MG asked me to think up a few advantages to being 70ish.
First of all, have you ever done something embarrassing but then later you don’t really care? Like Lav stealing another dinner at the All School Reunion Luncheon and getting caught by Flash Winterbottom. She didn’t seem to care even when the Feds were onto her. Chalk it up to being 70ish. She got off Scott free.
Then you have to acknowledge older people lying about their age. Some people can’t stand being 70ish. MG even said she’s the new 40. Really? Older people often try to look younger. Imagine that. MG’s hair is dyed dark black. I think there’s more than just her hair that’s dark! She’s also in the dark because the other day she started writing a new song and did a video of herself singing in the dark! She even thought she could sing. So you can get away with lying when you’re old.
Also, when you get older you cannot multi task as well. Take our tour guide for example. He tried talking to his old friends at the special dinner for 1962 grads, smiling and joking! But he didn’t even help MG, Lav and Gus Wonderworthful at the next table when we all slipped and chairs, tables, food and drinks flew everywhere. He couldn’t talk and help us so he just announced to the hundreds of people in attendance that he didn’t know us.
He got away with it, too.
Getting old of course means creaky bones and aches and pains. Lots of physical ailments. Not easy getting older but at least with old age, like fine wine, we get better, wiser and more importantly forgetful. ~You mean wine helps us forget? I don’t know. I forget.~
Til we meet again whoever you are, just keep aging. It’s easy til it’s not.
Our tour group had to wake up at 6:00 am in order to get ready, pack up, and get breakfast in the lobby of Range Country. We had met some lovely friends, relatives and acquaintances there over the past three days. One gentleman always came there for breakfast but first he would stand for a minute and say, “It’s a beautiful day!”
Many others would chat about who they had seen at the school reunion and where did so and so used to live, who did his sister marry, why does that guy look familiar, where do you live now?
Mick Penticoff loved to strike up a conversation with anyone. He couldn’t see well so he’d ask nearby folks to get him some breakfast or help him get a seat at a table. Our group enjoyed talking with him and he is an old friend of Billy, our driver and guide. Mick didn’t watch TV, but he listened to it. He swore that the weather man on one station predicted today there will be high “humdidity” in the forecast. “I am sure he said that and then I heard him say it again!” Mick said.
Mick also relayed that a news reporter said many people who can’t afford houses now live in “condoms”. Mick was a kick. He could keep us entertained just telling us his life story.
People felt comfortable sitting in the rocking chairs and on the big sofa looking up at the high platforms and ceiling which displayed stuffed birds and all sorts of sadly hunted wildlife.
We were fortunate enough to have the three Lindquist Girls come by to visit our last evening in Murdo. Mary used to baby sit them and their Dad Dean had employed many young teenagers at his gas station over the years. The girls told stories, joked around and reminisced. A few more people joined us as the Ranch Rodeo in town wound down. We had about 10 people sitting in a circle chiming in and I guess things got too noisy because a motel employee came over and asked us to leave, we were too noisy, so we broke up our wonderful group. Karen said they only do that with rowdy rock bands not Murdo school reunion visitors! It was sad to say goodbye.
You could feel the magic was all coming to a close. I am sure everyone in our group was sad to say goodbye. But we will be back in 4 more years…if we’re able.
MG and Lav were honored to be invited as guests to Billy’s 60 year graduation class dinner…. on one condition: DO NOT EMBARRASS ANYONE ATTENDING THE SPECIAL DINNER. They knew meeting that #1 condition was no problem. How could they ever embarrass anyone!? Ridiculous.
MG and Lav decided they must look classy and chic first of all, so they coordinated their outfits to be both stylish and comfortable. Their hair and makeup must be perfect. MG styled her lovely, short-do in a curly style. She paired a queen-like dress with sparkly pink flats, (yes, flats). Her belt served also as a dog collar and leash in case any loose dogs wandered by. She donned a knitted cap because it was a bad hair night.
