Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Backstory: Zombie Drinks and the other boyfriend / girlfriend

Hi guys-

Just a little explanation...

First, a zombie is drink. Specifically, it's a fruit juice-and-alcohol concoction that Grandpa discovered in Chicago. Read more about the history here: Margie was a self described 'goody two shoes' who didn't drink - hence Jim's suggestion that she try one. I should clarify - she didn't drink YET. There is a fun family story involving Grandma, Pina Coladas, and a lisp in the Virgin Islands. But I digress.

Other characters in today's post include Barbara (Grandpa's current girlfriend) and Chuck (Grandma's current boyfriend AND Grandpa's good friend.) Flood was a friend of Grandpa's who was also traveling a bit at this time.



Dearest Margie: July 8, 1940

July 8, 1940

Dearest Margie,

Well here it is July 8 and the end of my first week. I must admit that it has ever surpassed my greatest hopes and I really like it. The only draw back is that I am gradually going to go crazy until I see you again. After the first week it seems like a month since that final week. The last few nights I would have given my whole month's pay to have you back here. Why don’t you and your mother drive back this far with your brother and stay a week?

Flood got in yesterday morning and I got him to stay the whole day and he arrived into Akron at 7 this morning. We brought him out to the temple and all the way out I had him telling me about you until he got exasperated. We went to the ball game in the afternoon and I took some swell action shots with my camera. I’ve turned into a camera freak. I’ll send some good shots home to you if I get any.

After the ball game we went down to Chicago and had dinner. Then we went to the ‘Beach Combers' that has just opened here and had a zombie. Both Flood and I are now confirmed zombie drinkers. One fixes you up just right and they are very easy to take because they taste like fruit punch. I think even you would like it. Maybe I can get you to have one when I get home. Well anyhoo, we found Bill on the train and a marvelous time was had by all. Oh! If you could only get back here what a marvelous time we would have.

Your letters are swell and I only wish I could write as well. Keep writing often and although its hard for me to keep up I’m so busy, I’ll do my best. Besides you, I have to write home, and Flood and Morris, Smitty and a dozen others (All males except a short one to Barbara about once every other week.) I’ve only written her that first one, only, hell, I got another one from her today. However, its just as you say, when I get back everything will work out OK and just the way you and I want it to. The others are lucky if I write at all because every time I get a chance I find I’m writing to you

I bought ‘Nearness of You’ the other day and ‘I’ll Never Smile Again’ and ‘Chant of the Weed’. I’m playing our song right now.

The living expense back here is worse than I thought because food is so high, but when I get on the road it won’t be so bad and I can save a great deal.

You know if I find a good opening I might take it instead of going to law. If not I’ll come back to law. Nevertheless, whatever I do its going to be arranged so that I can come back there just as soon as possible and we can start where we left off. Maybe things will change for the better if this war finishes and I think it will soon. There won’t be so much unrest and uneasiness.

This letter sure rambles and I hope you can make sense of it. Don’t forget to send me a picture. The one in the El Rodeo – the sorority picture was good and I really like your hair that way. But any picture will do if you can send one back soon.

I really miss you and I feel that (as I said) I’ll go crazy if I don’t see you soon. I hope that this not seeing each other won’t wreck things. I know it won’t as far as I am concerned and I don’t blame you if when Chuck comes back you realized that you have made a mistake about him and really care. He’s a great guy and I hope he still considers me his friend, and I still think you had better think it over carefully.

I don’t know why I’m saying this, it doesn’t make sense. I guess I still can’t realize what happened. I can’t make myself feel I am worthy of it and you.

I guess I had better stop this senseless rambling and sign off. Have patience about these letters, I’ll write a good one yet.

All my love, Margie,


Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Funniest Story I have heard about Grandma Margie (today at least)

Today, while shopping in Palm Desert, Grandma Margie came clean about her shopping habits. Or, rather, her one time foray into illicit reading materials.

In 1977 (or there abouts) 'Dawn Shaw', the wife of my uncle Neil, achieved a key milestone in her career - Penthouse Pet of the month for September. For the record, Neil and Dawn are no longer married, but at the time, were as happily married as they would be. It seemed to go downhill from this point - hard to imagine. But, that's a story for another day.

When my very ladylike grandmother found out her daughter-in-law was going to be in a national magazine, and not just any magazine, she couldn't miss it. I actually don't think she believed it, and kind of hoped it wasn't true. At the same time, it was so salacious and over the top, she couldn't let it go without verifying the facts. Somehow she had to get her hands on a September edition of Penthouse magazine.

Margie had never purchased a men's nudie magazine, so she was a bit unsure how to go about doing it without being looked at askance. "Well, back in those days, those magazines were kept under the counter. You couldn't just go pick one up and buy it yourself," she recalls. In addition, Margie just could not bring herself to admit the magazine was for her. So, she came up with a very detailed story - and told the clerk the whole thing. According to her story, she was going to the birthday party for a 50-something man, and needed just the right gift for him. The party was that evening, and she had come to the store to purchase the Penthouse magazine as his gift. As Margie says, "the clerk just looked at me thinking, 'I don't care lady, just give me the damn money for the magazine.'"

She paid for the magazine, turned it sideways so no one could see what she was carrying, and headed back to the car. Once back in the car, Margie stayed in the car in the parking lot - no way was she taking it anywhere she could be seen with it. She sat in her car, alone, riffling through the pages of a men's magazine. As she flipped through the pages, lo and behold - no Dawn. In the time it took for her to overcome her embarassment in purchasing the magazine, they new October edition had come out - and Dawn was last month's news.

Well. Now she REALLY wasn't going to let anyone know what she had done. No way was Margie taking the magazine home where her husband and sons might find out. And she couldn't go anywhere with it where she might be seen with it - LA was a very small town at that time. Someone might tell. So, she did what anyone else with contraband would have done.

She dropped it in the nearest mailbox and drove home.

And she never did see the September 1977 edition of Penthouse magazine.