Does Grandma hate me?

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Handwritten page of a diary dated August 3, 1974

… knocked the sandcastle down because I thought Randy built it. Randy said “No man, Grandma built it and she went to the car to get a camera to take a picture of it.”

I really wished I hadn’ta done it, but I was not all the way worried because Grandma’s never been mad about anything ever. Even when we were playing kickball in her garage and knocked over a pile of plant pots. All she did was worry that we hadn’t gotten cut on any of the broken pieces.

This time though, she gave me this look which felt like jagged alien laser beams of cold mean hate. Really before today I thought Grandma was kind of pretty but when she was all of a sudden not smiling I noticed something I never saw before and that is that her face looks pretty old.

I remembered I brought my Big Chief writing tablet to use in case I got sunburned and had to sit under the umbrella. So I found it and wrote this letter:

Dear Grandma:

Randy and I wreck each other’s stuff all the time and I thought he made that sandcastle. Really I shoulda known it hadn’t been made by him because it was one of the most nice ones I ever saw. If you would forgive me I will do any of these things you want:

1. If you want to rebuild the sandcastle. I will bring you water from the lake whenever you need it to pack the sand tighter and help you in any other way including using my popsicle money to get you a cold drink.

2. Stay over at your house on Thursday night and watch “The Walton’s” with you.

3. Ride my bike to that store where they have the cans of very small tiny little oranges so you can teach me how to make that Jello salad we like (the one without cottage cheese in it) (but if it would make you love me again I’ll eat cottage cheese)

She read it and she smiled again!!!!!! She said “Horsefeathers, I never stopped loving you. Now let’s get to work.”

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Published in: on February 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rated X

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Handwritten page of a diary dated July 3, 1970

… guy named Tim. His parents own the movie theater downtown. I only talked to him once at school. About six months ago. But I told him I was really curious to see an X-rated movie sometime and I didn’t want to wait three more years till I was legally old enough. He said sure, he saw a few earlier this year. Easy. Then last week he came up to me after History and said “Myra Breckenridge” is coming. I hadn’t even heard of that movie but he assured me it’s rated X. So I said OK and he said he would let me in the alley door at 8 p.m. on Friday. Which is tonight.

I was nervous before it was time to walk downtown so I played the 45 I just bought “The Long and Winding Road” a few times and then I turned it over and played the B side called “For you Blue” which might actually be a better song if you ask me. Then I put it on again and got my tap shoes out and started making up this routine to it and before you know it, it was time to go.

If only I had just chickened out and stayed home tap dancing and listening to records I might not be a nervous wreck right now. I saw that movie and now I think I might be scarred for life. I nervously talked to Tim a few minutes out in the alley when it was over. I said maybe some day I might ask him a few questions because there was a lot I didn’t understand and he said he couldn’t be too much help because this wasn’t like the other X-rated movies he’s seen. I said OK. Then I high-tailed it out of there.

I’m 15 years old and my sex life is already over because I don’t think I can handle all the complicated things going on out there in the ADULT WORLD.

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Published in: on February 1, 2016 at 2:32 am  Comments (2)  

Where is David Bowie?

1974_glam_girl

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 6, 1974

… sent me this Polaroid with a note “This is the outfit I’m going to wear in London in case I run into David Bowie. Do you think he’ll see me somewhere and have to stop and talk to me?”

I didn’t really want to get into it much, because she and I just had a huge argument about the fact that she only plays the “Diamond Dogs” album whenever I go to her house. I’ve told her a hundred times that just because it’s the NEWEST album doesn’t mean it’s the BEST.

I wrote back and said, “I don’t know for sure but I think he’s out on tour all the time. I saw him on the Dick Cavett show a couple of nights ago.” What I WANTED to say is “No. Sorry Charlotte. Even if you tracked down David Bowie, he will not be dazzled by you enough to stop and ask you for a date — because David Bowie is a lot prettier than you.”

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Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Comments (1)  

I’ll be in the van listening to the James Gang

vw van with privy

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 19, 1972

…  surprised I made it through my senior year. I was not focused at all. A teacher once said “Seems to me …” and I didn’t hear the end of the sentence because all I really heard was “Seems to me … you don’t wanna talk about it. Seems to me … you just turn your pretty head and walk away.” James Gang record — so good AND they’re from right here in CLEVELAND!!!!!

I can’t help it. I like rock and roll. I can’t help it that my goobery brother makes me look bad because he has decided he wants to study actuarial science. Who decides that when they’re a junior in high school? Huh?

So my grandpa has decided that I need to get a job this summer before I go to college and I said what if I don’t and he told me to sit on the “daveno” so we could have a discussion about it. Who calls it a daveno? Geez Grandpa you old geezer, it’s called a davenport. It’s not the 50s any more. So he sat there and said maybe he would start charging me rent this summer because when he was my age he was already in the army and saving up money to get married. Whoa Nellie, I’m not planning on either one of those things. So I said I’d live in my VW van this summer. And he said there’s no “privy” in there. And I said I’d rig something up.

