‘You Know My Name (Look up the Number)

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 9, 1970

… first time I felt like I was lost in Philadelphia and I needed to call my mom to tell her I’d be late picking her up from work. So I stopped the car and went into a school I’d never heard of, but when I finally found a phone, I didn’t have a dime on me.

Luckily a sympathetic (and surprisingly young) janitor gave me a dime and then I forgot my mom’s number at work. I called 411 but then I couldn’t remember her boss’s name. I said “I need the number for Dennis …” The operator waited and said “Last name please.” All I could think of was Dennis O’Bell, but that’s not her boss’s last name, that’s the name of the guy in the Beatles song on the B side of “Let it Be.”  I mean ALL I could think of was that song — “You know my name, look up the number.” And the part where they say “Good evening and welcome to Slaggers, let’s hear it for Dennis O’Bell.” So I had to hang up. Again the janitor saved the day. I gave him his dime back and he gave me directions to get downtown.

All the way home, while my mom was complaining about me showing up late, I was thinking about how the janitor at that school sure was better looking than the janitors we have at our school.

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Original image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payphone
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Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Miss Gulch?

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 16, 1959

… today in school we were learning about a British lady named Tessie Reynolds. When she was alive, she set a record for fast bicycling. But then Mrs. Bavers read aloud from a book of something that was published in a magazine after old Tessie made history. All the girls frowned. I was so mad I later borrowed the book and copied it down. “Every wheelman who has managed to retain a belief in the innate modesty and sense of becomingness in the opposite sex, will hear with real pain, not unmixed with disgust, of what we will call a lamentable incident that took place on the Brighton road early last Sunday.” That is really not fair because girls should always be allowed to ride their bikes any day of the week! As fast as they want!

But then when I was copying the words I saw Tessie’s picture up close and she reminded me of Dorothy’s mean neighbor in the Wizard of Oz. I think her name was Miss Gulch and I should know because I’ve watched that movie on TV three years in a row. If she wasn’t younger – and if she wasn’t from England – and if she had a basket on that bike – then she would be a dead ringer! Now, no matter what I do, all I can hear is that scary little ditty they play when Miss Gulch is riding her bike.

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Original image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessie_Reynolds#/media/File:Tessie_Reynolds_02.jpg

 

 

 

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Buckle up for safety

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 20, 1970

… just had to walk in the room when Captain Kangaroo was talking about how you should always hook up your stupid seatbelt. All we need is for Captain Kangaroo to egg mom on to give us more lectures. Every time we get in the new car (complete with seat belts) she says snap your seat belt on. And then my sister and I look at each other and we already know what she’s going to say next — if James Dean had been wearing a seat belt that day, he would still be alive. We don’t even know who James Dean was.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bob_Keeshan_Captain_Kangaroo_1970.JPG
Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 2:04 am  Leave a Comment  

As if!

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 5, 2015

… trying to throw shade because of my eye makeup for my yearbook pic.

I said – Mom I practically invented this new way to use eyeliner.

She said – As if! It’s too strange now and it was too strange when my grandma got her picture taken that way in 1960.

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Original image:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C0cypQKXUAAHgBW.jpg

 

Published in: on January 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm  Comments (2)  

‘Old Man’

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 19, 1974

… in the backyard playing his banjo and my brother keeps saying “I wish he’d just stop playing.” He goes to his room and I follow him.

I say “You used to like it when Grandpa played the banjo. What happened?”

He says “It’s such a dopey instrument.”

I say “Oh really?”

And he says “Yeah, really.”

So I walk over to his record shelf and I pull out the “Harvest” album, and I put in on his stereo and play the song “Old Man” and he says, “Yeah, so what?”

And I know this will kill him because he loves Neil Young more than he loves me, that’s for sure — so when it gets to the part in the middle with banjo in it, I can tell he never noticed that before but he’s trying not to change the expression on his face. He just starts shoving me out of the room and I hear the needle come off the record.

Later I play the song for Grandpa and ask him if he could learn it. He says yeah he could learn that song but he’s never played the banjo that slow and he doesn’t want to start now.

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Original image:
https:www.flicker.com/photos/floridamemory/7739381032
Published in: on September 30, 2017 at 1:42 am  Leave a Comment  

“Handy unbreakable tube”

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 25, 1965

… would go crazy if I had this insulated bag to take to the beach this summer AND IT MATCHES THE COLORS OF MY BATHING SUIT!!!! I think it’s destiny for me to own this.

But my mom never buys Prell because it’s not the cheapest kind (and on top of that, she says she wants to meet the man who invented green shampoo that will turn all our hair green). And she won’t even let me cut the proof of purchase off the Crest toothpaste tube because there’s still a little left in there. I explained how I would fix the tube with masking tape but she still said no.

Fine. I know Aunt Babbette uses Prell. And if I give her this 5 cent coupon, she might buy more.