Lav wore her long hair straightened with one side swept up and back over one ear. She tried to highlight her best ear, the smaller one. Her dress was from a used second and third hand clothing store. It was a black long dress with short sleeves and mandarin collar with red flowers and butterfly designs. Lav liked butterflies. Butterflies are Free. She wore open toed glittery heels that glowed in the dark. Those could come in handy during a blackout.
After many half hour’s of getting ready, the ladies were ready to make their entrance as Billy dropped them off with Gus Wonderworthful. As they strolled into the gun club, no one looked up. No one snapped their picture. They glided over to an empty table. Bill on the other hand was greeted the minute he walked in. His old school friends escorted him to a special table for grads from 1962. A video loop of the stars from his class was featured up in front. MG and Lav sat at a table across the aisle from Bill so they could keep their eye on him.
MG decided to draw some attention to her cause and tried to nail her banner up on the main wall with Lav’s help, but Willy Wally Wonka who organized the dinner soon told MG to take it down. Bill glanced over at this point but kept talking to old athletes and pals. He seemed to look a bit embarrassed.
MG said to Lav, “Let’s mingle after we get our food. We need to recruit fans for the parade tomorrow! Maybe we can even make front page in the Coyote.”
Some young 4H kids then brought the dinners served on styrofoam plates. Lav was happy she hadn’t paid $35 for dinner and didn’t need to steal any extra helpings. Many people came by to chat with MG noting that she was lucky to have Billy for a brother. Willy Wally Wonka kept asking MG and Lav if they were having fun. “Ask us that tomorrow when we steal the show at the parade.” (Gus kinda frowned with a warning look to MG.)
“Ohh, you’re going to be in the big parade?” Wilma Winnie Wonka asked. “Yes, and we got a nice invitation from the gal in charge. Have you met her? MG asked, “She has one looong dark thick eyebrow?”
“Uh, no. I haven’t met her, “ Mrs. Wonka answered.
“You’d know her if you saw her,” MG said. “ Her eyebrow stands out.”
As the chocolate and vanilla cake was served, Lav took one piece of each. One piece fell on the floor. As one kid walked by, picking up plates, he slipped on the frosting, falling over. This caused chain reaction and several empty chairs fell over. One chair hit Lav and she fell over, breaking a heel of her glow in the dark shoes. MG tried to catch her but knocked the entire table over. Food flew into the air landing on Mr. and Mrs. Wonka. Luckily, it was mostly chocolate cake which they were used to from their factory days. The mess was huge. Everyone was staring.
MG and Lav decided to exit quickly trying not to draw anymore attention. They were both glad they hadn’t embarrassed Bill.
“Now what?” MG asked. “We can’t walk all the way into town. The heel is broken on one of your glow in the dark shoes and I have chocolate frosting in my teeth. We aren’t going to recruit fans or catch a ride looking like we do. We have to look and sound classy and stuff.”
“Yeah,” Lav said. “I know. I’ll break the heel off of my other shoe and you can just keep your mouth shut so your teeth don’t show.”
“That’s what I like about you, Lav. You’re a real problem solver. Let’s go. I’ll thumb a ride and you do all of the talking.”
And so, another day in the life of MG and Lav ends. Luckily a guy drove up and said, “Do you want some candy, girls?” Though their mother’s had always told them to never take candy from strangers, they decided to take a chance and they hopped in. In no time at all, they were back at the Chalet turned into the Range Country Lodge. And it wasn’t even dark yet.
“You’re in big trouble, Lav, with these G-Men,” ex top athlete Eddie whispered to Lav, taking her aside. “You stole an extra bbq meal in front of hundreds of people and even in front of a US Senator! The Lions members, Mr. Winterbottom and Duke Looney are witnesses as well. It’s lookin’ bad. I think we need MG here to help and use some of her ten dollar words.”
