The Purple Cow

Standing at the counter waiting for our order of cold deliciousness to be handed over, I was quietly transported back in time. I distinctly heard my friend, Nancy, call my name. “Would you like to go? My mom said I can only pick one person to come with.”  said Nancy.  Out of all the kids in our 4th grade class…..I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…..excitement bubbled up inside me and… I quickly answered yes.  

“Yes, oh yes! Thank you so much for inviting me Nancy. I can hardly wait. It will be so much fun.” I replied. After school that day I ran as fast as I could home. I burst through the backdoor into the kitchen shouting, “Mom, Mom! Guess what? Nancy chose me . She chose me to go with and celebrate her birthday. We are going to see a play….I paused and took a deep breathe…. and then we’re going out for ice cream. 

We were going to the Drury Lane/Martinique Theatre to see a children’s play in the round and afterward  to The Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor.  Although both places are long gone, the impression they left on me still remains. I can still picture them vividly in my mind.The theatre was magnificent.  However, its marble floors, sweeping spiral staircase, crystal chandelier, and luxurious red cushioned seats were still no competition, in my opinion, to The Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor.

As a little girl I loved the color purple, so naturally I was excited to go there. A huge purple cow statue stood outside the parlor and greeted both young and old alike. As you walked through the front door your eyes were overwhelmed by the amount of purple that existed in that little south-side parlor. It made you feel  warm and giddy  inside. There were antique bistro tables and chairs painted white with purple seats. The floor was covered in a checkered pattern of white and purple tiles. Floats of all kinds were served in the prettiest, sparkly, purple glasses. Even the sugar on the table used for coffee was purple. Antique penny arcade machines, an old player piano and a victrola added to its overall charm. When it came time to order, I had a Purple Cow Float. It was pure heaven! Vanilla ice-cream floating in a sea of purple soda topped with whipping cream, purple sprinkles, and a Salerno butter cookie in a tall, sparkly, purple glass. It tasted wonderful.

“Excuse me, miss. Here’s your order.” said the young man behind the ice cream counter.  Jarred back to the present I said “Ah….yes. Thank you!” as he handed me a double scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream in a sugar cone. I handed my daughter her cone and we went outside The Plush Horse Ice Cream Parlor to eat our cones before they started to melt on one of the last beautiful summer evenings this year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Slice of Life

 

In the tiny little booth, two friends met each day for lunch to share the  highlights of their lives. As the spoons stirred in their tea cups, they laughed and they  cried as each poured out their heart.  Showing their support and encouragement along the way, these two individuals became framily-(FRIEND  PLUS  FAMILY.) As was their way, each day they finished up by having coconut cream pie. Paying for the bill and exiting the door, the two friends gave each other a hug  good-bye saying “I’ve really enjoyed our time together. It’s been a slice!

coconut_cream_pie

You Can’t Take It Away

I want you to have what I didn’t .” said my parents. It was what their parents had said to them.

My grandparents were immigrants from Europe in the late 1800’s. They came to America in search of a better life. They had little or no education. So when they had my parents they sent them to school. They knew it was important to have an education. In spite of the Great Depression, my  father was able to finish grammar school. Everything else he needed, he learned in the school of hard knocks. My mother fared a little better as she was able to graduate high school.

My parents, like their parents, wanted a better life for their children. They realized the value of an education and the doors that could be opened if their children went to college or learned a trade. I can still hear my father saying, “No one can ever take away your education.”  

My sister and two brothers were 13, 16, and 19 years older than me when I was born.   Life was different back then. Girls usually married and stayed home. Boys went off to school, learned a trade or went to work . My sister, at my father’s insistence went to a secretarial school. He wanted her to be able to take care of herself if anything happened to the man she would someday marry. I really wish my sister had been able to go to college back then. It wasn’t until she was in her sixties that she went to college for floral design. She is one talented lady and I am so proud of her. My brothers and I  attended college also. No matter what obstacles life put in our path, we persevered and graduated because  we knew the value of an education. We were the first generation of college graduates in our family.

Just like our father and mother, all of us have stressed the value of an education to our children. In 4 short weeks, my husband and I will have the privilege of seeing our youngest daughter graduate from college. On that day, I know my grandparents and parents will be smiling  down on her as she walks across the stage and accepts her diploma. An education is priceless and can never be taken  away.

Now I Lay Me Down

As easy as a light switch is turned from on to off,

I find this aging body, automatically and unknowingly,

entering a  deep, deep slumber

for it craves rest

after a long day of moving from here to there

and up and down.

So simple a thing  rest is , yet so vital to function.

When young  we fought against what we needed most,

but as an adult we welcome it with open arms

no matter what the time of the day….. Ahhhh,    the    nap!

A Bird’s View

glider-07

My brother-in-law had me climb into the seat behind his. I put on my seatbelt and waited anxiously for us to go. With the hatch closed and the clip attached to the nose, slowly we were pulled down the runway by the small, yellow bi-plane in front of us. Faster and faster the bi-plane moved till it had the momentum to lift off the ground. As it moved higher into the air, the slack in the tow chain lessened till we were air born. Higher and higher we went into the beautiful sky until we reached the proper altitude. Releasing the tow chain clipped to the nose of the glider, the little yellow bi-plane veered off to the right as we went to the left. It was so quiet and peaceful. Pssst, was the only sound we heard.  It was so different riding in the glider. With no engine, the glider was totally dependent on the up drafts and down drafts like a bird. The glider moved round and round till we no longer could find an upward air current. So slowly and gently like a feather we moved downward until we landed once again on terre  firma.

Loved That Dragon

 

I was a member of  The BJ & Dirty Dragon Fan Club when I was a child. I still have my autographed picture like the one pictured above on the left. It was everything a kid’s television show should be-funny, creative, and imaginative. Characters like The Lemon Joke Kid who would drop lemons from the sky and cause your face to pucker and The Blob, a talking chunk of  clay, that would be transformed each day. Last but not least, there was Dirty Dragon, the postmaster, who always accidentally burned up all the mail. The show had heart. It was one of the first shows I can remember that “recruited” kids to hold backyard carnivals to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. Many children, including myself, were inspired to make a difference in their little corner of the world and to help others.  Thank you BJ and Dirty  Dragon for teaching me to make the world a little brighter!

This Old House

The morning light slowly filtered through the beveled glass in the front door. It cast  an oblong pattern that seemed to dance across the far wall of my living room. Quietness permeated the house except for the sound of the boiler kicking on to force hot water through the cast iron radiators. I love my old house with plaster walls and arched doorways. In three years, we can apply to have our house declared a historical landmark. When we first purchased our house 24 years ago, we did not realize that it already had a rich history. It was only after visiting our  local historical society that we saw a picture showing our house being moved in 1962. Talking to one of the local historians, we learned that our house was originally located on the main street that runs east and west through our village. It was located near the old post office and a vaudeville theater. It turned out that the original owners of our house also owned the vaudeville theater. If only the walls in my house could talk……