I’ve been thinking about my paternal grandmother lately. She has long been a coffin muffin, but still, memories of her are always with me. Just yesterday, as I was surfing the web, I ran across this site called Foxy Bingo. I was drawn to the fox’s snappy suit and wondered where I could get such an outfit. It would make a good Halloween costume, as I would like to be Prince this year or a disco dude. Then I started to think about my Grandma Ferguson and how much she loved playing Bingo and slot machines. I wonder, if she was alive today, would she get into the Internet gambling fun?
Grandma loved to dance. Folk dancing in particular. If I recall correctly, she taught us the song called Bingo. Does anyone else know that song? “A big black dog sat on the porch, and Bingo was his name. A big black dog sat on the porch and Bingo was his name. B.I.N.G.O., B.I.N.G.O., B.I.N.G.O. and Bingo was his name.” We used to do some folk dance to that song. I loved it. Maybe my grandmother liked that song so much because of her love of playing bingo? I’ll never know.
Grandma Ferguson was not a cook, as I recall. She was totally addicted to sugar. Perhaps that’s one of those things I liked best about her; she always had gum and hard candy in her purse. There was always Kool Aid in the fridge because she said the tap water was undrinkable (and this was in the 60’s!). Boxes of brownie and cake mix were always present in the cupboard, as well as a pan of brownies on the counter. All I can remember eating at Grandma’s were sweets. And not the homemade variety, I can assure you.
The only home I remember her living in was a converted garage in Lemon Grove, California. I loved that place! It was so tiny that you had to turn sideways to get through the bathroom door. Her friend Thelma, a large woman, would have to go down the street to the gas station if she needed to use the facilities, as she could not fit into Grandma’s toilet. There was actually an upstairs in that garage where we would find all sorts of treasures that she had pack ratted (as my mother would say) away. I recall finding a cool violin there and begging my grandma to give it to me. She wasn’t as soft hearted as I had hoped.
Some of my grandmother’s proclivities certainly run through my veins. I share her love of thrift store shopping, sweets, sewing and creating and a Peter Pan attitude for life. My mother was always so annoyed with her mother-in-law. “She’s like a little kid” my mom would complain. She was embarrassed to go into thrift stores with her. I remember her telling us that Grandma wanted to go to Girl Scout camp with my cousins, making a big deal about it, like Grandma was crazy. I believe my grandmother had the right idea. She was living life the way she wanted to. She was following her bliss, each and every day. With every swig of Kool Aid and bite of brownie, she was celebrating life. And if she were alive today, I know she would grab her bag and go with me to the thrift store in search of that foxy suit. Bingo!
P.S. After watching this clip on YouTube, I’ve decided to be this fox for Halloween!