"The Wondering Jew"
2001-06-10 - 19:24 MDT
THE WONDERING JEW
As time goes on the Treasure Box has additions due to the clicking in my skull piece caused by something someone said or, in the process of navel observation -- a remarkably efficient angling device for old memories.
Sometimes family gatherings will do it for me, one of our kin will make a remark about when this or that happened which causes an avalanche of memories cascading in a confusing series through my addled brain.
Today one of our boys was recounting the nefarious (?) activities he took part in when he was in high school. This happened for a short time while I was away and he sold his Mom on the idea of sleeping out in our backyard with his pals. On my return Heather clued me in on the arrangement that was in place. I thought for a bit and said something to the effect, "Sounds okay to me, if you want to stand guard all night in the backyard." My memories took me back to the times that I and my buddies would steal birthday cakes from the kitchens while the party was going on in the front room. And there were other things I did but will take the fifth. I know in my heart, what I would have done given that freedom when I was his age, and . . . . he is my son.
We ran into people who were our neighbors then and a general round of reminiscent conversation took place. After being seated at our table our conversation followed things that happened during that time. Son revealed that he and his friends were roaming the neighborhood in the middle of the night, plundering gardens and fruit trees. What brought that on I guess was his remembering this neighbor we had just met this afternoon had more or less apprehended the boys during one or two of their forays, and using some pretty good sense, chewed them out royally and sent them back to our back yard. And like boys, as soon as they felt that the neighbor had gone to bed off they went again.
I usually knew what was in our boys minds at any given age, like most dads having been there, done that --- or at least tried same I was usually one jump ahead of them. Memories of activities during the days of their childhood and young manhood flowed back and forth across the table.
Back at home, in comfortable chair some serious navel gazing took place as mymories flowed. Really, it is hard for me to realize now that once I was a young boy full of urinary vinegar and for the most part was up to no good, even if it was only flouting the rules that the adults had established. I had my share of apple belly aches and disturbed digestion from eating half a tree of pie cherries.
Then like smoke under a door sounds of mentally retrieved music began to swirl around my head, music of my childhood, "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers," "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen," "Ciribiribin," Bobby Burns "Flow Gently Sweet Afton," "I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls," "Santa Lucia," "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," "America The Beautiful," as well as the one taught us in first grade, which started out, "My Country 'Tis Of Thee," that I found out later was to the tune of England's, "God Save The King." Mom and Dad had a wind-up Victrola and a fairly good stash of records too, I remember they had a record or two of Caruso.
Throughout my early years, spiritual music from the days of slavery in our country was frequently played over the radio in regular programming and as stand alone programs of spirituals alone. Then the radio gave me music galore, out here "Cowboy," music stood alone -- long before it was herded in with "Country" and "Hillbilly," music. "Home On The Range," "Tumblin' Tumbleweed," Cool Clear Water," "Cattle Call," "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," later on, "Blood On The Saddle," and such. Then the popular music such as, "Abdul Bul Bul Amir," "I Been Workin' On The Railroad," "Sioux City Sue," "The Music Goes Round."
"Four Leaf Clover," (which by the way was used as the themesong for Solitaire Brand foods and seasonings which were distributed by Morey Mercantile which had been with us from the Gold Rush days. Stumbling around in old deserted cabins one could often find tin cans with the Solitaire label on them.) Most everything had a theme song or a jingle, one I remember is, "Pepsi Cola Hits The Spot, Twelve Full Ounces, That's A Lot, Twice As Much For A Nickle Too, Nickle, Nickle, Nickle" I am missing a word or two in there I think, rhyming with Too, maybe. Wheaties, The Breakfast Of Champions had its theme, Little Orphan Annie had a theme song and on into infinity.
Then Lucky Strike cigarettes had its weekly Hit Parade. The top song was put on stiff cardboardy material which had the grooves pressed on one side, sold cheaply and was on sale I think the afternoon preceeding the show.
Well known trade names of the day were Ipana tooth paste, Jergens hand lotion, Campana's Italian Balm hand lotion, Evening In Paris perfume.
There was a radio program, one of my favorites, "First Nighter," where I first heard the voice of Don Ameche. It was sponsored by either Evening In Paris perfume or Campanas Italian Balm hand lotion. Its theme music was a favorite of mine, "Neapolitan Nights."
All through my early years, Hill Billy music was mostly of the Homer and Jethro novelty type but there were a few of the folk type that showed up here in Denver.
I will say that from my childhood through World War Two, the audio on the vocal rose above the instrumental and was quite plain to our ears -- no guesswork there.
Then there was a radio program, originating in Denver sponsored by Wells Of Music I think, which featured Milton Shrednik's orchestra which was well done and of the light classical variety.
Our radios were the champs of the living room -- no TV's, no VCR's, no tape decks, CD players or boomboxes. Just THE radio. One could read if that was preferred, but could do nothing that produced noise within hearing of those listening to the radio. Families had their special favorites, Mom, Dad and I used to gather close to the radio and make a human chain one end holding onto the antenna wire (I think) of our old Philco, Cathedral style table model radio, to be able to hear Will Rogers from Oklahoma City. Later on down the road came, "One Man's Family," Still later came Raymond and the Inner Sanctum.
Tonight mymories are spilling too rapidly from my Treasure Box . . . . . .1 comments so far