Deep under the earth

“President John F. Kennedy, speaking on civil defense, advises American families to build bomb shelters to protect them from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. Kennedy also assured the public that the U.S. civil defense program would soon begin providing such protection for every American.”

 We are thrilled that our backyard is concealing something unique, silent and strong. Originally the insurance company did not know how to insure it. The miniature palm tree, jasmine plants and miniature lemon tree hide it. A concrete frame and solid foundation hides deep within the living earth.  Twelve years and it lurks there as if a tomb. It has a white metal door where spiders wait at its threshold. The big metal door makes a loud metal banging and squeaking sound when opened. Enter and it will take you down stairs. The stairs are steep and go 12 feet down under the earth.  It contains a small room with a closet. Much enthusiasm goes into what will be done with it. Over time our family, friends and acquaintances all have found out about it. As we sometimes whisper in their ear,

“We have a cold war bomb shelter in our backyard that was built-in the 1960s”

What will we do with it or what have we done with it? Have we converted it into something? Maybe a Hobbit house sits on top of this bomb shelter. The backyard does have a middle earth feeling to it. This house has a big green round door with a door knob in the middle. Open it and there is a lovely room. Under the golden tapestry rug, in the right corner, is a trap door that leads down to the basement. Here is where we keep our grains, vegetables and fruit. A garden grows on top of our Hobbit house and to either side are fruit trees.

Instead, I may have a beautiful studio hidden down there where I create my art and write my stories. A wood banister runs all the way down to the bottom of the stairs. It is stained rosewood. This matches my large desk and chair. Here I frame my art and listen to music. A turntable, stereo, vinyl records and speakers enhance my creative atmosphere. In front on the white metal door hangs a small sigh. It often says do not disturb or maybe something a little more curse. It is great that this bomb shelter has electricity. I am thinking about promoting an art show here or maybe starting Bomb-shelter publishing soon.

It is also possible that we have beer bottles filled with beer down there. Many bottles of homemade beer and root beer are stored down in our bomb shelter?  A large kettle or two and the proper space for the fermentation process might make this a truth. Two large fans on the ceiling ventilate the room. We have all the tools we need for this excellent microbrewery. Sometimes our bottled root beer pops from the pressure and ants get excited and are a mess to clean up. We are working on a wine recipe for this fall.

There may be a low humming sound coming from this hidden enclosure. Seven twin mattresses are down there. They are framed-in with plywood which muffles the noise. The small music studio is great for musicians. A drum set, two guitars and key boards fit just right. The endless travel thought the back yard has done its toll on the lawn but the noise keeps the pesky squirrels away. There is talk now of turning it into a small recording studio.

Who knows? One late night at the local pub when everything got a little too funky, a longtime acquaintance listened to us talking. His ear’s perked up when he overheard that there is a bomb shelter in our back yard. He is into hydroponics. He said it is good money. He could teach us everything we needed to know to start an underground business.  He was interested in setting us up. I then imagined the neighborhood surrounded by police and then being taken away in handcuffs.  This I can say, with all honesty, did not happen.

Maybe this fallout shelter is only a place where I meditate and become inspired. I am in the process of writing a murder mystery story about the bodies found down there just recently. The detective, the femme fatale and innocent victims are included in this story. The bomb shelter is the perfect focal point of this modern-day noir thriller, The Bomb Shelter Mystery.

Our bomb shelter can be anything we want it to be. Maybe we have tried all the above and maybe not. Someone told us to put a big metal brace on the white metal door and lock it tight so no one can get in. We do not have tornadoes in California, so it will not serve as a shelter for a protection against such a storm.

I watch the cats rest above the shelter at night before prowling the yard for food or play. At times I witness a praying mantis rest on the jagged concrete that is under the lemon tree. A black widow sometimes makes a web near the opening of the white metal door. This autumn it will become covered with leaves that will be racked away.This bomb shelter never withstood an atomic fallout or War of the Worlds. I hope it never will!

