happy birthday sammy, wherever you are, i'm sure you're spending the day celebrating with mom, grandfather herbert, grandmother mary, grandma eleanor and grandpa joe, not to mention neville, yann, marvin, ellen and perhaps erwin is rocking his old school rainbow colored paper trick, endless colors somehow appearing from deep inside his throat to the wide gaze of all the youngsters around.
i'd imagine that the birthday posse is enjoying lunchtime che bou djuene on the shores of the atlantic ocean in st. louis, senegal, then i'd guess you all might spend the afternoon walking the malecon in habana and then perhaps sleeping under the stars up in the late winter himalayas, beside the gangotri glacier, the cold not affecting the eternal birthday celebrations and then perhaps the crew would hop some rafts and head down the ganges into the bay of bengal past malaysia, through the cook strait just for fun and then up to california, north past alaska through the bering sea and heading east with canada just below you all and then figuring out a way to reach the headwaters of the hudson river, cruising a late new york state winter and ending up beside an uptown hudson, a field that neville reserved moons ago, mom's homemade chocolate cake with all of your names (and mine and dave's and pops too), singing happy birthday with smiles and giggles, happy that we are all together in manhattan to toast your birthday, you'd be 29 years young today.
sammy, i want you to know that dad and dave and me too, well we all miss you more than tons and more than you could ever imagine. i know that it would be great if you were around for dave and i, to make us laugh and balance our sometimes similar and often different perspectives from time to time. and of course poppa, just to be there to laugh with him and to give him a rug burn on the top of his skull in the heat of some foolish disagreement. what he would do to have you smash his head into the ground until he had a scab or two, that would make his day.
sammy, of course you remember where these photos were taken, in the year 2000, 13 years ago, a year after mom passed on to a greater existence, an eternal walkabout... you, me, pop and d, roaming northern india, freezing cause i hadn't told you how cold the nights would be and you all thought india, shit, it's gonna be hot as hell. of course, everyday was new to me then and each rickshaw ride was an adventure, even though at that time we were all frigid that december.
one late afternoon in agra we headed to the taj mahal, beside the yamuna, the sun was setting and i only knew of film and reels. we took a bunch of photographs and even had one of those photo wallahs catch us as a fams. pops must have been 63 or so. d was 14 i reckon, you were 16 i'd presume and i was about to be 20.
it was a great trip and those were certainly the days. i wish you were still here, i bet you could do a much better job than me of convincing those two that the four of us could do it all over again or at least remind me that sometimes i push a little too much : )
those were the days of old... ones that can't be revisited.
sammy, i love you wherever you are.
a big happy birthday to you and give hugs and kisses to everyone that mom included on her famous chocolate birthday cake.
love and health to all...