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Well hell, we're all OLD

posted 6/28/2010 5:50:25 PM |
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OK, i've admitted if for all of us, so lets share a memory from before we were old.

I thought about this the other day, and this is just my dorky way of getting to tell it...

When I was very young...age 1 to 7 we, (me, mom, and my sister) lived with my grand parents and their other 12 children.

I was my grandfathers favorite, for some reason a usually dirty, curly haired blonde stole his heart. Looking back, I realize my actual survival probaly depended on it.

For reasons that he took to the grave, he call me Pete...the rest of my family referred to me as Linda Jo....we are southern.

My grandfather had heart problems, and to my knowledge never worked in my lifetime, and he died when I was a very young woman.

I guess, frequently my grandmother would run us out of the house, the rest of the family was either working or in school, so i would be the only kid at home..
we visited to local "filling station", and local small town grocery, where I would get a small coke and a bag of peanuts. Sometimes just driving to visit what to me, were other old men. Of course at that time, he was about my age, or younger.

Fast forward 20 years, i was working as clerk at the local K-mart store. I saw a old man shopping alone, upon closer inspection, I recognized my grand fathers friend....Hoyte Mangrum, by name.

I went and spoke to him, asking if he remember me...

He twisted his gray head....looked me right in the eye....shook his head, then he eyes brighten up and he said, "well, i'll be damned...Are you Raymond's grand daughther Pete?

It was like my grandfather was suddenly standing beside me, saying hello, Pete, I'm still here.

As fate would dictate, my grandfather died on my 18th birthday, at that moment, I couldnt imagine anything worse, my birthday would never be the same, every birthday would be marred by the memories of losing my grandfather.

Now, all these years later, my birthday, is our day, mine and grandpas. All these 30 something years later, who remembers the day my grandfather died....I do, because its my birthday...or OUR day.

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Jun 28 @ 6:06PM  
I will give a green cookie for a unique subject. To go beyond that at the moment requires some thought. I have posted a lot of experiences, especially from childhood. Many, and they are my most popular genre (if you could call it that) have been coined "Tommy tales".

Ironically,I mentioned in disagreement with Softie on the changes on AMD, Pervia Where are You the following:

I don't see it that way as much I see it being "the old farts" running out of creative material. Everybody has their own style or styles, and there is usually a limit to how much we can put out there before it becomes a repeat. This particularly true when we chronicle aspects of our past. Once we have put it out there, we've covered it and there may be nothing interesting to follow up with that hasn't already been shared.

That kind of sums up where I find myself in commenting on this blog. Maybe I can come up with something that is not rerun conversation, but at the moment, I can't

Jun 28 @ 6:15PM  
Oh WoW, some of the Tommy stories could well be repeated!

Oh, give me your version of your first day of high school

I'm off to fat back later

Jun 28 @ 6:27PM  
Oh WoW, some of the Tommy stories could well be repeated!

Thank you very kindly. I like good old rerun movies myself. Hell, I watched Thunderball on G4 this afternoon. Here are some "Tommy tales":

Beyond being a cry baby, my brother was also a big time tattle tale, snitch, stoolie, squealer and in the slang vernacular of the time, a fink (now there’s a word you haven’t heard in decades). I often wanted to take him out back and discuss the matter with him. But if I did, he would squeal and the old man would have a piece of me. At the time, my dad was a 6’3” 230 pound high school football coach. It goes without saying that there was no upside in the tradeoff.

Then one day a light came on. “I’ve got it!” It was ingeniously simple and guaranteed to work. “That little whiney fink is going to get what he deserves.” I said to myself. It was simply a matter of being patient and waiting for the right time. Over the course of a month I would grin continuously imagining him getting worked over by my mom when my plan went into action.

My late sainted mother was a supermom. Look up meticulous in the dictionary and you will see her picture next to the word. One Saturday morning it was raining and she loathed that, as she had to put up with us being in the house all day. I don’t recall where my dad was, but he wasn’t around. She was not in a good mood and I didn’t know why. But I knew to stay out of her way because she was marching around the house, not walking. You know the mother’s march, it’s the gait that they have when they are coming after you and just about ready to beat your ass for something you did that they just found out about. She wasn’t mad at either of us, yet. But all of that was about to change!

