8.30.2005

Homing Pigeons

I was jealous of my father's homing pigeons.

In friendly competitions, they always won. We never went on vacation because he had to take care of the boids. We always had to leave the party early to go home and take care of the birds - some times we'd return, sometimes not. Dad was always building something for the birds, new crates, nest boxes, averies, lofts. All that canvas and all those dowels that went to all those crates.

But last year, when we found some letters my dad wrote from the South Pacific - long before I came along - in them he wrote home about being sorry he missed out on visiting his best friend's loft before he shipped out. Then once he got to Australia and began walking around the neighborhoods, his spirits brightened when he saw pigeon coops so far away from home. Those boids took him home, at least for a moment.


... Cardboard drums of pigeon feed with screened cut-outs for ventilation lined up like sentinels in the garage outside the entrance to the coop. Inside, the birds watched for the familiar face, the familiar jacket and the familiar hunched stance of the man who fed them, the man they thought was God on earth.

These birds flew at more than a thousand yards per minute from one to five hundred miles away to return to the home Dad provided for them in his garage. Their mates were here, their nests were here, and so were their eggs or squabs.

His 'boids' took baths in flat water pans on our lawn. They ate gravel between the grass blades. Their oil-slicked necks glistened under summer's sun. A hundred pigeons lolling around the water like a Roman orgy.

Dad knew each bird, who its parents were and how well they had flown. He knew what to expect from each racer by its pedigree and whether to keep it alive through winter to the spring Old Bird racing season.

A bird that did not perform in races as it should have would have its neck wrung behind the closed garage door. When we figured this out, us kids would stand outside crying.

Even the dumbest homing pigeon was smarter than a roof rat or statue squatter. "Take one of those wild birds ten miles away and you'll never see it again."

Dad trained his birds by taking them on short trips to fly home, and then driving further and further each week until they knew how to get home from at least ten or twenty miles away.

Most of the time the birds would be home at the coop waiting when he pulled in the driveway with the empty crates. I went along for the ride many, many times, counting telephone poles and winking back at truck drivers high up in their rigs at traffic lights.

Some of the pigeons had become old friends of mine. A few of the breeders were more than ten years old. Whenever I found myself with an abundance of patience, I would stoop low in the coop and the birds would feed from my hand. A light pecking and a slight pinch was their way of telling me when the food was gone. If I would be kind enough to allow, they would eat my freckles.

I learned at an young age how to hold a pigeon so it would not fly away. Grasp its legs between the middle and ring finger, palm the tail between thumb and forefinger. A bird in this position is fairly helpless. I could turn it over. I could hold it close. I could pet it. I could study the rainbow colors on its neck.

Before a race or training flight, Dad checked the band number on each or both of the bird's legs. He had put the permanent metal band on the leg when the squab was small enough to cry for its mother and old enough to raise its wing in defiance to Dad.

For twenty years I competed with those birds for Dad's attention. I knew them well. I knew a blue bar from a checker, and a dark checker from a red bar checker. My favorites were the blue bar splashes. They looked like an average pigeon that had perhaps straddled under the ladder of a sloppy painter.

My favorite pigeons were the Judas birds. With their wings clipped, the Chicos were thrown up to flutter to the coop. That would encourage the racers to land sooner. The Chicos were docile, and smaller than the homers, and could get lost two blocks away. ...

from: How Many Hammers Are Enough?



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Soho Loft - Belleville, N.J.



Who Knew That After All This Time There Would Be So Many Homing Pigeon Links?

American Racing Pigeon Union

British Homing World

Homing Pigeons - photos

Scholastic Magazine - Homing Pigeons

Homing Pigeons Return to Beijing

Navy Department - Homing Pigeons (March 20, 1918)

International Federation

Science Frontiers: Dark Day for Homing Pigeons

Pravda - Drug Dealers Use Exotic Ways of Drug Trafficking

The Homing Pigeons - by Janet Jagger

Troubled Times - Homing Pigeons Mysteriously Vanish

Abbeyton Lofts

Fancy Threads - PigeonWatch Color Morphs

PigeonWatch - an international study of feral pigeon colors
Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Secret of Homing Pigeons Revealed (Reuters) CNN.com

How do homing pigeons navigate? They follow roads

Parisians build home for pigeons in suburbs
By Philip Delves Broughton in Paris


Homing Pigeon Web Quest

WikPedia - Homing Pigeon

Homing pigeons - AskYahoo

Homing Pigeons Through the Wars

Ron Huntley's Rare Color Homing Pigeons

Confused Homing Pigeons and Space Weather

How do Homing Pigeons Navigate?

