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The Red Dress Club: Iceberg, Greenberg

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

By Waugsberg (own photograph - eigene Aufnahme) via Wikimedia Commons

DadGiraffe was in college during the 1960s. More accurately, DadGiraffe was in the library during the 1960s. At least that was what we finally concluded. It seems that for any major historical event during that turbulent decade, he was either on the way to the library, at the library, or returning from the library. Meaning that his cultural literacy is a bit on the weak side.

[In all fairness, DadGiraffe was Phi Beta Kappa at UCLA and that gave him preferential access to “the stacks.”]

Which brings us to Summer 2005. With my first year of Reform School under my belt, I was floundering in Hebrew. An occupational hazard, as one might imagine, for a future rabbi. For reasons far too complicated for this post, I needed to retake my final examinations and DadGiraffe offered to tutor me. Hoping to lift my spirits, he suggested we take our studies to the great outdoors and head for the beach.

Now here’s the thing: yes, DadGiraffe is a second generation Californian and yes, he has lived within close proximity to the beach for nearly all of his life. But he’s not from the beach bums. Or the surfers. An annual family outing to the nearby bay was just enough to satisfy the requirement. It just so happened that my need for a tutorial coincided with his annual trip.

On this particular sunny day, we found parking on a residential street some blocks away from the shoreline. Shlepping along, we came upon a house that resembled a makeshift altar of some sort, complete with tall memorial candles and pictures.

DadGiraffe: It looks as though that is a house of mourning.
FrumeSarah: I’m sure it is. That’s a picture of Jerry Garcia.

[a few moments of thoughtful silence]

DadGiraffe: You know, that’s really funny. There’s an ice cream flavour called “Cherry Garcia.”
FrumeSarah, collecting herself: Yeah. I know. It’s named for JERRY Garcia.
DadGiraffe: Now, who’s Jerry Garcia?
FrumeSarah: Jerry Garcia? Lead singer of the Grateful Dead
DadGiraffe: Oh, those are the teddy bear guys, right?
FrumeSarah: uh-huh. They’re the teddy bear guys, Dad.

Remembe(RED) is a memoir meme. This week, the assigned topic? Sand. That’s it. No other guidance. Or word count. The word brought up so very many past experiences, but this was the one that clambered to be told. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed!

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 6:46 am


    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:09 pm

      I know. Really was a funny, funny moment.

  2. the writ and the wrote permalink
    Tuesday, 10 May 2011 8:16 am

    This sounds like a conversation I might have with my dad. Thank you for sharing.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:09 pm

      We aren’t related, are we??

  3. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 11:15 am

    HA! Fabulous!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:09 pm

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:00 pm

    I don’t think anyone becomes Phi Beta Kappa at UCLA unless one spends a lot of time in the library!

    A friend has told me that if a person remembers the 60’s, then he/she did not experience the 60’s.
    I too grew up in the 60’s, but didn’t even know what marijuana smelled like until I attended a Cheech and Chong drive-in movie in the early 70’s. Apparently the dorms at UCI were pretty tame compared to other campuses.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:10 pm

      That is a good point. The one about the library. Though I would have to think that some of the PBKs got out of the library every so often.

  5. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:22 pm

    LOL!! That is so beautiful. I love that he knows about the ice cream and teddy bears. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost compare Jerry to Raffi:)

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:10 pm



  6. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 4:50 pm

    Hysterical! Hey – at least he knew the teddy bears!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:11 pm

      I was surprised, actually, that he knew about the bears. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless.

  7. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 5:25 pm

    Awwwwwwww! What a great memory. I loved it!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Tina. I smile every time I replay the conversation in my head.

  8. Tuesday, 10 May 2011 7:43 pm

    HaHa! Oh my. This reminds me of conversations that I have with my mom. I love it!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:12 pm

      So it’s not only my dad, is it? Rather reassuring.

  9. DadGiraffe permalink
    Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:42 pm

    Slight correction: I had access to the stacks because I was a Regents’ Scholar. The Phi Beta Kappa came at the end of my college career (not nearly as impressive as the the brother of one of your regular readers who achieved that distinction at the end of his junior year!) I am glad that this wasn’t a matching quiz. I do know the name Jerry Garcia and I do know of the group called The Grateful Dead. It is unlikely, though, that I would have connected the two! And it gets worse: I have long forgotten how teddy bears figure into the picture! At least I am fulfulling a major parental role…continuing to embarrass my children!!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Friday, 13 May 2011 5:36 pm

      Thanks so much for the clarification. That makes so much more sense.

      Keep up the good work, DadGiraffe 😉

  10. Wednesday, 11 May 2011 8:38 am

    lol Post is made even better by the addition of DadGiraffe’s comment!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Friday, 13 May 2011 5:36 pm

      So glad that he is a good sport.

  11. Wednesday, 11 May 2011 10:14 am

    OMG! Hilarious! And DadGiraffe commented! OMG! Love it! 🙂

    The way you used the sand and tied into the prompt is perfection. Well done, and waving hi to DadGiraffe! I’m sure my own father would not get the reference so you’ve got loads up on him.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Saturday, 14 May 2011 11:44 pm

      After doing this for the past few weeks, I think I am comfortable with using the prompt as the starting point for a free association. I’ve live in SoCal nearly my entire life so there were so many stories that involve sand. Though the sand is incidental in this memory, it was a story that has been patiently waiting to be shared.

  12. Wednesday, 11 May 2011 10:11 pm

    This was just a great story, and the fact that DadGiraffe commented makes it twice as golden!!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Saturday, 14 May 2011 11:45 pm

      I agree. He is such a good sport.

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