My Brain, Peanuts, Remembers The City Pool

 

Waitsburg City Pool or Gawdawful like it
The Waitsburg city pool (or gawdawful like it)

 

A Swimming Pool Fool

When I was a little girl, I was a swimming fool even though the pool in our little town left a lot to be desired.  First of all, it wasn’t heated or filtered so they had to drain it every week and refill it with water they piped in from the South Pole.  Not being a filtered pool, you’d think we would have all gotten a horrible disease like typhoid fever, leprosy or at the very least, Polio, but the water was either too cold to sustain microbial life or nobody could ever stay in long enough to catch anything.

The Magic of Turning Nine

Until I was in the fourth grade, all my summer mornings were spent begging and pleading with my mother to take me to the swimming pool.  But when I turned nine, she decided I was old enough to go to the city pool on my own. So every morning I’d get up and kill time by playing hide and seek with the neighborhood kids until the magical hour of 1:00 o’clock when the city pool opened.  My mother would fix me a tuna sandwich and make me wait half an hour before I could head out to the pool lest I get a cramp and drown. For some reason known only to 1950-ites, the most dangerous thing a person could do in the fifties would be to down a tuna sandwich and then dive directly into a body of water.  You would get a cramp and you would drown.  Period.  End of story.

leading cause of drowning in the 50's
Leading cause of drowning 1950-style

The Art of Towel Rolling

The towel you brought to the swimming pool said a lot about how well your parents had their acts together. The parents who had their acts totally together bought their children their own beach towels every summer with a cute picture of a whale or a beach umbrella emblazoned across its front.  Other parents who didn’t have their acts quite as together didn’t mind if their child brought whatever towel happened to be hanging on the towel rack that day.  And then there were the  parents who didn’t have their acts together at all.  These were the parents who were big believers in sun-dried kids.

My parents fell into the middle category.  I would take some dingy towel off the towel rack everyday and fold it in half length-wise and roll my swimming suit up in it.  Then I would put on my thongs (which is the fifties speak for flip-flops)  and I’d head out across town to the city pool to join the small group of children who were also addicted to the swimming pool as much as I was.

The Regulars

Looking back on it now, there were about five of us who came every single day without fail.   Most of them were sun-dried kids and for a while I forsook my towel to fit in.  (I’d tell you their names but I’m not sure they had any.)  Anyway, we would simply find a dry spot on the cement and lay there until we got hot enough to brave the frigid waters of Antarctica for another ten minutes of splish-splashing hypothermia.

Jackknifes, Cannonballs and Cutaways

Most of my activity at the pool was waiting in line to go off the diving board.  My  ‘go to’ dive was a jackknife.  My friend, Susan Weber, was a whiz at a dive called the cutaway. While us girls worked on our dives, the boys were perfecting their cannonballs — a dive that never made any sense to me because why make a big splash if you can’t see it?  But I do remember the boys who were a little on the hefty side being much better at the cannonball than their skinnier counterparts.

After Swimming Hunger

I have never been hungrier than I was in the fifties.  Being a kid lends itself to a lot of hunger.  The hunger you feel from only eating one bite of breakfast before school and counting the seconds until lunch.  The hunger you feel after waiting for lunch to find that you are too finicky to eat hamburger gravy and sandy butter sandwiches. And then there’s the  hunger you feel after school from being too picky to eat a decent breakfast and lunch.

Seven Bowls of Cheerios

But the hunger I felt after swimming all afternoon in the city pool beats them all. It’s the kind of hunger that only seven bowls of Cheerios swimming in a soup of sugary milk can satisfy.  Sitting at the kitchen table, eating Cheerios with the late afternoon sun pouring through the window and knowing that after you finish your last bowl, the Three Stooges will be on.  Does life get any better than that?

I think not.

Cheerios from the 1950's

Until next time . . . I love you

37, Me and The Big D

Welcome Dear Readers to Linda Vernon Humor 2.0!  

Oh happy day! The time has come to start writing again.   The main thing that has happened to me since I last wrote, 1016 days ago, is that I am now divorced from my husband of 40 years who I always referred to on this blog as 37.

