08 May 2007

Seven Things

I encountered one of these "Seven Things" posts on somebody's topic-oriented blog a few months ago and thought "weird; why's this guy talking about himself all of a sudden?" Now I know; Terry tagged me, which means I'm it, and I get to post seven random but revelatory and perhaps entertaining things about myself. Forgive me if any of this is old news to you:

1. I used to dance on American Bandstand. I'd take the subway downtown after school, and the El to the WFIL studio at 46th and Market in west Philly. When Dick Clark was going to be out of town, we recorded several shows in advance, usually on a Saturday (I don't recall Bandstand ever having a substitute host). The girls always brought a variety of outfits, or at least a change of tops, so that, when the individual programs aired, it didn't look like they were wearing the same thing, heaven forbid, all week. The second photo is of me and Bobby Rydell at the autograph-signing station on the Bandstand set. I carried this picture in my wallet for years; you can see the creases. That sweater was multicolored and, in retrospect, deeply hideous, as was my hair at the time.

2. I have a tattoo in roughly the same place that George Schultz, Reagan's Secretary of State, is reputed to have one. I got it for my 40th birthday, at Lyle Tuttle's studio in San Francisco. The subject matter is similar to George's, too. His is a Princeton tiger; mine is a generic housecat that actually looks a bit like Stella Luna.

3. In college, I wrote my Honors English thesis on Samuel Beckett's novels. Not the plays, like Waiting for Godot, for which he's known. Nobody but English lit majors reads Beckett's novels. For the record, and from memory, they are: Murphy, Watt, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable, and How It Is.

4. I went to an all-girls high school and was part of a smartass cohort that a gym teacher dubbed "the rotten 10%." Of course we proudly adopted that as our name. It was more like 40%. I'm still a member; perhaps you are, too.

5. The only time I ever cut school all day -- as opposed to just a class now and then -- was to stand in line when Beatles tickets (Philadelphia, 1964) went on sale. This photo isn't from that era, but from about 5 years later, when I first moved to Berkeley. It's taken near Isadora Duncan's Temple of the Winds. I think of this as my Joni Mitchell era. At 118 lbs., I was willowy; I had cheekbones. I made the striped pants, and the jacket is the suede one I appropriated from my mom and eventually sewed into her Celebration of Life quilt.

6. My mother left Germany in 1933, when she was 17, lived with relatives in Chicago and graduated from high school there. My grandmother Rosi emigrated the following year. They were lucky to get out when they did. Mom met Dad on a blind date; after they were married, she had Granny dye her velvet wedding dress -- it was a December wedding -- royal blue so she could wear it on other occasions. I have it now. Last time I tried it on it fit, though I haven't worn it anywhere; it's hard to come up with an appropriate occasion in Portland. Incidentally, Granny was a dressmaker and made both Mom's wedding dress and mine for my first wedding. Here's Mom and Dad, visiting California in April 1982.

7. Speaking of which, I've been married three times. So has Jerry. That makes five marriages between us. Third time's the charm. It seems to be working so far; April 17th was our 25th anniversary.

Okay, that was the easy part. Now to come up with seven blogging friends who haven't already been tagged and whom I know well enough to torment...


kcatmull said...

wow that is all fascinating! and you were adorable in your American Bandstand gear.

I like Beckett's novels by the way, especially Watt, though it's been years since I read them. I used to have a quote from that book stuck on my wall, and I got to use it in an article a few months ago: ""Too fearful to assume himself the onus of decision, said Mr Hackett, he refers it to the frigid machinery of time-space relation." I don't know why but that always makes me laugh. Watt c'est moi.


Gerrie said...

I loved this list. Congrats on 25 years with the adorable Jer!