05 January 2009
A Peaceful Pause
Well here we are. Dad is married to Mary and keeping the drinking under control. Mom is married to another Bob and resisting her need for constant romance. Ruth and Don are getting along and her "best friend" hasn't yet gotten predatory. All three regular homes are in working order, and all the other aunts are maintaining their pairs. There is a lot to be said for peace and quiet. I call it the Webster Webfoot Interlude.
Mother was waitressing at an upscale steak house and Daddy Bob (I slipped into that easily, he really was a nice man) liked to go fishing. He had never had a daughter so he figured girls could hike through rough country to go fishing and learn to shoot at targets with his police special. We always kept some of the trout alive to put in the wishing well where mom worked.
Webster and his friend Jimmy Weldon were on local TV. When Webster was around, Jimmy never broke character even if he was just stopping in for dinner. Webster was three years old (born on February 31), and that was the way everyone talked to him even though they logically knew it was Jimmy being a ventriloquist. One night Jimmy came into the restaurant with Webster just as the fish were being dropped off, but Bob was in uniform ready to go to work.
"You see that man?"
"Is that a gun?"
"Yes, Webster. That is a gun"
"Does he shoot ducks?"
Needless to say, the whole place came unglued.
For two whole years I had an almost regular life with a best friend in Fresno and a best friend in Los Angeles and a best friend in El Monte (three families remember), and in 1957 at the age of 13 I fell in love for the first time with a handsome older man of 17 or it was probably just Fresno heat stroke. Even if it didn't work out like a hit song of that year, Jerry is remembered fondly more than a half century later, and he will always be 17.
All in all, it was a nice backwater to bob around in gently before tackling the rapids once more.