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Archive for March, 2014

Mondays with Melitas – March 31, 2014

MORE EARLY MEMORIES                                      MARCH 31, 2014

 

While I’m on this kick of really earliest memories, I may as well continue as long as the old brain will put up with the effort.  Another bang on the noggin may wipe out all those recollections, and then where would I be? — Right in the middle of a great story, and poof it’s all wiped out.  I hate to think something like that could happen.

Remember how my family is squished in that home on Pomona Ave. across the street from FullertonUnionHigh School?  Viv and I are still cribbing away in the bed room with the folks, and we kept mumbling about “When are the older ones going to pack their things and move on into married life?  Beth with her Sweetie, Gordon — he was up at University of California getting a diploma to be an engineer, and Sis’s Sweetie, Ralph,” — I don’t remember what he was doing.  See, there I’m already missing some very important data.  Brother Buddy was in High School, being a football, baseball, and basketball star, with all the girls swooning over him, but he only had one girl friend whom he liked the most, her name was Laura — and he steered clear of his 2 little sisters, but we didn’t mind.  I was still working on Viv trying to bring her up to speed, but she was reticent about trying to grow up just yet.  After all, I had 18 months on her.  So in my spare time, I started visiting some of the folks on our block, and they seemed to enjoy me dropping in to “converse” with them.

I am going to move along at this point, where I am 3 years old, and Viv is 1½ yrs. We practically have the house to ourselves.  We are freed from the cribs, and each of us has our own twin bed, and we are now filed in the middle bedroom, and Bud has moved to the back bedroom.  Beth is all agog, and all the plans for a big, big wedding are coming to fruition.  It’s a good thing Beth loved us 2 little ones, and so we would be a part of her great big wedding.  We were the flower girls.  Can you imagine that?  Everyone was gathered at the big church on the south east corner of Spadra   Rd. and Wilshire — downtown Fullerton.  We lined up in our places, and we would be leading the about-to-be-married bride down the aisle to the altar where Gordon would be waiting with already a “hang dog” look on his face.  I really wasn’t paying any attention to him, so just made that “look” up.  The music started, and I was more than ready.  Marching down the aisle, I started throwing, with wild abandon, the flower petals from my basket. (I was no doubt practicing for my future career in women’s softball.)  By the time I was half-way down the aisle, my basket was empty. The petals had been tossed all over the place, and the guests were cracking up. On the other hand, there was Viv with her basket, and she didn’t get up the gumption to throw even one lousy petal.  I should’ve grabbed her basket so the guests up front would’ve had some coverage.

Shortly after that, Sis went through the same ceremony to marry Ralph, but they didn’t use any flower girls.  Ralph’s parents were very circumspect people and would have wanted the ceremony to go without a hitch.

When I was 7 years old, I became an Aunt for the first time to Shirley, Beth’s first child.  I thought I was hot stuff.

 

 

MELITAS FORSTER                                MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

 

Carole in front of Aunt Mae's Cadillac in front of the high school

Carole in front of Aunt Mae’s Cadillac in front of the high school

 

 

 

Shirley in front of high school lawn

Shirley in front of high school lawn

Beth

Beth

Sis (Emery)

Sis (Emery)

 

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Memoir Contest…enter in!

I just received an email and wanted to share with my fellow writers…I would love to have one of my writers win!

 

RE:  Mini-Memoir Essay Contest for Women

Chatter House Press is pleased to announce a mini-memoir essay contest for women.  The topic for the essay is “Success On My Own Terms.”  Full details can be found at www.chatterhousepress.com (click on CONTEST in the menu).

There is no charge for entering the contest, and first prize is a book publishing contract (memoir, poetry, fiction, or non-fiction).  The deadline for the contest is May 2, 2014.

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Mondays with Melitas – March 24, 2014

MY EARLIEST MEMORIES                                               MARCH 24, 2014

 

When I was born on April 23rd, 1918, our family was living up on north Raymond Ave, east of downtown Fullerton.  You travelled east on Chapman Ave. out of town and over to Placentia and on to the other little towns such as, Yorba Linda, Yorba.  Raymond   Ave. was a newer part of Fullerton, about half-way to Placentia.  In those days, lots of citrus groves dotted the landscape, or why else would they call the area “OrangeCounty?”  My Dad had this orange grove up on top of the hill, wherein the home was located, and he also had a garage down town where autos were repaired, and new Cadillacs were sold.

