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CHILDHOOD DISAPPOINTMENTS

April 24, 2012

We all have things that we lean on. Things like family legends. Stories told over the many years, taken at face value. Taken AS FACT!

I had the misfortune of having

TWO OUT OF THREE OF THESE FAMILY TRUTHS

DASHED into pieces…

and all in one sitting.

SUCH SADNESS THIS HAS CAUSED FOR ME!

My roommate, Marilyn and I were playing Train dominoes with her grandsons, who are fully grown, wonderful young men….

Shouldn’t they know better than to question an old(er) Lady??

Apparently they DON’T, which makes them kind of annoying  🙂

CRUSHED FAMILY LEGEND #1:

My Mom has told me the story so many times over the years of my youth. I took it as Gospel Truth. She said that her Grandfather (which would be my Great-Grandfather) Painted the original picture of the Sun Maid, The girl in the bonnet, holding grapes. This picture has been very recognizable because this picture has been brought into our homes and lives by the Sun Maid raisin company. It is the lady on the raisin box. She has been there, smiling and inviting all of us to eat more raisins, for over 50 years.

See her…?

I would mention the story to friends…they wouldn’t believe me! I would have my Mom verify the facts.

ALL OF MY LIFE, I THOUGHT I KNEW THE TRUTH.

APPARENTLY, I CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!  (Jack Nicholson: a quote from A Few Good Men)

Marilyn’s grandson said, “I know, let’s look it up online.”

LET’S   GOOGL  IT!

I was uncertain about that….

I mean, the LAST TIME I got picky about checking FACTS, I lost Santa, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to take that risk again, but it was too late to decide that, as the young man had his smart phone in hand

and he was GOOGLING away to his heart’s content.

Wikipedia! I have always LOVED you!! HOW could you betray me with the truth like this…

READ THE ARTICLE

This article mentions an artist named Fanny Scafford, as the Artist who painted the ORIGINAL painting for the raisin company.

The wiki article does not mention the Artist’s name…

Sun Maid on Wiki

I had a chance to hope….

The article (both of them) give a few details about the identity of the GIRL, and also a few leads to the unnamed Artist that painted subsequent raisin lady portraits, as the image was on occasion, updated.

**********

CRUSHED FAMILY LEGEND #2

My Mom met Darth Vader on an airplane to Cleveland. I don’t recall the facts, I don’t know why the two would have been traveling to Cleveland…

My Mom was on a business trip and (she told us) her seatmate was a man named BRAMWELL YOUNG. This man told my Mom that he was

ONE OF THE ORIGINAL DARTH VADER characters in the first Star Wars movie.  She invited the man to our house for dinner, and he accepted the invitation.

The movie came out in May, 1977. My brother and I were Teenagers, living in Orange County, CA. I had a job at the local Weinershnitzel

Hot Dog franchise. My Mom gave us a sort of

GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS:

GOOD NEWS! Hey kids, guess who your Mom sat next to on the plane? The guy who played

DARTH VADER, EVIL LORD OF THE DARK SIDE FORCES

IT's DARTH VADER!

“James Earl Jones?” That is what I asked (not being a total bumbler, I at least knew THAT.)

My Mom said, “No…no. Not that guy, the OTHER one…”

This man, Bramwell Young, had told my Mom that in the film, the final scenes that portrayed the character at war in a tiny single seat spaceship–the “spaceship” set was built too small for Mr. Jones (who is a big man), and so they needed a stand-in actor to sit there for the filming of that sequence. Bramwell told us that he was wearing the Vader costume from the waist up, but he was wearing jeans on his lower portion as they would be hidden from view.

Before the man was due to arrive at our house for dinner, Mom had this to say:  (Oh. The ‘BAD news’ part)

“Now, you kids are NOT to bug him about his job, or playing the part…”

…in the MOST EXCITING FILM OF OUR GENERATION

(as we have come to understand it)

How disappointing was THAT? We couldn’t even TALK about it????

That sucked. I didn’t much care to even meet him if that was the case, but once he arrived, I found him to be quite an entertaining guy, with lots of cool stories about living in Hollywood and his weird collection of movie props that he was very fond of and enjoyed sharing these tales with a couple of wide-eyed teens like us.

I risked the WRATH OF MOM,

when I threw caution to the breeze and simply asked him…

“MY MOM SAYS YOU ARE DARTH VADER.”

Mom shot me a glare that would’ve lasered the hair from my head, if she’d had the FORCE with her…

Bram said, “OH! I thought you were NEVER going to ask!”

It was clear that he relished the chance to tell us all about it so my Mom calmed down somewhat. Another evil glare came into her

eyes when Bram suggested that we might want to see his costume…

WE RESPONDED WITH AN ENTHUSIASTIC HELL YES!

He went to get it from the car. My Mom dispensed with the laser-deadly looks and went to get the camera.

Bram got suited up in our downstairs bathroom. When he came out,

HE LOOKED COOL.

HE LOOKED SCARY!

HE   WAS  DARTH   VADER!!!!

Yikes…

It turned out that Bramwell Young was, in reality,

BRAM THE HAM

a man, quite willing to go anywhere to show off the suit (which looked awesome!) Mind you, this was WAY BEFORE you could get a DV costume anywhere. The film was just coming out and no licensed costumes were available for a few years afterward.

We completely accepted his version of things. At my suggestion, he very happily agreed to take a walk through our neighborhood and to drop in on my workplace, the Weinershnitzel where I worked.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT?

We did not see a single soul on the way down there. Damn! Just what you don’t want, when you are walking next to Darth Vader!

Fortunately, all of my favorite crew members were on the clock that evening and so Darth terrorized them all and made me Queen for a Day at the local hot dog palace.

**************

Fast forward to TODAY:

The crappy grandson, after hearing the story…said GOOGLE again.

We could find no record of this person as ever having anything to do with the film or anything!

Damn that internet with its stupid truthiness!!!

I was bloodied and bent, but not quite broken yet. I still had the one great reason for living…

FAMILY LEGEND #3…

Oh, not today. Just let me keep this ONE THING. I’ll tell you all about it another time, another place

ANOTHER GALAXY.

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