My earliest happiest memories usually involved the performing arts.
On certain nights, Mom would take me to Poe Park, and we would buy ice cream cones - mine usually vanilla - from the Good Humor® truck.
We would sit on a wooden bench and watch the band play hit tunes in the white gazebo.
The weather would be crisp.
The band wore full uniforms: carmine red with braided gold trim. The bandmaster, with his tall hat, would wave his conductor baton as a wizard, stiff and starched like a wooden soldier or Christmas nutcracker.
Show tunes, marches, all kinds of syncopated beats would pulse through me, and make me remember music that I was too young to understand. The instruments were shiny, glossy, and glinted when swayed around by its musician.
I miss the white gazebo, the vanilla ice cream I can't eat now because of sensitive teeth. I miss seeing that band in carmine red and their shiny instruments. I can't remember the music played. Maybe Souza.
I miss being seven. On Sept. 18 will be my 37th birthday. And I'm sad I can't remember what the bench felt like in Poe Park in New York City in 1982-83.