You can read about 37 and all the fun we used to have here if you’re curious (but I wouldn’t bother if I were you).

So why did 37 and I get a divorce?

I’ll spare you the gory details, because I honestly don’t know them.  Suffice it to say, it was a mighty big surprise to me when 37 came home from work one night and sat me down and explained he didn’t want to be married anymore. I can’t even remember what he said.  I only remember his explanation didn’t make much sense.  But he wrapped it up in 40 minutes before he left to go to a hotel — so one minute for every year we were married.  I don’t know if he planned it that way, but he is an engineer, and they are known for being precise.

You can read about 37 being an engineer here (but I wouldn’t bother if I were you).

 37 dropped off the face of the planet and is now rumored to be living on the planet’s neck and shoulders (or possibly lower)

I’ve only seen 37 a couple of times since he left.  It’s all very unreal, Dear Readers, and it has taken me 1016 days to get my bearings figured out. (I was a D student in bearings class.) But I’m happy to report that I have decided to have a ball with the rest of my life anyway and that includes writing humor. Because I’ve found that it’s hard to be depressed when you are trying to think up funny stuff.

Divorce Helpful Hints

So what have I learned from going through a divorce after 40 years of marriage?  I’ve learned how to go out on dates.  I’ve learned how to drive places I normally would have never dreamed of driving. I’ve learned how to  open a jar pickles with my own strength.  Okay not really.  But I have learned not to buy pickles anymore. I’ve learned that it’s nice not to have a man in the house who eats  all the potato chips before you get any and much more which I will write about from time to time.

Anyway, thank you for coming to check out Linda Vernon Humor 2.0.  And I look forward to connecting with all of you!

Until next time . . . I love you

 

 

Hey Lookie! Hitler’s Got a Logo

Welcome Dear Readers to my video series called Magazines with Linda.  Join me won’t you as we flip through a magazine from 1931.

 

Until next time, I love you

Linda’s Video Writing Tip #2

Welcome Dear Readers to day #2 of my video writing tips.  Today’s writing topic is inspiration!

 

 

Okay so that does it for today’s tip.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Please check back tomorrow for another writing tip.

Until next time . . . I love you

Linda’s Writing-tip Video

Welcome Dear Readers! Several years ago, I made a video and put it up on YouTube.  Well here it is hundreds and hundreds of days later, and guess what?  I finally got around to making another one.  

So I thought it would be fun to make this week my video writing-tip week.  So here’s my first writing tip.

Well, there you have it, Dear Readers.

Until next time . . . I love you

What Really Happened When George Cut Down the Cherry Tree

Setting: George Washington’s Sixth Birthday. 

Happy Birthday Hatchet Pie!

Our story opens when George Washington’s father comes outside and finds that the cherry tree has been chopped down:

What the?  George Washington come here right NOW!

Yes father?

Something tells me you cut down this cherry tree with the hatchet I got you for your birthday today!  I knew you were too young for a hatchet!  I knew I should have gone with your mother’s suggestion and gotten you a guillotine instead.

Father, please . . . I’m six!  All the other children in the township got hatchets when they turned three!  I mean, it’s downright embarrassing how long I had to wait to finally get a hatchet of my very own!  And, besides, everybody knows guillotines are for babies.

Well look what happens.  I finally get you a hatchet, and you haven’t even had it more than an hour and what’s the first thing you do? Cut down my prized cherry tree!

Well, I cannot tell a lie, Father.  It’s not exactly the first thing I cut down.

What?!?

Well now that you’ve brought it up, and since I cannot tell a lie, this might be as good a time as any to mention that first I cut down the apple tree, then I cut down the apricot tree and, lastly, I cut down the cherry tree — in addition to hacking up a couple of rose bushes.

That does it George, march yourself to the woodshed, I’m giving you a sound whipping’!

Father, as you know, I cannot tell a lie, so this might be as good a time as any to also mention that the woodshed isn’t as much of a woodshed as it used to be . . .

