02012.01.29 Still Babies
Yikes! Two weeks have gone by since the movie Babies went up, and PopPop (he changed the spelling, don't ask me why) is only *today* figuring out how to tell us who all those babies were!
Turns out iPhoto, the Mac program he used to put the movie together, can also make web pages for still photos — he says he used to know this, back when I was a little kid four years ago & PopPop was one of the *oldest* guys working in an Apple Store. But he forgot. He does that a lot.
Anyway, now he's put all the pictures in a folder with Mommy's name on it, and you can look at each one of the pictures as long as you like. This is fun, cuz sometimes I can see Mommy's face in the faces of the people.
Have a look yourself: Slideshow: Babies
I like the one of Dodo (that's what Mommy called *her* Pop-pop — go figure!) with long hair — he looks like a GIRL!!! Ewww!
But the one that *really* looks like my Mommy (or so PopPop says) is the kind of fuzzy one of the girl in the big bonnet. PopPop says it's his grandma — the same person who's holding him in the last picture, when he was such a shrimp! Can you believe that?!
I know, I know, it's been a *lllloooonnnngggg* time, but I've been *really* BUSY!! (I'll try to catch you up later, but I'm *still* really busy!)
Can you tell how old I am by subtracting the date on the last thing I posted here from today's date? Can you figure out that screwy date format Pop-pop came up with? *I* can!
I don't have time before Pop-pop & Gramma Deb get here to tell you *everything* that's happened — except I got a new baby brother, Noah (he's a shrimp, but he's OK) — cuz what I need to do is put up a video Pop-pop made for Mommy's birthday (which was way back in December, like before Christmas even, but old people are really SLOW!)
Pop-pop says these are baby pictures of his Mom & Dad, & baby pictures of their Moms & Dads & baby pictures *their* Moms & Dads — and even one of *their* Daddys! Yow! that makes him my Great-great-great Grampa! (He's the soldier in the first picture.)
Anyway, here it is. It's called Babies:
Trouble is, Pop-pop ran out of time before he could put names on everybody — cuz he's Sooo Sloooow! — but he told me the slideshow runs from oldest to youngest, with the people who got married clumped together in pairs — girls first then boys inside the pairs — until they had babies, and then those babies in pairs just like before until *they* had babies and so on.
The last photo is of Pop-pop — or so he says — when he was two days old, being held by Madeline, who was his Daddy's Mommy. JEEZ!!! I thought *Noah* was a shrimp!
02006.03.30 Little Lambs Boo Cows in the Trees
Pop-pop was born in Pittsburgh, where his Mom and Dad lived. It was 1948, and Pop-pop's Dad had been out of the Army for a couple years. They lived in a little apartment in a part of Pittsburgh called Carnegie, and when Pop-pop was just a little baby they'd put him in his carriage out on the fire escape on hot nights during his first summer. He says he doesn't remember any of this, because he was a *little* baby -- not like me! I'm not a baby any more, and besides, I'm gonna remember *everything*!
Pop-pop's Mom was named Jane Rex before she married Pop-pop's Dad and had Pop-pop. After that she was Jane Bly. Pop-pop's Dad was called Bill Bly, except when he was little, when they called him Billy, because *his* Dad was called Bill Bly. But once Pop-pop was born, *he* was called Billy, and his Dad was called Bill Bly. Then when Pop-pop grew up, he called *his* son Billy, so everyone else called Pop-pop Bill Bly -- except for his Mom (Jane Bly), who still called Pop-pop Billy. It's very confusing. I'm glad my Mom and Dad named me Elijah -- there's *no one* in Pop-pop's family named Elijah!
Anyway, about a year after Pop-pop was born, his Mom and Dad built a house in the country outside Pittsburgh. It was so far out in the country that there weren't any other houses around, just farms with big fields with cows and sheep in them, unless it was a corn field or a wheat field -- they wouldn't let the cows or the sheep in there, because they'd eat all the corn or the wheat or squash it all with their feet or lie down all over it so it would get ruined or wouldn't grow straight.
Soon other families started building houses close by, but everywhere all around the houses were fields with cows and sheep in them or else corn or wheat. Or else woods -- there were lots of woods all around the houses, and Pop-pop and his little sister (my Aunta Lynn) and their friends from the other houses used to go play in the woods except they weren't allowed to go across the creek (they called it The Crick -- I think it's just the way they talk out there) and most of the time they didn't but sometimes they did and got in trouble especially if they got wet, which is how their Mom and Dad found out they'd gone "across the crick."
Here's what they looked like then: That's Pop-pop in front in the white sweatshirt with the triangle on the front, and my Aunta Lynn next to him with the curly hair. Right behind Pop-pop is Joey Webster, who used to get everybody in trouble because he knew how to build cabins and start fires and trap animals and lots of other wild things. The other three are the Cleary kids -- Donna was a year older than Pop-pop, Joan a year older than Aunt Lynn, and Wayney-Bob was the same age as Lynn, only a month younger.
All those little kids in the picture are grandparents now, and they're planning to get together in a month or so to try to remember all the fun things they did fifty years ago in Clubside Park, which is the name of the little group of houses in that part of the country outside Pittsburgh. I'm not going -- I wouldn't know any of them except Pop-pop and Aunta Lynn, and besides, I think my Mom and Dad are going somewhere that weekend. Or else staying home. And I have to be with them, at least until I'm old enough to drive.
