Tuesday, July 29, 2008


In July of 2006 I posted my first blog entry. I had decided that I would put down memories of my long life…as a gift for my three children. Little did I know that this simple act of starting a blog would open the door to an exciting new view of the world and it’s many and varied occupants.

Not only have I corresponded with other bloggers; but I’ve actually met with three of them in person. Then, last night, I was flabbergasted to find that I’ve been following and commenting on the blog of a gal in Texas for over a year who is actually the sister-in-law of one of the girls that I sponsor in the AA program here in North Carolina. We’ve been “blogger friends” without realizing that we were related, too … (in the AA way, at least.)

With these thoughts in mind I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite comments over the past years, starting with hers:

OMG - Ginnie that is so unbelivable!…What a tiny world we live in!!! Oh she is sooo wonderful, and my brother is soo wonderful too, although a "normie". Isn't this amazing????”

“My husband teases me, because in the 5 years since my mother's death I have grown nostalgic for many of the things that used to drive me crazy to the point of fury!”

“My friend's grandmother lived to be 103.In her nineties she was still delivering meals on wheels. Every 4th of July she was out marching with a neighborhood "ragtag band." …a positive outlook? Oh yes.”

“I found a love letter tonight from my deceased husband and laughed because he said he just couldn't wait until Saturday night. It would be in the paper who would be at the Totem Pole.....it was Glen Miller's Band. We were going to Brockton High School and started dating at 15 & 17 after knowing each other all our lives and were married for 42 AWESOME years before he passed away from cancer.
What wonderful memories of that place. We went as often as his pitiful little grocery store job paycheck would allow. Thank you for the memories. You made my day as I was sitting here missing him so much tonight.”

“I live about 20 minutes from Clyde's (Music) Barn & I go almost every Tuesday Night! I go with my family & friends & the only other place I go on Tuesday's is the Fire Dept I am on. I love going down there & seeing my friends & sing when they can get me on stage,”

“This advertisement, (referring to “The Kid in Upper 4”) inspired me to open an advertising agency, and later, to shift careers and go into talk radio. Thank you for posting it - it hearkens to a time when patriotism was a given, when copywriters were copywriters, when men who sought meaning could find it even on the bulkheads of a commuter train.”

Just a few of the many comments that lighten my day. Keep them coming, please!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Now THAT was music !!

Chubby Checkers and the Andrews Sisters. Who could ask for anything more? And, guess what? Chubby is still dancing and asking “c’mon baby, let’s do the twist !”

I saw him recently on TV and although it was early morning I couldn’t resist his invitation. I found myself gyrating around the living room in time to his famous twistin’ music.

It got me thinking of the music of today...the rap songs and even the so-called serious stuff. I can’t understand half the words and the rhythm seems all wrong. I decided to prove my theory about the “better music days” and did some extensive research.

This is a small sampling of the music of my day…

1.) “Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey, a kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you? If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey, sing …mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

2.) “Oh, the flat foot floogie with a floy, floy…..yeah, yeah, yeah, byah, oh, baby! ….flat foot floogie with a floy, floy, ….floy, floy, floy, yeah! Send me on out there!”

3.) “Cement mixer, putty, putty……a puddle o’ vooty, a puddle o’ gooty, a puddle o’ Scooby, a puddle o’ veet concrete. First you get some gravel, pour it on the vout. To mix a mess o’ mortar you add cement and water. See the mellow roony come out slurp, slurp, slurp.”

And of course we can’t forget this classic Andrews Sisters hit:

4.) “Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah and a brawla, brawla sooit……..Now the Rawlson is a Swedish town, the rillerah is a stream, the brawla is the boy & girl, the Hut-Sut is their dream. Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah,… etc., etc. ”

Hmmmm. I think I just lost the argument. I’ve decided to give the music of today another “look see”.

Friday, July 18, 2008

IT’S PRICELESS….but, what is it?

A Picasso perhaps, or Juan Gris, ... maybe Henri Matisse?

None of the above. However, it’s an original sketch and it hangs on the wall of my daughter and son-in-law’s house. Can you imagine what it’s worth?

As the credit-card commercial says…”the paper it’s drawn on…..$1.00, the frame it’s in……..$6.00. The sketch………PRICELESS”.

And,(as Paul Harvey would say) “here’s the rest of the story”. The year was 1982 and my husband and I were living in North Carolina. I was working in the emergency room of our local Hospital and had come home very tired and downcast after a grueling day.

My husband, Dick, had his own business and he must have had a good day because he was in a very jovial mood when I arrived home.

