Category Archives: The rest of the story…

Fun Clothesline Poem

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I have to admit this is not mine, nor is the author identified. It is one

where the memory of clean, gently blown sheets with the brisk, stiff

texture makes this poem worthwhile. I hope it is evocative of olden

days when your mother or grandmother, (father or grandfather) put

clothes on a line, using wooden clothespins and maybe, the image

of those undulating sheets will give you a smile or two:

 

Clothesline Poem

 

“A clothesline was a news forecast,

To neighbors passing by,

There were no secrets you could keep,

When clothes were hung to dry.

 

It also was a friendly link,

For neighbors always knew

If company had stopped on by,

To spend a night or two.

 

For then you’d see the ‘fancy sheets,’

And towels upon the line;

You’d see the ‘company table cloths,’

With intricate designs.

 

The line announced a baby’s birth,

From folks who lived inside,

As brand new infant clothes were hung,

So carefully with pride.

 

The ages of the children could,

So readily be known

By watching how the sizes changed,

You’d know how much they’d grown.

 

It also told when illness struck,

As extra sheets were hung;

Then nightclothes and a bathrobe, too,

Haphazardly were strung.

 

Clothes off of the line before dinner time,

Neatly folded in the clothes basket. . .

And ready to be ironed.

Ironed?

Well, that’s another whole other subject.”

 

My son and his wife, hang their summer laundry on a clothesline,

using the big plastic (non-rustable) clothespins. They also have

had clothing line disasters, since they have two big dogs, along

with my daughter in law’s Dad’s Great Dane. These dogs running

around have been known to create some havoc with old-fashioned,

but ecologically sound way of drying their laundry. There are only

a few things better smelling than clean, air- and wind-dried laundry.

The clothing, towels and sheets used to smell like sunshine!

 

Let me know of any memories this brought forth… thanks for

sharing!

 

 

A Quirky Man

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Your roots can make you stronger, or they can ‘break you in two.’ This is the

story of Don Knotts, born “Jesse” Don Knotts. His birthday, July 21, 1924 and

the day he died was, February 23, 2006. This July, he would have reached the

landmark birthday of 90 years old.

Jesse was only four years ahead of my Mom, in age. But so far behind, from the

standpoint of his childhood background.

Jessie’s roots were in West Virginia where a lot of ‘hard scrabble folks’ were

born and raised. It wasn’t easy growing up in his family or that part of the

country. It was a rough time, for many people with the onset of the Depression,

not too long into Jesse’s life and all.

Jesse was raised by a father who was known to be a ‘brute’ of a man, with high

expectations of his son. (Some biographers have decided, from their research,

that his father may have been mentally ill.) He was rough on his son. So was

Jesse’s older brother. There have been stories of his father wielding a knife at

him and beating him.

The young boy, raised in the country on a farm, was often picked on at school

since he was so scrawny and his clothes didn’t fit too well either.

While in school, he was often sickly. Jesse got in the habit of becoming almost a

“hypochondriac.” Being ill deflected his Dad’s wrath and also, kept him out of

school. There were times his mother comforted and took care of him, helping

make him feel better about himself.  This and being a ‘day-dreamer’ managed

to help him survive school.

Jesse was someone who wanted to find a way to ‘fit in’ or get out of his life.

There were three brothers to be raised by his mother alone, once his father died.

One evidence of Jesse’s curiosity and use of imagination was shown in his choice

of reading and play materials. He developed a talent with utilizing sock dolls and

asking people for money for their entertainment factor. This meant they saw

him use the puppet, while throwing his voice, using varied tones to tell his

crazy stories and made up plays. He developed an early comedic timing, which

got some smiles and laughs. His hopes of being a ventriloquist was encouraged

by books on the subject he read.

One of the first jobs he got, sometimes he told people later in life, he felt he

‘deserved’ this pathetic job. He stood on a line at a chicken factory and his story

goes, plucked chicken feathers off dead chickens. This was helpful for saving his

money and purchasing a ventriloquist dummy.  Much nicer than the sock puppet!

This brought more money into his savings for his future.

Jesse graduated from high school and afterwards joined the military. He

persisted through sickness, getting recognition for his talents. Once he was

‘discovered’ to be quite lively and entertaining, he was put into the Entertainment

Corps. This helped him to become more confident. He was part of the United

States Army, from 1943 to 1946.

Turns out, this choice of joining the Army changed his life. Knowing he was

not a ‘loser’ nor ‘worthless’ meant he could produce popular and interesting

character sketches. The more people laughed, the more original his material

became. He could “make fun of himself” and make money, too.

