Ezra Titus

1966 – 2009

THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER

The first thing I remember is being driven by stroller through a snow

covered Gramercy Park. The sky was blue and the sun was white.

I remember omelets. I don’t remember my father, but I remember

when Levon started living with my mom and me in Woodstock. He

bought me cowboy boots and taught me how to paint the doghouse

green.

Levon taught me how to use a can opener and I felt like Archimedes.

Levon was a musician. He was the leader of a group called The

Band.   I didn’t think of him as a famous person, as I didn’t think

of myself as a famous astronaut. Levon was never anything but a

maniac from Arkansas. He was a child like me and he was my best

friend.

I watched the letters as my mother read me stories at bedtime. She

was the most beautiful girl in Woodstock, and I loved it when she

would laugh. Her silver bracelets entranced me, and her singing

made me dream, and then sleep.

When there was school, I often wanted to abstain, and Levon

would say, “Hell. I don’t see why they gotta’ have you down there

every ‘damn day!” My mom would sleep, and Levon would wake

her up to say “Ezra had a miraculous recovery.  We’re going out

now.” He and I would get in his jeep and drive.  First, we’d get a

vanilla milkshake and a chilidog. Then, sometimes, we’d go to the

clubhouse where Levon’s band played. I liked the music, and started

playing the drums myself. I thought I might like to be a musician-a

drummer-someday.

 

Levon and I played with toy cars while my mother sang and played

the guitar softly. On Christmas, he bought me a trampoline and an

electric police motorcycle.

My mom drew pictures with me in red and blue. We made snowballs

and got two puppies aptly named Dark and Light.

For my third birthday, Levon held a BB Gun and let me pull the

trigger three times. I shot a can, a bee, and a weed. The guys in

Levon’s band came over and sang for me. They were all children too.

My mom was the only grownup, and when she’d go out, Levon and I

would let the dogs in, which was like a party.

 

When my sister Artimus was born, my mom told me that she was a

gift, especially for me. My mom even let me nickname her, so for the

first couple of months of Artimus’ life, we called her “Clover.” I held

her hands and talked to her constantly, teaching her about what to

expect in life, the alphabet and how important it was to know it. She

was a greenhorn, but I groomed her from birth to be my teammate,

making an investment in the future.