Learn About Homing Pigeons

A Beginners Guide to Homing & Carrier Pigeons

INTERFERENCE WITH HOMING PIGEONS OWNED BY UNITED STATES

Pigeons and World War One

First Birds Inn

Seigel Pigeons: Dr. Charles Walcott on Homing Instincts

David Niven: Homing Pigeons

Homing in Pigeons: The Role of the Hippocampal Formation in the Representation of Landmarks Used for Navigation

Liberation (at the beginning of a race)

Racing Home...

Homing Pigeons vs. Cellphone Towers




Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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8.29.2005

The Parkway - Like Deer in a Headlight

These days, what with the Garden State Parkway being taken over by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and our temporary governor eliminating toll booths in favor of double-fares one-way, well the Garden State Parkway isn't the tall doofy kid in class every one used to make fun of. Now it's been made to practically behave like a good neighbor. (Yeah, sure!) A genuine A-Student. Like Eddie Haskell.

Before you know it all the waste will be trimmed from its budget and we won't be able to poke fun at the Parkway ANYMORE. (Just don't hold your breath waiting.)

Barista: The Answer: We Always Get Lost at Hoover

What's Your NJ Exit

They sell t-shirts for Jersey's proudest!

What's Your NJ Exit - the Blog




Parkway Tokens Pave Path To Hell
Sure its an oldie, but it's a goodie!

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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Busy as Bamberger's on a Saturday Morning

When she was at wit's end with a million things to do, Mom said she was, "Busier than Bamberger's on Saturday morning!" and I knew to go away for a while.

The best part of going to Bamberger's for my back-to-school clothes was when Mom would buy me a hot dog and an orangeade at the stand next to the escalator in the basement. There was a sign that said: We don't boil the flavor out of our hot dogs

I can still remember the giant miniature circus displays they had and you got to look through a glass to see them. Awesome. I think it alternated with a giant train set up (sort of like the set Gomez Addams would blow up on the TV show.)

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.All I Want For Christmas ...


I'm sure all my Santa pictures were taken with the Bam's Santa. The lines were well recreated in Jean Shepherd's "Christmas Story." We kids wanted to tell the big scary Santa what we wanted for Christmas without forgetting anything or crying and our Moms just wanted to get the picture to send to the relatives.

Alas, Newark has changed in the past 40-plus years. So have I. And even my beloved Bamberger's is gone.

DISCLOSURE
Coincidence alert: I worked in the advertising department at the Newark Bamberger's store in 1984. I wanted to know if they still had the circus and train displays set up on a hidden floor - like in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I heard about Mahogany Row where the big shots worked, but I never got to see the circus set up or the train display.

See Also:
A Father's Place - An Eclectic Collection: Seventh Floor

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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8.27.2005

Back to Skule

http://www.anthonybuccino.com/Page1.htmlOne Smart Puppy

Check out our Casual Essays on School Life

Elementary School Fight News

Changing for Gym Before a Nun

Junior High School Bus Rides

Air Raid Drills From Under the Desk

Yellow Crackers in the Cafeteria

Selling Pretzels at Football Games



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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8.26.2005

The Jersey City Thumbnails Are Back

Jersey City Archive Photos
Sure, it sounds painful, but we've restored photos from the past six years of the Jersey City waterfront at Harborside.

See it pre-Goldman Sachs,

pre-Hyatt hotel,

pre-Pier Apartments

... take a look.

It's free. You may use these photos for personal use, as screensavers and such, but not for commercial or profit without written permission. Thanks.

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

8.25.2005

Nothing New Under The Sun

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Pretty as a picture
Ever feel like the only pink flower in the bed of white flowers?
My colleague Margo says the pink flower is a Dune Rose and the rest are Spirea.
And, you can take that to the bank.

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Always keep your eyes open and be aware of what's around you.
Beware of the lightrail sneaking at you from below your Jersey Journal!

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. SdrawA cisuM AMV
Look, up in the sky. Wait. Didn't I already use that line?

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Sundial on the Hyatt Pier in Jersey City on the Hudson River
Does anyone REALLY know what time it is?
Adjust for Daylight Savings Time and it's 3 !

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. ... and the skies are not cloudy all day
Nothing new under the sun. The newspaper reported that thousands of Goldman Sachs workers will remain on this side of the Hudson River - in the Coke bottle - beyond 2009 when the new GS building is completed at the WTC.

Does that cloud look like Australia to you?

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." -- Ecc. 1-9


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

8.24.2005

Kayak around New York ... on the Hudson River

NO. You kayak around Hackensack. Maybe you're not from around here.

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Speedo
I thought I took a photo of these men on the river in their Speedo, but it was actually their Jet-Skis. The new English is like the 'new' math to me.


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Round & Round She Goes

Two Circle Line ships passing in the day.

None of the ships passing by had bikini-clad ship's captains. Those captains are on catamarans in Margaritaville.


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved."Look! Up in the sky!

What a cheap way to get into someone's blog!

