Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thank You Gladys Horton

I learned this afternoon about the passing of another boomer.  Ms. Gladys Horton was the founding member of the marvelous Marvelettes.  She sang lead on  "Please, Mr. Postman" and brought us to our dancing feet.
Detroit Free Press Pop Music Writer
Gladys Horton, the Detroit native whose voice led such Marvelettes hits as "Please Mr. Postman" and "Beechwood 4-5789," died late Wednesday at a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. She was 66.
"My mother died peacefully," Horton's son, Vaughn Thornton, said in a statement issued this morning by the Motown Alumni Association. "She fought as long as she could."

Like so many other Motown artists, she was only a teenager when her career began.  She is 17 here, singing "Mr. Postman."  Thank you for sharing your talent.

A Good Day For Cruisin'

I had started a post this morning but stopped to run to the post office to mail another care package to my 2 Lansing, Mi. daughters.  The care packages started when Daughter #1 was in college and I wanted to keep in touch.  That was many years ago and the care packages still go out... but, I digress.  Good Lord, it is beautiful out there.

We had snow over last weekend.  A big snow for down here in Carolina Coast Country.  The news said about 7 inches. Being from Michigan, I don't want to see snow.  I moved away from snow.  I visited snow at Christmas, but I do  not want to live in snow.

Today is 60 degrees!  Oh, yes!!  I had the car windows down, arm out the window, fresh air blowing through... I was cruisin'.  I was reminded so much of my teen springs when the kids hit the road to Chesaning to cruise town.  My own town only had one traffic light.  The police once stopped my sister because she had gotten a new car and the officer didn't recognize her in it.   No one cruised on their home turf. Everyone knew everyone all ready. No "cool" guys were left.  You had to go to the next town to find coolness.  Of course.

Being a girl, I gave little thought to the fact that I was driving Daddy's car.  Of course I didn't have my own car.  Guys had cars.  Usually the girls didn't.  I had two things going for me though. My father is a "car guy".  I had learned from my mother, that when you shop for clothes, the more you try on the more she'd buy.  I figured that might work for automobiles too.  So I went car shopping with my father when he was in the market for a new vehicle.  I was lucky enough to have talked him into a Dodge and white, with dual exhausts. ( Just imagine the red one as gold )   It roared.. totally cool.

  My mother was not pleased.  Along with that, my best friend's father had bought her, for her 16th Birthday a 1965 Thunderbird. Oh yeah!!  Did it help? Not a bit.  Did we have fun?  You bet.

We would grab a car load of girls and cruise on over to Chesaning, where we would drive though town, about a mile out to the A&W and black again.  The windows would be down and the radio would be blasting "California Dreaming, Brown Eyed Girl, Good Vibrations and of course, "She'll have fun, fun, fun, 'til Daddy takes her T-bird away".

The whole purpose of the drive was to meet boys! Of course... Just to get a phone number.  The cars of guys, and it should be their own car,   (a little double standard going on there.)  would follow you, cruise by you and then you may pick up another car of male cruisers.  All to get a phone number.  I can honestly say, I never did.  I never dated someone from another town.  Darn.....  but I had a great time cruisn' on those warm spring days.  It was the total experience of the freedom we had, the music and the hope of catching the big one.  In this case, the fun was all about the chase.

I'm sure there are other Cruisn' towns and other stories.  What was yours?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tiger Mother - Really?

The big controversy on the news now is the new book from a strict Chinese mother.  I've not read it  nor have I tried to tune in to see how strict is too strict.  You can't help but pick up bits and pieces though.

 My daughters had rules, and chores, and responsibilities.  I know they hated it and I know most of the ladies I worked with through the years were not as strict as I was about these things.  All three daughters have said "Thank You" when they became adults.

I was called the "Nazi Mom" by my younger daughter's friends.   I only asked what my mother had asked of me. My mother began working when I was 13.  The stove and I had to get acquainted real fast. My father worked 2nd shift so it was just my brother, sister and I home when Mom got out of work at 6:00pm.  She was fortunate to work minutes from home, so dinner had to be on the table by then..  She didn't care if it was hamburgers, tuna sandwiches and chips, or pizza.  Something had to be ready for her.  She was tired and years later, when I got home from work, so was I.

