Thursday, August 28, 2014

Turn Back Thursday - happy childhood memories

This is the fountain in my Italian grandparents' backyard. This picture is from June of 1979.  I loved this yard, especially this fountain.  My dad designed the shape of the pond at the base - it's a circle and a square combined - and together they made the mold and poured the concrete.  People tell me it's an Italian thing, the working with concrete.  My grandfather kept gigantic, fancy finned goldfish in the pond that he brought in the house and kept in a basement tank each winter.  One spring, before he put the fish in the pond, he let me walk around in it while it was filling with water.  It was icy cold, but I ran around the pond, taking advantage of the fact that after admiring it for years, I was finally able to jump into the water.   On one of my laps, I scratched my leg the pedestal in the center; it gave me a scar that I'm happy to still have, because it's attached to that wonderful memory.

The garden was set on a steep hillside.  On the very left of the picture, the garden ends, dropping off down a fairly high cement wall that backed the neighbors behind.  I'm sure my grandfather built that wall as well.  Huge leaved ivy covered the back of the house, which was just outside the picture's view to the right.  Bees used to hide behind those ivy leaves in summer, so I tried never to disturb them as I ran past, on that walkway that you see moving toward the back of the photo.  The walkway ended with a wooden gate that always swung open and closed in complete silence until the latch clicked, courtesy of the contraction skills of Uncle Pat, whose real name was Pasquale. Beyond the gate, a right turn, a few steps and stairs - just one or two.  Then, after a short walk on a curved pathway of grass lined with giant dahlia plants, you would come upon a decorative cement tub with a wall attached, and a spout coming from the wall that would pour water into the tub when turned on.  It was a magical little place, like something you would find in a book like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

And all over, there was the spicy smell of tea roses.  My grandfather would cut them, and my grandmother would put them in a bowl on the dining room table…

Excuse me, I have a fountain of my own to build...

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