Memory Review Alert! Those of you that are looking for a review of the quality of this book, please look elsewhere.
One of my favorite stories growing up was one my mother continues to tell to this day about how she reacted to first seeing The Wizard of Oz. She was but a little girl, and her father had just purchased the family their first color television set. This purchase so happened to occur the week that The Wizard of Oz was to air on television for the first time. And in glorious Technicolor at that! The family gathered around the massive set with the tiny screen and settled in for one of the greatest films ever made.
But it wasn't in color. It was in black and white. My mother was heartbroken, destroyed, and climbed into her father's lap where she proceeded to cry against his chest. My grandfather (a man who would die a decade before I was born), patted my mother on her platinum-blond hair and did his best to console her with "Now, now," and "It'll be okay, I'm sure." This might seem a small thing to some of you, but to a little girl promised a world of Technicolor riches only to receive a drab monochrome package, it was a disaster.
You guessed it. My mother had no idea that the opening of The Wizard of Oz was supposed to be in black and white. When Dorothy awakes in Oz and all those colors popped into life, my mother (I'm paraphrasing here) lost her shit. Squeals of joys and snotty laughter surely could've been heard a block or two away. Backflips might have been done, but don't quote me on that. Needless to say, a little girl's wish came true.
To this day, my mother still cries at the opening of The Wizard of Oz. She no longer sobs, but you'll find the corners of her eyes damp and a small smile on her mouth. I don't think she's remembering watching the film for the first time as much as she misses the man whose lap she once crawled into for comfort.
My grandfather had his first heart attack when he was fifty-six. My mother had just graduated nursing school a few years earlier and was working as an LPN for Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, CA. They admitted Grandpa and Mom went to see him. He asked her how bad it was, and she told him the truth. He was a very lucky man. The next one would probably kill him. When he recovered, Lonnie (Grandpa) took a trip with my grandmother (Irma) to see his four brothers. Each one lived in a different state, and the "vacation" was a long one. Nobody knew it then, but Lonnie was making amends and saying his goodbyes. Six months after he returned home, a massive coronary made sure I would never meet the man.
I have no idea why I'm telling you all this. Sometimes I just start writing and I'm left with an exorcism of sorts.
How do you cry for a man you never met? By caring for the woman who once crawled into his lap for comfort because a movie broke her heart.
It's funny what memories books bring to the surface.
In summation: Thanks for reading this non-review.
Final Judgment: I love you, Mom.