I tried to Google-map Oak Ridge,
tracing in my memory the bus ride from Boonton to a Slovak picnic
I do remember it well. But when I see it from a satellite
and where that place should be, it’s gone.
One of the guys I’ve worked for for years, who grew up here in Western Mass, Joe Z, and I were comparing notes
He had family in New Jersey and during summers as a kid they used to go somewhere called “Oak Ridge” in New Jersey. But they were going to a Polish picnic
which it was
location had nothing to do with it
it was the spirit of the people that made it whatever, and fun
—their spirit, their nuanced way of seeing
It was fun, grandma polkaing in a grandmother’s dress, big bosom bouncing,
dancing with a man to an accordion while the raised floor thumped
—throbbed to new world vitality and old world
but god’s changes come
Have I told you how happy I was to have you here for the wedding?
It meant a lot to have you all with us to enjoy our day with L and C
I was glad to have you meet my friends, new and old. A.was pleased to meet you, and took a great picture of George and me
—as was H whom I’ve known since college
cleaved together by love time
And B with whom I shared a young adulthood
close families, partners,
friends, our prime
And so a circle was completed.
Thanks again for making it a