Drying Out the Past
No science this week. I’m exhausted from cleaning up debris,
making trips to the dump, drying out hundreds of papers and
documents of various sorts on our garage floor and driveway and
performing other tasks associated with recovery from our
April16 Nor’easter. My wife is a pack rat and among the
multitude of dried out papers were the art works and literary
efforts of our Editor, Brian Trumbore, and of our cartoonist,
Harry Trumbore. The papers that she saved covered periods in
their lives ranging from about age 3 through the high school
In addition to a discussion of the woes associated with our
flooded basement, last week’s column was nominally devoted to
bubbles. Among the salvaged papers was a poem that I felt
obliged to include here inasmuch as the title of the poem is
“Bubbles”. Herewith the poem:
As I sat steaming, in the middle of my tub,
amid my washcloth and a floating bar of Ivory,
As I contemplated the corroding faucet,
set into the cracked tile wall,
A bubble arose.
It erupted from the depths,
where the water was cool.
It wiggled as it rose,
flattening and squirming, shimmering
It cast speckles of light on
the enamel sides of the tub, velvet speckles.
It wormed its way to the
Then it broke.
I’m not sure what you call this style of poetry, perhaps free
verse? I’m also not sure of the date. There was a circled 74 at
the top of the page – either a grade or the year? The poem was
by Harry Trumbore. Another poem by Harry Trumbore that
emerged from our flooded basement was written in 1970, when
Harry was in high school. This one was in the rhyming style
with which I am more accustomed and dealt with a problem
common to many teenagers – the pimple:
Hey there, pimple on my cheek,
You who makes me shy and meek.
My rosy fair-haired face you mar,
Leaving it with an ugly scar.
They tell me that you’ll go away,
But you get bigger ever day!
Today, Harry’s literary talent is more apparent in his bylined
columns as a reporter for the weekly Millburn Item than in his
dialogue for his comic strip Lamb on this Web site.
Brian Trumbore, on the other hand, gets ample opportunity to
display his way with words in his four columns that he writes for
this Web site. My wife kept Brian’s notes from his childhood
and some of them shed insight on his development into the
person he is today. For example, if you read his Week in Review
and Bar Chat columns, especially those on his many trips, you
may have gathered that he does enjoy a good meal. Take this
note from roughly age 10:
“Mom, please make me two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
But if you want, you can make me a baloney sandwich, if the
baloney is fresh.” Day old bologna was not for Brian!
Brian’s love of sports, especially baseball, now quite apparent in
his Bar Chat columns had its roots in his childhood. His ability
to manipulate people, notably his parents, also revealed his
executive talents that led to his managerial posts in the financial
world. For example, Brian would give my wife Mother’s Day
gifts of tickets to Mets or Yankee games. She was not really
much of a baseball fan. However, as I recall, he would spend his
money for her ticket but leave it to me to come up with the
money for his ticket and any others to round out the family
outings to the ballparks. We saw Mickey Mantle hit his 500th
home run on one such occasion.
I could go on but I’ve got to post this column before heading out
to join my wife’s theater group for a welcome respite from our
basement. Hopefully, Pirate Queen will be better than the New
York critics’ reviews indicate.
Allen F. Bortrum