Sunday, February 21, 2021

Frances at 102: Still crazy about Bo Duke and biscuits.

Frances loved John Schneider as Bo Duke.
I loved visiting my husband's grandmother Frances, who lived more than 100 years chasing fun and flavor, especially good-looking men and fresh biscuits.

The last time I saw her, the family was gathered for Mother's Day. Before eating we all caught up on the latest gossip, the most exciting of which was that her eldest granddaughter had a new man.

Frances, then 102, waited while we learned how they met and where he worked. Finally, in her sweet Virginia drawl, she asked,
"But is he good-looking?"

That was cool.

Frances' fondness for fun with good-looking men came early and never dimmed, despite her brothers trying to tame her in the years before she married.
"In her twenties, all she wanted to do was to go out drinking and dancing," explains her second daughter. "But her brothers wouldn't let her, so she sneaked out of the house. She was quite the party animal, and (in journals she kept at the time), she endlessly complained about them running her life."
Fifty years and four kids later, Frances turned to television for those good-looking men, developing a huge crush on John Schneider as Bo Duke from the show Dukes of Hazzard. And for her 100th birthday, one of her grandchildren gave her a large photo of a shirtless Schneider, posing during his Duke days.

Frances happily posed with the photo, her eyes flashing, then her thoughts turned to food.
"When are we eating?" she said. "Will we have biscuits?"
Three Abuelas: Frances, my husband, and my grandmother.


Monday, February 1, 2021

My Grandmother's Journals: February, 1996

My grandmother pregnant with my mother.

In tiny notebooks, my grandmother wrote down each day what time she woke up, where she ate breakfast, what movie she went to see, what mail and phone calls she received, then what she read and watched on TV before bed.

In 1996, she was living alone in a mobile home park in Santa Cruz, Calif., but I wouldn't describe her as lonely; she was an extremely independent and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet. (I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.)  

Close to her home was the famous surfing spot called Pleasure Point, and she loved walking to the ocean and watching the surfers. When she died at 97 in 2013, I took her ashes to those waves with a friend of hers and we each dropped some at the sand. A moment after I dropped mine, a surfer emerged from the water where I stood.

That was cool.

In February of 1996, grandma was obsessed with the A&E production of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth that she recorded on VHS tapes when it first aired on American TV the previous month, and with finding the best option for replacing one of the seat belts in her Toyota Tercel. 

January entries.

Thursday, Feb. 1, 1996 
Up 8 a.m., breakfast McDonald's.
To Toyota, got seat belt.
To Longs, got tissue and cookies.
Back to Toyota, "safety issue," they "research." Why won't repair?
No, do not use roses now!
Got 4 books at Branciforte library.
New Morse on 9 p.m., part 1.
Friday, Feb. 2, 1996
Up 8. Service rep at Toyota called. Said seat belt under warranty!! Would put in for free! I said I'd check options.
Ate McDonald's, cutting back.
Checked at Toyota repair on Front Street, no warranty on seat belts!
To show, "Mr. Holland's Opus."  
To library, got 2 tapes.
Some TV, X-Files. 
Read "K is for Killer," Sue Grafton, until 3:40 a.m.
Mail, last of 1099s, letter from Mina.
Saturday, Feb. 3, 1996
Up 8, called Toyota. Seat belts in '83 same as '84. 
Called Sy in Paris, wrote Justine. 
Ate hot cereal here, coffee and donut at corner. Need water!
Raining. To Longs, Albertsons.
Ate here, late. Some TV, taped Pride & Prejudice, part of "Singing in the Rain."
Bed, slept good.

