Sunday, November 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Merch

Memories of my sister, on the occasion of her birthday:

  • one situation (as opposed to a specific, remembered event) that quickly comes to mind is when she drove me to high school. I was a sophomore, she a senior. We shared the red car . . . what brand of car was that again? I can't recall all of a sudden. I know that both MSquared and Muleskinner had it prior to you . . . but what brand was it? And why do I recall a painting of a bronco-busting cowboy? Anyway--it was a small, faded red car with a hatchback and a cramped backseat.
  • The time we both went to see Dune. I had already finished the book and was familiar with the story. You were not even a big science fiction fan (Why did you go? Was it to see Sting?). I almost laughed out loud when the usher at the theatre door handed out the vocabulary sheet that the studio had printed. With such words as melange (spice from Arrakis), Kwisatz Haderach (messiah of the Bene Gesserit), gom jabbar (needle-like finger device used during a testing ritual), and Bene Gesserit (space nuns, of a sort), I thought you might just turn on your heels and leave. But you stuck it out. I hope the images of Sting in a skimpy outfit made it worthwhile.

(Don't hate me for the photo! It was the '80s after all. Besides, I don't think I have the iconic photo of you in the tree when you were five. I'll talk to dad about getting it and maybe I'll edit this later.)
  • Another time in the mystery red car. The horn on the car had been malfunctioning--going of at random times when you turned the steering wheel to the right. The only way to make it stop, as far as we knew at the time, was to pound on the wheel. (It must have been a faulty wire and pounding make it shake loose again.) Anyway, you were driving and I was in the passenger's seat. We were swinging around a curvy road near the high school and you turned the wheel, making the horn go off. So, you were pounding on the wheel, going around the turn, passing a car in the other lane. I was laughing so hard at the sight of it all. What must that other car's driver been thinking?
Of course, we didn't always get along. We were brother and sister, after all, and the closest in age. She was born 2 years and a month before me. During much of our childhood we played together with one of our neighbors two doors down. As we got older, our interests naturally diverged. But, as we have both gotten older, in college, I thought (and hoped) that we sort of came back together with similar experiences and goals.

You always made fun of my nerdy friends, but they were pretty nerdy. Heck, so was I, and you never abused me too badly about it all. I am glad to say that we are friends as well as siblings, and even though I don't get to see you nearly as much as I would like, I think about you often and hope that you are doing well.

Happy Birthday MA! I hope it is a good one for you. I'll see you as soon as I can.


Sven Golly said...

That family photo is priceless. There is so much happening in it, like the best textbook photos, almost a graphic novel in itself. Thanks for sharing.

David said...

You should see the companion photo to that one. These two photos comprise one of the funniest photo memories that I have in my scrapbooks.

You see this one, which captures a typical "set up" moment. My dad is behind the lens.

In the second shot, which I am refering to, my mom and dad switch places. She is now handling the camera, but my mom has a photographic stance that is so funny. Because of her bifocals, she has her head cocked back and slightly off center. With her elbows akimbo and her head just so, she presents a very comical appearance.

Naturally, the resulting photo reflects the family laughing at her posture. Dad has a bemused grin, all the kids are in various stages of laughter (either letting it go or trying to hold it in).

And, of course, the composition of the photo itself is not very well centered.

My mom the photographer . . . it's priceless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tribute. I remember that photo being taken. It's proof that there was life before parenthood. See you soon.