shadow of a child.png

A toast to the someone who came into our lives, made an impact, and then disappeared.
In retrospect, a ghost.
An apparition.

Really, because as time goes by he fades.
What he looked like grows dimmer until the memory is of a shadow.
With substance, but a shadow.

Today’s post is of one such person, a boy.

Today is Sunday, August 19
This is my 131st consecutive daily posting.
Time is 5.40am on a day that might prove too cool for me to work at an outdoor café.
Today’s dinner is scheduled to be roast chicken cooked yesterday. But I may stop and buy a steak or a chop instead. I lost my dinner companion.

Boston Public Garden: The Garden of Rembrance

Boston Public Garden: The Garden of Rembrance

Photo of the Day
The Garden of Remembrance at the Boston Public Garden




Follow Up
So my travel preparations are heating up.
I ordered a new pair of prescription sunglasses to help me read highway signs.
I booked my last haircut and manicure.
I learned how to create a photo gallery to make a publishable record of the trip.


Reader’s Comments
Oooh, I like the addition of pictures!
Time for my intermittent Dom blog binge :)
XOX, Kay

Web Meister Responds:
Go for it, girl
Thanks for the encouragement.

What was The Shadow?

Listening to The Shadow was a big event

Listening to The Shadow was a big event

Find the answer just before today’s Post below.
Give yourself partial credits for partial answers.

Thumbnail Biography:
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946), usually referred to as H. G. Wells, was an English writer.
He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, including even two books on war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale.
A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of airplanes, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web.
His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction”.

His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).
He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.

HG himself

HG himself

Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context.
He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views.
His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist.

Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole.

A diabetic, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.

Thank you, Wikipedia

invisible man poster.png

Movie Details
The Invisible Man is an American 1933 Pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale.
It was based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R.C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, whose work was considered unsatisfactory and who was taken off the project.
Produced by Universal Pictures, the film stars Claude Rains, in his first American screen appearance, and Gloria Stuart.

The film has been described as a "nearly perfect translation of the spirit of the book".
It spawned a number of sequels, plus many spinoffs using the idea of an "invisible man" that were largely unrelated to Wells' original story.

Rains portrayed the Invisible Man (Dr. Jack Griffin) mostly only as a disembodied voice.
Rains is only shown clearly for a brief time at the end of the film, spending most of his on-screen time covered by bandages. In 2008,

The Invisible Man was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


Thank you, Wikipedia

Word of the Day

the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
"he refuses to face reality"

synonyms: the real world · real life · actuality · truth · physical existence

a thing that is actually experienced or seen, especially when this is unpleasant.
"the harsh realities of life in a farming community"

synonyms: fact · actuality · truth · verity

a thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one's mind.
"we want to make the dream a reality"

the state or quality of having existence or substance.
"youth, when death has no reality"

Answer for Encyclopediacs
The Shadow is the name of a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of media, and it is also used to refer to the character featured in The Shadow media.[2] One of the most famous adventure heroes of the 20th century United States, the Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in American comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five films. The radio drama included episodes voiced by Orson Welles.

shadow poster.png

Originally simply a mysterious radio narrator who hosted a program designed to promote magazine sales for Street and Smith Publications, The Shadow was developed into a distinctive literary character, later to become a pop culture icon, by writer Walter B. Gibson in 1931. The character has been cited as a major influence on the subsequent evolution of comic book superheroes, particularly Batman.

The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the Street and Smith radio program Detective Story Hour, which was developed in an effort to boost sales of Detective Story Magazine.[4] When listeners of the program began asking at newsstands for copies of "That Shadow detective magazine," Street & Smith decided to create a magazine based on The Shadow and hired Gibson to create a character concept to fit the name and voice and write a story featuring him. The first issue of The Shadow Magazine went on sale on April 1, 1931, a pulp series.

On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama, a new radio series based on the character as created by Gibson for the pulp magazine, premiered with the story "The Death House Rescue," in which The Shadow was characterized as having "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." As in the magazine stories, The Shadow was not given the literal ability to become invisible.

