Posts Tagged ‘Newsday’

Xmas gift hunt 2

By David Allen

This is the giving time of year
To do something for others
Not as well off as you

One of my clearest memories
Of this merry time of year
Has little to do with decorating trees
Unwrapping presents, or a Christmas feast.
It’s the day I sat in my paper’s district office
After helping the manager cover unclaimed routes.
I was 13 and getting ready to bike back
To my family’s housing project home
When I paged through the paper
And casually came to the list of needy families
The Paper – Long island’s Newsday – was sponsoring

I came across a dead-on description of my family’s plight.
There was no doubt the woman with seven children
And a husband who had lost his post office job
Due to self-medicating mental wounds from the war
Was my mom, a suspicion confirmed Christmas morning
When we opened more presents than we’d seen in years,
New toys and clothes, not the hand-me-downs of Christmas past
People unknown to us gave us the best holiday ever

Now, decades later, my wife and I give what we can
To brighten the season for others,
Perhaps hats and gloves for the homeless,
Or bags of food for women and children
Huddled in domestic abuse shelters.
It’s the giving time of year, you see
Time for sharing with those much more needy.



By David Allen

Freedom’s not a breakfast food,
I don’t care what cummings said.
It’s the ghost of Freedomland USA,
A short-lived amusement park
With a history theme in the Bronx,
Acres forming a large map of America –
It had New York harbor tugs
And horse-drawn trolleys,
A 19th century brewery, a Jewish deli,
And old Chicago was set afire every 20 minutes.
There was Elsie the Cow in the Midwest,
San Francisco’s Chinatown and the Barbary Coast,
New Orleans Mardis Gras parades
And a huge King Rex carousel.

This gala celebration of America
Lasted barely five years in the early 60s,
Dying from lack of easy access
To the crowds from Jersey and Long Island
And the tourists downtown.

But the thing I remember
About Freedomland most
Are the fights that broke out
Between teenaged newsboys
There for a fun-filled night of freedom
Bought by new subscriptions.
Those who planned the boys night out
Failed to understand they couldn’t
Put us Newsday kids with lads
From the Long Island Press,
Our longstanding rivalry got out of hand.