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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Precious Memories Not My Own: To The Grandkids

I feel duty bound to include a few of the things I failed to include about your respective fathers.  Some I, being their mother, though to cute.  Other, being their mother, I saw no humor in!

 

When Randy was very small (here in Sunray) Paw Paw led singing.  I sat on the second pew so he could help me.  Randy was small enough to stand beside me.  I heard some – a lot! – of checkles that the sermon didn’t merit.  Randy  was facing the congregation blowing gigantic spit bubbles, one after another!  He always led singing from his eat.  He put the song book on the seat, faced everyone and directed with all his might!  I didn’t stop him from doing that.

 

He always took his bath at night.  Mother (Alice Hale is my grandmother: Jamey) decided he needed one on Sunday morning.  He was appalled! She managed to get him in the tub, but not to sit down.  She began trying to wash him starting at the top.  The neighbors could hear him screaming, “You got my arm wet, you got my arm wet!”  He wasn’t Mother’s favorite grandchild for some time.  Mother had a cantankerous parakeet at one time.  She put him on the window box on the screened in back porch to sun.  We were having coffee in the living room.  Everyone but Randy.  We heard a commotion you wouldn’t believe.  Randy had turned on the hose, and was giving the poor bird a shower bath through the screen!

 

That child wore out more shoes than ten kids could, on the inside.  We went to Dumas every Saturday and bought him a new pair of shoes and a foot long hot dog.  He wouldn’t have it cut.  We had to hold one end while he at the other!

 

He hated to go shopping.  We were shopping in Dumas once, and he started crying.  A policeman, likely suspecting abuse, stopped to ask if anything was wrong.  Randy stuck his tongue out at him.  Only time Iever remember his doing that.  I hope his timing has improved!

 

He loved his first record player – primitive though it was.  It had two sets of needles, one loud and the other louder.  The louder one got lost somehow.  He had a French version of Brother John.  He thought they were singing “Brother Chocolate, Brother Chocolate, Johnny Poo, Johnny Poo, Rabbit has a peanut, Rabbit has a  peanut, Ding Dong Ding.  He might remember “Little Fir Tree” and “Toot Toot Toddles The Tug Boat” – I sure do.

 

When Jamey was about 10 months old, I set him beside me on the pew with the diaper bag as a prop on the other side.  Becoming briefly distracted by the sermon, I heard a lot of dreaded giggles behind me.  When I looked down, the contents of the diaper bad were flying everywhere.  He was emptying the bag with both hands, having a great time!

 

A little later on another Sunday, he was playing with a vitamin bottle, and somehow managed to throw a big league outfielder would have been proud of.  The bottle sailed over the heads of those in three pews in front of us, and clattered all the way to the front of the auditorium.  Needless to say, the service was disrupted by belly laughs.  The preacher quieted everyone and said, “Now, he didn’t mean to do that.”  Paw Paw, Randy, and I knew that was exactly what he meant to do!

 

We were visiting with Jack and Ann Roach (Jack was one of my Dads’ running buddies in High School: Jamey) in Shamrock one night.  Ann wasn’t confident about her cooking, and was self-conscious about it.  She had chocolate pie for desert.  When Jamey finished his, he told her it was really good – he really likes soggy crust!  Despite his help we remained friends.  Oh, Mercy!

 

A short time after painting his room, I found a vast mural of crayola drawing spread across one wall.  II made it pretty clear to him that my appreciation of art didn’t include that!  I learned a year or so ago that I just didn’t understand that he had drawn a weather map like on TV.  That certainly would have made a difference.

 

Bessie and H.A. Phillips (long time family friends: Jamey) were spending the night with us in Boise City.  H.A. had pushed back the recliner and taken off his shoes and socks – so relaxed.  Jamey’s head came about even with H.A.’s feet.  When he toddled by and eyed them, I knew wha he was going to do, but couldn’t do a thing about it.  He stopped in front of the chair, opened his mouth, and bit H.A.’s big toe!  H.A. and Bessie have never let him forget it.  He had never bitten anyone before and never did again.  We were all so startled and ticked that we weren’t able to reprimand him much. 

 

The first time Bill and Betty Osborne (He was the preacher) were in Spearman is the only time he couldn’t go to his class –at all.  Screamed.  Not a happy mother, I dragged him into class with me and sat by Betty.  She smiled at him, and he glared at her, making a noise that could only be a growl.  Ryan used to make that noise.  She was impressed.  A few years later he always walked to the back with Bill after the services to help him greet everyone.  He still does that.  I may have mentioned that later.  If so, don’t tell me.

