Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Gladys Song

Gladys, where are you going?

Upstairs, to take a bath!

Gladys, with legs like toothpicks...

and a neck like a Gir- raffe-raffe-raffe-raffe-raffe-raffe-raffe-raffe

Gladys, what are you doing?

As she pulled out the plug.

Oh my goodness, bless my soul, there goes Gladys down the hole...

Blub, blub, blub, blub...

Back Story

I wrote this song for my Grandma when I was 7-years old. She was my childhood hero... she moved from a poor rural farm in Oklahoma out to San Francisco, California... paving the way (financially and emotionally) for her entire family to accompany her toward finding a better life (7 brothers, mother and father)... 

Her journey was remarkable, from humble beginnings as a waitress, nurse, and welder during World War II ... to a land owner, business owner, philanthropist, and long-term financier of her family's continued well-being. 

With a elementary school education, she built houses (by hand), served the medical needs of soldiers (and later on, kids and grandkids), created businesses, helped others create businesses, and buried more than one husband (including the love of her life who tragically died on the way to the wedding chapel). 

At a time when she thought she was going through menopause, she discovered that she and my grandfather (who were grandparents at the time) were going to be blessed with a second child - my mother. 

Growing up, my Grandma had me read the entire encyclopedia (except for "J" because that was "lost somewhere at the ranch"). In addition to this task, she had me write weekly reports on many subjects, augmenting both her and my education in the process. 

She instilled in me a true love of learning through her many stories. Given that the Internet was not yet available during her lifetime, her life - until now - went mostly unnoticed, except by close family and the many friends her enthusiastic personality drew toward her. Sadly, most of the people who knew her best are no longer with us.... except for me, my mother, and brother: the true beneficiaries of her stories and her legacy. 

While my farcical song might seem a bit ridiculous, I recall with great fondness her delight in my writing and singing it for her in the lead role of Gladys: Where Are You Going? a humorous play I wrote, acted in, and directed in 3rd grade.

Just as in literature and painting, silly or otherwise nonsensical songs, jokes, poems, and the like often times have their impetus in an expression of love and gratitude. This is my favorite brand of humor... as it reminds me of my Grandma. 

Grandma... if by some quantumness you're hearing these sentiments, I love and miss you and hope you're having a wonderful time wherever you are! 

My Grandma also had a wonderful sense of humor...
While it wasn't funny to me at the time,
she took me to her salon - The Blue Ladies
and got me this fancy perm! 

She said, "You were born old, it's about time you look your age!" 

Silly Grandma!

This is the only "comic" my mother has ever drawn. 
She drew it for my grandmother on the back of a jean jacket.

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