"Oh, I haven't seen that green ribbon in a while, now"
I will probabaly never forget the light in my Grandmother's eyes the day I've asked her about the green ribbon.
"He would go to work every morning, back then at the New York Times, kissing me on the cheek while I would put the lunchbox in his suitcase and... he used to put that ribbon inside his pocket, every day before leaving, right here, on his heart".
She gently laid her hand on my chest, smiling dearly.
"Tom wasn't like the other men, no. The King of all gentleman would pale in comparison to your Grandfather's kindness and behavior. He was incredibily sensitive towards the little things in life, and no matter how delicate the circumstance was, he had some sort of sixth sense that always brought him to choose the right thing to say, the right thing to do".
I've asked her to tell me more, to show me some letters, if she still had any.
"Oh my, honey. Are you sure you have time for this?"
She laughed but she sounded nostalgic. I hated bringing all those memories up in her heart but when I've asked her if she preferred to talk about it in another moment, she stood up, held me tight and told me she would have called my mother, warning her I was gonna stay there for dinner.
When she got back in the living room, she was holding a box: a real treasure chest.
"This is the diary I had back then, that's where I wrote about him, the first time we met. Sometimes, when I miss him, I open it... and close it".
She laughed again. Sometimes my Grandmother is just silly.
That night I gave her the green ribbon back, I had a hard time trying not to cry as I was helping her wearing it again, after a whole life, in her long and white hair.
The green ribbon was found in the pocket of the jacket my Grandfather was wearing the day he left us, right here, on his heart.
T. P. O'Clary, February 2014
February 9, 1955
My adored Mark,
I can't wait to be back in New York City next week. Chicago is beautiful and everyone here is adorable, but it has been a month now and I miss home.
Anyway, before we meet next monday, there is something I am thrilled to share with you.
April, Victoria Hotel, live concert.
I just talked to their agents here in Chicago and everything is set. I will explain better at my arrival. The reason I am telling you is because I want you, my dearest, to design the art that will advertise the event. I gave them your name already, you will be contacted soon.
P.S. To show you how grateful I am, here is a detailed portrait I did of you.
From The "New York Post"
April 2, 1955
SUN ON VICTORIA - OPENING NIGHT
By Ryan Smith
The Victoria Hotel opened on April 21, 1905, in New York City. It was designed as a tribute to the Eternal City of Rome and is one of the grandest structures in Midtown Manhattan.
The Hotel has been closed for renovations during the past six months and officially reopens on its 50th anniversary, April 21.
For this glorious event, the Victoria will host a live concert by America's most popular sweetheart, Julia Adeler.
The "Sun of the Empire State" will perform live in Victoria's Great Hall where guests will also enjoy the delicious "art work" of Chef Michael Campagnolo and his talented team of cooks from Memphis.
Seating is limited to 250 guests and reservations for the brightest Friday night of this month begin today.
April 7, 1955
Today I've met the most beautiful and graceful girl I have ever seen in my life. I fell for her the second she lifted her eyes and looked at me.
I can't believe I've never seen her before. She's Elizabeth, Greg's daughter. Mr. Gabrys, you know him.
Oh boy, she stole my heart... I'm sure they'll be back soon because I've found a green ribbon on her seat, I think she dropped it on purpose.
Anyway, I hope you're coming at the diner tomorrow, I need to see your latest artworks.
P.S. I saw Julia's poster. It's amazing.
From Elizabeth Gabrys' Diary
April 7, 1955
This morning dad took us to Manhattan, Mom wanted to take a look at that new store on the 5th Ave and I, well, I just love walking in center city. Shopping, ice cream, more shopping, I thought our trip downtown was going to be today's highlight but, oh my, I was so wrong!
On our way back we stopped at a diner called Katie's. Dad was like "Oh, Katie's heaven on Earth!", "Best pancakes ever!" mom gave him a very bad look and said she's never gonna make pancakes anymore. I was trying not to laugh when I turned around and I saw him.
"Good morning, Mr. Gabrys. I see you brought the family!"
He had the brightest eyes I've ever seen, the deepest voice I've ever heard and there was something in his expression, he looked shy but also curious.
"Hey there Tommy boy, how's Kathleen?"
He smiled at mom and I and, oh, those eyes.
When he left with our orders Dad told us about the O'Clarys. Thomas used to be one of those newspaper boys downtown, "a special one, always yelling about the good news".
Isn't that adorable?
He looked at me as we were leaving. I think he likes me.
"Those pancakes were so good, dad, let's come back soon!"
He said yes.
TO BE CONTINUED