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Overheard During Graduation Weekend

“It’s been getting some pretty bad reviews.”

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Christopher’s description of his new, very short haircut.  Evidently his roommates Evan and Francis didn’t entirely approve.

“Just walk away.”

Richmde better

Richmade in Lodi, California dates from 1938 and appears frozen in time. Our waitress’s name tag said “Renee.” She looked to be in her mid-40s, meaning she wasn’t born when the Left Banke—don’t forget the “e”—had its one hit, “Just Walk Away Renee.”  We couldn’t resist asking her if she’d heard that song, and she gave us an aggrieved eye roll. That, of course, prompted us to break out into the chorus.

“Did we bring my purse?”

Strawberry shake BJJ

We were traveling with David’s mother, Bonnie, in tow. At 87, she’s still an absolute trooper, sitting patiently through the long card ride and lengthy graduation ceremony, and making her way up multiple flights of stairs. Her short-term memory has gotten porous, so we needed to assure her many times that yes, we’d brought her purse.

“I can’t believe it.”

016 (2)

David’s uncle Bud Jardine kept repeating this as he clasped hands with Bonnie, who he hadn’t seen in more than 40 years, and they both choked up.  We stopped to see him and his wife, Elsie, on their ranch in Galt on our way to Davis.

“Toro, toro, toro.”

015

My sister-in-law Connie thought it would be amusing to try to summon Uncle Bud’s bull, Edy, with this classic phrase.  David shushed her, afraid the beast would begin pawing the ground and charge through the fence.  We didn’t want to mess with Edy.

“Help me with the beer.”

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This was the command from the waitress at Plainfield Station, which is on a country road in Woodland, just outside Davis. If you go with a crowd, plan on pitching in with the serving.

“Chris is so tall.”

The family with the graduate

He does grow weary of hearing this.  I’ve advised him to carry a photo of a Munchkinlike couple, and show it while saying offhandedly that he doesn’t know where his height comes from, because his parents are very successful “little people” actors. But he isn’t cynical and flippant like me, so he doesn’t.

 

 

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About treacycolbert

I make my living by writing about health care. I've always written about life's chastening effect, but just as a way of sorting it out for myself. After years of doing this and keeping these essays quiet, I decided to put some of these impressions out there on this blog. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

5 responses »

  1. It looks like it was a great weekend! Here are some responses to your photos from the peanut gallery (i.e. another little person): I like Christopher’s haircut. With the sunglasses, he could pose as a Secret Service agent; Bonnie’s milkshake looks yummy! I hope it tasted as good as it looked; I’m guilty of commenting that Christopher is so tall. And lastly, I’m glad you had such a memorable and fun weekend!

    Reply
    • The milkshake was yummy, Jan, with loads of fresh strawberries at the bottom. We all tasted it. I’ll tell Christopher that you gave his haircut a good review. Much love.

      Reply
  2. Great to see you all making memories! Bonnie looks like she could be decades younger but then that’s getting to be how old we are now! Wishing Christopher much success as he makes his non-cynical way to the next stage of life. I wonder if cynical happens later?
    Love to you

    Reply
  3. Julietta Appleton

    Mazel tov!

    Reply

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