I’ll get this picnic bag if it’s the last thing I do all year.

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Original image:
www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/21416254694
Published in: on September 12, 2017 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Fab cat-eye glasses

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 4, 1958

… thought Babs would take me for a goof if she found out that I (the guy she just last week agreed to go steady with) was going on a vacation with my grandma this summer. But she said my grandma was pretty “neat”!!!! I thought through why Babs might be saying that and came up blank.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I decided to just come out and ask Babs and well, turns out she MET my grandma when she stopped over at the pad once when I wasn’t there. And Babs said my  grandma’s new green glasses  were fab (which I have to admit I myself hadn’t even noticed the glasses) (but of course I pretended like I knew exactly what glasses Babs was referring to).

Lets hope Babs never finds out that Grandma is a genuine kook after all. I mean yesterday Grandma started hearing funny noises on the phone line. I asked her why she didn’t ring up the phone company and she said “I will, but first I decided to take out the diddlwitchie.” I told her to show me but when she handed me a round metal thing, I didn’t know where to put it back in the phone. When she finally did ring up the phone company she talked a lot. But then I almost laughed because after she finally took a long pause and let the other person speak, she put her mouth right up close to the receiver “OK, I’ll play your little game.”

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Original image:
By Nabokov at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9833818
Published in: on July 22, 2017 at 3:17 am  Comments (1)  

‘I’ve got a crush on you’

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 16, 1970

… school is almost over for the year and I’m telling Aunt Margie that I’m so bummed I won’t see Bruce ALL SUMMER, which about slays me. (She’s the only one I’ve told about him, and how I can barely think when he’s around, and this is the first time I ever felt like that). So she says I told you to get a picture of him, did you do that yet? And I have to admit that I chickened out, EVEN THOUGH I would love to have his picture and even though she loaned me her camera.

But I said he’s going to wonder why I’m taking a picture of him, so she starts telling me about this guy she liked when she was my age AND she even showed me a picture of him from 1938 (the OLDEN days). He was a “soda jerk” (which I saw one of those on the “Leave it to Beaver” show once, but I’ve never seen one in the real world). Aunt Margie said she told her mother that she was going to marry this guy some day and her mother said, Margie you can find someone who makes a LOT more money than that, which Margie thought was stupid because he was so good at what he did, he must make plenty of money. (Ha ha. I guess girls were stupider back then.) So Margie told the soda jerk she wanted to take a picture of his famous trick of having the ice cream fly out of the scoop and land in the glass, and he believed it. He never knew she had a crush on him and slept with that picture under her pillow for a while.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17597528
Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment  

So NOT the mermaid I had in mind

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 29, 2017

… went to Frankenmuth with them in the first place because I wanted to see the “balloon glow,” which is supposed to be legend…ary — all those hot air balloons lit up after the sun goes down. But FAIL. It got rained out. So at breakfast, Grandma says she has a big surprise to make up for it. Except it turns out all she had planned was a trip to the giant Christmas store. I’m not even a big fan of Christmas when it’s December, but on Memorial Day weekend? DONE.

But I went along, like a good sport (partly because Dad took my cell phone away since I was texting too much, and I thought if I pretended to “be in the present” (his words) maybe he’d break down and give it back to me sooner.) Then Grandma says she’ll buy each of us our own ornament (whatevs). I looked all over that place and didn’t find anything epic. Then McKayla yells down from upstairs, says “Come up here, there’s a mermaid.” I said, “It’s not ‘The Little Mermaid’ is it?” (The Little Mermaid is … NO.). She says it’s not. So I drag myself all the way up there, and let’s just say, well, let’s just say I didn’t end up buying it.

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Original image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lacylouwho/4529928136

Probably shouldn’t

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 19, 1979

… it will ROCK to escape the factory and get back to school, but I needed every penny of every paycheck I made this summer. For one thing, a bunch of us are going to the No Nukes Concert at Madison Square Garden next month, and I didn’t want Skinny Bob to feel left out, so I’m buying his ticket (with his and mine that is a total of $31 PLUS our train fares, ouch).

There’s only one thing I’m pretty sure I need to do before I escape there — every day on my way back from the lunchroom I pass by this old-fashioned switch on the wall in the room that smells like chemicals. And every day I have to talk myself out of flipping it. I do not know why this thing CALLS OUT TO ME. It might not even be hooked up to anything any more, but if it is, and something bad happens, then I might get in trouble, and since this is the only real job I’ve ever had, I might need to use my boss as a reference. What if there’s some future job I really want someday, and my boss tells them “Yes, she showed up every day and worked hard … but then she FLIPPED THE SWITCH and enough extra chemicals were released to force us to evacuate the building for the rest of the night.”

No. A switch that could evacuate the factory would look more modern. Right? And it would be under glass with a lock and key. Right?

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Switch_(old_type).JPG
Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment