Thursday, April 16, 2009

Attebetty's Wild Ride OR How Did We Live Thru It? Part 1 (see below for 2 & 3)

I was 10 in August 1953. We lived in a trailer park in Marysville. It was Friday.

My 'cousin' (not my cousin.....but how we know each other is too confusing for normal people to grasp....) had tricked out his old bike for me. It was a boy's bike. Probably close to 10 years old by this time. He was 7 years older than me. Big, fat tires. Wide fenders. Darryl had re-painted it Ticonderoga No. 2 Pencil yellow with a paint brush. He put on so many coats, you could see each brush stroke and the paint was 'spongy' when pushed on.

My sister Vera had the cool, blue & white bike with narrower tires. And, it was a girl's bike. I always took it when we went somewhere without Vera. This day, she wanted to go with us.

Karen Kloster, Vera and I went up to the Quil Ceda golf course to steal pie cherries from the tree in front of the Restaurant/Pro Shop located about 300 yards up the steepest hill in the Marysville area. I was wearing a navy & white polka dot bathing suit with a little attached, flouncy skirt. I was skinny as a rail and had a afro long before they were 'in'. My curls were so tight, my Dad used to laugh and say the back of my head looked like a 'sheep's butt'. (Picture a dandelion.... skinny stalk, huge fluffy, top....)

I was straddling my bike quickly, picking cherries and stuffing them down the front of my bathing suit, when a waitress stepped onto the porch of the restaurant and yelled, "You kids get out of here before I call the cops!!" We peeled out of the parking lot and took off down the hill. I was first.

It was to be a quick ride down to the 'T' in the road at the bottom of the hill and a sharp right onto the road home. As I hurtled down the hill; my bike rattled alarmingly. Then the handle bars loosened up to the point where I couldn't steer. Then the chain flew off and hit me in the ankle as I flew off the bike, across the road, with the handlebars in my hand, and down about 10 feet towards an electric, barbed-wire, 3 strand fence!

I hit all 3 strands full force, then slid down and sprang back off to the ground.

How did we live through it? Part 2

As I lay there, I became aware of my surroundings and heard a loud shrieking, noise above me. I stood up and looked down. My left leg had a 'chunk' missing about 3 inches below my knee. The missing part was about 3 inches high and wrapped around to my calf on both sides. It had chunks of dirt in it but no blood. Looked just like a piece of meat when you cut into it.  

There was a lot of blood coming from 10-12 shallow cuts from hip to knee, on the upper thigh of the same leg. I didn't feel all that bad though. (I was already in shock). I looked up to the road, to find out what the shrieking sound was. It was Vera. She was hysterical! I started to climb the hill to try to calm Vera. I was a bit surprised to find the left leg wasn't working all that well. I climbed, dragging the left leg behind me. I got to the top and stood up. The sight of me upset her more and started my friend Karen screaming too!!  

(note: At this point, a woman came out of the house across the street. She looked over, pulled her mail out of the mailbox, perused the envelopes, looked back over at me and walked back in her house!!! Dad had a 'nice talk' with her a few days later....)  

As I was trying, unsuccessfully, to convince Karen and Vera that I was fine, a shiny, black '50' or '51' Chevy sedan pulled up and stopped. The driver got out, ran around the car and knelt down in front of me. He looked at my leg, stood up and took off his belt to wrap it around my upper leg. I remember standing there wondering what all the fuss was about. The man was a State Patrol officer on a drive with his Mother. His name was J.J. Harvey.  

He told Vera and Karen to go home and asked me who my doctor was. He got me in his car between him and his Mother and sped off. I was already a car freak at 10. I loved the speed. I was enjoying the fast ride when I felt a 'twinge' in my stomach. I reached down and lifted the little skirt on my suit to discover my abdominal tissue and maybe, part of my intestine, was spilling out onto my lap...... Harvey's Mother took one look, muttered faintly, "Oh...Jay..." and fainted! J.J. looked over at my lap and said 'That-four-letter-word'. (First time I ever heard it). Then he punched the gas and we screamed, honking the horn, the next 8 or 10 blocks to Dr. Barnes' office. More speed! Even more fun!!  

Dr. Barnes called an ambulance and my Mom and started to patch me up for transport. He must have given me a sedative shot because I don't remember anything until I woke up in the ambulance. The siren was screaming. There were two men up front. The driver and passenger. My Mom was on a little bench in back, near my head. She looked terrified!  

I looked out the window and saw a sign for one of the funeral homes on Lombard. I muttered to Mom, " I dead....??" She looked down and said I wasn't and we were on the way to Providence hospital. I had an uncomfortable feeling in the front of my bathing suit and reached in the top to remove the cherries. They were all mashed up and juicy. I pulled out a big handful and held them out to Mom. She took one look and pitched forward in a dead faint! The passenger saw it too. He swore and jumped to the rear to grab Mom and my hand. He was white as a sheet! Then, he took a closer looked and said, "Pits....There's pits...!" He pushed Mom's head up and started gently slapping her face, saying, "Pits....It's pits! Look!" as we drove up to the hospital.  

