Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
prune sits on the heights boat on each visit to his homeland to pause and reflect while enjoying a cigar
Another Recollection from the Old Days
An egregious error of omission has recently been brought to my attention. It is herein rectified. Details are not spared.
In the “Prune Saga” (8/10/2009), it was noted that “Other tribulations endured before he finally got street smarts are too numerous to mention”. One profound humiliation inflicted on that rascal, here-to-fore kept archived, makes all of his other tribulations pale in significance, including the aforementioned incident involving the bully.
In Centennial Heights in the early ’forties were two tough and fearsome tomboys, a year or two older than the Prune and his chums. It was the practice of these young ladies to sit on boys’ faces, just for sport. Much to their credit, they both wore skirts, unlike the trousers or jeans worn by young women today.
One would pin their victim to the ground, while the other exercised a squat with her dress hiked, flush and firmly on the mouth of her hapless prey. They took turns. The Prune was one such victim.
Back then we all got a lot of mileage out of our drawers. Fresh underwear put on after a sauna stayed on until the next steam was taken. An interim change was considered frivolous. By way of contrast, the Prune recalls Pete and himself wearing their same flannel shirts to high school for at least a week running.
The bloomers worn by the Heights girls were quite often home-spun “snuggies” woven from thick skeins of yarn. The finest attribute of the garment was a sponge-like capacity to absorb multifarious residues left behind as a result of using grossly inferior, non-absorbent bum wipes, such as orange wrappers or pages from an old “Monkey Ward” catalogue. Outdoor johns were still very much in vogue back then while “Charmin” was for many an unheard of luxury.
The residues, or “nicotine stains” as grandpa used to call them, were permitted to accumulate, mature and stink the fabric for upwards of two weeks of heavy-duty service. Back in the forties, it is remembered that one and only one bath or sauna per week was standard for most of us: some went unwashed for two or three weeks (I wonder what the record is).
In view of these facts one today can only imagine how bad those drawers must have stunk. The Prune claims he can still taste those soiled bloomers to this very day.
The identities of the two young women in question remain duly concealed. Suffice it to say they both became well-respected members of their community in later years.
The respect accorded them was earned.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
The Prune Exposed
The shabby churl affecting pompous airs on the unsinkable stone boat in Heights is none other than the Prune.
As a lifetime acquaintance of that charlatan let me tell you how he got that name. He’d asked me to maintain a strict confidence in relating his affairs to me, but in his case, a pledged secrecy is not merited.
On his way to the Charles Briggs School one day with “Lilly Lully”, a.k.a. Kenny Ollila, he was wearing a dark hooded winter coat. The hood came to a peak, like a monk’s cowl.
“Your head is shaped just like a prune,” Lilly Lully said to him. Come to think of it, it’s shaped like a prune even without the hood. This occurred in front of the house where his cousin Shadow Johnson, et al, used to live on Pewabic Street, circa 1947. The name stuck.
Prune’s family had moved from Laurium to Centennial Heights in 1939 and then back to Laurium in 1944. Upon moving to Heights in 1939, his mother told him to go out and meet some nice new friends. He gave it a try.
A splendid young cock he was strutting down Crooked Hill, clad in a Buster Brown outfit, short pants and all, wearing two-tone brown and white shoes with his hair neatly combed.
“Just where do you think you’re going, fancy pants,” he heard a voice say. It was Willis, the town bully who ate two soft-boiled eggs while the prune-to-be, at 48 pounds and outweighed by 12 pounds, could only gag down one.
“How would you like to be my friend?” the Prune timidly asked him.
Instead he got a good poke in the bread basket, sending him home bawling to his mother.
Other tribulations endured before he finally got street smarts are too numerous to mention, after which he got to participate in some good mischiefs, such as helping to set the bull rush swamp in Heights on fire each spring and tying cans to dogs’ tails.
He claimed to be smart and tried hard to impress others after the family moved back to Laurium.
“Do not boast, oh wretched one,” he was told by a contemporary.
One notable victory scored by this chump stands out in his mind to this very day.
There was a pear apple tree belonging to a neighbor directly behind the Torola barn on Tamarack Street, a Mrs. Mulligan, I believe, the Prune related to me. After a successful raid by the Prune and his cohorts, Mrs. Mulligan said to the Prune, “I know it’s you, Mukka, I can tell by that devilish grin. Score one for the Prune. Mukka was not present this time and stands absolved.
Many are the falsehoods uttered from the vulpine lips of that imposter. Yet he states one truth, a truth I can vouchsafe with certainty. He wishes all his old friends and relatives well—Pete, Ullen, Kirby, Shadow and Johnny Tauren to name but a few. He also wishes Henny Penny good luck at the Casita.