WHEN DID MY MOTHER get bifocals? Why, it was on a Tuesday, I believe. June the eighteenth, nineteen-sixty-eight. Glad you asked.
My sister sent me a calendar. (It was in that long, skinny box with which I tickled your curiosity). If you'd see this calendar, Dear Reader, I wouldn't even have to tell you it's old. Its body is crumbling from advanced age.
But I am young when I look at this calendar! It takes me back there, you know...
...back to the sixties and that fabulous food at the every-Friday-evening Fish Fry at a local Methodist church (There were lots of Catholics in the area; fish was on the menu at school every Friday, as well [I ate plenty of fish]). Amazing how I can still taste those flaky fried fish fillets. And oh! those hushpuppies, best the world has ever known!* [Just allow me this claim, Reader Dear; they're infused with nostalgia]). The baked beans and coleslaw were also divine.
...back to the days of many international guests. My parents were great ones for hosting, and many of the visitors were from other parts of the world. Most famously, there was Johnny Pinto, our Portuguese illegal alien (Johnny had jumped no wall, but he did jump ship [we lived near a great big harbor, you see (the world's largest)]). When this stranger walked into my dad's plumbing shop and asked for employment, Daddy brought him right on home to live with us (He was that kind of guy, my dad was.)
...back to the days when every year, for ever so long, the Noland Company-- seller of electrical and plumbing supplies--would give my dad a calendar at Christmas time, along with a Smithfield ham. Mama'd hang each new calendar on the kitchen door. She valued those over-sized pages,
where she'd jot down appointments and memorable events, such as
fish fry's, visitors, and...
"Mama got bifocals".
*Some of these deep-fried balls of cornbread are tasty,
and some not-so-much; but when these puppies are good, they are really
something to yap about!