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Big Screecher

Who could forget that magnificent “Singing in the Rain” number by Gene Kelly from the musical of the same name?

“I’m singing in the rain, Just singing in the rain

What a glorious feeling’ I’m happy again

I’m laughing at clouds, So dark up above

The sun’s in my heart, And I’m ready for love

Let the stormy clouds chase, Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face

I walk down the lane, With a happy refrain

Just singing’, singing’ in the rain.”

As a mailman for thirty years, I would sing this song whenever I was delivering mail in the rain…out loud I might add, very loud in the pouring rain, because I would be the only one walking, others were seeking shelter. When it rained everybody felt sorry for the poor letter carrier whose motto commanded that “neither rain, nor snow nor gloom of night could stay this noble courier from his appointed rounds.” Do the present day mailmen know this motto?

This column is dedicated to the record breaking rain we’ve had which ruined every weekend. Noah would have already finished his Ark pronto had he been in the metropolitan area. This weekend was the 27th annual get together of my lifelong school buddies and our wives at the DoubleTree Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey. The local meteorologists did predict a beautiful sunny morning⁄afternoon, but they also promised showers sometime later in the afternoon.

Most of the pools hadn’t been opened yet due to the tremendous rainfall we’ve had. My sun worshiping wife Sharon was determined to get an early start from Brooklyn to get her long overdue suntan poolside at the DoubleTree. As for me, as soon as my toe told me the water was not frigid I dove into the pool causing a Tsunami sending all the floating leaves into the filter traps. One dive that’s all it took. The pool became pristine, the water was absolutely delightful, the temperature refreshing but not cold. Those that took a dip took a long dip, that’s how beautiful it was. All around the pool everyone was talking about the ominous clouds coming towards us, darker and darker they became as they approached leaving a trail of rain behind it…but, there wasn’t any lighting or thunder at all. So for me, once I’m in the pool, I’m in the pool for hours on end. I wasn’t leaving, rain or no rain; I waited too long for a swim this summer and this swim I was taking. When huge drops hit the water’s surface, everyone in the pool deserted me…even the kids. Giving me an opportunity to sing “I’m swimming in the rain, just swimming in the rain, what a glorious feeling I’m happy again.

Mind you, had I heard one crack of thunder or saw a solitary lighting bolt, I would have broken the world’s record for a 20 yard sprint to the steps leading out of the pool. After the quick downpour, we went into the lobby to see if our friends checked in…they didn’t, they were stuck in traffic totally screwed up by the rain. Nevertheless when we finally did all get together we had the time of our lives laughing up our 65 years of friendship.

Screech at you next week!

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