Jesse attended and graduated from West Virginia University.

Jesse’s star would rise, up into the sky, as Don Knotts.

Using his ‘hypochondria’ and his ‘paranoia’ to his advantage, this and his

skinny, slightly unattractive and awkward looks made him even more funny

to his audiences.

Don Knotts became a ‘hit’ in the true sense of the word!

Don was on a soap opera, he was the “Man on the Streets” where Steve Allen

would conduct “fake interviews” with him, as a nervous man on the sidewalk.

He was in the Broadway production, from 1955-57, of “No Time for Sergeants.”

Don later reprised his role in the movie version. This was where he met Andy

Griffith.

The movie, “No Time for Sergeants,” was filmed in 1958 with Don Knotts

and Andy Griffith.

Their television show, followed in 1960, where the two of them were partners,

of sorts.

When he got the part of “Barney Fife,” in the television show, “The Andy

Griffith Show,” he played the deputy sheriff to Andy Griffith’s role of sheriff.

This show lasted from 1960 until 1968. Don Knotts won five Emmy awards.

There were many more movie offers for Don Knotts.

My favorite role of his lifetime was as the fish in the animated children’s movie,

“The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” I did not know him from “Search for Tomorrow,”

nor did I really like the movie, “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” I did laugh at his

flamboyant role as landlord, in the comedy television show, “Three’s Company.”

Do you have a favorite role that Don Knotts played?

Did you like him best as the shaky, nervous Deputy Barney Fife?

He was sixth cousins to Ron Howard, who played the character, “Opie.”

Andy Griffith and Don were known to be close friends, throughout their

filming the t.v. show and later years.

Don Knotts was married three times, his first marriage lasting from 1947-1967.

He had two children, a daughter named Karen Knotts and a son, Thomas Knotts.

His last marriage to Frances Yarborough was from 2002 up until he died in 2006.

 

Making millions of dollars over his lifetime, being a ‘household name’ and his

having the record of the most Emmy Awards for television shows sure showed

his father and those bullies who picked on “Jesse” Don Knotts!

 

 

Slurred Speech

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The Dark Side of Comedy

While laughing and coming up with a wide selection of old time shows

that were either variety and/or talk shows, we came upon a somber

moment. My coworkers and I had listed The Jackie Gleason Show, which

included a funny character named, “Crazy Guggenheim.” We had also talked

about how many of the talk show ‘hosts’ or ‘hostesses’ held cigarettes

in their fingers or had a amber colored beverage in their glasses.

Who doesn’t remember Dean Martin, for example, having a drink in

his hand?

By the way, Frank Fontaine portrayed Crazy Guggenheim on both the

Jackie Gleason and Jack Benny shows. He died of 58 years old, about

to donate a check for heart disease studies. His heart attack was

a shock to those who loved him. He knew how to sing well, having

filled a whole album of the songs he sang, while Jackie G. portrayed

his famous alter ego, “Joe the Bartender.” Frank F. was famous for

his slurred speeches, his drunken behavior and his bug-eyed look

and facial expressions.

We thought that it was interesting how times ‘had changed’ and

decided there were “pro’s” and “con’s” to the past.

Let me insert a famous line from the movie, “A Night at the Opera,”

(1935):

“Let there be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and

necking in the parlor.”

This line was spoken by Groucho Marx, in his portrayal of the film’s

character, Otis B. Driftwood.

We know now that famous people are just like us, in many ways.

We also realize that, although there were “Time” and “Newsweek”

magazines trying to bring to the forefront of the population,

the downfalls of alcohol, drugs, gambling and smoking, there were

many disregarding the after effects, side effects and we did not

have such a stigma attached to these ‘bad’ habits. Two of us at my

lunch table on Thursday, became rather sad and quiet. They were

reflecting on recalled deaths of family members due to smoking and

cancer. One of us had experienced abusive, “mean drunks” for parents.

We decided that addictions, such as these, are still not considered

as ‘big of a deal.’ Society, in some ways, continues to ‘brush them

under the table.’

Even the subject of rehabilitation has had its lighter comedic film

moments. People either laugh, due to the antics and situations that

don’t seem real or out of being uncomfortable. It is hard to explain

why we laugh when someone runs into a wall, falls off a roof, or

trips and does a pratfall.

Treatment for the addictions, in the form of actually facing that

these ARE diseases, is important. Still, we felt a little sad

about the fun we had, when young and felt ‘invincible’ and our

lives, for the most part, had been impermeable to the aging

results of sometimes almost impossible challenges.