[Now let me tell you, people, as I type this, I am still laughing my ass off 45 years later]

My room was at the end of the hall. Halfway down the hall was my brother’s room and directly across from it was the bathroom. My mom had went in to clean the bathroom. I could see my brother in the hall doing that dance that kids do when they have to pee. “You can wait, damn it!” Ooh, cursing! Lovely! This is it! It was my lucky day as a few minutes later the phone rang. She marched to answer it in the kitchen and my brother shot into the bathroom to recycle some Kool Aid. I walked towards the kitchen and could tell it was my grandmother on the phone. Perfect, that will give me five to ten minutes. I then heard the toilet flush.

I noticed that my brother was in the corner of his room with his back to the doorway. He was completely immersed in his tinker toys. I quietly slipped into the bathroom, grabbed the proverbial water glass, filled it about halfway with water, then I sprinkled it on the toilet seat and floor. I dried the glass off with the hand towel. I stuck my head out of the doorway and listened. She was still on phone and a quick glance into his room revealed that he was still in the corner. Justice being administered was only a few minutes away.

Now let me pause the action to explain that my mom was what we termed a syllable slapper. Now, I don’t know if you have had the pleasure of encountering one of these creatures or not. Basically, you get bitched at while you are being slapped. One syllable equals one slap. Swear words result in a much harder slap.

She finished the phone conversation then marched down the hall and turned into the bathroom. In two seconds she marched out of the bathroom, across the hall, and into my brother’s room. He didn’t hear her coming. I leaned out of my room just as the first blow rained down upon his head from behind without warning.

“I (slap) work (crack) and (smack) slave (slap) and (crack) no (smack) body (slap) ap (crack) pre (smack) ci (slap) ates (crack) a (smack) GOD (WHACK) DAMN (WHACK) thing (slap) I (crack) do (smack)….” As I recall, the woman had quite a bit to say.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to go into my closet and shut the door. It was just too much humor for me. I didn’t care to hear that old, “You think it’s so funny, I’ll give you something to laugh about” routine.

Within a year, the same sort of justice would be administered. But how I set him up this time was to put a Kleenex in the pocket of a pair of dirty pants of his that were in the hamper. It was even better than the last one as she was cussing like a sailor when she was working him over.

I told him this story about 20 years ago and he got pissed and recalled it quite clearly. He never knew in either case what he had “done”. After all, you certainly didn’t want to ask what it involved even if you didn’t know.

Jun 28 @ 6:30PM  
I was probably thirteen and my brother (the ultimate cry baby) was ten. I had looked at the TV Guide and saw a movie coming on at 8:00 that I knew my dad would want to watch. My brother and I were laying on the floor in front of the TV. At around 7:45 I said softly to my brother, "There is a movie coming on channel nine and it is all about you."

Just before the top of the hour I said, "Hey dad, what do you want to watch now?"

"Well, let's see." He picked up the TV Guide. "Oh, there is a good movie coming on channel nine."

"Oh really? What's it called?"

"The Ugly American"

My brother jumped up. WAAAAAAA! "It's rude to call somebody ugly!" He then ran off to his room. My parents looked at one another puzzled. I turned the TV to channel nine with a smirk and we didn't see my brother the rest of the night.


Here is another one from about the same era. I had a knack for thinking up something that I would find funny, then either saying or doing it later when I could or it was appropriate. As I recall, I got the basic idea from an episode of Bewitched where at a dinner, someone removes a lid from a serving dish and it revealed the head of Uncle Arthur portrayed by Paul Lynde.

In junior high, I would get home from school before my brother did. I got in around 3:30 and he would arrive around 3:45. My mom was a housewife and almost always at home. One day I came home and she was gone, but had left a note, as always, on the coffee table. It more or less said that she had to go to the store and would be back before 4:00. Cool, opportunity presents itself.

