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Passions in Poetry

Felix The Tourist Attraction

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Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


0 posted 02-23-2008 10:56 AM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Ten year-olds Felix,
Butch,
and Wawa
are diving off the end
of Penn Treaty Park pier,
down the end of
Shackamaxon Street,
in our slummy hood.  

Theyíre diving into the filthy,
sewage infested waters
of the Delaware River.

A tourist bus drives up,
emptying it load of curious people
on to the pier.  

The tourists traipse on out
to the end of the pier.  

They throw shiny quarters out,
and watch Felix,
Butch,
and Wawa
dive for them.  

The kids can see
the quarters
in the murky waters.  

The kids shove the quarters
in their mouthsó
something like a piggy bank.  

They surface
and wave to the tourists
for more quarters.  

The kids take time to notice,
a hungry glint
in some of the touristís eyes.  

*Authors note:  This took place fifty years ago.  The Delaware River has been cleaned up, making it safe for would be present day Felix, Butch, and Wawa to dive for quarters there.  
Unfortunately, the pier was struck by an errant barge several years ago.  It has never been rebuilt.  Now the kids have to go all the way up river to Pulaski Park to dive in the water.  No tourists go there, so no more quarters.

Bobby
© Copyright 2008 Robert E. Jordan - All Rights Reserved
Earth Angel
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since 08-27-2002
Posts 40647
Realms of Light


1 posted 02-23-2008 11:29 AM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

You and your friends truly did live a different reality than most of the kids today. Your's and the gang's experiences have provided much grist for your poetic mill!!!


Linda
Marchmadness
Member Rara Avis
since 09-16-2007
Posts 8010
So. El Monte, California


2 posted 02-23-2008 11:44 AM       View Profile for Marchmadness   Email Marchmadness   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marchmadness

Some of the things you did in your childhood remind me of my own. This is one of them. My brothers and I, and our friends, hung around some places that would be unthinkable today. I guess you had to be there.
                                  Ida
TomMark
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since 07-27-2007
Posts 2111
LA,CA


3 posted 02-23-2008 02:14 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

A children's world is so different from the world in the eyes of adults. No matter what. have fun, Felix.
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


4 posted 02-23-2008 02:43 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Earth Angel,

Well, no--the neighborhood reality hasnít changed all that much here.  The kids still swim in the river, and get into pretty much the same things as we did.  It's an ancient place, as places in America go.

Itís a generally poor, and sometimes wild place.

Billy Penn signed his treaty with the Indians there in 1682.  That happened just down the street at Penn Treaty Park, under a massive Elm tree.  The tree is not there anymore, but itís remembered.

Of course, I still live here.

Bobby

[This message has been edited by Robert E. Jordan (02-23-2008 05:40 PM).]

Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


5 posted 02-23-2008 02:45 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Ida,

I'm pleased that you can relate to this story.  That makes me feel good.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


6 posted 02-23-2008 02:48 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Tom too,

Oh, I don't know.  Some of us just never grew up.

Bobby
JamesMichael
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since 11-16-1999
Posts 31622
Kapolei, Hawaii, USA


7 posted 02-23-2008 03:05 PM       View Profile for JamesMichael   Email JamesMichael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JamesMichael

Nice writing...reminds me of when I was a boy living in Kentucky at 705 Dresden Avenue, one street over from the Kentucky Derby...when the big races were running we would charge for parking in our neighborhood in front of our neighbors houses...we would tell them we would keep an eye on their cars...it was a safe neighborhood...James
Robert E. Jordan
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since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


8 posted 02-23-2008 03:30 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

James,

You rascal, shaking down the tourists like that--arenít you ashamed of your selfóGO FOR IT!

Tourists are easy, arn't they--and that's the way it should be.

Bobby
Midnitesun
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since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


9 posted 02-23-2008 05:55 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

What an interesting story. It's great the river is cleaner, but sad the pier is gone. As for quarter-tossing-tourists, what they did was treat Felix et al like performing seals.
In your presentations, you never fail to give the Felix's of the world the respect they deserve as humans.
Roniece Dawson-Bruce
Member Ascendant
since 01-29-2000
Posts 5694
Sydney, Australia


10 posted 02-23-2008 06:16 PM       View Profile for Roniece Dawson-Bruce   Email Roniece Dawson-Bruce   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Roniece Dawson-Bruce

now that sounded like a fun day Bobby for Felix and his gang... hope they didn't end up with bad ear infections or anything like that from the murky river!  love RDB

Be kind at heart....for everyone you meet has their own battle to fight.........

Earth Angel
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since 08-27-2002
Posts 40647
Realms of Light


11 posted 02-23-2008 06:20 PM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

A wealth of history in your neighborhood! Thank you for your interesting and informative reply!


Linda
Margherita
Member Seraphic
since 02-08-2003
Posts 21103
Eternity


12 posted 02-23-2008 06:40 PM       View Profile for Margherita   Email Margherita   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Margherita

A pity that the water was murky, otherwise it would have been such a pleasure for Felix!

Among the better memories I am sure.

Thank you dear Bobby for another interesting piece of the story!

love
Margherita
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


13 posted 02-23-2008 06:56 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Midnitesun,

I love your response to the poem.  It made me laugh out loud.  Now let's see, what kind of noise do seals make?  Arf Arf Arf?  I know it's something like that.

Your comment made me blush, thanks for that.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


14 posted 02-23-2008 07:01 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Dear RDB,

It's funny you should mention ear infections.  I've been troubled with ear infections for years now.  I don't really hear that well, because of them.

Felix and his gang were always catching something from that river--and it wasn't fish.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


15 posted 02-23-2008 07:04 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Earth Angel,

I'm glad you came back to this.

BTW, That treaty was never broken.  That is where Philadelphia picked up it's nickname--"The City of Brotherly Love".

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


16 posted 02-23-2008 07:06 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Dear Margherita,

Thanks Hon.  It still was loads of fun for Felix, and the gang.  It was a wonderful time.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


17 posted 02-23-2008 08:23 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Midnitesun,

Please let me add that Felix is a dear friend that I have know for many years.  He's now retired from all that, and drives a cab here in Philadelphia.

Yes, he went through hell as a child.  It didn't leave him bitter.

Bobby

[This message has been edited by Robert E. Jordan (02-23-2008 11:45 PM).]

Alison
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Rara Avis
since 01-27-2008
Posts 9055
Lumpy oatmeal makes me crazy!


18 posted 03-01-2008 02:29 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

The kids in my area used to steal the beer coolers of the tourists when they were out fishing.  I guess kids are pretty much the same everywhere.  Rural or city kids seem to have a way of getting what they need (or want).

A
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


19 posted 03-01-2008 03:18 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Alison,

What a good idea.  I'll pass that on to Felix.

Kids are kind of the same everywhere.

Thanks for digging this one up.

Bobby
Earl Brinkman
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since 03-03-2010
Posts 1185
Osaka, Japan


20 posted 10-14-2010 01:00 AM       View Profile for Earl Brinkman   Email Earl Brinkman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Brinkman

I found this interesting.  
 
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