Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Waiting Summer: The End







I’ve worked the summer waiting tables at a restaurant near a state park. I’ve also been waiting for my senior year to begin so that I can finish with the class of 1974. Over the summer, I've made a little over $500 from my 50 cent an hour wage, plus tips. I will use my earnings to buy things I need for my senior year like a class ring, necklace, yearbook and senior pictures. I will also buy or sew new school clothing. The summer of my seventeenth year is nearly over. It's time to quit my job. 
I first tell the owners of the restaurant that I’m quitting my job. Then I tell Opal who, on my first day, took me under her wing. Next, I tell Evie who moans and says that I’m silly to quit. Then, I tell the cook, but she’s ok with it since we’ll see each other at church. I tell my regulars I’m leaving the job: the man who always gives a nickel tip for his cup of coffee, the slicked hair guy who never gave up trying to lure me to his rented room at the resort every time he visited and the various fishermen who tipped well because they liked me.
When it’s time to leave, Evie surprises me by saying, “You should work here on weekends that way we won't have to miss you.”
 “I’ll be too busy,” I say, but I’m thinking, not in a zillion years.
 “You won’t want to work while school’s going on,” Opal says, smiling at me.
Although, I’m happy it’s my last day working at the restaurant, I also feel sad. There's something almost sacred about last days spent in places with people you're invested in. Leaving can produce a heavy heart, partly because of what's behind you, and, partly for the unknown you face. Either way, the heart suffers -- until it doesn't.
After I say my goodbyes, I drive my green Ford Mustang back up the hill that had once brought me there to work.
 
The End... of The Waiting Summer!
(If you have started here, I would like to recommend going to the tab, in the top menu, labeled The Waiting Summer to begin. Because this was in an A-Z order for a blogfest, this story is the end of the series. At the tab, you can read the stories in a better order. If you prefer, you may also begin reading them here with The End, and go backwards since I've tried to make each a standalone story. Not all stories are linked yet, under the tab. Enjoy!)
(P.S. The photo is my school picture taken a few weeks after school began.)  

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Year

The United States in 1973
I was living the summer before my final year at Buffalo High School. These things were going on in the world around me:
January 1 of 1973 began on a Monday.
President: Richard M. Nixon
Vice President: Spiro T. Agnew
Population: 211,908,788
Life expectancy: 71.4 years
News: Nixon, on national TV, accepts responsibility, but not blame, for Watergate; accepts resignations of H. R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman, fires John W. Dean III as counsel (April 30).
Economics:
Median Household Income: (current dollars):  $10,000 – 12,000
Unemployment:   4.9%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.08

Super Bowl: Miami d. Washington (14-7)

Movies:

The Harder They Come
American Graffiti
The Exorcist
The Sting
Last Tango in Paris
 
Books:
Do With Me What You Will by Joyce Carol Oates,
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon,
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut,

(Source: Infoplease.com)
Prices:
Average Cost of new house- $32,500.00
Average Monthly Rent- $175.00
 
A gallon of gas- 40 cents
AMC Javelin car -$2,900.00
Eggs -45 cents a dozen

 
(Source: thepeoplehistory.com)

 
 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Waiting Summer: eXplanations

 1973
Is that cheating? Using X in that way? Oh well - you think of a word that begins with X for me. 
 

 
You need to know that I am not 17 in this photo but 16. The point of the photo is the dress. This is the dress I made that I wore to get a job in The Arrangement.  P.S. I am sooo darn cute. Seriously.

 
Me without makeup, but I must say I love this photo enough to marry it. Not sure why.

 
Look at those high waist maroon pants. Whew... nearly to my chin. I don't remember the blouse, but I made the seersucker jacket. I wore a lot of things with a long sleeves under a short sleeves. Can you see the red in my hair?

 This is me trying not to be photographed but featured in my post I Strum. You can't see, but my jamming partner and I are NOT alone in his room. The room was full of jammers. Yes, I was the only girl, but my friend's mom was in the next room. And, trust me when I tell you that, I was scrappy enough to beat them all to the floor, if needed. Oh and that's my guitar in the front.


 
First of all, I want to say that there has never been a prettier mom than I have. She remains beautiful. And look at her hair,  how cute is that all flipped up? I think this photo of me looks like my nine year old granddaughter. I may even see my attitude in her, but we won't talk about that. The picture was actually taken in March on my 17th birthday.
 
 
This is who I cut out of the previous picture, my ittle bitty sister (middle) and brother (far left)  -- except he was as tall or taller than me. Look at his cool hair.  This is the table where my mom taught me how to count money back to my customers in The Count Down.
 

 
New photo: I think I was 17 here because of the clothes. Could my shorts be any shorter? Believe it or not yes, the summer of 1974. Here it looks like I'm saying, who me? I'm not. I'm watching to see what my dad's doing AND pulling up my tank top. This is the front porch I dropped the flaming towel from in Tea Towels and Trouble. Guess what? I kissed plenty of boyfriends in that swing. Don't tell my folks.
 
 
 
These were my favorite bells of the time. You'll have to believe me when I tell you that the bells on those things earned the title of elephant leg. (Sigh) I also totally loved my halter top. I talk about my elephant leg bells in Signs of the Time.
 

 
Here's the rest of the photo. My bro got a haircut  it appears.
 
Well that's all the eXplanation I have for now.
 
P.S.S. If the A-Z doesn't end soon, I may lose my mind.