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, and dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

Edgar Allan Poe

Two stories about three cats Huckleberry, Buzz and Mikey and two friends Joy and HUD…

Rosey, Buzz and Hud


The 1980s:

Cats are a part of my life. They always have been and always will be. This is a short story about Buzz the grey feral cat. He is surrounded with a cloud of mystery and synchronicity.  I do not know what became of him. I trust that my ex-husband and staff took good care of him after I left.  Buzz was last visited at my ex-husband’s house about 22 years ago.  As noted in the image above. At this time Buzz did not accept me anymore and so I let him stay.  Cats are transitory little beings. Domesticated cats are 10 % wild and 80 % domesticated. Buzz was 90 % wild and 10 % domesticated.  He grew up to be a hide & seek cat. He was not social with humans. In the mid-1980s, he was my cat and came to me only. I was about  80 % wild and only 20 % domesticated. Buzz and I had a lot in common.  So, the story goes…

Once upon a time there was a highly intelligent cat name Sir Huckle Berry Finish Raoolish Maximus.  We called him Huckleberry or Huck for short. He was a gift from our photographer friend named O who hung out with the punk band M.I.A. Huck was a grey American short hair. We loved him.

One night we had a party at the house. I left to go get some more party supplies. Huck got out and followed me. On the way back I saw him lying in the street near my home.  It was a hit and run. We took him to our veterinarian. They did all they could do to save his life. He passed away. This was an incredibly sad time for me.

I watched a series on Nick at Nite Nickelodeon called Route 66.  The original TV series was aired in the 1960s. The main characters Tod and Buzz traveled the land in their Corvette sports car. One day at the local thrift store after the death of Huck I found a vinyl LP called George Maharis Sings. On his album George sings Moon River. The song Moon River is the song that inspired me to name this cat Huckleberry. I did not know that George Maharis sang this song, but he did play the character Buzz on the series Route 66.  I felt captivated by Huck when I found the LP. I listened to the song over and over and cried. I missed my Huckleberry! I did not know it then, but two cats and a song were about to make my life come together in a remarkably interesting way.

“Two drifters, off to see the world.

There’s such a lot of world to see.

We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend.

My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me.”

The same day I found this LP I later took a walk and noticed across the street some kittens and their mama sunning their bodies. I thought this was cute. Then I noticed that it was right across the street from where Huckleberry was hit. With my eagle eyes I focused in on a little grey cat. This kitten looked just like Huck. I was amazed. All this coincidence hit me hard it had to mean something.

What could all this mean? The record with Buzz signing Moon River, the place where Huck died, and the little grey cat across the street, all came together through the process of synchronicity.  I then planned. The next two weeks I studied the mama cat and her kittens. I saw a pattern. They lived under an older house on the street. They only came out at certain times for a sun bath, sleep, and play. The kittens always stayed awfully close to their mama.

I then made my move while the feral cats were sleeping out in the sun. I walked down the street, crossed, and slowly approached the cats. I quickly grabbed the little grey kitten and made a run for it. That mama was on my tail for three blocks. She yelled like a wild animal. She clawed and bit my feet and ankles. Then she gave up. I do not blame her, but her wild little grey kitten was mine now!!

It took some time, but the grey kitten learned to love his new home. We took good care of him. The other cats became his family. I named him Buzz or sometimes Buzweld when he was bad, which was not very often.


Image by Joy of Huckleberry a Flipside Cat.

She was known to dance with us round the wild circle in our living room at Halloween parties, and we did the same at her Otis College dorm.

I think it was 1985 when I first met Joy. She was at a rather small punk gathering. She had a camera and awfully long hair. Hanging at the punk scene is always a great way to meet other punkers. We talked and grew to enjoy her company.  I remember the gifts she gave me. One was a blue masque she made in art class with blue feathers. Very Mardi Gras !

“I made this for you Hud!

“Oh, OK!?”

 I really did not know what to do with it. I was embarrassed. I took it and kept it for many years. Another gift she gave me a few years later, that I still have, is an image of a flying Ostrich with an Asian/ Indian woman riding it. It is a large art piece that I have framed. It now hangs in my bedroom. I enjoy it immensely. It is an encaustic painting on a silk material. I guess these gifts were her way of wooing our friendship into existence. It seemed to work. Joy worked her way into the Flipside house and became a punk woman of integrity. Her art, shit work and journeys with us to gigs amplified the Flipside crew experience and we all enjoyed her presence.

We met her while she was attending High-School, and then she went onto Otis College of Art and Design of Los Angeles, and then to the prestigious Art Center College of Design of Pasadena. Yes, she grew up right in front of us developing skills I can’t even imagine.

