Profit and Loss

There is a lot of Profit and Loss record keeping in the business of Life:

Primeval gain- entering this world to experience all that it can offer.

Ultimate loss- when the offer has been permanently voided- Death. There is wishful thinking that we drift into a better place of opportunity from which to profit rather than- shudder the thought- go to that permanent place of torturous punishment

We learned to walk and talk before our memory capabilities were set. No one remembers his first steps or first words. No one can recognize events in pictures in which they appeared that occurred- let’s say- before the age of four.

We are at a loss to recall much of what happened in kindergarten but gained so much from the elementary bits of knowledge and social graces that were taught there. Later on we cluttered our brains with algebraic equations and geometrical patterns but were at a loss to figure why it would ever be necessary to use.

We gained in our youth by building our bodies strong with exercise and the excess energy that came with it but felt the slow loss of motor skills and motivation to move about many years later.

We made new friends on a daily basis in school and saw them disappear out of our life once we graduated. Now and then someone told us, “did you hear so and so passed away?” and immediately thought of only the nice things that happened between us.

As time kept ticking away when past our prime, we gained in weight but lost in height, a cruel trick of the symmetry of life.

We gained with new discoveries of modern conveniences but lost in forgetting how do things the old fashioned way.

The greatest irony saw our memories of times past, of things we did so many years earlier come more into focus than what we did four hours earlier.

And we knew who you were but just couldn’t remember your name.

As our liabilities increased to equal our assets, our equity disappeared. Then, one day they said it was time to go and we couldn’t remember any good reason to say no.

Mob Action

Noticing that the movie “The Cotton Club” was broadcast on television a week or so ago brought back memories of watching it when it first came out in 1984. Those were the days I still went to the movies a handful of times a year. I especially liked it because it combined two of my favorite film genres- gangster and musical. Like most Americans, I find the so-called world of mafia more than interesting. Of course, I’d prefer it from the outside looking in.

I vaguely remember in the very early 1960’s the murder of Mr. Crispino. He owned a very popular as well as profitable Norge Village on Madison Street in Austin on the far west side of Chicago. Those were the days before fancy washer and dryers were common appliances in the basement of homes and apartment buildings. Norge was the brand name of his equipment. My parents would go there armed with coins to put in the coin-operated machines. They’d take me along either figuring I would help out or keep me out of trouble in fighting with my sisters who were being watched by our grandparents.

So, it was definitely what you would call a very cash oriented business. Apparently Mr. Crispino didn’t properly pass around the cash as one day he was gunned down and stuffed in one of the big dryers. I can’t tell you if the murderer put a quarter in the slot for the spin cycle. But it was the first experience in being made aware of a mob action close to home.
Continue reading “Mob Action”