MORE ON BIG BEAR MAY 20, 2013
Like I was telling you last week — that I had the real story for May 13 only 1/3 or ½ completed. I got it out to continue writing and finish it for you, my avid readers. All week long it just sat there on the cocktail table staring up at me, and daring me to get busy with it, and there I was trying to avert its gaze. Its subject is all about my week of the 95th birthday, and there is no way I’m ever going to complete that tale in this lifetime. It’s ancient history —hopefully I’m on my way to another one, and I am just sick and tired of this one. I’ve had it up to the old gazoo. Enough already!
I’m all run down to a crawl after all the festivities. But I want to thank EVERYONE for making THE birthday a most memorable one. A lot of people worked their buns off, and if I named all the names it would fill too many pages to get onto Tammy’s website.
Here’s a fact of the matter: I am, incidentally, the only one in 5 generations to hang in there this long. Mom nearly broke the record when she lived until one month before her 95th. And I have not heard of any in the past generations having extended lives, so I hereby name myself the winner of the old age category of the 5th generation California Forsters.
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Okay, so now the scene is changed, and we will be looking at another
story coming out of Aunt Mae’s cabin at Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains above San Bernardino, California — about a hundred miles or so from San Juan Capistrano. This was Aunt Mae’s summer getaway for all the family.
What brought this to mind was a phone call I received from far off New Hampshire. It was my nephew, John (my brother Bud’s first child.) Johnny and his wife Debbie recently picked up their stakes over in Palos Verdes, and off they went to New Hampshire where it SNOWS! Not too long ago, I went on and on in a story relating to the cabin, and announced NO Forster was ever built for the snow. And now, I have been revealed to be a big, fat old, liar, NO, a little, skinny old liar.
Let’s get back to Johnny’s phone call — it was at a time when I was there on the davenport just lolly-gagging the time away — and it was just great hearing from him, with the birthday wishes. It made me all warm inside. Then he reported that he had been busy reading all my “Mondays, etc. with Melitas”, and how he was enjoying them. That made my day, for sure.
The way he found out about the stories was because his son J.J., who lives over in the Simi Valley (CA) was visiting his mother over in Maine, and while there, dropped over into New Hampshire to look over his dear ol’ Dad and step-mom Debbie.
HERE IS A MUCH-NEEDED CAST OF CHARACTERS: John was once married to Maxine, now in Maine, when he was a career fly-boy in the Air Force, and they had an only son, John called “J.J.”. Further, Maxine whom I always refer to as my ex-niece-in-law in my stories is one of my most ardent fans. Other cast members were Michael (Mickey,) second child, then there is Sistie, hardly ever to be known by her given name of Charlyne Melitas. Of course, my brother George “Buddy” had a wife, Evelyne, who helped bring this little group to fruition.
I must remember this item of Cast of Characters to use when I am telling tales on my other siblings, Beth (Dodie,) Emery (Sis,) or Vivian. It would help me to keep everyone under the right roof. Those will be in coming attractions.
For the third time, I’ve got to get back to Johnny and the phone call, and it’s what all this talk-talk-talk boils down to: Johnny telling me how, in reading all the stories, he ran across some that sent him back to the old days when we would all go up to Big Bear. He remembered going to Mother Masetti’s, (see story for Feb. 25, 2013) the Italian lady who had her Italian restaurant right smack dab in the middle of the block in a residential section in San Bernardino, and how we would stop there on the way up the mountain, and then on the way down. This was happening in the 1930’s and 40’s. He also remembered how she was a great big woman — Well, she was, and he was a little kid so she must’ve looked humongous to him. I was (and still am) 17 years older than John, and I would feel like I was going to disappear when she gave me a big hug.
Another anecdote he recalled was when he and his younger brother, Mickey, rode down the hill from Big Bear with ”Guy-Guy” and “Tome.”
Quickly, back the CAST: “Guy-Guy” was my Dad, George Forster, and “Tome” was my Mom, Salome.
On the way down the mountain, “Guy-Guy’s” 39 Plymouth Coupe suffered a flat tire, and it was Mickey who described the scene when they finally caught up with all of us at Mother Masetti’s: Breathlessly and wide-eyed he reported that — “Guy-Guy” had a tat tire – no hair in it.”
Well, it seems like forever now. We would get Mickey to repeat that over and over — until he finally got over the baby talk. Mickey has been gone for almost 20 years, but his memory is locked in our hearts, and his family has stories for me to tell.
Thanks John for the phone call. It made my day.
See what a wonderful family I grew up with. How’d they let me in?