archives

childhood

This category contains 54 posts

June Foray RIP

June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’s”
Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale
of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s and
a key figure in the animation industry, died Thursday.
She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing
“With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little
June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel,
Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester”
cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,”
among hundreds of others.

The first lady of voice acting, one of the original members of
animation organization ASIFA-Hollywood and founder of the annual
Annie Awards, was also instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’
animated feature category.

RIP June

h/t Facebook, Variety

OK, So Which Is It? 

As my Dad used to say, “I used to be young and foolish; I’m not young, anymore!”

I remember going to a local pizza parlor chain with ‘Gramp’, my beloved maternal grandfather.

We’d split a sausage pizza; he’d get a draught beer (Schlitz?) – me, a soda. (I was a kid).

But he’d always say,” We’re going to have an apizz.” 

And, I thought he was weird and corrected him.

Well, I was wrong. 

Gramp was from Hamden, Connecticut, arguably the birthplace (New Haven area) of (thin crust) American pizza!

There are businesses there advertising APIZZ, not PIZZA!

As there have been for over one hundred years. 

Turns out, the Italian immigrants who settled this region were from Naples, and made Margherita  (thin crust) pizza.

And called them ‘apizz’.

8. APIZZA

Perhaps less well-known, although no less delicious, is New Haven-style pizza, known in local vernacular as apizza. New Haven-style is thin like New York pizza, but if you walk into an apizza parlor and order a “plain,” you’ll get one without mootz (pronounced as foots), or mozzarella.

Apizza and mootz both come from the dialect of Naples immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 1920s. Apizza is pronounced uh-BEETs, with a silent final A.  (Mental Floss)

While we’re on the subject, some parts of the country call them ‘pizza pies’.

3. PIE OR PIZZA?

While to east coasters, it might feel perfectly natural to say “pie” when referring to a whole pizza, not so for those in other regions. In an informal poll I conducted, “pie” was described by west coasters as “pretentious” and “only something someone in a movie would say,” while one Brooklynite described those who didn’t use “pie” as “heathens.” The reason for this sharp divide is unclear. (Mental Floss)

Others, no mention of pie (some places think you are requesting a dessert!)

Great.  Now I’m hungry, with no pizza places open (0730 AZ time)! (And this is the 5th largest metropolitan area of the United States!  A travesty!)

Doesn’t matter, I’m broke, anyway…

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

Yep. ANOTHER Robert

(Bet you thought I forgot!)

Long time readers of this blog may remember my Life is replete with folks named Robert, Bob, David, Dave and similar variants.

Why?  I’ve no idea.

I was thinking this morning about someone who may have been the first.

No, not the physician, Indian artist or mediator (as far as I know).

Yep.  His name was(is) Robert Davidson(!)

…and a meme began!

He pretty much raised himself.  His parents were older (and somewhat self-involved).  I’ve no idea what his mother did.  She seemed to be absent a lot.  His father was a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel.  He spent most of his time (when I saw him) drinking liquor in their living room (where we weren’t allowed) and listening to his music.  His older brothers led their own lives, and seemed to be tangentially involved with raising him, trading off duties as it were.

He had a younger sister with mental and physical issues.  She followed us around like a puppy.  The last I heard, she was living more-or-less on her own in assisted living.

But Robert had innate talents.  Auto mechanics, electronics.  And he was the first of our age on the block to do cool stuff.

Build custom bicycles, grow his hair long, get busted for shoplifting (and escape store custody!), smoke dope. (The first time he showed me a ‘baggie’, I thought great, I’m going to prison!) Joy-riding in his parent’s car, before he was licensed.  He spent a Summer stealing VW Bug engines, and never got caught!  (or so I was told…)

And the one that really ticked me off:  Became intimate with a girl.  This ticked me off because he was two years younger than I!

The last I heard, Robert got into computers and was working for the community colleges in this capacity.  With another of my friends (from the magic club) named DAVID!

See, it never ends.  😛

And, with all the Internet tools now available, I’ve been unable to reconnect with him.  Too common a name, I guess.  David is in the wind, as well.

The Name Game

When I was growing up, most of my friends were named after parents or relatives. A few juniors. Common Anglo Saxon names – Thomas, Susan, George, John.
Names that were from grandparents were thought of as old fashioned. Martha, Edith, etc.  Black people had Anglo names, for the most part.
Other ethnic names were just that. Guadalupe (Lupe), Juan. Not to many other options.  There was one Jesus (Hey-soos’), which the P.E. teacher consistently mispronounced!
We were a predominantly white bread college town.
As I have often said before – the times, they are a changin’…
My nieces are named Rilyn and Karsyn. A good friend’s grand baby is Sagan Universe!
Now Thomas and Susan are the old-fashioned names!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about honoring ethnic and/or family history.  I’m named for my maternal and fraternal grandfather.  German and Irish stock! (Didn’t know Guffaw was Germanic, did you?)  😛

Don’t even get me started on the ethnic names!  My favorite (oft repeated on the Internet) is the woman who named her child La-a.  Then was furious when people couldn’t spell or pronounce it correctly!  People said Luh-uh, Lay, all manner of wrong pronunciations.

Her name was pronounced LAH DASH UH!!

I miss names like Linda and Mike

Guess I’m old.

Bittersweet

It’s February 8th.

Regular readers might remember this is my daughter Molly’s birthday.  In this case her 34th.  Sadly, she only made it to her 12th.  😦

(The twenty-second anniversary of the accident that took her from us is in about five weeks.)

Molly 1986 2

I try to remember happier birthdays.

Last year, another element was added to this date.

