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Friday, June 30, 2006

Pop Redux

Here's one of those Internet connection things. I got this e-mail in mid-April, topic line McKinley Green:

Dear Mr. Green,

I just happened to be browsing the web and I typed in WNBF-TV on Google and as I scrolled I ran across your name and that your father was a janitor at WNBF in the mid-1950s. My brother, John, ran a grocery store at the corner of Oak & Dickinson Streets , in the 1st Ward, called Johnny's Market that used to be Ted Gold's Market previously. Anyway, there was this great gentleman named McKinley Green who would stop in most evenings after work for this or that and we'd chat about one thing or another. I was thirteen or so and it being a family grocery we all knew Mr. Green. As I said he was one of the most pleasant, courteous and charming people I have ever known. When I saw this web notation I just had to ask if this was the same person we knew. If it is the same person I just wanted to let you know I still remember him after all these years. I'll soon be 65 so you know that it has been a long time.

Anyway God Bless the man I knew as McKinley Green.

So I wrote back, clarifying that Pop was my grandfather, but that, yes, those stores were three blocks from my house, on the street of my elementary school.

I wrote my note before I actually read your blog that described your relationship to McKinley. Do you have anymore recollections of your Pop? It's been so many years since those days that it is hard to remember some things. I printed out the portion of the June 24th note to let my sisters read your memories of McKinley. I'm sorry that this grand man passed away so long ago and we didn't realize it. Was it in Binghamton?

So, I sent him a link to this story, which he evidently had not seen.

Since he asked: My grandfather loved tinkering with vehicles. He did some work in the driveway, but mostly, he'd be at some Texaco station downtown near the former post office.

He also read the National Geographic. This is actually something I remember only because he used to give me the maps every month. I used to study those maps all the time, so I developed a pretty good sense of where countries were, world capitals, and the like, at least circa 1971, when I went off to college.

So, while I hadn't thought of it previously, Pop was a vital participant in my educational process. Thanks, Pop.


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