Backstory: For some reason Clare, Andrew and I drove to Illinois from Bethesda in July of 2004. Actually, this may have been when we went for Clare’s 13th birthday where she got her ears pierced. Dean must have gone to South Africa.
We drove halfway to Illinois the first day, stopping in Fremont/Port Clinton Ohio. I don’t recall if I’d planned on having us all keep a journal of our travels or if the events of the day made me want to keep a record of them.
The entries are written on Holiday Inn stationery. I wrote my entry first:
Left home at 11:10 this morning. Had hoped to get an earlier start but no luck. Kids were fine — great first few hours then they began watching LOTR-FOTR. Stopped in good old Breezewood for lunch and gas. Bought too much icky food.
Arrived at Motel in Fremont, Ohio around 7:30. Checked in. Kids wanted to stay in the car.
When I got back Clare was doing something to Andrew’s back. I jokingly asked Clare what she did to Andrew. Then I saw that he had the seat belt all tangled up and around his belly. I helped him escape but was on the verge of calling 911 to get him cut out of the seat belt. He finally did a backwards somersault and slipped free. Dinner was good. Kids watching TV now.
Andrew went next:
We left a lot later than I wanted but we had TV. We ate lunch at a fine place. Then I had to go to the bathroom really really bad. Then we went to a place we went to last time. Then stuff happened and then… I got stuck in my seat belt and I got to do 2 somersaults. It was weird.
Clare was last:
Today was funny… Halloween woke me up. Awwww. Mom was mad. Dad left blah blah. Ok later, Andrew got stuck in the seat belt umm, I have no clue how. He had to do a backwards somersault errr…
Dinner was odd… umm Mom probably told you, a cute kid (adorable) waved. He was 2, then a thunder storm came. I went to our room and am watching TV now.
Another item I brought back from my mom’s house is a book called A Complete Library of Entertainment, Amusement, and Instruction. This book is all one needed in 1903 to be entertained, amused and instructed. For instance, it gives detailed instructions on how to throw dozens of socials, from an advertisement social to a bird social to a beheading social. It also provides guidance on throwing parties including a progressive soap bubble party, a children’s Valentine party and a brownie party. It gives instruction on how to play ping-pong, how to do various exercises and explains both American football and English football rules. Several of the socials, parties, and instructions are accompanied with “full-page half-tone images” and others are paired with simple line drawings.
I remember looking at this book various times in my life, but it never caught my attention until I took a closer look at the images and some of the content.
So, thought I, what a great idea for a NEW BLOG! Maybe I will actually keep this one going beyond a few posts!
Christmas 1936, my 8-year-old father was given a book of stories from the Old Testament. I don’t know how much he read it, the spine is still stiff. Growing up I’d seen this book around the house but never really looked at it. It wasn’t until I pulled it out of my “to blog about box” this afternoon and saw that it was not just a book of stories from the Old Testament, but a book of stories from the Old Testament written in words consisting of only one syllable. Or so the title claims.
Before I opened the book I wondered if the author shortened all the names in the book to make them one syllable. Noah = No? Moses = Mo? What about place names? Garden of Eden = Yard of Ed?
In reality, there are words with more than one syllable in the book, but the author hyphenated them or, in the case of names, used an apostrophe between the syllables which I think is cheating. (Actually, it was probably really hard to do this.)
I am nearly at the bottom of the last box of memorabilia I brought from my mom’s house — at least the last box from the most recent trip. I’ve still got to sort everything and put things in their proper places, but at least I don’t have any more sealed boxes.
My favorite find yesterday was a Zip-Loc(R) bag of recipes, some clipped from magazines, some handwritten, some typed. There was even a two-page menu for a Swedish dinner party from someone’s high school home economics class (1934).
I liked this particular trifold from Betty Crocker. Especially the 5th page. And the recipe for Spaghetti Loaf with Shrimp Sauce. Yum!
Have I mentioned that Mom kept everything? Well, she did. I came across this today while attempting to organize my attic office. After Tuesday’s election, I’d not mind Reagan as president again.
I don’t know why Mom had this and I don’t know what the occasion was but I probably sent it in a letter (remember letters?) to my dad who was a Republican and voted for Reagan.
If you have trouble seeing the image, here’s a text alternative: Photo of Ronald Reagan pointing at his head with his two index fingers. Text: “What is this man saying?” 1. Only my hairdresser knows for sure 2. You reporters may think there is something up here but you are dead wrong. 3. Guess what I am! … A zit! 4. I leave all my most important decisions to my two little Martian friends Bernie and Ernie. Can you see them? 5. If you come any closer, I’ll shoot. 6. Other___________.
Years and years ago when our love was still young Dean confessed to me that a particular Patti Smith song (don’t recall which one, but it was sweet) reminded him of me so while I never loved Patti Smith’s music (never took the time to listen, I suppose) I kept her in a special place in my heart and didn’t mind when Dean played her music.
About 5 years ago Dean read an article in the New Yorker praising her tour that year so we got tickets to see her at the 9:30 Club. It was a fine concert and she and her band performed well and were gracious to the fans (unlike Bob Dylan who was an asshole when we saw him earlier that year at the Merriweather Post Pavilion) but it left Dean slightly disappointed — the performance did not live up to the New Yorker review. Plus unless you are a “VIP” you have to stand the during entire performance at the 9:30 Club.
I get emails from the 9:30 Club about upcoming shows. The 9:30 Club is owned, in part, by Bethesda resident Seth Hurwitz (and father of a middle school friend of my son). Seth and his partner also operate the Merriweather Post Pavilion, and promote concerts at most other venues in the Washington DC area including Baltimore. So when I received an email from the 9:30 Club announcing that Patti Smith would be playing the next evening at the Ram’s Head I suggested to Dean that we go. He was all for it. A few minutes and $90.50 ($35 per ticket + $13.50 service fee + $7.00 tax) later we had tickets to see Patti Smith.
We spent the day puttering around the house and considered eating dinner in Annapolis, where the Ram’s Head is, but decided to save some money and eat at home. We left home around 7:15 hoping to arrive in Annapolis about when the doors opened so we could get a good seat.
We arrived in Annapolis, parked the car and walked to Ram’s Head Tavern, giddy with the excitement of doing something unusual. We remarked at the quaintness of Annapolis and wondered if our daughter had ever been there.
Once at Ram’s Head we had to ask where the show was being held and were pointed towards a giant guitar on the wall. We showed the woman at the door our ticket and after a few moments of confusion said. You’re in Annapolis at Ram’s Head Tavern. We said we knew. She said, your concert is in Baltimore at Ram’s Head Live. We didn’t know there was more than one Ram’s Head.
I must have had a look of utter dismay on my face because she said, you don’t want to waste that — here, I have a table for you. She showed us into the music hall and sat us at at small table near the stage where we were treated a Christmas concert by the John Blount-Dave Tucker Big Band.
Luckily we like big band music. We’re lucky it wasn’t country and western.