My brother's routine was always the same. Come home, go into the den and turn on the TV. As you entered the den from the living room, the kids' TV was to your right and in front of it was a rug about five feet long and three feet wide. Before entering the den, you had to take off your shoes as scuffing the floor was a felony. You also had to confine yourself to staying on the rug. To the left as you entered the den from the living room, was large desk.

I went into the kitchen and got some paper napkins and doused them with ketchup. I then went into the den, crawled into the chair well, and popped my head up from behind the desk. I placed the ketchup splattered napkins around my neck. After coming up with this idea, I had practiced looking dead in the mirror. Basically, I opened my eyes as wide as I could with a blank stare and opened my mouth slightly while sticking my neck and head as far forward onto the desk as I could.

Well, right on schedule here comes Tommy. He plops down on the rug, turns on the TV and is watching it for about a minute. Then something off to the side caught his eye. It is yours truly, Mr. Murdered. He turned his head slowly and casually, then there was a rapid double take. He then cried out with weirdest sound I ever heard from a human as he jumped up and dashed out of the den, then through the living room and I heard the front door quickly open and close. I got out from under the desk, wiped up a few ketchup droplets. Then I quickly went into the kitchen and put the napkins in the trash, exercising care to bury them so as to leave no evidence.

I peeked out the window and watched. He was on the front porch blubbering unintelligibly. I ALMOST felt bad about it, but it was just too damned funny. He finally settled down, but he would not come back into the house. He just stood there looking kind of bewildered.

In few minutes my mom drove up and I came out of the house. "Hi,mom! Need some help bringing in the groceries?" My brother started making all of these funny faces watching me but never said anything. He just went back into the house. Until dinner was served, he watched TV in the den and I just stayed in my room giggling.

After dinner, I went into the den where he was camped out and, grinning, sang him a little song that i had made up a week or so previously to commemorate this event. It was based upon the theme to the old TV show Mister Ed:

A corpse is a corpse, of course of course
You never heard of a talking corpse
Talk to Mister Head

He gave me the dirtiest damned look as I turned and left the den immediately after serenading him.

Jun 28 @ 6:45PM  
We got a Tommy Tale today! OMG!!!! Your mother had her hands full with the two of you. But I know well the "Mother march"...seen my Mom do that plenty of times. Usually she was pissed off at one of us girls. Drove her crazy...she had 3 daughters, and all three of us had no fear of climbing trees, playing in the ditch, catching snakes, spiders and other creatures. And her "march" was usually the result of one of us bringing our "prizes" into her house. She wasn't a "syllable slapper", her favorite with us was, "wait until your father gets home from work". Didn't really work on any we knew Dad got home from work well after we were put to bed.

One day, my younger sister and I were playing, and saw Dad go under the house through a crawl space entrance. One of those little pieces of information kids store for the occasion when they get bored. Well, few days later, same sister and I are outside playing, (my youngest sister at this time was a little over a year she was in the house with Mom at the time), and we decided to "explore" under the house. OMG!!! I couldn't not believe how many toads were under there! My sister and I were in heaven catching toads....and in the midst of all of this..we heard our mother calling for us. Yep, we tried to stay quiet, but, we kind of forgot that in order to get under the house, we had to remove the cover to the entrance. Yep, Mom saw it, got down on her knees and looked in there and she could see us....I remember her saying in an extremely stern tone using both names...mine "Dawn Marie, both you and sister get out of there right now!" With my Mom, when the middle name was used....we knew were in some serious trouble. But, my sister and I also knew Mom didn't care for snakes, toads and we knew she wouldn't come under there to chase us out. So...I popped off and told her we weren't ready which she told me the infamous, "Wait until your father gets home!". We thought we had it made....she left, we resumed playing under the house. And I swear, it wasn't too long after that, my sister and I heard, "Get your asses out here NOW!!"....ummm..yeah...that wasn't Mom's voice that time....that was Dad! We didn't realize he had started a new shift....and yes...both of us had sore butts and got grounded for a week for that little adventure.