It’s a good thing that grove was up on the hill because Beth, Sis, and Bud, my older siblings, (and they were older, Beth by 17 years, Sis by 15, and Bud by 10) had to trudge quite a ways to get to school every day.  It was a snap in the mornings — they would coast down the hill to Chapman   Ave. where it was level the last mile or so to the campus of FullertonUnionHigh   School. They were quite fresh for school from this walk.  It was the trudging home that was a different story when uphill Raymond probably looked like the Alps, and they were tuckered out after their day with all the books, and Phys. Ed., or school choir.  Mom used to tell how she would spot them starting up the hill, and how they would slow down to a crawl, and stop to rest.  It took them forever to travel that last half mile.  They were always full of hope that Dad would somehow be on his way home from the garage, and it would be when they were needing a ride the most — and they were stranded half-way.

NOW for an Historical Note:  FUHS was built in 1893, and the first graduating class consisting of Thomas McFadden, and his buddy, Arthur Staley, received their diplomas in 1896. McFadden was my Uncle, who had later married my Dad’s sister, Lucana (Aunt Lukie) Forster. Tom went on to be a well-known attorney in Anaheim.  END of History lesson.

Now then, when I was 6 months old, we moved from up on the hill  into a new little subdivision, and our house was at 509 No. Pomona Ave. right smack dab across the street from FUHS.  It was the 2nd house from Chapman, and we had an expansive view of the mammoth front lawn across the street of the school, where many, many hours were spent through the years playing with our friends – tackle football, baseball, soccer,  etc. or just running around with wild abandon.

With this move, all I ever had to do is roll out of bed to get to my first class.  Kindergarten through 4th was a block away, 5th and 6th were 2 blocks, 7th and 8th were 2½ blocks; then high school across the street.  Jr. College was just past the high school.  I didn’t exactly get any exercise getting to school.  Maybe having to speed it up if the bell was ringing to start the first class.

Now I have described the outside areas around the corner of East Chapman and No. Pomona.  It was a tight fit in that home which my Mom lived in for more than 50 years — 30 years after Dad had died.  The house faced to the east.  On the front left there was a porch where one could watch the world go by, and as you went inside, there was the living room, continuing to the rear, the dining room (same size as LR.,) then the kitchen which had a nook, then a service porch, then down 4 steps. The house sat up off the ground, and there was a cellar.  How about that?  Now on the right side of home, the MBR projected out to be even with that porch, so it allowed for more space for bedrooms.  First, the MBR,  a bathroom (the only one,)  middle BR, and 3rd one at back.  Big back yard, clothes lines, a couple of walnut trees that I would climb, then a free standing one-car garage on the alley.  (Come to think of it, where did all the alleys go?)  And there across the alley was Josh Seales Mortuary.

And we were only a block away from the main drag, Spadra Road.

Here’s how everyone was filed away at 509 No. Pomona.  Mom and Pop in the MBR ensconced in a beautiful old antique bed in dark mahogany from the 11-bedroom family home in San Juan Capistrano.  Being the only boy, Buddy had the middle BR to himself, and the 2 girls who were oldest were stashed away in the back bedroom.   Now mind you, each bedroom had a spacious walk-in closet.

Now what do they do with the newest family member?  Six months old, so a crib was just fine, and it was with the folks shoved into the front corner of the room, and where the foot of the crib lapped over a bit in front of the big window I had a chance to watch the world go by — well, there was our front lawn, and across the street the school buildings.  I do have memories of this, of jumping around in the crib wanting to get over and snuggle up to Dad to hear all about the Sunday funnies.  Only on Sunday, otherwise he was off to the Cadillac Garage.  It’s a wonder that I  don’t have any memories while I was in Mom’s incubator.  Maybe you remember how I went on and on about how my Mom cried buckets and buckets of tears the 9 months of pregnancy.  She sure didn’t need a kid to disrupt her nice, social life: playing in her bridge club and being a member of the Ladies’ Ebell Club of Fullerton, and Bud was 10 years old. She was then 39 years old at the time, for crying out loud.  By then she should’ve known better.  (Didn’t HER Mom ever tell her?)

(When are those 2 girls going to get married to those 2 fellas they keep mooning over, and free up some space around here?)

And now, unbeknownst to me, when I was 18 months old, and I am still filed in the crib, Surprise, Surprise — here comes another little person in the body of my sister, Vivian.  Mom never did cry a river of tears through this incubation — maybe she was embarrassed.  Later, she would say how it was really a Godsend.  (She may have meant that I had been sent by the devil.)