Oh, right. I called this "Little Lambs Boo Cows in the Trees" because that's what Pop-pop always used to say when they were coming home from visiting their Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, who still lived in Pittsburgh, in a place called Crafton, where both Pop-pop's Mom and Dad grew up. On the highway about a mile from Clubside Park there was a big field that ran down a hill to the side of the road, and there were always cows or sheep in the field, and there were trees near the top of the hill and one time there must have been little lambs with the big sheep or else Pop-pop just thought that the sheep were little standing beside the big old cows so he called them little lambs. "Boo cows" was what he called cows because they say "Boo" though it always sounds like "Moo" to me or maybe it was just because he was little and couldn't talk right yet.
I think what happened is that one time when they passed the field on the way home they pointed and said "What's that?" like they do all the time and Pop-pop said "Little lambs boo cows in the trees!" and they all laughed because it sounded funny and then every time they passed that field again they said "Little lambs boo cows in the trees!" and everyone laughed but then after a while they probably got tired of it and so they stopped saying it and then everybody forgot all about it.
Here's one of Pop-pop's favorite stories about my Mom. They were living in Pittsburgh, where Pop-pop was going to graduate school, so Mom (Nelly Bly at the time) would have been just over a year old, cuz she could walk (like me! — except I started before my birthday last month!).
He was sitting at his desk in the living room of their attic apartment on S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside, trying to do his homework for playwriting class (I think that's when you write one of your friends to say come over and play). Mom toddled up to him with a coffee scoop in one chubby little hand and a long crayon in the other. (I'm not sure what either of those things are, but I don't think it matters for the story.)
Anyway, Pop-pop could tell by the look on her face that Mom was mad, (I think I've seen that look...). She held up the coffee scoop and the crayon, and said, "Doh." Then she pushed one end of the crayon into the coffee scoop, but it wouldn't go all the way in. Then she said "Doh" again — not like Homer Simpson when he does something stupid and wishes he hadn't, but like, "See? Doh."
Pop-pop was very puzzled. Nelly was clearly upset, and it seemed to have something to do with pushing the crayon into the coffee scoop. But he couldn't figure out what "Doh" meant. Nelly took the crayon out of the coffee scoop and pushed it back in, only it wouldn't go all the way, because it was too long to fit. Then she said "Doh" again, louder, and looked at Pop-pop like he was pretty stupid because he couldn't see what was right in front of him.
He asked her, "Do you want your coloring book?" She shook her head.
"Do you want another crayon?" She shook her head harder, and stamped her foot.
"Do you want some coffee?"
This made her really impatient, and she jammed the crayon into the coffee scoop again and again, saying, "Doh. Doh! DOH!!!" as if Pop-pop was a total idiot.
Finally she figured she was going to have to show him. She put the crayon and the coffee scoop in one hand and grabbed Pop-pop's finger with the other, and pulled him out of the living room towards her room. She made him stop and stand there out in the hall just outside her room. Then she went into the room and said "Doh," looking back at him to see if he got it yet. No luck. So she came back outside, led him by the hand into the room, and said "Doh" again. He remained in the dark.
With an exasperated sigh, she pulled him by the hand out into the hall, then back into the room, put down the crayon and coffee scoop, and closed the... DOOR.
"O my God," said Pop-pop. And he picked up the crayon and stuck one end into the coffee scoop, but of course it wouldn't go all the way in, because it was too long. He looked up at Nelly and said, "Doh?"
She smiled her little smile that says, "I knew you couldn't be THAT dumb!" So Pop-pop broke off a stub of the back end of the crayon, and it was short enough to fit all the way inside the coffee scoop. He held it up to her and said, "Doh? Inside?" The look on her face said, "Finally!" and she took the crayon stub out of the coffee scoop and put it back in again.
Then she opened the door and pushed him back out of the room, and set to work breaking all her crayons into little stubs.
Pop-pop's been scratching his head over what to do with this website. How that's supposed to help I don't know, but he did get a sort-of idea: put stories here about his side of the family that I might not find out about otherwise.
For starters, he put together an online photo album a couple years ago, by scanning in a bunch of pictures his Dad had put into a book, and called it DodoPix — on accounta my Mom called her grandpa Bly "Dodo." (I hope someone explains that.) DodoPix is on Pop-pop's website.
Man, those pictures are really OLD! And where'd they get those clothes!? But I love the one of my dog, Beatty, wearing a flower on his head. Beatty's my buddy. He's pretty old, too, for a dog.
Pop-pop's gotta go to work now, but I'm gonna look at some more pictures for a while. See ya!
Here's what I looked like LAST year —
what a shrimp!
THIS year I had a party at my house — with a hot-dog stand right on the table.
It was SOOoo kewl!
My Pop-pop Bill Bly & Gramma Deb got me this web site for my birthday, but I'm not sure what to do with it. Pop-pop tried to explain, but I had to figure out why this lemon didn't taste like a lemon...
...and then I had to show Mom how to fiddle with the controls on the Portal to the SpaceTime Continuum Distorter®...
...and next thing I knew Pop-pop was goofin' with my Uncle Billy
...and when I woke up everybody was gone!
But it was a great parTAY! &mdash I'll put up more pictures as soon as they get developed, whatever that means.
Meantime, I'll let Pop-pop fiddle with the website for me until I learn how to type. Whatever that means.
I'll be back!
— Eli, 1.