On the Precipice of our 50th Reunion

When the leaves were orange and the living was easy. What does the tooth fairy do with all the teeth? Why are the people in the front of the picture so much bigger than the people toward the back? Out of the mouths, when life was oh so mellow. 

We bought our first pair of silk stockings which were to be held up by a stretchy pink and white striped  garter belt. The days of Ozzie and Harriet, Susan Lucci and Soupy Sales. 

We re-dialed after our friends line was busy the first time and screeched with excitement, Conrad Birdie style, over our anticipated coed- girl/boy party that evening. After we sat under a hot dryer with beer can sized rollers in our hair we brushed away the fumes from our eyes left by aqua spray. The decision to curl our hair rather than iron it straight was a good one, our hair came out just right. Getting ready “Was” the excitement. Our new madras blouse and alpaca sweater hung prominently in the front of our closet right above our shiny, new cordovan colored weejuns. Bright, new Penny, dated 1969 heads up in place.

A touch of revlon blush, a glimmer of light pink lipstick proceeded a spritz of Ambush and we were on our way. With dejavu on my breath I can still recall euphorically how it felt when I unbuttoned the wooden clasps that kept my new Pea Coat in tact. The boys gathered on one side of the room as the girls sifted through the 45’s on the other. At this point there was no bottle to spin in sight. Would the Angels sing tonight as our soldier boys danced under the Blue Moon? 

The specialty years of pre-teening had a wonderful life of its own. We made room for our daydreams laced with Johnny Mathis lyrics. Our Barbie and Ken’s were repositioned and left to fetch for themselves in the back row of our minds. In the “still of the night” I hold tightly to the memories that Jay and the Americans knew were those Magic Moments. 

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four-

A -my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Al, we come from Alabama and we sell Apples. As I open the cupboard on memories, bouncing a Spaulding as we sang the A my name is Alice rhyme, lifting our leg over the ball with each bounce, was an all time great walk around the corner and under a tree. A veritable, primordial work out and creative singing lesson all in one. My sister Bettie Ann and I grew up together and hung with the girls on the block. We stopped playing and walked home for our tuna sandwich or the treat of salami on rye, only made better with the delicious taste of mustard. After lunch we would stroll around the corner to the all purpose grocery store. I can vividly see the barrel of pickles prominently sitting next to the left of the front door. We would use part of our allowance to buy candy. Our first go to was a striped pixy stick, a straw filled with lik-m-aid. For those in the know it’s a tasty sugary retrospective in time. The original version of Fun Dip. We would then mosey over to the red licorice and marshmallow peeps. At Halloween the chicks turned into orange faced pumpkins. Fast forward 56 years. It’s 6:00 A.M. time to put up the coffee, my turn to “make the donuts.” I woke up salivating for a piece of my past, inside that grocery store. My sister Bettie Ann and I would bring our bag of goodies up to the counter. The man would take the pencil he harbored behind his ear and tally up our treats. 

With our visual bounty in hand we would skip our way home and unveil the contents, perhaps trade a piece or two. 

Our afternoons were often consumed through adventures with Dick and Jane, The Bobbsey Twins or figuring out if Nancy Drew was ever going to hook up with one of the Hardy Boys. As we felt the heat of the oven cooking sweet potatoes we knew they would soon be sitting next to the  very well done lamb chops and canned peas Sophie was making for dinner. A welcomed pre- dinner activity was watching Patty Duke and her identical cousin navigate their way through high school. We often tried to distinguish between the subtleties in their looks. Hmmm! I long for those days of innocence when the doctor appointments took place as we sat upon the kitchen table. The local store that sold glass bottles of milk and farmer cheese made no room on the shelf for ammunition. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.

Everybody in Grovers Corners looked into the grocery store and the drugstore once a day in Our Town by Thornton Wilder. It is with older eyes and wiser hearts that we live our lives. So, for today reach for the red licorice after a very sour pickle and make it a good Day!

Revised from 2016 post -Give Peace a Chance!

 And I quote -I heard the news today oh boy, about a lucky man who made the grade.- 2019 Woodstock 50th Reunion planned. So vividly remembering drudging thru the mud to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and swooning to “Teach Your Children Well.” 50 years ago -the number is unimaginable. I’m loving the role as the Northeast distributor of nostalgia. Love my old pictures and debriefing the past when “ the fish were jumpin’ and the cotton was high.” My old friend’s are old/new friends, a different twist, same flare. Tonight I am sharing an evening with my Jill. We walked to school together everyday starting in Junior High. We will have a Vodka Grande and talk about how blessed we are that we’ve stayed so good, for so long. Our shared times, albeit infrequent, offer the run up and hug kind of times that I would run to save in case of fire. Our husbands will chat away, and after a quick catch up we will spend the rest of our time basking in the knowing of how special “WE” are.

Next month I am having a very frequent get together with The Julia’s-the acronym I penned for “just us ladies into aging.” A group of women whose only requirement for entry is feeling the love from yes, Grade School thru the Woodstock years. 

I followed the lead of a group of men I knew about who are called the Romeo’s- (retired older men eating out). We love the tradition and respond to the frequent reminders with a resounding “yes, I’m in for sure.” Another item I’m running for in case of…

Last evening we went to a performance at the most charming of theater’s in Boca Raton called The Wick. It’s a throwback to the days of cabaret and houses memorabilia of days gone by, when song was song. Lady Gaga I love you, but when you’re crooning with Tony I Love you more. We saw a performance of the show “Curtains.” Two of my favorites, Kander and Ebb wrote the tunes. My take away song “I Miss the Music, I miss my friend.”

We were bred with an affinity for music. My parents played their 78’s of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and the resplendence of the scores to My Fair Lady and Westside Story. I had a small record player cased in red and white leather. My collection of 45 R.P.M. yellow adaptors converted  my 78’s of Johnny Mathis into my 45’s of Blue Moon, My Boyfriend’s Back, Soldier Boy, He’s so Fine, and  yes Lesley Gore, it was my own personal After Party and I’ll cry if I want to. I would close my light, get tucked into my single bed and fall asleep imagining how my days of glory would play out. When would the man I love come along? The sound that would startle me back to being “15” was the needle hitting the record as the music ended. When we returned from the show last eve we caught up on the debate a.k.a.cat fight. Unheard of rhetoric in a debate when The Grateful Dead were Grateful, when we loved seeing what Jackie Kennedy was wearing on the cover of Look Magazine and when counting Al Hirschfeld’s Nina’s on the front page of The Sunday New York Times Magazine Section with my sister Bettie Ann was a thrilling go to we fondly shared. 

In the mornings I would clasp my school books together with a thick red, rubber band as Sophie screamed up to me “hurry up Jill is here to gather you to walk to Junior High.” Woodstock May be cancelled, but we’ll never forget the way we wore our hats and danced till 3:00.