Jun 28 @ 6:47PM  
awwwww Whisperin! That is the sweetest story! Is it your Birthday? If so...Happy Birthday Pete! If not...Happy Birthday Pete! It might as well be since you remembered and told us this story.
I loves my Grandfather too! My Mom's dad. He told great stories of bears and the wilderness. He lived in DC and we would visit often. When he came to visit us, my brother and I would play tricks on him cause of the way he answered the phone. Back then if you dialed 1411 (i think that was the #, can'tremember for sure) it would ring cause it called your own number. He would answer by saying Bellow...not hello...and it cracked me and my brother up.
I don't know if he knew we did it, but he was a good sport if he did.

Jun 28 @ 7:19PM  
Great story, Sugar!! Just goes to show that if mama ain't happy, nobody is happy.

When you get your first and middle name called you are in trouble. When you get your first, middle and last name called, you are in BIG trouble!

Every mother who is married knows how to play the "wait until your father gets home card." The first thing he asks after work is something to the effect of, "How did your day go today, dear?" For your sake, it had best be a positive answer. This was always the same entrance greeting as his day was the same or he didn't want to discuss it. If the answer to the question is not "fine" or, worse, like "Do you know what your son did today?" The result would be swift justice with a kangaroo court.

My dad was a high school coach with the size and attitude of John Wayne.

The worst was when the trial was postponed until after dinner. He arrived home at 5:00 dinner was at 5:30 sharp. Then it was like dining in a prison hall, nobody said shit.

But usually, he would lay back a little and read the evening paper. Then bellow my name (I was in my room awaiting execution). "Haven't you got something to tell me, mister?" "Mister" was the indicator a felony and serious ass whupping. He would ask what you did, and why you did it. Then the kangaroo would hop on the answer; BOOM (backhand to the mug), "Forgot, hell, maybe this will help you remember!"

The man could get mad but never lost his temper. In hindsight, that kind of discipline was what I required. I was never abused. I am a better person because of it, but it was not my fondest childhood memories!

Jun 28 @ 7:47PM  
When you get your first and middle name called you are in trouble. When you get your first, middle and last name called, you are in BIG trouble!

Oh yeah, I remember that! Both my sisters and myself have heard that a time or two while growing up.

Mom wasn't afraid to spank our asses when we acted up...but seemed like Dad's whoopings hurt just a tad we took it more serious coming from Dad. No, we were not abused because all three of us girls can count on one hand how many times Dad actually had to spank our asses. That was usually when other "remedies' were tried with no success.

Actually, the one method that usually worked the best on us was the infamous "you're grounded"...that was "the end of the world" to my sisters and I. Being grounded consisted of being in the house for the entire time of the grounding, no friends over, no phone privileges, just staying in the house. And to 3 kids who would rather be running the fields or riding bikes and spending the day outside playing with friends...that was torture. I remember busting out the windows of the church across the was my younger sister, and 4 of the other neighborhood kids. The minister of the church caught us in the act and told our parents. I remember when Dad told us we were "grounded till further notice", both my sister and I BEGGED for a spanking....being told we were grounded till further notice did not sound appealing at all! That was a miserable summer for my sister, myself, and our poor mother who had to put up with us begging, pleading, whining, and yes, the occasional tantrums to get out of the grounding. Mom finally relented about the first week of August and let us play outside with friends.


Jun 28 @ 8:48PM  
One of my best memories is going to Jess Miller's fillin' station. I found a pix of it among the slides and it will be one that I will have made into a snapshot to hang on my wall.

It was a tiny red brick building with ivy vines growing all over it...just one room that was heated with a potbellied stove. The place was old, even back then. The windows were clouded with age.

I was just tall enough to see inside those old glass candy cases...also smudged and cloudy with wood and cigarette smoke.

The floors were old wooden planks. Shelves were lined with cans of oil and all kinds of stuff I couldn't identify and all of it looked dusty and old.

But there are two things I remember the most. One was the red pop cooler. It had sliding doors on top and it was filled with water and chunks of ice...and bottles of red pop, grape pop, orange pop, coke 'n pepsi and root beer. I could barely see inside 'cause the top of it was about nose level to me.

And speaking of nose...the smell of that place is indelibly ingrained into my memory. The mixture of wood smoke and wooden floors 'n dust 'n cigarette smoke. It smelled old but it wasn't an offensive smell....just kinda mysterious yet homey.

