“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
My dear wife loved traditions, whether it be Disneyland on Christmas Eve or Monday at Malarkeys and everything in between. It will be challenging to keep some of the rituals without her, but I am going to try. Below is a snapshot of our weekly visit to Malarkeys, which we had done for probably ten or more years. The dining room was not open on Mondays, but the staff knew we like to be alone (or with a couple of friends) where it was quiet, so we sat in the dining room. We go to know the staff quite well, and they were devastated when I had to report Sue had passed.
She made every day an exciting event, and she made the traditions special. Not having that precious smile around is extremely difficult, but as Dr. Seuss said. “I will smile because it happened!”
I was thinking about “traditions” today and how Sue so enjoyed our traditions we began thirty plus years ago. I remember you, Dad, and I had our little customs when I was growing up.
I remember Christmas Eve at Ralph’s house (ed: Dad’s boss hosted a Christmas Eve party every year even though he was Jewish) where the three of us would go, and then along about 8:00 PM, you and I would go home and await the phone call around 11:00 PM from Dad (or someone else) to come to get Dad. Dad was always such a happy and thoughtful man; I only hope I take after him. My father liked to tip the glass twice a year but he was ALWAYS very responsible and had someone bring him home. Dad, like me, was a happy drinker! I am not kidding but at Christmas time I can smell Ralph’s pipe on Christmas Eve!
Then there was Thanksgiving, and we all went to Aunt Opal’s house, as she was the oldest of the local relatives. Us “men” would listen to the ball game (we could not afford a TV) and eventually we would watch the game on the little 13″ B&W TV.
You and the “girls” were in the houses cooking up a feast meant for royalty! To this day, when I smell turkey cooking, I think of that tiny house in Paramount where our family gathered for so many years. Sue recreated that feeling for me at Thanksgiving after you passed as we had loads of people over to celebrate. She would bake a ham, cook a turkey, and make bunches of side dishes. Mitch and Sue “manned the kitchen” and I alternated between serving drinks and doing prep and cleanup.
It’s no wonder you and Sue and Sue’s mom, Rita, got along so well as you all worked to make things amazing for everyone around you. I remember you, Aunt Edit, aunt Opal, and Cousin Kate going to Rita’s house for “tea.” I had to laugh as you were not sure what “high tea” was. I laughed even harder when you and Rita plopped yourselves on the floor and said, “Phooey on the tea, where is the coffee and pass the cigarettes.”
It’s too bad that when I first got married in 1968 that it was not to Sue, but she would have been only seventeen. Her mom and dad and you and dad would have been fantastic friends, and I am sure we would have had some beautiful traditions as a group.
While I never had the honor of meeting Frank, Sue’s father, the pictures and saw and the stories that were told about him would have made the two dad’s great friends!
It is hard to imagine what you felt like losing Dad in 1970, but you were strong for another twenty years and had a wonderful support group in Aunt Opal, Aunt Edit, Cousin Kat, and Uncle Otis. I feel blessed having my kids help me through these tough times. You knew Robin, and of course Colleen and Joe. You did not meet Michele, but Sue raised her, so she is outstanding by definition. Lisa, Pete’s bride, calls me all the time, she is a sweetheart! Even my two ex sons-in-law and their current families remain supportive and call me almost every day to check up on me. Even my grandkids call to see what I have been up to! I feel unique and proud of my loving family!
Then our group of friends just makes life worth living. Bob & Donna, Vicky & Del, Irene K., Leon & Marsha, Mike & Bridgette, Jan M., Marianne and Craig, Ed R., Lee B., and many others are super; Like your’s and Dad’s friends, they were lifesavers.
I love you, Mom,
This year, so far, has been a disaster. I lost the love of my life, the pandemic hit like a ton of bricks, and how the libtards are going wild because of the actions of a single individual (who should be punished to the full extent of the law!). I am happy that Mom and Sue didn’t have to see these happenings to our beautiful country.
This morning, I had the Gardners move Sue’s clothes to the garage as they will be picked up by the Los Alamitos High School Dance Club. They are attempting to make money for the club and the pandemic kept them from that activity. They decided to do a clothes donation and I would suspect this will be a great boon to the club’s coffers. All of Sue’s dancing clothes, a lot for formals, and semi-formal wear are in the collection. My heart aches to see the clothes go but I am sure Sue would approve of the donation to a great cause, keep on dancing!
The contractor came today and jack-hammered the area beneath the old tub to make way for the drain. The floor was about 12″ thick! He was using Joe’s jackhammer and it worked quite well. We will finish the concrete removal tomorrow and get things ready too plumb and pour the plan Monday. This makes the bathroom about a week away. I am getting excited.
Did You Know? A jackhammer (pneumatic drill or demolition hammer in British English) is a pneumatic or electro-mechanical tool that combines a hammer directly with a chisel. It was invented by William Mcreavy, who then sold the patent to Charles Brady King. Hand-held jackhammers are generally powered by compressed air, but some are also powered by electric motors. Larger jackhammers, such as rig-mounted hammers used on construction machinery, are usually hydraulically powered. They are typically used to break up rock, pavement, and concrete.