Bob Hall, my dear friend whom I met when were worked as private investigators together, who before had attended junior high and high school with my then wife-to-be, and later managed the Legendary Gun gun store (where I worked part time, for a while) in 2016 passed into eternity.  Complications from cancer.

See, I told you this time of year sucked for me.

People we care about love, passing way before their time is a travesty!

Please take the opportunity today to hug those close to you, and tell them you love them.

You never know…

 

Another January 26, But Different

You know me and anniversaries.

This is the day my Mom passed, in the 50’s.  I was just a little kid.

This is the day, 1n 2009, lymphoma reared it’s head.  I am now in remission (cancer free!)  🙂

So January 26 doesn’t hold many positive memories for me.

Except one. 

wp-image-2037229698jpg.jpg

In 1967 (correct from the previously reported 1966), my beloved Sister Ellie gave birth to a son. Who ultimately married, fathered four wonderful children (one of whom is autistic – and is doing spectacularly in his own right!). And in spite of divorce has remained a terrific, supportive, loving father to all.

He is my nephew Brian (aka Skeets). And I couldn’t be more proud as he turns 50 today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!50th-birthday-cake-7

On Being Sisyphean

In Greek mythology Sisyphus (/ˈsɪsfəs/;[2]Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísuphos) was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean (/ˌsɪsˈfən/).  (Wikipedia)

I’m on Facebook less (under my real name) since I’ve been producing a daily blog.  Not to mention, the idiocy encountered on FB (especially in the realm of politics) is astounding.

STILL, I do sometimes visit there, and less often participate in political commentary.  Because, sadly, there are some folks schooled in courtesy and debate, but many are not.

One of my FB friends is a guy I’ve known since grade school.  We also went to the same junior high and graduated in the same class in high school.  And attended the same Sunday school.

He claims to be an NRA member and a hunter, but sometimes repeats the time-worn arguments used by the anti-gun-rights community about controls over semiautomatic firearms and magazine capacity.

Not understanding the whole nose-under-the-tent thing, or, for that matter, The Second Amendment.

Regardless, he has a right to his opinion, and to post the same on Facebook.

I mostly just read others postings, occasionally adding my two cents worth.  Or just clicking ‘like’.

Unless I am directly attacked!

So this guy mentioned me by name and strongly suggested I knew nothing about the issue, law or history, and should understand HIS interpretation of The Second Amendment! (the whole militia meme).

I took a deep breath (to slow my roll) and responded politely that he read The Federalist Papers and Madison and Tench Coxe to obtain a better perspective!  I also recommended reading about how the first efforts on gun control were to stop freed slaves from firearms ownership (in 1809) and continued to the Sullivan Law in NYC (1911) to prevent undesirables (read immigrants) from having guns.

Then, I took another breath.

No response was posted.

BUT, in about a week, I saw another friend’s pro-gun Facebook posting generating a response from this same guy.  THE SAME RESPONSE, ALMOST VERBATIM!

Obviously, he had not taken my suggestion to do further research.

I will continue to ‘like’ his comments regarding his new retirement home in Prescott, or his new prosthesis (he is an amputee), but I won’t bother responding any more to his screeds on restricting all our rights.

‘Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.’ – George Carlin

sisyphus-shirt

Helen Rawls RIP

Tempus Fugit

Helen Rawls is a childhood memory.               Helen Rawls Obituary

Jim (about who was written here previously) is my oldest continuous friend.  I’ve known him since August 1960, when he was in First Grade and I in Third.  She was his mother.

Helen passed on Halloween at 97.

from her Arizona Republic obituary (in part):

…She spent the remaining years of her childhood in Indianapolis, graduated from Short Ridge High School, became a stenographer, and joined the Army. She was one of the first women (other than nurses), to be a member of the armed forces.

… Helen was active in the Community Christian Church, as a member of the ASU Faculty Wives and the League of Women Voters. She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, tutored at local schools, and worked with various other charities. She lived the last 29 years of her life at Friendship Village Tempe.

Services are at Friendship Village Health Care Center – 2525 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm. Contributions can be made to a charity of your choice , in Helen’s name.

Until I read the above, I’d not known she had been in the Army.  She was my friend’s mom.  And a fine woman.  She was pre-deceased by her husband Bill, who had been a physics professor at A.S.U. in 1996.

Bill had served in the Navy.  My thanks to you both for your service.

Helen and Bill were the most functional family on the block.  (Obviously, an improvement over my dysfunctional family!)  Raised quality kids, participated in church and civic affairs, recycled before it was cool.  I knew Helen as just one of the housewives on the block.

Hardly just!

I’m glad they are together now.

 

Which Is The Correct Direction?

For some reason, my elders saw fit to pass trinkets from their lives onto me.  Some, I understand, like my Dad passing his Dad’s NY, NH & H railroad police badge to me.  🙂

And my Dad, his railroad pocket watch (complete with fob and Grand Central Station locker key)!

But others aren’t so straight forward.

My maternal grandfather (Gramp), took me aside one day and gave me a compass.  He didn’t explain where he acquired it, or who it was from.  Gramp passed in 1977 with this information.

I still have the police badge.  I gifted the pocket watch to my long-time friend Jim, as he has always been obsessed with trains, on his 50th birthday.  (He and my Father talked about trains for hours, when I wasn’t all that interested.)

I still have the compass.  Compasses of the same manufacture can be found on Ebay for $55.00.  Of course, they don’t have the personalization on the inside of the cover!

20160421_10521620160421_105153

 

 

 

 

 

The inscriptions read as though they might be of military origin, including a 1917 date.  The Great War?  I’ve no way of knowing.  Internet searches of the initials and dates haven’t provided any further information.

As it is with so many things originating with my family, like what happened to my twin brother, I guess the answers are lost forever.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…