I did not ask her about her family, but she told us stories. She volunteered her time with us, so I figured if she attended college her expenses were all paid for. She was not the struggling artist and she was not guilty or shy. One story she shared with us is about the relationship between her parents and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her parents received yearly health-screenings because they moved to California after the war. My dad is a purple-heart veteran that served in WWII. He bombed Japan. Forty years of time and once known enemies are now friends.  Amazing!!

It was not easy making it into the ranks of the Flipside house. We had our tests. Joy passed them all and I am proud we were friends

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2021: We have a kitty now named Mikey. He is a short haired grey cat, and he reminds me so much of Huck… so I thought I would share this amazing story about three cats …. they are so much alike… yet uniquely a part of my life…. at different times… I am not so wild anymore … about 90 % domesticated and the rest wild… kind of like Mikey.

My writing on my Website…

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” ~ Emily Dickinson

 I am not a professional editor. I find that I do reread my postings and continually make corrections. When I first post my posts are based on the emotional inspiration that comes up. This is when I am likely losing all sight to imperfections and grammar and misspelling. Then I try to edit my writing as time goes on. My goal is to be as perfect as I can be. I know the truth about having work published in books, magazines and profession web sites. In these cases all work gets edited many times by many editors. I respect their discipline. Editing is not my forte but writing a good story is. I try to catch an image or archetype and then write it into being.  I know this may sound simplistic but I will write it just the same.  Once while watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, Pa tells Laura about writing,

“There are those educated at the best universities, these are the ones we learn to respect. There are those that learn by nature, these are the ones we learn to love.”

My writing is somewhere between the two. I am not too interested in being respected. Being loved is much more fulfilling to me.  Yet, I am not too sure on how homogenous the two go together in this world of ours. I am always open to suggestions or editorial insights.  Maybe I will not agree but I will think about it. I also know that Emily Dickinson gave her editor a hard time… aren’t you glad she did !!!

 

Lynn

The smoke filled her brown VW bug from her little pipe. It was something I never tried before. We then entered the theater to go see the 1977 horror thriller Suspira.
“Come on Holly you will love it. It is the scariest movie you will ever see.”
“Lynn where am I?”

Lynn is here. At the front door of my parents home. 1977

Lynn’s house is between the 6th and 7th hole of the local Golf course. It is a private golf course but this did not stop the kids from playing on it. We lived in the San Fernado Valley were we played football, baseball, and golf every day. Saturday and Sundays, we sold Lemonade. I experienced many years as a child growing up with my friend Lynn. I lived a mile up the hill from her. I think the best times together were when we were adolescents. We did not see each other much as teenagers but Lynn did drive us to school in her brown VW Bug. We would often listen to the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on the car radio.

As we grew older Lynn became competitive for men, friends, and drugs. She came between many of my new friends. She would hang out with the bullies at school sometimes as well. She had an exotic look about her. The long dark hair and dark skin made guys like her. This was extremely irritating to other girls. Yet, we were very close as kids and we played with the flowers and walked home from school together on rainy days. Then there were the foggy mornings when we could not see two feet in front of us. The smell of eucalyptus trees scented our stories as we searched through the morning. Life was so easy then. All we had to do was to get to school on time. I wonder how we did this while telling scary stories on the way to fourth grade.

One scary thing we liked to do was have our fortunes told by the Ouija board. We asked it everything. We knew when we were to be married, how many children we would have, and when we would die. The Ouija board even materialized a dog. My family once had a dog name Peepers. She died a few years earlier. She was a red collie. One day while playing with the Ouija board our hands held tight on top of the planchette, the indicator below slowly spelled out Peepers on the Ouija Board. Lynn and I were spooked about this. We never contacted a person or animal that died. Later, I walked home from Lynn’s house to mine. It was just getting dark so I ran most of the way. To play it safe I sometimes would jump from the street and roll-down the hill if I heard a car coming. No cars passed as I walked home. Instead, I saw a red collie. She looked very like Peepers. She licked my hand and followed me home. I felt safe with her. She was sweet. When I arrived at the back door of my house my mother let me in.

“Holly, whose dog?”

“I don’t know Mom; doesn’t she look like Peepers?”

