Saturday, June 14, 2014

Off to College in a Hearse!

Sometimes having a father as a funeral director led to some unforgettable memories!
Most people knew my father as a funeral director-a caring man who took great pride servicing families in their time of sorrow. I love this picture of my father because it's about the only picture I have where he is not wearing a tie. He's kidding around, enjoying some down time-showing his sense of humor. Growing up around a funeral home offered a unique awareness of the frailty of life-and some unforgettable moments-some quite hilarious-like the time I went off to college in the hearse and never thought a thing about it. When it was time to go to that community college, my father just happened to be going that way to pick up a remains to bring back home. So we loaded up the back of the hearse with all of my stuff and off we went. The school didn't have dorms on campus so I was renting an apartment with four other girls I'd never met.(This was way before facebook)! Adding to the plot was my hair. At that time The Munsters was the #1 show on TV. The vehicle used in the show resembled a hearse. Lily Munster had hair down to her waist with a strip of white down each side in the front. Well I had hair down to my waist just like Lily's but my strip wasn't white-it was a blondish shade. So not only did I arrive in a hearse-I looked like Lily Munster! At first, my landlord thought the hearse was a joke. My roommates loved it. After we unloaded everything, my father and I jumped back inside the hearse and went to dinner-parking right in front of a spaghetti place nearby!

Friday, June 6, 2014

When Sneakers Were Just Sneakers

I can't imagine summers when I was growing up without my Keds sneakers. My sneakers went everywhere with me as I played with my cousins-down to the creek and on to the raft my uncle made out of telephone poles; in the barn and up into the haylofts to walk across the plank bridge connecting the two; across the road and down to the pine grove-and some days down further into the woods to the river to go swimming; out in the field to play baseball; to the front yard of my grandparents' farmhouse to climb trees, make bows 'n arrows out of some sort of a rubbery, flexible stalk-like weed, play hide 'n seek and red light-green light, and. of course, spend time in our chicken coop clubhouse-day in and day out. I was certain my Keds made me run faster-jump higher-stop quicker. They took me through hayfields and mud; cow pies and creek grass. They stayed with me when I'd kneel down to get a drink of water at the bubble-a natural bubble of very cold water squeezing out of the flat rock. They never failed me. If they were wet when I went to bed-they were dry in the morning and if there had been mud on the soles-the mud had magically disappeared.

When I think about those Keds I realize I was lucky to have grown up in a time when sneakers were sneakers. They came in basic colors. Mine were blue-always blue with white laces. I didn't need super cushioning or aero dynamic soles or neon sparkles or sci-fi designs, zippers, or Velcro. My sneakers were all I needed. My blue Keds took me wherever I wanted to go. They did make me run faster than the wind. I did jump higher than an Olympian when wearing my sneakers. And not that I even thought about such a thing back then-but I'm certain my Keds were economical-unlike today's weird and overpriced versions of sneakers.