Friday, April 20, 2007

Hitler, Grammy & Me

Today Hitler would have been 118; my grandmother, Florence "Grammy" Morin, would have been 96; and I turned 41.

In the grand scheme of things, sharing a birthday with Hitler doesn't really mean much. Sharing one with your grandmother however, especially if you're her first-born grandchild, is a completely different story. It was pretty well known that I was "Grammy's favorite."

I spent every weekend at her house and I was her constant companion -- the "little dummy" to her Skipper. Every Saturday we made the rounds to the beauty parlor for her wash & set (it's actually where I got my first "hairstyling" at the age of 7 -- a Carol Brady shag -- loved it), to the grocery store where she turned in countless empty glass milk bottles and insisted on redeeming more coupons than anyone, to the rectory to drop of banana bread and vegetables from Papa's garden for Father Pat, to the bank to make $10 contributions to my "college account" and to funnel her bingo winnings into her "secret" account, of which the entire family feigned ignorance of, but was certain contained a fortune. Florence had a lot of secrets, and I was her little secret keeper.

Papa drove us home from the morning's errands and Grammy would be in her housecoat (ans still wearing her girtle) before I got all the bags out of the car. Saturday lunch was warmed up leftovers from Friday night's take-out (either the Clam Shack, the Greek place or chow-chow (I'm cringing right now, but that's what she called Chinese food). Then Papa would disappear into the garden and Grammy and I would play cards all afternoon while she made fudge -- both of these endeavors being serious business.

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