A jackhammer operates by driving an internal hammer up and down. The hammer is first driven down to strike the back and then back up to return the hammer to the original position to repeat the cycle. The effectiveness of the jackhammer is dependent on how much force is applied to the tool.
Robin came by after work and we had a drink before the contractor departed.
We decided salads at CPK were going to be dinner. While driving to CPK, which is about six long blocks away, we saw a mommy duck and her kids attempting to cross the street. I stopped the car, turned on the hazard lights, and held up my hand stopping other cars.
The littlest babies had a heck of a time making it up the curb. The last little guy tried and tried and could not make it. So, I donned my Superman costume, unfurled my red cape (which I keep handy ion the car), and dashed over to the curb. Neighbors came out of their homes wondering what all the commotion was about. Next time I will not yell at the top of my voice “Hi Yo Silver, Away!!!”
I went over and proceeded to assist the little guy make it to his mommy but it took several attempts as the baby saw my costume and panicked! Mommy was a little panicky also. I swear Mommy Duck smiled at me when I lifted the little guy up and onto the grass.
I turned towards the car, lifted my arms level with my shoulders, and walked quickly back to the car (which also serves as a phone booth) changing rapidly back into my mild-mannered homeowner outfit. The Silver Ghost drove off, quite embarrassed by my actions, taking us to CPK.
After thinking about my hero-experience,running to catch the baby duck, I need to see about a small wing for my backside to keep me stable at high-speeds. Anyone know a “wing salesman?”
When we arrived home, we headed for the garden and I plucked corn into an awaiting sack. I also picked four more for our neighbors, Vicky, Del, and their kids! I looked at it earlier in the day and they appeared to be ready!
The corn looks just right as the yellow was like butter. The color was right on so tomorrow it will be corn for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I thought about Sue as she loved fresh corn from the garden every year. I must go to the nursery this morning and get some more.
Did You Know?
- In most countries corn is called maize.
- Maize is a native Taino word meaning “sacred mother,” or “giver of life.”
- The ear or cob is part of the flower, while the individual kernel is a seed.
- The average ear has 800 kernels in 16 rows.
- A cob will always have an even number of rows.
- Except for Antarctica, maize is produced on every continent.
- There are over 3,500 different uses for corn products.
- The grain is used as a major ingredient in many food items like cereals, potato chips, cooking oil, and more.
- Even juices and soft drinks contain sweeteners from the grain. A bushel (about 56 pounds) can sweeten 400 cans of soft drink.
- Corn can also be found in many non-food items such as fireworks, glue, paint, dyes, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, cosmetics, and in the production of plastics.
I pointed out that the top of the corn look ed like my hair before I comb it in the morning.
Robin snapped another picture so readers would see how big the corn really is compared to little ol’ me. I believe it to be as high as an elephant’s eye.
Robin headed home with Bob’s new saw, corn, and a full tummy Life is good! On the other hand, I went inside, straightened up a little bit, took a shower, and attempted to watch TV. Two episodes of “Haven” and I was done for the evening.
Before I crashed, I checked my email and was saddened at the loss of a good friend. Sue and I danced with these folks for many years and enjoyed their company at the Elks. I had called her about two weeks ago to check up on everything. After a long illness, Jerry Krawczyk, age 95, passed away in the comfort of his home in Dana Point on June 3, 2020. He had hospice care towards the end of his life while Norma continued to tend to Jerry’s needs.
Jerry was born in Poland and was an electrician by trade. Most people didn’t know that Jerry was a movie stand-in for the actor/comedian Danny Kaye. The interesting part was that their backgrounds were similar being from Eastern European upbringing.
Jerry and Norma were both active Starlighters Dance Club members and members of Santa Ana Elks. They also frequented the Garden Grove Elks and delighted our table of mutual friends with their wacky humor and lively conversation. How could anyone ever NOT laugh at Norma’s jokes with her Lucille Ball-like red hair? Yes, Jerry, her life-long comrade ‘held his own’ in joke-telling and was also a hoot!
I switched on Coast To Coast USA, KFI 640, and drifted off to sleep.
Did You Know? Coast to Coast AM is an American late-night radio talk show that deals with a variety of topics. Most frequently the topics relate to either the paranormal or conspiracy theories. The program is distributed by Premiere Networks, both as part of its talk network and separately as a syndicated program. The program now airs seven nights a week from 10:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
In 1978, Art Bell created and hosted West Coast AM, a late-night political talk/call-in show on Las Vegas radio station KDWN. In 1988, Bell and Alan Corberth renamed the show Coast to Coast AM and moved its studios from the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas to Bell’s home in Pahrump. After Bell’s retirements, the show was hosted by various personalities, including Mike Siegel, George Noory, and others.
According to estimates by Talkers Magazine, Coast to Coast AM has a cumulative weekly audience of around 2.75 million unique listeners listening for at least five minutes, making it the most listened-to program in its time slot. The show is estimated to be carried by over 600 US affiliates along with a limited number of FM stations, as well as many Canadian affiliates, several of which stream the show on their station’s website. The affiliate group is fronted by 12 clear-channel stations, among them KFI in Los Angeles.