYC property of the company I now work for and I paused on my way to my desk this morning and looked up. Outside the lobby the tree was already up, encased in scaffolding, getting ready for its big debut.
I’ve been thinking about my next blog post for a few days and I’ve been at a loss. I recently took some photos which I am extremely proud of. I set up my strobes and turned the living room into my studio. The result was outstanding. The lighting was perfect and the subject was an exquisite piece of pure beauty. She sat the showing me not only how proud and grand she still was but that age and time had made her delicate and in need of a loving touch.
Through my lens I poured over every detail of my Grandfather’s camera. I studied it all. Since them I’ve begun the process of learning where to get film for it, how to develop it and equally important – how to work it. The whole time, I’ve been rendered speechless by the fact that my mother gave it to me.
I was called an ungrateful bastard the other day, which wasn’t the first time in my life and since I probably am one, I’m sure it won’t be the last. Coupling that with Charlene bringing the amazing blog of Christina and her list of gratitude to my attention and I was brought back to that December night and my father sharing this moment with us and all of which I have to grateful for…
Enjoy your holiday season … and don’t forgot to not only appreciate the tree, but whats in the lobby behind it… and be grateful for it all.