This little new thing came with a crib, and it had to go upset my privacy and be placed along the east wall.  Her window only looked out on the house next door — she was not able to watch the world go by, and that’s the reason I became so very worldly, and Viv was more the clinging type with Mom. I was practically grown up at 18 months when she came along and disturbed my peace.

I immediately started teaching her a few things, like jumping up and down.  I could climb out of the crib.  It took her awhile to learn.  I knew about the Sunday morning routine with Dad, and I let her in on that snuggle, snuggle – listen, listen for funnies.  I have to admit:  Life was Heaven.

When are those two girls ever going to get out of here, and get their own babies to fondle over?

That’s why I was able to retain so many memories of these early years.  Viv and I spent a lot of time “growing up” in our little nests, the same old cribs.  It’s a good thing the folks didn’t “slip up” one more time.  That house was getting pretty packed, and it may stunt my growth.

 

MELITAS FORSTER                                         MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

Cadillac Garage   Dad leaning on radiator of Cad.

Cadillac Garage Dad leaning on radiator of Cad.

Tricycle built for 2. Back yard

Tricycle built for 2. Back yard

Hot day for sprinklers. Porch on left. School in background across st.

Hot day for sprinklers. Porch on left. School in background across st.

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Mondays with Melitas – March 17, 2014

TAMMY, HOLD THE PRESSES

 

“ABOUT MY EARLIEST MEMORY” HAS TO GO ON BACK BURNER

MUCH TO MY CHAGRIN

 

AND RIGHT NOW, I AM PUTTING MYSELF ON THE BACK BURNER AND RETIRING TO MY COT.

 

AND I HAVE STORY TO WRITE ALSO ABOUT THE ESCAPADE IN THE PARKING LOT OF STAPLES ON SAT. AFTERNOON.

 

NO HUMPTY DUMPTY THIS TRIP, BUT A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE.

 

MELITAS                                                      MARCH 17, 2014

 

mel mar 17amel mar 17 b

A note from Tammy Coia: Melitas is going to be ok, but she will have to wait to finish her blog and she will have another story about her bump on her head…We all wish you well Melitas and can’t wait to hear all about this story as well!

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Mondays with Melitas – March 10, 2014

ABOUT MY EARLIEST MEMORY                                 MARCH 10, 2014

 

I’ve gotta tell you about the earliest memory I have hung on to throughout this long life of pure madness, and I have a problem with some people I don’t even know, in fact, I haven’t the slightest inkling who they may be;  but I know they would pooh-pooh my story because it starts when I was a babe in a crib, and they say — oh, there it is!  “They say” it is impossible for infant babies to have any memory at that early age.

Have you ever wondered who these “They say” people are, and what they do every day?  They probably just think up some of their “They say.”  And here’s the kicker — everyone just goes along with  what “they say.”  I sometimes speculate that they get together and have some sort of a convention where they dream up some new “They say” sayings.  I don’t think I have ever run into a “They Sayer” in my time, but then if they just appear like ordinary people, how would you know?  It can be quite a dilemma, don’t you see?

Then, this new daylight saving time — it isn’t saving me anything when it robbed me of one hour of much-needed slumber — it came along and has completely scrambled my nerves, and they are in a very frazzled, delicate state, and here’s another thing:  “They say” I should not even lose an hour of sleep at this stage of the game I am now in up to the hilt.  After losing that hour of shut-eye with the new time, it just disappears into thin air.  You never have heard  what “They say about where it goes.

Then, out of the blue, a bright, shiny apparition appeared over my shoulder — it could’ve been the Warden — and placed a huge serving of Huevos Rancheros under my nose, and I completely forgot about all the gripes I was lining up to work on all the rest of the day.  The Asst. Warden, Marcie,  (my niece)  was also served some Huevos,  and Numero Uno Warden had hers.  Life was good again.

I was so incensed about losing sleep, and about all those “They sayers,” that I forgot my real story, but now since everything is all smiles around here, I will be able to write a half-way decent tale of those earliest recollections.  It will be Part 2 next week.

In the meantime if I ever come across one, but would hope for a big gathering, of those “They Sayers” in my meanderings, I will shout to the mountain tops:  You are NOTHING but a bunch of “NAY SAYERS.”

 

 

MELITAS FORSTER                         MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

blog march10

 

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.


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