"All Kinda Hitched Up"
I had been contemplating doing the deed for a long time, when in an impromptu moment (read that “manic”) a few weeks ago, I decided to go for it. With the interminable rain spewing from the sky, I tackled the job of sorting through a mass of confusion, that had escaped attention about two decades too long.
Never had pandemonium reigned quite so regally: There were photo albums, boxes of receipts, stacks of printed short stories, and correspondence, most of it dating back 44 years to when I was in the service. I started to write “45” years, that being from 1972-2017, but I don’t care for that number-anymore-so I made it 44 instead, based on the anniversary of my release, October, 1973.
|You can't even see the|
top shelves with the
jigsaw puzzles and
Additionally, there were art projects, yearbooks, thousands of photos, and even more letters, strewn throughout the whole sordid scene. There were ancient Christmas cards, birthday cards and there were enough baseball cards to open up my own shop, specializing in the years 1991-1993, when I was doing the summer program at the school district in Laytonville, before the price of baseball cards skyrocketed. I paid fifty cents a package for them back then and got bubblegum to boot.
And newspapers? How about the San Francisco Chronicle Sporting Greens, almost every one of them from April of 2010, until November of that same year, when the Giants captured their first World Series title in 56 years? Oh yeah, and the Press Democrat, also, covering the same span.
How did I know the lads were going to accomplish this feat in advance? Don’t be absurd; there was just a huge stack of newspapers in the pantry, from which I culled out the aforementioned sports pages…after the fact.
My plan is to write a baseball book based on, “What They Said…”
Amidst the turmoil of my shelves, I had newspapers covering the 2012 World Series, the 2014 World Series, and that’s without even mentioning the San Francisco 49ers and five Super Bowl titles. I’m not sure why I have kept the papers around-I don’t think it’s important. They all fit into one box, sitting in the highest shelf, and when I go to the Great Bleacher in the Sky, they can be used as fire-starter material.
Finally, there was one other item, cleverly concealed within a notepad of lined paper. In the back of this pad of paper was a hand-written journal of mine from Monday, November 22nd, 1982 until Monday, December 20th, of the same year. That’s 29 days out of my 64 years, chronicled in my own chicken-scratching, just a-sitting there waiting for me to stumble on them-or not, as the case may have been.
I mean, for Christmas that same year, I received three blank journal/diary arrangements, alone, indicating that others were aware of my tendency to prattle on, on paper. Now I have my blog, a slightly more accessible commodity than journals sitting on a high shelf, cleverly concealed within an old notepad.
Why I began this segment of my journaling process at this particular juncture in time, I have no idea, but within these few pages is a detailed account of Gluten-Free Mama’s and my decision to get married. The journal commences on November 22nd, and the bomb drops only a scant week later, when I wrote on November 29th,
“Big date today, Gluten-Free Mama (OK, it didn’t say “Gluten-Free Mama,” it said Annie) and I set a date to tie the knott (sic), the date being Wed the day after tomorrow.”
Two things leap to mind: First, I misspelled knot, which I continued to do throughout this journal, something that defies explanation because I simply do not misspell words. Sure, I wrote "kinda" but that's slang-not a word that was incorrectly spelled. The second is the fact that the “date” we set, was only two days in the future.
Having gone on record as saying that I am a “Seize the Day” kind of guy, I would say this tends to back that up, but it’s not as though we had never discussed the idea of marriage before. Both of us agreed on one thing though: Getting married because you were about to have a child, was a poor reason for getting married.
Once that was established, then the rest was merely logistics, which sounds pretty basic until you read a little further into that same day’s journal entry:
“I tried to get either of our cars started today but couldn’t, so we’re not sure about how we’re going to get there…I’m going to see if I can get one of them fixed tomorrow.”
OK, so where does it say you have to have a functioning vehicle in order to get married? It does’t; we’re good.
Tuesday, November 30th: “We got more extreme weather today, with snow falling heavily at different intervals, but then stopping long enough to let the snow disappear. It’s snowing right now and we expect more tonight. We hope it doesn’t because we want to go to Ukiah tomorrow and get hitched. I spent all morning [outside, in extreme weather] working on both cars (’72 Nova and ’62 VW bus-Old Paint) and got them both running.
The bus I parked up at the barn [on Bell Springs Road] so as to be able to get off the hill tomorrow if there is snow on the ground. Obviously, if the road is questionable at all, we will postpone our plans.”
Finally from December 1st: “Well, we did it-got all kinda hitched up…Noel, Olga, Maggie, GF Mama, Casey and I all went to Ukiah where Judge Jim Luther tied the knott for us…After our noon ceremony we all went to The Palace Hotel for lunch. It was superb. GF Mama and I decided to stay the night at The Palace and it was excellent.”
The Palace is gone now, unhappily, but GF Mama and I are still going strong. If there has been chaos along the way, so much the better. Good things can come out of chaos, such as finding old journals that tell it like it was.
I mean, come on, baseball cards at fifty cents a pack? With bubblegum? Who could make this stuff up?
|Out of chaos, comes order.|