In Flight by Hannah Garson

“They did it again!” I shriek. Anything in flight fascinates my three-year old twin brothers, especially our family’s personal possessions flying out windows. Lying in the grass nine floors down is my fairy-godmother costume skirt.

I sprint out of the apartment and jab the elevator button, hoping no one will take my skirt before I get to it. A dash out the lobby doors, across the grass, the skirt is now safely in my hands.

Back upstairs, I see that my father has corralled my brothers and given them “a good talking to.” They sit on the couch, side by side, with their heads down.

“Flying,” they say as I angrily shake my skirt at them.

“No more flying,” I shout. “Not my clothes. Not my shoes. Not my books. Not Ma’s sweaters. Not Dad’s ties. Got it?”

Two heads sadly bob up and down.

I storm to my room, fold the skirt and hide it in the back of a dresser drawer. 

After lunch that Sunday, we walk through the streets of our Bronx neighborhood, my father pushing my brothers’ double stroller, my mother waving to neighbors. We wind around the buildings of our housing development and enter a small park.  

Passing a group of jump-roping girls, we notice that they are not using a regular rope, but an electrical power cord. In one turner’s hand is the pronged plug; the other girl holds the end that inserts into the back of a television chassis. The thwack of the wire on concrete stops my father.

“Look,” he says, gesturing at the jumpers. “Wait ‘til some poor schnook finds out his cord is gone. No T.V. for him tonight.” We chuckle at the thought, turn the corner for home.

Dinner, then my brothers tucked in bed, The Ed Sullivan show tops off the night. 

My father glances at his watch.

“Ed’s got Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence singing tonight,” he calls out to my mother.

“Turn on the T.V,” she says, settling onto the couch. 

I sit in my favorite spot on the floor, stretch out my legs and lean back on my hands.

My father rises and turns the start knob on the console. The screen remains dark.

“I hope a tube didn’t burn out,” says my mother.

“It’s almost time,” I announce, bouncing my legs in front of me.

“Maybe the cord fell out,” my father says. “I’ll check.” He disappears behind the television.

“Well?” asks my mother.

His head pops out from behind the set. “The cord’s gone.”
 “Gone?” says my mother. “Can’t be. The twins watched cartoons this morning.”

“It’s not here now.” He looks over at me. “Have you seen the power cord?”

I shake my head.

“Where…?” He scans the living room; his eyes suddenly light up when he spies the open window. 

“Those girls…” He flies out of our apartment, the door slamming behind him.

Long after Ed Sullivan’s show has ended, my father returns home.

Holding out his empty hands, he says, “I’m the poor schnook.”

Hannah Garson taught special needs children in New York City for 35 years. She is the coordinator of a writers’ group in Queens, New York. Her puzzles, short stories, essays and articles have appeared in Highlights for Children, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Art Times and local newspapers.

21 thoughts on “In Flight by Hannah Garson”

  1. Haha. That was a wonderful story. I can tell by the reference to Steve and Eydie that you’re about my age. I can’t help but wonder if you did actually have little brothers who threw things out the window.

    1. Dee, thanks for reading my story and leaving a comment. My brothers did throw things out the window. Many mornings before school, I had to run down 9 flights of stairs to retrieve an article of clothing. I finally made paper kites and taught my brothers how to fly those out of the window instead of family possessions! That worked…sometimes!

  2. Hannah,
    What a wonderfully written memory!
    Somehow I can just see your family and your Dad’s expression that evening! Can’t wait to read the next

    1. Barbara, you and I are part of each others’ earliest childhood memories which I have treasured all my life. Thank you for your support and for looking forward to my next story. I’ll start writing now!!

  3. Hannah, this was a great story that connects us all to memories of our own childhood. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing. 😃

    1. That’s why I write – for others to connect with me through written words. I’m so glad that you connected your own childhood memories with my story.

  4. Hi Hannah, I was wondering the same thing that Dee already asked. And is the part about your dad being the poor schnook also true? Loved reading your story!!!! Thanks, Sheila

    1. Thank you, Sheila. Yes, it’s a true story illustrating, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” I’m glad you enjoyed my story.

  5. I’m prouder than I ever thought possible. This the second article I’ve read that you’ve had published.
    Happy safe and wonderful times ahead to you and your loved ones, near or far.
    Marilyn ❤️

  6. Hannah, my beautiful talented young friend, I’m bursting with pride having received a copy of another article you’ve had published.
    The world needs stories that bring uplifting feelings, the present circumstances have darkened their perspective to being bleak.
    Bless you for being the source of joy and renewed belief once again.
    Marilyn 🙏🏻💕

  7. I truly enjoyed reading your sweet story. It brought me back in time to the days of watching Ed Sullivan with the family on Sun. nights. Keep them coming, G!

  8. Dear Hannah, I am constantly amazed on how you can pull little tidbits from deep in your memory and weave them into beautiful stories that resonate with us so many years later. Thank you!

    1. Cathy, thank you so much for your support through the years. When writing, I hope to reach people in a place deep inside themselves, and as you so lovely put, to resonate with them.
      Thank you.

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