Friday, July 30, 2010

Hypocrisy, thy name is me.

I just finished posting on how much I hate graffiti, and now I feel the need to confess.  I cannot say I have never done any graffiti myself.  I also wish I could say I regret and am embarrassed by the fact that I did it, but I have to admit that I still feel a little pride that it was left up for several years.
My senior year in high school.  My best friend was dating my sister’s best friend and the three of us decided to do a little art work.  My sister’s best friend and I kept watch while my best friend did the outline.  We had it drawn out on paper, so when it came time to fill in the outlines, all three of us went to work and got it done fairly quickly. 
We chose the walkway under 4th South that still goes from the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot (Rice Stadium at the time) to the main campus at the University of Utah.  We did it during the late-late hours of the night when there would be no foot traffic, but during school hours it saw heavy traffic.  It was perfect.  Under the street where no one driving would see us, empty at that time of night, but still where a lot of people would eventually get to see it. 
I can’t remember how many years they left it up, but I remember walking to class one time and being amazed that it hadn’t been covered over yet.  This was 30 years ago, so it’s long gone now.  And I can honestly say that it was the one and only time I remember vandalizing someone else’s property.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Mayor of Sugarhouse.

We had a regular ‘customer’ back at the original Free Wheeler.  It was either the end of the 70’s or the beginning of the 80’s, and I can’t even remember her name (I think it was Eleanor) but we called her “The Mayor of Sugarhouse.”  She looked every bit of the 173 years old she was, smoked a carton a day and drank mini-bottles by the handful.
I don’t know if she was homeless, she certainly looked it, but we thought she had an apartment somewhere in the neighborhood,  She told a lot of stories, but a couple of themes seemed consistent.  She was originally from New York City, came out to Salt Lake with a husband that, some unknown years before, left town with a younger woman.  He had a name, but for the life of me I can’t remember what she said it was.
She would hang out at Free Wheeler a couple of evenings every week.  She liked us, mainly because the place was staffed by a bunch of hippies and we tolerated her.  Our customers did too, even found her somewhat amusing when she would claim to be the owner and yell at everybody.  She would sit on the window sill at the front of the store (it was a wide, low, long sill), drinking and smoking and telling stories of her life.  One time we saw her walking down the middle of 2100 South, shaking her fist and yelling at the cars as they passed her.
I have no idea what happened to her, she just faded from the fabric of Free Wheeler.  She can’t still be alive, that was over 30 years ago and she was 149 then, I just hope she’s resting peacefully.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How I got the nickname “Slim”

We’re talking the early 80’s, so I’ve been dealing with this nickname for almost 30 years now.
I was over at my older brother’s house and he was on the phone to our maternal grandmother, Ida.  They had been talking for a while when she asked him how his brother was doing.  Having two brothers, he asked which one she meant.
Not that she was senile or anything, but according to my brother her response was “uh, you know…, Slim.”  You know, kinda like how you call that big burly guy “Tiny”.
Anyway, my older brother found that incredibly hilarious, and the siblings have been calling me that ever since.