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

‘Hee Haw’ slumber party

dubuque 1908

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 24, 1974

… and I still got to have the slumber party, even though Great Grandma was staying at our house.

So it gets to be about 2 a.m. and we’re acting stupider and stupider and we start singing that song from “Hee Haw”  (which we would NEVER have chosen to watch in a trillion billion years, but Barb’s mother likes it and we’ve seen it at her house). The song that goes:

“Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over and I thought I’d found true love, but you met another and *** you was gone.”

The corniest (but funnest) part is that where I wrote the ***, that’s where you stick your tongue out and give the other person the raspberry. And right while we were doing this, Great Grandma comes out and instead of being mad that we woke her up, she thinks it’s hilarious that we’re singing a country song because it reminded her of when she and her two best friends goofed around the same way. She said they went so far as to dress up like they were farm girls, even though they lived near downtown Dubuque. The song they sang from 60 or 70 years ago was by Cal Stewart, and she remembered it:

I went into a meeting house some doughnuts for to git,
From the gal behind the counter,
And dressed up fine you bet.
She wouldn’t take my nickel cause it had a hole that went clar through,
Says I to her that’s nothin’ now, there was a hole in the doughnuts too.
Then I laughed ****
I couldn’t keep from laughin’ cause it really tickled me.”

Where the *** is in her song, she laughed like the guy did on the record. We didn’t really get the joke of the song and she started to explain about plugged nickels, but we just wanted her to sing again, because it was funny to watch her dance in her flannel granny nightgown.

Then Mom comes and says we’re too loud, and about drops her jaw when she sees Great Grandma is partying with us.

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Does Grandma hate me?

pexels-photo

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  

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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Original image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s_in_Western_fashion
Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Comments (1)