Well I just got back from a fun visit with Harpy to the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a great place to visit, to see your relatives. Always busy and always crowded though.
The first time I had ever gone to the museum was on a class trip with St Francis de Sales in 4th or 5th grade. Somehow they had gotten it together and got a bus or two full of students into the city which was not as kid friendly as it is now.
Eventually, we were herded together into the museum and the Hayden Planetarium. It must have been 5th grade because word was Jimmy Murray had copped a feel on a girl during the planetarium show in the dark.
He said he did, whether or not that was true remains unknown. She was a girl that I recently re-friended on Facebook and if we ever meet again I’ll have to ask her.
I do remember the big blue whale in a great hall. Not as darkly lit as it was today. Creating an environment that looked as natural as possible wasn’t a concern then.
The other thing I mainly remember was most of the boys fleeing from the class mother, Mrs. Munafo and running wild up and down the stairwells in the museum creating a ruckus.
The second time was probably 15 years ago with Meghan Taylor, the funniest girl alive. Meghan and I took Meghan’s daughter Lily to the museum. I believe it may have been an early spring day, with Meghan and myself pushing Lily in her stroller.
Meghan and I enjoyed ourselves as did Lily. The main thing I remember from that is that the three of us with our Irish faces looked like a family which cause a few other people to comment on what a lovely family we were. We didn’t discourage them.
That is when Lily became my ersatz daughter basically. We decided to run with that and we are still running to this day. The other time was when I took Perry Brody for a trip to the museum.
Perry lived around the block from me in Weehawken, the son of Cheryl Welch and the late Don Brody. Cheryl thought I would make for a good male role model in Perry’s life at that time and a trip to the city sounded like a fun idea.
Perry must have been around 6 or 7 at the time. We rode in on the bus and took a subway. I chose the first car of the train and Perry and I stood looking out the door window next to the engineer. It had a roller coaster effect that we both enjoyed.
Perry, of course loved the museum but we had to hurry through the dinosaur skeletons since they were a bit overpowering and scary for his young mind. Basically I picked him up and hustled him from one end of the hall to the other which his face buried in my shoulder.
After that was a trip to a playground in Central Park where Perry fell and nicked his knee. He cried a bit so I made it looked like I had hurt myself too and I wasn’t crying, so why should he?
It seemed to have worked but that was the last time I ever went anywhere with Perry. I did babysit a few times for him and his sister Molly though where I was declared to be cooler than Coolio.
I went once again after going with Perry, this time with Annemarie and Earl when he was a kid. Another good time with Anne and Earl but the main thing I remember was running around in the summertime heat in the Diana Ross playground, getting wet in the sprinklers.
So today was a visit with Harpy and it was a lot of fun. But by the end after schlepping around the museum, dodging strollers and restraining ourselves from braking the mini-mega phones that a few kids had going on and on, we were exhausted.
We parted ways, Harpy and I. He getting on the C train heading uptown and me trekking south to get a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya. Most of the pictures were posted on Facebook but there are some posted here as well.