Thursday, September 10, 2009

shocking tales from the graveside

As generally happens at funerals, particularly that of a parent, little-known stories emerge over the sharing of dusty photo albums. That was certainly true last week, when we sorted through the photos and various sundry tucked away at the back of closets at my mother-in-law's apartment.

There was the usual recitation of familiar family tales, of her quirky ways and her fiery spirit, her inability to pronounce the names Darrell or Jane, her fear of purring cats, her bewilderment at microwaves and VCRs. And there was the surfacing of new and surprising information - the photo of her on a motorcycle, another of her in a bikini on a beach in Sweden.

But my favourite moment, which is destined to become a family classic, was the story of how she recently approached her oldest granddaughter to score her some dope. Evidently she had been studying up on alternative medicine. The stern admonition you can't get Babcha high at Christmas is sure to live on in this family.

There were other shocking discoveries that came to light in some old photographs, some scandals that hit a little closer to home.

Like the fact that I still had 80's hair in 1991.

Or that the Spousal Unit looked like he smuggled people across the border for a living.

Still to come in the Ontario stories, a recounting of the most fabulously spectacular blogger meetup in human history. Don't miss it.

As I take my leave, I would like to point out that there is a shiny new online magazine in existence, one that promises a punchy and fresh look at music, art, culture and staying fabulous in the heart of big oil town. Please check out New Canadian Modern, where I have recently become a contributor.

You can read my interview with Pat Flegel from the incredible Polaris-listed Calgary-based band WOMEN, and loads of other good stuff.

/shameless self promotion


justrun said...

I always knew you guys were the fabulous hair and mustache types!

And grandma tried to score some good stuff. Wow, now that's Thanksgiving conversation.

Shamelessly self promote all you want-- you know stuff, and that's what people who know stuff should do.

Hm. Does any of what I typed make sense?

Allison said...

I love, love that photo of you and the RO (or O now I guess?)! Feels like it could be in the family section a Sears catalog or something. ;) I hope it gets framed.

Adorable zombies you all are. :)

mister anchovy said...

I love old family stories, the nuttier the better.

Anonymous said...


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Not sure how fabulous the hair and mustache were, Justrun, but they were big. The Spousal Unit's mom certainly did leave behind a lot of great stories that will always be brought up at family gatherings. I can only hope to be half as memorable.

I guess I've been calling her the FRO, Al, or when I am feeling formal, The Offspring Formerly Known as Resident. That shirt does rather look as though it came from a Sears' catalogue, doesn't it? I think I only got rid of it a couple of years ago too.

We've got our share of nutty ones, Mr Anchovy. I hope to add to the nuttiness myself some day.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That photo is actually shamelessly swiped from the internetz, Nick, but many of the found photos were certainly old-timey. Even more than the big hair and mustache ones.

justacoolcat said...

Is that illegal baby packed with dope?

Sorry for your loss, give your special man friend my condolances.

Give your new magazine friends my compliments, it's already clear they have good taste.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hmmm yes, the baby packed with dope would go a long way toward explaining things, JustA.
And thanks for the sweetness!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You guys are so cute.

Remi said...

I'm still trying to get over the notion of a grandmother looking to score. I guess if it worked for Pierre Berton. . .

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Awww shucks, Dr M!

It worked very well for Pierre Berton too, Remi!