Murdo Girl…Strike up the band and tidy up

In just a few weeks, the Little Murdo Girl will have her 12th birthday. She has another year before the teenage fairy comes and takes her brains away. Some don’t get their brains back until they’re 21 or 22. I’m just here to keep her on track with her writing goals. I’ m an observer, just as you are. I’m often surprised by what happens in her life.

As her Mother always says, “We shall see, what we shall see.”


Well, Mom and I aren’t getting along very good right now. I told her that I wrote about Grandpa Sanderson not liking Democrats and Catholics. She said, “Mary Constance Francis, I did not say he didn’t like them. I said he has no use for them.” I should have written that in capital letters, because she was sort of yelling. I still like my President Kennedy picture, and I’m working on the scrapbook.

On the days we have high school basketball games, I have to get right home, so I can eat supper and get my saxophone and myself to the game. In the auditorium, there is a crow’s nest above the stage. That’s where the band plays. I don’t know who thought up the plan when they built the auditorium, but it was a good idea. The best part is, Mr. Palmer says only band members can go up there, and it’s a great place to watch the game from.

The Murdo Auditorium

My cousin Mark and I both play the saxophone. We didn’t really think it through when we chose our instruments, because those horns are heavy! If I had it to do over again, I’d probably pick the clarinet or the flute. Now that we live by the Motel, it’s really a long way to carry my heavy horn. I even got blisters on my hands at first. Mark and I are both first chair in the band. Mr. Palmer switches us back and forth. Sometimes I’m 1st, first chair and Mark’s 2nd, first chair. It depends on who gets caught acting up. We elbow each other, and the one in 1st, first chair can deliver a bigger blow, because the saxophone isn’t in the way. Mark’s pretty funny, so between missing some days because I’m sick, and laughing, I’m usually in 2nd first chair, so I end up with more elbow bruises.

Mark and I at different times in our lives

Mark always beats me on attendance, because he hasn’t missed a day of school…Ever! He even came to school with the mumps. Mom told me not to worry, because I already had the mumps. When I came down with the mumps on one side, she said, “Oh, I guess you only had them on one side.” The next day, I had mumps on the other side too. Then Mom said, “I guess it was your brother who had the mumps.” I have to give Mark credit, because I couldn’t go to school. The mumps hurt!

I got off the subject. The other night, I had to walk home with my horn, eat supper, change my clothes, and get to the game.

I walked into my room, and everything that was in the closet was on the floor, and all my dresser drawers were empty. The things I keep in my drawers, were dumped out on the bed. Mom was right behind me. When I turned around, I almost ran into her. She said, “You can’t go anywhere, until everything is nicely put away.” I wanted to cry, because there was no way, I was going to be able to do that, and get to the game on time. I mean, this was going to be such an infraction, I would probably be knocked down to second, 2nd chair. My life would be ruined. I could see all the years ahead of me affected.

Ann Landers
Ann Landers

Mom said, “I read in Ann Landers, that if after multiple times of telling your kid they have to clean their room, and those requests are ignored, you should rip everything off the hangers, and dump the contents of the drawers on the floor. You tell your son or daughter, they can’t leave the house until  everything is put away satisfactorily.”

“I said, “Does Ann Landers have any kids?”

Ugly Man
Ann Lander’s son Andy Landers

I must have looked pretty pitiful, because Mom said, “You can do it when you get home, but if you leave your room a mess like you did today, I won’t let you off the hook again.”

I wish Mom could have seen Billy’s room in California, where was miss smarty pants Ann Landers then?

I’ll probably be sorry tomorrow. That lady might not like my paper. I don’t have time to do it over, because I have to clean my room.


7 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Strike up the band and tidy up

  1. sanjuan831 April 23, 2016 / 12:07 am

    You and Mark had so much fun together! Every time I see the
    High school auditorium, I think of our Uncle Jerry building it. So proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Valerie Halla April 23, 2016 / 9:13 am

    We can sure find out. And your Dad did so many building’s plumbing and projects around the state also. We sure come from talented relatives! Wow!


  3. Teresa Palmer April 25, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    Loved the band stories-the crow’s nest was a wonderful place to enjoy the games! This was after they moved the band down on the stage. OMG. In those days when we smoked it was done in that little room of Marv’s! Open that door & the smoke hurdled out! So crazy! Thank goodness all changed including Marv & I both quitting. The first time I quit completely & he did for around 15 min. He did quit later!
    I also enjoyed the mumps-nasty things! Looked like a big swollen up chipmunk!
    Do so love these stories! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch April 25, 2016 / 7:18 pm

      I loved Mr. Palmer. He understood that I had a difficult time of it after Billy left. He knew his music too, and was a great teacher.


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