Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Gorgeous George, Arthur Godfrey and My Grandmother

Recently there were some wrestling characters on television.  Something about one of them, maybe his flamboyance or mannerisms, reminded me of Gorgeous George.  A name or person I had not thought of in probably fifty years.

And, if you've got Gorgeous George on your mind, you've got to have Arthur Godfrey as well, as they both connect to my grandmother in the 50's, referred to as Nana.

In a past post on sewing scissors, I wrote about my mother's mother who was a beautiful designer and seamstress.  This post is about my Dad's mother.  Two women were never more different in this life.

My grandmother who was the seamstress was tiny and petite.  You can see by the photo below that my Dad's mother was neither of those things.  She was a force to be reckoned with at all times.  My grandfather did not even try!  In his own loving, quiet way though, he did win once in a while!  More on that farther down the page...........


In the early to mid 1950's my father, mother, myself and my little brother Bill, lived with these grandparents while our new house was being built in Chicago.  The memories I have still make me smile.  So many, but there are two that really stand out.

When my grandmother ironed, she had a dish of radishes at the end of the ironing board to munch on and the radio turned on to Arthur Godfrey.  This was his mid-morning show.  We knew not to go into the kitchen and interrupt her.  It was HER time!  She talked back to him, nodded her head or shook her head and laughed at him.  It was like her best friend was in the room.  We marveled from the doorway..........and never commented about it to her.

It was the heyday of Arthur Godfrey and if I'm not mistaken he was on multiple times on many shows, so back then he was THE friend of all.  Quite a lot of information about him and his leading edge radio and TV shows back in the early days.

Then enter Gorgeous George.  Now my grandmother was pretty much a sedate person, except when ironing.......and except when wrestling was on the little TV in their TV room which was probably 8 x 8.

Astonished could hardly describe my reaction when at the age of 10, I heard my grandmother hollering and yelling at the TV screen as Gorgeous George headed to the ring.  It was not the person I had known for ten years of my life.  This was a whole other person.   Now it makes me laugh because I remember that back in the day when I loved to watch college football, I too, would yell at the TV screen.

It is interesting how things come full circle as it appears that wrestling has had a major resurgence and of course, we all have those talk shows now, on TV and I suppose on radio, that people listen to or watch regularly.  My grandmother was just part of the first Golden Age...........

I don't know what "age" this is, but those same things evidently still occur.

It was amazing to go on the internet and read about Gorgeous George and Arthur Godfrey.  They both were ahead of their times.  Their accomplishments were many along with the fact that many of the people in their fields were influenced by their methodology and character.

Indeed, I too was influenced by my grandmother who was stoic, kind and lived a full and joyful life.  She loved the above, but she also raised cacti, violets and had parakeets.  As you can imagine, those three things are lovely in and of themselves, but should not be put together.

Well, my grandfather took great, great pleasure in letting the parakeets out of their cages every time my grandmother left the house to go play bridge!  She would say (and I can hear it), "Edward, whatever you do, don't let the parakeets out because they get in my violets!"  Wham, the door would close and before she could get out to Giddings St. in Chicago, those parakeets were having a field day - in the violets. 

I was always in bed and asleep by the time she came home, so I have no idea what the repercussions were of those escapades.  I can only imagine.

That summer that we lived with my grandparents several other things happened that I still remember clearly.
Eisenhower running for President.  My first political convention to see on TV.  My little brother got bitten by a dog that was never caught and had to have rabies shots.  AND, the big AND, I discovered how babies
came about.  I remember walking around the house looking at my grandparents and parents and thinking,
"They did THAT four times!"  Ahhhh, the innocence of youth.

All of this causes me to pause and reflect as to what will be the memories that my seven grandchildren will have of me.  What will be their impression of the life I've lead? What will be their favorite memory?  Of course I hope they will remember me with a smile and lots of fun memories.  Of times of snuggling or being at the beach or playing baseball together.  Whatever.  I certainly treasure my memories. 

What about you?  What are your favorite memories of your grandparents?








13 comments:

Kathy Truckenbrod said...

Thanks for posting this! Would love to hear more stories of your parents and grandparents!
Your niece-in-law, Kathy Truckenbrod

Babs said...

Thanks for posting Kathy! I HOPE to be in Illinois this summer to see Marilyn and Don and everyone else. It has been way too long since I was last there. Hope to see you then. AND, the stories will flow.

crynoutloud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
living.boondockingmexico said...

Excellent blog post! Makes us all take a minute to think back about life and how things were and how they are. The "how they are" will be someone else's past.

Babs said...

Great point Chris! Loved writing this. I chuckled as I wrote it. Could have reminisced with more funny stories, but did not want to bore people. Thanks for commenting.

Dan in NC said...

My favorite memory?
Taking my Mom to a roller derby game In the Valley, and realizizing this small, welsh lady was Genhis Kahan in a moo-moo!! Watching the Tbirds, take on their opponents, with this lady? Screaming for them to crush their opponent, was truly an eye opening experience in my early life! Somehow, seeing your mom turn into Xina the Warrior Princess, with a blood lust fired by vehement loathing of any team that opposed her beloved T-Birds, was really character building for a young fella.... Actually a fun memory of your sweet, living, Mum Turing into a raving Looney! That, and her reaction to meeting Sgt. Slaughter here on a visit to NC - priceless!!!

Babs said...

Oh Dan! What a great memory. Made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing.......

Adi Kurnaedi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve Cotton said...

Your grandmother reminds me of my mother's mother. She was also a large woman, but very soft-spoken. Except on one matter. My grandfather had a gambling problem. One day she had had enough. So, she headed down to the card room, stepped inside, methodically pulled a revolver out of her purse, and pointed it at the men at the table. "If any of you ever let Bruce sit down at this table again, I will shoot every last one of you." She then turned and walked out. My grandfather did not gamble at that table ever again.

I do not know how true the story is, but I can easily imagine her doing it. It is too bad these two women could not have met.

Babs said...

Oh my gosh Steve! That certainly got their attention, woo hoo. Hopefully your grandfather did not gamble at any table........thanks for sharing.

Mountain Woman Arts said...

Many an afternoon as a little girl I'd sit with my grandmother watching Arthur Godfrey, Liberace and Art Linkletter's House Party. Thanks for reminding me :-)

Babs said...

Oh yes, Mountain Woman Arts, I had forgotten about Art Linkletter! Loved him all the years that he was on TV. Thanks for sharing........

Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.