"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Once and Future King!

The "Once and Future King"...is what they call Arthur in Camelot...(I told you I am a Classic Musical Junkie)...Being back in Santa Clarita is like being back in Camelot.  When I was on the School Board we often referred to our little valley as Mayberry...like with Aunt Bea and Opie...but I have always thought it was like Camelot, as there is a law in Santa Clarita that July and August can not be too hot...and there's a legal limit to the snow here! (once every 15 years or so, ask our Mayor).

Not like  Phoenix...where to go outside in June-Aug is like stepping into a kiln...it takes your breath away.  And for me, I usually turned and went back into my air conditioned apartment.  Air conditioning that never worked...or at least every few hours it went up to 82 as the set temperature until I began to sweat and realized it needed to be reset...We had the apartment complex engineer ( a guy who wore a work belt as his only qualification as to his expertise) fix it several times...each time he told me it was fixed, "I've re-set the thing." he told me with a firm voice...as if I had done something to the little dealio on the wall!

He fixed the air conditioner like the fountain outside our apartment got fixed, and the automatic gates for our secure complex...that never worked the whole time Patrick was there.  It was sad to look out on green scum and a huge (fake) rock stained with the water which once bubbled down the sides. I imagined that even it it got fixed it was a sad sight with it spitting up in the air from time to time...instead of a nice soothing flow of clear water.  As for the gates...I could never get the entrance to open so went out the exit which was always open.

8 Months, that's how long we were there and nothing as far as I could see got fixed.  That makes me glad I'm a home owner and have control over my own fate.  So if it takes 8 months or even two years to get in a new door...that is my problem.  And by the way...the last door to go in still waits patiently in the girl's bedroom untouched by human hands for, hmmmm, now let me see  2 YEARS...but whose counting!  At least it's in our hands and not some guy who's only claim to being a fix-it man is his jingling fancy belt and the keys to a jitney to drive around the complex.

As a parting shot Pat told me the day before he left they cut down my tree...please see the previous blog on my escape from the Jacuzzi area when my key wouldn't work to get me out!   That very tree was my path to freedom.  I could have escaped from Alcatraz with how my mind spun and whirled around planning how to get out of the stinking pressure cooker of a place and not become a blob on the concrete...cooked to well-done in the enclosure where I was trapped.  I guess I should be glad they didn't cut it down until we were checked out of the place...as it gave me a bit of comfort to look out our balcony across the green scum of the non working fountain to see the tree which had been my salvation.
Ah! YES...I'm glad to be back in Camelot with my King finally home...and of all things after these many years we have decided we really like each other and enjoy spending time together...We've decided we hate being apart...go figure!   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

As seen on TV never works!

Before we lived in California, we lived in New Jersey and my dad's office was in New York.   He rode the train into the city every day with his sister who worked in the city too.  Then he was told he had to move 3,000 miles away to Hollywood where all the work seemed to be.  He was the financial controller of a sound production company,"Westrex, Sound Services." The newest growth in this area was on the west coast where studios popped up like mushrooms to put together "talkie" films.  My dad was involved in the transition from silent to talking movies so my mother brother and I went with him, off to the strange land of Hollywood California.

Up until then silent films were enhanced with a few written words and the creativity of an organist or person on the piano to help the plot.  Often the music played had nothing to do with what was happening on the screen but soon specialized musicians became sought after for their ability to play music and other inventive sounds to enhance a film.  The musician had to do this in the dark while watching the screen.  The acting on screen was overdone along with exaggerated facial expressions, the makeup and costumes were very bold to help tell the story and convey the plot.  Once sound was added the exaggerated actions and other things were slowly done away with along with some actors who had raspy or unattractive voices.

I remember as a child seeing my first TV.  We were living in our little post war, plastic door knob California house.  The neighbors down the street were the first in North Hollywood to buy one of those things with pictures inside...until then my brother and I would listen to the radio every Saturday morning.  We loved "The Lone Ranger", and the "Creaking Door"....

Of course before TV came the talking films.  My brother and I were allowed to walk to the theater most Saturdays to see the latest release.  They had a great deal in the candy shop next door to the theater.  If you bought a big candy, you got a free ticket.  We always got the candy, I don't think we ever told our parents about the deal.  The theater would have a serial where each week some woman was in peril and just when the white hat clad hero was about to save her from a train or other life threatening disaster it abruptly stopped...to be continued next week!  And the next week without showing how the woman was saved the story continued.  Then there was a news reel about the armed services or war pictures and next came a cartoon and two movies....it took most of the day and the candy was gone long before the string of films was completed. I was only six, and got very squirmy, considering I even now have a hard time sitting through an hour of church, I guess I should apologize for my wiggly pestering behavior to my brother.

Most evenings that first summer of live TV the neighbors would drag their new contraption out onto the front porch facing the yard.  Many would gather on the lawn sitting on blankets to watch the very small square of black and white moving pictures.  I became severely attached to Beanie and Cecil, and Howdy Doody.

It wasn't very long before we got a TV too! (I think ours was about one inch bigger than the neighbors, with a yellowish tint screen  which made everyone look jaundiced).  After all, my dad's studio was putting the sound track on most of the shows...as well as most of the films in theaters so we were supporting his studio by watching those shows.
I continued to love watching my kiddie shows, except after a short time Howdy Doody was banned in our house...don't ask me why...my mom simply hated the show. But I would sneak watching it whenever she did the laundry and pulled the washing machine into the middle of the kitchen.  The machine made so much noise...I could have bombed the front room down and she would never have know.  I dreamed of being Princess Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.  And sometimes still do.

Soon after my introduction to TV....I was introduced to TV commercials.  The Popiel potato peeler was amazing to my 6 year old eyes.  I wanted my mom to get one in the worst way but of course having adult common sense she never even budged to buy one.  I can't say I have always been so strong.  It could be I was  deprived of TV gadgets as a child so frequently feel I must sample many of the ones I can get my hands on...but I am finally beginning to gain some restraint. 

I have determined gadgets never work as advertised or demonstrated!  I havent' recently bought many "As seen on TV items" until I had a bank account hacked and my grand daughter saw a special metal wallet on TV.  It protected all contents from scanners so no one could get your credit card numbers. She told me I needed one of these wallets because it not only protected your credit cards it was said to be indestructible and could be run over by a truck and stay intact.  So I folded and got one for me and then one for my mom.  I used it for about a month and it seemed to work, then one day I dropped it!  Of COURSE...after it hit the concrete of the market floor with a tinny thunk,  the latch made out of plastic broke...now it won't stay closed. 

The wallet was only $10 but come on...if a truck can drive over it, how cum if I drop it, all of a sudden it breaks!  I guess, as with most of those gadget things...you can't win!  I am hoping Wallmart will take it back!   

Cleaning to Re-claim my home!

I returned from Arizona the state of guns and heat!...scary actually when you think of them together. I came home to an empty home, a blessed empty home!  I don't think I have had that pleasure in several years...because we have a large home it seems many of our kids have used it as a stopping off place...some for several years at a time; bringing "their" kids with them.

Closets I had used to put winter clothing (Yes in California there is a bit of change in the weather.) were confiscated by the "visiting" family member and hangers on...to have my stuff squished into a very small space in our bedroom.  I had one daughter state that growing up she thought I was selfish because I wanted my own things, including my own bathroom.  I think she forgot I shared most everything with a very large...often dirty from work, man.

The house was quiet, WOW! neato.  And to think I had longed for noise when the last kid moved out, now it was heaven.  The frantic cleaning and picking up began...don't forget I have a bit of OCD so I decided the only piles would be in the garage.  It took almost three days from morning until late at night to get all the stuff left in the two rooms most recently lived in, sorted and packed ready for pick up with the next visit here.  I folded and sorted and compressed toys, clothing and other bits into boxes...and piles for the garage.  After muscling them down the stairs and safely into the darkness of the garage.  I re-claimed the closets neatly putting my things in rows on new hangars getting all ready for when Patrick will move back from Chandler in a few weeks.

Purge is the word Patrick loves, almost more than any other.  Subsequently I always seem to have something to put out to donate to the blind...don't ask me how those blind folks find the house, but they do!   I have done my best not to bring anything new into the house for a few years now, except needed clothing, or food, so when we move, or go on a mission we can travel light...Ha! if packing up over 32 years of living in one house will be light.

I have decided for the most part we could sell a lot of the furniture in a garage sale.  None is as nasty as the green velvet couch that was propped up on a rock we wanted to take to the Rose Parade and leave it there!  But I am assuming the our much smaller abode will call for lots less stuff.  I don't want to use a storage place...I decided if you have so much stuff it won't fit where you live...you do need to purge.

The weird thing is I have discovered the majority of our stuff are memories.  Genealogy, mementos of trips that bring back fond memories...a plethora of photos.  (for the past 3-5 years they are now on digital Cd's).  I thought I could part with the two boxes I have stored under our bed, but after a very careful look I think I discarded only a few papers.  I'm not sure why, but some things are too difficult to put in the junk heap, and who knows it may be worth something someday.

For example, my 1984 Olympic box.  It has certificates, photos, my medical uniform...including shoes and hat, as well as daily dot-matrix print outs of winners and items of interest.  I collected pins during that time because as a thank you for medical treatment I was often given a team or other type of pin.  I usually did not have anything to trade back, so all my 50 or so pins I have in a case hung in the living room were gifts.

The journal I kept for the first few weeks at various venues was interesting.  I read that my first call was to work at Lake Casitas as medical staff for Rowing and Canoeing,  then soon after came another call to assist with the children who were part of the opening ceremonies.  Then weeks went by with no communication.  In August of 1983 I got a letter to send in my forms again and began to realize there was confusion between different agencies.  In October, then November I got requests to fill out additional paperwork.  I began to think I needed my own xerox machine.  Always the letters stated how lucky we were to be able to donate our time!  Two more sets of forms arrived in late November and again in December.

Then nothing for several months and in April of '84 I got a request to attend orientation at Daniel Freeman Hospital...we were all fingerprinted and told we would work at various sport venues for athlete or spectator first aid.  Some were told they would work checking for drugs (tinkle patrol) after each competition.  I was glad I was not selected for that job.

Four meetings in May resulted in my assignment to the photo journalists and International Broadcasting, mostly at CBS studio.  I finally got my credentials and uniform.  I met the other nurses working at the venue, and most are from Henry Mayo Hospital where I work.  So many meetings now I am away from the kids too much, but Patrick is picking up the slack.  We now are meeting many of the athletes who come to the venue to be interviewed and will be able to watch what is happening at several of the venues at once on huge monitors.

My Journal is very detailed and I am not sure how I kept it up as I was crazy busy at that time.  How can I throw it away! Or any of the papers, photos or memories...so I won't!  I cleaned off the dust from the top of the plastic container...and shoved it back under the bed.

Maybe I'll have better luck getting rid of some of my stuff in the den...maybe!