 

We were excited that Glinda was coming to meet us.  Though she and Randy were engaged, we hadn’t met  yet.  However, some of us were more excited than others.  A friend was taking Jamey to the show – planned before.  He didn’t change his plans.  She said, “Hello” and he explained that he was going to the show – more emphatically than really necessary, I thought.  That was his welcome to our family!  It was hardly anytime at all that she was one of his most favorite people.

 

He endeared himself even more at their rehearsal dinner.  We had just met Lloyd and Louise (Glinda’s parents: Jamey).  The Dean of the college was there as he was to perform the ceremony.  It was a special time and everyone was pretty much on their good behavior – except Jamey.  There were scoops of sour cream in small dishes for potatoes.  When the waitress served ice cream, Jamey  switched the ice cream and sour cream of the groomsman beside him.  The boy took a big bite expecting ice cream – spit, sputtered and managed to swallow.  I’m just glad it wasn’t the Dean.  The party did liven up.

 

Each of them tell me I’ve always liked the other one better than him.  You can understand why I finally told them that I had never really liked either one of them! – and why I have to sing this –

 

Your Poor Old Grey Haired Grandmother

Precious Memories Not My Own: Introduction

Before you panic at the length of this, remember you asked for it!  There are thousands of things I haven’t included, so be thankful for that.  I’ve tried to think of the things that might interest you most.  The rest you might remember our telling you from time to time, probably over and over too.  Neatness, spelling, accurate dates and continuity of thought don’t count-just memories.

 

At the time I’m writing this Daddy is sixty four and I’m sixty three.  Sometimes it seems that all this happened last week.  You’ll understand that later.  Lots of things have happened in those years, both good and bad.  Some we would like to change, some forget altogether.  On thing we would never change, and our great accomplishment and pleasure is you varmints.  You might notice, I didn’t say it had been all pleasure, there were times!!

 

I do want to say a little more about your grandparents.  Their generation began at the end of the Victorian Age, went through World War I, raised their families during the depression under circumstances hard to imagine, gave up sons to World War II, and still held things together.  They grew up in horse and buggy days, and lived to see men walking on the moon.  Their parents were products of the Civil War.  They may not have been able to have a formal education, but in things that were really important they were brilliant! All of us have a hard act to follow.

 

And a word or two to Glinda and Janis!  This is about your family, because you are ours.  Though we never dream of trying to take your parents place in your hearts (we could never do that even if we try), we have wanted to make our own place.  We’re grateful that you have let us do that.  You are daughters the we never had.  Neither of us think of you as daughters-in-law, you’re more special to us than that.  We love you for making our boys happy, for being world class mothers, and for so willingly sharing your lives with us.  Most of all though, we just love you

 

How could I not love the girls I prayed for since the boys were babies!  I wish all grandparents could be sure, as we are, that no one could possibly give their grandkids better care o more love.  And you will know our fellings better when you have a daughter-in-law of your own.  I shudder to think of the mistakes we’ve made, but we’re still learning!

 

Ryan, Kyler, and Shawna-  I still can’t believe you.  You’re like there cherries on an ice cream sundae.  Each one of you is so special to us.  Shawna, because you were our first grandchild and a girl!  Totally new to us.  Ryan, because you were our first grandson, and we needed you.  Kyler, because you were Jamey’s first and we waited a long time for you!  If there are other, we’ll try to make room for them – squeeze them in somewhere.  That will be about as hard as putting another cherry on the Sunday!!  It will be a long, long time before you are interested in this, but I’m pretty sure that someday you will.  Maybe when your Mom and Dad are the age Paw Paw and I are now.  They they can tell their story.

 

We love you.

 

 

Introduction: Precious Memories Not My Own

It was either Christmas of 1990 or 1991 that my brother Randy and I received the most extraordinary gift.  Our dear Mother, Gwen Foshee, took countless hours, and wrote by hand her recollections of her life.  She not only put pen to paper for one, she put pen to paper for both of us.  So as not to rile the children who so often claimed that “Mom Likes Me Best”, each page, of both editions, began and ended with the same word.  If there was a mistake made on a page of one edition, then the same mistake was made on the other.  Such is the mind of my Mother, which explains the mind of her children.

