Monday, September 30, 2019

Liking To Eat Onions All At Once

     When I was six years old my mother boiled cabbage. The whole house really stank. Yuck. I hated the odor and taste of cabbage. We sat at the table and gave thanks for our food. My mother put a really big leaf of cabbage on my plate. I mean really big. It covered the whole table. OK, I'm exaggerating. But that is what it seemed like to me when I was six.  The aroma was horrible. I pinched my nose so that I wouldn't have to smell it. I know that we had something else to eat besides just the cabbage. But the putrid odor of boiled cabbage is all I can remember. My mother told me that I could not leave the table until I ate all of the cabbage. I thought my mother was being real mean to me for no good reason. I ate everything else on my plate and then stared at that cabbage. I know that because all I remember is me staring at that gargantuan cabbage leaf on my plate. 
     By now I suppose you are wondering what does cabbage have to do with liking to eat onions all at once. Actually, it has nothing to do with it except it is when I first heard the onion story.
     I cut a small piece of the cabbage with my fork. I put it in my mouth and gagged. I spit it out. My mother glared at me and threatened to spank me. I reached to the middle of the table and grabbed a slice of white bread. I wrapped a tiny piece of cabbage in the bread and ate it. I must have eaten half a loaf of white bread by the time I finished eating the cabbage. My stomach was so full of bread and cabbage that I could hardly walk. 
     "That wasn't so bad, was it," my mother said. "I know you could finish it."
     I wobbled out of the kitchen. My father had long gone left the table. He was sitting on the couch, in the front room, enjoying his beer, and reading the paper while my mother did the dishes. My father called me over and asked me to sit down.
     Now I can tell you about the onions.
     "When your grandfather, Hope, (That is the name I called him) was a little boy like you," my father said, "he hated onions as much as you hate cabbage."  
     He told me that when my grandfather was about 10 years old, he forgot to close the corral gate before he went to bed. The next morning my great-grandfather was furious. One of the horses had gotten out of the corral and was nowhere to be seen. My great grandfather was so mad that he made my grandfather go look for the horse before he ate breakfast. 
     My grandfather saddled one of the other horses and went looking for the horse that had escaped. He hunted for that horse all day. He rode his horse into the mountains before he finally found the missing horse. He lassoed the horse and tied the rope around the horn of his saddle. He towed the horsed behind him.  
     It had taken him all day. He was starving. On his way back it started to get dark. He saw a little house on his way home. He tied the horses to a post and knocked on the door. He told the man who lived there that he had been looking for the horse that got out of the corral all day and that he was very hungry. He asked him if he had any food to spare. The man invited my grandfather in and told him that he had just made himself some onion soup. That was all the food he had in the house. He offered my grandfather a bowl of onion soup. 
     My grandfather was so hungry that he figured that even though it was the one food he hated the most, it would be better than starving to death. My grandfather was surprised by how good the onion soup tasted. My grandfather had liked onions ever since that day.
     My father resumed reading the newspaper and drinking his beer. I left my father and wished that we had a corral with horses. And if one got loose because I forgot to close the gate then maybe, just maybe, I might like cabbage. 
     And then the cabbage odor from the kitchen hit my nose and I changed my mind.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Orlando, Milton, and the Couch

We were living in Married Student Housing, a little more than a mile from the University of New Mexico when Denise finished making this couch. Orlando was born a few weeks later. It was so comfortable that many people fell asleep on it while visiting.
Milton was amazingly tolerant of Orlando, who used to pull Milton's hair. After we moved into our house on the West side of the Rio Grande, I heard Milton scream. I ran from the kitchen into the front room to find Milton's back legs wrapped around baby Orlando's neck and his front paws beating Orlando's head. When Milton saw me, he stopped screaming, stopped beating Orlando's head, and ran off. I fully expected to find blood all over Orlando's head. But there wasn't a scratch.
Orlando used to crawl to Milton, roll over onto his back and pound his head on Milton. I guess Milton's tolerance had been greatly exceeded when I found him "admonishing" Orlando. I miss Milton. He was my favorite cat. 

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Selling Deseret News Final

I remember selling newspapers with my cousin, Robert when we were young, still in elementary school. He'd stand in front of the Kearns building in Salt Lake City and send me off, away from him. I'd walk, with a load of papers under my arm and yell, "Paper! Deseret News Night Final! Paper 5 cents." (The following year it went to 10 cents.)

Robert had customers in the Kearns building. We would get into the elevator and ride it to the top floor. Just before it stopped, Robert and I would jump up as high as we could. The kinetic energy helped us jump up very high. And when we rode the elevator down, we jumped with as much power as our legs could muster just before it stopped. The kinetic energy prevented us from jumping much at all.

When I worked in Forth Worth, Texas, (I was much older then, 31) I talked an elevator car full of engineers into jumping up as high as they could just before the elevator stopped on the 4th floor. They thought I was crazy, but they DID! and we all came out of the elevator laughing. There were a couple of people waiting for the elevator on the 4th floor. One asked, "What's so funny?"
"It's just Mushroom," one of the engineers answered.