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Friday, April 29, 2011

Put off procrastination

I've always been a procrastinator. Lots of people are, but maybe I'm better at it than most people. Is a better procrastinator a worse procrastinator?

I was born a day late.
  • Even though my birthday is also Income Tax Day, I've filed my tax return on time only once in the last 40-plus years. Fortunately, I get refunds, not penalties.
  • When I freelanced for Rolling Stone magazine in the early 70s (before fax machines were common and long before email) I often drove to Laguardia airport to have my column flown to the main office in San Francisco. The air freight fee was at least half of what I got paid for writing. Stupid.
  • In high school, I often did homework for sixth-period English class in fifth-period chemistry class (or maybe it was vice versa).
  • When I was a teenager, I once backdated the Pitney-Bowes mailing machine in my father's office so it would look like the holiday cards I sent out in January were delayed by the Post Office -- not by me.
  • In college, I made up a list of "Marcus Maxims." One was "Don't put off 'til tomorrow things you can put off 'til the day after tomorrow." (Other maxims are "Never buy less than a pound of anything" and "Nothing is worth waiting for.")
Today, that maxim came in conflict with a genuine fact of life: "Nothing lasts forever."

In my Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults), I have a chapter about my name. I mention visiting the restaurant at the Marcus Dairy in Danbury, CT, to buy a milkshake and a newspaper. I jokingly showed the cashier my driver's license and asked if I get the family discount. She apparently took me seriously, and said, "Everything in the store is free."

I'm not really related to the Marcus milk makers.

Marcus is a common name, and many Marcuses have no connection other than the name. Many families now named Marcus used to have other names. My great grandfather was Isaac Dzmichevitsky (or something like that) before he came to the United States. I have no idea why Marcus was selected to be his American name, but I'm glad I'm not Michael N. Dzmichevitsky.

My father used to have a Marcus Dairy hat, that he apparently bought from one of their milk delivery men. I used to have a Marcus Dairy milk crate, and I still have a Marcus Dairy wooden toy truck. I guess pop and I were trying to borrow fame. Now I have to generate my own.

Danbury is about 45 minutes from where I now live. I have not had a reason to go there recently, but have long intended to stop by the dairy, seek out one of the owners (maybe even Michael Marcus) and present a copy of my book. I'd accept a free milkshake, if offered.

In a few hours, I have to drive past Danbury, on my way to and from Fishkill, New York where my wife and I get haircuts (that's another story).

I Googled to get the address for the dairy, and found that the dairy bar, opened in 1947, had closed in February. The land is going to be used for a Whole Foods store. Many people will miss the dairy, including bikers.

I read that the milk packaging plant moved east from Danbury to Oxford. It's actually closer to me now. Maybe I'll take a ride there some day.

Or, maybe not.



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