Sunday, December 16, 2007

Counting Ninas

We all have rituals. Some are rituals that we have been perpetuated for generations. Parents are doing things with their children that their grand parents did with their children. It becomes a tradition. I know my wife’s kids love it if I make baked ziti or a home made pizza when they are visiting.

I remember one of my favorite rituals on Sunday mornings when I lived on the East Coast. I would wake up at about 5:30am and head out to a bagel shop and get fresh hot bagels and the Sunday Times. I would get home in time to tune into WNEW-FM where they played lectures of Alan Watts every Sunday while I brewed coffee.

When the Watts lecture was finished, Vin Skelsa would come on the air by playing Dave Van Ronk’s Saturday Alley to Sunday Street. Vin had an entertaining show with unique music and stories and the ever present Bayone Butch Book Report.

The Sunday Times was digested section by section, but there one part of the Times that was more fun the rest. Yes, the travel section, magazine section and the Book Review were all things to look forward to me the best part of the Sunday Times was the section that housed all the entertainment, but more importantly was the Al Hirschfeld illustration.

Hirschfeld was the artist who did drawings of notable figures of the 20th century, be they actors, musicians, authors or other notables. The fun thing about Hirschfeld’s drawings was that he placed his daughters’ name in every drawing. Her name is Nina and next to Hirschfeld’s signature there was always a number that denoted how many times her name had been drawn into the picture. Sometimes it was easy to find them all, but there were other times where one had to look over the picture for a while to find them all. They weren't high lighted in red like the ones above.

I look back fondly on those leisurely Sundays mornings. They were luxurious. My Sundays are now boring in comparison. I don’t get a Sunday paper. I get up early and take care of the animals. I check my email and post the blog. I tune in CBS Sunday Morning to see what stories they are going to cover. It is also the one day a week I allow myself to eat two eggs. By 7:30am my ritual is over, and I feel unfulfilled.

Thinking back, there was a feeling of accomplishment after finding all the Ninas.


Blogger Little Miss Curious said...

Counting the Ninas on Sunday morning was one of my childhood rituals. It bought my mom some time to actually read the paper and I always felt the sense of accomplishment that you described after finding all the Ninas. Thanks for reminding me of a fond memory.

10:30 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

My parents were not Times readers, so I missed counting Ninas during my childhood, but I got hip to it in my 20s.

7:41 AM  

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