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Fuji means Digital
Perhaps that's a loose translation, no? I thought Fuji meant man, or is that tojo? as in Tojo carrying machine for TCM the forklift company. But how can Fujifilm mean digital when digital has no film? Boy, am I getting confused!

Makes you wonder if those folks are full of hot air?


DISCLOSURE: Digital photos on this blog are shot with a Fujifilm FinePix S3000, 3.2 mega pixel, 6x optical zoom.


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

Superman & Coal & Diamonds

Looked for Superman pic, she's much hotter.
Remember the TV show Superman & the one where they were in the jungle and the diamond serving as the eye of an icon got lost. Then someone says if you put a piece of coal under a million pounds of pressure for a thousand years you've got a diamond.

So, Superman casually picks up a piece of coal (I guess it's all lying around waiting to turn into precious rocks?) and squeezes it in his fist until it turns into a diamond.

My questions: Why did Superman become a reporter instead of a jeweler?

Ever wonder how he could afford such a nice apartment in Metrolopolis on a reporter's salary? Do you think he made a few diamonds here and there to supplement his Daily News salary? Think about it. He had a huge apartment in Metropolis, on a reporter's salary. No roommates! A hidden closet for his spare Superman suit!

All the reporters I ever met never had nice apartments like that. Not in Metropolis, or without room-mates or a spouse with a REAL job.


Writers & Editors I've Known - Or Read:
Carol Sakowitz, where are you?
Mike Cleveland, where did you go after you left the Navy?
Peter Quackenbush, where are you living now?
Chuck Jackson, where have you gone?
Paul 'I'll see you later' Stern - later in the week, not the day!
Raymond Carver, please come home.
Dave Barry, was it something we said?


Apparently, I'm not the only one who wonders about this Superman, coal and diamonds stuff:

Superman's Super Powers

Superman Auditions

Rockhounds

Diamonds are Made of Stardust, Paper Says

Let's Make Diamonds

Superman Homepage - #40 Jungle Devil
The reporters are on a jungle expedition that involves a valuable diamond used as an idol's eye. Superman creates a diamond by compressing coal.

A Writer's Life For Me



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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8.23.2005

Glam Rock Lives

Get out your big hair and your tall shoes and head to Ohio.

Meet The Music: Son Of Glam

Check out this video. (Find the relative! - Hint, he's in the band and he's from OHIO)


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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8.19.2005

Sometimes I Swear in Italian

Ooh fah!

If you were going to buy a book about growing up Italian American in northern New Jersey, which of these titles would entice you buy the rest of the book?

Sometimes I Swear In Italian

or

Spaghetti Trees and Ravioli Bushes

And the second question, would short verses in the book among the essays sway you either way in purchasing the book?

And the last question, have you ever, or would you ever purchase a book of this description, regardless of where you live?

Use the comments feature to share your thoughts.

Meanwhile, remember what my Grandmother used to say:

Mangia E Statti Zitto

- that always made me wonder, how could you shut up and eat?


Do you think Rita Would Mind?
Sometimes I Dream in Italian - by Rita Ciresi



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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Internet Worms, Oh My!

There's a fellow who sits near me and he sometimes speaks out loud what's on his mind. For instance, "Would you like to sit on a mountain of cash?" He said, but not to me, although I could hear him as plain as day. Even when he's not talking to you, you hear what he says and think about it.

Today, that fellow was pondering this business going on with the Internet worm. He suggested the name for an Internet security company to deal with the latest attack. He suggested starting up an Internet security company called Early Bird. It would get the worm.

Ever wonder why he talks to himself? Maybe he's afraid someone will take him seriously. But I think, one of these days, WOW, he's going to say something that's going to make me a millionaire. So, for now, I'm going to keep my ears open.

Meanwhile, if you start up an Internet security company called Early Bird, you know where to send the e-check.

8.18.2005

Real Estate Bubble

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. We tried to tell you ...

Further down on this blog ... remember when these Jersey City units were ONLY $300,000? Maybe they simply sold all the 'cheap' units?


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Convenient to the Flamingo

And just a short walk to the famous Hudson River or the Goldman Sachs 'Coke' bottle. If you have to ask ...

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Not yet a hole in the ground ...

And they STILL can't tell you how much they'll cost. Yikes! (The prices aren't crossed out, it's the barbed wire.) View of the parking garage, anyone?

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

8.10.2005

25th Anniversary

Strange, it is, to sense the memories that suddenly swim to the surface like the picture in my head of my father as the ragtag kid who swam from the bottom of the Passaic River with a handful of mud, "See, wise guys? I really did swim to the bottom!"

Read More of How Many Hammers Are Enough

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reservedA Father's Place, An Eclectic Collection

I wasn't more than five years old the night my father grabbed me with his vise-like hands on his jackhammer arms and swung me over the banister of our second story back porch.

Swinging me side to side 20 feet in the air above the concrete sidewalk, Dad and I were having fun. I was safe, safe from the world in his strong hands. Mother's screams of terror stilled my shrieks of joy.


