Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Nickel Sandwich

No, I did not mean a "knuckle sandwich," I meant a nickle sandwich. I drove Ned home from the Bay Area this afternoon and we plugged in his new iPod. He serenaded me with lots of Judy Garland and then he played a few other things, including the Kingston Trio's "MTA." Every time I hear that song I keep asking myself, if Charlie's wife could go down to the Scollay Square station every day at quarter past 2 to hand Charlie a sandwich through the window as the train came rumblin' through, couldn't she have dropped a nickle in the bag so Charlie could have gotten off the damn train?

Just wondering....

We were all in the Bay Area to bury grandma again. While we had the formal memorial service in Santa Barbara, where she died, the final resting place for her ashes was going to be in the crypt in Kensington (near Berkeley) where her husband was buried in 1955. Since there was no great rush to bury Grandma, it took six months to get it arranged, but it all took place today...and I think Alice would have been very pleased, as I'm sure she would have been pleased at how her memorial service was handled.

Unlike the previous memorial service, this one was very small and very private. Attendees were just the family (Ned represented the kids, since Tom is home with the new baby and Jeri is 3,000 miles away). Also attending were Mike & Char, and Alice Nan's roommate of 40 years ago, along with her husband).

Walt and I were last at the mausoleum after our wedding reception, on the way to our honeymoon. Norm, and possibly Alice Nan hadn't been there since their father's funeral. Ned, of course, had never been there.

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The new look on the crypt face was on the floor waiting to be reinstalled.

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The musicians ran through some music before we got started.

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Alice always had M&Ms around her house, so they brought a big bag to eat while we told Alice stories.

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(that's a LOT for 9 people!)

We sat around telling Alice stories and laughing. It was very upbeat...kind of, Ned and I decided, like a planned Hour Baur!

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Then there was music. Alice Nan started taking ukelele lessons before her mother died and she had learned how to play a few songs, which we all sang. It was perfect, for their Hawaiian history.

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When we had finished our "hour Baur," a rep from the mortuary came and loaded Alice's ashes into the crypt. Before they placed the bag with the urn in it into the crypt, everyone took a few M&Ms from the huge bowl and added that to the bag. It just seemed right. Ned played "Amazing Grace" on the ukelele (while singing the words to the Gilligan's Island theme under his breath!)

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When it was all over, we packed up the rest of the M&Ms and headed off to Spengers Fish restaurant in Berkeley, where I had...what else?...a delicious Dungeness crab salad.

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Walt's long hours getting the floor ready for the new Pergo over this past week, along with a tall frosty Guinness, began to show.

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All in all, it was a good day, mostly filled with happy memories, and the reuniting of Alice with her husband, after 56 years.


phonelady said...

Im so glad it was okay for you all and hope Walt gets some rest after that floor is done . I hope the floor goes well dear .

jon said...

A honeymoon at a mausoleum. I would not have thought of that. I am more the sleasy motel type of guy.

Walter does think outside the box,....I think.

Harriet said...

You listened to the Kingston Trio just as I did; I always thought that if Charley's wife handed him a $10 bill, it would pay his whole tab.

That was a fitting memorial -- so appropriate to the woman you've described. I would bet she loved it, especially the M&M's.