I was much more fortunate because my husband worked days 90% of their "growing up" time.  Our family rule was, whoever is home first starts dinner.  It varied.   There were no excuses.  By 12 to 13 I was babysitting.  I figured if I were trusted with other people's children at that age, I can trust my daughters with the stove.  No, it wasn't always perfect.  My favorite example is telling my younger daughter, at about 13 to "throw the potatoes in the pot" and turn it on.  I'll mash them when I get home."  I got home to their father opening every door and window because that's what she did.  No water.... just potatoes in the pot and turned on.  She did exactly what I told her to do.   Yes, it could have been worse but it wasn't.

I couldn't understand the Moms that I worked with, that had teenage daughters or a husband at home, waiting for them to come home and get dinner for them.  Get up off your butt people. I think they needed to hear a little more Helen Reddy singing "I am Woman". 

We had a dry erase board where I could write "The List".   P/U living room.  (That stood for pick up, Now they told me they never knew what plu meant.)  Clean bathroom, etc.  Did it work all the time.  No...  In looking back, I see I expected things to be done to my standards and they were doing them to theirs.  We've had that discussion.  I should have said "Thank You" more because it really did help me.  I was lucky and I know they tried. 

Daughter #1, as a freshman in high school, left a pot roast on the top of the stove, turned on, and went to a football game, in a car, with friends. There was so much wrong about that!  I got home to a burned roast.  I don't know where the other girls were, because no one was home and whole thing could have caused a fire. I called Dad.   He left work, drove to the "away" ball game, had to pay to get in to the game (which really irked him) found her, and brought her home.  She was mortified. She had been told she could not ride in a car accept with a parent.  Big oops.  Big "Grounded" for 6 weeks.  The first 6 weeks of her Freshman year.  Even the neighbors were pleading her case.  She also had to write a paper on "What Does Truth and Honesty Mean in Our Family".   That's when I earned the title of  her "Crazy Mother".  I had all ready earned the "Meanest Mother" award when she was in middle school, or Jr. High, to us.  Now when her 9 year old son called her the meanest mother in the world, she proudly called to tell me I had been relieved of the title.  She knew she had done something right.

Being a parent is the most difficult job possible.  There are no instructions, rule books, or diagrams to follow.  I'm sure I could have done better. I know I could have done a whole lot worse.  You just don't get a "do over".

To my daughters, I love you ladies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Empowering Women Songs

Only twice have I seen the new afternoon talk show called THE TALK.  Early in the program the ladies were discussing why women listen to those gut wrenching break-up songs, like Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart",  Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston's " I'll Always Love You", and LeAnn Rimes/Trisha Yearwood's "How Will I Live Without You?"

They also discussed some of the empowerment songs for women, such as Gloria Gaynor's " I Will Survive".   I was divorced at 25 years old,  with a two year old daughter to raise.  I had heard "It's Judy's Turn to Cry" and " You Don't Own Me"  by Leslie Gore.  I'd heard The Four Season's tell me "Big Girls Don't Cry".  The song that I identified with, at that time, was the all times, greatest anthem for women, by Helen Reddy, " I Am Woman". 

Daughter # 1 and I sang that song to the top of our lungs, driving in the car and dancing in the kitchen. I taught her to say "I am liberated." Through that first tough year, we were a team and that song helped give us the strength to get through some of the tougher days.

I looked up some of today's song's for women.  I found " I Don't Need a Man" /The Pussycat Dolls.  "Since U Been Gone" and Miss Independent"/ Kelly Clarkson and "Goodbye Earl"/The Dixie Chicks, Before He Cheats/ Carrie Underwood, and "Gunpowder & Lead"/ Miranda Lambert.

 Somehow, maybe it's just me, but I didn't find any song that instilled that "I can do this" thing that "I Am Woman" did.   These songs are still good for our daughters.  They say you can be your own person.  I just don't see the young women of today banding together like we did. There are still issues like domestic violence that needs the strength of numbers.  Now there is women slave trafficking..   That is scary stuff. 

It could be my age.  It could be the times. Helen Reddy's song today would never make it.  It carried the message we women, of that time were trying to get across.  We were liberated, we were united and the world had better watch out.  It's time to pass the torch.  My vote is Pink.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Happens When the Stage Goes Dark?

I just finished watching the Oscar winning Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart".  If you don't know, he and the movie both won Academy Awards for this story of a down and out, but formally, great,  country singer that fought his demons to get back on a real stage instead of playing bowling alleys and honkytonks.

It got me wondering about the musical icons of our past.  What happens when the records don't sell.  When trends change and they were left behind.   When the record deal they made was not made in their favor and the only the label made money.