And I remember the smell of that ice water. Well water has a smell, kinda like iron 'n minerals and mixed with chunks of ice it had a rain or fresh air smell. I can't describe it but it is stuck forever in my nose and conjurs up brain pictures of my hands in icy water and hearing those glass pop bottles tinkle together as I worked hard to make up my mind which one I wanted the most.

Another thought to go with this. This was a time when many funerals were conducted in the home. Jesse's wife, May, died and I have a little recall of the funeral. She was the first dead person I saw...I was probably 6 yrs. old...and I remember the open casket in the living room. I don't remember the service, just lots of people around and lots of food and it all seemed so strange to me to have her in a big box right there in the house like she was just a part of the decor'. I can remember staring and staring at her and trying to understand this thing called death.

Jun 28 @ 9:58PM  
She was the first dead person I saw...I was probably 6 yrs. old...and I remember the open casket in the living room.

That would have tripped me out, never experienced it and glad that I didn't!

But seemed like Dad's whoopings hurt just a tad we took it more serious coming from Dad. No, we were not abused because all three of us girls can count on one hand how many times Dad actually had to spank our asses.

I can assure you, Sugar, that if I was a girl, the whuppings would have been much less severe, if at all. I don't know if he could dealt with girls to tell you the truth. But with boys, it was mano to mano, and in no uncertain terms! He had that shit down as tight as a drum!!

Jun 28 @ 10:06PM  
I am sure family members could write a book of Rhonda Shea stories from when I was younger. I think I heard my first and middle name more than I heard just my first name. I was always in trouble with one or another female in the family as I was a rebellious tomboy and in NC in the 1950s and early 1960s that was not acceptable behavior. The one that stands out was an incident involving my grandfather's horse and a new pink dress.

Every Sunday afternoon the family woul gather over at my Grandparents house. That was a royal command in our family. If you missed it you had better be in the hospital, out of town or dead. My mother made me wear a pink organza dress this Sunday and I was told to sit in the house or if I was too hot I could sit on the front porch but I was to act like a lady. Like a seven year old wants to hear that.

After I was sure all the adults were busy I slipped to the stables to plaly with the horses. There was one I was never supposed to ride named Diablo. I handed him a lump of sugar and he was letting me pet him when I got the bright idea that I bet I could ride this horse bareback as I was too small to put his saddle or bridle on him. ( I rode before I could walk and rarely used a saddle) So I got on his back and he walked around the pasture a little so I thought this is no fun. I will ride him to the barn and back so I opened the gate and we started towards the barn. Then I got really brave and decided to show off a little for my cousins as none of us were supposed to ride Diablo and even the boys in the family were afraid to ride him. So everyone heard this horse coming around the house at a full gallop. My grandmother almost fainted, my mother was screaming at me that I was ruining my dress which I did when the horse reached the pond, stopped and I went flying over his head into the water. My grandfather's reaction? Rhonda Shea the next time you want to ride my horse just ask. I heard about the ruined dress all the way home, all that night and most of the next day as well as getting the cherry tree switch on my behind and legs. My dad just grinned every time someone brought it up and said That's my girl. My mother would just glare at him and grumble under her breath about me being just like him.

My mother stays lost in the past a lot now and was upset with me a few days ago. About what? Because I rode that horse and ruined my new pink dress. I had to remind her that was 49 years ago.

Jun 28 @ 11:00PM  
OMG...Thank you for sharing your stories with me, and grandpa thanks you too....esp tommy

Jun 28 @ 11:57PM  
I'll try and remember to write a story about it in the morning.. I'm exhausted today.. but I'll leave you with .. we knew it was bad when we heard mom screaming, "Sheila..Shawn.... SHIT!"

