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Friday, December 23, 2011

Excerpts from a memoir part 2: Fuzzy Side Up

I can't help but share more excerpts from this memoir, Fuzzy Side Up.  Each one of them make me laugh.  Enjoy.

Darlene Chandler

     My friend, Michael Myers, and I used to fish at night for carp.  We always anchored behind Darlene Chandler's house (she was a beautiful redhead) with the hope she would undress with the curtains up.  She never did.


     Every summer, for a while, Goy would rent Taylor's cottage for a month in Lewes, Delaware.  The entire cottage was probably as large as a family room.  Mr. Taylor was a fisherman, netting off the beach. This particular summer, Nanny, Pappap, Judy and I were there, along with my cousins, Glennie and Barbara.  Goy and Mom would come down on Saturday night and leave Sunday night.  The store was closed on Sundays.  Judy and Barbara were about 16 and Glennie and I were 12.  Well, one day we were all swimming and the girls decided to take off with Glennie and my bathing suits and run back to the cottage.  There we were, in the water with no suits and people all over the beach.  We waited but they never came back.  It was getting cold. Glennie, who was much less modest than I, he walked out of the water and ran home stark naked.  It was at least two-hundred yards across the beach, over the dunes and down Main Street to the cottage. I waited, and finally, Nanny brought my suit down to me.
     One day Glennie decided to put lighter fluid on the ends of Pappap's cigarettes.  Pappap wore a Panama hat and he smoked Chesterfields -no filters.  Pappap lit one and nothing happened.  It all of the sudden occured to Glennie that Pappap put the wrong end into his mouth.
"Oh my God, he'll burn his face when it finally reaches the fluid!"
     Glennie ran over to Pappap and slapped the cigarette out of his mouth.  Pappap was furious.  He chased both of us down the alley behind the cottages (and he could run) but we got away. Pappap went back to the cottage.  We suddenly remembered the other cigarettes were still there.  We ran back to throw them away. As we entered, there was Pappap, lighting another. Well, he put it in the right way this time.  Now, his hat was on fire. Nanny yanked it off his head and tore the cigarette out of his mouth. No harm except the hat.
     This seems crueler than it was.  We took Pappap everywhere.  Pappap loved to fish, so did we.  We would throw his  line out and he would sit there all day.  One day, we took Pappap to the beach an only put a sinker on his line -no hooks.  We played and swam and Pappap fished.  Occasionally, we gave the sinker a tug to keep Pappap happy.
     One day Pappap had diarrhea on the beach.  I guess he forgot his underwear. I saw him running over the beach with a brown stream coming out the bottom of his pants.


     My Uncle Glen went to Florida and brought me back a baby alligator.  It was about a foot long.  I made a box with sand and a pan with water and fed him every day.  He thrived.  One day, I decided to take Harvey to the creek for a swim.  I tied a string around his neck and put him in the water.  That was the last I saw of Harvey.  But fifteen years later, I read in the paper that someone found a 250 pound alligator about ten miles downstream at Lenape.  It was dead.  I often wondered if that was Harvey.

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