Slurred speech, in the ways a person sometimes cannot help it,

while in persons who have had a stroke, live with the challenge

of disabilities and speech delays are NOT FUNNY! We would not

laugh, hopefully, when someone has a speech ‘impediment!’

We still felt a little ambiguous, as we thought back upon the

variety of comedy skits that made us roar with uncontrollable

laughter. Melvin admitted to sometimes, while in the armed

forces, being drunk and thinking it was funny when his buddies

and he pulled pranks while drunk. It is considered a serious

offense, and if caught, these days, you could be court-martialed!

Melvin remarked, that in the ‘old war stories’ of the past, often

there would be stories of men ‘letting off steam.’ We also agreed

that the Viet Nam war movies, seemed to include a prevalent use

of drugs.

Who can forget Crazy Guggenheim’s humorous lines, his leaning

into a person, while breathing out his alcoholic breath? Who

cannot forget when there have been famous movies, with drunken

scenes, sometimes with innocent types of sloppy behaviors?

Who can forget the drunken orgies in “Animal House?”

Who has seen and enjoyed some teenaged or college-aged

movies (or personal memories) where it was very funny being

drunk or being around people who were high?

Who did not laugh (if they are above 40 years old) at Cheech

and Chong’s movie, “Up in Smoke?”

Adding, “Arthur,” with Dudley Moore and The Benny Hill Show,

to the mix, we had international connections of drinking in

movies and television shows.

I have seen Doris Day, Sandra Dee, Humphrey Bogard, Elizabeth

Taylor, Richard Burton and other classic actors and actresses

who have done scenes where they portrayed alcoholics. Some

were quite dramatic and serious roles with “mean” and “sloppy”

drunken roles as their focus. Yet, some were fun ‘romp’ movies

where the drunks were silly.

A lot of comedies include either drugs, alcohol or addictions,

going over the top in their portrayals.

There are also famous movies with the dark and angry side of

the picture:

“Days of Wine and Roses” and “Leaving Las Vegas” come to mind.

We have moved forward in some ways, then stepped back, too.

After all, we still have three “Hangover” movies…

I still will watch comedy sketches with the Saturday Night

Live crew, some who are great at making me laugh, acting

silly while stumbling around and falling down drunk.

What would you do if you suddenly were rich?

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Songs that have the words, “All I Want for Christmas” or “I’m Dreaming of a White
Christmas” make me think of the times that while on a trip, in our family, we would
“dream” or ask the question,
“What would you do if you were given a million dollars?”
Since I have posted a few stories that are more for those of one faith, I would like
to extend this question, broaden it to:
“What are your dreams and how would you make them come true, if money were no problem?”
I think I would right off the bat, give to my children each $100,000. I would hope
that they would understand that Mom cannot give all of the money to them! But, that
would provide a good start to their savings and since they have jobs, maybe they would
be satisfied with the helping hand out.
I would quit Advance Auto D.C. right away! I have been feeling my fingers getting numb
and think that my legs, body, etc. need to have an “easier life after fifty!”
I don’t complain, but when given a chance out of there, I would seize it and not look
back, except to keep in touch with some of my favorites, like Tammy, Melvin and Darryl.
They make me laugh, get me to relax and enjoy my lunch and breaks.
I would like to move to an apartment with two bedroom, furnish one with twin beds, like
Felicia and I had when I first moved into my present situation. I would furnish the
second room with a full or queen size bed. I would like an apartment like my ex-husband
has, with a pool nearby and a patio with a sliding glass door to the outside. I would
plant flowers and some tomato plants, too.
I would live on $30,000 or $35,000 a year, using the rest of the money as a combination
of saving and giving. I would be careful and choose the charities or projects that
deserved my donations, carefully. I would get a simple job with health care coverage.
I do believe that it is a good idea to “tithe” and I would do this to my faithful
and caring First Presbyterian Church. I would pray for insight and inspiration about
my choices.
I might consult someone who is in financial planning to ensure I make wise choices
about my savings and spending, too.
I think it is important to donate time and energy to projects. I am a big fan of Habitat
for Humanity and have volunteered only once (so far) for this in my town.
I should do it more regularly!
Money would allow me to have more time!
I am not sure if I could get a Monday through Friday position, but would try to find
a place that desired my abilities enough to accommodate that “dream,” too.
I would like to listen to live bands more!
I would get a computer and get my Wi-Fi turned back on!
You would still only see or hear from me once or twice a day, since I would like to
be able to spend more time volunteering at my grandchildren’s schools.
I would like to travel, far and wide, over hill and dale…
I would like to move my mother down here, but as my sister in law, Susan, has pointed
out, Cleveland is the “Mecca of Nursing Homes!” and she has settled into her very nice
apartment with plenty of Randy’s artwork there and the close proximity to brothers is
a plus, too.
I would spend more time driving up to visit her on the weekends! I would bring little
ones to visit and we would explore the area more, while I am up there!
This is all to say, that I am overall very happy with the skeleton of this dream, I
have my family, my apartment, my car and my job, so I am thankful for my blessings…
I would just expand my world a little bit, with the extra money, but being mindful to
keep most of the money in savings for the different bends and twists in Life.

Let me know what your dreams would be, if “money were no object!”

And I cannot help myself, when the child asks for “his two front teeth” as All He
Wanted for Christmas! (Do you believe that could really be all he wants? Smiles!)

And now, “the rest of the story”

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As a great radio storyteller, Paul  Harvey, always said, there are

always more to stories and that is how he would break to the

last commercial during each airing of his daily show. He would

come back and tell the listeners about the “rest of the story.”

I am going to shock and amaze you with the rest of the story

about the “new guy.” I feel bad, but must tell you that a couple

of personal friends, including Anna, say that I need to finish this

story. I did not “break up” with him over surface issues. I did not

choose to leave and not continue our friendship due to small

differences.

I liked his mother, his fun style of dating but when it comes down

to the “nitty gritty” of adult encounters and relationships you need

to talk frankly about your sexual preferences.

So, from here on out, this post is rated “R” and may have a few

moments of humor but also some precautions and warnings to

those who follow me and want the “truth” about dating. I would

hardly be giving the story correctly without finishing the last part.

I was so excited about dating and a physical relationship that I

wrote the post, “Sudden Preoccupation with Sex.”

I knew the possibility of vaginal dryness may come up so I bought

some lubricant and also, condoms that would be compatible with

them. You need to check the labels on both products, or some lubes

counteract and take away your “protection from STD’s.”

Just because a woman is a red blooded female, and wants “romance”

doesn’t mean she is anything (some bad words come to mind…) but

normal. Just want all those women (and men) who wish for their

physical contact to continue searching for a good, nice partner with

all of your interests aligned, AND go over verbally what you visualize

those encounters in the bedroom will include. Also, don’t be shy!

This is very important advice. I am remiss if I don’t include this in my

story, although, some may have quit reading by now!

Not all of you need this advice, you are in healthy and monogamous

relationships, either married or living together.

Or you have chosen a wilder side, and that is your preference, too.

Or you have chosen to live with abstinence, a great choice, in this

very dangerous adult sexual world!

When someone says, “Let’s just see where this takes us,” this is

being honest. I agree, not everyone can predict the outcome to

anything.

Nothing comes with a guarantee!

There was a 70’s expression, I heard it in college,

“Bad sex is better than no sex.”

Today, I would say, “No! That is not true! Don’t compromise your

integrity by having one night stands!”

My opinion, remember, but this is not someone else’s blog. You

have to depend on my telling you, straight from my heart to

yours.

Intimacy of the mind is so valuable. Respect, caring, love, and yes,

you may include lots of FUN in the mix!

I happen to like lots of kissing, which may lead someone in their

teens to think,

“Let’s get it on!” (I can hear his song playing, as I write, Marvin

Gaye, thank you for your sexy song! )

And Barry White I love that song, “You (Sexy Thing)” among both

your repertoires; a lot of romance has been going on for years!

I happen to wear nice clothes, with push up bras and hose on

dates, again, does this mean that I want sex all the time, no

thank you!

While with the new guy, somehow I maneuvered the conversation

to positions, preferences and feelings. This was only one month into

it and had thought earlier on,

“Oh, we can wait for three months or more.”

I was starting to feel the “pressure” from the new guy. Lots of sexual

comments about my appearance, his “being horny” on texts, and

some direct contact, too.

I asked, bluntly, while driving in the car on our way home from a nice

date where I wore a black dress with turquoise and green waves on

it, satin scooped neckline and hemming, black hose and short patent

leather heels with silver buckles on them. He wore a “Bernie Kosar for

President” t shirt and nice jeans. It was Steve Dakota’s Grille steakhouse,

so casual wear was more the norm. After all, we were in Marion, Ohio.

He kept going on how “sexy” I looked and I am appreciative of all

compliments and our friendly banter. I was relaxed and in a car,

not directly looking at each other sometimes is a good way to tackle

those sometimes hard to talk about subjects. I asked,

“How far did you think we would be going tonight?”

He answered,

“All the way, we have waited long enough.”

I replied,

“I am getting closer to that point but I had some problems in

my last relationship due to his preferences. Can we talk about

positions, what we like, what is off limits?”

