In the previous post you read about my second step father and his arm-wrestling prowess. In this post you will read more about him and some tidbits about my nervous Mom.
A natural athlete, Jim would amaze us with his grace while figure-skating and swimming. Looking back, I can imagine that Mom felt safe with him during their time together drinking and dancing in various hot-spots for old fogies in the area.
Jim owned every record that Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass ever recorded and did not hesitate to fill our little upstairs flat with the music. Dad was a pretty decent dancer; or at least had rhythm. Mom did not possess the gift of rhythm.
Jim didn’t believe in wasting stuff. He would go as far as using Mom’s bath water for his own. At times a noticeable sadness seem to come over Jim (I called him Dad) when he drank. It was the kind of sadness that sometimes washes over a middle-aged man when he realizes he has made terrible, irrevocable mistakes in his life. Or that he will never amount to more than he is at that moment.
Mom’s Top 3 Accidents
Mom had a lot of nervous energy. Such a hard-worker, she was sometimes careless. Once, while working as a food preparation clerk at a sausage company in North Minneapolis, she had a particularly bad day.
“Hi Randy,” my aunt June said to me as I came home from school. June and my mom were sitting at our avocado green and chrome kitchen table sipping coffee. “Hi, what happened?” I said sensing something had gone wrong. “Your Mom had a little accident today, Aunt June replied. “She sliced-off part of her thumb with the meat-slicer.”
Another time Mom spilled near boiling hot coffee from the counter top, down onto her left-ankle and foot.
Our Iconic Family Sedan – 1960 Plymouth Fury
Still another time Mom drove our family car, a gold, 1960 Plymouth Fury,(notice push-button drive buttons in the image on left) off the highway and into a swamp. The car sank so only the roof of the car was above water. When the police and local news crew arrived they found her sitting on top of the car, calmly smoking a cigarette. When she had a few drinks, Mom was a cool customer.
Do you regret not respecting the sacrifices your Mom made for you?
Next: Ice-Covered Steps: Our Dirty Little Grey Duplex, 1961-1964