 On no!  Not another “I cannot tell a lie!”

In fact, it would be more accurate, Dear Father, if we were to start thinking of the woodshed in terms of a rather large pile of kindling rather than an  actual building in and of itself.

Nothing like the thrill of killing and eating fruit!

Oh for crying out loud!  Well, I hope you at least saved the fruit so that your mother can bake us some pies . . . George?  You did save the fruit from the trees didn’t you?

Oh that . . . well . . .  I can cannot tell a lie, Father, for I surely would if it would spare you the heartache of telling you that I but finished off the last of fruit only seconds ago.

Ha ha! Well,  you might be the naughtiest boy in the world but at least you’re honest George, my boy!   I have a feeling you are going to grow up to be the very first President of the United States of America!  Now off with you!  Oh . . . and for godsakes don’t forget to brush your teeth again!

Happy Birthday George Washington!  Wherever you are!

Until next time . . . I love you

My Bill Murray Groundhog Day Kiss

I’m not usually a lucky person. The slot machines I play are sure to be clinkety-clank-less, the numbers on my raffle tickets go unannounced, and, truth be told, I’ve never even had an opportunity to shout the word “Bingo” . . . unless, of course, it was his name-o.

So when I got kissed by Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am Golf Tournament, they had to call the fire department to get me down from Cloud 9.

“No, you idiot, that’s Cloud 8!”

The whole thing would have never happened had I not stepped on the toes of a good-natured, somewhat tipsy Englishman while trying to get a glimpse of Clint Eastwood at the fifth hole at Spyglass -; breaking the ice between the Englishman and I, while simultaneously breaking most of his toes.

Not the exact Englishman  but gawdawful like him.

Clint proceeded to hit a ball that landed squarely on the green. Now, for secretive, humorous reasons known only to the British, this sent my new Broken Toed Buddy into a fit of laughter and ear-splitting wise-crack-ery; the likes of which can only be achieved after enjoying a hearty three-martini breakfast.

Take a Mulligan, Clint!” The English One advised and began to chant. “Mulli! Mulli! Mulli!” Finally, Clint turned to him and assuming his famous Dirty Harry persona (at least that’s what I assumed he was assuming) replied“Yeah, OK,” a comment to which the gallery responded with an explosion of laughter so uproarious, I was left to conclude that everybody there was British.

Then . . . suddenly . . . like a Cinderella story out of nowhere – weaving his way through the throngs to the tee—appeared The Great and Powerfully Funny, Bill Murray, Himself.

Bill Murray signing autographs at the AT&T Pro Am Pebble Golf Tournment
The Great and Powerfully Funny Bill Murray, Himself!

“Look! It’s Bill Murray!” I observed with all the subtlety of Lucy Ricardo spotting William Holden at the Brown Derby. My English Buddy didn’t miss a beat. “Hey Bill!” He screamed over the crowd. “This lady would like a kiss!”

Bill Murray responded by slowly turning around like he was Moe Howard hearing the dreaded phrase “Niagara Falls!” As he headed my way, the crowd was giddy with anticipation. I know it’s weird and maybe I’ve been watching too much I Love Lucy but what was running through my head at that exact moment was, “Wait until Ethel hears about this!”

Then, Bill Murray positioned himself in front of me and politely waited for the crowd to get their cameras ready and when the time was right . . .

Getting a kiss from Bill Murray
BINGO!

. . . suddenly the AT&T golf tournament faded away, and it was just me and my lips and Bill Murray kissing me . . . with his lips. I don’t know how long we kissed. It could have been an instant or it could have been an hour or possibly four or five hours (but I doubt it) that I was suspended in the bliss of Bill Murray’s kiss.

On the drive home, I suddenly realized it was February 2nd which meant – that’s right – I got kissed by Bill Murray on Groundhog day. And in the immortal the words of Carl the Greens keeper — after he was granted total consciousness on his deathbed by the Dali Lama –I thought:

So I got that going for me . . . which is nice.”

Bill Murray as Carl the Greens Keeper

Until next time . . . I love you (and that goes double for Bill Murray)