Jun 29 @ 12:25AM  
lol...lets us hold our breath until morn....and OMG thank you for the stories, one and thinking about the day you lost your cherrry, as that will be our next "tell and tell'

Jun 29 @ 7:04AM  
i'm slow these days as i'm back to work.....have no wit this morning...oddly what you did was brinig MY grandfather back......i think i want to thank ya but course now i miss him.....btw have graeat day...he he he names gota nuff trouble remembering linda i think i 'saved you '' as comet

Jun 29 @ 7:35AM  
be thinking about the day you lost your cherrry

That one has already been done a few times.

Jun 29 @ 7:48AM  
well hell, WoW, i guess i was drunk and forgot!


Since im the baby of the family, and I mean the entire family...i dont have a story, but would love to hear about yours.

TMI...but my mom came from a family of 13, and somehow...i was the youngest grandchild until i was 17 years old, so i have lots and lots of subsubtute moms, as there were only three uncles in the bunch.

Jun 29 @ 8:32AM  
be thinking about the day you lost your cherrry

That one has already been done a few times.

As I recall on all of the other times that blog was posted, more often than not, it wasn't a pleasant memory for the ladies, and it often involved being abused.


There is less than three years between us, so no, I don't remember it.

Jun 29 @ 11:45AM  

I am an only child which means there was no one to point to and say they did it. LOL

Jun 29 @ 12:34PM  
My before I was old, story.. well.. hopefully it will come out as a story... anyway.

Mom had gone to the 'big town' about 3 hours away for the day and I was babysitting my bro.

My baby brother, the inventor, had one of those old bangsite cannons that used the bangsite powder? Anyway.. One day he decided it would be a great idea to clean the chimney on our fireplace. So he gets a small coffee can and fills it with bangsite, puts the plastic lid on and pokes a hole for a fuse. He then sets it inside an upside down larger coffee can and touches off the fuse. 15 seconds later there is a very loud """BANG!!!!!!!""" and the larger coffee can is launched upwards to get stuck in the flue. Soot goes everywhere.. it looks like a mini nuke. Only black. Very very black. Very, very, I dunno how many veries I could type up here.. but let's just say very.. black.. everywhere. The furniture, the walls, the floor and even the ceiling are blackened. My little brother looks like a coal miner with only the whites of his eyes showing. Everything else including his teeth.. black. He's like 8 or so.. so I know he's not gonna pay the price for this.. no way.. not Momma's baby boy. So I call up my cousin who is tall to help me clean the ceiling.

It took us 8 hours to clean that room up.. but the funny thing is I was up on my cousins shoulders for a while cleaning the ceiling and in order to get around the light I had to be upside down... I left black footprints on the ceiling that would NOT come off. . no matter how hard we tried we couldn't scrub em off the textured ceiling.

All was well for about three days til Mom looked up one day... a resounding shriek was heard all over the 70 acres we had to hide on... "Sheila!!!! Shaaaaaaawn!!! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!, I'm going to kill you both.. right this minute.. come home now because you are going to die!" She'd found the black footprints. They are there, on the ceiling to this day.

Want one more? Next comment.

Jun 29 @ 12:37PM  
When I was in Jr. High we were studying ratios. You know.. 2:4 etc? Anyway.. I decided to cook some pudding.. and for some unknown and bizarre reason I read 3/4 as 3:4... so I'm measuring things up ... as cups not fractions of cups.. and I put it all in a pan.. have you ever seen what cornstarch will do if you mix it with odd stuff? It's pretty amazing. I've not lived that one down yet. Mom makes a point of telling everyone about her daughter the "mad scientist" chef.

That's ok though, I got even with her when she was making Jello for the family reunion and I added sixteen packages of clear gelatin to her mix. You could bounce bullets off that stuff.

Jun 29 @ 12:45PM  
Da squoil has some funny stories.

Jun 29 @ 2:14PM  
at Skwirl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 29 @ 10:56PM  
OMG...Skwirl just reminded me of the time my brother made biscuits when we were camping. I have no idea how he did it...but those biscuits were so freakin' hard...that I decided to use them as baseballs and hit them with my bat.

This pissed my brother off royally...but I'm telling you...I tried like hell to split one in half and I couldn't. Obviously...NO one wanted to chance eating them after my baseball the way I see it...I was preventing dental problems.

Anyway...that's my story...and I'm sticking to it.

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