There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just reminiscing.....

This might be boring and a really long post, but I promised Gil I would "write" the following stories down. 

Gil called me last night. I had sent him an article from Country Living magazine about Girl Scout memorabilia......he received it today.  I had given Sachiko all of my old Girl Scout sash with badges sewn on, pins, neck scarf, some loose badges and my Girl Scout Handbook.  The article talked about age and value of these exact items.  Gil was telling me what was on some of the badges...a cup, a lamp, ABC, and other strange symbols.  I wondered if I had been in a cult!  I was in troop 90 according to what Gil saw on my sash and inside the handbook I had written the name of our troop leader; Mildr-egads-d Hildebraaand.  Her daughter Shareeeyl was in the troop....and of course she was the most talented scout.....according to Mildr-egads-d.   I didn't like Mildr-egads-d and I absolutely didn't like Sheeeryl. 

All of the troop members went to Zaint Thomaz M0re Catholic School and we met weekly in the common hall.  That led to a discussion with Gil about the school uniforms we had to wear.  The school colors were maroon and white.  The boys wore maroon pants and white shirts with a maroon masculine sweater.  The girls wore a maroon jumper with a white blouse and the same masculine sweater.  Sometime during 6th or 7th grade, Sheeeryl had braces put on.  I swear she had more hardware in her mouth than a wrench set......rubber bands, head gear, wax and lots of spittle.  What I remember most about Sheeeryl was her wiping that spit on her maroon sweater...on both sides....and I don't think her mother ever washed or dry cleaned that sweater because there was always a slick line of old and wet spit on each side of the sweater at armpit level.  Strangely, this story led to lunches at school.

Every Thursday was Hot Dog Day.  We could buy a hot-dog, milk and an orange for lunch, but only on Thursday.  All of the other school days I brought my lunch.  My lunch in never, ever.....varied.  Monday through Wednesday I brought a bologna sandwich with mayo on white and a banana.....and I could buy milk.  Friday (because I was Catholic and we didn't eat meat on Friday back then) I brought a Swiss cheese sandwich with mayo on white no fruit.....and I could buy milk.    Every day my mother gave me milk money.  I did get milk on Thursday because that hot-dog lunch came with milk....sort of a package deal.  On the other days while I had milk money, I was a good little girl and would put my milk money in the box that sat at the end of every single nun's desk.  On the box were depictions of Asian, Indian and Negro (that was the socially correct term back then) children and the writing on the box said: Donate to Save the Pagan Babies.  And I did.  Can you imagine eating a bologna or a Swiss cheese sandwich and not having anything to drink with it....then add a banana?  I always thought of these Pagan kids when my dad made me eat hamburger patties...plain, no ketchup or Bar-B-Que sauce...just a plain patty.  I would gag trying to swallow and my dad would say ; The starving kids in China would like to have that hamburger right about now!  Somehow that story led to Gil asking me if Petrill@'s Pizza had been around when I was a teenager.  It was.  But once again the story strangely goes off subject. 

Gil saw a Petrill0's on the way home from a bike ride.  For some reason....probably his Italian blood....he looked the place up online.  The Internets say it is a great place.  The location of the place he saw was not where I remembered it being in Alhambra.  My  Petrill0's was located on Valley Blvd right across the street from Farmer Boys a drive in burger place that had car hops on skates serving the customers in their cars.

Friday night when I was in high school was cruise night.  Saturday night was date night....I was usually at home on Saturday.  Friday's cruise would start at Henry's where if you got a spot in the parking circle around the eatery good for you, if not keep on driving.  Henry's also had inside seating.  Henry's was not the favorite place to park.  If you did end up there a minimum amount was required to eat outside.  A teenager way back then in the dark ages had enough $$$ to order "wet" fries (French fries with gravy) and a cherry Coke.  Farmer Boys was the place to park and be seen in your fine short (what a lowered, tricked out car was called). 

There were two "fan spots" at Farmer Boys where if you were either Al B0j0 or a Perrino or Palermo brother you parked.  The unspoken rule was: only the finest guys with the finest shorts could park in a fan spot and those three names were permanently parked there.  These spots allowed you to look right at Petrill@'s.  Al B0j0 drove either a Ford Ranchero or a Chevy El Camino that was painted pearlescent pink with tuck 'n roll upholstery, and the car was so low you couldn't get your hand under it; Al was as fine  as his car.  The Perrino boys, Joe and Frank were fine too and I was lucky enough to live up the street from the Palermo's, Don and George.  While their cars were not as spectacular as Al's, they were right up there......all had their car club plaque in the rear window....CZARS.