The introduction from The Shadow radio program "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!", spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr, has earned a place in the American idiom. These words were accompanied by an ominous laugh and a musical theme, Camille Saint-Saëns' Le Rouet d'Omphale ("Omphale's Spinning Wheel", composed in 1872). At the end of each episode The Shadow reminded listeners that, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Crime does not pay...The Shadow knows!" (Some early episodes, however, used the alternate statement, "As you sow evil, so shall you reap evil! Crime does not pay...The Shadow knows!")

At a dinner party at Dom’s restaurant.

Big Daddy suddenly remembered he was missing someone.

“Hey, where’s my man Jerry?” Big Daddy asked Frankie who had just completed his tour of the dining rooms and was heading back to the kitchen. Jerry was a young, small Africo boy who worked for us.

“He’s working,” Frankie, matter-of-factly.

 “Can you send him out? I’d like to say hello.”

“Sure,” Frankie.  “But don’t keep him too long,” he admonished and left to get Jerry.  Peak dinner hour had arrived and Frankie had a lot to handle.

African American boy

African American boy

Whenever Big Daddy came in he wanted to see Jerry and Jerry, most certainly, wanted to see Big Daddy.  Jerry saved his biggest smiles for Big Daddy and tonight was no different. He strode confidently into the Small Room and walked directly over to Big Daddy, his ear-to-ear smile lighting up his face.

“Hey, my little man! How are you doing?”

“Okay. You?” Jerry spoke softly.

“Pretty well, my man.  And are you still enjoying your job here?”

Jerry put his head down and moved it in a complete circle before answering with a big, infectious smile: “Great, man. Really great!”

“Anyone bothering you at home?”

“Naw. No one notices me.”

“You remember what I told you?”

“I know. If someone bothers me I’ll call you.”

 “Don’t forget.  And your mama? She well?”

“She’s fine.  I go to school and then come to work. She’s happy, especially when I give her the money.”  Jerry always looked down when he spoke and Big Daddy didn’t cause him embarrassment by calling him on it.

“Do you do your homework?”

 “Well, we really don’t have too much.”

“Alright, my little man, come shake hands.”  A hundred-dollar bill passed between them, as it did on every of Big Daddy’s visits.  “Now go back to work. Work hard for our friend, Dom.”  Jerry was beaming when he took his leave and returned to the kitchen.

Little Jerry; a tiny boy of about 13 who looked like 11, had walked into the restaurant late one freezing and windy night about a year and a half ago. I watched him struggle to get the door open. His light coat was zipped up as tightly as the zipper would allow and the collar was raised against the wind.  His back was hunched in a futile effort to fold his shoulders against each other for warmth and protection. 

Once inside he was protected against the cold but not against a foreign environment.  He stayed tense, looking around with trepidation, wondering from which direction his latest rebuff would arrive.  He had spent all evening and night walking into North End restaurants looking for a job but there were no jobs in the Italo- North End for Africos in these days and likely some of his experiences had been ruder than others.

But I was a father and here comes a little boy, in my mind’s eye, one of my own sons, struggling against the elements and the system.  He could get anything he wanted from me.

He came across the half-filled dining room, asked a waiter for the manager and was directed to my table where I was doing some work.  I waited as he approached as closely as he dared.

“Do you have a job?” he softly asked without introduction.  I could barely hear him.  He looked straight down at his shoes.

“What do you want to do?”

“Anything.”  He raised his head a bit. The interview was already longer than many.

“Does your mother know you’re out this late?”

“She wants me to find a job.”

“Alright, come closer and listen carefully to me.  I can’t give you a job unless I speak with your mother.”

“You can call her. She’ll tell you.”  He was looking straight at me now, his confidence and hope growing.  Such a small-featured, young, innocent face!

He gave me his number, I pointed to the chair opposite directing him to sit down and I dialed his mother.

“What’s your name?’

“Jerry Rusk.  I live in Roxbury.”

“Jerry, are you cold?”  The phone was ringing.

