Archive | October 2005

The person I miss most

Cam and me Cam and me
Cam and Alison Cam and Alison
The last visit The last visit
Cam's graduation Cam’s graduation

I’m missing Cam tonight so much and I feel bad because it’s for purely selfish reasons. Just for a minute I want him to hug me and tell me it’s all going to be alright, even if I know it’s not going to be alright. I get tired of being the strong one. When my mom goes it will be just Alison and me. This has always been my favourite holiday but not tonight.

Yesterday I did one of the hardest things I hope never to do again for anyone. I signed my mom’s DNR. Her heart has slowed to very low levels and it took a long time for her to figure out who Alison and I were. She kept saying she had to “go” and that there were 2 place she had to go but that she didn’t know which she was going to and that she was scared. And then she said goodby and that she loved us. She isn’t gone yet but I have a feeling it will be soon.

I’m goin’ crazy, Don’t cha want to caome along….

I spent the last two days learning 3 different computer processes and contract files and my brain has exploded all over my desk. Or at least that’s what my desk looks like.

I’m goin’ crazy don’t cha want to come along
I’m going crazy jus singin’ this song….

Once I had a little cat and all she ate was yarn
And when those little kittens came, they all had sweaters on.

I’m goin’ crazy don’t cha want to come along
I’m going crazy jus singin’ this song….

Once I had a little dog and all it ate was cans and when those little puppies came they came them Ford sedans!

I’m goin’ crazy don’t cha want to come along
I’m going crazy jus singin’ this song….

Once I had a little frog and all it ate was flies and when those little tapoles came they came with GREAT BIG EYES!

I’m goin’ crazy don’t cha want to come along
I’m going crazy jus singin’ this song….

When Mary had a little Lamb the doctor was surprised, when old Mcdonald had a farm the doctor nearly died!

I’m goin’ crazy don’t cha want to come along
I’m going crazy jus singin’ this song….

The Swedes

The Swedes - Carl, Robert, Hattie, Elsie and Della Isaac and Hilda Amanda Augusta Wahlene Sjoberg
The Swedes – Carl, Robert, Hattie, Elsie and Della Isaac and Hilda Amanda Augusta Wahlene Sjoberg
Uncle Bob and Aunt Hazel
Uncle Bob and Aunt Hazel

These are the Swedes. Carl was my maternal grandfather. The others were the scary great-aunts and uncle. The Aunt Elsie, Della and Hattie scared the crap out of me as a kid. They hated my grandmother and made no bones about. She had married their younger brother after dating and discarding all of their spouses to be. She also cooked their recipes better than they did.

Every Christmas Eve was the cookie war. One by one they would invite us into the kitchen and get us to sample cookies and tell which one we liked best and we always picked Grandma’s in the blind taste test. We didn’t know why they would get mad and kick us out of the kitchen. We were 5-8 years old, a pawn in an ongoing war.

Somehow I inherited the upper story of these cow named aunts, no one else did, thank heavens.

My grandpa was an architect and civil engineer for Hunt & Chambers in Los Angeles. He invented the system that floats the Art Deco May company building on the tar at Wilshire and Fairfax. He was a quiet man who didn’t say much but loved to help me draw and take my grandma andI for long drives in the Oldsmobile. He always called me Ignatz, until he got Alzheimer’s he always had a twinkle in his eye.

My Uncle Bobby was the only one born here. The rest were born in Sweden. He was an ambulance attendant/ Driver for the LAFD and became the first paramedic for Los Angeles. Somewhere we have pictures with him getting awards from Mayor Yorty. He was a collector, knives, guns, Porsches. He would get rabid about them and talk about nothing else. He was married to my favourite, Great-Aunt Hazel who was a little tiny person and always told me “Us little people have to stick together.”
( I was small til high school 4’4 and 56 lbs when I entered Junior High.)

Isaac and Hilda brought them to the United States, Minnesota to be exact, in the 1800′s but the moved to California because Hilda was not going to live any place colder than Sweden. I remember her because she always made them speak English but she got senile and spoke Swedish to me when I was little because she forgot a lot of her English. I can remember my Uncle Don trying to get her to say jam and jelly and not yam and yelly at the table. She had 10 children and only 5 made it to adulthood.

The stupid fool who checked them in thru the St Lawrence got there name wrong.He named them for where they had come from Sjoberg – mountain by the sea, another brother spelled it Shoberg. Their name should have been Isaacson.

May they rest in peace cause the aunt’s sure didn’t in life.

I’m CRANKY!

Anyone would think Los Angeles was San Francisco right now! It looks like June outside not October. It should be blustery and bright not like a London cliche’. Where is the SUN????!!!!

Fooey Rabbits!

Arthur Joseph Garcia 1954-1990

Gay Pride - somtime in the 80's
Gay Pride – somtime in the 80′s

He was my best friend for a long time. Of all the people I lost to AIDS he was the one that hurt the most.

I met him when I joined the PCC GLSU with my first lover and promptly got dumped. He was one of the guys who picked my up and decided to teach me what being gay was all about. This lead to some wild and funny adventures. Like when he decided to show me all the Griffith Park pick up spots and was greatly hurt no one approached him. I had to point out since I was with him no one was going to come near him ’cause I defintely look like a girl even with short hair. The boobs kind of gave it away. He was so hurt.

