Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hats Off To Murray

Murray Handwerker
who helped grow
Nathan's Famous
from his father's
Coney Island
hot dog stand
into a national franchise
died Saturday (5/14/11)
at his home
in Palm Beach Gardens
He was 89
He may be gone,
but his legend
will live forever.
RIP Murray!
Two dogs to go
with mustard and relish

I used to love
To go to Nathan’s
But especially
After taking a date
To the movies
Especially in the winter
With all the clouds of steam
And fragrances
Rising from the vats
Of corn
Roast beef
Chinese food
Hot dogs
Fish cakes
And those
mouth wateringly
French fries
With plenty of beer
And soda pop
On tap to wash
It all down

Inside Nathan's
glass enclosed doors
It was warm
As toast
Even if outside
was Antartica
But it didn’t matter
We were safe
And full of good food
And possibly in love
And we would sip
Piping hot coffee
Mixed with hip flask
And we would talk
About God and religion
About our parents
Who never seemed to get it
Or understand our teen age angst
About Lincoln’s chances against
And about the atomic bomb
And the coming end
Of the world
About the chances
of growing old
Or living to the ripe old age
Of thirty
About the need
And the practicality
Of having a back yard
Fall out shelter
Assuming that
You actually had
A back yard
And about whether Nixon
Would beat Kennedy
And about Jackie’s clothes
And hairdo
And about our
Favorite poets
And writers
Records, music and magazines
About a new pop group
Called the Beatles
Who were coming to America
For the very first time
To be on the Ed Sullivan show
And about how maybe we could go
If we could get some tickets
And about fashions
and hair styles
About the new cars
With all the shiny chrome
And fancy fins
About our hopes and dreams
for the future
Just in case
there was actually going
To be a future
About actors and actresses
And Hollywood
Wondering if Annette Funicello
Was really dating Frankie Avalon
And about what their children
Would look like
If they were going
To have children
And about what our children
Might look like
If we were going
To have children
And about the movie
We had just seen
And about school
Our subjects
Our courses
Our schedules
And about our favorite
And most hated
And we would
gossip about our friends
And about who was dating whom
And about who was breaking up
And we’d decide
Where we were going
To spend
The rest of the night
My place or yours
And about the odds of slipping
Past the guard
Of snooping
suspicious parents
If we were so inclined
But there was no rush
The evening
was still young
And so were we

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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