829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Friday, November 18, 2011

Starting to Give Thanks Early

Where do I start?  In no particular order of importance,
because that would be impossible to decide, I
present you two men.  Two men who have been in my 
life who, in somewhat similar ways, have influenced me
in their own subtle style.  I say subtle because neither
of them was ever brash or boastful, overbearing or
obnoxious,  but instead quiet, sensitive, sensible, and
responsible for the well-being of their beloved families.
My memory of them keeps me humble and focused
on being a good provider and a loving father.


Here's my Uncle Don, Mom's big brother, in 1949 rowing
his scull on Carnegie Lake in Princeton.  Let's not get too
excited - he was a Yale man through and through, but he
was a Jersey boy first, and I think Grampa bought 'Geridum'
from somebody around there for him.  Please correct me if
I'm wrong, Mojo.  It's too late to call and I really want to 
post this.  You'll get your 15 minutes later.  Just comment.

Joseph George Jomo came from humble beginnings, 
not unlike so many from his generation.  He worked hard 
and became successful, and in turn provided extremely 
well for his wife and two children. He always made time 
for his kids.  My mother beams when she speaks of him. 
Don couldn't have had a bigger supporter.  
I've always wanted my girls to feel the same about me.  
I think so far I'm on the right track. That dedication to his 
family carried over to the next generation, and my 
cousins, brother and sister, and I have been fortunate
to benefit from his vision and generosity.  These two men
are always missed at the table, which has now grown
tremendously big on Thanksgiving Day.   


  1. I don't know what you're talking about

  2. I'm just confused by your family tree and all these names.

  3. Family trees are wondrous and their branches ever-spreading. Lil' help Moj?

  4. Sorry for the slow response Cuz, but I was traveling on biz today and am just looking at this now.

    In answer to your first post, Tillerman... light dawns on Marblehead (as they say in Boston-- where I was today). If you look back to your very clever identity-anagram posts on Proper Course, you will find a self revealing comment from yours truly regarding Mojo, a college nickname.

    I am the third generation of the two gents (giants) whom 'Dog, my cousin from another mother (we're not from Appalachia), remembers above. George, aka Granpop (as his beloved spousal matriarch Gigi called him in our company) died when Baydog and I were boys, but his influence on our family was indelible and eternal.

    The Jomo family (to a person) that descended from George and Gigi has always revered Thanksgiving as Our Favorite Day ("OFD'), which is why Baydog is having these anticipatory reflections at this particular moment.

    Baydog was as special to Uncle Don, as my father was to him. I will not try to express how deeply I loved my father, but I can say that sharing OFD with Baydog and him (and the rest of our family) was, and now continues to be, the most redeeming annual experience of my life. I love... lurve(!) my Cuz.

    There is, of course, a third man of supreme importance in Baydog's life, who is omnipresent on 829southdrive. That would be my Uncle Jim. While not a Jomo (we're not from Appalachia), he was as much a part of building the OFD tradition as anyone.

    Jim and Don were known to outsiders as mensch (is that plural?), but to us they were the fathers and uncles that we worshiped. There is another incredible mensch in the family named Bob (also not a Jomo), but that is a story for another day.

    Baydog - as regards the shell Geridum, I think my father bought it from his college crew coach (or an acquaintance thereof) and then restored it and rowed it NJ. It looked exactly like the shell/rower link you posted on your blog not long ago.

    Apologies for the long, insider post, but you asked for it!


  5. And I got it. Frickin beautiful.

  6. I don't know how you guys ever figured out how to divvy up the leftover turkey.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Lunch the next day, O Dock. Everybody comes back to the scene of the crime and makes turkey-bagel sandwiches. With stuffing (not dressing as some call it) and cranberry matter.

    And an early Happy THXG to you as well.

  8. So I got it right? Jomo was Baydog's grandfather's last name, and so is also Mojo's last name, and presumably at least one reason why he has that nickname. After your puzzled response to my question, "Is Mojo a Jomo?" I thought maybe I had got it wrong and that Jomo was just a family nickname for Grandpops. Or maybe this is all one long pulling of the leg at the expense of a gullible old Laser sailor?

    Jomo is an unusual name. I don't think your family comes from Kenya, so where does it originate?

  9. Grampa's family was Hungarian, and Jomo is an Americanized version of Csomo. I was pulling your leg, and surprised that you didn't know!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Please, please, O Docker, put that back!

    It was brilliant-- howling out loud!!

    ... and how funny is this: WV is "notoll"!

  12. O Docker - that was the best comment you have ever removed before I saw it. How do you do it?

  13. I'm afraid a literal definition of 'majordomo' had that meaning the opposite of what I intended. I call that second order irony, but most people call it stupidity.

  14. You should know that Baydog has thick skin, O Docker.

    We know that you were not intending to introduce a scandalous suggestion with respect to his proud germanic/hungarian lineage.

    But it does indeed add a comic second order wrinkle to your clever rhyme.

    Reminds me of my classmate's quote in our high school yearbook: "10 kids in the family, and I'm the only one who looks like the milkman."

    I don't think he was being literal.

  15. Happy Thanksgiving, Baydog, for all the trees in your forest!

  16. Bay Dog howled out loud and asked me to repost my original comment:

    Tillerman, it's simple.

    Mojo is Jomo, Jomo is Csomo, Baydog's chromo's are the Jomo majordomo's, and everyone is always hungary.

  17. And over two years later. it's still fuckin funny!

    1. Indeed! How nice to revisit this wonderful blog. Feels like putting on a comfortable old shoe!