Lav looked depressed, “If you think so, Eddie. I’m not sure MG can afford ten dollar words, especially after the Deadwood trip. Those slot machines really hypnotized her.” Art Columbo and Smart Kojak, came closer. Mean, intimidating and menacing were words that came to mind as Lav and Eddie stared. And those words were free.
“We need you to come with us for questioning M’aam. Winterbottom and Duke haven’t filed charges. They might go easy on you. However, you can ride in the back with the Senator. First we have to drive by the Murdo/Odrum town sign though, so the Senator can stop by it. He likes to clean and polish it and see his reflection in the sign.”
Eddie looked surprised. “Really!?! So you won’t need my help? I can draw a complete sketch of the auditorium and even the backstage scene of the so called crime, if you like. I can also outline one of our big bb games we played here!”
Just then MG ran up to the stern, mean, intimidating, menacing… you get it…G-Men. “What are you doing to my Cousin?” she yelled.
Eddie blurted out, “They’re accusing Lav of stealing an extra meal she didn’t pay for, MG.” “What? Lav is my cousin and she is just trying to get her $35 worth. Granted, she is cheap, in more ways than one, but I can help her. I will pay the extra $35 meal ticket, plus I will throw in a copy of my latest book…autographed even. Please forgive her.”
As Art and Smart thought about this, the Senator quickly walked by them coming outside from the auditorium with his bottle of Windex and micro fiber rag in hand. “Let’s go, men. I am ready to go clean up the sign outside town,” he said. Officer Smart ran after him to the black SUV and opened the door for the Senator.
“So we’re all settled on the stolen meal then, Mr. Columbo?” MG asked.
“Well, okay. Mrs. Columbo would like me to look the other way in this case and besides, we can’t usurp Murdo PD’s jurisdiction. We’re clear here. Oh, wait. One more thing. Officer Braveheart sent you a message. He said to tell you he misses the Brickhouse gang, but he loves his promotion to top Secret Service adviser at another house. A white one. ”With that he was gone.”
Lav gave her cousin a big hug, Eddie shook hands with them. The good old friend (some guy named Ralph) texted Lav:
-come out to the Buffalo. Do you know what their special is? Let’s meet up. I want you to see this cool mug I won today.
We’re Art, Smart and Braveheart…or something like that. We’re going back to the big house…er we mean the white house…yeah, the white house…
What could top those adoring crowds at the School Reunion Parade? MG and Lav were about to find out. They entered the Harold Thune Auditorium just in time to get their meal ticket and check out the old school yearbooks and photos. MG kept asking if she’d won the $2 Mug in the silent auction but the gals behind the ticket desk kept saying, “Shhh, silence.”
Lav just wanted to eat and get her $35 worth of lunch so they moved inside and mingled. MG knew a lot of people so she struck up many conversations and asked people if they wanted her autograph. After hearing a “lunch is served” announcement over the loud speakers, Lav saw old people jockeying for position at the entrance to backstage where the food was ready. She used her pink tennis shoes to quickly maneuver in front of the line to get her pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw, chips and cold drink. The Lions were serving the multitudes and believe me, they weren’t in any hurry. Lav grabbed her food and sat down with some friendly old guys to eat. The food was delicious. When everyone was sharing their school memories and no one was looking, Lav went back and got in line and helped herself to another plate full of everything, rushing through the line and dodging the guy asking for a second meal ticket. The head Lion, a guy named Flash Winterbottom, in an official vest, confronted Lav. “M’aam, you are upsetting people in line and didn’t give my coworker, Duke Looney, your meal ticket. Our count will be all off!”
“What? I thought you said he was a Duke, not a Count!.” Lav told Winterbottom, as she gobbled down her second pulled pork sandwich.
“No, our number of paid meals will be messed up. The Lions rely on this as a strong fund raiser.” “It has raised a lot of fun. Excuse me Mister Winterbottom, but I need to find my cousin. She’s the famous MG. Maybe you caught the interview of her yesterday. Ohh, there she is, talking with the gal who has one thick dark eyebrow. Bye, Flash.”
