Peter Pan - Act One

Howard had a recurring dream that Peter Pan would fly through our bathroom window, past the mermaids and seashells Mom let him paint on the tile above the tub, and make a quick left into his bedroom. No doubt he hoped that Peter would carry him off... Second star to the right and straight on to morning

I don’t know whether he figured on a return flight back to Baltimore.

When we were kids, there was an annual telecast of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin and Cyril Richard. Watching it was a religious rite in our home, second only to the viewing of The Wizard of Oz and preparations for Passover. On our block of Flannery Lane, the airing of a movie was a community event...

I have a home where dreams are born and time is never planned

You could hear echoes of Martin, down the block as we all tuned in.

One moist July afternoon, Howard borrowed Dad’s Brownie camera and lured Sandy Schlossberg, who lived two doors down, to pose as Peter Pan. Sandy, who was long and thin and a good sport, costumed herself in green shorts with a white blouse tied at her waist. Howard found a green felt beanie and made an orange feather for it out of a piece of construction paper.

Fully outfitted, Sandy climbed halfway out of the second story window of her parent’s bedroom. With one leg crooked over the sill, tilting dangerously toward the ground, she crossed her arms. Wobbling a little, she waited for her cue.

“Now,” Howard yelled, one eye squinted and the other peering through the Brownie.

Sandy lifted her chin, crossed her arms and raised her chin...

Cockle Doodle-Doo


“You could have been killed,” Sandy’s parents when they saw the photo of their only daughter risking her life for a photo.

Our parents were more indulgent. Dad checked the Brownie for damage and told Howard to ask permission the next time.

Mom had other concerns, “It’s a very good picture,” she said. “Very professional.”