My mom tried to shoo her away. I went and got a bowl of water and put it outside. I looked at that dog from the window all night. The red collie was gone by morning never to be seen again.

The funniest dog adventure Lynn and I had been when a pet bulldog escaped form a neighbor’s home. We were eight or ten years old. The hills around our neighborhood were open and there were lots of trees to climb and dirt hills to dig in. We happened to be digging in the dirt when a pet bulldog came at us. Lynn and I ran away from it. I fell to the ground on a big dirt hill. Lynn pulled me up and went underneath me. I pulled her up and went underneath her. We did this as we were screaming and grabbing at each other and hitting each other. The dog was racing towards us and barking. I guess it would have been something to see at a distance. Years after this event, even when times get rough between us, this story always made us laugh. I can still see Lynn screaming and running away from the bulldog. She passed away a few years ago before her 50th birthday but this story still brings good cheer to me.

Lynn and I irritated our older brothers. They build go-carts that were so cool. We followed our brothers everywhere with their go-carts. One day they took the go-carts up to the hill we kids called big-bruiser, which is the biggest hill that all the boys dared each other on. Lynn’s brother Mark and my brother Gus would not even acknowledge we were there because they knew we wanted to drive their go-carts down the hill. They kept saying no.

“Come on Mark…just one ride down big bruiser” Lynn said. “Yes, Gus you both got to let us ride them!!” I said.

We must have watched our brothers go down big bruiser fifty times. Then I guess they got tired and let us ride the go-carts. We were only half-way up the hill when we started out.

“Ready set Go!” They yelled.

Bang and roll and it was over. Lynn and I wiped out. It only took a few minutes but our blood was everywhere. Lynn and I went home crying. We totaled their go-charts. That was the end of it. Gus and Mark did not talk to us for weeks.

The magic and mystery I felt growing up with Lynn is still with me. Autumn is her favorite time of year. I think Lynn lived her life exactly the way she wanted to. She always was joking with me even at eight years old.

“Here Holly try this. Put your noise up to it and smell it.”

“Cough, choke… what is this Lynn?”

“Ginger Ale.” She said.

Lets See Your Homework or Mama forgets a lot these days.

We passed Bobs Big Boy several times on the way to school. I looked over and his eyes got bigger as we passed by.

“OK Shane we will go before the four-day Labor Day weekend.  We will make it this Thursday!”

He gave me back  his love look and meowed like a kitty.

We did  go yesterday on a Thursday. It was good. At 54 Boys Big Boy is unique  in this part of town. I did not even know this one was here.  Later, The night came on and my husband Jay and older son JF were now home.

“Let’s see your homework,” said JF to Shane.

“Tomorrow in the first day of a four-day weekend. I do not have to do it,” said Shane. ”

Then it got rather noisy in the house. The debate being that maybe the following weekend is the four-day holiday. All eyes turned to me. As a mama I often get blamed for these things.

“I am sure the message on the phone said this weened?”  I said nervously.

“So Shane, you have  homework, ” said Jf.  “Yes I do and a test to study for.”

The house broke out into a debate once more.

I silently went to the computer, sat down in the chair, and put on my earphones.  Then I thought to myself.

“This damn perimenopause….!”

 

Standing On Guard ?

“Come here Mr Po Po it is time for a bath!”  His big blue eyes gazed into mine.

“Yes beautiful Himalayan cat, yes people smart cat. Papa and Shayne say you smell bad!”

My son named the cat after a Aminma cartoon character from Dragon Ball Z.

I put warm water, Mr Po Po and soap into the bath tub. I closed the shower door, except for a wee bit of room for me to do my scrubbing.

The wet cat did not  meow or scream.

“Soak your feet white kitty” I said.

He trusted me until the bath ended. I picked Mr Po Po up and wrapped him in a towel.  Mr Po Po went outside to dry.
Outside the water sprinkled everywhere in all directions as his pink tongue came out and the sunshine came down.

Standing on guard Mr Po Po’s comrades Mr Flash, Miss Football and Miss Dudea did not say a meow.

