Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vignettes, 20th Century

Going through some old boxes in the basement tonight, I came across some first drafts of letters I wrote to people around 1990, back in the 20th Century.  I used to draft letters on whatever small scraps of paper I could find, and then copy the finished letter onto a readable sheet of stationery.  Back then, when you sent out a letter, you didn't have a floppy disk, or an extra file copy on your printer, because you were the printer.   You printed it on paper, with a Bic 19 cent stick pen.  So, I'm glad I saved some of these notes from the past, but I can't imagine where I got so much energy 20 years ago.  (sigh!) Life in Milwaukee. 

Carl's South Shore Fruit
... slow, it must be something they put in the water, here in Bedford Falls, I mean Milwaukee's South Side.  It's a bit strange over here; they've got McDonald's but the hamburgers are still 39 cents.  At Carl's South Shore Fruit, they don't sell fruit any more Carl says "... these people come in and shop all morning for one banana.  And, sure enough, he had a box of bananas, but they were all pulled apart, that is, no two bananas were attached to one another.  And, the bananas looked somehow, tired, and, shop-worn.  

Carl sells sweatshirts now that say "Hug Me, I'm Polish".  and other authentic "Polish Imports", and he does quite a business renting U-Hauls.  Lots of folks moving (in? out?).

The South Shore Water Frolics
A few hours at the South Shore Water Frolics, and you're never quite the same.  "A Rock and Roll Extravaganza"  played by the Milwaukee Police Band.  1989 was the year they electrified the accordions, and they had to unplug the air pump on the 30-foot tall Spuds MacKenzie balloon, so there'd be enough power to polka.  Without power, Spuds kind of leaned over toward the stage, limply bowing to the musicians.

And Miss South Shore Auto Body did her Hawaiian Dance number, as part of the Water Frolics Beauty Contest.  But the stage was so hot from the sun, they had to start the dance over.  She did the whole thing on a throw rug because that was more authentic than doing it with her shoes on.

3285 - Happy Food
I've still got my cat, 3285 Unwanted (that was her name on the Humane Society cage, and we kind of stuck with it - friends call her '32 for short.)  She's still as stupid as ever, only now she's more blind, which doesn't bother her much unless I rearrange the furniture.  And as little as I run the TV, she heard that ad for Happy Food, you know that plastic jar with the snap top lid, and that's the only food there is now, because it keeps fresh in there, as she explains to me.

Single Unrequited Love Bird
This bird one day decides to fly down to the floor and manage the house.  He's been strutting around ever since.  He follows 3285 around, and he likes Happy Food now, too.  Sometimes he lets the cat have some, but not the catnip mouse - that's his love.   He bit off the bell, and pulled her eyes out (the catnip mouse, not 3285), and Miss Mousie is his main squeeze now.  3285 doesn't mind letting him have her catnip mouse, because when The Bird is spending quality time with Miss Mousie, he's not eating her food, and biting her ears.  He's learning how to use 3285 for transportation by standing on her back, but he's having a little trouble steering her, because she's blind.

Playing Accordion for The Salvation Army
The "Home for the Holidays Tour" at the Grand Avenue was only in its third day of fund-raising when I booked a job with the manager of Boston Store, chasing old ladies up and down the escalators with Santa Claus and my accordion at the Senior Citizen sales event.  Who could refuse a job like that?  And Norman came in from Madison to do some jobs with me on Friday or Saturday.  We've always talked about doing something like this, and it's at the Grand Avenue -- where Christmas originates!.

Thanks for listening and contributing. I'd love to hear from you.

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