When Johnny comes marching home

Johnny comes marching home

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 3, 1945

…  offered to go to the train station with me. Johnny said later he was hoping I’d be there alone to meet him, but I was terribly nervous. I only knew him for a month before we got married and then he was off to fight the Germans. After about a year went by, I started wondering if I knew him well enough to be married at all.

Betty and June said they’d go with me. June’s fiance Roy is kind of goofy, but he was nice enough to drive us into downtown Chicago and sit with us while we waited. Betty chose our seats, and of course I noticed she sat herself down right next to a handsome man wearing an expensive suit. Darned if she didn’t start up a conversation with him and get asked out on a date before we left.

Well. I shouldn’t have worried about Johnny at all. He’s been home for three days and things are mostly swell. He does snore, and I mean a kind of snoring that could wake up Franklin Roosevelt from his coffin in Hyde Park. But all the reasons I married him are slowly coming back to me.


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Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Almost made it to the new millennium

missed the boat for the new millennium

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 17, 1999

  goal was to live into the year 2000 (even if it was just one day) but he didn’t make it. What a drag. Wasn’t happy about going to his funeral and I was even less happy when I found out it was going to be outside — and at sunrise no less. But I dragged my sorry butt out of my warm bed and made it out there and yeah it was cold but it was kind of OK really with the bagpiper and the quiet waves. Then they passed out a piece of paper and I was afraid we’d have to sing something — knowing him it could’ve been anything and I even suspected he might want that dreary Paul Simon song that says “how terribly strange to be seventy” because he was always going around singing that ever since he turned 70. But it wasn’t a song, it was a Shel Silverstein poem (and I remembered he told me earlier this year that Shel Silverstein died).

“There is a place where the sidewalk ends

And before the street begins

And there the grass grows soft and white

And there the sun burns crimson bright

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.”

And after we said that corny little poem in unison we were all blubbering like little schoolgirls — even the bagpipe player who was a complete stranger and only came out there to play as a favor to his mother’s best friend.


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Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Four stitches

four stitches

Handwritten page of a diary dated January 31, 1970

  I called her into my room and said, look Ma, now I’m getting the yellow jaundice too, and she said that’s not jaundice. That’s just the iodine they used to clean the wound.

Then she thought she’d cheer me up by telling me that The Wizard of Oz is on TV tonight and I said I’ve seen the Wizard of Oz about six times already and she said last year you liked it and I said last year I liked any song sung by the Turtles.

Actually, I still like the Turtles, but I would never say that out loud any more because now my friends and I have decided that any music that’s not psychedelic is really not much worth talking about.


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Published in: on December 7, 2012 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)