“Yeah. I’m cold,” he said, tucking his hands into his armpits and smiling.  He was always smiling.

A woman said hello. Yes, she was Mrs. Rusk.

 “Mrs. Rusk, this is Dom Capossela.  I own a restaurant in the North End and your little boy is here looking for a job.  I need to know if this is okay with you.”

 “You have a job for my little boy? He’s an angel. I know he’s very small but he’ll do anything you tell him.”

“I can see that.  How old is he?”

 “Oh, he’s old enough to work. He’s 16.” Jerry wasn’t older than 12.

“Alright, Mrs. Rusk, I wanted your permission.”

 “Does that mean he can work?”

“You can talk to him tonight when he gets home. But let me tell you this, Mrs. Rusk, if he comes to work here we’ll take good care of him, I promise you. Bye bye.”

“Thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Dom,” she said.  I hung up.

"Did you eat supper?"  I was back with Jerry.

"No. I been walking," he said matter-of-factly.  I thought of how I’d feel if a son of mine was out this late, in a too-thin jacket, looking for work without eating. I thought of all the cafoni who had barely looked up when Jerry asked them for jobs, dismissively waving him away; of all the food they scraped into the garbage, never giving a thought to feeding a hungry little boy.

I caught Mike’s eye and waved him over.

“Mike, get Jerry a Veal Parmesan and some Cheese Ravioli and make a plate ‘to go’ for his mother.  Then fit him into the schedule for three nights, starting tomorrow. We’ll see how he does.  Jerry, you go with Mike and eat something.  Mike will take care of you tonight.”

Mike put his arm around Jerry’s small shoulders and walked him into the kitchen to the staff dinner table

“Take off your jacket,” he told him. Mike ordered Jerry’s food and came out to see me for further instructions.

After several minutes, I strolled into the kitchen to see how Jerry was doing.  He was eating his food with great gusto but remarkably neatly, like my grandfather.  When he had dinner with us, my grandfather would insist that we eat like him, clearing a wedge on our plates and then enlarging the wedge by eating only the food on its edges. The plate exposed by the sedge had to be cleaned as you went.  Painful. When Jerry finished, Mike took care of him.

“Here,” Mike said, put this in your pocket so you’ll have some cash until you get your first pay.”  Jerry took the four five-dollar bills Mike offered and stuffed them deeply into his pocket. Jerry put on his coat and thanked me for the dinner. 

Then Mike drove him and the dinner for his mother home to Roxbury.  Was there ever any act more courageous than this mild-mannered, undersized, too-young, poorly-clad Africo boy walking, without protection, around a tough, entirely Italo neighborhood on a cold winter’s night looking for a way to improve his life?

Mike thought that, having a bunch of cash, Jerry wouldn’t come back to work.  But he did and found a ‘first day’ present: a warm winter coat, with hat and gloves and a pair of boots.  I had bought them with a bit of room for him to grow into and, in fact, he wore them through the following winter as well.  I never got the honor of replacing them for a third winter.

In his tenure with us, two short years, Jerry never missed a shift, although he was often late.  If he was very late I would call his mother to see if he was alright.  She invariably asked:

"Mr. Dom, how's my Jerry?  Does he get along? Is he in the way?  Does he know how to do his work?" 

I invariably answered: “Mrs. Rusk, Jerry will always have a job here. He’s already a cook’s assistant, learning to cook.  As a cook, he’ll always be able to earn a decent living.” I reassured her every time we spoke.  I think she asked me every time we spoke because of the joy she took in hearing of her son’s achievement.

"God bless you, Mr. Dom!" 

Then one night, after two years of working for me, Jerry didn't show up.  I called. No answer.  I called for several days until I got the message, "This number has been disconnected at the customer’s request. No further information is available.”

we miss you

we miss you

Big Daddy went to his home but found that they had moved out; and no one had any information about them.  I never heard from Jerry again.

My dear little Jerry, are you well?  Has your soft and gentle spirit remained intact?  Did you find a little girl to love and love you?  Will we ever meet again? I was diminished without possibility of recoupment.