In 1992 my husband's work took us, from Michigan to South Carolina.  We were eager to adopt our new location as home.  We saw an ad for a concert in a cornfield with Tanya Tucker, Don Williams and either one or two other performers.  I don't have the brain cells left to remember who they were so I do apologize.   What I do remember is, it really was a cornfield.  Have you ever seen a harvested cornfield.  The remaining stalks are about 3 - 6 inches tall.  We had taken a blanket and our 2 younger daughters, ages 7 and 9.  It was a blazing hot, blue skied afternoon. 

When Jeff Foxworthy talked about Rednecks, he must have been at that concert.  Shirtless men in cut off jeans wearing cowboy boots, women in fringed halter tops and nearly naked children surrounded us.  We were enjoying the music, looking for Tanya to show.  Well into the concert, she still had not arrived.  Finally her bus (at least she still had a bus) bounced over the hills and valleys to the stage.  She climbed down the steps and onto the stage to a roar of cheers and clapping.  After a couple of songs, where she repeated the same footwork over and over again, left, right, dip, dip..... left , right, dip, dip....  her mic picked up the shout over her shoulder. "How much time is left?"  Left... right... dip, dip.....Delta Dawn... left, right... dip, dip.    Again, " How much time is left?"   This went on through the entire set.  Finally, "goodbye, Thank you very much" and she rocketed to that bus and it left before we knew what was happening.  Maybe she had a plane to catch... who knows?   The other performers were awesome.  I especially enjoyed Don Williams "I Believe In You". The audience was very receptive until they felt under appreciated.

It didn't occur to me then maybe that cornfield was not where she thought she would be performing either.  "Delta Dawn" made her a star at 13.  She had been on major television programs and played real venues.  So had Don Williams but he remained a professional.  Tanya has had a long and gifted career but road has been a bumpy one.

It brings to mind other performers that did not fare nearly as well.  Berry Gordy's Motown label has fought the allegation that those contracts did more to benefit the label than pay the performer. Some were extremely young when they signed lifetime contracts, having no idea what that meant.  They just wanted to sing.  Martha and the Vandellas went to court numerous times to get the royalties owed them.

Eight Gold Record winning,Terry Knight, of Terry Knight and the Pack, which became Grand Funk Railroad, ( He was their manager) was stabbed to death protecting his daughter from her boyfriend in 2004.  He was 61.  I saw Terry Knight & the Pack in the mid 1960's well before fame hit.  They were playing a small ( I mean very small - It became a Doctor's office.) dance club in a suburb near Flint, Michigan. 

Unfortunately, there have been many other sad stories.  I'll save those for another day.  These had memories for me.  Whose story touched your life?

Tanya Tucker had "Delta Dawn" and for me, Terry Knight had "I Who Have Nothing".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What Fragrance Were You Wearing?

Like music, certain smells can transport you through time as well.
Certain fragrances, for me, conjure up pajama parties, football heroes, dances, first jobs, and other wondrous moments in my history.  I'm sure the mention of a name or brand can do the same for most of us.

My first "had to have" was Ambush cologne by Dana, in the bright pink bottle.  Most of the time I had to settle for the Avon fragrances of "Unforgettable" or  "Sweet Honesty".   Those just did not capture the "It factor" of Ambush's jasmine, bergamot and patchouli tones.   My mother wore Topaz and Occur by Avon.

 Ambush's sister fragrance was Tabu.  Only one person I knew wore that.  My favorite checker at the IGA.  Tabu was full of exotic tones that could easily enter a room before you.  You had to be a brave woman to carry it off,  so myself and my young friends stayed far away.. 

Dana also had marketed to young men with Canoe After Shave.  I see Princeton haircuts, clean cut faces and can almost inhale the citrus freshness of this cologne.  Shortly after the Canoe phase came another hit for Dana .  British Sterling.  Everything and anything British was "mod".  This had to be about the mid to late 1960s. 

To the aroma of citrus, add amber to get British Sterling..  My father received some as a gift, back in the day, and I am sure there is still a bottle in his bathroom. He's continued to wear it through the ages.  Also, about this time came Brut, Jade East,  English Leather, and High Karate. 
My sister was wearing Faberge's Tigress at this time.  It was a spicy, musky scent that really contrasted to her other favorite, Houbigant's Chantilly.    Their website says it is composed on sandalwood, moss and orange blossoms.  All I remember from that fragrance is the cloud of powder coming out from the the bathroom door after my sister took a bath.  It is exceedingly difficult to find dusting powder today.  I've looked.  You really felt pampered with that puff flying.

