family

All posts tagged family

Ghosts: Watching Over

Published October 17, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

My dad would have been 75 last week. In some sort of coincidental converging of significant dates, we are also inching towards the 20th anniversary of his passing. His death in 2002 was totally unexpected….there was no early term cancer or other major health issues – just one final popping of his heart, one warm, late summer afternoon . That endlessly surprising week, my sister and brother & I camped out in the living room of his house in the far stretches of Western New York, pouring through boxes of photos & family mementos, writing his obituary. I would wake in the morning on the floor of that well worn area, my body curved towards my sister’s on the couch, almost like a human cocoon. It was like I was trying to protect her, unconsciously in the night – to cradle her from any further, completely unexpected blows. My niece Gabby arrived later in the week, descending breathlessly upon the funeral home with her father & younger brother. There was no one my father and I adored more in the world…each of us fighting to spend as much time with her as possible on those all too rare get togethers between our far flung family members. That evening, I walked with her into the waiting area where we, quietly, looked at all the memorabilia pertaining to my dad’s life – his existence laid out on cork boards and carefully scattered photo albums. There, upon seeing a photo of herself and my father, my dear, dear niece’s chin began to quietly tremble. As her adorably plump cheeks quivered, one single, fat, perfectly formed tear eventually leaked from her left eye. “Grandpa is dead,” she gasped, “and – I – will – never – ever – see – him – again!”

And I, being the kind of uncle who sang her Husker Du songs as lullabies when she was a toddler and tried to engage her in feminist chants during my infrequent stints as a babysitter , said, “Oh no, you’ll see him again, honey! He’ll appear to you when you need him the most. Your great grandmother, dad’s mom, has shown up to talk to me…even on the day of her funeral. So, maybe you’ll even see grandpa this week. But even if you don’t, he’ll be watching over you, always.” Perhaps, thankfully, it didn’t register in her 5 year old mind that her agnostic, punk rock loving uncle was talking to her about ghosts as the dawn leaked away from the sky that twilight gloaming – but I was….& perhaps rightfully so. My niece has grown up to be strong and sure and independent- the product not only of her own fierce will & a strong familial hand… but perhaps also due to the presence of a man who loved her very much and who has been watching over her from some misty, far off plane.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Christmas Coal.

Published December 16, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

For decades my grandfather Kirst worked at the Niagara Mohawk coal plant in WNY. It was a backbreaking job that was accentuated and/or offset by his wicked sense of humor and love for the written word. One year when I was 6 or 7, he and my grandmother decided to play a joke on me – one that they had probably been anticipating for years. They just had to wait until I was old enough to understand. So, finally, in that moment of my glimmering consciousness, they wrapped up a gloriously shiny chunk and placed it under the tree – a behaviorist coal in your stocking moral come to late winter’s life. The whole family breathlessly waited as I opened it up, expecting me to jokingly howl in protest. I surely hadn’t been bad enough to deserve this as a gift!!

Unfortunately, they hadn’t realized the extent of my grade school angst. “It’s coal, Brian, it’s coal!” they chanted as I sat, bewildered, staring at it. I could tell my grandparents and everyone who witnessed the unveiling were disappointed. They thought the joke had failed. It hadn’t. I knew what it was. I was just lost, as I always seemed to be, endlessly in my head. Was there a hint of reality in this bit of humor? Did everyone, deep down, really believe that I was a bad kid? Even then, I could multiply my darkest thoughts without much effort, so I sat there adding up all the small betrayals and petty lies I had conjured over the past twelve months. Perhaps, I really was only worthy of inky stone at holiday gatherings – and here it was, an instance of truth behind the laughter shining into life. Of course, other gifts were soon dispersed and those thoughts were quickly put behind me.

But on these first few days of freezing seasonal temps here in Chicago, the memory of this evening comes rollicking back and I wish I could tell my grandfather (and all those there long lost) that their game then was strictly on point. But as with any other youthful sport I attempted, I was eternally bound for the sidelines – the minutiae of analysis, my propensity to view both sides of the coin fully, already doing me in.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Zack Kauffman Fund

Published January 18, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

kauffman

The majority of society feels like it is living on a perilous financial ledge, as of late. Expenses rise. Salaries stay the same…or even worse, decrease. One disaster could put many of us on the streets or, perhaps even worse – back on our parents’ couches! Thus, it seems ever more important to lend a hand when we can…even if it is just a couple of dollars.

Zack Kauffman, one of the brilliantly creative minds behind Atomic Cotton, has recently incurred some major medical expenses and is need of the horror community’s assistance. He and his wife, Erica, are great people and I’m sure that even that loose change that is jingling softly in your apartment’s corners would truly help them out.

https://www.gofundme.com/kauffman-emergency-help-fund

Or…if you are still being haunted by those holiday gift cards, purchasing a t-shirt from https://atomiccotton.com/ would also surely put an ease on their monetary burdens.

Thanks for everyone’s thoughtful consideration and wishes for a super healthy and incredibly creative year for all.

SWEET love and pink GRUE,

Big Gay Horror Fan

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Pointer Sisters

Published November 11, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Pointer sisters group

Sibling rivalry does its thing. My sister’s love of Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go’s meant that I was unable to truly worship at its punk-pop greatness until nostalgia hit me in my mid-40s. Meanwhile, my brother’s love of Madonna and Olivia Newton-John left their charms eternally foreign to me. Another of his favorite records, the Pointer Sisters’ Contact, also came under my powers of derision. But a recent pick-up from a dollar bin has uncovered its darker, smoky charms to me. The popular Dare Me, for example, seems like the perfect background music to the violent cat and mouse face-offs that exist between such supernatural slasher icons as Freddy and Jason and their (often ingeniously) wily targets, Nancy Thompson and Laurie Strode.

Thankfully, The Pointer Sisters are still spreading their rich magic – one of their songs was even used on Ryan Murphy’s short lived Scream Queens – and showing the world how their blend of pop, rock, soul and (even) country music made them one of the world’s truly under-sung super groups. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/The-Pointer-Sisters-Official-131523497289/

pointer sisters contact.jpg

…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan