Only in my family would the words Hookers & Vacation be combined into something you reminisce about.

In 1976 we took a family vacation by car and one of the stops was Washington D.C..  After a full day of sightseeing in both D.C. and Virginia we checked in to our hotel and my mother always being prepared, got out the AAA Guide Book for the city to find a place for dinner.  We of course also had a AAA triptik prepared for the trip and a full complement of paper maps – which my father could fold correctly.

A restaurant was found that seemed nice enough but not too fancy given I was 14 and not into fine dining.  If I remember correctly it was called the Steak Joint and turned out to be one of those stand in line, place your order then wait for them to call your number type steak places SOOO popular in the 70’s.

We didn’t take any of our multitude of maps along because my father had been in the military in the early 50’s and stationed for a short time in D.C. so he assured us he knew the area and where we needed to go.

It didn’t take long after we left our hotel in the Capitol Hill area that we were in a less than desireable area of D.C. which back in the 70’s meant one block off any major thoroughfare dominated by government buildings. 

We came to the intersection where the restaurant was located and realized we had passed the pay parking lot that was most convenient to the restaurant.  We of course circled the block in our metallic blue 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix with a white vinyl top.  It turns out going down one of the streets previously, we had passed a group of streetwalkers (hookers) hanging out.  I don’t know if we noticed them but they must have been watching us and when the car came around the block again, this time much slower so we didn’t miss our turn, they started running after us. 

 They thought we were “Cruising Them” and they had work!

They were beating on the car and running up to the windows – imagine their surprise when they finally looked in and saw the Ultimate White Bread Suburban Family looking back at them. 

They ran off laughing.

AWW – Family Memories.

No wonder Huggy Bear didn’t scare me a year later.

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

cs

Jeb Bush has not resigned from the Florida Republican party.

But my Mother did and she was a dues paying member.

All I will divulge here is that it was unhappiness with the direction and organization of the state organization.  She had given up on having any influence in the national party YEARS AGO.

This is someone who has been a lifelong supporter of Republican politics and is a true loss for this group.  I am sure they didn’t notice or care, which is truly a shame.

My mother has been active in Republican politics since the late 50’s early 60’s.  Her political activism started in Houston, Texas back when  “Republican” was still a dirty word in Texas.  She was a Block Captain, worked on the first congressional campaign of George Herbert Walker Bush (aka Old Man Bush) even dancing with him once at a party function.  At the time I was born, my parents received congratulatory letters from both future president Bush and one of his staffers someone named James Baker.

She was a Goldwater Republican.  Kept up appearances by publically supporting Richard Nixon through the Watergate scandal – “he wasn’t doing anything different than anybody else, he just got caught” was the party line in our house. 

The funniest incident involving her political activism was during the 1976 campaign of Gerald Ford. When our house was being inundated by mailings on a daily basis from both the Republican Party  and the Ford campaign.  We received a phone call that began with the caller saying “this is Betty Ford” my mother’s response was “really?”  Well the call was from Betty Ford but it was from the Betty Ford who lived in our neighborhood and wanted me to mow her yard, not THE Betty FordI think she is disappointed to this day.

Her glory days were the Reagan years – she was in heaven!  Not a bad word could be said about Nancy or Ronnie.  She absolutely worshipped them.  My parents even hosted viewing parties for his initial Televison addresses.

Of course there was support of the senior George Bush during his campaigns and presidencies.  She attended the state conventions in the late 90’s and 2000 even acting as a state delegate for Lamar Alexander.

The Clinton years were a blackhole to my parents.

I noticed some weakening of support during the “W” years but no visible crack until the primary season for the 2008 election.

I don’t know if she ever publically admitted it, but among family she voiced support for the antichrist of the Republican party.

HILLARY CLINTON!!! 

At that point the handwriting was on the wall.

My Father declined comment for this post.

(note – despite being raised in this environment and living in conservative GA I do not identify myself as Republican)

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

cs

It Ain’t Calphalon

February 20, 2010

Circa 1970's Cookware

Have you seen these pots before?

Maybe your mother had them.  Maybe you got some from your mother. 

Kitty Foreman on That 70’s show had them.  I’m Not kidding, watch a few episodes you’ll see them.  So it is possible you have seen these on TV.

It seems like everyone I show these pots to who grew up in the 70’s still owns or remembers them.

Growing up in Tampa Florida it meant your mother shopped at Winn-Dixie.  Which at that time bore the tagline – “The Beef People”.   In addition to beef, people were apparently buying lots of cookware from there.  I think they offered a different piece each week at a VERY LOW price with like an $8 minimum purchase.

My family did buy their beef at Winn-Dixie.  They didn’t buy their beef at Publix because it was too expensive and had something done to it which caused it to be labeled “proten” and included a little pat of butter.  Pantry Pride was just gross and was mainly where they bought beer and store brand soft drinks (click here for more details about my parents drinking habits).  In other words,  grocery shopping was “sport” during the recession wracked 70’s.  You drove from store to store in your 6 – 8 miles per gallon car to get certain items at the “best price” at 3 – 4 different stores.  I remember thinking one of my friends was RICH because their mother ONLY shopped at Publix.

These are the remaining three I have at my house.  I know at one time there were more.  Sources included my mother, my mother inlaw and a friend’s mother.  Today they are kept as backups in case the stainless steel or Calphalon is dirty.  All the lids are missing and the handles fell off the large pot probably 20 years ago.  I think my mother finally got rid of the last of hers.

So the next time you think you are so poor during this recession – look in your cabinets.  Does your cookware include any Calphalon, LeCruset or comparable brands?  If it does, then shut up.  Our parents bought their cookware at the grocery store.

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

  

Time to spill more family secrets.  This time it is my wife’s family.  The topic of this post was kind of suggested by her.  I thought her and her family might be off-limits (click here to see why) but apparently not.

This is not some Queerbait¹ story about a family being on hard times and having to delay christmas so they could scavenge the dumpsters of local apartment complexes after christmas to check for other people castoffs until some guardian angel brings them presents.  My wife’s family was not Low Rent or Creekers.

Anyway – The first time I met my wife was the day after Christmas in 1978.  I had been working at the clothing store “Chess King” at the mall, I wasn’t cool enough or a hot female so I couldn’t get a job at  “Merry Go Round” and had just gotten off work and picked up a friend to go out to “the beach” (future blog post) to hang out and take part in underage drinking and other Dazed and Confused type activities.

My friend and I were parked hanging out and this COOL ’73 Firebird Formula pulled up alongside us in the adjacent parking spot. I was told “That’s Ross’s girlfriend, let’s go hang out in her car”.  Ross (fake name) had been my best friend since 7th grade but for some reason we weren’t hanging out together much at that time so I had never met his girlfriend.  I think he might have dropped out of school at the time and been working wierd hours or something.

We get in the car and first thing I am told is “I just got my ears pierced” by my future wife.  Which was a coincidence since she had just had it done at the “Merle Norman” at the mall just across from where I was working at “Chess King”.  She explained that her mother was old-fashioned and she had to wait until she was 18 to get it done because her mother felt “ONLY WHORES HAVE PIERCED EARS”.  This was one of those items that later became known as a “Francisism”  which was crazy things my mother in- law named Francis said. If you are doing math – yes I was underage, she was 18, so my wife is older than me.

We then reviewed what everyone had gotten for Christmas.  Her haul included – A new 8-track stereo for her car including Jensen Tri-Axial Speakers with a Power Booster.  That Stereo could be CRANKED UP.  Very cool in 1978.  We chatted a few minutes but then she had to leave because she had to get home to have CHRISTMAS DINNER.  This was at 10:30 at night on 12/26!! – Her excuse was “My father is a Sergent for the  airport police and he had to work Christmas and won’t be home tonight until 11:00”. 

It turns out, that was true but not the real reason Christmas Dinner was being served a day late and at 11:00 at night. 

 It would take a while for the REAL story to come to light.  

TO BE CONTINUED

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

¹ – Queerbait is used here as it was often in the 1970’s as a synonym for lame, stupid, boring or nerdy.  Not as the derogatory term for gays or effeminate men.  I am being 70’s style Politically Incorrect, not hateful. 

The "GREEN" Couch - 35 Years Later

I think everyone ‘s parents still have something in their house that in some way is a reminder of their childhood and possibly their life.  It may be a good memory, bad memory or just a trigger that reminds them of their past.

My parents don’t have many as they are generally not packrats with OCD (that was my wife’s mother) but they have one thing that is a constant reminder of the majority of my life.

THE GREEN COUCH

The green couch was purchased in approximately 1975 or 1976.  So it is now approaching 35 years old.  The primary companion piece is an arc lamp that is now very popular in vintage furniture stores.  I have come to hate them both.

There is nothing wrong with them but come on now, 35 years of use – I think my parents got their money’s worth out of them.  Today the couch and lamp are set up as a “den” or sitting room in the 3rd bedroom of their house but it was only moved from primary use about five years ago.

I don’t go in that room when I visit them.

If you are the right age to be “Dazed and Confused” you remember this couch.  It was what was known in the mid 70’s as a Play Pen couch.  They didn’t buy all the pieces just enough to make a large sectional but it is completely modular and can be reconfigured.  It was a custom piece of furniture when it was purchased 35 YEARS AGO!!! and has never been recovered , just cleaned a few times.

I am an only child so basically this couch is my sibling.  The child my parents had when I was 13.  It is in pictures from, when I was in High School, College, my wedding (I got married at my parent’s house), etc..  This couch is the “Where’s Waldo?”  of our family pictures.

My hatred of the couch is probably rooted in an incident that occured within the first year or so after they got it.

When I was about 14 I took a nap on the couch while my mother was cooking dinner.   Of course the cocktail hour was in full swing at our house out back on the porch.  If you are not familiar with my parents penchant for smoking and drinking in the 70’s click here for a link to a post I did about that.  I was sound asleep and all of a sudden I was awakened by the sound of my Mother screaming and running in the house because, during her cocktail she had forgotten that she had rice cooking on the stove and it was burning.  As I type this I just realized she probably wasn’t coming in because she realized the food on the stove was burning but was probably coming in because someone needed another cocktail.

Now when I say burning, I don’t mean a little scorched.  The air was THICK with smoke.  If you cook rice for 25 minutes, this must have cooked 2 to 3 times that amount.  We are talking scorched pot, ruined food.  The smoke was the kind where firefighters tell you to get on the floor and crawl out of the building.  I could have DIED!  But everyone lived and we probably went out for dinner that night.

A psychiatrist might  tell me my hatred of this couch is transference of my anger towards my mother for almost killing me.

 

CS

P.S. – My mother is in the room as I write this post we are not estranged.