Mixed in there as well, were Coty's Emeraude and Windsong.  Guirlan had Shalimar.  White Shoulders and Heaven Scent floated in the halls around you.

What surprises me most was the fact that these were old, well established ,colognes long before we discovered them. The manufacturer Dana had been around since the 1930s.  Coty's Emeraude from the 20s. I had thought they were marketed and developed for that time.  Talk about the  "It's all about me" mindset of teenagers.   All of them were sold on drug store shelves.  That was what we could afford and the marketing for them had to have been great.

Through the years I have worn some winners and some losers.  I have tried Vanderbilt, Cher, Giorgio, Ciara, and Charlie.  I was hunting for something that would be right for me.  I got bored with each one after one bottle.  Then I discovered "Beautiful" by Estee Lauder.  I've worn it from the beginning.  I never get tired of it.   I may try something else in addition, but that is my fragrance of choice. And that is my fragrance journey.  Where did yours start?

Friday, January 14, 2011

You Never Know What You WIll Learn at the Grocery Store

  I just got home from another dreaded trip to the grocery store and I'm sure my jaw is still hanging on my chest.  As I got in line behind the only couple at the check out, I observed noticeable laughter.  There was one checker bagging and one manager joining in on the chatter.  All females.  Ok.. scene set.  The woman in front of me said, I've got a story." she said as she looked around.  She saw me and said " No, I should stop right here."  I had to join in.  I said, " You can't stop now.   I won't be in line behind you on your next visit."  Great laughter ensued...  The lady bagging then said, " I married my sister's ex-husband.  They were married for 10 years and now he's been married to me for 37."  I told her that tops my story. 

My husband proposed 2 weeks after our first date.  I was 31.  He was 26.  (Good for me, right?) In our family that was hot stuff. That was 29 years ago last week.  Now I see that's some pretty tame stuff.   

The manager then shared that she had dated her sister's husband before they were married.  I said,  "I can see that happening."   She smiled, " They were living together at the time."   I told her, "That's just wrong."  She then shared that he had been playing them both. I think she was caught.  I was done.  I thought my  LARC ( Life After Red Cross) friends had complicated lives.  ( 5 of us that all worked together formed LARC after we left that organization 27 years ago.)  The sister's boyfriend?  Wasn't that Sammie and Carrie on Days of Our Lives, years ago.  I'm not good with soaps so I may be wrong on that.  I'm still stuck on Brenda and Jagger or Miquel on General Hospital.

So what is this doing in a boomer bog?  They were all boomers.  All of them.  So, this was going on in the "If You Can't Be With the One You Love" age.   I'm just amazed at the stuff you hear when you least expect it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Heart and Soul Tour 2011

This is a good day for baby boomers.  I saw on "Ellen" this morning that 2 of my favorite performers have joined forces for the HEART AND SOUL TOUR  beginning in March.   Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks.  Was it just me or did Stevie seem a little "out of it"? 
I have seen Rod on stage 3 times but never Stevie Nicks.  I was a big Fleetwood Mac fan but never got the chance to seem them live.  I love the ethereal Stevie Nicks singing  "Rhiannon" and "Landslide".  With her mane of hair, long, flowing scarves, and long skirts, she looked other worldly.  One of my favorite CDs to sing to in the car, is "The Dance". Alone, in my car, I can belt it out.  I am channeling Stevie!!

You have to admit that it is hard to put yourself up next to that skinny, cocky ole Brit that can still ask, "Do ya Think I'm Sexy?"   I love that he is adapting to his age.  We don't want to see the Rod in pink spandex of his youth.  ( And ours! ) OK, may a little....

The husband and I saw Rod, for the first time, in the early 1980's.  From the minute he came on stage ( yes he was in hot pink) everyone was on their feet and literally, standing on their seats and never sat down the rest of the show. I could hardly speak afterward from the yelling.  ( I called it singing.)

 The new Rod performs in a beautifully tailored suit and sings the old standards now.  I enjoy both sides of his talent.  Seeing him, this morning, belting out "Hot Legs" shows he's still got it... and I still love it. 

The dates for the tour are:
Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks “The Heart & Soul Tour”
Confirmed 2011 North American Tour Itinerary:

March 20 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Bank Atlantic Center
March 23 - Tampa, FL - St. Pete Times Forum
March 24 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
March 26 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
March 27 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
March 30 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
April 1 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
April 2 - Toronto, ONT - Air Canada Center
April 5 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
April 9 - Chicago, IL - United Center
April 10 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
April 15 - Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center
April 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl

There is nothing close to me, here in North Carolina.  This will be a good one.