 

It is my intention to “blog” these 92 hand written pages, maybe with additional material, maybe not, so that you can see into a world that is fast passing from our collective memory.  For my family it is our life.  For you, well it will be for you to decide what it is for you.  Just know that these are special remembrances, written by a special lady, that helped shaped, in my own biased opinion, a very special family.

 

This is my Mother’s story, but since my mother was 14 years old, Darce Foshee, has been THE major part of her life.  At the time of my writing they have been married 66 years, so to not pay homage to the greatest man I’ve ever known, my Daddy, would be remise. 

 

Many things have changed since this was written.  Most significantly to the narrative will be my divorce, as this was written prior to then.  I know that if Mom were to write this now, she would write equally wonderful things about my dear Lisa.  I know this because Mom has told me how special Lisa is to her. 

 

Jamey Foshee

December 2012

 

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Top Ten Essential Albums

I have recently “rediscovered” my vinyl collection.  This causes my brain to revisit the idea of Essential Albums.  Certainly there are others that deserve to be in this list, but for tonight, this is Jamey’s suggestions to you for unbelievably good listening.

 

`10.  Chicago: Chicago Transit Authority.  From the opening song “Beginnings” through side 4’s “Liberation” the stage is set for what this band would be all about until Mr. Kath passed from the scene.  Blood, Sweat, and Tears is great Jazz/Fusion, but Chicago truly took Rock and Jazz and  “jammed” them together for some tremendously memorable music.

 

9.  Jefferson Airplane: After Bathing At Baxters.  Probably not of The Airplane’s most remembered works, but it truly is one of their greatest.  Presented in suites, the music is challenging to the traditional Rock listener, and yet engaging.

 

8.  Moody Blues: In Search of The Lost Chord.  Not usually listed as THE best, but certainly respected.  In my book this absolutely is their best album.  We get a great send off with “Departure”, ride a see-saw, go into the mind of Timothy Leary, and journey through a house with four doors, and that’s just side one!!  Side two kicks in, and then we get to hear my favorite Moody, Mike Pinder!!

 

7.  The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out.  This NOT an album for the average Joe.  If you like your music in 4/4 or 3/ 4 time, then Time Out will drive you crazy.  One starting in 9/8 with 4/4 in the middle (Blue Ronda ala Turk), the 5/4 of Take Five, and even one song, Three to Get Ready, that alternates 3/4 and 4/4 every two measure.  Some of the best recorded Jazz ever!!

 

6.  The Pink Floyd: Piper At The Gates of Dawn.  Notice my use of THE in the group’s name.  That’s what they were called in those days.  I love Psychedelia, and this is the genre at it’s best.  Syd Barrett is running the show at this point, and the “trip” we take on this album is magical.  Go find me an album today that that takes you through space, introduces you to a Gnome, and a black and green scarecrow!!

 

5.  Woodstock:  In recent  years there have been various releases of the famous three days of Peace, Love, and Music, but the best is the original three album release.  There’s a great “volume 2” album as well, but stick with the original.  Listen to every second, every word, and every song, and stay away from the brown acid!!

 

4.  The Beach Boys:  Smile.  Finally I can put this in my top ten with its release this year.  Finally!  Don’t get the full “Sessions” box, just buy the album Smile.  Psychedelic Americana at it’s finest.  Oh wait!  It’s the only Psychedelic Americana album.  The album has Heroes and Villains, Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow (of Chicago Fire fame), we get good vibes, and we’re even encouraged to eat our vegetables.  Can it get any better than this?

 

3.  Frank Sinatra: Only The Lonely. Ever have one of those times in your life you just want to wallow in the mire of being lonely?  Frank made this just for you and for those times.  Pour up your gin and tonic, put the stylus in the grooves, dim the lights, sit in your recliner, and totally depress yourself!!!!! It’s fantastic!!

 

2.  The Beatles; Revolver.  That’s right Revolver, and not the Pepper thing.  One caveat here.  It has to be the monophonic mix, to truly appreciate the album.  It has such a great mix of music and lyrics, and then Lennon moves us into “the rest of the 60s” with Tomorrow Never Knows.  It’s this song that totally makes my case for listening to the mono version.  Get this one!!

 

1.  The Who: Live At Leeds (Deluxe Version).  Unfortunately most people’s exposure to The Who come from their studio work.  That’s NOT The Who.  THIS is The Who.  A complete concert, INCLUDING TOMMY, and if you want to know Rock at it’s finest this is it.  Keith Moon and John Entwistle make this performance.  The Who “live” was always an event, and this album proves it.