They must have sedated me more in the Emergency room. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from 6 or 7 hours of surgery. I was in the Pediatric Ward and a nun was standing over me. She got Mom and Dad. They were fussing over me when I noticed dad had a band-aid on his earlobe. Apparently, when he arrived at the hospital someone thought he was there to give blood. He thought I needed blood and went along with the nurse. She pricked his ear to type the blood as he asked how I was. The mistake was discovered. They put a bandage on his ear and sent him to the waiting room.

Part Three...

Note: When Dad got back to work on Monday there were beans stuck to everything in the lunch area. The men used to put unopened cans on the potbelly stove and take them off when they were warm, for lunch. Dad forgot he had them on the stove. They eventually, blew up and spattered beans everywhere.  

I was always so reckless and goofy that they already knew I am allergic to catgut. Dr. B. came in to see me and told us he stopped counting at about 1500 stainless steel stitches. My leg had a cast all the way up to my hip, I had tubes coming out of my leg and my stomach, stitches on the cuts up my leg, stitches in cuts all the way across where my legs and stomach meet, and stitches from one side of my stomach to the other.  

Note: They all itched and I got in trouble for scratching the ones under the cast on my upper leg with an unbent hanger....  

The stay at Providence seemed like fun to a kid. Except when a grizzled little man with an electric saw and a unlit cigar came in. He plugged in the saw and began to saw on my cast!! No one told me he was there to make an access 'door' to the biggest leg wound. I let out a scream, scared him. He kept sawing though. The nuns ran in and told me what was going on.  

Then there was the time Doc B. tried to pull out a 'stitch or two' on the same wound. I was adamantly, against it and somehow summoned more strength to lift the entire cast and kick him in the chin hard enough to cause a life-long scar he never let me forget.  

The rest of the 2 weeks I was in hospital were fun as I remember it. Getting up earlier than the kid with the broken leg next door, to get the 'good' wheelchair. The other one was an old cane job that always lost the hall races. The girl that was my age, in the bed next to me, was supposed to have complete bed rest. She got up and jumped on the bed from the minute the door closed to whenever someone came back in.  

Once I got home I was the Diva of the trailer park. The kids fixed up a wagon to tow me around so as not to miss any of the park fun. Another 'lackey' followed along carrying a folding chair. We were like H.R.H. on Progress.  

About a week after I came home a pick-up game of Tag football started. Sides were chosen and the game began. I was ensconced on my 'throne', the Queen of all I surveyed. Blanket across my lap, 'Lackey' at my side to run for my needs. Meanwhile, one of the kids gets the idea that the other side could be thrown off and not apt to grab my ribbon if they put me in. 10; it was a great idea. I joined the huddle. As we broke, I stumped off down the 'field', caught the ball and turned to keep stumping towards the end zone. Apparently, one of the kids on the other team (I think it was Tom Eddy...) wasn't as afraid of my situation as was originally thought.... He TACKLED me!!! Used to happen a lot. ("Oops! I forgot it's Tag Football...." was heard quite often). I will never forget the reaction of my Mom and the way Doc. Barnes screamed, "You were playing FOOTBALL???? 

Final note: This area was so much smaller then. My Aunt and Uncle lived in Astoria, Oregon. My accident was mentioned in their local paper.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Doo Wop

Doo Wop Oldies Quiz:

(answers below)
Thirty great memories about music that caused our parents and teachers grief! Take the quiz and see how you score a true ''Oldies Fan.'' Write down your answers and check them against the answers at the end. Don't cheat, now!

1. When did ''Little Suzie'' finally wake up?
(a) The movie's over, it's 2 o'clock
(b) The movie's over, it's 3 o'clock
(c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock

2. ''Rock Around The Clock'' was used in what movie?
(a) Rebel Without A Cause
(b) Blackboard Jungle
(c) The Wild Ones

3. What's missing from a Rock & Roll standpoint? Earth _____
(a) Angel
(b) Mother
(c) Worm

4. ''I found my thrill . . .'' where?
(a) Kansas City
(b) Heartbreak Hotel
(c) Blueberry Hill

5. ''Please turn on your magic beam, _____ _____ bring me a dream."
(a) Mr. Sandman
(b) Earth Angel
(c) Dream Lover

6. For which label did Elvis Presley first record?
(a) Atlantic
(b) RCA
(c) Sun

7. He asked, ''Why's everybody always pickin' on me?'' Who was he?
(a) Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
(b) Charlie Brown
(c) Buster Brown

8. In Bobby Darin's ''Mack The Knife,'' the one with the knife, was named:
(a) Mac Heath
(b) Mac Cloud
(c) Mac Namara

9. Name the song with ''A-wop bop a-loo bop a-lop bam boom.''
(a) Good Golly, Miss Molly
(b) Be-Bop-A-Lula
(c) Tutti Fruitti

10. Who is generally given credit for originating the term ''Rock And Roll''?
(a) Dick Clark
(b) Wolfman Jack
(c) Alan Freed