It was so crowded, Winterbottom couldn’t get through all the people so Lav blended in with the many black and orange T-shirted folks. She really was sweaty but full. There was a short program given and then people started gradually leaving. A famous guy was at the edge of the crowd. Lav recognized him immediately from his TV clips and asked her young looking old friend, Ralph, to snap a picture with this famous Murdoite. (“This guy is almost as famous as MG,” someone in the group muttered.) MG was nowhere to be found. Even Eddie, her schoolmate, was looking for her.
Finally, there were only a few people left inside cleaning up and some familiar guys standing at attention outside. Lav was so hot, she ran out. The two guys walked over. She recognized them as Art and Smart from the Brickhouse days. “Excuse me, M’aam, I am Officer Art Columbo and this is my fellow officer, Smart Kojak with the secret service.” They flashed badges. “We have been informed that you fled the luncheon scene stealing food and not paying.”
“Secret Service? I guess it’s not a secret then if you’re telling me!” Lav retorted. “Guys, where’s Braveheart? What happened to him?”
Just them Eddie walked up. “Hey, what seems to be the trouble here? Maybe I can offer some assistance. I am an ex- top high school athlete and I know this auditorium inside and out. Just don’t interview me.Do you need a tour?”
– Uh oh. Next time: What will happen to Lav and where did MG go? Can Eddie help? Will Winterbottom and Duke Looney press charges? Do Art Columbo and Smart Kojak have jurisdiction in Murdo? And where is Officer Braveheart?
More importantly will MG ever learn if she won the mug in the silent auction? Stay tuned.
Disclaimer: For the protection of the innocent, the Triple E Drive in has entered into the witness protection program, hence the new name.
Pt 7: After the huge Murdo All School Reunion parade, MG took her cohorts to the Triple AEIOU and sometimes Y drive in. She wanted to thank the people who carried the Murdo Girl banner, the ones who sat in the back seat of the now famous Jag throwing candy to the crowds and to the most careful driver ever. (The driver had to avoid masses of people trying to approach the car. They wouldn’t even step back after we threw candy at their heads!)
Anyway, MG bought us all something after the parade, something more valuable than burgers and fries, more delicious than onion rings and cokes. She bought us all milkshakes- any size we wanted – any flavor we desired. (She quickly pointed out that she got a discount if we ordered size small and rhubarb flavor.) Lav said she was showering us with thank you gifts that MG bought with her Deadwood Casino winnings, so I knew she’d be very generous, with a capital G. After all, she had spent a small fortune on the candy we threw. This would be big, as in the size of her crown, which barely fit through the sunroof – BIG.
Then she had her picture taken with the “rhubarb shakes and sundaes” sign at the drive in and some of us joined in the photo op. We sure felt special and we were still flying high from memories of the parade and the yells and loud clapping as our group drove down Main Street with MG, except the magnificent banner people who walked. MG kept popping up through the roof of the car, a giant crown atop her giant…uhhh…beautiful head! What a generous, kind gal! I hope the Coyote can fit it all on one page.
Prince Ken: Who is that weird lady in the royal blue top walking around looking at the old wagons and doll displays? How did she get in here? Do they let just any commoner in here now?
Bride Barbie: I don’t know, but she is about as old as the antique wagons. Who is she fooling? No one said business casual on the invitation. She’s dressed in “old business swept under the rug casual”.
Barbie in blue and white gown: Right, how did they even let her In here? It’s by special invitation only. I could reach out and touch her or maybe push her! How can she dress like that and be out in public? Probably another sleezy tourist. We only allow Guests in here. Why didn’t someone tell her those pants are awful and faded in back? Besides this is a Royal Event. What an embarrassment.
Clueless LAV: (Thinking to herself.) Maybe I can crawl up into one of these wagons and hide. Yeah, I could even take a nap in there! Plus I’ve seen enough. Dolls everywhere you look. Some are beautifully dressed. Boy, these dolls look almost real. Spooky. Hope I don’t get my jeans dusty and stretched out. I’ve only had them for 24 years.
