Two of my favorite lovely and clever foodbloggers, Ximena of Lobstersquad and Melissa of The Travelers' Lunchbox, tagged me for this meme, which seems to have come from, maybe France? (Or maybe, like the Coneheads of yore, not so much.) Anyhow, the deal is-starting with the first year of your existence which ends with a "7" or "2", the tagee is to report on what s/he was up to, at 5 year intervals. I am going for brevity, as I suspect my advanced age has left me with more 5 year intervals than the average blogger.I am also using this excuse to divide the post into two, more manageable segments, maybe with some relief in between.
1952- Two years old, and an appalling chatterbox. We visited England, my parents borrowing money because my mother was homesick. We sailed there on the original Queen Elizabeth . I did not get seasick. I am told that I sat in a high chair in the family house in Chingford, held up my spoon, and asked, "What can I have that's delicious?"
My English family still had 2 chickens in their suburban garden, which they had acquired during the War. Every morning, I was allowed to go get my own brown breakfast egg. One morning I came in sobbing that there was something wrong- the chickens were sick! Their eggs were cold, they must be dying. My Aunt Louise had seen that there were no eggs. Afraid that I would be disappointed- she had planted 2 from the fridge!
My granddad sang musical hall ditties, including some I later recognized on "Upstairs, Downstairs."
1957- First grade. I discovered that my charming, funny father was perhaps not infallible. He was driving me somewhere in the car, and the radio came on. It was Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." He thought it was funny. He was wrong , it was great! I saved my pennies, and got someone to walk me across the busy streets to the local National Record Mart, where I purchased a 45 rpm of "Chantilly Lace", by the Big Bopper. Rock and Roll.
My school was in the original large test group for Dr. Salk's polio vaccine.The photo you see above appeared in the NYTimes on the anniversary. I am not 100% certain, but I think that is actually me in the photo, making the scrunchy face.
I ate pizza for the first time, thanks to my avant garde Aunt Gerty. We took family car rides to the "Big Isaly's", an art deco ice cream factory/emporium for "Skyscraper cones", and "Klodikes"-original Isaly's inventions.
1962-Woo. High School. As ever, younger and more immature than my classmates, I was bewildered by the caste system, pointlessly mean kids, even finding my way to class. I aimed for invisibility, and almost attained it. By the next year I had met some wonderful friends, smart and funny, and started having a good time- when school did not impede us too much. High School was still gruesome. American Friends' Service Committee. Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, blues, Otis Redding, Motown, Buffalo Springfield. In the cafeteria, they served "Turkey Treat".
In a year or two, My friend, Little A. and I will go to see the Rolling Stones at the Civic Arena. Our parents will let us go, because they have never heard of a "rock concert." We will be so cool. I will wear a mini-skirt with a wide hip belt, and he will wear the first pair of wire-rimmed glasses seen in Pittsburgh since the turn of the century. My dad will pick us up.
1967- University of Wisconsin, Madison. Painting and Design.The War in Vietnam. Dow demonstration, Kent state, Cambodia, Teaching Assistants Association. Strike. Tear gas, national guard. Everything's going to change, right? Well, no, as it turns out later.
The Green Lantern eating coop had apparently been around since the 30's. You paid a set contribution, and had a work assignment. There was a paid cook. I set tables. You rapped on your glass with a spoon when you wanted to make an announcement; then you might stand on your chair to speak. The food was heavy, with a Southern bent. The politics were lefty. You were never hungry when you finished the meal.
In later college years, I lived in a rented house, with friends, and learned to cook-for large crowds. The Band, more blues, John Wesley Harding, the White Album. A soundtrack for your life, like a movie?
1972- See above. Also, my roommates and I made a big Thanksgiving dinner for everyone we knew who couldn't go home for Thanksgiving. There were 22 people there, and someone brought a friend, a guy who was traveling with a band, and staying at their house in Madison. After dinner, there were about a million dirty dishes, and this guy went in the kitchen, and washed them all! "Who is he?" I was asking everyone.
Reader, I married him. He later admitted that he used the dishwashing technique on a regular basis, to meet girls. Still, he did all the dishes, all the time, more or less for the rest of his too short life. No cook could ask for more.
1977-The tiny redfox was 2 years old, and the chatterbox tradition was maintained. I was working as a picture framer. Bill was studying classical guitar, giving lessons, and working as an administrator at CMU. We were pretty poor, and thinking about that a bit. Still, we managed to buy a tiny house, and we redid the kitchen ourselves.
Neither of us had done anything like that before. Generally, one of us would be reading to the other from a "how-to" book, the other trying to do it. The kitchen was a success- a spiffy galley , with a tongue-in-groove wooden ceiling, like a little boat, and oak floors we discovered under layers of cool, but irrevocably deteriorated lino. I was proudest of the patterned tile backsplash I did. We spent $1000 on the whole thing, buying unfinished, unassembled birch cabinets from Penneys.
I was thinking I need to get some training for a job paying enough to eat better.
1982-I graduated from law school- to be continued.
BTW: I'm tagging the following people, with apologies and deference. You may, of course, disregard the whole thing without fear of violent reprisals:
If I haven't named you, but you'd like to participate, consider yourself tagged.