He had a hard time with relationships and everytime he broke up with someone he would go to the baths and bring me back a pen. Used to make me crazy because I would get scared for him after they figured out what caused GRID. We really bonded over our bad taste when one of my girl friends went up stairs at a party when he was taking a nap and treid to molest him. She got dumped fast!

He worked for LA County at DPSS and was always fighting off his female co-workers who refused to believe he was gay. He was a tall, burly guy with a big laugh. I didn’t help. I worked for the Girl Scout Council down the street and always came in to get him when we went to lunch and gave him a big kiss. I always made sure I wore a dress those days.

He loved racing cars and always went to the Long Beach Gran Prix and when He finally got his dream car, a red Fiero, it was almost too late and he never really got to enjoy it. But while he did, he scared the crap out of me driving.

He used to pick me up and hug me and my back always cracked much to his amusement. He wasn’t so amused when he taught my kitten to climb up his leg when he was wearing Levis ’cause the next time he came he was wearing shorts.

He and another friend took me to the Pleasure Chest to instruct me on dildoes and sex toys once. They turned on the demonstation machine that had a lot of them and broke it. They turned them all on at once. I turned red and ran to sit in the car.

We did the AIDS walk together and he died right before the one in 90 and I had just ahd my knee rebuilt and did the first one after he died in a wheel chair. Some lovely English man named Colin pushed me the whole way and decorated my chair. Made me wave like the Queen too. I never saw him again after that.

I had my surgery in July and was forbidden to be weight bearing so I couldn’t see him before he died. I learned at his funeral. He had my picture by his bed and his family recognized me from the photo. They probably could have figured it out. I was bad at the funeral. The stupid priest didn;t know him and started the damn thing by saying, ” If Art was here to day…” To which I said loudly, “If Art was here we wouldn’t be!” I was a tad bit mad and got clubbed quietly by 2 friends who didn’t know whether to laugh or yell at me.

I miss him and honour him for his love and huge heart.

reminded me today about how important stories and words are in my family. We are a family of story tellers and from a culture of story tellers. From the time we were very small we were read aloud to or someone was telling us a story. They found out I could read when I was three because Cam kept complaining about mom not starting where she left out. Oops, busted, I was reading ahead in the Oz books we were reading at the time. We heard stories about people and events on both sides of the family. The best gift I got after my eye surgery when I was seven was a faerie tale book with the most beautiful illustrations from my grandmother, I still have it.

All of us are readers which before Alison, our little sister could read drove her into screaming fits because she wanted to play and someone to play with. She’s 10 yrs younger than I and 8 younger than Cam. Walk into any of our homes and you find multiple over flowing bookcases and the need of a 12 step program to make us give any up. When I was working at camp we did two things every night, we read to the girls and we sang to them. Lullabyes and Pooh stories, Velveteen Rabbit, Tajer, Peter Pan anything to give sweet dreams and make the kids feel safe.

Cam and I used to have discussions about whether the words or music was more important. For me it was words or the ability to tell a story with the music, Songs have to tell me a story. I suppose it’s why I don’t like opera. If the Soprano is shreiking you can’t understand the words. My dad had Meniere’s disease, (as do I) and being deaf was okay until he went blind and when he couldn’t read any more he didn’t want to live.

So here’s to the story tellers and the makers of stories. It’s how we continue to live after we are gone.

 

 

 

 

 

My Uncle Winn

Family at the beach on Balboa Island Uncle Winn
Family at the beach on Balboa Island Uncle Winn

This is my Uncle Winn. He was Great Uncle by marriage and even though he never had any children of his own, he loved all children like they were his and had a child-like wonder of his own. He is in the middle of the beach photo. My mom is the small girl.

He was head mechanic at Adohr Farms and drove floats every year in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. He had marvelously huge hands that were skilled at all kinds of things and that when they held you you felt safe and stong and fearless. He was always getting in trouble for throwing us in the air. He had the best hug in the world and the hug I measure all other hugs by.

He was a 32nd degree Master Mason and one of the other people that formed my magickal view of the world. My mom told us that on one Christmas Eve he had she and her brother convinced they heard Santa’s sleigh bells. He had us convinced that if we turned around quick enough we would see his garden gnome move. That’s six small children who should have had permanent whip lash! When I was little he took me in his backyard up on Arbor Dell in Eagle Rock and told me he was going to show me 3 magic things. The first was Sputnik going overhead. I remember looking so hard to see it was hard ’cause I was blind in one eye and the other was impaired. But he was patient and waited til I did see that pale moving star. The second was a hummingbird’s nest with 2 tiny eggs in the nest. So small and the looked like precious gems to me. And the third was a Great Horned Owl up his steep hill. I was totally mesmerized by then and him.

He made my cousin and I wooden chests. I think we both still have them. One Christmas he made each family a Chinese Checker board. He was always ready to play and imagine things. We all loved him fiercely.

He is another one who shows up now and then. Once he showed up at a massage. The friend giving the massage said she felt some one there. I asked what the person felt like knowing full well who it was. She said it feels like a big hug. Which is exactly how all of us cousins remember him.

I hope he is enjoying his stay in the Summerland because he truly deserves his rest.