The cruise route was this:  Henry's to see who was cruising, then on to Farmer Boys just to look at Al B0j0 in all of his fineness.  If you were early enough you might get a parking spot in the back someplace and the car hops on skates would bring your food to your car (no inside eating at all).  Eventually a crowd would form...guys only....and they would drift from car to car to see if there were any girls worth talking to parked in the back.  From Farmer Boys you would cruise to Twoeey's, The Home of Little Stinky (onion rings) and from there to another drive in like Henry's but I have forgotten the name of the place.....and then start all over again. 

Gil asked if kids had after school jobs then....yup.  In the case of the Palermo's for instance, their parents owned a liquor store and the boys worked there sweeping and stocking.  The Perrino's had an Italian deli where my mom bought ravioli, olives from a barrel and sweet sausage.  The Perrino boys worked at the deli.  There was another family; the Perricone's.  Remember those hot dog days at my grammar school?  They provided the hot dogs and oranges.  They had a fruit and veggie business that I would bet was "connected."   But back then so were a lot of Italian families. 

Now for a tid-bit about Al B0j0.  When I met my first husband, Art, he was dating a woman named....of all the names in the world.....Rosemary.  They broke up and we started dating.  The other Rosemary then started dating Al B0j0.  Art and I married, the other Rosemary married Al.  Art and I divorced, Al and Rosemary divorced and Art and the other Rosemary married.  Eventually they divorced and Art married a neighbor Pam.  Yawn.

Below is a photo of the Girl Scout troop working on the artistry or painting or maybe creative  badge.  I am standing right behind the girl painting...see...big grin.  Sheeeryl is right behind me and miserable Mildr-egads-d is in the back between us. My mom is behind Sheeeryl.  Below that my friend Bea is giving  Mildr-egads-d some sort of gift for being such a miserable human being really nice troop leader.  Bea's mother was the assistant leader and I think she only did that to save all of us from Mildr-egads-d.   I am second in line.  I had told Gil I thought we wore beanies not berets....but it looks like I was wrong 'cause those sure look like berets to me. 

So there you have my very long, boring walk down a crooked, disjointed memory lane.  In between these stories were mentioned Sandy my dollie that Sachi now owns and loves, the value of the Girl Scout stuff and Sandy, my accordion and the 78 record I have of the little kid snot nosed band I taught when I was 15/16 and the current value of my Scandalli accordion that is not totally tricked out so the value isn't at the top of the range.  I do have to say Gil and I shared some good laughs throughout this conversation.


Sling said...

We have much the same type of memories,being of around the same age,and coming from SoCal..
My mom was our cub scout leader(pack 703-C),so I was pretty happy about that.One of my favorite memories was when we all got to go meet John Glen.


i got thrown out of the girl was in hawaii and we as a group all went aboard the lurilene(like the QEII) and they lost me..couldn't find me..were franic looking for me.the found me finally in the bottom of the ship playing poker with the chinese crew..none of whom could speak english and i knew no chinese..but didn't matter..we knew poker.I won $8and some change.

kenju said...

I have all the badges I got in Girl Scouts - and I didn't know they had value!

I enjoyed your musings, Rosemary.

Miss Healthypants said...

I was in Girl Scouts when I was a kid, too--and I don't remember ever doing a whole lot of work for those badges that I "earned." *grin* I do remember selling GS Cookies, though--I always loved frozen thin mints--yummy! :)

And no, I CANNOT imagine eating a bologna sandwich & banana with nothing to drink with it!!!! After nearly choking to death on a dry sandwich almost 10 years ago, I have to have a big drink with every meal. That's how it should be. :)

Middle Child said...

I managed to be in the Brownies - but gave the Girl Guides the flick - Thanks for the seems so long ago now but only a second or so away in our memories

more cowbell said...

I'm pretty sure the Girl Scouts are a cult, but they have awesome cookies, so it's OK. Loved this post.