Sunday, Feb. 4, 1996
Warm out, raining. Slept til 10.
To Carl's, too late for breakfast. Had muffin, read papers.
To town to see "Restoration." Line 1/2 block long. 
To library, then home. Christa S. will take rose bushes, took them over.
Ate here. Taped Macbeth, watched second part of Malcom X.
Some news, flooded streets.
Monday, Feb. 5, 1996
Up 9, to Thomas Auto, got blue seat belt. 
To breakfast, back and man installed.
To Toyota, returned black seat belt. 
Home, rested.
Ran Gauguin tape, watched news, Richard III, Law & Order, taped Gulliver's Travels.
Still questioning getting blue belt, called other places. 
O.J. called into CNN Morning Program.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1996
Sunny today. Awake 7, up 8. Breakfast Lyon's.
O.J. again called radio station, CNN again.
To Kmart, got some Dinty Moore and plants, put in ground.
Read papers, ran tape of Gulliver's Travels.
Watched "The Client," old "Cracker" on A&E, Frasier, John Larroquette.
Wednesday, Feb. 7, 1996 
Slept til 9 a.m. Breakfast McDonald's.
Got Lotto, walked. Then coffee and donut.
Home, showered, washed hair. Watched news.
To library, read.
To show, "Restoration." Disappointed in accents, English only. Hugh Grant.
Home, no mail.
Watched Law & Order, balanced bank account.
Little sleep, finished "Forfeit," Dick Francis book.
Thursday,  Feb. 8, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast Carl's Jr. 
To bank, mailed money to girls.
Trader Joe's, home. 
Rested, read papers and "Decider," another Dick Francis.
Watched news, etc. No TV two hours.
Mystery, John Thaw.
Cats in night.

Friday, Feb. 9, 1996
Up 9:30, coffee and donut at corner.
Haircut, walked Capitola.
Checked St. Vincent de Paul's, no brooms. Also for "Caravan."
Got gas at Arco. To Safeway, home.
Watched news, X-Files.
Read "Decider," finished at 2:30 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 1996
Slept til 10. Breakfast coffee & donut.
To Penney's, walked to Drug Emporium, got L'Oreal gel for face.
To Longs for Lotto, library.
Home 2:30, ate. 
Hot today, slept 'til 5. Mail, Visa.
Taped third part of Pride & Pred. 
Watched Biography, Gene Kelly. Bit of news.

Sunday, Feb. 11, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast Kmart. Sunny day!
Got Kleenex at Kmart.
Home, pulled weeds in carport area, then rested as it was hot out.
At night had to take a Sudafed. 
Wrote Prudy and Mina, took to post office.
Some cleaning of medicine.
Ran P&P again! Part of 60 Minutes, Cybill.
Monday, Feb. 12, 1996
Up 8, breakfast McDonald's. 
Checked for Mature Driver's course. Santa Cruz 4/27; Monterey Feb. 17.
Watched Poirot.
Larry cut grass, usual mess. Swept.
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast BK. To Drug Emporium.
Home to more sweeping of grass cuttings. Larry still hasn't planted rose bush.
Re-did linen closet, gave some towels to C.P.
To show "Restoration" (again). Still can't understand, Downey mutters.
Ate here, watched Frost, Law & Order, Frasier, Larroquette, bit news.
Bed, read til 2 a.m. Ate toast.

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1996
Up 9, breakfast Carl's. To Louden for blood pressure, 136/78.
To Longs for Lotto.
Home, warm day. 
Looked over car insurance, called re Mature Driving. Profitable? Yes, paid $42, rec'd 156.41 rebate.
Showered, washed hair. Dinner at Live Oak. Talked to Iranian man.
Finished book 1 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast McDonald's. To Trader Joe's.
Message from Nurse Sondra, Mary C. has own fone now.
Mail, checkbook.
Ran Pride & Prejudice, watched some Geraldo, had Kato re deposition.
Watched Mystery, taped STNG, Q, Robin Hood.

