More better memories...
My brother, Don and I played outside a lot with our cousins. In the winter there was plenty of time to do some sledding because it sometimes snowed from late October to April. We’d wax the blades on our sleds and line them up at the top of the hill next to the Landy homes and my grandparents’ restaurant and off we’d go down the hill, sometimes just stopping short of going over the hill. Then we’d pull our sleds back up the hill and do it all over again. We wore those full body winter suits, you know the one Ralphie’s brother wore in the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story. If you haven’t seen it, it is wonderful cute story about a family in the early fifties. My daughters favorite movie, ever. One day I ran smack dab into a fence with my face. When I finished wiping away my tears and feeling my fat lip, I found the rope with my snow filled mittens picked it up and pulled my sled back up the hill and did it all over again.
I remember when the snow melted and we had puddles of water in the yard, I would stand on my sled and use a long stick or branch to try to make it move along as I imagined paddling on the Nile River. Probably got that from a movie or perhaps a past life (?) of which I’m not supposed to believe in…. past lives, not as a Catholic that is. Perhaps it was from my past in Atlantis as a warrior as a woman who read my palm once said. Whatever it was…. imagination or from something long past, it felt familiar and enjoyable.
One time one of our uncles on my mother’s side, Ray took us tobogganing, the dangerous way. It was dark evening when we started and it only got darker and therefore more dangerous. We started at the top of a hilly road. Several of us got on the toboggan, not fearing anything, well because we were young. Down the snowing street we flew. My uncle drove down to the bottom of the street, we all jumped into the car as he tied the what I think was a twelve man toboggan but that could have been a child’s imagination to the back of the car and proceeded to drive back up to the top of the hill so we could do it all over again, and again. What ended our tobogganing evening was when on one of those fast flying trips down the street something happened. All I remember was tumbling over and over with other body parts hitting me and seeing sparks from the blows to my head. I think many of us were crying as we picked ourselves up and my uncle decided that was enough. It was lots of fun though as you can see something I have never forgotten that night.
So there was lots of sledding and even ice skating a time or two in the winters. I don’t remember anything about Halloween as a small child. I do remember Christmas’s while my father was still alive were wonderful. One time when I was about three or four, Santa came to visit and scared me when he came into the door and I ran crying to my mother. Perhaps I felt she loved me then and would protect me.
If you have read my book, you may be wondering as my husband did. “How do you remember all the bad things that happened?” “Do you remember any good things?” Sure I remember some good things but the bad outnumbered and outweighed the good occasions, so therefore has crowded my brain when it came to the space allowed for such things.
I would like to tell of the good things I remember and maybe some more of the bad just in case you haven’t had enough and would like to stop in once in a while for another story or two. I will try to write in order as in my book. I might even express my opinion on some issues and hope you join in with thoughts and/or comments occasionally.
My earliest memory, if you can believe it or not was being in my bassinet at my aunt and uncles house, because remember, they took care of me shortly after birth because of mother’s postpartum depression. I remember seeing in a very dim light, my Uncle Dom looking down at me. Just for a moment but it is so very vivid in my mind. I mentioned it once to my Aunt Bea and she said when he came home from work at night he would always look in on me.
I’ve heard of children that remember being in their mother’s womb. That must be a pretty amazing and extraordinary experience. I might have liked to experience that. On second thought, maybe not.
I remember watching westerns like Cisco Kid and Rin Tin Tin on a very small screened T.V. but then it was the fifties and that’s the kind of sets there were then. I use to pretend when I was sitting on the toilet that I was riding a horse and chasing the bad guys. I even made a quite noise with my tongue with a closed mouth that sounded like horse hooves. Yes I can still do it. I just tried. (Laugh)
I was super excited when color T.V.’s came out. We didn’t have one right away but our neighbors did who by the way just happened to live in the house across the street that I heard Lucille Ball’s mother lived in. They let my brother Don and I come over once in a while on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. For some reason I really liked Felix the Cat and Heckle and Jeckle. Don swore, before color came out that he could see color. He also made peanut butter and jelly mixed in a bowl and then put it on our toast or bread, way before it came out that way in a jar. I believe it was Smuckers who came out with it in 1968 under the name Goober. Perhaps he was a visionary type person.
I also heard that Lucille dated my grandmother’s brother at one time. You know Lucille Ball was from Jamestown N.Y. for you fans out there. They have a festival every year there and a museum. I understand it’s a really big deal and why shouldn’t it be. She has been dubbed, First Lady of Comedy. Boy would I have liked to have met her.
For years my mother always said she wanted to be buried next to my father but in the end she said that really didn’t matter. He was buried in Jamestown and we were in Oklahoma. I also knew that there was only the one plot where my father was but found out after his death there were a few others that one of my Landy uncles had possession of. So when mother passed away I thought about checking into this matter of getting her up there and with my father. I found out because she was cremated, I could have had her put in the same plot with my father. Well then I asked if I could put my brother’s ashes in there as well. “No,” they said, “That is not allowed.” “Only two were allowed.” I replied with, “Well I know for a fact,” (because I did some research) “That Lucille Ball is in with her parents, and that makes three.” The man on the other end of the phone chuckled a little and said well that was Lucy. And there you have it. Money and being a celebrity can get you many things but we all know that, don’t we?
To finish up this part of the story, my other uncle, Uncle Jr., said, “Why would you want your mother to be way up here when all of your family is there?” Good question. I found out that I was really not able to let her go anyway. I could not part with her and I know I should bury both my mother and brother, Don somewhere close but still have them with me. If you have read my book you know why it is hard to let my mother go.
I have written that book, I was always going to write...Have continued to write..have