(OK this is harder than it seems…)

She Is Wearing A Gold Head-Piece

The wind held one wisp of hopeful autumn in the 100 degree weather we were having. It was a late Sunday morning. Son was already on the computer watching Star Wars. I felt uneasy about this as I put the dishes away. I made up some coffee.
“Mom, come here!”
I just sat down with my coffee and was talking to my sister on the phone and did not want to get up.
“Mom, there is someone sitting on the white chair in front of the house? He said nervously. “They are smoking?”
I looked out the beige blinds and saw someone. I saw a person with a dark hoodie over their head smoking a cigarette. It was very strange. I was not familiar with what I was seeing.
I told sister I had to go while thinking to myself, “maybe I am seeing a gangster?”
I dialed 911,
“We will have a police officer drive by. Please do not make contact with this person. Dial 911 if they come up and jiggle the door.”
“But…I am feeling threatened!” I said with a nervous voice.
Son and I waited about a half hour as this person slowly smoked their cigarette. Then something strange began to happen. The gangster was not wearing shoes. I saw sandals. I looked closer and then I saw purple pants.
“Mom I think it is an older women smoking in the chair!” I then replied,
“Yes, it looks like an older woman with a hoodie over her head. Maybe I should go out and talk to her?”
“No!” son said. “She may have a knife or something, just wait until the cops get here.”
I then told older son who was sleeping in bed. He did not break his sleep for a moment, but to say,
“A strange woman is sitting in the front yard…”
“Mom she is leaving.”
Son and I got ready to hop into the car to follow her and see where she was going. Before I got into the car I looked up the street and could see that it was a woman indeed. She was wearing a dress as well and she walked slowly. She was now at the end of the street and I could only make out her silhouette. I then son,
“Let’s head down Main Street and then turn right and see if she is walking back to the retirement home for the elderly. I see many of these folks take walks past our house.”
“Mom, maybe she went down the alley before Main Street?”
We drove a circle around the neighborhood and up and down all the streets. The woman was gone. Son and I wondered. How could a slow-moving woman disappear so quickly? The cops arrived later. We told them the whole story.
“Maybe someone is looking for her. Maybe she is an old woman with dementia, lost?” I said.
The cops said they would drive around and look out for her.
Now, as son and I think it over, we realize that I was a bit foolish to call the cops. What is the danger of an old woman sitting in a chair enjoying a cigarette?
“When she took her hoodie from her head she was wearing a gold head-piece, maybe like a scarf,” said son.
The only thing that now remains of the mystery lady is the cigarette- butt below the white chair. I kicked the butt aside into the green lawn because the desire to smoke one myself still pulls at me. I had a feeling as if seeing a wild thing. Sometimes wild ducks come and swim in our pool and now and then we see coyotes, possums and raccoons. Maybe she was a wild crone?

 

Yes, Someone Keeps Leaving Flowers On My Front Doorsteps

Flowers by Hudley

It was my true days of independent living on the east coast where I learned to be truly responsible for others besides myself. I was alone living in the maid’s room converted into an apartment of a four-story lovely old Victorian house. 1990.


“Can I buy you another coffee?” I said to the man I called Desperado.

Walking to work I often saw Desperado. He also shared a room at the Victorian house.  He hung out at the local coffee shop otherwise he hit the booze.  He symbolized the furthest I have been away from California dreaming. That song synchronized embarrassment every time it played on the radio,

“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey. I have been for a walk on a winter’s day. I’d be safe and warm if I were in LA, California dreaming on such a winter’s day”

Rochester New York is humid-hot-thunder storms in the summer and freezing in the winter.  Walking through tunnels made of snow made me shiver; sometimes the two native American chiefs were lying on the street. One evening they recited Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.  Broken bottles framed around them as they shouted,

“Vainly I had sought to borrow,

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore.”

Then they chanted together,

“We went to the best colleges in the country!”

They made me laugh.

I just listened and observed that autumn and winter. The only time my eyes lit-up is when I went to the local bar. One, two, three, four shots turned upside down. It was not to set me up for a quick date. It was a friendly gesture of east coast drunks.  I felt safe here where the men danced together.

My white nurse outfit and nurse shoes took me to the untouchables of the city. I was not cared about, so I tried to care about others, those that were almost dead to the world.

One late evening while walking back to my apartment from work, a New York detective greeted me. The neighborhood was blocked off with yellow tape.

“Nurse could you step over here I need to talk to you?”

