Alas I have no pictures this week. That’s because the topic at hand may, or may not be all in my head. If you recall a few weeks ago I lamented about not having my camera with me when I saw an honest-to-goodness, gen-yoo-ine Pink Cadillac like Bruce Springsteen sang about. If you missed that post take a look.
Well, this is getting spooky. Last Friday I was setting out on my daily lunchtime walk around the office park where I work, and while I was still in the lobby what should glide past the glass double doors but – the elusive Pink Cadillac. I ran out but it had disappeared around the corner.
Yeah yeah, I can hear you. “Virginia, it’s all in your head.” Spare me, I grew up hearing that. Let’s not go there
On second thought – let’s do go there – to my high school years. I used to leave for high school early. Living in New York City, specifically Manhattan, meant you were on your own getting to school. Sure you got a reduced fare bus pass but there were no school buses except for the disabled. What this meant for me since I lived on West 150 street and my high school was on East 75 street, was that I had to take two buses, a downtown one and then a crosstown one. And since the home room bell rang at 8:25, I had to catch the 7:30 downtown bus.
So there Iwas at 7:20, walking sleepily down 150 Street toward the bus stop on the corner when a pack of stray dogs came trotting out of a courtyard I was passing.
“Don’t run, don’t run,” I reminded myself but still I picked up my pace, and they went their way, and I, mine. And oh yes, they were led by a majestic looking German Shepherd type with a snowy white coat.
I began to encounter them at least once a week and although I took more notice of them than they did of me, they were beginning to spook me – especially the ghostly white leader of the pack but when I’d bring up the incident at dinner, since none of my family had ever encountered this canine phenomena, I’d get the standard response, “Virginia, you’re imagining things – it’s all in your head.”
They may have thought it was funny, but I didn’t. Well, to paraphrase Richard Nixon, they wouldn’t have Virginia to kick around much longer. I’d soon be heading off to college. And what do you think happened when I did? They moved! Fortunately they told me where – to the Northeast Bronx. And they acquired my replacement – Duke, a sweet pupp-a-roo. Yes, Duke was sweet through and through, but he had a Napoleon complex toward any dog bigger than him. Being a medium size dog himself, this meant he was a war with a sizable portion of the canine population.
One morning while home for some break or other, I was walking Duke when what should come walking down the street towards us but a pack of dogs – led by – yep, a white German Shepherd! I managed to shake off the paralysis of shock in time to realize, not only was EL Blanco bigger than The Duke, so were all his cohorts. Duke noticed too
Having no choice, I dragged him into a typical NY neighborhood candy/newspaper store with a soda fountain. If I’d ever had a notion we could just slip in un-noticed and stand just inside the door until El Blanco and his gang were gone , it was dispelled by Duke’s lemme at em barking and growling .attitude
“You can’t bring a dog in here, “yelled the proprietor.
“Oh yes, I can” I stood my ground until the cost was clear.
Guess what the family’s reaction was when I burst in and telling them of my ordeal? Yep, all in my head.”
Did I really think the beautiful beast had followed me all the way up to the Bronx?
Well Let me just say that I’ve always had an interest in Shamanism. Shamans, natural healers, have spirit helpers called familiars who display the appearance of an animal found in nature – a fox, eagle, wolf, rabbit, etc.
So if you happen to see a white dog driving a pink Cadillac – don’t worry. He’s with me!
Are you surprised by all the publicity generated by the demise of the Twinkie? I was, but then, I think I received some insight into it – thanks to football. Well, indirectly – it was actually the half-time show on Thanksgiving afternoon.
I was in the kitchen, bungling a recipe for the stuffed Portobello mushrooms I’d volunteered to bring to dinner, and the Detroit Lions were playing someone or other in the living room. On my way to getting dressed I paused to watch Kid Rock give a great rocking shout out to Detroit, then continued on into the bedroom when a country singer came on. I think his name was Trace Atkins. The announcer pointed out that he was singing to his little girl.
Having been a daddy’s girl myself, I came out again to take a look. Trace was singing
“She thinks we’re just fishing. She doesn’t realize we’re making a memory.” (Or something to that effect)
……….and that’s when it hit me. That’s what the Twinkie hub-bub’s all about !
People aren’t mourning the passing of the pseudo-crème filled artificially flavored fat finger of cake.They’re getting dewy-eyed about the memory surrounding it. And for each person, it’s a whole different memory.
Now I was never a Twinkie-lover but I do eat my share of junk-food, if candy can be classified as junk food. And my memories of candy are linked with life on the streets.
It was a time when the world felt kid-safe. So come noon, once we’d finished lunch (NYC school lunches – now that could fill a blog in itself) we were set free to play. And when I say free, I mean free – no supervising teachers – no recess monitors– just hundreds of kids, all mixed in, first graders through 8th graders, all doing their thing in the street. The only restraints were the barricades placed at each end of 151st street
and the NYPD-issued sign – Play Street No traffic.
But this was meant to keep cars out, not us kids in. There was no hard and fast rule that you had to stay on the block. And many kids took advantage of the freedom to go down to Marty’s, the luncheonette/candy store on the corner. Marty’s had the classic varieties of fifties penny candy that varied from week to week and the standard candy bars. Since I received a daily allowance of five cents, I could be found in the middle of the mob at the candy counter.
During my eight years of frequenting Marty’s, my choices were in the hundreds, but three stand out.
First of all, I don’t know why it was called taffy because it sure wasn’t chewy and pliable.
It was brittle, and that’s what made it the perfect contraband to bring back to school to enjoy during afternoon class. if you hurled it, unwrapped, to the sidewalk, it broke into angular shards, much as a plate of glass would.
Once back at your desk, you’d unwrap it, place it next to the text books under the seat, and reach down nonchalantly for a piece from time to time.
These little wafers of assorted mystery flavors were not saved, but consumed at recess, or rather, “received.”
They were the same circumference as the communion hosts, and so we would play Holy Communion. (Yes, I went to Catholic School.) The purchaser would have the first turn at being priest. All her friends would kneel on the sidewalk in front of her, as she went down the line and placed a Necco Wafer on each outstretched tongues. And although the faithful only receive communion once a day, we took turns being priest, and received over and over until the wafers were gone.
I don’t know how many people know this, but the original Three Musketeer bars had two horizontal lines strategically placed in the chocolate coating indicating where you could split the bar into three even pieces to be shared with your two BFF’s. That’s why it was called Three Musketeers and that’s what the commercials on Saturday morning cartoons told us to do so we did. I usually shared mine with my two BBF’s Sharon and Gail. And even though our friendship didn’t last forever, I don’t doubt they were my Best Friends then. After all, I shared my Three Musketeers with them.
To this day, I’m scheming to have Three Musketeers all to myself. That’s why I always buy a bag of miniatures at Halloween. After thirteen Halloweens here, I’m pretty certain none of the trick-or-treaters would think of exerting themselves by climbing the hill leading to The House of Mars.
So hee hee hee
I have them all to myself!
Okay – your turn? What were your childhood dietary indiscretions?
C’mon share. That’s what the comments section is for.