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Yipes stripes, Fruit Stripe gum

gum wrapper chain

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 3, 1977

…  taught Benny to make a gum wrapper chain and it’s ok, but it’s making me have a taste again for gum, which I haven’t chewed for almost TEN years since I made my REAL gum wrapper chain — the one I spent an entire summer chewing and folding and creating and then my mom decided it was cluttering up the house and threw it away!!!!  It was a million feet long and I was going to make something really huge out of it. Like a rug for when I get my own apartment. It sure smelled a lot better than this new one does. I think because this one doesn’t have any Fruit Stripe Gum wrappers. “Yipes Stripes Fruit Stripe Gum” which they still play the commercial of sometimes, but not much any more.

Benny would rather have Big Red gum. I mean it’s cinnamon! What kid likes cinnamon gum? Eww. That makes about as much sense for him to like as that stupid song he plays over and over — “I believe in miracles, since you came along, you sexy thing” and believe me it’s disturbing to hear an 8 year old boy singing “Now you’re lying next to me, giving it to me.” I have so much to teach him about how to talk to females. But I’ll wait till he’s folding gum wrappers again. Then once he really gets going he’s a captive audience.

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Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 3:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Hold your head UP

45 record case

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 1, 1972

…  then my idiot brother comes home from downtown and here’s the problem — he bought a 45 and then decided he needed the dollar for something else he wants to buy tomorrow, so he comes up with the idea that I have to buy it off him. So pretty soon we were fighting because I wasn’t about to buy his rejects.

Then this fight gets so loud that my dad gets involved like he’s gong to be the judge, and he asks me, did I tell Kenny to buy this record for me and I said no. And because I’ve been through one of these “TRIALS” before I had my two good reasons lined up.
1. My 45s case is already too full of records and next time I buy one it won’t fit in there.
2. Even if I did decide to get rid of one of my 45s to fit a new one in, I would rather have “Hold your Head Up” by Argent and NOT the stupid short version of “Layla” that he bought. Come on!!!! When I get Layla, it will be when I can afford the whole Derek and the Dominos album!

Then my dad says those are good reasons and he starts giving a long lecture saying Kenny is suffering from “buyer’s remorse” and he dealt with that all the time when he was selling Real Estate. (And why did I get dragged into another long lecture when I was just minding my own business???)

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Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Stormtroopers dropped in for breakfast

storm troopers donuts

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 9, 1979

…  KNEW Micky would fall for it, and I was so right. As usual.

We get Wendell’s brother’s stormtrooper dolls from his Star Wars collection and we set it all up as planned.

At the last minute I was afraid his stupid cat was going to try to eat the donuts or run off with one of the dolls, but it just sat on the table staring weirdly. So Micky wakes up and stumbles in the kitchen and looks at the table like he’s confused. I made Wendell talk because I was afraid I’d start laughing. So Wendell tells him there was this girl who came by and set this all up for him. Micky kept saying “Huh?” and Wendell says “Yeah, I’ve seen her before coming out of the North Dorm, but I don’t know her name. She’s really pretty, you know, the one with the long curly hair?” And Micky says “No, man, girls don’t like Star Wars.” So Wendell says, “She’s seen you around wearing your funny Darth Vader T-shirt and she wants to get to know you. Oh and she left you a note.” So we give him this note that I carefully wrote to look like a girl’s handwriting, that said, “OK you sexy son of a bitch. How do you like me now?”

Then I got bold and I said “See that donut in the middle? She took a bite of that! Her lips were on it man.” So he picked it up and smelled it!!!!! And he was giddy as a girl for about half an hour. Then we ACTUALLY felt a little sorry for him so we told him the truth. Besides, otherwise, knowing him, he would’ve been staring funny at every girl he knows who lives in North Dorm.

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Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Ramble On’

ramble on

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 4, 1970

…  for two years!!! and she always said no. And now all of a sudden she says we can join this particular record club. I got excited till I saw how few choices there were. Man, in the old days there were ten times that many choices in a magazine ad for a record club. Then I saw Dean Martin was on there and yeah, makes more sense because she loves Dean Martin soooooo much. And she wants the little record player for her own bedroom.

The only thing I see on there that I want is Led Zeppelin II, but that cartoony album cover they show is NOT the real one, so who knows? Maybe it’s the songs of Led Zeppelin covered by the Lawrence Welk Orchestra or something. I mean a year ago I might’ve wanted the Blood Sweat & Tears. And I already have every Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night album, so great, thanks Mom. Have fun with your teeny tiny little baby plastic speakers.

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Red cowgirl hat

cowgirl dress

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 3, 1986

… pulled out this dress and I barely remembered it at first, so she showed me a picture of myself wearing it. It was really red, I said. It was, she said, and then started telling me that she once saw the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz and they’re not as bright red as they used to be either. I’m so sure you saw the real ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, I said, and she said she sure did because her Aunt Virginia took her to the Smithsonian once and they have all that kind of stuff you’d ever want to see.

You got to go to all the cool places, I said.

You went on a good long vacation once, she said, but I think she’s probably referring to the vacation when I stayed at a motel with a swimming pool  of which excuse me but I don’t even remember at all so what good is that?

I asked her what happened to the red hat that went with this outfit, but she said I left it in the motel room and when she talked to them on the phone later they wanted five dollars to mail it to us but that was twice as much as the hat cost in the first place.

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Published in: on January 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm  Comments (1)  

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)