He shrugged, seemed a little nonplussed,

“Nothing should be off limits except I don’t like anal sex.”

I agreed with that one!

Also, he added his favorite positions. Both of them did not

involve face to face contact. And, weirdly enough, one included

that position that was in my sudden preoccupation post, the

dreaded “wheelbarrow” one. Where my friend got a crick in

her neck! The other I would include but never in the beginning

nor in a close, cuddly way.

I guess I am more of the face to face, kissing, leading and getting

to the other places later, kind of girl!

People have told me I am “candid,” “forthright,” and informative.

I hope you see I am not trying to “gross you out” but telling this

is getting to where I realized I needed to include in our exit, last

time together visit.

While I told him my thoughts, he was nodding and agreeing. He

was understanding my directions and yet, not getting upset with

my candor. He was going to make sure I was “pleased first” he

told me.

When we got to his apartment, I washed up, brushed my teeth

and we were going to watch an Eagles concert dvd. I thought that

all sounded nice.

I put my leftover steak dinner in the take home box in his fridge.

I had decided, after our initial talk in the car, to stop and get my

favorite morning treats, maple long johns and french vanilla creamer

to add to our coffees.

I had my accoutrements needed for our intimate time in my purse,

so I was “good to go.” Always come prepared for action!

I also mentioned that I was okay with waiting, stretching out the

anticipation of the special moments and just having some good

“make out sessions.” He was not so keen on that, saw his frown

and I let that go.

Once we had been home for awhile we did proceed to my area of

interest, but as time went by, something odd happened, he started

piling sofa pillows on the floor and saying he was going to have me

kneel on these.

Huh? That was not the way we had discussed my preferences. Then,

he switched that he would use these while I turned around, etc.

Again, no that is not the way I visualized.

With a burst of tears, I gave up. I did not want this anymore. I was

“not feeling it” anymore.

This was not how I pictured it, I was feeling rushed, confused, and

conflicted. The person that I met, went to two movies, met his mother,

he met my mother, my brother, and two of my children at the wine bar

was doing something that my last boyfriend did.

He was ‘acting like he agreed with my thoughts and preferences’ but

not following through with them.

Then, an angry man faced me, all 6’4″ or so, that I had misled him,

the tears and concerns of my feelings were “selfish” and more of this,

as I grabbed my black sweater, hose, and shoes.

I felt a little breathless, realizing that I had a difficult position to get

out of. I have to say, to finish the truth of it all, I used his mother to

make the man shrink. I said, “How would you have liked your mother

to been treated? She was a single mother of four children when she

met your Dad, do you think she was going to have to get down on

cushions or have a non face to face first time with him?”

While doing this, make sure you fully believe this is not a serial rapist

nor a murderer. I do know they have “Mommy issues!” This could

trigger the final switch in your safe exiting.

As he stormed down the hallway to “take care of himself in the

bathroom” I left.

I have to say, calling my oldest daughter I was trembling with some

relief and fear mixed in. I could have been easily overpowered or

raped.

When she answered, her calm voice was enough to get me crying

again, as I pulled over to talk. I told her the whole story and she was

reassuring, did not judge me and my choices. She is so funny, her

first line was,

“Mom! I went to art college! You cannot ever shock me!”

(She attended Columbus College of Art and Design, lots of nude

models, crazy college roommates and friends… now a mother of two

boys, her boyfriend/partner there, too.)

Her comforting words after she heard the whole story, reassuring

me that I did “the right thing for you, Mom.” Getting the details was

not upsetting to her, she got a few more I would rather not include

but were also within the realm of my overall story.

My daughter told me something that may or may not be true, but

she believes that men who like it this way, are “Alpha males” and want

to “establish their dominance right from the ‘get go.'”

I did not ask if she had experienced any of this, but it seemed logical.

I am going to try and not seek athletes, especially ones who seem

to still be acting like they are “frat boys” or juvenile in their first

approaches.

It was fun to date a younger man, some may be quite sensitive so

not ruling them out, in the future!

The words I would tell anyone, are as follows,

“Make sure you are both on the same page. Don’t think you are

going to change his viewpoint midway through it. If he says he

likes no face to face or less of that then you need and want,

realize his first words are the ones to listen to, not the ones after

you have stated your preferences. Same goes for men.”

I have since talked openly to my friend, Bill, who has had a few

struggles getting where he wants with his younger woman, Heather,

his Starbucks’ younger girlfriend. Her first thoughts were threesomes,

my staid, steadyand calm man, never wants those. Did not back down.

No one should pressure you into anything!