I just had to add this with Joss Stone singing Hot Legs with our guy Rod.  It is too much fun.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goodbye David Nelson

I cannot let the passing of David Nelson, today, go by without saying "so long" to another part of a boomer's childhood.  The OZZIE AND HARRIOT SHOW ran from 1952-1966.  I have to admit that I tuned in to see Ricky, the little brother, sing at the end of the program.  That had to be in the early to med 1960's by guessing ages.   David continued appearing on television and directing,  through the 1060s and 70s.

I don't doubt he will most remembered for being the "older brother of Ricky Nelson".  He didn't seem to have the demons that his brother seemed to fight.   

Thanks for the memories David.  They are good ones.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Skin and the Butt Issue

Being a baby boomer is far more difficult than it looks.  It would be much easier to live in the past and to only see ourselves in our mind's eye.  I would still be short, thin and have long dark hair.  Well, I'm still short. I have never had the right attributes for the current decade.

In my teens I had curves.  Curves were not popular in the 1960's.  Twiggy was popular in the 60s.  I squeezed my 5'3" 110 lb body and  butt into the tightest, thickest rubber, (no latex) long legged girdle I could find.  Pantyhose were not invented yet.  We wore those single issue nylons in 7th grade with those impossible to get into devices of torture. I wore my sweaters long enough to cover my butt.  How much butt could there have been?  My 90 lb. girlfriends said I had a "bubble butt".  I was mortified so for 30 years, I hid it.  Then Jennifer Lopez came along.  After her, the sisters of  big butt fame and now,  it is good to have a butt.  The problem is, now, mine is gone... and the little fact that at this age, if it were still here, it would absolutely be dragging the ground behind me.  See, bad timing.

I was blessed with my grandmother's skin on my face.  Just to clarify.  She used Ponds Cold Cream and Witch Hazel (kept in the frig) for decades.  I usually forgot to use any lotion or cream until I was about 40. Then I did and do when I remember.  I don't have any wrinkles around my eyes or lips.  It is all genetics.  I take no credit for that.  What I do have though is chicken skin on my hands and arms.  When did that happen?  I was reading one day, holding a book while lying in bed and saw the skin pucker on my hands.  Crap!     I sat up, dropped that book and grabbed the tiny Estee Lauder gift size jar on my bedside table and rubbed that stuff in faster than #*@&.   It didn't work.  Daughter # 3  is 26.  She likes to pinch that skin and see how long it takes to bounce back.  She's a sick person.

I have worn glasses for most of my life.  People my age usually do.  I came to terms with being blind as a bat by the time I was 12.   I didn't realize how blind until last week.  This is something my Dear Husband said I shouldn't share at all, but, what the heck.  I'm among friends.  Right?  I have a razor in the shower and one by the sink.  If I miss a spot shaving in the shower, I'll catch it at the sink afterwards.  Lately, I've been missing a lot.   Then, one night I got in the shower, grabbed the razor and heard a small "clink"  by the drain.  It was the cover from the razor.  I had never removed it.  Been shaving with it on.  Oops.  I can not be alone in this kind of thing.  Please tell me I'm not.

Monday, January 10, 2011

1950's Music

From the time I discovered Elvis, I have loved music. I don't remember a constant stream of music coming from my memories of the 50's accept for my love of Elvis.  My father hated Elvis so I don't know how I was aware of him enough to be mesmerized by his music at 6 years old. 

My father had the musical gleam of stardom in his eye, but it was for country music. He  tells the tale of me being held in the arms of steel guitar's most influential artist, Jerry Byrd, at the Ryman Auditorium, when I was a baby.  So, the music I would have been most exposed to was country.  I do know, that in the 1960's, I would come home from school to the tunes of Johnny Cash, Don Gibson and Marty Robbins, on  "The Buick Factory Whistle" radio show while my father was getting ready to go to work.  I don't remember music being a part of my household then like my daughters remember theirs.

I discovered 1950's rock n roll in the early 60's because my father's parents owned honkytonks and diners in Missouri and Arkansas.  Until I lived in the Carolinas, I thought that ws "the south".  My grandmother was 90 pounds, maybe, and 5 foot nothing but my grandfather was large man ready to get between any would be fighters.  I have few memories of going into the Palmerhouse honkytonk with her in the morning  so she could get ready for that night's business.  There were games sitting around that all took quarters to keep the night's guests busy while they spent their money on booze and burgers.  There was a shuffle board, a hand gripped strength detector,and  a bowling machine. Easily, the most amazing  was the brightly lighted jukebox that took red quarters.  The jukebox serviceman would give my grandmother quarters painted with red fingernail polish that she could used to start the patrons feeding it themselves.  When he came in to change the 45 rpm records, he would give her back the red quarters.  Those are the ones I got to use.  Remember,  I was still 6 or 7 years old.  I loved those quarters. He also gave her the old records that he had replaced with current ones.  In the early 60's, she gave me those records and I continued to received them from various diners for a few more years.