“I am not a nurse.  I work at the local Visiting Nurses Association as a Home Health Aide.” He then asked where I lived, and I told him.

“Miss, a woman was murdered across from your home. Have you noticed anything unusual over the last few days?”

“Yes, someone keeps leaving flowers on my front doorsteps.”

He smiled, but Mr. Detective did not seem interested and then said quickly,

“A body was dumped in the large trash dumpster across from where you are now living… we need you to call this number if you see anything unusual.” He handed me his card.

I was screaming in my head as my heart raced. Thinking to myself,

“That dark alley…  the one I walk pass almost every night?”

I had enough of those Serial killers on the west coast. Did they have to follow me here as well? I was not so far away from home as I imagined.

Darkness is everywhere.


Meat for the Giants

“Mom, read me a story tonight.”

“Well OK, I will read you a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.”

I opened the book to wherever the giant book of fairy tales would take me. I just  happened to open the book to Ferdinand the Faithful. I sat underneath the white metal bunk bed on the red futon and began to read the story to my son.

Of course my head was racing with thoughts while reading the story to him. Tomorrow is going to be my son’s first day in middle school.

This was as strange to me as the fairy tale I was reading. Here there are talking fish and talking white horses with magic pens and keys to open up a castle standing on a heath. A heath what is that? Oh yes, a tract of open and uncultivated land.

That is what I was feeling, uncultivated land? My eleven year old is going to make a new start away from me on a new adventure, and unless I find an invisible cloak tonight to follow him, I must let him go on his journey … alone.

I am hopeful because Ferdinand made friends and they helped him along his adventure while riding his white horse. He even outsmarted  the bully Ferdinand the Unfaithful.

Life is like a fairy tale. I have taught my son much of what he needs to know about life. The story helps too, it  even eased the tension in me and  helped my son go to sleep.

 If he is honest,  helpful and strong my son will have meat for the giants and bread for the birds. He will have a flute to call the fish for help.

“He, however always rode on his white horse, and once when he was seated on it, it told him that he was to go on to the heath which he knew and gallop three-times round it. And when he had done that, the white horse stood up on its hind legs, and was changed into a King’s son.”

~ Ferdinand the Faithful, Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales. Fall River Press

A Lark down Hollywood Blvd with Marilyn Monroe

I wanted to be treated as a human being who had earned a few rights since her orphanage days. ~ Marilyn Monroe 

Ruth took this picture. Holly with Flowers.

The Crusstos moved into my neighborhood when I was twelve. This meant saying goodbye to my best friend Wayneo who left the same house they moved in to… I was sad.  The neighborhood parents talked about the new neighbors John and Ruth.

Ruth had beautiful red henna hair and a slim figure which she always showed off. I heard she once was a dancer in Las Vegas. I did not always listen to her stories. I wish I could go back now and listen more intently. I do remember what she told me about Marilyn Monroe.

Ruth also came from a troubled past. She met Marilyn when they were living at a boarding house for young girls without families.

“Norma was her name then.” Ruth said.

“You knew an actress like her?”

“Norma always was a little dramatic with her gestures…she was not an actress then…we were just a couple of teenagers who liked going out on a lark.”

“What do you mean?”

“Norma and I would often break out at night and walk Hollywood Blvd and have so much fun together.”  Then Ruth said, “She was a wild girl, that Norma.”

Looking at Ruth she still had a wildness about her.  She pronounced her words very clearly and often made comments to me on how to pronounce words properly.  One thing I knew about her, that I found very strange, is that she did not wear underwear under her dresses or pants.  The neighbor parents talked!

John Crussto was a Fire Chief at the local fire-station. Ruth was a waitress at a local steakhouse on Ventura Blvd. I often saw Ruth drink her liquor straight up.

Ruth taught me how to put on mascara.  It was vintage Maybelline mascara in a little red box.  She carefully showed me  by holding a little black mascara comb with a generous supply of maschera up to her eyelashes. Then she let the eyelashes do the work by blinking. The blinking put a generous supply of makeup on her eyelashes

There was always music playing on the stereo at the Crusstos. Frank Sinatra’s hit song “Tramp” was her favorite song.

Looking back I am amazed that at fifty Ruth could still kick her leg up as high as a girl in a chorus line, just be careful where you were looking.

fin