Seeing that I was exhausted and grumpy he insisted that I kick back in the recliner and then he bowed low before me and said, “and what can I do for Madame that will lighten her load?”

I tried to get into his bantering mode and closing my eyes I gestured dramatically with the back of my hand on my forehead, let out a long sigh and said “sir, you can draw me a bath.”


Monday, July 14, 2008


In 1978 I moved to North Carolina from New York State with my husband and three children. Everything in my life changed with that move. I had to adjust to a completely different way of life and it took time and an opening of the mind. This was definitely a gentler, softer way of living and I’m ashamed to say that I missed the competition and the rush of life that we had left behind.

One of the areas of challenge was the language. I had a terrible time trying to understand what the native North Carolinians were saying. A simple name, such as Bill, became Bee-ull and “get up with” meant that I would “meet you at a specified time”.

Now it is 28 years later and I am happy to say that my immersion into the South is complete. I have found that people are people wherever I go and that some of the best of them are right here where I live. Simply put: I love it here.

No wonder that I got a big chuckle out of an NPR interview a few years back. The author, a Southerner, had written a book about the different dialects of the South. She related this story:

Seems that a young man left his small town in North Carolina to go North and make his fortune. He did well and came back a few years later driving a Lexus and flashing his bank-roll. He went back to the small family-run restaurant that he had frequented in the past and in a distinct and pompous tone he ordered “PO-TAE-TOS and TO-MAE-TOES”. He ate with relish and then asked for the bill. The owner was very annoyed with his pretensions and decided to charge him top dollar for his food. The young man took one look at the bill and shouted with rage, “This much for TATERs and MATERs?”

Proof of the old adage: “You can take the man out of the South but you can’t take the South out of the man.”

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The feral cats of Rome … Torre Argentina

In 2001 my late friend Douglas and I spent one month in Italy. We wrapped up our last three days in Rome. We had enjoyed four days there at the beginning of our adventure so I figured there wasn’t much left that we hadn’t seen.

How wrong I was. Douglas remembered an interesting spot from a past visit and we headed toward Torre Argentina. This is considered a sacred area and it was excavated in 1929. It is the very place where Caesar was murdered in 44 BC.

It felt so strange to see this immense below-ground area containing authentic parts of Rome’s earliest temples. Gazing from above you get the feeling that history is playing out before your eyes.

The public is not allowed into the ruins so I was a little shocked to see movement in the shadows below. Then it occurred to me…these were the feral cats of Rome. They live in the cave-like excavations under the streets. For years they were fed and protected by the “gattare”, the most famous of which was the Italian film star Anna Magnani.

Now, since the mid 90’s, the Torre Argentina has become an official Cat Sanctuary. It is a no-kill shelter and is literally over-run with homeless cats lounging on the ancient ruins. Volunteers feed, spay, neuter and protect the cats but I noticed that the ordinary citizens passing by seemed to show little interest.

You would think that the people of Rome could at least thank the cats for keeping the rodents at bay ... but I guess the cats have the last laugh ... they may bask in ancient temples, but, unlike Caesar, they won‘t be killed.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


In 1950 the Jergens Co. chose neighbors of my grandparents in Brattleboro, Vt. to be the poster family for one of their magazine advertising series. It was entitled "Four Youngsters to Feed, Daily Housework & Chores on her Vermont Farm", and depicted the faithful and ever dutiful-wife Bertha, husband Herman and four children.

I don't have the pictures but I do have the script and it is incredible to see how we were back then. To illustrate:

Ad #1. (Bertha gazing dreamily into camera). "My secret for pleasing Herman is always to be cheerful and prettied-up when the day is done. I take a shower, put on an attractive dress, fresh makeup and, of course, Jergens lotion in case we might hold hands across the table."

Ad #2. (Bertha with daughter) "Mary and I love to wax & polish and it doesn't bother my hands at all because Jergens lotion keeps them so smooth & soft. Herman says they look as if I were a lady of leisure".

Ad #3. (Bertha washing dishes) "Those hungry wolves of mine make every meal a production, but I don't mind the dishes. Jergens lotion gives my hands a 'never put them in water' look. I keep a bottle in the kitchen".

Ad #4. (Whole family seated for dinner. Bertha & Herman holding hands across the table and gazing into each other's eyes.) Herman beams at Bertha and gives her Jergens-soft hand an extra squeeze that seems to say, "We're just about the happiest couple in the world, aren't we?"

The 1950's....a wondrous time...when a bottle of Jergens' lotion, and lots of hard work and blind devotion on the wife's part, could solve all our problems ! And guess what? I bought into it...lock, stock & LOTION.