Friday, Feb. 16, 1996
Awake 8, up 9. Coffee & donut at corner.
Home, cleaned "medicine cabinet," threw away some.
To St. Vincent's, got 3 baskets, .50 each: one for misc., Scotch tape, typing things, two for cosmetics. 
Home, lunch. Mail, phone bill. (No charge for call to Sy.)
To show, "Persuasion" (again.) Heard a bit more.
Washed blue sweater, ironed before show.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 1996
To Monterey, Mature Drivers session.
Up 6:30, ate McDonald's. 
To Monterey, 41 miles, 3/4 hour. Course 9 to 3:30 p.m., lunch 1 hour.
Showers in a.m., clearing about 12 p.m.
Home 4:30 p.m., 81 miles total. 
Tired, no sleep. Up til 3 a.m., up 6 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 18, 1996
Slept til 9, to Denny's for breakfast. Very crowded!
To West Cliff for walking, then to cinema: "Braveheart." 3 hours, 05 minutes, but full of fights. Digital? Violent. Mel Gibson a bit too old.
Home 3:30, ate here. Ran P & P.
Rain in night.
Monday, Feb. 19, 1996
Up 8, Rain slacked off, then 10:15 started again.
Breakfast McDonald's. Man outside, I bought sandwich for him.
Home, watched tape of "Heavy Weather." 
To Albertsons, got white vinegar and apples.
To Longs for Xerox, doesn't work. Too corroded?
Watched Poirot, then ran P&P again!
Bed 12:30, too tired to read.
Rain in night.

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1996
Up 9, colder. To Kmart, breakfast, then got food. ($1.50)
To State Farm and gave certificate for Mature Drivers, reduced pay $48.83.
To mall, rainy.
Read "Witch of Low Tide." Lille stopped by to chat.
Watched more P&P. Hooked!
Watched Geraldo at 6, some document of Nicole's therapist.
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast BK. 
To library, returned book, got "Looking for Bobby Fisher."
To Drug Emporium.
Watched some P&P, Geraldo 6 p.m., Law & Order.
Raining, hail! Cold in night.
Thursday, Feb. 22, 1996
Up 8:15, breakfast Marie Callender's. Not good, expensive.
Bank, post office, mailed Nordstrom, garbage bills.
Got gas. Home, sun out at times.
Lunch, finished P&P.
Watched Mystery, "Black Is, Black Ain't" till 11.
Bed, tired. Slept good.

Friday, Feb. 23, 1996
Awake 6, up 8:30. Donut at corner.
Library, some research on Choline, cities in England. Renewed book.
Home, foned broker. Not there.
To bank, Trader Joe's, then broker called, left message.
Mail, letter from Mina, Mimi.
Carole called, to dinner 6:45.

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1996
Up 7:15, breakfast McDonald's. 
To Albertson's, home.
Typed letter to Andra and Lutz with newspaper clipping of O.J.
To post office, mailed letter.
Typed tax returns, also notes from library on Choline, Chlamydia.
Tried to get Justine, no go. Finally got her at 9:15 p.m.
Watched P&P again, slept good.
Sunday, Feb. 25, 1996
Bed til 10 a.m. Muffin at corner.
Got typewriter ribbons at Sears.
To show, "City Hall." Thought good.
Rain after show, checked bookstore.
Home, watched Paris Skating International Championship at Bercy. Good.
Finished P&P. Bed 11.
Monday, Feb. 26, 1996
Up 8:45. Cold. Breakfast McDonald's.
To Laundromat. 
To Santa Cruz, got Marilyn Monroe envelopes.  $5.95, 6.44 with tax.
Home, sunny. 
Started at 2:15 with P&P. Geraldo at 6p.m., Poirot, then back to P&P until 11.
Slept not too good, rain woke me.
Cold, called Mina in a.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1996
Dinner with Carole, India Joe's.
Up 9, breakfast Lyon's. 
To library, to Kmart, got more Dinty Moore, candy.
To bank and ironed.
To India Joze. Not good, really. Got fettuccine, bad choice.  
Some P&P, Frasier, watched P&P until 11, but couldn't sleep.
Up at 2 a.m., ate soup and toast.
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 1996
Up 8:30, breakfast BK. 
To Louden for B.P. To library, got 3 books, 3 videos. 
Home 12, coffee, news. Ran P&P til 2:30. 
Called 1-800-423-1212 for P&P videos, $99+ shipping!
To post office.
Last run of P&P. Withdrawals!
Watched some news, Geraldo.
Tired last two nights, less sleep.

Thursday, Feb. 29, 1996
Up 8:45, breakfast Carl's. Walked a bit.
To Penney's, Gottschalk's.
Home, wrote Mina, Justine. Took til 2:30 p.m.
Not good weather, home remainder of day.
Read a bit, couldn't sleep til 2 a.m.