If Broadsides & Brews were open, I would have wanted to be there last night. Tensions are so high right now and I long for a place to escape to. Months of being quarantined with two teenagers in the house has been bad enough, but add the current racial tensions, societal upheaval and an outspoken high school senior with an unwavering belief in fairness and equality, who is missing her graduation, and we have a powder-keg that could go off at any time for any reason. As with most volatile situations, the match turned out to be nothing more than a younger brother wilding a ping-pong ball and a glass of water…..Broadsides & Brews, take me away!
My childhood was not an idyllic scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. We were the real-life Addams, Munsters, Mixed-ish with a little Brady Bunch thrown in. We didn’t have money. My Pop worked his behind off to provide for us. At the entrance of our home was a cuckoo clock with a piece of newspaper under it in case, you know (birds poop every 15 minutes), a hole in the wall from an afternoon of stair sliding with Pop and Henry, the parrot, who loved to sing along to The Beatles and would cuss out anyone who told him to shut-up. There was also a constant parade of family and family-like friends in and out of our home. Our visitors ranged from the darkest of complexions to the lightest, from the most religious to the non-believers, from a white, Yonkers, NY policeman to a brown-skinned, famous photographer (and cousin), from my Jewish mother, raised among the elite in NYC to the dark skinned autistic savant who brought us our newspaper every day, regardless of weather, and could hear a piano concerto once, then sit and play it masterfully, not a note or rhythm misplaced. Pop, was the ring leader of our circus like home. He had this magnetic personality and ability to bring people together, not because they were the same, but because they were different. We learned by sharing experiences and not only listening but hearing. Despite the lack of money, we were rich with culture, respect, and love. Sometimes I wish I could go back to my childhood home, with all of its craziness, people and circus like atmosphere, to really appreciate it for the rich, loving and inclusive home that it was.
We don’t know what the future holds but we do know that having a safe place where we can come together to listen, hear, learn, respect, honor and love one another will give our weary hearts and souls a home. I hope I am truly my father’s daughter and in opening Broadsides & Brews I give you all a place to come home to…cuckoo clock and all.