I kept them for decades and gave them to my sister just a few years ago for a party of her own. I haven't thought about them in a long time.  I hope she still has them.  They were played with love at many parties of a twelve year old and many pajama parties of a certain 15/16 year old.   Old "Sun Record" labels from Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis slamming his " Great Balls of Fire".  Little Richard and Chuck Berry belting out "Long Tall Sally" and "Johnny B. Goode".  I also discovered the slow dancing, romantic sounds of Sam Cooke, The Platters, Brook Benton and Paul Anka.

I also discovered Doo Wop from these records, which is the sound of blended voices,  usually acappella, like "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers or The Coaster's "Poison Ivy"  Dion and the Belmonts, The Del-Vikings, the Coasters, no doubt, had great influence on many musicians that followed.  But, more importantly to this young girl of the 50's, I heard them, loved them and couldn't wait to hear more. In the meantime, Berry Gordy had just founded Motown Records in Detroit.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Beginning

This year for Christmas my sister gave a me a tree ornament that is a 3 inch tall "Chatty Cathy" doll that does have string you pull and she does talk.  That is the ultimate gift for a baby boomer named Kathy.  The year I was born, Kathy (with a K) was number 22 on the Most popular names for girls.  Mary was number 1.  The number 1 name for boys was James.  Kathy is a nickname for my middle name but that is what my mother (don't they always make that decision?) decided to call me.

My earliest memories are living in a small house with my younger sister and brother in Flint, Michigan.  My parents were among the many southerners that moved north to find work in the automotive factories that were booming in Flint at the time.  Sad to say, we all know what happened to that economy.  My father is and has always been a television junkie.   I have a picture of my first boyfriend and I (at age 6) sitting in front of the TV.  I'm sure it was just a ploy to get the television in the shot.  I do remember watching the "Mickey Mouse Club" after school.  Beautiful Annette Funicello. Bobby, and Darlene.  I can still hear the Meeska Mooska Mousekateer.... Mouse Cartoon Time now is here. 

This is the house where my 6 year old self sat glued to the radio listening to Elvis Presley sing "Love Me Tender".  It is also where I shed tears over my broken 45 rpm record of that song because my 3 year old sister sat on it.

We moved to a subdivision in the suburbs in the late 1950's.  My mother joined the ladies that lived on the street in "Coffee Club.  I have no idea what those women did.  There was no purpose required like a book club, or garden club meeting.  She is no longer with us so I can't ask her.  I have notions of  June Cleaver and the mother of  Father Knows Best sitting around a kitchen table drinking coffee out of fancy tiny cups.  When I was her age of 28, I met my girlfriends for whine/wine to complain about husbands and children.  I want to believe they did the same.

Also at this time, Mom discovered the Chef Boyardee pizza in a box. It came with a package of flour, yeast, a can of sauce and an envelope of powdered cheese.  This was a very exotic food for us.  She could make one tiny can of mushrooms stretch all over that pizza by chopping them so tiny it would astonish Julia Child.  Pop, as we called any carbonated beverage, was Pepsi in the tall bottles.  We only had pop and potato chips on Saturday with our homemade hamburgers.  One pound of hamburg meat would be fashioned into 5 patties, put on a cookie sheet and broiled them in the oven.  Again, I don't know why they weren't fired in a pan on top of the stove.  Once in a while, after I had gone to bed, would I hear that chip bag rustle and the Pepsi top pop.  I knew I was missing some good stuff. One thing she never made though was tuna noodle casserole.  Thank You Dear Lord!  In my opinion, that is the worse smelling, forget the worse tasting stuff, ever developed.

I don't remember ever eating in a restaurant.  (One set of grandparents owned honkeytonks and truck stop diners, but that's another story.)  Once in a great while, very rarely,  we would all get in the car,  to go for a Sunday drive and then to McDonald's for a 15 cent hamburger.  It was a special treat when that happened.

By the end of the 1950s, I was taking notice of more things in my own space and I discovered I loved to read more than I liked Barbie.
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