Sunday, March 30, 2008

Paper and Fire in Manchester, Connecticut

Another flashback to the Manchester of my youth. Remembering a fire at Lydall and Foulds in 1960, when I was a kid and attended the Bowers Elementary School in Manchester, Connecticut.
To read the story follow the link below.

Paper and Fire

Laudizen King

PS: A Thank You to RJS for his comment. LK 3/31

Friday, March 28, 2008

Manchester: two more from Bowers

I received some nice comments after making two blog posts about the old hometown of Manchester, Connecticut. In the 'Manchester Redux' story, I included a long list of names: names of people that I knew, names of people that played a part during those early years of my life in Manchester. Ironically, I have reconnected with someone on that list, someone that I have not spoken with since high school, and that has been most gratifying and rewarding.

I want to thank all who contacted me.

Below are links to two short stories, stories related by memories from the 3rd grade at the Bowers Elementary School. In one, I learn about the power of symbol and the Holocaust. In the other, I capture an image that comes back to me in Los Angeles many years on.

Power of Symbol


Laudizen King

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Richard Jaworowski and Carlton Fisk

This Easter weekend has been a surprisingly busy one for Shirley and me. We had the great trip into the San Gabriel Mountains yesterday. On the way home, we bought a ham and some yams, so it looks like a traditional Easter dinner for us.

I worked late into the night on Saturday as I busied myself with the digital pictures I had taken during the day. There was editing, cropping, resizing, and building the gallery pages for my motorcycle website. After that came publishing and troubleshooting.

I posted my story about ordering the special holiday Kielbasa when I lived in New Hampshire, and celebrating my Polish heritage when I lived there. I sent this on to my Polish uncle who enjoyed the old connection.

And this morning as I lounged in bed, I got a phone call from the great Willimantic sculptor, Richard Jaworowski. He called to wish me a happy Easter, and I related the New Hampshire Easter kielbasa story. He let me know that he was on his way to Newington for a Polish Easter festival, and rattled off a list of the famous polish delights that he expected to feast on.

I've known Richard since 1974. In 1975 I was watching the famous Game 6 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Big Red Machine (the Cincinnati Reds) when my TV went out. I was living in rural Coventry at the time, and I was alone. Driven by an ineffable urge, I ended up breaking into Richard's house to watch the game on their TV, a house he shared with a girl named Rosie. In some strange way, that event has led to a lasting friendship that has withstood the test of time and distance. Yes, and a big thank you to Carlton Fisk.

Follow the link below if you are interested in the whole story.

With Carlton Fisk, Forever

Happy Easter to all!

Laudizen King
Easter 2008

Signposts to Afghanistan, one year on.....

"It is December 31, 2006, and on this morning in Los Angeles, on the last day of the year, I am enjoying a good cup of coffee while reading the Los Angeles Times. I read the articles on Iraq and Afghanistan with concern for the military men and women serving there, and for what they all must experience and endure. There is one article in particular that catches my attention. It describes in some detail the Ring Road, a road shaped like a circle that lies within the borders of Afghanistan and connects the major towns and cities. I read the article with some interest; there was a time when the country of Afghanistan played a major role in my daily life. That was many years ago when I was a young man in uniform, serving in turbulent times, while an unpopular war was polarizing the country. However, today is, after all, the day for the remembrance of things past, so I sit back and relax and let my thoughts drift back in time."

Above is the opening paragraph of my story, 'Signposts to Afghanistan', written in early 2007. That story meant a lot to me at the time, it still does today. It was the first time I had put down into words my motivations for joining the Army in the time of the Vietnam War, how I recalled my experiences gained during those service years, and how I came to follow the path I did after I was discharged from the Army.

Today, one year after writing that story, I am every bit as distressed over our presence in Iraq, and at the horror we have allowed to continue in Afghanistan, as I was then. After having served a year in Vietnam, I was an Afghanistan Analyst for Military Intelligence at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I fell in love with the country of Afghanistan, and I dreamed of visiting it one day. But life didn't work out that way.

What is going to happen to the current war veterans and their families of today, what with the stresses of multiple deployments and separation, the interruption of careers. I fear that America is going to pay a fierce price for this war and their service. In this day of the assault on the middle class, and CEOs making billions in bonuses by shipping work off to foreign shores, what opportunities await the foot soldier here in America after three tours in Iraq?

To read the entire story follow the link below.

Signposts to Afghanistan

Laudizen King

Easter in Manchester, New Hampshire

I lived near Manchester, New Hampshire for five years (1985-1990). When I look back at those times and try to remember how I celebrated Easter in those days, one thing comes to mind: Golombs Market. About a month before Easter, I would place my order at Golombs for their Easter Kielbasa, a special holiday treat with a different preparation from their standard Polish sausage.

I would cook it with cabbage, onion, potato, and carrot. I would also have crusty bread and butter, and some red wine, along with the holiday treat. There would also be plenty of sharp mustard. The apartment smelled like heaven, and friends came by to eat or to share a drink.

I remembered my mother, as well as my uncle and grandparents, and all of the fine things that came to me from the Polish side of the family.

I'll remember all of that today, since today is Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008. Here in Los Angeles, California, I'll think of Golombs and New Hampshire, as well as my Polish roots, as Shirley and I cook an Easter ham.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Newcomb's Ranch, Angeles Crest, March 2008

It is the first Saturday of Spring in 2008, and Shirley and I took a ride up into the San Gabriel Mountains to visit a little restaurant up on the Angeles Crest Highway called Newcomb's Ranch. As is usually the case on a beautiful Saturday, the place was a beehive of activity as campers, bikers and hikers from all over the Southland descended on Newcomb's for food and camaraderie. The restaurant, only forty miles from downtown LA, sits at just under 5000' of elevation on busy Rte 2. There was some snow on the side of the road, and quite a bit more up on the north facing slopes of the higher peaks.

I talked with several bikers as Shirley mulled about and took in the sights. There was one cherry '67 BMW on the lot that the owner was understandably proud of. I took pictures and talked, then we enjoyed lunch.

Inside the restaurant, some were talking of making a spring ski trip to Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth is a four hour ride up Rte 395 along the eastern Sierra. The road is called the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway and once you make Lone Pine it is scenic indeed.

I love California and the west.

If you want to see today's galleries, or a past story and gallery about Newcomb's, follow the link below.

2 Wheel Muse

Laudizen King

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Remembering the Dugout, and Larry Lisciotti

In 1963, at the age of thirteen, I discovered the game of pool (especially nine ball) at the Red Sox Dugout, or Dugout for short; a basement pool hall in Manchester, Connecticut. That was also the year that I met the great pool player, hustler, and future world champion, Larry Lisciotti. To read the entire story follow the link below.

This story appears at:

Remembering the Dugout, and Larry Lisciotti

Laudizen King

PS: Anne, thanks for everything. LK 3/31

PS: Thank you, Dana. My wife and I love Morro Bay. Good luck, and cherish that sign. LK 5/18/08

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Manchester Redux

The names are with me today: Bowers School, Buckley School, Green School, Hartford Road Cafe, Hungry Tiger Cafe, Illing Jr High School, Larry Lisciotti, poker, pool, Red Sox Dugout, Salter's Pond, and many more.

Remembering my friends and the days of my youth in Manchester, Connecticut

Read the story here: 'Manchester Redux'

March 2, 2008
Los Angeles, CA