Read more of A Father's Place

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission. Updated May 2008

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8.07.2005

Florida

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.The sign is for real, and so are the alligators in this water trap at West Palm Beach, Florida.



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Gnarly tree
My colleague Tom says, "The gnarly tree appears to be a small banyan tree. Its branches spread its roots. It takes a lot of water and is not uncommon in South Florida. There is a beautiful, huge one at the Edison estate in Fort Myers."


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Sal E. Mander



Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

8.03.2005

Brookdale Soda - The Saga Continues

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Pride of the Garden State

There ain't nothing in the world like washing down a Taylor ham sandwich with orange Brookdale soda.


Sometimes I get email that read something like this:

I just looked at your website. I have a bottle of Brookdale beverage (empty) and have always wondered about it. It is an 8 oz. bottle but does not say what beverage was in it. I am not sure where I obtained it but it had to be in Georgia or Texas. Can you give me any information

And, here's another one I just got:

Hi,
I was cleaning out my garage in preparation of razing it to build a new one. In the attic, I came across a blue plastic case from the Brookdale beverage company with 11 Brookdale Beverage empties (one missing). The bottles are in very good shape and the labels are all fairly bright and intact. Do you know where I could find an empty to complete the case?
Ther are 3 Colas,2 Orange,1 Black Cherry,1 Grape,2 Lemon-Lime and 2 Cheers Lemon-Lime.
Thanks for your help.
Sincerely


So, what am I supposed to say?

VISIT OUR BROOKDALE SODA BLOG

LINKS
Memories of Brookdale Soda
Old Belleville version of above
The Kid Gets a Job (at Brookdale Soda - By Tom Garcia

The Bianco Lina Man - Old Newark Memories

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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Mercury News makes an 'Oops'

What's wrong here?

Posted on Aug. 3, 2005
Horoscope: Jeraldine Saunders
BIRTHDAY GAL: Homemaking marketing maven Martha Stewart was born in Nutley, N.J., on this day in 1941. This ex-model and entrepreneur built a small catering business into a successful TV show and negotiated contracts for lucrative endorsements. In 2002 a scandal blossomed when she was questioned about possible insider trading. In 2004 she was convicted of lying to investigators and sentenced to a prison. She was released this past March but remains under house arrest until fall, although allowed to travel for business.

Mercury News

Everybody around here knows that Martha was born in Jersey City and moved to Nutley where she later was graduated from high school and then went off to college...

More on Martha Stewart

8.01.2005

Jersey Writers

The NJ.com weblog Jersey Writers put up my scary face to stare down the dog days of August.

Check it out, and you'll know where I plan to be on Saturday!

When you finish reading all about Me, ME, ME, you can check out some other terrific Jersey Writers, too


Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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I Do Like Taylor Ham and Eggs

Taylor Pork Roll has always been known in my house as 'Taylor ham'. Ma used to throw some butter or margarine in a frying pan and let it cook. Meanwhile, she'd slice the Taylor ham roll real thin and put three cuts into the round slab. Then she'd put them in the frying pan ... and oh, boy, what a treat.

A story ran in the Star Ledger ( Sons' need for pork got duo rolling, Wednesday, July 13, 2005, BY LINDA A. JOHNSON ) about two women who started a company that ships Taylor Pork Roll to relocated Jerseyans who miss the meat. The story gave me a Jones for Taylor ham. I could hear that ham sizzling in the frying pan .... mmm mmmm

Years ago when my sister moved to Ashtabula, Ohio, whenever she came home, they always took back a cooler filled with Taylor Ham & veal cutlets and Pringles. That was stuff they just couldn't get along the Lake. Now, according to the newspaper story, you can send Taylor pork roll anywhere on the Pork Roll Xpress.

The following Saturday we headed out for breakfast at the newly remodeled Nutley (NJ) Diner for some Taylor ham. I had buckwheat pancakes to wash them down.

Later in the week we went to The Petite Cafe on Franklin Avenue in Nutley. I had the stuffed french toast with a side order of Taylor ham. (I didn't see either moist fish or stuffed lentils on the menu, btw. - And, NO, it's NOT a french restaurant.)

My main squeeze fell in love with The Petite Cafe coffee mug. She asked if they were for sale, and the fellow behind the counter had to go ask someone. Finally, they said yes. And I treated to one souvenir coffee mug.

Now, I hear, there's a sign that says the mugs are for sale. That's good to know. Maybe we started a trend? We already knew about the Taylor ham. But now will there be a run on mugs too?

Courtesy of Petite CafeA pretty bright logo, no?

Even Prisoners Get Lunch

A long time ago, in a place where I worked, the boss used to forbid anyone from answering the phone from 12:30 to 1 p.m. during lunch. He used to say, "Even prisoners get lunch."