A Time With Alan

A post script before you read… hmmm, I guess that would make it a “pre-script”? I am sure if I delved into my previous writings, this story may have already been covered. Such is my plight… I love telling stories, and sometimes my friends and family have to endure a telling of a tale that they have heard before. Maybe several times. Well… too bad. And in a couple of years I may send you this story again. I love it…

Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut there is something special about a summer evening, particularly a Saturday night. And of the evening I am about to describe I was lucky to be in my “late teens” and blessed to have a metabolism of a humming bird.

Now this you have to understand of the Saturday evening noted here, I was already amply fed. Several slices of London Broil (the preferred cut on 25 Alston Ave), and multiple sweet corn (courtesy of Margie’s produce on Whalley Ave), a slice or two of watermelon, and you would think that I was good for the night.

Ahhh… teen aged boys don’t eat. They take on fuel.

So, when the suggestion came up (I’m thinking circa 9:00pmish) that perhaps we should repair to Jimmies of Savin Rock (West Haven, CT) to knock off a couple of “dogs” and a couple of dozen of clams on the half shell, Alan (my brother-in-law) was in full agreement… along with my parent’s house guest Jacques Spiro.

The stage was set. Summer. Saturday night. Air heavy with humidity, and a slight emptiness in my stomach.

Even my Grandmother, Mommie Soph, endorsed this expedition. Urban legend: Mommie Soph slipped Alan a double saw buck to cover part of the costs of this descent into additional eating. And if she kept quiet that we didn’t eat enough at the dinner table, she didn’t betray her upset.

My informal take for that night: 2 dozen clams on the half shell, 3 hot dogs, 1 order of french fries, 2 lobster rolls, 1 order of fried clams & a pineapple drink to wash it down.

I am blessed to have enjoyed Alan’s company and fellowship for 5 decades. It should seem wrong to single out one episode and place it above others. Well… I have been wrong in other matters, but I choose this night to highlight.

Today? It’s a steamy June evening, and I am drawn back to that summer evening from years ago, a simple evening really, when Alan and I just could revel in the moment. Sharing time with Jacques, telling stories & observations and laughing… laughing. Oh, yes… and tucking into Jimmies of Savin Rock’s finest. And lest you think otherwise, Alan & Jacques were not mere spectators in this culinary debauchery. Although I did not play close attention to their levels of consumption, I know that we were all on par after the initial round of clams.

A memory sweet for me, and forever fresh.

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