Sister Carol gave the assignment this week. "Since the last of the Turnbow siblings just passed away, I think it would be nice to write a special memory or memories about time spent with this family as we grew up. You can read brother Bill's post reflecting on the memories of men events here. Sister Carol will post soon.
When my parents married and moved to Kellogg they didn't have family in the valley. Kellogg was full of extended families that had migrated to the valley and settled there, working in the mines or doing other jobs at the Bunker Hill Company. The large extended Rinaldi family included us in many family outings. Because of their family and other Italian families in Kellogg I always yearned to be Catholic and Italian. Their lives were filled with rich tradition.
The other family that treated us like part of their clan was the Turnbows. It was tradition that Jerry and Corrine hosted a huge Thanksgiving gathering each year. Brother Bob was in charge of Christmas Eve. Brother Ted hosted a "men only" New Year's sports day in his basement and Jerry hosted the epic Fourth of July gathering at the lake each year. Recently the last two brothers Jerry and Ted have died. It was fitting to share memories of our years spent with this family for our weekly sibling assignment.
Thanksgiving with Jerry and Corrine was the event most memorable to me. Tradition always kept it the same. Men arrived with their twelve packs of Heidelberg,Olympia,or Budweiser and headed to the TV room to enjoy the football games. The women gathered in the kitchen preparing the meal, arranging the potluck spread, and forming a circle around the table talking, gossiping, smoking cigarettes, sipping coffee or an occasional cocktail. As soon as I arrived I headed to daughter Judy's bedroom for our own talking, gossiping, drinking Pepsi, eating chips session. When we were younger we had this facination with Sears catalogs. We played this goofy game of flipping each page and picking out our favorite dress, coat, or outfit. We could do this for hours. We were also obsessed with Judy Garland and loved "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
When we entered our preteen years, we discovered The Beatles. Thanksgiving 1967 began an obsession with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. When I arrived that year and ran up the stairs with Judy was mesmerized by the album cover. There was so much to see. It was "psychedelic"...which was pretty cool for a twelve year old girl from Kellogg. (Later there was much controversy about the symbolism of Paul being dead on the cover... but I save that for another post.) . As we always did during the phonograph days I am sure we played certain songs over and over again that day. I can remember swaying and singing "I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends". We also loved "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." Actually we loved it all. I think both of us were "Paul girls" and loved to listen to his sweet voice.
We took time out to grab food, get more Pepsi or cream soda, and giggle over one of the women getting tipsy or one of the guys in the TV room falling asleep. We would grab pumpkin pie with way too much whipped cream and head back up to the bedroom for another rendition of a song on that album. In early evening I would hear Mom's voice calling upstairs that it was time to go. Games were over, food was put away, men were drowsy from too much beer and turkey and the kids were wound up for more fun. Sadly, another Thanksgiving ended.
Today the song from the album that struck a chord with me was " A Day in the Life. " I don't think I understood this song in 1967, but today the melody and lyrics represent something different. " I read the news today oh boy" often means learning of the death of another person that was a big part of my life growing up. Fortunately I have many " A Day in the Life" days to remember. Today I also decided this song is quite a masterpiece with the orchestra, piano parts, and of course The Beatles.