11. In 1957, he left the music business to become a preacher:
(a) Little Richard
(b) Frankie Lymon
(c) Tony Orlando

12. Paul Anka's ''Puppy Love'' is written to what star?
(a) Brenda Lee
(b) Connie Francis
(c) Annette Funicello

13. The Everly Brothers are . . ....
(a) Pete and Dick
(b) Don and Phil
(c) Bob and Bill

14. The Big Bopper's real name was:
(a) Jiles P. Richardson
(b) Roy Harold Scherer Jr.
(c) Marion Michael Morrison

15. In 1959, Berry Gordy, Jr., started a small record company called...
(a) Decca
(b) Cameo
(c) Motown

16. Edd Brynes had a hit with ''Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb''. What TV show was he on?
(a) 77 Sunset Strip
(b) Hawaiian Eye
(c) Surfside Six

17. In 1960 Bobby Darin married:
(a) Carol Lynley
(b) Sandra Dee
(c) Natalie Wood

18. They were a one hit wonder with ''Book Of Love'':
(a) The Penguins
(b) The Monotones
(c) The Moonglows

19. The Everly Brothers sang a song called ''Till I ______ You.''
(a) Loved
(b) Kissed
(c) Met

20. Chuck Berry sang ''Oh, ___________, why can't you be true?''
(a) Suzie Q
(b) Peggy Sue
(c) Maybelline

21. ''Wooly _______''
(a) Mammouth
(b) Bully
(c) Pully

22. ''I'm like a one-eyed cat . . . .."
(a) can't go into town no more
(b) sleepin' on a cold hard floor
(c) peepin' in a seafood store

23. ''Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do . . . . ..''
(a) cause there ain't no answer for a life without booze
(b) cause there ain't no cure for the summertime blues
(c) cause my car's gassed up and I'm ready to cruise

24. ''They often call me Speedo, but my real name is . .. . . . .''
(a) Mr. Earl
(b) Jackie Pearl
(c) Milton Berle

25. ''You're my Fanny and nobody else's .....''
(a) girl
(b) butt
(c) love

26. ''I want you to play with my . . . ''
(a) heart
(b) dreams
(c) ding a ling

27. ''Be Bop A Lula ....''
(a) she's got the rabies
(b) she's my baby.
(c) she loves me, maybe

28. ''Fine Love, Fine Kissing ....''
(a) right here
(b) fifty cents
(c) just for you

29. ''He wore black denim trousers and . . ..''
(a) a pink carnation
(b) pink leotards
(c) motorcycle boots

30. ''I got a gal named . . ..''
(a) Jenny Zamboni
(b) Gerri Mahoney
(c) Boney Maroney

Answers: Don't look until you've answered all of them.

1 (c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock
2. (b) Blackboard Jungle
3. (a) Angel
4. (c) Blueberry Hill
5. (a) Mr. Sandman
6. (c) Sun
7. (b) Charlie Brown
8. (a) Mac Heath
9. (c) Tutti Fruitti
10. (c) Alan Freed
11. (a) Little Richard
12. (c) Annette Funicello
13. (b) Don and Phil
14. (a) Jiles P. Richardson
15. (c) Motown
16. (a) 77 Sunset Strip
17. (b) Sandra Dee
18. (b) The Monotones
19. (b) Kissed
20. (c) Maybelline
21. (b) Bully
22. (c) peepin' in a seafood store
23. (b) cause there ain't no cure for the summertime blues
24. (a) Mr. Earl
25. (b) butt
26. (c) ding a ling
27. (b) she's my baby
28. (a) right here
29. (c) motorcycle boots
30. (c) Boney Maroney

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Answer

She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Baker. As the identity of her father is undetermined, she was later baptized Norma Jeane Baker. Gladys had been a film cutter at RKO studios, but psychological problems prevented her from keeping the job and she was eventually committed to a mental institution.

Norma Jeane spent most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages until 1937, when she moved in with family friend Grace McKee Goddard. Unfortunately, when Grace's husband was transferred to the East Coast in 1942, the couple couldn't afford to take 16-year-old Norma Jeane with them. Norma Jeane had two options: return to the orphanage or get married.

On June 19, 1942 she wed her 21-year-old neighbor Jimmy Dougherty, whom she had been dating for six months. "She was a sweet, generous and religious girl," Jimmy said. "She liked to be cuddled." By all accounts Norma Jeane loved Jimmy, and they were happy together until he joined the Merchant Marines and was sent to the South Pacific in 1944.

After Jimmy left, Norma Jeane took a job on the assembly line at the Radio Plane Munitions factory in Burbank, California. Several months later, photographer David Conover saw her while taking pictures of women contributing to the war effort for Yank magazine. He couldn't believe his luck. She was a "photographer's dream." Conover used her for the shoot and then began sending modeling jobs her way. The camera loved Norma Jeane, and within two years she was a reputable model with many popular magazine covers to her credit. She began studying the work of legendary actresses Jean Harlow and Lana Turner, and enrolled in drama classes with dreams of stardom. However, Jimmy's return in 1946 meant Norma Jeane had to make another choice- this time between her marriage and her career.

Norma Jeane divorced Jimmy in June of 1946, and signed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox on August 26, 1946. She earned $125 a week. Soon after, Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe (borrowing her grandmother's last name). The rest, as the saying goes, is history.