Added the video below because we didn’t get enough photo’s of cousin Andrea’s truly amazing Doll Museum..The Long Barn…
Later that week At the Odrum All School Party Reunion :
In the lobby of the tour group’s motel, Lav blurted out, “I had the BEST DREAM last night. We all actually met two angels thanks to cousin MG.” This was her dream:
“The Tour Guide got us safely to the Drive Inn on a cloud of white ice cream shakes with pink rhubarb mixed in. It was sticky but in a good way. We floated inside the Drive Inn building. Cousin Greg greeted us and told us where to go. Mist rose up from the floor smelling kinda like Lysol . It was so dreamy our feet never touched the ground. We met two angels with silvery crowns and lovely faces smiling, waiting for us. They gave us gifts, crowns and offered us the best burgers in heaven. One angel was named Butterscotch and the other was Golfer Extraordinaire. They gave MG a shiny pink halo crown and talked to us like old friends meeting at the pearly gates. Just when we connected on a celestial level traveling beyond all mortals- like I have never experienced at Bed, Bath and Beyond – the dream ended. It was sad yet invigorating.
MG made it all possible. I will never forget that day spent with angels.” Lav had tears in her eyes as she woke up in the old Chalet, ready to face another day on Earth. Party on.
Pt. 5: The tour guide took the group out for breakfast. It was a sunny bright busy day in Deadlumber. The young busy waitress was running around busily taking orders. The restaurant downstairs was busy with families and tourists enjoying their morning meal. Their busy as a bee waitress took the group’s order. First the waitress took Lav’s order. Gus went next, but the waitress paused and said, “I can’t take your order …. I can only take orders in clockwise order.” The tour group looked at her, all eyes focused on her. Time stopped. The tour group took a breath. Gus looked surprised, he stopped, staring, then politely said, “All right. Go ahead MG.” MG and the tour guide followed directions. The waitress took their orders in clockwise order around the table. (We knew we were just tourists.) This was after all, the most important meal of their day. A busy day. After breakfast and packing up, saying good bye, the Tour Guide drove the group for two hours to their next destination: Odrum Mackenzie. It was a long drive to Odrum, but our tour guide kept us entertained. Somehow. Also, MG was interviewed via satellite inside the car by a very important news reporter, BARBARA Walters. But she kinda looked like Lav Yeckel. As the tired tour group checked into their Odrum motel, they were happy to be told by the motel hostess that they each had their own room. They were given info cards to fill out and keycard envelopes with strange codes written in the corners. The road weary warriors set down their heavy suitcases and bags. They waited for the guide to park the limo… they waited a long time because it wasn’t a limo. It was a car. Lav asked the motel hostess, “Where is my room ? What room number do I have? When is breakfast served?” (Lav asked a lot of questions.) “Tut tut!” Interrupted the motel hostess. “I will give complete instructions and go over your orientation after all in your party have filled out your cards and are together here in front of my front desk!” She was handling us like the tourists we were, tired, impatient and stressed. “Do you want us to stand here at attention and in alphabetical order? We are used to being addressed in a clockwise order, if that helps,” MG informed her. “Now, now, motel protocol requires I give the lecture, er, informative directions after you are entirely registered. I am NOT telling you individually.” Our group waited. After all, we were only guests. (WHOOPS TITLE OF FILM SHOULD SAY TOURISTS NOT VISITORS…VISITORS ARE GUESTS…TOURISTS ARE NOT GUESTS, GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD!)
I was waiting for Kip and the dogs to wake up from their nap so I thought I would make a video. Isn’t that what everyone does? I didn’t want to do the video over so if you can get through the short medley of tunes, I think you will enjoy hearing about and seeing Grandma Sanderson’s beads.
This evening, I will post cousin Lav’s next episode of our Deadlumber and Odrum trip. I have already read it and I LOL’d a lot. Lav uses the most descriptive words and she is so fun and funny.